Can Vaping Hurt My Orthodontic Treatment?

No tobacco does not mean any nicotine. Since nicotine is delivered via vaping, all of the health problems associated with nicotine are still there.  Nicotine is an addictive substance that’s also a carcinogen. A carcinogen is simply a substance that’s known to cause cancer.

Here are some oral health-specific issues associated with nicotine:

  • Nicotine reduces the amount of blood that can flow through your veins. Without sufficient blood flow, your gums don’t get the oxygen and nutrients they need to stay healthy. In a way, nicotine chokes out tissues in the mouth from the blood it needs to survive, causing the death of gum tissues. And that’s how it causes your gums to recede.
  • Nicotine prevents your body from producing saliva. Not enough saliva leads to bacteria buildup, dry mouth, and tooth decay.
  • Nicotine acts as a stimulant that fires up the muscles. If you already grind your teeth (bruxism), it can make it worse. If you aren’t a teeth grinder, you may start. Bruxism is a condition in which you regularly grind, gnash, or clench your teeth. When left untreated, bruxism can lead to tooth damage and other oral health complications.

Since vaping introduces nicotine into your body just like smoking tobacco, it does increase your risk for gum disease. Common symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Ongoing bad breath (halitosis)
  • Red, irritated, or bleeding gums
  • Tender or swollen gums
  • Wiggly or loss of teeth
  • The recession of gum tissue

The takeaway here is that vaping has health risks. It’s a misperception to believe that e-cigarettes are healthier than tobacco cigarettes.

If you’re a smoker or vaper, it’s extremely important to stay on top of your regular dental check-ups.

Dr. Michael Larson DDS MSD

1215 Plumas Street, Suite 500
Yuba City, CA 95991

(530) 674-5047


Common Questions About Braces

  1. Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?

No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many other patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves

  1. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.

  1. Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?

No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.

  1. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?

If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office, send us an e-mail or fill out our appointment request form online. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request some basic information from you.

  1. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?

Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be seen by the staff and doctor who will acclimate you to our office and prepare for the initial exam. We will take the necessary photographs and X-rays to allow us to make a proper diagnosis. The doctor will then complete a brief, but thorough, exam.

  1. What will I learn from the initial examination?

There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination:

  • Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?
  • What must be done to correct the problem?
  • Will any teeth need to be removed?
  • How long will the treatment take to complete?
  • How much will the treatment cost?

If you need additional informationa about orthodontic treatment or have questions, give us a call.

Dr. Michael Larson DDS MSD

1215 Plumas Street, Suite 500
Yuba City, CA 95991

(530) 674-5047


Best Dental Braces in Yuba City

Traditional braces are a viable solution for providing an attractive smile that is straighter.  Here at Yuba City Orthodontics, we have the skills and dental technology to align teeth effectively.  Dr. Michael Larson and staff have strong backgrounds in orthodontics.  Our practice centers on orthodontics and we serve a go-to specialist in Yuba City and surrounding communities.

Yuba City Orthodontics Style

We live in a modern dentistry age, so there is no reason to have a crooked smile or teeth that are crowded.  Our traditional braces off an affordable solution as well as a highly effective way to get a remarkable smile you will be proud to show off.  There are several other advantages to fixing gum disease, such as staving off cavities, reducing the risks of gum disease, and producing a bite that is uniform.

Traditional braces are typically formed using metal wires and brackets.  Thanks to our modern dental technologies, we can offer multiple options to our patients.  Porcelain braces, which are sometimes called clear braces, are available to provide a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional metal brackets and wires.  We can match each porcelain bracket to your tooth color, and make the wires from a translucent material.

The Advantages of Metal Braces

There are several advantages or benefits to wearing braces because they can do more than straighten a smile.  The Yuba City Orthodontics team uses them to correct several dental issues, including:

  • Teeth that overlap
  • Severe overcrowding
  • Alignment issues, such as overbite, underbite, and crossbite

When braces are used for a young patient, they also serve as an orthodontic treatment that is preventative in nature.

Who Can Benefit from Braces?

Almost every patient is capable of being fitted for braces.  Children and teens undergo braces treatments in most cases, but adults can also benefit from braces as well.  Adults usually will require wearing braces longer because their facial structure development has peaked.  Invisalign® is a common and accessible alternative to braces that we offer.

Yuba City Orthodontics can help you get a beautiful and healthy smile regardless of your situation.  Dr. Michael Larson and his staff incorporate the use of the highest dental standards and the most advanced technology during every procedure.  After your orthodontic treatments are completed, we will continually assist you to ensure you get the best possible results.

Dr. Michael Larson DDS MSD

1215 Plumas Street, Suite 500
Yuba City, CA 95991

(530) 674-5047


How Invisalign Works

Do you have a desire for straighter teeth, but are turned off by the idea of metal braces?  Several of the patients that come to us have no desire to have metal braces.  We fully understand!  Moreover, we feature Invisalign® as a viable solution for most dental patients.  Before selecting Invisalign® as your ‘go-to’ treatment, it is important to understand two points, namely:

  • What Invisalign® is, and
  • How Invisalign® works, and

A Brief Look Into Invisalign®

Invisalign® is a dental method which uses a series of transparent aligners to straighten your teeth over time.  The aligning trays are composed of a thermoplastic (for full disclosure of the ingredients of the Invisalign® check the official MSDS).  Some of the foremost benefits of Invisalign® include:

  • A nearly invisible appearance on the wearer
  • Ease of hygiene since the trays are fully removable
  • Significantly less irritation than traditional braces which tend to chaff soft tissues within the mouth
  • Ability to combine treatment with traditional braces under certain circumstances

Whenever you come into either our Yuba City office desiring Invisalign®, we’ll allow you to see aligning trays up close.  We want you to get a personal feel for the Invisalign® experience before you commit.  As you do, we’ll explain how they work.

Understanding the Method Behind Invisalign®

Invisalign® alignment trays are designed for two-week usage.  Within every two weeks, the aligners gradually shift your teeth into a healthier position.  Before any treatment takes place, one of our orthodontists will create a three-dimensional virtual plan based on x-rays taken of your teeth.  The 3D virtual model will provide a map of how the trays will straighten your teeth.  Next, a mold is taken of your teeth so that a series of Invisalign® trays can be constructed to correct your smile.

Yuba City Ortho Invisalign® Consultation

One aspect of our dentistry that sets us apart from other Invisalign® providers is our comprehensive consultations.  We want you to have full knowledge of the procedure. Hence, we set aside time to answer any questions or apprehensions you may have in mind.  We have a variety of options to make Invisalign® and any other treatment we provide affordably.

Would you like to have a hassle-free consultation with one of our dentists about an Invisalign® treatment?  Call us at the number below or schedule an appointment online today.

Dr. Michael Larson DDS MSD

1215 Plumas Street, Suite 500
Yuba City, CA 95991
(530) 674-5047

Can Braces Change Your Facial Appearance?

The short answer to the title question is yes.  Braces can change the appearance of a patient’s face (key word is “can”).  However, there are a few concepts to consider this understanding.  Sometimes our patients at Yuba City Orthodontics have preconceived ideas about the nature of facial changes.  Many of these notions are based on urban myths and misconceptions.  We invite you to read this brief about how and why braces change facial appearance.

The Shape of Your Face

Facial asymmetry is a normal part of human beauty.  While a little asymmetry is generally accepted, many do not desire harsh asymmetry in their face.  Pronounced asymmetry often begins in the mouth.  Traditional braces and Invisalign® has the ability to restore facial asymmetry by aligning the jaw and teeth.  Some of the most common changes that brace address which affect the shape of the face are:

  • Crooked Teeth – Incorrect spacing and direction of teeth can affect the look of outer mouth tissues like the cheeks and lips.
  • Open Bite – A bite that appears to not close is classified as an open bite. This leads to the visual effect of a jutted upper lip.
  • Overbite – This condition gives the appearance of a lifted upper lip and sunken cheeks.
  • Underbite – As the opposite of overbite, the chin emerges prominently becoming the focal point of the face rather than the eyes and mouth.

Correcting Your Face & Smile

While the most important part of braces is oral health, having a great smile is a great compliment.  In fact, many or patients get braces for the sole purpose of improving their smile.  If your smile is affected by any of the above-listed conditions, it is likely that you may experience changes in your facial symmetry.

Have questions?  Set up an appointment with us today for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Larson!

Dr. Michael Larson DDS MSD

1215 Plumas Street, Suite 500
Yuba City, CA 95991

(530) 674-5047

A Look Into Orthodontics

Are you self-conscious about your smile?  Many patients that visit Yuba City Orthodontics for the first time are as well.  However, we can correct the beauty and health of your teeth with orthodontic treatment if you need for it.  Dr. Larson has the expertise and experience to give you a smile you deserve.

There is no reason to believe that your oral situation is beyond help.  Our team has aided patients with dental situations of all types who have required orthodontic assistance.  Once the treatment is complete, you’ll be amazed at the appearance of your smile.

How Orthodontic Treatment Works

Appliances for orthodontic treatment are generally comprised of ceramic, metal, plastic, or a combination of these substances.  Some orthodontic appliances are removable by design, while others may be bonded to the patient’s teeth.  In either case, the function of the appliance remains the same.  Orthodontic appliance work by exerting force in precise directions to slowly reposition teeth.

You may have an image of orthodontics as metal bands that have brackets surrounding each tooth.  Those orthodontic treatments are antiquated.  Now you can have clear or metal braces (there are even some braces that have color if you desire it).  Modern braces wiring is thinner, stronger, and less noticeable.  Yet, the best part is the improvement in the duration of treatment.

Duration of Treatment

Modern orthodontic treatments have improved and the time required for braces has decreased.  However, treatment times will always vary from patient to patient because no one’s oral situation is exactly the same.  One of the greatest factors in the timeline of orthodontic treatment is your involvement.  If you take proactive and consistent measures to care for your teeth during the treatment phase, your results will be more effective.  Of course, Dr. Larson and the team at Yuba City Orthodontics will help you each step of the way.

Are you interested in an orthodontic treatment?  Contact us today for a free consultation.  After your consultation, you will have a clear picture of the whether orthodontic treatment is in your best interests.

Dr. Michael Larson DDS MSD

1215 Plumas Street, Suite 500
Yuba City, CA 95991

(530) 674-5047

Braces and Teens – Part 2

Our last blog, we primarily spoke about traditional braces for teens.  In this blog let’s look into more detail about Invisalign for teens.  If you have immediate questions, give Yuba City Orthodontics a call at (530) 674-5047.

What Is Invisalign?

In times past, the only way to fix orthodontic problems like cross bite, crowded teeth, gaps, overbites and spacing issues was with metal braces. Advancements of lighter and stronger substances have led to a clear bracing solution—Invisalign.

Invisalign Teen® Benefits

The reasons why Invisalign is popular among teens (and adults) are plentiful.  Here are the most common:

Invisalign is a system that’s been used for years in the United States. Instead of adhering metal braces to teeth, Invisalign is a series of clear plastic aligners that simply fit over the top and bottom teeth and guide them into place. It’s become very popular because it is:

  • The clear aligners are comfortable to wear since they fit over the teeth and are nearly indiscernible by onlookers. The look of Invisalign aligners provides confidence to those who may be extremely concerned about their look.
  • Orthodontic appointments are less frequent because alignment trays are generally changed every six weeks (braces typically require 4-week adjustments). During the six-week intervals, patients change their alignment trays every 2
  • Invisalign aligners are completely removable. This allows teens to avoid diet restrictions that are associated with braces.  Brushing and flossing are much easier with Invisalign.  Also, those who play contact sports can do so without fear of major dental trauma.

Invisalign Disadvantages

Where Invisalign succeeds in providing aesthetic value to the wearer during the treatment, it lacks effectiveness in more complex correction circumstances. In comparison to metal braces, Invisalign takes a longer time to correct gaps and serious alignment problems. Consequently, each patient should carefully consider the outcome, timeframe, and specific dental issues they are facing.

Caring Four Your Braces & Your Diet

One of the most important ways that you care for your braces is through your diet. There are foods that can damage the brackets and wires that are helping your teeth to align properly. Any damage to these can result in repairs, extra dental appointments, harm to your teeth, and extensions in your treatment timeline. After you have your braces installed, our team will go over a list of food types that you should avoid during your treatment.

Nevertheless, there are a great variety of foods available to you when you are going through your treatment. Here are a few examples:

  • applesauce
  • bananas
  • crab cakes
  • deli meats
  • ice cream (without nuts)
  • Jell-O
  • mac and cheese
  • mashed potatoes
  • meatballs
  • milk-based drinks
  • milkshakes
  • muffins and cake (without nuts)
  • pancakes
  • pasta
  • pudding
  • salmon
  • shrimp
  • soft cheese
  • soft cooked chicken
  • soft cooked rice
  • soft tortillas
  • spinach
  • tuna

To give you an idea of some of the food types that we’ll recommend that you avoid taking a look at the following list.

  • apples
  • bagels
  • caramel candies
  • carrots
  • celery
  • chewing gum
  • chips
  • corn on the cob
  • hard candies
  • hard pretzels
  • ice
  • licorice
  • nuts
  • popcorn
  • Starburst and Skittles
  • taffy


Braces and Teens – Part 1

You’ve probably seen many of your peers who also wear braces. The truth is—it actually not a bad thing; especially when you think of what it will do for your smile in the future. Additionally, modern orthodontics has seen advances in braces so that they are much more comfortable and have less maintenance. Yuba City Orthodontics offers braces in a variety of styles and types that can match your personality. And most braces do not have to be worn as long as they did in the previous generations.

How long do I have to wear braces?

Just as your personality differs so does your oral health. Hence, there is no real way to compare how long you may have to wear braces with someone else. Many variables can add to or decrease the length of time your braces treatment will take. Some of the most common factors include:

  • Patients that have received orthodontic treatments before their teenage years may have dental procedures that have prepared them for future orthodontics. These treatments are not necessary for every patient and are only recommended when certain circumstances exist.
  • The specific dental correction that is required has a significant impact on the time frame of braces. Furthermore, patients’ teeth react to braces at different speeds. Just because you have friends that may have had long orthodontic treatments does not mean that you will too. We’ve found that our patients average about 10 to 14 months of treatment.
  • How you care for your braces has a great impact on how long your treatment lasts. Patients that strictly follow the direction provided by their dentist and hygienist often have the best and fastest orthodontic treatments. So, if you want the shortest treatment possible, please follow the instructions and care for your braces regularly.

Types of Braces Options

Yuba City Orthodontics has plenty of braces options available for your treatment. After your oral exam, we will present you with various kinds of braces along with our recommendation based on your lifestyle. Typically, most teenagers can choose from the following:

  • 3M Unitek metal braces
  • Clarity clear braces
  • Damon self-ligating braces
  • Incognito lingual braces
  • Invisalign Teen

We will help you to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each style of braces recommended.

Do you have questions or want to learn more about what to expect during your orthodontic procedure?  Feel free to call, email or visit our office. Yuba City Orthodontics is here to help.  In our next blog, we’ll cover Invisalign treatments for teens.

1215 Plumas Street, Suite 500
Yuba City, CA 95991

(530) 674-5047



Proper Dental Care for Braces

Braces are a great way to achieve a charming smile that reveals beautiful and straight teeth. However, what’s the point of investing all that time and money on braces if your teeth aren’t getting the care they deserve while you wear them?!

It is important to maintain your teeth with regular oral care during the time you wear braces. This will ensure that when the braces come off, you can enjoy a beautiful smile and great teeth. Proper care includes having cleanings done and brushing correctly with braces on. Yuba City Orthodontics offers comprehensive cleanings that are specially designed for braces.  Our team also alerts you to trouble spots in your home oral cleaning regimen and shares with you the best ways to counteract long-term problems.  Set up an appointment with us today for your cleaning or if you desire braces. (805) 623-7272.

Most of the time both kids and adults overlook oral hygiene care because they are simply not aware of its significance. That is why below, we have discussed the possible consequences of not paying proper attention to your teeth while wearing braces.  The following issues can arise whether you wear braces or not, but the risks increase and intensify in people who wear braces but don’t maintain oral hygiene.

Pre-Gum Disease

Gum disease, called periodontitis, is preceded by gingivitis. This is characterized by minor bleeding and puffy and swollen gums, although there isn’t much pain at this stage. The effect this problem has is to make even more space for plaque to develop around your gums, which further worsens the condition.


If the initial problem of gingivitis is left untreated, it can develop into periodontitis. In this gum disease, inflammation and infection are seen beneath the gum line. Even the tooth structure, the mouth bones, and ligaments are affected by it. The distance between the teeth and gums will further increase, which in turn will allow more plaque build-ups in the resulting pockets. Patients suffering from this disease eventually start seeing a loss of teeth.


Decalcification refers to the formation of lines or white spots on your teeth’s surface. Unfortunately, once they have formed, your teeth will permanently have these spots. This obviously proves the importance of prevention and how properly caring for your oral hygiene can help you avoid such irreversible issues.

Dr. Michael Larson DDS MSD and her team at Yuba City Orthodontics works hard with each of our braces patients to help them care for their teeth throughout the process.

1215 Plumas Street, Suite 500
Yuba City, CA 95991

(530) 674-5047

Beautify Your Smile With A Spring Invisalign Treatment

Correcting your smile without metal braces is possible through Invisalign.  What is exceptional about Invisalign is the flexibility that it gives you.  Ah, flexibility!  This treatment is especially useful if your lifestyle hinders you from using metal braces.  The Yuba City Orthodontics team has helped patients of various age groups to straighten their smile with Invisalign.  We’d love to help you too!

Awesome Invisalign Solutions

Our patients that qualify and opt for Invisalign are given customized trays that gradually reposition teeth over several weeks.  We tailor the trays to each patient by using our 3D imaging and impression technologies.  With these on-hand, we can formulate an Invisalign strategy that will address your specific orthodontic need.  Each set of Invisalign trays are meant to be used for approximately two weeks.  A series of transparent aligners are created to straighten your teeth.

Benefits of Invisalign

If you are interested in re-aligning your smile with Invisalign, there are several perks to your choice.  Consider the following:

  • In comparison to metal braces, Invisalign wearers have less dietary restrictions. Also, there are no problems with getting food or other substances stuck within braces, brackets, and wires.
  • Invisalign is removable, which allows for greater ease of cleaning teeth, eating and general comfort. Conversely, braces can only be removed by a dentist.
  • Your customized trays are easier to clean than braces.
  • Most patients feel little to no irritation on gums, lips, and cheeks when using Invisalign. Braces take some time to get accustomed to, and moderate to severe irritation of mouth is expected.

What to Expect

Before you decide on Invisalign, you should expect to have a dental exam first.  The examination will evaluate if you are a good candidate for Invisalign.  Each person’s dental health and lifestyle plays a vital role in the success of an Invisalign treatment.  Dr. Micahael Larson DDS MSD understands how to maximize the results of Invisalign treatments, so if you are approved, he will give you specific information to aid your progress.

If you are ready for an Invisalign evaluation, gives us call.

Dr. Michael Larson DDS MSD

1215 Plumas Street, Suite 500
Yuba City, CA 95991

(530) 674-5047