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Orthodontic problems as a whole are described as “malocclusion.” Orthodontic problems can be more than just unattractive, they can lead to tooth damage, make it hard to clean your teeth, and make it hard for you to chew.

This page contains a basic description of some of the most common orthodontic problems, but the best way to find out if you have an orthodontic problem is with an in-person consultation and evaluation. Our Burien and West Seattle orthodontist Dr. Jorge Peralta offers quality care to children and adults throughout Seattle, Burien and the surrounding communities. Our team specializes in advanced treatment options including 3M Aligners and clear braces to correct the different orthodontic problems described below. To schedule your appointment please call
(206) 244-7800 or request an appointment online!

These are actual patients treated by Dr. Peralta.

Crowded Teeth

When there is not enough space for all of the teeth to normally fit in the jaw, crowding can occur. Some teeth will push either forward or backward to make room. This can make it hard to clean some teeth, resulting in decay on their obscured surfaces. It can also cause some teeth to experience more wear than others. Often times this can be corrected using expansion, avoiding tooth removal.

Spaced Teeth

Spaced teeth occur when there seems to be too much room in the jaw for your teeth. Large gaps appear between your teeth. This can be caused by many different factors, such as missing lateral incisors or other teeth and smaller than average teeth. This can be unattractive and it may allow food to get stuck between your teeth.

Deep Overbite

Overbite occurs when your upper teeth overlap more than half of you lower teeth when you bite down. Deep overbite can make it hard to chew and may result in damage to your teeth or gums as your lower teeth can strike the back of upper teeth or your gums.

Protruding Teeth

Most common in the upper jaw, this is when your teeth point outward to a significant degree. Protruding teeth are more likely to get damaged from sports or falls and do not properly restrict the growth of the lower jaw.


Underbite occurs when your lower jaw protrudes past your upper jaw. This can cause serious jaw problems, as well as wear and tear on the tooth enamel.


Crossbite is when some of your upper teeth fit inside the teeth of the lower arch, while others fit outside. For example, if your upper molars are inside your lower molars, but your upper incisors are outside the lower incisors. This can make it hard to chew, and can result in increased wear and damage on the teeth where the crossover occurs.

Open Bite

An open bite occurs when your teeth don’t meet when you bite down. This can make it difficult to chew and lead to excessive wear and even damage on the teeth that do meet.

Midline Mismatch

This is when the center line of your upper and lower jaws do not coincide. This may be a result of jaw displacement, which means it may be part of significant jaw problems, or it may be just a cosmetic problem.

Phase I

Phase I, or interceptive orthodontic treatment, starts at a young age to help developmental dental and jaw issues. Not only will it save your child from the problems becoming more serious, but it will also save you money later in life.

Non-Braces Treatment

Often times improvement in tooth alignment is possible without the use of braces. Our Seattle Orthodontist will be able to determine if you are a candidate for this treatment.


Comprehensive Orthodontics in Seattle, WA!

At Peralta Orthodontics we provide our Burien and West Seattle, WA patients of all ages with a wide range of orthodontic services. Ranging from early interceptive treatment to dentofacial orthopedics, Dr. Peralta and his skilled team use a variety of state-of-the-art orthodontic techniques and procedures to provide you comfort and confidence in your smile. Learn more about the treatments we offer below.

Early Interceptive TX

Beginning as early as age 6 or 7, early interceptive treatment allows your child to stay ahead of and solve potential orthodontic issues they may encounter in their teen years. At this age, the teeth are still developing, the jaw is still growing, and permanent teeth have yet to come in. It can be beneficial to begin orthodontic treatment during this time as we can help the teeth to erupt through the gums into better positions, preventing conditions like crowding. Furthermore, early intervention can be useful to expand your child’s dental arch and jaw to further make room for permanent teeth. In our opinion, early orthodontic care can provide a huge advantage for the future of your child’s oral health, as it has many benefits including:

  • Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
  • Creating facial symmetry by influencing jaw growth
  • Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
  • Preserving space of un-erupted teeth
  • Reducing the need for tooth removal
  • Reducing treatment time with braces
  • Preventing malocclusions (bad bites)

During your child’s first visit we will create a specialized treatment plan to fit his/her specific needs. The earlier you can bring your child into our office the better!Although more orthodontics may be needed later on, starting care early may shorten and simplify future treatments.

Two-Phase Tx

By incorporating tooth straightening and physical, facial changes, two-phase treatment maximizes your opportunity to achieve the most ideal, healthy, aesthetic orthodontic result. Throughout the first phase, we will concentrate on building a foundation for a beautiful smile through developing your jaw size to accommodate all of your permanent teeth and to align your upper and lower jaws to each other. Following the first phase, we will allow the remaining permanent teeth the freedom to erupt in the resting period. A successful first phase will have allowed room for your permanent teeth to come through in the correct path naturally.
The second phase of treatment focuses on making sure that each tooth is guided towards its correct and final position in the mouth. This phase usually employs braces, followed by retainers, to make sure that all of your teeth end up in their exact place to ensure you straight, healthy teeth that will last a lifetime!

Ortho Tx for Adults

Orthodontic Treatment can have benefits for all ages; orthodontics is not just for young kids and adolescents! Our Seattle orthodontist offers a variety of treatments for adults who are seeking to improve their smiles now and in the future. Adult orthodontic treatment has the ability to not only improve the appearance of your smile, but it can also enhance the overall health of your teeth and gums and raise your self-esteem. Seeking orthodontic care as an adult can help prevent you from encountering problems later in life such as:

  • Severe tooth decay
  • Gum and bone loss
  • TMJ/TMD pain
  • Worn dentition

To maximize your comfort and confidence, at Peralta Orthodontics we offer our adult patients many discreet treatment options including clear ceramic braces and 3M Aligners. These aesthetically pleasing braces options allow you the same efficiency and strength of traditional braces without a mouth full of metal! We also focus on timely treatment plans so that you will be out of your braces as soon as possible.

Ortho Tx for Teens

We offer the same discreet and timely treatment options for our adolescent patients as we do for our adult patients. As the mouth and jaw develop further during the teen years, it is important to monitor tooth movement and placement. With our teen orthodontic patients, we focus on taking advantage of this growth and aim to create a balanced facial profile as our patients enter young adulthood. Treatments for our teen patients include metal braces, clear braces, 3M Aligners for Teens and more.

Orthognathic Surgery

Orthognathic surgery, otherwise known as corrective jaw surgery, is performed to correct a wide range of major and minor dental and skeletal issues, including jaw misalignment. Dr. Peralta will use the following indicators to determine if you are a candidate for corrective jaw surgery:

  • Difficulty chewing or biting food
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chronic pain stemming from the jaw, jaw joint, or head
  • Excessive wear of the teeth
  • Large open bite, or a space between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed
  • Unbalanced facial appearance
  • Facial injury
  • Receding lower jaw or chin
  • Protruding jaw
  • Difficulty making the lips meet without strain
  • Chronic mouth breathing
  • Sleep apnea

Although surgery can be intimidating, orthognathic surgery can be necessary (and well worth it) as it improves basic living necessities such as chewing, speaking, and breathing.


Temporary anchorage devices (TADs) are miniature, titanium screws that are positioned in the mouth to serve as an anchor for moving specific teeth in a controlled and predictable way. Eliminating cumbersome appliances, such as headgear, allows certain orthodontic cases to be treated that were nearly impossible before. The anchorage device, removed within a few months, assists in tooth movement to help your teeth position themselves into the correct locations in your mouth. TADs are strong, comfortable devices that can allow Dr. Peralta to move your teeth in a quicker, more efficient way.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when someone stops breathing repeatedly during sleep due to his/her throat muscles relaxing and blockingthe airway. Signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Snoring
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Impaired intellectual function
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Poor workplace performance

So, you may be wondering, how can orthodontics help me with something that happens in my sleep? With the use of safe and effective surgery, our Seattle orthodontist can help you breath easier and get a better night’s rest.

Dentofacial Orthopedics

Dentofacial orthopedics consists of normalizing the growth of your bone structure to repair any imbalances in your face and jaw. The maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw) affect the profile of the face. An upper jaw that is deficient or a lower jaw that is excessive gives the appearance of an underbite or sunken in midface. A lower jaw that is deficient or an upper jaw that is excessive gives the appearance of a soft or weak chin. The teeth within the jaws support the soft tissue as well and thus, also affect facial appearance. If teeth are set too forward in the face the lips may look too protruded or full, if the teeth are angled back too far the face may appear sunken in.
Dentofacial orthopedics is a manipulation of the jaws with growth or surgery, as well as manipulating the position and angulation of the teeth to achieve a harmonious, esthetically pleasing and natural result.

If you wish to speak with us further about your orthodontic treatment options, our team would love to see you in our office for a free first visit! To schedule your complimentary consultation with your orthodontist in the West Seattle and Burien, WA areas, give us a call at (206) 244-7800 today. We look forward to speaking with you soon!


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Orthodontic Solutions From Your Burien & West Seattle Orthodontist

At Peralta Orthodontics, we can assure you that Dr. Peralta and his amazing team can provide you with the necessary orthodontic treatment to help achieve that timeless, beautiful smile you have always wanted. For years, Dr. Peralta has been providing care to Burien and the greater Seattle, WA area using a variety of proven techniques and technologically advanced orthodontic appliances to give patients an efficient and highly effective treatment. Because Dr. Peralta offers an assortment of braces and orthodontic appliances, we are able to provide our patients with a treatment plan customized to their goals specific and orthodontic needs. Learn more about the types of braces and appliances that we use here at Peralta Orthodontics!

3M Aligners

3M Clarity Aligners gradually move your teeth – but without any metal wires or braces. 3M offers a series of removable, nearly invisible plastic trays designed to help guide your teeth into the ideal position and get the beautiful, healthy smile you want.


As the most common type of braces, metal braces are very strong and can treat the most severe cases because they consist of high-grade stainless steel brackets that are bonded to the teeth with a wire running through each bracket. Today’s metal braces are smaller, more comfortable and can be a variety of different colors according to your particular preferences.

Clear/Ceramic Braces

Clear braces are made of a translucent, ceramic material and are a great aesthetic alternative for those who do not want their braces to show as much, yet still desire the efficiency of traditional braces. These braces are quite popular among our adult patients due to their cosmetic appeal.

Palatal expander

To expand or widen your upper jaw, the palatal expander applies a gentle pressure on your palatal suture to create expansion. Dr. Peralta will instruct you on how and when to adjust your expander.

Lingual arch

A lingual arch helps keep teeth stay in their correct position, so incoming teeth can move into their correct position without any problem. Lingual arches also help to shift molars and alleviate lower crowding.

Habit appliance

As the name implies, habit appliances help patients break their habits, such as thumb sucking. Habit appliances are essential because thumb sucking habits can have long term effects on the alignment of the teeth.


After your orthodontic treatment is over, you will receive a retainer to hold your teeth in their new, correct positions. Your retainer will either be removable or fixed, per Dr. Peralta’s request. Retainers are meant to prevent relapse, so please wear your retainer as directed.

If you are considering braces or orthodontic appliances, Dr. Peralta and his team would love to see you for a complimentary first visit. Our office locations in Burien and West Seattle, WA also provide orthodontic care to surrounding communities within the greater Seattle, WA area. To schedule an appointment, please contact us at (206) 244-7800. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Expert Advice & Information from our Seattle Orthodontist

Here at our Peralta Orthodontics, we believe that successful treatment and great results are the product of open communication, patient education and comfort during treatment. That is why we want to make sure that you are fully prepared for your experience with braces and know how to approach certain situations while wearing them. Below, our Seattle, WA orthodontist Dr. Jorge Peralta has outlined certain instructions that pertain to different aspects of your daily life and guidelines to follow while you are wearing braces. Please feel free to contact us if we have not answered your question below!

Eating with Braces

What can you eat? Let’s talk about what you shouldn’t eat! For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Before long, you’ll be able to bite a cucumber again. But you’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces.

  • Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips
  • Sticky foods: caramels, gum
  • Hard foods: nuts, candy
  • Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots
  • Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.

General Soreness

When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. This pain can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and rinse your mouth vigorously. You can also put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how when you get your braces on!

Loosening of Teeth

This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don’t worry! It’s normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new, corrected positions.

Loose Wire Tie or Elastic

Don’t be alarmed if a wire tie or elastic comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire protrudes and is irritating:

  • Use a blunt instrument (the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) and carefully,gently push the irritating wire tie under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way.
  • If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance.
  • Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.

Care of Appliances

To successfully complete your treatment plan, as our patient you must work together with Dr. Peralta. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands or other appliances that our Seattle orthodontist prescribes. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.

Brushing and Dental Cleaning

It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces so the teeth and gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment.
It’s important that you visit your dentist and receive a cleaning every 6 months, as these appointments are essential to good oral hygiene. We offer to help coordinate removal of the braces arch wires for cleanings


If you play sports, it’s very important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, call our office at once for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.


After your braces come off, orthodontic treatment is not necessarily complete. In order to maintain your beautiful, straight smile, retainers must be worn to hold your teeth in place while the gums, ligaments and bones adapt to their new positions. Your teeth will always try to return back home, so it is very important that you wear your retainers according to the specific recommendations of Dr. Peralta:

  • Wear your retainers full time (unless eating or drinking something other than water), until Dr. Peralta instructs otherwise.
  • When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. (Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants and pets love to chew on them .)
  • Clean your retainers thoroughly, yet delicately, at least once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. If brushing is not possible, rinse your retainers with water when removing them from your mouth.
    Retainer Brite or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used, but do not take the place of brushing.Make sure you do not use denture cleaner on your retainers.
  • Remove retainers when swimming.
  • Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, curling irons and napkins.
  • Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to them faster.
  • Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them your
  • Always bring your retainers to your appointments.

Start Your Journey To A New Smile Today!

If you are considering orthodontic treatment for yourself or your child, you have come to the right place! Dr. Peralta has treated thousands of children, teens and adults throughout the greater Seattle, WA area and has the experience and expertise to deliver fantastic results. Whether you are interested in braces, 3M Aligners or 3M Aligners for Teens, we invite you to schedule an appointment with us using our online form or by giving our office a call. If you have any questions, one of our team members will be happy to assist you. We look forward to guiding you and your family toward healthy, beautiful smiles!

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