Category Archives: Braces

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



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.

elastics for dental braces

You & Your Fantastic Elastics

If you’re like most people, nothing about stringing your mouth up with rubber bands should feel natural. Moreover, while it is easy to understand the work that the metallic brackets and wires of your braces are doing, it is a bit less obvious what the elastics that you’re given are meant to accomplish alongside them. Until now, that is…


Elastics are the tiny rubber bands that are attached to your braces to assist with coordinating the upper and lower arches. They are designed to exert force that creates the right amount of pressure to move teeth in the directions that braces cannot achieve alone. Consequently, if you neglect to wear your elastics as directed your treatment time will be extended, which means you’ll be wearing braces longer than you expected.


Unless you are told otherwise, you should wear your elastics 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can remove them when eating and when brushing or flossing your teeth. However, they must be replaced immediately afterward because, as mentioned, elastics only work when they’re worn as directed.


Dr. Peralta will provide you with many elastics because they are designed to be replaced at least three times a day. This is because elastics stretch out with use and lose their strength. You should always carry extra elastics with you in case they break or get lost.


To ensure that your treatment moves along as expected, be sure to:


  • Always wear your elastics as directed.
  • Remove your elastics only when eating and cleaning your teeth; then replace them immediately after.
  • Always carry extra elastics with you, so if one breaks or gets lost you can replace it right away.
  • Be sure to change your elastics as instructed, as these small rubber bands quickly lose their elasticity, causing them to no longer exert the right amount of pressure required for moving teeth.

Orthodontics is a two-way street (so to speak), which means it takes effort from both your orthodontist and you to make treatment successful. Wearing elastics as directed is one of your responsibilities, and if you adhere to it your time with braces will proceed much more smoothly and result in a healthier occlusion.


If you have any questions about wearing your elastics, contact Orthodontics of Burien at our Seattle office. We are always happy to speak with you!

80s braces on katy perry

Braces Now vs. 30 Years Ago: What’s The Difference?

We meet people every day who had braces when they were younger, and due to various reasons, are now getting braces again as an adult. After seeing examples of braces used today, we often hear, “braces have changed so much!”  The pictures below illustrate the differences between the types of braces used in the 1980s and those used today.


From this:

Braces in 1980s


To this!

clarity clear braces


The braces that Dr. Peralta uses are less visible because they are made of a “clear”, ceramic material and are significantly smaller in size. Because of their smaller size, they are also more comfortable because the mouth does not need to adapt to as much foreign material.


The advanced materials used today allow the braces to move the teeth more quickly and precisely than they did 30 years ago. After the removal of the braces/bands in the 1980s, it would take additional time for the gaps between the teeth to close. It is for this reason that today’s braces allow for more precise final results!


If you’re an adult who has questions about braces or would like more information on how our Seattle orthodontist can help you, give our office a call and we will be happy to help you out!

boy with braces biting an apple

Loose Brackets: What To Do

Our Seattle WA orthodontist Dr. Jorge Peralta and his staff believe that successful treatment and great results happen when our patients are educated about orthodontics and know what to expect during treatment. When you first had your braces put on, we talked to you about taking care of your braces so that you can go through treatment without any problems. However, it is possible that a bracket can loosen.


The brackets are the metal or ceramic pieces that are attached to each tooth with a resin material. If a bracket loosens, it may poke into your gums, tongue or cheek causing some discomfort.


To alleviate any discomfort you may feel, we recommend putting a small ball-shaped piece of orthodontic wax over the irritating part to keep the bracket from moving so that your discomfort is alleviated.


Schedule A Repair Appointment


A loose bracket is typically not an emergency so it is perfectly fine to wait until the next available business day to call us for a repair appointment. If the loose bracket comes out of your mouth, please save it and bring it with you when you come in for your appointment. In most cases, we do not charge our patients for broken bracket repairs so you typically don’t have to worry that the repair will cost you money. It is important to call and notify us of the broken bracket so we can determine if a special repair appointment is necessary.


Why Brackets Loosen


Usually, the reason a bracket loosens is because the patient ate something hard, sticky, crunchy or chewy. This is why it’s so important to steer clear of these types of foods while you’re wearing braces. Brackets also can loosen due to a blow to the mouth or face. This is why we urge all our patients wearing braces to use a protective mouthguard while playing sports or when participating in any activity that runs a risk of injury to the head, face or mouth.


We are always available to speak with you so please do not hesitate to contact us during regular office hours with any questions you may have!