The Top Questions To Ask When Looking For A Reliable Orthodontist

If you’re looking for an orthodontist for yourself or your family, it’s hard to know where to turn. With many options in the city, deciding which practice to use seems like a matter of rolling the dice.

The best way to find a reliable orthodontist is to ask the right questions. Whether you’re looking for a business with an emphasis on community values or a practice with many years of experience, you won’t find them until you do your research.

Here’s a great list of questions to get you started and make sure you’re hiring the best of the best for your orthodontic needs.

What Services Do You Offer?

A trained orthodontist can offer many different services, like braces, clear aligners, or even TADS (temporary anchorage devices). Orthodontists can’t offer general dentistry procedures, though.

Make sure you ask about whether they offer other services. If your orthodontist performs fillings, root canals, or regular cleanings, this is not the place for you.

How Long Will the Treatment Last?

Braces, aligners, and other orthodontic treatments all stay on your teeth for a prescribed length of time. This depends on the severity of your diagnosis, as well as the type of treatment. Your orthodontist and their team should be able to tell you a good estimate for how long you’ll wear your braces or clear aligners.

What’s the Cost for a Reliable Orthodontist?

The question that’s probably chief in your mind is, “How much will I pay out-of-pocket?” Braces and clear aligners are both expensive. A reliable orthodontist should be able to let you know what your dental insurance will or won’t cover.

They can also give an accurate estimate of the costs involved with any treatment and provide a payment plan. Discuss the benefits of the treatments so you understand the high value that goes along with the price of braces.

What Experience Do You Have?

Figuring out what kind of experience your orthodontist has is key to determining if they’re a good fit. Ask questions about their hardest cases and unusual treatments they’ve administered. You also want to know how long they’ve been practicing and where they got their education.

Finding out about the team is equally important. If the orthodontist won’t always be the one working on your teeth, who will? What is their experience?

Attaching brackets or bending wires may seem like minor adjustments. Yet if an inexperienced assistant is doing them, it could hurt. Make sure every employee has the expertise to help you.

What Are Your Hours?

Kids can only miss so much school. Harvard notes that more adults than ever are getting braces, and adults can’t afford to miss work either. Whoever is getting braces or aligners will need an orthodontist who works around your busy schedule.

Find out what the orthodontist’s hours are. If you have an orthodontic emergency, you want to be able to schedule an appointment right away to get it taken care of.

Your Best Smile

If your goal is a gorgeous smile, you need a reliable orthodontist. Using the questions above, you’ll be able to find out which is the right practice for you and your family.

Here at Yuba City Orthodontics, we’re committed to tailoring the treatment plan to fit each patient individually. We also work to perfect your smile and promote overall oral health. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation today!

How to Clean Invisalign Retainers: 4 Tips to Brush up On

Invisalign retainers are one of the most popular tooth-straightening methods on the market today. Not only are they less invasive and more attractive than braces, but patients also report greater satisfaction and better gum health when they use Invisalign.

Even so, that doesn’t mean they’re completely maintenance-free. To protect both your teeth and your aligner trays from harm, you need to know how to clean Invisalign retainers without damaging them.

Read on for the four tips you need to keep your aligners in tip-top shape.

1. Clean Them Often

Do you know the sticky film that builds up on your teeth in between brushes? That’s called dental plaque, and it’s made up of microbes and food particles that can be harmful to your teeth and gums.

When you wear Invisalign retainers, plaque can transfer from your teeth to the inside of the trays. If it’s left on for too long, it can lead to tartar, dental cavities, and gingivitis. That’s why it’s important to rinse out your aligner trays every time you remove them and give them a deep cleaning at least once per day.

2. Give Them a Good Soak

Leaving your aligners out on the table when you’re eating is a great way to make sure they get thrown in the trash by accident. But even if you’re careful to keep them in sight, being exposed to air lets harmful bacteria build up and can contribute to tartar formation.

Instead, let your Invisalign retainers soak in a cup of lukewarm water and sanitizer while you eat. Some good sanitizers to choose from include Invisalign cleaning crystals, denture tablets, and Retainer Brite.

3. Scrub Gently

Soaking alone isn’t always enough to get the stubborn residue off your trays.

Instead, scrub the inside and outside of the trays gently with a toothbrush and liquid antibacterial softsoap. Rinse them out afterward, but be careful to use room-temperature water—hot water can warp the plastic.

If you want to avoid staining your trays, it’s a good idea to steer clear of cleaning them with colored soaps. You should also avoid using toothpaste, as the abrasives can damage the plastic over time.

4. Don’t Eat With the Trays In

The easiest way to keep your Invisalign trays clean is to prevent them from getting dirty in the first place. When your orthodontist asks you to avoid putting anything other than water in your mouth while wearing your retainers, it isn’t because they want to make your life miserable.

Eating food and drinking colored or sugary beverages can stain your aligners, making them no longer invisible. Even worse, the plastic can absorb the smell of what you’re eating and drinking, giving you a serious case of bad breath.

Learn How to Clean Invisalign Retainers the Right Way

Understanding how to clean Invisalign retainers is a huge part of effectively straightening your teeth. To make sure they stay in perfect condition, keep up with your regular brushing and flossing routine as well.

If you have any remaining questions about caring for your aligner trays or are interested in starting Invisalign treatment, contact Yuba City Orthodontics today. Our team is happy to help you on your journey to a new and improved smile.

Back To School Braces

Did your kid’s teeth change over the Summer?  It is not uncommon for pre-teens and teenagers to have dramatic teeth changes.  Nevertheless, teeth rarely self-correct and shift into optimal places.  They almost always need a little help.

Dr. Michael Larson of Yuba City Orthodontics has assisted hundreds upon hundreds of individuals with braces.  We know what it is like to help school-aged children to straighten their teeth with braces.  Getting braces may not appear to be fun, but the longterm effects of them does improve lives.  If you believe your child may require braces, give us a call or schedule an appointment online for a consultation.  We’d enjoy sitting down with you and your child.

What To Expect During Your Child’s Consultation

We always want you and your child to be comfortable and relaxed.  Therefore, during the consultation, Dr. Larson will walk you through the entire process.  As we examine your child’s teeth, you can expect a through explanation of the causes.  We’ll also recommend a treatment, and upon approval, al prepares a treatment plan.  At Yuba City Orthodontics, you’ll never be blindsided by unknown procedures or given cookie-cut responses to your questions.  Additionally, we want your child to be as active in this process as possible.  We’ve found that when child patients are active participants from the very beginning of acquiring braces, they tend to keep up with the daily care required by the treatment.

A Few Benefits of Braces

Going without braces can have long term consequences.  But choosing them, can reap a number of benefits.  Here are a few:

  • Improved oral health. Braces typically keep recipients in the mindset of care for their teeth daily.  After having braces, many maintain their oral hygiene for life.  Also, straight teeth make brushing and flossing much easier.
  • Improved confidence. A vibrant, straight smile is an asset that keeps giving.  Children and adults have higher self-confidence when they have beautiful smiles.
  • Less Oral Risks. If your child participates in sports (especially contact sports), a straighter smile is less injury prone.

Would you like to schedule a consultation for braces?  Contact us at the number below today.

Dr. Michael Larson DDS MSD

1215 Plumas Street, Suite 500
Yuba City, CA 95991

(530) 674-5047



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