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Sensitive Teeth and Braces | Orthodontist in 92807

Sensitive Teeth and Braces | Orthodontist in 92807

Sensitive teeth may occur for a variety of reasons. Receding gums, tooth decay, exposed tooth roots, and thinning tooth enamel can all cause teeth to become sensitive to temperature, as well as sweet and acidic flavors. However, patients who are undergoing orthodontic treatment are at increased risk of developing sensitivity. It is important to consider all the factors involved to determine what actions you should take regarding your braces and sensitive teeth.

Tooth sensitivity is a condition that often develops due to receding gums. Symptoms include a sharp pain that worsens with pressure on the exposed tooth or when drinking hot or cold beverages. If you are undergoing an orthodontic treatment such as braces, sensitivity is not uncommon.

About 1 in 8 people with braces experience some tooth sensitivity. It is important to know the causes and treatments for this condition. The level of discomfort a patient experiences is due to pressure that is placed on your teeth by the braces and is different from other types of tooth sensitivity because it is not permanent and will only last a few days. This level of discomfort varies from patient to patient.

Factors Impacting Sensitivity

There are many factors that can lead to an increase in tooth sensitivity. The most common cause is due to over brushing. By brushing your teeth extremely hard, you can brush away your gum line exposing the sensitive root area. As a gum line recedes, it exposes porous root surfaces, which causes your teeth to become extremely sensitive. This can lead to painful discomfort due to the pressure that is placed on your teeth from the braces. Brushing your teeth and gums in softer, even circles is the best way to keep your gums intact.

Another cause of tooth sensitivity resulting from braces is improper brushing or improper dental hygiene. This happens when you fail to remove plaque and buildup. Plaque causes your teeth to weaken, leaving them at a greater risk for sensitivity. For patients with braces, it is very important to practice proper dental hygiene because food can easily get trapped between your teeth and braces, and when that happens bacteria can settle, resulting in decay. This makes you more susceptible to tooth sensitivity. If you think your brushing habits are not working well enough, talk to us for more tips on brushing with braces.

Steps You Can Take

There are several things you can do to stop the pain and sensitivity. No matter what is causing the problem, a good dental routine is your best bet. Brushing with a soft brush in an up and down motion vs horizontally can help reduce your risk of developing sensitive teeth. Over-the-counter toothpastes for sensitive teeth can help treat the condition. If you do not experience relief from special toothpastes, other treatments provided by our dentist can help. Talk to us about any lingering sensitivity so that we can work together to address the issue and reach a solution.

Our dentist will show you the correct tools and methods to use when brushing and caring for your teeth and braces. If your sensitivity is caused by scheduled orthodontic adjustments, it is safe to take over the counter pain relievers. If sensitivity continues for more than a few days or you have severe pain, please contact our office for additional advice and to schedule an appointment.

For more helpful tips about managing your braces or dealing with sensitivity, call our office.

The Hills Orthodontics
Phone: 714-998-4700
5753 E. Santa Ana Canyon Rd. #K, Anaheim, CA 92807
Anaheim, CA 92807

6 Things You Never Knew About Braces | Anaheim CA Orthodontist

The desire for straighter teeth goes back thousands of years. We’ve come a long way in improving our smiles. Braces have evolved over time to become more comfortable and efficient. Here are six things you probably never knew about braces.

1.  Ancient Egyptians May Have Wanted Straighter Teeth

Archaeologists have found mummies with cords wound around their teeth, likely to straighten them. What were these ancient braces made from? Animal intestines. Thankfully, our orthodontist has more modern materials to work with!

2. You’re Not Alone

An estimated 4 million people in the US currently are wearing braces or another device to correct their teeth. That’s a little more than the number of people living in Los Angeles.

3. Getting Braces is a Little Like Rocket Science

NASA scientists were looking for a flexible material for solar panels and turned to a metal called nitinol 60. As nitinol heats up, it reverts to its original shape. Today, nitinol is used in braces. The heat from your mouth makes the metal return to its original shape, helping guide your teeth to where they should be.

4. Wear Your Retainer!

Did you know that an estimated 25% of braces wearers neglect to wear their retainer? Many end up needing a second set of braces. Don’t be one of the 25%. Wear your retainer for lasting results and a perfect smile.

5. Braces Are Older Than America

If you consider 1776 to be the birth year of America, braces have another 48 years on the United States. The first modern braces were developed in 1728 by Pierre Fauchard. He used flat metal brackets and connected the teeth using thread.

6. Busting Braces Myths

You don’t have a greater chance of being struck by lightning when wearing braces. Your braces also can’t interfere with any radio signals. Take some comfort in knowing not everything you’ve heard about braces holds true.

Though braces have been around for hundreds of years, today’s braces are more efficient and comfortable than in the past. Our experienced orthodontic team will help you get the results you desire. If you are ready for your perfect smile, set up a consultation with us today.

For more information about braces or to schedule your orthodontic consultation, please contact our office.

The Hills Orthodontics
Phone: 714-998-4700
5753 E. Santa Ana Canyon Rd. #K, Anaheim, CA 92807
Anaheim, CA 92807

Is Phase 1 Orthodontics Right For Your Child?

As an experienced orthodontist, I am often asked about the best time to start a child on an orthodontic treatment plan. More specifically, many parents want to know if starting Phase 1 Orthodontics is recommended for their child. In this blog, we will delve into what Phase 1 Orthodontics encompasses, signs that your child might need early intervention, the benefits of early treatment, and why Anaheim Hills Orthodontics could be the perfect choice to guide your child towards a healthy, radiant smile. Join me as we explore this pivotal period in your child’s dental health journey.

Understanding Phase 1 Orthodontics

Definition and Purpose of Phase 1 Orthodontics

Phase 1 orthodontics is the first part of a two-step treatment process primarily designed for children who are not yet old enough to begin a full orthodontic treatment, such as braces or Invisalign. The purpose of this treatment phase is to guide the child’s facial and jaw development, thereby reducing the complexity or even eliminating the need for future treatment.

The Ideal Age Range for Phase 1 Orthodontics

Determining the ideal age for phase 1 orthodontics tends to be individual, mainly influenced by the child’s growing rate and the type of orthodontic problem. However, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic examination no later than age seven. This age is typically when the first adult molars are starting to appear and potential problems can be detected. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to note that this doesn’t mean that seven is the ideal age to start treatment for all children. Remember, it’s simply the recommended age for an initial evaluation.

Recognizing the Need for Early Orthodontic Treatment

Signs That Your Child May Need Phase 1 Orthodontics

Knowing when your child might need phase 1 orthodontics is equally essential. Various dental and oral issues indicate a need for early intervention. A few signs to look out for include:

  • Persistent thumb or finger sucking
  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Overbites, underbites, or crossbites
  • Crowding, blocked-out teeth, or misplaced teeth
  • Jaws that shift or make sounds
  • Difficulty in chewing or biting

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s advisable to consult with an orthodontist, like myself, earlier rather than later.

Common Jaw and Teeth Problems Addressed by Phase 1 Orthodontics

Phase 1 orthodontics aims to address specific orthodontic problems that can become more severe later in the child’s growth. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Severe crowding: this happens when there is insufficient space in the jaw for all the permanent teeth to erupt correctly
  • Underbites and crossbites: these occur when the jaws are misaligned. These conditions can cause facial asymmetry and uneven tooth wear
  • Protruding front teeth: these teeth can be at a higher risk for fracture or injury.
  • Dental habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting: these can cause the teeth and jaws to grow out of position

In the end, the objective remains the same: to ensure the child’s dental development is heading in the right direction, making any necessary corrections early on for better overall dental health in the future. If you’re unsure whether your child stands to benefit from early orthodontic treatment, it’s always best to consult with an experienced orthodontist.

Treatment Options in Phase 1 Orthodontics

In Phase 1 Orthodontics, there’s a range of treatment options available for children. Through careful examination and discussion, I aim to select the most suitable route for my patients in Anaheim Hills Orthodontics.

Metal Braces and Retainers

The thought of wearing metal braces might not be appealing to your child, but these devices have proven their efficacy over the years. Traditional metal braces are generally used to correct more complex orthodontic issues. Because of this, they can be a useful tool in Phase 1 treatment if a child has significant malocclusion or needs bite correction.

Retainers, on the other hand, are typically used after braces. They’re designed to maintain the corrected tooth position while the jaw continues to grow. There are several types of retainers, including the Hawley, clear plastic aligners, and fixed.

Invisalign: An Invisible Option for Early Orthodontic Treatment

If your young one feels conscious about their metal-filled grin, Invisalign offers a discreet and invisible option for orthodontic treatment. Invisalign uses clear, custom-made aligners that are virtually invisible. They gradually move your child’s teeth into their correct positions without using any metal or wires.

It’s important to note, however, that Invisalign isn’t suitable for everyone. Some orthodontic problems, especially severe ones, require more traditional treatment methods.

Ceramic Braces and Inbrace for Children

Ceramic braces function similarly to metal braces but made of ceramic materials that blend into the natural color of teeth, making them less noticeable. They’re an excellent alternative for children who need braces but are conscious about their appearance.

INBRACE is another innovative option. These are lingual braces which mean they’re placed on the back side of the teeth making them completely invisible from the front. They are customized to each patient’s unique smile, so they’re comfortable and effective.

The Benefits of Phase 1 Orthodontics

After understanding the available treatment options, let’s talk about the upsides of opting for Phase 1 Orthodontics for your child.

Setting the Foundation for Future Dental Health

Phase 1 Orthodontics lays the groundwork for your child’s future dental health. By correcting orthodontic problems early, I can guide your child’s jaw growth, regulate the width of dental arches, and create space for permanent teeth to come in correctly. Consequently, it helps prevent overcrowding, crossbites, and more serious problems later on.

Remember, young children are more receptive to orthodontic treatment as their jaws are still growing. Utilizing this opportunity can make Phase 2 treatments shorter and less complicated.

Preventing More Significant Problems Further Down the Line

Phase 1 Orthodontics isn’t just about immediately correcting existing issues; it also helps anticipate and avoid future complications. Early intervention can prevent problematic tooth eruption, improve oral habits, and diminish the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth.

By taking action now with orthodontic treatment, we can optimize your child’s oral health trajectory, potentially saving time, money, and stress in the future.

What to Expect During Your Child’s Phase 1 Orthodontics

Initial Consultation to Treatment Planning

As an Orthodontist, the first step I take in your child’s Phase 1 Orthodontic journey is an initial consultation. Here, I assess their oral health, check their bite alignment, and review any jaw irregularities. Supported by state-of-the-art diagnostic tools, I carefully examine X-rays and 3D scans to gain a comprehensive understanding of your child’s needs.

Based on this consultation, I then develop personalized treatment plans tailored to address specific conditions. Whether it’s braces, Invisalign, or retainers, every child’s treatment journey is unique, and I’m here to guide you through every step.

The Orthodontic Treatment Process

Once I finalize a treatment plan, I turn to the particular Orthodontic approach best suited to your child’s case.

For Metal Braces, Ceramic Braces, and Invisible Braces, I carefully affix brackets to your child’s teeth before attaching the orthodontic wires. These braces exert continuous pressure on the teeth, steadily moving them into their desired positions.

On the other hand, Inbrace and Invisalign come with custom-fitted aligners made from clear plastic. As children usually find these to be more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, they’ve become increasingly popular. Regardless of the chosen method, I routinely monitor your child’s progress to ensure their teeth are moving as planned.

Post-Treatment Care and Follow Up

Orthodontic treatment is just one facet of your child’s Phase 1 Orthodontics. Equally crucial is the follow-up care. Post-treatment, I may recommend retainers to maintain new tooth positions. Additionally, I encourage regular dental visits to monitor the ongoing oral health of your child. Throughout, our team extends comprehensive support for any questions or emergencies.

Conclusion: Is Phase 1 Orthodontics Right for Your Child?

Phase 1 Orthodontics can play a crucial role in your child’s oral health journey. It provides preventative measures and early treatment solutions for dental issues that may become more complex at a later stage. This proactive approach could save you and your child from future inconveniences and expenses related to serious dental health complications.

Of course, determining whether Phase 1 Orthodontics is the right choice for your child involves several factors. You should take into account your child’s age, oral health condition, and specific dental needs. It’s also wise to consider the professional advice of an orthodontic specialist. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Anaheim Hills Orthodontics for a consultation.

About The Author

Dr. Brian Luong (DMD, Orthodontist)

Dr. Brian Luong is a highly skilled dentist with a passion for orthodontics and sleep apnea research. A proud UCI alumnus, he went on to earn both his DMD and MBA at Harvard University. Dr. Luong has completed hospital dentistry and orthodontics residencies at UCSF and the University of Nebraska Medical Center, respectively. When not perfecting smiles, Dr. Luong is dedicated to giving back through mentorship, supporting medical missions, and serving the community.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if My Child is Afraid of Getting Braces?

It is natural for a child to have apprehensions about wearing braces. As a healthcare provider at Anaheim Hills Orthodontics, I assure you we go that extra mile to create a friendly and comfortable environment for children. Explaining every step of the process in a way that is understandable and reassuring to your child is a crucial part of our patient-centered approach.

How Long Does Phase 1 Orthodontics Typically Last?

The duration of Phase 1 Orthodontics varies from child to child but typically last between 6 to 18 months. The exact timeline depends on the child’s age, dental health, and type of treatment, ensuring ideal outcomes.

Can My Child Still Eat Their Favorite Foods with Braces?

Dietary adjustments may be necessary with certain types of orthodontic treatment like braces. I often advise adopting a diet that minimizes foods that could damage the braces, like hard, chewy, or sticky foods.

Is Teeth Whitening Safe for Children who Undergo Orthodontic Treatments?

The safety of teeth whitening after orthodontic treatment depends on several factors such as the child’s age, overall oral health condition, and type of whitening procedure. As your child’s orthodontist, I will make recommendations based on the best interest of your child’s oral health.

Orthodontic Tips for a Healthy and Beautiful Smile

An aesthetically pleasing smile isn’t just about pearly white teeth, it also comes down to the alignment and positioning of your teeth. Good orthodontic health matters more than you might think. Hi, I’m Dr. Brian Luong from Anaheim Hills Orthodontics. In this blog post, I will share my top 10 tips to help you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. From understanding the different types of braces to maintaining good oral hygiene, these guidelines will help ensure your orthodontic journey leads to a vibrant and confident smile. Make sure you stay tuned for some practical teeth whitening tips to really make your smile shine!

Importance of Orthodontic Care and Maintenance

Orthodontic care is an essential part of oral health that lays the foundation for a healthy and beautiful smile. It involves a variety of treatments and appliances, including braces, and retainers that correct alignment and bite issues.

The Role of Orthodontics in Dental Health

Orthodontics isn’t merely about straightening teeth. In fact, it’s a branch of dentistry dedicated to solving complex issues related to jaw alignment, teeth spacing, and bite irregularities. It’s aim is ensuring that your teeth fit together properly for optimal oral health. When the teeth are correctly aligned, it is easier for one to practice good oral hygiene, and it minimizes the risk of tooth decay and gum diseases. It also ensures that your bite is even, which can help prevent discomfort or damage due to clenching or grinding.

Why Regular Orthodontic Maintenance is Essential

Routine orthodontic maintenance ensures that one’s treatment continues to be effective and progress as planned. Thumb-sucking habits, natural growth, or unforeseen accidents can shift teeth, altering the effectiveness of orthodontic devices. Therefore, regular check-ups enable me to track your progress and make necessary adjustments. Additionally, consistent orthodontic care can also aid in early detection of potential issues, allowing for timely intervention and saving you from future discomfort or expense.

Types of Braces for Different Needs

With advancements in orthodontics, potential wearers now have an array of braces to choose from. The best type for you ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences.

Understanding Metal Braces

Metal braces, often referred to as traditional braces, are the most common type. These consist of high-grade stainless steel brackets attached to the teeth, linked by a thin archwire, which guides the teeth into place. The archwire is held in place using elastic bands, called ligatures, which can be customized to your color preference at each visit.

Ceramic Braces: What are They and Who are They for?

Ceramic braces function similar to metal braces but are designed to blend in with your teeth, making them a more aesthetically appealing option. The brackets are made from a clear or tooth-colored ceramic material that is less visible. Ideal for individuals seeking a less noticeable orthodontic solution without compromising efficiency, ceramic braces offer an excellent balance between aesthetics and performance.

Invisalign: The Invisible Option

Invisalign offers an even more discrete alternative to traditional braces. This treatment involves a series of clear, removable aligners that gradually shift your teeth into the desired position. Each set of aligners is custom-made using 3D imaging technology for a comfortable and precise fit. Best suited for adults and older teenagers, Invisalign allows you to straighten your teeth virtually invisibly, without affecting your speech or eating habits.

The Revolutionary Inbrace Technology

Another cutting-edge option in braces is Inbrace. These are a form of lingual braces, meaning they are attached to the back of the teeth, making them invisible from the front. Inbrace uses a unique Smartwire technology, which customizes the wire to the patient’s dental anatomy to deliver efficient and comfortable treatment. Ideal for those seeking highly efficient and virtually invisible orthodontic treatment, Inbrace has emerged as a popular choice in recent years.

Essential Orthodontic Tips for the Perfect Smile

As a professional in orthodontics, I believe the journey to a perfect smile doesn’t end with getting braces or retainers. It’s a continuous process involving daily oral care, a proper diet, and regular orthodontic check-ups. Let’s explore these elements in more detail.

Maintaining Oral Hygiene with Braces

Maintaining oral hygiene is essential, especially with braces. Braces, whether they are metal or ceramic, can trap food particles leading to plaque build-up or tooth discoloration.

I encourage my patients to brush their teeth after every meal, using soft-bristle toothbrushes to clean around brackets and wires gently. Daily flossing is also crucial, interdental brushes or special orthodontic floss can help get into the hard-to-reach areas. An antibacterial mouthwash can be a good final rinse to clear any lingering bacteria.

The Right Diet for Braces Wearers

Choosing the right food impacts both your overall health and your orthodontic journey. Certain foods can damage braces components or hinder the alignment process. It’s best to avoid:

  • Sticky and chewy foods, like caramel, chewing gum.
  • Hard foods, such as popcorn kernels, nuts, hard candies.
  • Crunchy fruits and vegetables, consume them in smaller pieces.
  • Sugary food and drinks.

While these restrictions may seem limiting, remember they are temporary but crucial for your journey towards a wonderful smile.

Regular Orthodontic Check-ups: An Unavoidable Necessity

Regular check-ups are necessary, regardless of the type of braces you have—Invisalign, Inbrace, invisible braces, or others. They allow me to monitor your progress, make necessary adjustments, and address any discomfort or issues early. Aim for a check-up every 4 to 8 weeks.

The Care and Keeping of Retainers

The care of your retainer is as important as the care of your braces. Retainers, as their name suggests, retain your teeth in their new positions. Here are some tips to take care of them:

  • Clean your retainer with toothpaste and a soft-bristle toothbrush daily.
  • Keep your retainer in a case when not wearing it.
  • Avoid exposure to heat, it can warp the retainer’s shape.

Remember, wear your retainer as directed to maintain that perfect smile.

Teeth Whitening: Elevating Your Smile to the Next Level

While orthodontics help align your teeth for a perfect smile, teeth whitening can add an extra sparkle. Teeth whitening can remove stains and discoloration, giving you a brighter, whiter smile.

Understanding the Process of Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening involves using bleaching agents, usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, to lighten your teeth several shades. These agents penetrate your tooth enamel to break-down the discolored molecules.

Why Opt for Professional Teeth Whitening?

While there are many over-the-counter teeth whitening options, professional teeth whitening is far more effective and safer. As an orthodontics professional, I can customize the treatment to your specific needs, ensuring optimal results and maintaining oral health.

Moreover, professional treatment often provides faster results with long-lasting effects, making it a definitive choice for those seeking an instant boost to their smiles.

Easy at-home Teeth Whitening Tips

If professional teeth whitening isn’t an option for you right now, there are some safe and easy at-home tips to try:

Remember, while these tips can help maintain your teeth’s brightness, they can’t replace a good oral hygiene routine—consisting of regular brushing, flossing, and dentist visits.

Conclusion: Setting the Course for a Healthy, Beautiful Smile

The pathway to achieving a radiant smile isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about maintaining all-round oral health. The integrity of our teeth and their stunning, aesthetic appearance are intertwined. Orthodontic care is the linchpin that holds this beautiful relationship together. Therefore, whether you utilize traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, Invisalign, or revolutionary Inbrace technology, remember that the secret ingredient to a healthy, beautiful smile is effective and regular oral care.

Adherence to orthodontic advice, coupled with a good oral hygiene routine and the right diet, will take you a long way toward a perfect smile. Don’t forget that your retainers need love too! They continue the work your braces started, so keep them clean and safe.

Lastly, achieving that dazzling white smile of dreams is definitely within your grasp. Professional teeth whitening performed under expert supervision, or reliable at-home teeth whitening tips can help you attain it. But remember, every smile is unique, and every treatment plan should be tailored to match.

Have questions about your oral health? Don’t hesitate to contact us at Anaheim Hills Orthodontics.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Best Age to Start Orthodontic Treatment?

There’s no fixed age to start orthodontic treatment as teeth alignment issues can arise at any stage of life. However, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic check-up by age seven source.

How Long Does Orthodontic Treatment Typically Last?

The duration of orthodontic treatment varies greatly, depending on the severity of the misalignment and the type of braces used. On average, treatment with braces often lasts between 18 to 24 months, but each case is individual.

Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

Yes, teeth whitening is safe when performed correctly. Whether you choose a professional service or decide to try at-home remedies, always ensure you’re following guidelines and using products recommended by dental professionals.

About The Author

Dr. Brian Luong (DMD, Orthodontist)

Dr. Brian Luong is a highly skilled dentist with a passion for orthodontics and sleep apnea research. A proud UCI alumnus, he went on to earn both his DMD and MBA at Harvard University. Dr. Luong has completed hospital dentistry and orthodontics residencies at UCSF and the University of Nebraska Medical Center, respectively. When not perfecting smiles, Dr. Luong is dedicated to giving back through mentorship, supporting medical missions, and serving the community.