Understanding the Different Types of Braces Orthodontists Use Today

Many people wish to straighten their teeth for cosmetic reasons. Others need to do so because of an uneven or uncomfortable bite, speaking issues, or because of breathing problems.

At any given time, approximately four million Americans are wearing braces. Although the majority of them are children and teenagers, about twenty-five percent of people with braces in the United States are adults.

Braces have been around for several hundred years, but over the past few decades, they have come a long way.

There are several different types of braces available for people who are considering them. Read on to learn about the many options available and the pros and cons of each.

1. Metal Braces/Traditional Braces

The most common of the many types of braces are traditional braces. These are the braces with which you are most likely the most familiar and you surely know someone who has worn them before.

These braces are metal and include metal brackets attached to the teeth. The brackets are connected by an adjustable wire to help move the teeth into position over time. This type of braces was once somewhat painful, but new heat-activated wires have resulted in decreased discomfort.

The advantage of metal braces is that they are the most affordable option, however, they are also very noticeable. They work quickly, though, and are an excellent option.

2. Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are similar to traditional, metal braces, but the brackets are clear instead of metal. This helps them to blend into the teeth better and, as a result, they are far less noticeable. Today, some ceramic braces even use white wires to hide them even further.

The downside of ceramic braces is that they are more expensive than metal braces. Also, they can stain if they are not well cared for. However, like traditional braces, they work rapidly, but without standing out as much.

3. Lingual Braces

If you don’t want anyone to know that you have braces, you might consider lingual braces. This type of braces is similar to the two above, but instead of being attached to the front of the patient’s teeth, the brackets and wires are affixed to the back.

These braces are wonderful because they are invisible from the outside, but they come with many disadvantages. First of all, because they are difficult to put on and adjust, they are much more expensive than the others.

Also, because of their location, they are difficult to clean and maintain. They also can be rather uncomfortable.

4. Invisalign

The newest development in braces is Invisalign, although this method is not all that new anymore; it was introduced in 1997.

These are very different from the other methods above. Instead of brackets and wires, the patient’s teeth are adjusted using a series of plastic aligners. They are replaced every two weeks to further influence the movement of the teeth until they are where they should be.

Invisalign is popular because they are almost invisible. They are removed when the patient is eating so they are easy to maintain. However, the downsides are plentiful, too; they can easily be lost and they are more expensive than traditional braces.

Many Types of Braces

There are many different types of braces available to you if you want or need to have your teeth straightened. Your orthodontist will suggest the type that he or she thinks is best, but the ultimate decision is up to you. Take time to consider all of the pros and cons before you proceed. It’s your smile and soon it will be the best it can be.

If you are interested in learning more about your orthodontic options in the Yuba City area, please give us a call today. We look forward to answering your questions.

7 Incredible Health Benefits of Having Straight Teeth

In the United States alone, orthodontics is a $1.84 billion industry. It isn’t hard to see why: a beautiful smile is one of the best traits you can have, and straight teeth are just as vital as clean teeth if you want to achieve that.

Straight teeth don’t just improve your appearance, though. Having a perfectly straight smile can also improve your health.

1. Happier Demeanor and Better Self-Esteem

Advertisements always suggest that improving your appearance will lead to better self-esteem. What sets straight teeth apart from other adjustments is that this suggestion is scientifically proven. People with perfect, straight teeth tend to smile more often, and smiling more surprisingly does improve your mood and self-esteem. These further lead to less stress and higher focus.

2. Better Breath

Two of the main causes of bad breath are tooth decay and leftover food particles. Getting your teeth straightened fixes both of these problems. Misaligned teeth rub against each other, causing the enamel to erode at a quicker rate. They also create gaps that increase the likelihood of getting food stuck in your teeth.

3. Healthier Teeth and Gums

As previously mentioned, teeth that need straightening can seriously destroy the enamel, leading to a higher risk of tooth decay. They can also negatively affect the gums by creating pockets between crooked teeth that collect bacteria. Straight teeth eliminate the likelihood of both potential health problems.

4. Clearer Speech

In the same way that having a perfectly straight smile will increase your self-esteem, being able to speak more clearly will increase your confidence. Fortunately, these are related, so getting your teeth straightened will give you both of these benefits.

5. Reduced Likelihood of Dental Surgery

Crooked, overlapping teeth and overbites can cause create dangerous conditions for the jaw. Often, these conditions require surgery in order to be corrected. Getting your teeth straightened drastically reduces this necessity.

6. Better Digestion

Teeth play a vital role in the digestion process. Their primary purpose is to chew the food that your stomach and intestines process to create energy. It stands to reason, then, that chewing more thoroughly will lead to better digestive health. One of the quickest ways to ensure this is to straighten up your smile.

7. Reduced Risk of Heart and Respiratory Diseases

Both the Mayo Clinic and the American Dental Association say that having a straight smile reduces the risk of stroke, catching pneumonia, or contracting heart disease. Neither group is sure what the correlation is yet, but the results are unquestionable.

How to Get Straight Teeth

Braces remain the most effective method for getting perfectly straight teeth. Orthodontists offer more options than the traditional metal braces of even last decade, though. There are also ceramic braces, which are colored to match the tooth’s pigment to make them less noticeable, and self-ligating braces, which use clips instead of wires to seal brackets to the teeth.

For those who want braces on their own terms without anyone noticing them, there are also Invisalign braces. These invisible, removable braces are significantly easier to clean and unlikely to break or stain, making them great for both children and adults.

If you live in the Yuba City area of California and want to know more about how to get your teeth straight, visit our contact page here.

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