How Orthodontic Work Helps the Smile

Three young people smiling

If you have recently learned that you require orthodontic work, you might be disappointed. Hopefully, you will be able to choose what kind of appliance you want, such as Invisalign. Regardless of which you end up with, you should know that it will significantly benefit your smile.

Straightening the teeth does more than just perfect the look of the smile. Teeth that are overlapping can create spaces for bacteria and plaque to build up, as these can be difficult areas for a tooth brush to reach. This can lead to cavities and infections.

Orthodontic treatments can also correct a poorly aligned bite, such as a crossbite, underbite, overbites, and open bites. These can all negatively affect the jaw, causing pain, as well as difficulty chewing and speaking. Treatment with Invisalign, braces, or a type of braces can not only prevent or resolve such issues, and even change the shape of the face.

Your orthodontic treatment may be part of a larger goal – a complete smile makeover. Our smile makeover dentist will work with you to decide what treatments and procedures are best to perfect your smile. Orthodontics may be just one treatment, along with dental bonding, veneers, and whatever else you may need.

Do Braces Always Work?

happy friendsSome patients who are getting ready for braces may still wonder if treatment will work for them. Every patient is different, but all can count on receiving major improvements from orthodontics. Here is more about why this is true and some specifics on how well orthodontics will work for you.

Orthodontics Always Work

The efficacy of orthodontic treatment has been shown repeatedly over decades. Some patients have mild bite irregularities, while others have severe orthodontic problems, but bite correction works for all of them. No matter how crooked your teeth are right now, you can count on healthier, better-looking teeth after treatment.

How Will Your Teeth Look?

Preview images have reduced some of the uncertainty that many patients feel at the outset of orthodontic treatment, but there is still no way to know exactly how the teeth will look afterwards. While the basic proper positions of teeth are similar, the end results that patients enjoy remain unique to them.

The changes that orthodontics brings can be amazing. With straighter teeth, patients tend to gain greater confidence and lower dental costs. By scheduling a consultation with our dentists in San Fernando Valley, you can find out how well orthodontic treatments can address your goals.

Purpose of Orthodontics

dental bracesAfter completing dental school, orthodontists study for three additional years in the structural alignment of the mouth. As an orthodontist, a dental professional does smile design, but from the inside out. They know where your teeth should be, and they know how to get them there.

Orthodontic practice is mostly just braces, and trendier alternatives like Invisalign and lingual braces. But orthodontics also goes deep: for instance, our orthodontist in Van Nuys is an expert in malocclusion—or bad bite. Typically, malocclusion traces to a birth defect that left the jaw badly aligned, or in bad company with the teeth. In extreme circumstances, the jaw must be broken before any restructuring can happen.

The more superficial acts of cosmetic dentistry just deal with how the teeth look—their color and condition. Orthodontics plays a longer game—it is all about careful planning and slow movement.

Issues addressed by orthodontists include:

• Impacted teeth
• Overcrowded teeth
• Gapped or spaced teeth
• Crossbite, overbite, and underbite

Full health and functionality of the mouth are the objectives of orthodontists. If you or your child needs braces, you can call our Van Nuys cosmetic dentist today.

How Does Invisalign Work?

Junge Frau setzt lächelnd Zahnspange in den MundInvisalign treatment is the most preferred orthodontic option of patients today. It updates the process of straightening the teeth and correcting the bite by eliminating the problems involved with more traditional methods, such as metal braces. If you are interested in Invisalign, it can be helpful to understand how it works.

Your process will begin with one of our LA orthodontists taking impressions and pictures of your teeth. This will be used to create a 3D image of your teeth and their projected progression, and sent to the Invisalign lab so your aligners can be made.

Experts have found that the teeth are best moved very slowly. This is why all orthodontic treatments take from months to years. Invisalign Full usually takes an average of twelve to eighteen months to achieve the desired results. Whereas braces work by pulling the teeth into place, Invisalign aligners push them into position.

Each aligner will get closer and closer to the final result aimed for. They will apply pressure to the teeth consistently in order to slightly straighten and align them. After the main orthodontic process is complete, our orthodontist will supply you with a retainer, which should be worn to keep the teeth in their new, healthier places.

Is Invisalign Retainer Necessary?

smiling girl with tooth tray

After any orthodontic treatment, you will need to wear a retainer. Orthodontic treatment works by using pressure to move teeth through the bone. During the process, the connective tissues and bones adjust and remodel around the tooth roots. After active treatment, the retainer prevents the teeth from shifting back towards their previous positions.

The Invisalign retainer looks much like the Invisalign aligners. The retainer will fit close to the way the final aligner in the series did. You will wear it between 12 and 22 hours a day initially. This recommendation may vary based on your age, the complexity of your case and specifics of your treatment plan. As with the aligners, you can remove your retainer for meals, snacks and dental hygiene purposes. After a certain number of months, you will typically be able to reduce the amount of time you wear your retainer to nighttime-only.

At a certain point, you will be able to further decrease your retainer wear. However, most people will need to continue wearing their retainers at least once or a few times a week for the rest of their lives. This is because the natural biting, chewing and other oral functions of the teeth apply force to the teeth, and these forces could cause teeth to shift even long after orthodontic treatment has ended. Call our orthodontists today to find out more about orthodontic treatment or to schedule your appointment with our team.

Invisalign vs. Braces

happy friendsMany patients discover upon their consultation appointment that they are a candidate for more than one orthodontic appliance. Invisalign and braces are most commonly available for patients with basic and uncomplicated orthodontic issues. You might be a candidate for both braces and Invisalign if your smile features mild to moderate cases of spacing issues and crooked teeth. There are some important factors of each option to consider before choosing.

Potential patients should be aware that there are several steps for Invisalign. You will receive a few aligners at a time to wear in order. They will apply pressure to the teeth and push them into position. Aligners can be removed in order to eat, drink liquid other than water, and clean the teeth and the appliance itself. They typically need to be worn for about two weeks at a time. Patients must return to our dentist every four to six weeks in order to check progress.


Unlike Invisalign aligners, braces cannot be removed for the patient, and are bonded to the teeth until treatment is over. Where Invisalign pushes the teeth together, braces use wires to pull them into place. Patients return to our dentist about once every four weeks for the wires to be tightened.

If you are debating Invisalign vs. braces, our dentist can help you determine which is best for you and your orthodontic needs.

What is Having Braces Like?

Young black woman with braces

Getting orthodontic treatment is a big life moment for many. While some more modern appliances are available, some patients have complications that will be best treated with braces. This is both because they are a very direct way of straightening teeth, and because they have been used for so long that dentists know how to use them best.

After an initial consultation appointment wherein braces are determined as the best choice, the patient will return to have them placed. This process typically takes about one to two hours. The teeth will be cleaned first, and then a dental bonding material is applied before the brackets are placed. The arch wire is threaded through each bracket, and held in place by small rubber bands on the brackets.

Having the braces may be difficult and uncomfortable at first. The teeth will be affected by the pressure, and the brackets may rub against the inside of your mouth. Our San Francisco cosmetic dentist will supply you with wax you can place to minimize this pain. Be sure to avoid the foods our dentist has warned you about in order to keep your teeth and braces safe and clean.

Patients must return every two to three weeks to have their wires tightened. This is to add pressure to the teeth in order to get them into healthier spaces. Once they are removed, you will be given a retainer to wear to keep the teeth from moving back to their original spots.

Oral Health Issues You Should Discuss with Your Invisalign Dentist

Junge Frau setzt lächelnd Zahnspange in den Mund

When you are undergoing treatment with Invisalign, good dental health is essential. Invisalign makes it easy to take care of your teeth because you can take the aligners out. However, some oral health issues can occur and should be discussed with our Los Angeles orthodontics team as soon as possible to prevent more serious complications.

1. Gum irritation
Gums can become more sensitive during treatment, and this can leave them prone to redness, irritation, bleeding and other symptoms of gingivitis. These need to be treated as soon as possible to prevent more advanced forms of gum disease and keep your smile healthy.

2. Tooth decay
Your saliva has a big job when it comes to protecting your teeth from tooth decay, but when you wear aligners, your teeth may be slightly drier than usual. You will need to be especially careful when it comes to brushing and flossing after each meal so that you can remove all plaque and bacteria from your teeth to reduce the risk of decay.

3. Relapse
Wearing your aligners 20 to 22 hours a day is not optional. Leaving them out too long, skipping them for a day or losing them entirely can lead to relapse, which means that your teeth will begin to shift back towards their original positions.

Call our Invisalign dentist in Los Angeles to learn more about Invisalign treatment or to schedule your appointment.

When are Braces a Better Option Compared to Invisalign?

Young black woman with bracesThe popularity of Invisalign is clear, but some patients do better with traditional metal braces from our Rocklin orthodontist. This can be because of patient needs or preferences. Below is a look at some situations where this may be the case.

Corrections and Bite Irregularities

Invisalign cannot correct all types of orthodontic flaws. Moving teeth vertically or correcting severe tooth rotation, for example, requires brackets and wires. Invisalign can correct minor bite irregularities, such as crossbites or over bites, but cannot address severe cases. Furthermore, some patients may need additional appliances that can be used at the same time as metal braces, but not Invisalign.

Total Costs

Any orthodontic treatment will vary in cost depending on the patient, but Invisalign is often more expensive than metal braces. Some patients prefer metal braces because they costs less money for the same results.

Age Restrictions

Invisalign Full and Teen are made for adults and teenagers, respectively. The system cannot be used for kids, but metal braces can. Some younger patients get lingual braces as a discreet alternative to Invisalign.

A final reason why some patients do better with braces than with Invisalign is that they are fixed in place, which eliminates the need to keep track of aligners and remember to wear them enough. At a consultation with our expert in braces in Rocklin, patients can learn more about how these treatments compare to each other.

Damon Braces and What You Need to Know

Young black woman with braces

Patients who have has or currently have traditional metal braces are very familiar with their structure. They are comprised of metal brackets and wires that work together to push the teeth into position. Every few weeks, patients must return to their orthodontist or cosmetic dentist in San Francisco to have their wires tightened, which adds pressure and helps the teeth move further into place. Damon braces uses a revolutionary new model to eliminate this inconvenient step.

Damon braces are self-ligating, which means the wires are able to move on their own as the teeth align. The brackets are built with a simple slide mechanism that eliminates the need for tightening appointments. This also means that the brackets are smaller, and therefore much less noticeable than the brackets of traditional braces. Our Damon braces dentist in San Francisco can even use clear or tooth-colored material so the appliance is even less conspicuous.

Other than these features, Damon braces work very similarly to traditional braces. They are able to address a wide variety of orthodontic issues, ranging from mild to severe. These issues include:

• Crooked teeth
• Protruding teeth
• Rotated teeth
• Gaps
• Crowding
• Open bites and crossbites
• Overbites and underbites

Contact us for more information.