Category Archives: Braces

man in jaw pain

Can Braces Help with TMJ?

Jaw pain, stiffness, headaches and popping noises all characterize disorders of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the jaw joint just in front of the ears. While our West Seattle and Burien orthodontist is best known for helping people achieve beautiful healthy smiles, we also help with other issues such as TMJ disorders. Orthodontics is one of the best ways to treat this issue.


What Is a TMJ Disorder?


The TMJ is a surprisingly complex joint and connects to many muscles and nerves in your face. Problems can be caused by misalignment of the upper and lower teeth. An improper bite can cause strain on the TMJ, resulting in pain that radiates throughout the face. This disorder can increase the likelihood of teeth grinding, jaw injuries and arthritis.


Using Braces as Treatment


In many cases, TMJ disorders can be effectively treated by using braces or other orthodontic treatments to realign the bite. The braces move the teeth back into their proper position. If necessary, additional hardware can be used to improve the jaw’s alignment. As the teeth and bite line up more properly, the TMJ disorder will gradually diminish.


Some other treatments include stress reduction and muscle stimulation to reduce tension on the joint, another common cause of the issue. In serious cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the joint.


Learn More at Peralta Orthodontics


Visit our premier orthodontic practice in West Seattle or Burien for a free consultation if you’re in pain from TMJ. Our experienced team is ready to help you with your smile, TMJ pain, or any other orthodontic problem you may be struggling with. Schedule an appointment today to learn more about your treatment options!

Which Braces Are Best for an Overbite?

If you or your child have an overbite, chances are you’ve considered braces, had braces already, or have been recommended braces by a dentist. Overbites occur when the upper teeth in the mouth protrude over the bottom row of teeth. They are quite common, contributing to roughly 70% of dental-related problems. Luckily, braces are often a viable orthodontic treatment option.


Types of Overbites

Not all overbites are created equal. The type of braces one would need depends on the type of overbite one has and how severe it is. If you have a vertical overbite, it means that your top teeth overlap the bottom teeth, often significantly. A horizontal overbite means that your top teeth simply protrude further than the bottom ones. Some patients have both types of overbites, which may be caused either by the teeth themselves or by bone structure.


The Best Braces for Overbites

Traditional braces are the most common treatment option for overbites of any kind. The two-stage process begins with metal brackets that fasten to the teeth and are connected via metal wires. These brackets help to straighten the teeth, which then allows the orthodontist to repair the overbite. Step two of traditional braces requires the addition of rubber coils and springs, which slowly shifts everything permanently into place.


Some people, especially teenagers, prefer invisible braces since they are less conspicuous. Unfortunately, Invisalign and other clear aligners are not an option for people who have severe overbites.


Before & After Results

Here is one example of adult overbite treatment provided by our Burien and West Seattle orthodontist, Dr. Jorge Peralta:


Image of overbite in adult woman before orthodontic treatment


Results of overbite orthodontic treament on adult woman


Seeking Treatment for an Overbite

An orthodontist in West Seattle can check your overbite symptoms to determine how severe the problem is. From there, he or she can help you decide on the best treatment options and walk you through the next steps. Always work with a reputable, licensed orthodontist who the schooling and experience to best help you. If you live in the greater Seattle area and are looking for more information on how orthodontics can help address an overbite, give our Burien or West Seattle orthodontic offices a call to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Peralta!

Floss Like a Boss: Tips for Beating Plaque with Braces

As your Burien and West Seattle orthodontist, Peralta Orthodontics wants you to be prepared for the adjustments to your diet and oral hygiene that come with braces. Due to their construction, traditional braces can make flossing and brushing with standard tools difficult. The key to navigating oral hygiene with orthodontics is knowing which alternative tools are going to work best with your braces.


Types of Braces and Impact on Hygiene

The first thing to remember is that the type of braces or aligners you have will affect the choices you have for oral hygiene. If you’re using a system like Invisalign, you will have removable trays and you can simply take them out, clean them separately, and then brush and floss like usual. It’s traditional bracket braces with the metal wire that require the most special care.


Flossing Tools for Wire Braces

Try out these alternatives to traditional floss and reach between your teeth like you did prior to getting braces.


  • Floss threaders
  • Soft-picks
  • Water or air-picks (flossers)

Each of these alternatives has one thing in common with the others: they avoid the loop that makes it impossible for traditional flossing methods to be effective when you have braces.


Toothbrush Options for People With Braces

There are two options for toothbrushes that will allow you to enjoy the same thorough clean after orthodontics are installed that you enjoyed before. One is the interproximal brush, which has a triangular head and is better designed to reach difficult spots. The other option that works very well for many patients is an electric toothbrush with an ortho head that makes it easier to reach around and through the braces. Luckily, both options are widely available.


Get Help With All Your Orthodontic Needs

If you’re looking for an orthodontist in West Seattle, schedule a consultation today to learn more about your options. All you need to do is contact us.

Holiday Oral Health: Braces Edition

The holiday season brings with it tidings of good cheer, heaping amounts of delicious foods, and candied treats. While there is nothing wrong with a person who has braces to partake in the good cheer or to enjoy a feast or two, when that person indulges in candied treats, it could put their teeth at risk. If you have braces, you can protect your mouth and your investment by following these few simple oral health tips, braces edition.


Avoid Candied Treats and Sticky Snacks


It seems as if everywhere you look during the holidays there’s a candied or caramelized something to tempt even the most strong-willed individual. Even the yams are candied! Avoid temptation and refrain from eating anything that is sticky, hard, chewy or crunchy. Your braces, along with their brackets, bands and wires, will thank you.


If You Must Indulge, Indulge Wisely


Here at our West Seattle orthodontic office, we understand that even the most resolute patients give into their sweet tooth every once in a while. If you find yourself unable to resist a sweet treat, at least make it a sweet treat that won’t pull out your wires and brackets, and that will wash away with a swig of water. Stick with peppermint patties, soft chocolates, peanut butter cups and other candies that can melt in your mouth.


Step Up Your Brushing and Flossing Game


You should be vigilant about brushing and flossing regardless of the time of year, but during the holidays, consider adding one more brushing and flossing regime to your daily schedule. Take extra care to get around all of your brackets and wires, giving extra attention to areas where your braces attach to your teeth.


Have a Travel Kit at the Ready


It is not uncommon for families to go on vacation or to take a stay-cation during the holiday season. Whether you plan on going skiing in the Rockies or staying at Grandma’s house for the holiday weekend, make sure you take your braces kit with you. This kit should include a toothbrush, floss, wax, mouthwash and elastics.


These are just a few tips to keep your smile healthy and dazzling during the season! If you have any questions or have a braces emergency, contact our Burien and West Seattle orthodontic offices for information or assistance.

Braces & Fall Sports – 4 Important Safety Tips

If you have kids, you understand that the arrival of fall does not just mean back to school – it also means the start of school sports and activities. Football, soccer, field hockey and other fall sports teams have all already begun practicing in preparation for that first big game, which is exciting but nerve wracking at the same time. After all, most fall sports involve contact, and a lot of it. If you’re your child is currently in orthodontic treatment or recently got braces off, you might be tempted to discourage your child from participating in sports. That doesn’t have to be the solution. If your child continues to play, make sure they abide by these four safety tips from our orthodontist in Burien Dr. Jorge Peralta:


  1. Wear a Mouthguard: A mouthguard is your child’s number one protection from impact and is the most effective way to prevent injuries to the face, mouth and teeth. Ask your West Seattle orthodontist to have a properly-fitted athletic mouthguard made for your child’s teeth.


  1. Play With Caution: While this tidbit of advice is bound to go in one ear and out the other, it is still worth mentioning. Encourage your child to only engage in rough play if absolutely necessary, and to use his or her wits over brute strength when possible.


  1. Wear Other Protective Gear: If allowed by the league, have your child wear a mouthguard, helmet and/or safety glasses.


  1. Be Prepared for Emergencies: If you cannot prevent emergencies, you can at least plan for them. Our Orthodontist in Burien offers 24/7 emergency services for our patients. If your child does sustain serious injury to his or her teeth or jaw during a sporting event, you can count on our orthodontic team to do what is necessary to prevent further damage and repair his or her smile to look like new.

Schedule An Orthodontic Appointment In Burien or West Seattle Seattle Today


If your child has braces and plays sports, make sure that he or she takes measures to protect the smile we’re work hard to achieve. If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment with our orthodontist in West Seattle or Burien, give us a call today about additional precautions that may help.

What Kind of Toothbrush Should I Use With Braces?

Once your West Seattle orthodontist puts braces on your teeth, you’ll be well on your way toward the straight and healthy smile you deserve! While it does take a little time to adjust to having braces, before long, you’ll be completely used to wearing those appliances on your teeth.

Importance of Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene is super important when you’re wearing braces because there are many tight spaces around your bands, brackets, and wires that can trap food and plaque. This means you’ll need to arm yourself with the best teeth cleaning tools you can find. The most important item to have in your arsenal of plaque-fighting tools is a good quality toothbrush. If you’re wondering what type of toothbrush is best to use with braces, we’ve put together the following information that should help!

Electric or Manual: It’s Up to You

You can use either a regular manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush to clean your teeth and braces, it’s up to you! If you decide to go the electric route, make sure to choose a brush head with soft bristles. When brushing your teeth, use a moderate setting and don’t allow the back of the brush to vibrate against your braces, to prevent damaging your appliances. If you’re going to use a regular brush it’s best to use a brush that has bi-level bristles that will easily get into all those small spaces around your braces.

A Proxabrush Can Reach Hard-to-Reach Areas

To make sure that you get into all those hard-to-reach areas like around the bands on your back teeth and up and under the archwire, pick up a proxabrush at your local pharmacy. This is a small spiral-shaped brush that’s sometimes called an ‘interproximal brush’ that does an excellent job of removing bits of food and plaque from tight spaces.


In a nutshell, it’s important to choose a soft-bristled toothbrush that’s easy to hold and manipulate. When shopping for a toothbrush, choose one that carries the ADA seal of approval to ensure it’s deemed safe and effective to use. If you have any questions or need help picking out a toothbrush, contact us and we’ll help!

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!