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Orthodontics at Olive Dental Group

Straighter Smiles with Orthodontics

Huntington Beach Orthodontics at Olive Dental Group

Having straight, healthy teeth is more than a confidence boost for you or your child. It also boasts numerous benefits to overall health and well-being. Our Board-Certified Orthodontist has years of experience with braces, clear aligners, and appliance therapy offering early orthodontic treatment for children, and comprehensive orthodontic treatment for adolescents and adults. Early orthodontic treatment could treat facial and skeletal imbalances such as crossbites or underbites under the care of an orthodontist.

Scheduling the initial orthodontic evaluation early and early diagnosis of dental/skeletal problems and habits such as crowding, crossbites, underbites, thumb-sucking, narrow airways, etc., is key in addressing them early to avoid future complications. Whether your child is just getting their first adult teeth or is entering their senior year of high school, now is the best time to consider straightening their teeth. The goal for many dental patients with crooked teeth is to find a convenient option that lets them smile with confidence. Whether you value treatment time, affordability, or comfort, advancements in orthodontics create an array of options to help you or your child achieve results with ease.

Straight teeth benefit your oral health by eliminating opportunities for decay and fracturing to occur. At Olive Dental, Inc., we provide traditional braces options, as well as Invisalign® clear aligners in Huntington Beach for patients of all ages. Call our office today to set up a consultation.

Does My Child Need Braces?

Who needs Braces?

As a parent, keeping your child healthy is one of your biggest concerns. Misaligned teeth aren’t simply an aesthetic issue; your child can have lasting health problems if their teeth don’t meet the way they should. For younger orthodontic patients, traditional metal braces provide efficient teeth straightening for their still-developing jaws. Children as young as eight can benefit from an orthodontic evaluation. After taking a precise account of your child’s smile with digital impressions, the appropriate course of treatment can be determined. Children with fixed braces can expect regular monthly appointments to adjust the tension on the wires and conduct any necessary maintenance.

Often, orthodontic elastic bands help further shift specific areas of the smile, while headgear can be added to treat irregularities. After the braces are removed, a retainer helps ensure the proper alignment stabilizes. Correcting dental misalignment is easiest and most effective during childhood and teenage years since the jaw is still in development. This not only makes changes easier but makes teeth less likely to shift after treatment once the jaw is fully developed.

Seven Situations That Might Require Braces

What issues do Braces treat?

Every child’s mouth is different, and not everyone will need braces just because of a small alignment issue. Your child’s current and future health is the most important consideration when it comes to dental care. Our dentists weigh the options and help you understand whether orthodontics will benefit your child’s smile. Here are seven situations where orthodontics are often recommended:

  1. Their baby teeth fall out early or late.
  2. They have difficulty biting, chewing, or speaking.
  3. They suck their thumb or pacifier after age four.
  4. Their teeth don’t meet properly or at all.
  5. Their front teeth are already crowded at age seven or eight.
  6. Their top and bottom teeth aren’t aligned.
  7. Their jaw moves to one side when opening and closing.
Orthodontics Huntington Beach

When Should My Child Be Evaluated for Orthodontics?

What is the Best Age for Orthodontic Evaluation?

Age seven is usually considered the best age for an orthodontic evaluation, about the time children’s first adult teeth start appearing. It’s easier at this age to tell if your child faces alignment issues since all of their baby teeth have emerged. This doesn’t mean your child will need braces right away at this age. Our dentists evaluate your child on an individual level and will talk you through different options to help you make the best choice for your child.

Choosing the Right Braces

Types of Braces

Our office provides many varieties of orthodontic treatment so that we can meet your child’s needs in the way that works best for them. These options include:

Traditional braces

The standard metal braces most people are familiar with. These consist of metal brackets attached to the outer tooth surface and connected by a wire.

Ceramic braces

A similar style to traditional braces, but these use tooth-colored bands and brackets to straighten teeth more discreetly.

Lingual braces

These braces are attached behind the teeth. They’re most often used on the lower front teeth.

Self-ligating braces

These braces look like traditional braces with one important distinction – they feature no elastic or rubber bands holding the wire in place.

Clear aligners

Custom-shaped plastic aligner trays fit neatly over the teeth, gently straightening them through targeted pressure. These braces are almost invisible and can be removed for eating or cleaning. Since they must be worn for at least 22 hours a day to be effective, we generally offer this treatment for responsible older teens with mild to moderate misalignment.

Orthodontics Huntington Beach

Giving Your Child Their Best Smile in Huntington Beach

Your Braces Consultation

Your child’s smile is a reflection of how they feel, and feeling good about their smile can help them project confidence and joy. At our Olive Dental Group office, our dentists are dedicated to helping kids and teens across Huntington Beach enjoy their healthiest, happiest smiles. Do you think your child could benefit from orthodontic treatment? Straight teeth benefit their oral health by eliminating opportunities for decay and fracturing to occur. At Olive Dental, we provide traditional braces options, as well as Invisalign® clear aligners in Huntington Beach for patients of all ages. Call our office today to set up a consultation.

The First Steps When Getting Started with Braces

The Braces Procedure

An evaluation is the first and arguably most important part of the braces process. During the evaluation, our dentists use advanced X-ray and imaging technology to evaluate your child’s smile and determine whether they need orthodontic intervention. This lets them see what issues your child faces, how severe they are, and what treatments would be most effective. Once treatment is selected, we can begin planning treatment and putting it into action.

Braces with Brackets

Traditional, ceramic, lingual, and self-ligating braces all use brackets attached to the enamel using special dental cement. These braces don’t harm your child’s enamel in any way. A strong metal wire connects the braces, using tension to guide the teeth into the optimal placement. Each wire is replaced with a thicker one over time, increasing tension until the teeth have reached their final position.

Invisalign® Clear Aligner Trays

The majority of orthodontic patients are children and teenagers, but more adults are seeking this cosmetic improvement. At your consultation, we answer your questions and concerns, determine the extent of treatment, and help you choose your most beneficial straightening option. More complicated cases may benefit from traditional braces, though improvements in Invisalign® clear aligners allow them to treat most orthodontic complications.

Our office offers Invisalign clear aligners for a more discreet straightening option, so many of our patients seek this opportunity. We send you digital impressions to a lab so they can custom-create your sets of aligner trays. These braces work very differently from the other braces. Using 3D imaging technology, we design and create a series of clear aligner trays that fit over the teeth. The trays are designed to use gentle pressure at targeted points to push teeth into the desired placement, with each tray moving them slightly more than before. Typically, a tray is worn for about two weeks before moving on to the next set.

Not only are these clear aligners less noticeable, but they are removable, allowing those wearing them to eat, speak, brush, and floss with comfort and ease. We also offer traditional braces for adults if they don’t want or wouldn’t benefit from Invisalign as a treatment option.

How Long Do Braces Take?

Length of Treatment

No matter which type you choose, your child’s treatment time depends on how severe their issues are. The more significant the alignment issue, the longer the treatment will typically take. On average, braces are worn for about two years, followed by a retainer to keep the teeth from shifting back. Our dentists will give you an estimate of the total treatment time at the evaluation and planning stages.

How Do I Care for Braces?

Braces Care

Good Oral Hygiene for Braces Wearers

With braces, good hygiene is more important than ever. Food can easily become trapped in the wires, making it easier for cavities and gum disease to form.

To avoid this, it’s important for your child to brush at least twice a day. If you can have them brush after eating, this will help to reduce the amount of food debris left behind. They’ll also need to floss at least once a day between each tooth. This can be tricky with braces, so consider picking up a floss threader if your child is having difficulty. Packing some floss in your child’s backpack will also enable them to deal with things that get stuck in their braces while they’re out.

If your child is involved in sports or other physical activity, they may be at greater risk for broken braces or oral injury. A mouthguard will be very important for protecting them during these activities.

What Foods Should My Child Avoid with Braces?

Most foods are fine with braces, so you won’t have to worry about limiting them too much. Pay careful attention to foods that are most likely to get stuck in the braces, break them, or dislodge the brackets. The most likely culprits include:

  1. Sticky foods – Gum, caramel, taffy
  2. Crunchy foods – Popcorn, tortilla chips, pretzels
  3. Chewy foods – Bagels, hard dinner rolls, licorice, fruit leather, gummies
  4. Hard foods – Ice cubes, nuts, almonds, hard candy
  5. Complicated foods – Corn on the cob, whole apples, celery stalks (these are fine if sliced or otherwise prepared)

What Do I Do If a Bracket Breaks or Comes Loose?

Depending on the nature of the break, the most important thing is to determine if your child is injured or bleeding and address this first. Keeping a dental first aid kid around, especially one with dental wax, will be extremely helpful in cases of emergencies. If a bracket is loose or broken, or a wire has come loose, and your child is otherwise fine, there are a few things you can do. In many cases, you can simply wait until their next scheduled orthodontic visit to have it repaired as long as there is no danger to their health. Use dental wax to secure loose brackets in place until the visit. If a wire is poking out, trim it down with nail clippers as short as possible and apply the dental wax to the wire end. At your next visit, the dentist can secure or replace any issues with the braces. If you’re concerned about the situation or if your child may be at risk, contact our office to see if you need to be seen sooner than the scheduled visit.

Will Braces Be Painful for My Child?

It’s natural for teeth to feel sore when the braces are first placed or when a wire is being changed. Typically, this soreness goes away within a few days. You can use child-approved pain medications to improve their comfort during this period – talk to your pediatrician if you aren’t sure what to use. In the meantime, you can make it easier for your child by serving them only soft foods and liquids on the first day, such as:

  1. Yogurt
  2. Soup
  3. Applesauce
  4. Scrambled eggs
  5. Mashed potatoes
  6. Oatmeal
  7. Ice cream

By the second or third day, the soreness should have lessened, and your child should be able to handle chewing some foods. Stick to foods that are softer, like sandwiches, steamed or roasted veggies, and pasta. Typically, the soreness should have gone down by day four or five. If your child is still experiencing pain at this point, contact our office.

Retaining Your Results

Braces Aftercare

Wearing a Retainer When the Braces Come Off

When it’s finally time to remove the braces, the dentist will supply your child with a custom-made retainer. This helps keep the teeth from shifting back into place. Most retainers are removable plastic appliances held in place by metal wires and clasps. Your child will need to use special care with the retainer, such as removing it when eating, rinsing it when removed, and brushing it twice a day. Always keep the retainer in its case when not being used, as they’re easy to lose or accidentally throw away when wrapped in napkins or stored elsewhere. Your child will need to wear the retainer constantly apart from mealtimes at first to keep teeth from moving. After a few months, they may only have to wear it at night, and later, every few nights.

What Happens if They Don’t Wear It and Their Teeth Shift?

It’s common for kids to lose their retainers, forget them, or even be reluctant to wear them. If they go too long without it, however, their teeth can start to shift back. Contact our office as soon as you know their teeth have started moving, or they haven’t been wearing the retainer. We’ll need to evaluate how much their teeth have moved to determine the best course of action. Depending on the amount of movement, we may decide to continue using the retainer or switch to a fixed bonded retainer. If the movement is severe, we may need to resume treatment with braces.

Building Healthy Smiles with Two-Phase Treatment

Sometimes, severe challenges in dental alignment or jaw development can spell a long and difficult treatment for your child in their later years. In such a case, the dentist may recommend considering a two-phase treatment to make the treatment easier on your child by dividing it into two parts. Two-phase treatment involves some orthodontic treatment in the early years, which encourages healthy jaw bone development and reduces the impact of misalignments. Then, once they’re older, we resume orthodontic treatment to move the teeth into their ideal placement.

Why Treat Them Twice?

Not every child will need this, even if they present problems at an early age. The most important factor is whether your child’s dental situation is making it difficult to eat, speak, or breathe properly, compromising their health and development. During Phase One, we focus on developing the jaw to make room for all of your child’s teeth. This not only eases problems but may prevent the need for tooth extractions or jaw surgery as they get older. A resting period after this phase allows the teeth and jaw to develop naturally in the space created through the treatment. Once the smile has developed further, we perform Phase Two to finalize their treatment and ensure the healthiest possible smile. For many, the second phase goes much more quickly than providing orthodontic treatment all at once.

Discuss Advanced Dental Care in Huntington Beach

We genuinely hope our website is helpful to you in learning more about our practice, dental conditions and treatments, dental recommendations, and more. Please browse through our website and be sure to give us a call if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you and your family achieve your most authentic and beautifully healthy smiles.

Sincerely, Our Dental Team.

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