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At What Age Should My Child Get Braces?

Braces affect more than appearance. Did you know wearing braces as a kid can have long-term effects on digestion, neck tension, autoimmune disorders, and jaw tension?

It is important to be aware of the facts when considering if and when braces are right for your child. Below is a guide with the three most important things when considering braces for kids.

1. Know the Benefits

The objective of braces is to straighten and align teeth which of course has cosmetic benefits and can boost your child’s self-esteem for a lifetime. Properly aligned teeth are also important for overall well-being.

Malocclusion, or improper positing of the teeth, can cause tooth decay, and physical damage to teeth. It can be a precursor to digestive issues as a result of improper chewing due to misaligned teeth. A poor bite can also cause chronic neck tension and block nasal passages due to a compressed palate.

Braces are an option to resolve these issues. These issues can develop at any age and might indicate that it is time to see an orthodontist. It is important to at least give time to your child’s oral development before jumping into an invasive treatment.

2. Know the Risks

At an early age, your child’s face is still growing and hasn’t reached its mature structure. Braces can potentially alter the mature shape of your child’s face by realigning the teeth and changing the jaw position. For some people, this change can be good, and for others, it may result in a longer, less full face.

It is hard to make this prediction, especially in younger patients since they are farther from puberty. If this is a concern, make sure to consult with only the best orthodontist. Some orthodontists will show a 3D image of the predicted changes in facial structure from braces.

3. Consider the Four Types of Braces

There are four types of braces: traditional metal, ceramic braces, lingual braces, and Invisalign. All four options are available to kids, teens, and adults. Metal braces are the most common and worn by millions in the US. Lingual braces are also metal but are placed behind the teeth to be invisible.

Depending on your child’s confidence and eating habits one of these four types might be better at a certain age. With all options, it is important to find an orthodontist who uses clean non-toxic metals, ceramics, and plastics free of mercury, BPA, nickel, and lead.

When Should I Seek Braces for Kids?

The best age for braces for kids does not have a one size fits all answer. The main consensus among orthodontists is to monitor early on before jumping into any invasive treatment. Just because your child will see an orthodontist doesn’t mean they need braces right away, or at all.

It is beneficial for your child before their jaw permanently develops, around puberty, to see an orthodontist. This puts the steering wheel in your seat. The best thing to do is get answers by discussing with an orthodontist for children.

How to Relieve Braces Pain: 5 Helpful Tips

Are you new to braces? While you’re well on your way to a straighter smile, the process can be painful. Your teeth need to shift, and because they’re set into your jaw, that means that there’s a lot of pressure in your mouth.

While you can’t fully get rid of soreness from braces (the pain is part of the territory), we’re here to tell you how to relieve braces pain so you can get through the day.

Keep reading to learn more.

1. Use Orthodontic Wax

Did your orthodontist provide you with orthodontic wax? This wax is meant to handle the pain from braces, so it’s a must-have for anyone getting a straighter smile.

To use this wax, ball up a small piece and warm it between your fingers. Place it over any sharp areas that are pressing into the sides of your mouth. This should soften the sharp areas so the pain is more manageable.

Keep wax on hand to replace as necessary. Bonus: This also works for sharp rubber band buttons from Invisalign.

2. Use Cool or Warm Drinks

As with any soreness, soreness from braces can be relieved with heat or cold.

You want to be careful. Don’t use anything too hot or you risk damaging your mouth further. You can use warm teas or warm water.

If you prefer a colder method, cold drinks, popsicles and ice make great choices. If you have something with sugar, make sure that you brush your teeth after.

3. Rinse With Salt Water

If you’re already using warm water to soothe your pain, consider adding salt. Don’t drink this water, but swish it around your mouth for thirty seconds before spitting it out.

This rinse should relieve some of your pain, and it’s also good for your gums.

Salt helps to bring bacteria out of your gums, making it great for your dental health. Some dentists recommend using a saltwater rinse when you’re healing wounds after dental procedures.

4. Try Over-the-Counter Medication

While heavy prescription medications are unnecessary for this kind of pain, there’s nothing wrong with using over-the-counter painkillers. These reduce inflammation.

For more targeted pain relief, oral anesthetics (like Orajel) can get rid of pain almost immediately. While the pain will come back when the gel wears away, it’s easy to re-apply.

5. Change Your Diet

One of the hardest parts about getting orthodontic work done is realizing that you’ll have to change your diet. The change is temporary, but it can still be disappointing.

You should already be avoiding anything too sticky or hard if you have traditional braces, but if you’re dealing with pain, you may also have to cut out things like raw fruits and vegetables.

If you have clear aligners, you may have to cut these things out for the first few days of each tray.

How to Relieve Braces Pain: The Easy Way

Your braces are going to hurt from time to time, but the end result is worth it. Before you know it you’re going to have a straight and healthy smile. Remember… no pain, no gain.

By using these tips for how to relieve braces pain, you can make your time with braces a bit easier.

Are you looking for an expert orthodontist in Yuba City, California? We’re here for you! Contact us at Yuba City Orthodontics to set up an appointment today!

Braces Tips for a Successful Summer Vacation

Around 4 million people in the US have braces, and 25% of them are adults. With such popularity, it’s likely that your household has some members who currently wear braces.

Since school’s out soon, you’re probably going on summer vacation with your loved ones. But you shouldn’t leave without any preparation; there are some things you need to know when traveling with braces. Without this knowledge, you might not have the best time.

So keep reading for some great braces tips that’ll ensure you have a successful summer vacation!

Make an Appointment With Your Orthodontist First

Checking in with your orthodontist first is always a good idea. Not only can they check up on your braces, but they can also fix brackets and tighten up wires as needed.

Have a chat with them about the trip you’re taking, as they’ll have personalized advice for braces care. Once you’re done, you can rest easy knowing you won’t miss treatment while out having fun!

Bring Extra Wax and Rubber Bands

The worst thing is to have braces wires constantly poking your cheeks. This can really put a damper on your vacation, especially if you’ve run out of wax.

Plus, if you’re using rubber bands to correct your bite, a lapse in treatment can ruin all the progress you’ve made.

At your appointment, ask your orthodontist for extra supplies so you won’t have to worry while out of town.

Eat and Drink the Right Things

You don’t want to risk your braces breaking down on vacation, so you’ll want to eat and drink the right things.

You should avoid eating hard and chewy foods like pretzels, popcorn, licorice, hard candies, carrots, and apples. Instead, opt for things like Jello, bananas, string cheese, soft sandwiches, and muffins.

You should also drink plenty of water. Not only will this keep you hydrated in the hot summer sun, but it can also help wash away food debris. As a result, this can help prevent cavities and staining.

Practice Good Dental Hygiene

It’s easy to get lazy while on vacation, but it’s important to keep up with good oral hygiene when vacationing with braces. Don’t forget to brush at least twice a day and floss too. If possible, do these things in between all meals and snacks.

Locate Emergency Orthodontists

Even with the best preparation, you might have some emergencies with braces on vacation. Should that happen, you want to receive immediate care so you still make the most of your time away.

It’s a good idea to look up dentists and orthodontists in the city you’re traveling to. Save their contact information so that if anything happens, you can call them right away and get an appointment.

Keep These Braces Tips in Mind

With these braces tips, you’ll be able to relax and have a fun time while vacationing. By having a checkup before you leave, asking for extra wax and rubber bands, eating/drinking the right things, practicing good dental hygiene, and locating emergency orthodontists, you’ll be prepared for anything that comes your way!

If you need further orthodontic help, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here for you Mondays through Fridays!

What to Know Before Getting Braces

More than 4 million people in the United States have braces.

Whether you’re an adult getting braces for the first time or your kids need braces, it’s a good idea to inform yourself about the process.

We’ve put together this guide to make the entire process easier and less stressful! Read on to learn about the types of braces out there, how to care for your braces, and what you can expect from this orthodontic treatment.

The Different Types of Braces

There are many options out there for correcting your smile. Some options might be a better fit for you than others, depending on what type of treatment you need, your age, and your preferences.

Traditional metal braces are usually the type that most people picture. These braces are made from high-grade stainless steel and use brackets and wires. Elastic ties gradually move your teeth into the desired position.

Metal braces are best for crowded teeth or severely misaligned teeth. They’re also used to treat bite problems.

The downside to metal braces is that they can rub against your cheeks and irritate the inside of your mouth. Braces wax can help with this.

Ceramic braces use clear or tooth-colored brackets and wires. As a result, they’re less noticeable than traditional braces. However, they can stain if you drink tea, coffee, and soda.

Self-ligating braces don’t use elastic ties. There’s less friction, which can result in a more comfortable experience. The downside to self-ligating braces is that poor oral hygiene can damage the braces.

Invisalign is a clear plastic aligner and a popular option among adults. These nearly invisible braces are custom-fitted and align the teeth gradually. You’ll receive several sets of custom-fit aligners during the process.

You May Feel Some Discomfort

Traditional braces require some time to get used to them. You may feel some discomfort or mild pain as they’re applied and for the first few weeks afterward.

You may feel pressure or an ache in your mouth after you get braces. You can take an OTC pain reliever to help with the discomfort.

Braces can also rub against your cheeks and irritate your gums. Using braces and wax helps to protect your mouth against the metal. You can also use an oral numbing gel if it’s an issue.

Just remember, that the pain is temporary, and the results are worth it!

You Should Avoid Certain Foods

Wearing braces takes commitment, and you have to care for them if you want to see results. That means avoiding certain foods that can get stuck in your braces or do damage to them.

Examples of foods to avoid include:

  • Hard candy
  • Caramel
  • Gum
  • Nuts
  • Crunchy foods
  • Apples
  • Corn on the cob
  • Chewy foods
  • Sugary foods

Oral Hygiene Is More Important Than Ever

There are a few extra steps you need to take when you get braces. It’s vital you keep them clean, though there is a bit of a learning curve.

You need to spend more time brushing your teeth, as you need to get the area around each brace. Flossing is also tougher with braces, but it’s important you never skip it.

Flossing threaders help a lot when you have braces, as you can get the floss between each tooth and along with the braces.

It’s a good idea to get into the habit of brushing after each meal when you wear braces.

Getting Braces for a Brighter Smile

If you want a healthy smile and straight teeth, braces can help! However, it’s important to remember that they take commitment, and you may experience an adjustment period.

Talk to your orthodontist to find the best ways to care for your braces and make the process easier.

If you’re ready to achieve a brighter smile, schedule an office visit today.

How to Live a Happy Life With Braces

Learned braces are on the agenda and starting to feel a little trepidatious?

We’ve all heard horror stories. Food getting stuck in them, sporting a metal grin in photos, and the potential pain that comes after adjusting braces. The good news is, braces are no longer the dystopic future that you see in movies.

Life with braces can be relatively smooth sailing, and here are some things you can do to help make the process easier.

Level Up Your Cleaning Routine

Dental hygiene is a very important part of life with braces, and in the beginning, it can seem like it takes up a lot of time. Once you’ve got your routine down, however, it will all become second nature for you.

Instead of brushing twice a day, you’ll need to brush after every meal, including any snacks. Look out for a toothbrush that’s made especially for braces to make the process foolproof.

If flossing wasn’t part of your routine before, it must be added once your braces are on. Flossing can help remove the excess plaque and food particles that remain after brushing and reduce the likelihood of bacteria forming. A regular floss is an option, but consider a floss threader to allow you to reach easily along the curve of the gumline and underneath the wire.

Foods to Avoid

Your eating habits will have to change a little, and while you don’t have to cross your favorite foods off the menu, it will be smart to avoid them as much as you can. You’ll want to steer clear of anything sticky, crunchy, or chewy as these textures can bend or break the wires or get stuck in hard-to-reach places. Here are some of the top foods to avoid:

  • Apples
  • Barbecue ribs
  • Beef jerky
  • Caramels
  • Celery
  • Chewing gum
  • Corn on the cob
  • Gummy candies
  • Hard taco shells
  • Peanut brittle
  • Pizza crust
  • Popcorn

As an alternative, opt for softer foods that are easier to chew. Pasta, bananas, cheeses, puddings, and mashed potatoes are all safe choices.

Show Your Personality

One of the benefits of wearing braces is that there are now many different options available, so you can tailor your look based on your personal preference. Traditional braces came in metal as your only option, but now you’ve also got self-ligating, lingual and ceramic braces.

Ceramic braces are made of a clear or tooth-colored material for a more discreet look but the teeth straightening process is the same as metal braces. Self-litigating braces also work similarly but use clips or doors to hold the wire in place rather than the elastic bands. Lingual braces are more specialized and place most of the hardware behind the teeth.

Enjoy Your New Life With Braces

You’ve learned how to improve your life with braces so that it becomes a manageable and even pain-free part of your daily routine. Now it’s time to take the next step and learn about what options are available for you. Get in touch with us at Yuba City Orthodontics, and we’ll be happy to chat about your next steps.

5 Benefits From Braces for Adults

Many problems that arise from oral health can be linked to the positioning of our teeth. Misaligned teeth can cause a variety of options, and as we grow older, we may find our teeth shifting slightly in our mouths. After a while, you may find yourself struggling with a crooked, misaligned smile.

What are some of the benefits you can expect from braces for adults?

You may think of braces as only for kids, but that’s just not the case! There are many great reasons for you to get adult braces. Here are just a few of them!

1. Improve Overall Oral Health

Did you know that adult braces can benefit your oral health as a whole? Crooked, misaligned teeth are often more prone to developing cavities. When one tooth overlaps another, or when the mouth is too crowded, bacteria can hideaway between the teeth and eat away at your enamel.

Unaligned teeth are also at higher risk for injury. If one tooth sticks out further than another, then it can get chipped or cracked with very little pressure. It’s best to straighten your teeth to avoid injury and diseases.

2. Improve Brushing Effectiveness

It’s tough to clean properly behind crooked teeth. As braces straighten your smile, you have easier access to clean and floss your teeth. You can expect to get rid of more plaque for a healthier, brighter smile!

3. Smoother Speech

Misaligned teeth can cause minor speech impediments. This is due to the way your tongue uses the back of your palette to form words. If your teeth are crooked, you may have a harder time forming certain words.

Straightening your teeth can help you speak easier. If you want to get rid of the whistle in your teeth or that lisp you’ve developed, then braces may be right for you.

4. Prevent Jawbone Erosion

How your teeth sit in your mouth directly affects the strength and stability of your jawbone. Any slight misalignments can put extra pressure on certain parts of your jaw, causing damage over time. The additional bacteria in your mouth can also cause jawbone erosion if left unchecked.

Braces can decrease your chances of jawbone erosion by putting your teeth back in their proper positions. Your jaw won’t be under as much pressure when chewing when your smile is straight!

5. Gain Confidence

Finally, having a better smile can help give you the improved confidence you’re looking for. A crooked smile can make you feel uncomfortable or insecure when smiling for photos; with the vast amount of options for adult braces at your disposal, you can find a set of braces that look and feel great while also giving you a better smile!

Get the Most from Braces for Adults

If you are suffering from crooked teeth, then you should talk to your dentist about braces for adults. You may be surprised by all of the amazing benefits you can get from them!

Are you searching for a great dentist to help fit you with adult braces?

We’re here to help. Contact us with any questions or concerns you have about our dental services and continue reading our blog for more information today!

Does Insurance Cover Invisalign? The Basics Explained

Invisalign is a dental treatment that aims to straighten teeth by using clear plastic aligners. With Invisalign, you’ll likely get a smile more quickly than traditional braces, and you’ll be able to remove the aligners for things like eating and drinking.

But Invisalign is an investment, so you might be asking, does insurance cover Invisalign? What does Invisalign cost without insurance, and should you think about getting Invisalign?

Continue reading to learn more about the cost of Invisalign and insurance.

The Cost of Invisalign

The cost of Invisalign will differ depending on each case. This is because every dental case is unique and one person may need more treatment than another, and this contributes to the cost.

Generally speaking, however, Invisalign can cost anywhere from $3,000-8,000, or more depending on the treatment plan. For teenagers, the cost may be slightly less because it’s not as invasive.

Location, the experience of the orthodontist, fees, and more also factor into the cost. The type of Invisalign treatment you choose will also play a role in the cost.

Does Insurance Cover Invisalign?

In most cases, dental insurance will not cover the cost of Invisalign, or they may cover it partially. This varies widely on a plan-by-plan basis. The same is true for orthodontic insurance.

With insurance, you can expect to pay anywhere from 25-50% of the entire cost of the treatment. You can pay this as upfront as paid in full, or make payments over time. You work out a payment plan with your insurance company.

What Other Payment Plans Are There?

Do not let the cost of Invisalign stop you from getting straighter teeth. Straight teeth are not only more attractive, but they can be healthier as well, easier to clean, and care for.

Because of this, there are numerous ways to afford Invisalign if you don’t have insurance or you need to cover a larger portion of the cost.

Payment Plans

Many orthodontic offices will offer payment plans so you can make the payments in increments. This way, you don’t feel burdened with having to get the money all at once. The dental office works out a plan with you.

CareCredit

CareCredit is a dental credit card used for high out-of-pocket expenses. It is not a general credit card and is used for medical and dental needs only.

Health Savings Account

If your employer offers a health savings account as part of your work benefits, start saving some money in it if you plan to get Invisalign. You can pull from it to pay for co-payments and other medical expenses as much as you need to, depending on the plan.

Is Invisalign For You?

When you’re wondering does insurance cover Invisalign, it might be depending on your plan and coverage. Even if insurance covers very little of the cost, many places make it easy to afford Invisalign so you can focus on your treatment, and less on the financial aspect.

Are you looking for an Invisalign provider? We’re ready to help you get your best smile with Invisalign. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

What Is an Overbite and How Can Braces Help?

Can you only see your child’s top teeth when they smile? Then they probably have an overbite.

Overbites, also known as buckteeth, are pretty common: Nearly 70 percent of the population has some degree of overbite.

While you might think that overbites only affect your appearance, they can additionally affect your speech, oral health, and overall confidence.

Keep reading to find out what is an overbite, the causes of overbites, and the varieties of treatment for overbites available.

What is an Overbite?

An overbite (malocclusion) is when the front top row of teeth sit in front of the bottom row teeth when the mouth is shut. Overbites can range in severity.

What is considered an overbite?

While most people’s front teeth will slightly overlap their bottom row of teeth, it is considered an overbite if the top teeth jut out 3mm or more over the bottom teeth.

If you think your or your child’s teeth are misaligned, it’s best to seek out advice from your local orthodontist.

Causes of Overbites

Overbites have a variety of potential causes. A few common reasons for an overbite include:

Whatever the cause, the most important thing is to seek treatment if your overbite is affecting your physical or mental health.

Overbites Cause Other Issues

The most obvious effect of an overbite is the physical appearance of your teeth. However, even if you are content with your smile, an overbite could be affecting other parts of your health.

An overbite can cause speech impediments and other difficulties. It’s common for those with severe overbites to have a lisp or mispronounce certain sounds, like “t”s and “ch”s.

Overbites additionally can cause breathing issues and damage to the teeth and gums.

How Can Overbite Be Treated?

There are a few treatment options available for overbites. Your orthodontist will be able to talk with you about the best one for your oral health.

How can braces help overbites?

Braces are the most common treatment for an overbite. Now in 2021, there are many types of braces, including traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, and Invisalign.

To treat a severe overbite with braces, many orthodontists utilize elastic bands that connect the top teeth to the bottom teeth and pull the jaw back into the correct position. Some orthodontists may even recommend headgear at night to correct the jaw.

If a severe overbite is not corrected in adolescence, surgery might be needed as an adult.

Starting Treatment for an Overbite

Learning about what is an overbite is the first step to starting treatment. If you think you or your child has an overbite (or any other orthodontic issue), this is your sign to contact your local orthodontist, Dr. Michael Larson at Yuba City Orthodontics.

At your first consultation, Dr. Larson will thoroughly examine your teeth and jaw. Then, he’ll give you an estimate of your treatment plan. If you are ready to start treatment, you’ll be scheduled for your next appointment, where you’ll take x-rays and impressions.

What are you waiting for? Contact Dr. Michael Larson and his team at Yuba City Orthodontics today to start your orthodontist treatment.

5 Incredible Benefits of Invisalign

Studies show that gold was used as the form of braces in the early 1900s.

Have you ever considered visiting an orthodontist to address alignment issues with your teeth? Is there a non-metal option for this fix? What have you heard about Invisalign?

While braces have been around for a long time, Invisalign continues to grow in popularity among people of all ages.

Keep reading to learn about the benefits of Invisalign:

1. Less Office Visits Is One of the Big Benefits of Invisalign

Invisalign does not require the same amount of office visits as braces do. There aren’t the same adjustments to the wires and checking on the movement of teeth as often as there are when you have braces.

This can be beneficial if you don’t have time in your work schedule for several appointments. It can also eliminate the number of visits for a broken bracket or wire that can happen over the course of the alignment correction.

It is important to have as much information as possible when considering this option, so visit our FAQ page to see the most common questions that people have.

2. No Food Restrictions

Since everything is removable, you won’t have the food restrictions that you have with braces. You can continue your normal diet and not have to adjust it for fear of breaking your braces. This is especially beneficial to children who do may be less likely to follow the restrictions.

3. Not Visible

True to its name, the look of Invisalign is nearly invisible. Whether for confidence or to blend in, the lack of visibility can be a huge benefit to anyone to doesn’t want the fix to be obvious to others.

4. Better Comfort

Tightening wires, along with the install and removal of braces can be painful. The pain can last past the day of the appointment and cause trouble when trying to eat foods during that time.

Invisalign doesn’t require painful adjustments and can have you experience more comfort than you would with braces.

5. Simple Cleaning

Braces can be tough to clean in many ways. There are many food particles that can get caught in the small spaces between the brackets and wires. This can be embarrassing if you are out in public and have no way to clean the food out immediately.

The plaque and bacteria will thrive on the small spaces that you have difficulty brushing. This can cause decay damage on your teeth that will need to be addressed during or shortly after the braces are removed. The simple cleaning of Invisalign will help you avoid these issues.

Get Started Today

Now that you have read about the benefits of Invisalign, you can start the process of this treatment today. We can help answer your questions and guide you in the process of improving your dental health. Check out our blog for more information on this topic.

What’s the Difference Between Invisalign and Braces?

The two most popular choices for straightening your teeth are Invisalign and braces. The choice to straighten your teeth can be an exciting one, but you need to weigh your options before you can do that.

Whether you’re straightening your teeth or a loved one’s, you’ll want to consider the pros and cons. Are you wondering about the difference is between Invisalign and braces?

Stick around!

We’re going to break down the pros and cons of Invisalign and braces.

Invisalign vs. Braces

The cost for Invisalign and braces starts at around $3,000. Depending on your treatment needs, the costs can vary between these two options.

Invisalign can top out at around $8,000, while braces top out at around $7,000. Now that we know the difference in price let’s look at the pros and cons of Invisalign and braces.

Most dental insurance plans cover both of these procedures. In general, families choose to finance with monthly payments.

Invisalign

Most people consider Invisalign for the fact that they are invisible braces. With Invisalign, people use clear aligners (or trays) to straighten their teeth.

Let’s consider a few of the benefits and drawbacks to Invisalign:

PROS

  • Clear and most often not recognized
  • Can remove them when you eat
  • It takes 12 – 18 months to straighten teeth

Invisalign is effective for a wide range of orthodontic issues. Additionally, you can eat whatever you want as Invisalign can get taken out to eat.

CONS

  • It can be a more costly option than braces
  • Potential to get lost or broken
  • You must brush your teeth every time you eat

Invisalign is suitable for many orthodontic issues. Nonetheless, it doesn’t cover all orthodontic problems.

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces have been a mainstay for many people to straighten their teeth. For a long time, braces were the only option available for people. The average length of treatment is two years. While some people have a negative connotation with braces, there is no denying that they work.

Now, let’s consider some of the benefits and drawbacks to braces:

PROS

  • Less expensive than Invisalign
  • A long history of being effective
  • Used for more complex orthodontic issues

In some cases, people can finish treatment faster than with Invisalign.

CONS

  • Easy to see
  • You can’t take them out like Invisalign
  • Often need more maintenance

There is one last thing to note. You’ll have food restrictions because braces can’t come out like Invisalign.

Invisalign and Braces: Which Do You Prefer?

Straightening your teeth can have lifelong effects. It can lead to greater confidence, happiness, and a beautiful smile.

Now that you know the difference between Invisalign and braces, which do you prefer?

At Yuba City Orthodontics, we provide braces for both children and adults. We offer traditional braces and Invisalign to make it easy for you.

Simply contact our office, choose your plan, and we’ll help you create the straightest smile that will last for years to come!