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Category Archives: Braces

clear orthodontic aligner

The Perils of At-Home Orthodontic Care

Our Seattle orthodontist would like to send out a heads-up about the perils of at-home orthodontic care. There are companies in operation today advertising DIY orthodontics designed to help people save thousands of dollars on the orthodontic treatment they need. These companies sell plastic aligner trays that look like Invisalign which are created from impressions consumers take of their teeth at home.

 

The Problem with Do-It-Yourself Invisalign

 

The main problem with at-home orthodontic care is that this type treatment cannot address very important issues regarding how the upper and lower teeth meet or the health status of the jaw joints and gums. Even though the companies offering at-home orthodontics do provide customer support, the “patients” have no licensed orthodontists overseeing their progress as they move through the series of aligners they’re given.

 

This lack of professional guidance can lead to some serious problems developing like:

  • Unpredictable and undesirable tooth movement
  • Permanent damage being done to the teeth
  • Bone loss in the jaw
  • Tooth decay & gum disease

An In-Person Orthodontic Evaluation is Important!

 

No licensed and reputable orthodontist would ever recommend orthodontic appliances to a patient without first providing that patient with a thorough orthodontic evaluation. Even though the companies offering at-home orthodontics advertise that each case is reviewed by a dentist, these hired dentists are approving cases based solely on selfies and models of questionable quality, with no diagnostic records and no oral health evaluation.

 

Contact Your Local Seattle Orthodontist

 

Dr. Peralta is a licensed and experienced orthodontist who offers individualized orthodontic treatment to patients of all ages living throughout Burien, West Seattle, Renton, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac, and the greater Seattle, WA area. If you want to improve your smile safely, predictably and effectively with braces or Invisalign, we encourage you to request a free consultation with Dr. Peralta today. We hope to hear from you soon!

woman sleeping in white bed

How Do Braces Help You To Stop Grinding Your Teeth

Bruxism, or grinding of the teeth, is a common problem among people of all ages. Our Burien orthodontist, Dr. Jorge Peralta, often sees patients who complain of problems caused by habitual teeth grinding. He also speaks to patients who grind their teeth subconsciously, without even realizing they’re doing it, until they’re told by their dentists about the physical damage it’s done to their teeth.

 

What Causes Bruxism and Why It’s a Problem

 

While grinding the teeth can be caused by stress and anxiety, most often it occurs during sleep and is caused by having an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth. Bruxism can also be caused by sleep apnea.

 

Clenching the teeth tightly together puts a lot of pressure on the muscles, tissues and structures around your jaw. This can lead to more serious temporomandibular joint problems or TMJ. Consistently grinding your teeth also wears down the tooth surfaces, which can lead to fractured teeth and other dental problems.

 

Orthodontic Treatment Can Help

 

If you grind your teeth and your teeth grinding habit is linked to a problem with your bite, our Burien orthodontist can help. Dr. Peralta can provide you with a thorough examination, a proper diagnosis and recommend with the right type of  treatment for you. He may recommend that you  wear a special orthodontic night guard over your teeth that will prevent any further damage to your teeth. Or Dr. Peralta may tell you that you have misaligned teeth that can be brought into proper alignment with braces to help with your teeth grinding problem.

 

Schedule Your Visit Today

 

To get the help you need for your teeth grinding problem, please schedule a complimentary exam with Dr. Peralta today. Our practice offers high quality, individualized orthodontic treatment using all the latest types of orthodontic appliances and cutting-edge technology. We look forward to seeing you soon and providing you with the treatment you need to stop grinding your teeth for better dental health!

dentist showing patient xrays

How Do Braces Fix An Overbite?

One of the most common orthodontic problems, or maloclussions, that our Burien and West Seattle orthodontist treats is an overbite. An overbite is when the upper teeth overlap more than half of the lower teeth when biting down. A serious, deep overbite can make it difficult to properly chew food and can even result in damage to the teeth or gums as the lower teeth can strike the back of the upper teeth or gums.

 

The cause of overbites is often hereditary. However, overbites can also stem from poor childhood habits like tongue-thrusting, nail-biting and prolonged thumb-sucking or pacifier use.

 

Overbite Correction

 

While there is no age limit on when an overbite can be treated successfully with orthodontic care, this problem is easier to remedy in younger children because their jaws are not yet fully developed. In some cases when the overbite is skeletal in nature and the patient is an adult, surgery may be required to reposition the jaw. Some severe overbites may require tooth extraction, so the remaining teeth can shift into their correct positions more easily.

 

Once an orthodontist conducts a thorough examination, the best course of treatment to take for an overbite will be determined based on the patient’s unique misalignment. Braces with (elastic bands) are typically used to move the teeth into their correct positions.

 

Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Peralta Today

 

If you or your child has an overbite, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Peralta. At your first visit with us, Dr. Peralta will examine your teeth and bite and then speak with you about his findings along with any proposed treatment. We look forward to seeing you soon and helping you achieve the healthy and attractive smile you deserve!

girl smiling with braces

The 5 Stages of Getting & Wearing Braces

If you’re thinking of visiting an orthodontist in West Seattle or Burien to improve your smile with braces, you may be wondering what the whole orthodontic process is all about. Here is a run-down of the five basic steps of getting braces and wearing them so you have a good idea of what to expect.

 

  1. The Initial Consultation

During your first visit with our Seattle orthodontist, we will examine your teeth and bite to determine whether or not you could benefit from wearing braces. During this visit, we get the opportunity to get to know you and your orthodontic goals better while you become familiar with Dr. Peralta and our incredible team! We will show you before and after photos of patients that we treated with similar orthodontic needs so you can see how your treatment can transform your smile.

 

  1. Getting Your Braces Put On

The second stage of the orthodontic process involves putting the braces on your teeth. It doesn’t hurt to have braces placed on your teeth but it does take time as we have to prep your teeth for the brackets, carefully position a bracket on each individual tooth and then run the archwire through the brackets and tighten things up!

 

  1. Wearing Your Braces

Once we’ve placed the braces on your teeth, we will give you some braces care instructions which include a list of braces-busting foods you should not eat like hard, sticky and gooey foods. We’ll also show you how to brush and floss while wearing braces, which can seem a bit overwhelming at first. However, with a little practice, soon you’ll become a pro at cleaning your teeth when they’re covered with brackets and wires! You will have to visit us every month to have your braces tightened but these adjustment appointments are generally quick and easy!

 

  1. Getting Your Braces Off

You will probably be full of anticipation for your “debanding appointment” when we will remove the braces from your teeth so you can finally see how amazing your new smile looks without all that hardware blocking your view! It takes us about an hour to remove your braces before you can leave our office and show the world your incredible smile!

 

  1. Retention

We will make a retainer for you which you will need to wear in order to keep your teeth in their new position. Your retainer is to be worn 24/7 except when you’re eating or drinking anything other than water. To avoid having to undergo the orthodontic process all over again, it’s imperative that you wear your retainer as directed so you shouldn’t just toss your retainer in a drawer and forget all about it!
That’s the entire orthodontic process in a nutshell! If at any time during your treatment you have any questions or concerns, just contact us as we’re always more than happy to talk with you!

How Direct Bonding of Braces Brackets Differs From Indirect Bonding

For patients just starting orthodontic treatment, there are two techniques used to attach the brackets to the teeth: direct or indirect bonding. There are many variations of orthodontic brackets with each type claiming superiority in achieving the optimal final tooth position and interarch occlusion. However, if the brackets are not positioned ideally on each individual tooth, all the innovations in bracket design become irrelevant. The ideal positioning of each bracket must align the individual tooth in relation to each of the neighboring teeth and also in relation to the entire arch.

 

The Indirect Bonding Technique

 

When the indirect bonding technique is used, instead of positioning the brackets directly on the teeth, they are first positioned on a plaster model of the teeth. The braces are then transferred to the patient’s teeth. While this method typically makes the patient’s initial bonding appointment shorter, successive appointments, and even treatment length, can be longer due to the increased likelihood for repositioning brackets because they can slightly shift during the bracket transfer process. Dr. Peralta believes the most predictable and precise way to bond brackets is with direct bonding.

 

The Direct Bonding Technique

 

When the direct bonding technique is used, the brackets are placed directly on the teeth, one tooth at a time, and not on a plaster model. This method takes more time than the indirect bonding method because each individual bracket is meticulously placed correctly from the start, taking into consideration the teeth’s crown and root position. Our Seattle orthodontist, Dr. Peralta, takes the extra time to perform direct bonding because it results in a higher degree of precision and more detail-focused results. You can see the results that direct bonding produces here.

 

Our Focus is on Helping You Achieve Your Best Possible Smile!

 

At Peralta Orthodontics, we work hard to ensure that each patient we treat achieves their best possible smile! Because Dr. Peralta is our only orthodontist, the pace of treatment is more consistent and efficient, resulting in treatment taking as little as 12 months. He personally meets with each patient at every visit and oversees all details of treatment, providing each patient with the personal attention and meticulous care they deserve. Patient satisfaction is what’s most important to us!

 

If you would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Peralta to find out how you or your child can benefit from orthodontic treatment, please schedule an appointment with us today. We look forward to welcoming you to our practice where we give our patients many good reasons to smile!

mother and daughter with braces smiling

Invisalign Teen vs. Braces: Which is Right For Your Teenager?

As a West Seattle orthodontist that offers his patients many choices in orthodontic appliances, Dr. Peralta offers teenagers orthodontic treatment using several types of appliances including conventional metal braces and Invisalign Teen clear aligners.

 

If your teenager is about to undergo orthodontic treatment and is trying to decide between wearing regular braces or Invisalign Teen, we can help you and your teenager decide which to choose.

 

Invisalign Teen

Invisalign Teen consists of a series of clear, removable aligners which move teeth gradually step by step until they’re in the optimal positions. Treatment with Invisalign Teen is very convenient and discreet. Your teenager can remove the aligners when eating & drinking and when brushing & flossing. Invisalign Teen may be right for your teenager if:

 

  • Your teen presents with a relatively less complex case wants to improve his/her smile very discreetly
  • Your child wants to continue enjoying his or her favorite foods during treatment
  • Your teen would appreciate being able to easily maintain good oral hygiene during treatment by simply removing the aligners when brushing & flossing
  • Your teen is trustworthy and responsible enough to be 100% compliant with wearing the aligners as directed
  • Your teen leads a busy lifestyle and would benefit from the fewer required appointments and no adjustment appointments

 

Braces

Conventional metal braces are made of high grade stainless steel. These braces consist of brackets that are bonded to the teeth for the duration of the treatment process with a wire running through the brackets. Conventional metal braces may be right for your teen if:

 

  • Your teen presents with a relatively more complex case and wouldn’t mind wearing visible braces
  • Your teen is willing to avoid eating braces-busting foods like hard, crunchy and sticky food for the duration of the treatment process 
  • Your teen is willing to invest more time and effort in maintaining good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing their teeth very well every day
  • If you have doubts about your teen being 100% compliant regarding wearing removable aligners for the required 22 hours each day
  • Your teenager has the time and commitment to come to our office for all schedule adjustment appointments

 

Hopefully, this information has helped you and your teen decide which treatment option to ask Dr. Peralta for during your teen’s first visit with us. Once Dr. Peralta has provided your teen with an oral exam, he will sit down with you and your child to discuss his findings. He will then let your teenager know what types of appliances he or she may be able to choose from, based on your child’s orthodontic problems that require treatment.
To schedule your first visit with us, simply fill out our online appointment request form or give our Burien or West Seattle orthodontic offices a call. We look forward to seeing you soon!

teenage girl smiling

Permanent Retainers: The Good, The Bad & The Beautiful

The Good…

Research has demonstrated that teeth are more than likely to move after orthodontic treatment if retainers are not used to maintain tooth position and worn as directed.  In fact, even without ever having had orthodontic treatment, many people will experience shifting of their teeth over their lifetime.  While the use of removable retainers helps to prevent relapse, for certain people with certain occlusions, the lower front teeth may still shift long after the braces are removed.  For this reason, Dr. Peralta typically recommends a permanent retainer, or a metal wire that is bonded to the front six teeth with the same material that holds braces on teeth.  It can remain on the teeth for many years without being noticed as long as good oral hygiene practices are maintained.  It is considered to be highly effective and the most successful of all retainers.

The Bad….

Although it may sound like a perfect solution, it should be noted that there are some disadvantages to having a permanent retainer.

 

  • One such factor is that the area around the bar needs to be cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis. This means using your toothbrush at different angles and flossing with a floss threader daily to keep your gum tissue happy.
  • Another disadvantage is that the permanent retainer can easily break off the teeth if care is not used when biting into foods with your front teeth.  Hard, sticky and chewy foods should be avoided with this area of the mouth to prevent costly repairs to the retainer.
  • Additionally, some patients report discomfort with their tongue coming into contact with the retainers on a regular basis, but this often dissipates with time.

& The Beautiful Results…

The benefits of a permanent retainer tend to outweigh the drawbacks for most of our patients, but it ultimately comes down to personal preference and Dr. Peralta’s recommendation.  Be aware that even if you choose to have a permanent retainer, it is still very important to wear removable retainers on both the upper and lower arches to prevent orthodontic relapse! If you have any questions about retainers or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact one of our Seattle-area orthodontic offices in Burien or West Seattle.

girl lacrosse player wearing mouthguard

Playing Sports with Braces? Wear a Mouthguard!

Now that spring is here, many of our patients are preparing to play spring sports like baseball, softball, and lacrosse. This is a great time for us to remind those of you wearing braces that it’s very important to wear protective mouthguards when you’re playing contact sports or whenever you’re taking part in any activity that can lead to a mouth injury.

 

April is National Facial Protection Month in the United States. This is when dentists and other healthcare providers team up to raise public awareness about facial and mouth injuries and to remind athletes, coaches, parents and caregivers of the importance of wearing protective mouthguards to safeguard the mouth and teeth against injuries. Because mouthguards have been proven to significantly lower the risk of oral injuries, mouthguards should be worn by all athletes playing sports.

 

The Best Mouthguard To Use

 

There are special mouthguards available both online and off which are made specifically for people wearing braces. These orthodontic mouthguards fit right over your braces to provide your appliances, mouth and teeth with protection against blows or strikes to the face. Some good brands to look for are ShockDoctor and UnderArmour orthodontic mouthguards. Our West Seattle orthodontist, Dr. Jorge Peralta, is more than happy to help you find the right mouthguard to use, so please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need some assistance.

 

We do not recommend using the ready-to-wear and “boil & bite” mouthguards found at pharmacies and sporting goods stores as these mouthguards do not fit over braces well nor do they provide ample protection against injuries.

 

The last thing you want to happen is to have to make an emergency appointment with our West Seattle orthodontist because your braces need to be repaired or replaced due to an injury you sustained while playing sports without a mouthguard. Mouthguards are inexpensive and essential pieces of sporting gear that should be worn while both on the practice field and during regulation play.

2016 new years resolution

2016 New Years Resolutions: Braces Edition

While it’s hard to believe, 2015 is quickly coming to a close. This is the time of the year when our Seattle orthodontist Dr. Jorge Peralta and his team reflect over the past twelve months and look forward to what’s to come in 2016. We’ve had a great year and have enjoyed seeing many new and familiar faces in our Burien and West Seattle orthodontic offices.

 

The end of the year is when many of us make New Years resolutions to improve and enrich our lives. That’s why we’d like to offer a few possible dental-related New Years resolutions that those of you wearing braces might want to make.

 

Schedule an Appointment with Your Family Dentist

 

Just because you’re seeing a Seattle orthodontist doesn’t mean that you should neglect to see your family dentist. In fact, when you have braces on your teeth, it’s more important than ever to see your dentist regularly for examinations and cleanings. This is because food debris and plaque can become trapped in and around wires and brackets can increase your risk of developing tooth decay and other problems.

 

Cut Back on Sugar

 

Many studies have found that there is a direct link with how much sugar one eats and the amount of tooth decay he/she has. This is why it’s a good idea to make a New Years resolution to cut back on how much sugar you consume. For instance, if you drink sugary soda water, give it up for a healthier option like sugar-free bubbling water. And instead of reaching for candy when you have a sweet tooth, go for something healthier like yogurt or soft fruit.

 

Be Compliant with Your Elastics

 

The elastics on your braces are there to help move your teeth into new positions. Poor compliance in wearing these elastics, like skipping days or not wearing them full-time as prescribed, may result in a longer treatment time and poorer than expected final results. Make a resolution to wear your elastics as directed so your treatment goes along as planned.

 

Make a Commitment to Floss Daily

 

Many people fail to floss their teeth each day, including people wearing braces, because they feel it’s a hassle to floss or that it’s just not necessary. But flossing your teeth is a very important thing you should do every day, especially if you’re wearing braces. Flossing helps remove food particles and plaque from between teeth and in and around your appliances to help you avoid tooth decay. We recommend using a special floss threader that makes flossing your teeth easier.

 

These are just a few suggestions for New Years resolutions that patients wearing braces might wish to make. For those of you who are thinking of seeing an orthodontist in West Seattle or Burien to improve your smile, make 2016 the year you take the big step! Our practice offers orthodontic care to patients of all ages using the most advanced orthodontic treatment options from metal braces for youngsters to Invisalign for teens and adults. Please contact us today to schedule your appointment!

female high school student with braces

Back to School with Braces

It’s hard to believe, but the summer season is fading away and the brand new school year is underway. Returning to school while wearing braces will be a new experience for many of you. The good news is that you’re certainly not alone. Many of our patients’ new school attire includes braces. Our Seattle orthodontist Dr. Jorge Peralta and his staff want all of our school-aged patients wearing braces to make a smooth transition into the classroom! That’s why we’d like to offer up these tips for making that adjustment easier. Ready? Here goes!

 

Take Along a Braces Care Kit

 

It’s a great idea to take along a small “braces care kit” in a zippered pouch that you can keep in your backpack, locker or desk. Include essential items like a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss threader, dental wax, a small mirror and some spare rubber bands if you wear elastics. Then after lunch, you can step into the bathroom and brush and floss your teeth.

 

Pack Braces-Friendly Lunches

 

One of the biggest challenges you face while wearing braces is choosing the right types of foods to eat. If you carry your own lunch to school, make sure you only pack braces-friendly foods. Avoid taking along foods that are difficult to eat and which can damage or break your braces like hard, crunchy, chewy and gooey foods. You can still pack things like fruits and sandwiches as long as you cut these items into bite-sized pieces before eating them. Some good lunch choices include yogurt, cheese, bananas, pasta dishes, soups, salads, mashed potatoes, melon and eggs.

 

Don’t Skip Those Orthodontic Appointments!

 

It’s easy to cancel appointments when you’re busy with school and all the activities that you’re involved with like clubs and sports teams. But you should never skip the appointments you have as they are very important. If you do cancel appointments, your time spent in braces will most likely be prolonged and your treatment may even be compromised. Good planning is key so make sure you always leave time in your schedule to come to all your orthodontic appointments.

 

Emergencies – How to Deal with Them

 

The good news is that it is rare to have a true orthodontic emergency. However, it is possible that something can go wrong like a loose wire that pokes and irritates the inside of your mouth. If this does happen, don’t panic! Just use a blunt instrument like the back of a spoon or a pencil eraser to carefully and gently push the irritating part out of the way. If the irritation continues, place dental wax (or wet cotton) on the wire and then call us as soon as possible for an appointment. If any part of your braces comes off, save it and bring it along with you to your appointment.

 

Take Good Care of Your Retainer

 

If you’re in the retention stage of your treatment and are wearing a retainer, it’s important to wear your retainer as directed and to take good care of it. When your retainer is not in your mouth, it should always be in a retainer case. Most retainers are lost in school lunchrooms as many students wrap them in napkins when eating and throw them in the trash by mistake. Clean your retainer at least once per day using toothbrush and toothpaste. If you lose or break a retainer, call us right away so we can replace it and remember to always bring your retainer to the appointments you have with us.

 

The team at Peralta Orthodontics wishes all of our school-aged patients good luck in the 2015-16 school year! We’re always available to speak with you so if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us during regular office hours.

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Peralta Orthodontics