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

Treatments for Twisted Teeth

Teeth can take on a twisted (or crooked) appearance for several reasons.  For some, the total size of all of their teeth may be too large for the full arc of the gums.  This results in overcrowding and the teeth shift in ways that twist them.  Another common cause is a difference between the size of the upper and lower jaw—resulting in an over or underbite.  Other situations contributing to twisted teeth include:

  • Child oral habits such as elongated bottle usage, thumb sucking, and tongue thrusting
  • Early loss of baby which prevents adult teeth from being guided into place
  • Oral tumor within the jaw or gum line
  • Dental restorations that are placed improperly
  • Traumatic injury which misaligns the jaw
  • Gum disease
  • Genetics

If you or your child have twisted teeth due to any of the above reasons, Yuba City Orthodontics has viable solutions available.  We continually serve Yuba City and surrounding communities.

Why You Should Have Twisted Teeth Treated

Although twisted teeth do not present a critical health threat, they can negatively impact your oral health.  In fact, twisted teeth are often responsible for:

  • Improper or uncomfortable chewing
  • Greater difficulties in cleaning teeth which increases the risk of cavities periodontal (gum) disease, and decay
  • Strained jaw muscles, ligaments, and soft tissues
  • Jawbones growing improperly
  • Speech impairments

In addition to the above reasons, treating twisted teeth improves your smile and will undoubtedly increase one’s confidence.

Treatments for Twisted Teeth

After we perform a detailed examination to ascertain the cause of your twisted teeth, Dr. Michael Larson will create a proper treatment plan.  There are several ways to approach twisted teeth, but we will select the ones that best fit your oral health condition, lifestyle, and budget.  Of course, if you have questions or concern, we will gladly answer them when we explain the proposed treatment strategy.

Dr. Michael Larson DDS MSD

1215 Plumas Street, Suite 500
Yuba City, CA 95991

(530) 674-5047

Clenching vs. Grinding Your Teeth

Sometimes patients experience jaw pain, soreness, tightness in the jaw, or tooth sensation in the morning.  All of these are symptoms of a larger condition known as bruxism.  Most people that have bruxism are unaware that they suffer from the condition because it typically occurs while they sleep.  Two of the main practices associated with bruxism are clinching and grinding.  But how can you tell which you are doing if you have symptoms of bruxism?  Below is a brief of the information we share with our patients at Yuba City Orthodontics.

Differences Between Teeth Clenching and Grinding

Outside of having someone observe you in your sleep, the best way to identify if you are clenching or grinding is with the help of a dental professional.  Although both issues are bad for your oral health, each one leads to different dental problems.

Jaw Clenching

Clenching has short and long-term effects on the facial and jaw muscles.  Hence, symptoms associated with continual clenching include:

  • Muscle tenderness in the jaw and facial muscles (sometimes patient feel as though they have been chewing all night). The strain on these muscles makes eating, talking, and even opening the mouth wide very difficult.
  • Headaches and facial pain that occur near the temples are commonplace with jaw clenching. As time progresses, headaches tend to become more frequent and stronger when diagnosis and treatment are
  • Like any muscle that is continually worked, the size of the muscle increases. This could lead to a squaring of the jaw as the muscle grows.  Some patients find this look to be unattractive on

Teeth Grinding

Patients that grind their teeth often deal with any of the following symptoms:

  • Significant wear on teeth. The continuous rubbing of the teeth against each other quickly breaks down the enamel.  Next, the substructures such as dentin and pulp are exposed.
  • Tooth sensitivities significantly increase as the dentin and pulp are exposed. It can become unbearable to drink hot or cold liquids.

Discovering which aspect of bruxism is affecting you is an important step in alleviating the problem.  The next step is to seek treatment.

Dr. Michael Larson DDS MSD

1215 Plumas Street, Suite 500
Yuba City, CA 95991

(530) 674-5047

Understanding Orthodontics & Surgery

When new patients come to Yuba City Orthodontics, they may have sought consultation from friends and relatives about orthodontic care.  With the best intentions, friends and family may offer ideas that are not factual.

One such idea is that that oral surgery is a standard part of any orthodontic treatments. Let’s clear up some of the haziness about orthodontics and oral surgeries by answering some of the most common questions about the two subjects.

If you have a question that is not listed below or would like further details, call us at 530-674-5047.

Do most Orthodontic treatments involve surgery?

In most cases, orthodontic treatments are performed without any surgical procedures. However, there are times when oral surgeries are recommended.

In these instances, Dr. Larson provides a thorough explanation why the recommendation is given while showing the patient digital x-rays of their teeth.

It is our aim to help each patient to have a full understanding of the surgery, how it relates to the proposed orthodontic treatment, and how both will be beneficial to the patient’s health.  As a practice, we always avoid surgery when we possible.

When Oral Surgery is Recommended, what is the problem typically?

As stated above, each patient’s oral situation differs. Therefore, the reasons for the proposed surgery are widely varied.  Some of the major reasons for the need of oral surgery include:

  • Impacted teeth
  • Severely unaligned teeth (sometimes a patient has a tooth that would make orthodontic treatment overly complicated, long, and expensive)
  • Jaw corrections

If you are wondering if you will need oral surgery, there is no need to guess.  Schedule an appointment with us and find out.  You may be surprised with what modern orthodontics can accomplish!

Dr. Michael Larson DDS MSD

1215 Plumas Street, Suite 500
Yuba City, CA 95991

(530) 674-5047

Getting Adult Braces

When you think of braces, do you see a mental picture of teenagers or young kids?  Many do.  While it is more prevalent for these age groups, there is no specific age limit for orthodontic braces.  At my practice, Yuba City Orthodontics, our team performs hundreds of adults brace orthodontic procedures every year.  Are you wondering if you could benefit from getting braces in your adulthood?  There is no need to guess.  Give our office a call at 530-674-5047 to get accurate answers to your questions.

Why Adults Get Braces

The adults that we schedule for braces have several reasons why they are opting for the treatment.  Sometimes a general dentist has forwarded them to us.  The most common motives for this are:

  • Excessive teeth wear due to incorrect bite alignment
  • Require movement of teeth to perform a dental procedure
  • Crowding of teeth (which may be difficult to keep clean leading to cavities)

Once we identify exactly why you need braces, we will formulate the options to meet your expectations and goals.  Everyone’s dental “fingerprint” is unique.  Hence, I will create a treatment plan that considers every detail of your situation.

Full Transparency About Adult Braces

One of the reasons that many of our of adult patients that opt for braces recommend us is our commitment to full transparency.  We want you to understand everything about your treatment including all of the options before you.  Instead of only telling you what I recommend, I would like for you to understand the pro and cons of the options as well.  Choosing braces can be a big decision.  Therefore, I want you to be confident that the treatment chosen was in the best interest of your oral health.  Like other dental procedures, there are several myths associated with adult braces.  Click here to see the truth about them.  As always if you have question or concerns, you can contact me at the address and number listed below.

Dr. Michael Larson DDS MSD

1215 Plumas Street, Suite 500
Yuba City, CA 95991

(530) 674-5047

Are You At Risk Of Bruxism?

Do you grind, gnash, or clench your teeth unconsciously throughout the day and at night? Then you may suffer from bruxism.  Bruxism can affect children and adults well into their senior years. Although scientists and doctors do not know the exact cause, there are several factors that seem to contribute to the disease.  Dr. Michael Larson of Yuba City Orthodontics can help you if you are dealing with bruxism.

Childhood Bruxism

Experts say that as many as three out of ten kids grind their teeth or clench their jaws. One reason for this is that they are responding to oral pain and are seeking relief. Earache and teething are the most likely culprits. In other cases, the grinding is brought on by stress, such as problems at home, worries about school or conflicts with friends and classmates. Other possible causes include hyperactivity, other medical conditions and even medications the child is taking. Most times, children outgrow Bruxism by the time they reach their teen years.

Bruxism In Teens

In a 2008 study, researchers found that teens with psychosocial disorders, including thought disorders, conduct disorders, and antisocial disorders were at a much higher risk of Bruxism. In fact, teens with Bruxism were sixteen times more likely to suffer from one or more of these disorders than teens without Bruxism. Pressure to fit in, troubles at school, and other social factors may also play a part since they add to the stresses that teens are under. This stress may manifest itself in teeth grinding both during the day and at night.

Bruxism In Adults

Adults face a plethora of stresses including family, relationship, and career pressures. Tooth grinding and jaw clenching are often a response to these stresses. Although the condition can affect anyone, it is most common in adults between the ages of 25 and 44. Women aged 27-40 years old are the most likely among this group to have Bruxism. Chronic stress, anxiety, and a competitive or aggressive personality are often cited as triggers for the condition. Also, adults that use tobacco, drink caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, and those that use anti-depressant drugs are at a higher risk.

Bruxism In The Elderly

Although fewer elderly adults suffer from bruxism, it is not unheard of. Those with sleep problems, such as snoring, sleep apnea, and insomnia are at risk of developing the condition. It’s also believed to be caused by several other age-related diseases and disorders. Among them, Alzheimer’s, Lewy body dementia, stroke, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease are potential causes. Additionally, there are many medications, such as antidepressants, that can cause the problem.

Although there is no known cure for Bruxism, the damage caused by continued tooth grinding and jaw clenching can be mitigated. The most common treatment is a night-time dental guard which helps to protect the teeth from damage. Additionally, stress management, medication changes and eliminating alcohol, caffeine and tobacco products can also reduce the risk of Bruxism. If you have the suspicion that you might be grinding your teeth, compare your symptoms with our list of some of the most common symptoms of teeth grinding and don’t wait to protect your teeth.


If you are experiencing symptoms of bruxism, you should contact Dr. Michael Larson and his team at Yuba City Orthodontics. Dr. Larson has undergone specialized training so that he can formulate the right treatment for each patient.


1215 Plumas Street, Suite 500
Yuba City, CA 95991

(530) 674-5047

How Do Rubber Bands Work in Orthodontics?

A commonly used tool by orthodontists to straighten teeth are rubber bands, which are sometimes called orthodontic elastics. Braces are attached to the teeth to move them by the wires going from one tooth to another. Aligners, such as Invisalign, use clear plastic shells that snap across and over the teeth to produce force. While aligners and braces can both align the lower and upper teeth separately, they both need something to connect them between the arches and to correct the bite problem.

Why We Use Elastics (Rubber Bands)

There are several reasons we use elastics with braces.  They are flexible allowing full motion, and they are easy to remove and replace. Most importantly, they are useful in correcting a variety of orthodontics problems, such as crossbites, overbites, underbites, and open bites. Moreover, last but not least, they are much more cost-effective than headgear or springs.

While there are more advantages than disadvantages to using rubber bands for correcting a bite, you need to understand that the rubber bands are dependent upon patient cooperation. If they aren’t worn properly or as described, they aren’t going to do their job. There has to be constant pressure on teeth most of the day for teeth to move into the desired location. Patients who only remove rubber bands only to eat or brush are going to see faster, more consistent results. To get the best results, follow the prescribing instructions.

Rubber bands work great when they are used for the right patients. They can have potential side effects, such a moving the bottom teeth forward. This can result if you don’t have enough bone to allow the teeth to move in that direction. Undesirable movements can happen along with desirable ones, so you need to choose an orthodontist who has advanced specialty training to ensure your simple problem doesn’t become more complicated.

If you are experiencing orthodontic issues, you should contact Dr. Michael Larson and his team at Yuba City Orthodontics. Dr. Larson has undergone specialized training so that he can formulate the right treatment for each patient.

Yuba City Orthodontics

1215 Plumas Street, Suite 500
Yuba City, CA 95991

(530) 674-5047

Recovering From Jaw Surgery

A common question that patients ask before they opt for jaw surgery is: “How long will it take to recover?” The honest answer is that no oral surgeon can offer a blanket response to that question.  Why?  Every jaw surgery is different and involves certain aspects that are unique to your oral circumstances.  However, when you come in for treatment, your oral surgeon will discuss the specifics of your operation.  Often during this review of the procedure, an estimated timeframe of recovery will be disclosed.  Again it must be noted that this is a rough timeline, which can be altered by many factors.  At Yuba City Orthodontics, Dr. Michael Larson has performed hundreds of successful oral surgeries. Call us to schedule a consultation today.  (530) 674-5047

The Importance of Post-Operative Care

How you care for yourself after your surgery has a great impact on how you recover.  Consequently, it is essential to follow the instructions that your oral surgeon prescribes.  Such instructions may include:

  • Adjustments in your home oral hygiene regimen
  • Changes in your diet
  • Avoidance of strenuous workout routines
  • Abstinence from smoking

Another vital part of your post-operative care is to be alert to any signs of infection.  Indicators of infection include fevers, excessive bleeding, severe gum discoloration, and abnormal surgical site irritation.  If any of these occur, you should see your dentist as soon as possible.

Understandably, you may be concerned about the timeframe of your recovery.  However, by following the direction of your dentist and avoiding setbacks, you can shorten your recovery time.  At Yuba City Orthodontics, we schedule a regular post-operative checkup with our patients to make sure that the surgical site is healing properly.  Michael Larson and his team at Yuba City Orthodontics will help you to recover as quickly and comfortably as possible.

Yuba City Orthodontics

1215 Plumas Street, Suite 500
Yuba City, CA 95991

(530) 674-5047