Category Archives: Orthodontics

mother and daughter smiling

Parents: Tips for Your Child’s First Day in Braces

For a youngster, getting braces on their teeth can seem like the end of the world. Many children worry about how braces are going to affect their appearance. They’re also often concerned about the pain associated with having their braces tightened.

Dr. Peralta and his staff here at Orthodontics of Burien, your leading Seattle, WA orthodontic practice, want our patients to feel good about wearing braces. That’s why we’re offering the following tips to all you parents out there that can help your children become used to wearing braces on their teeth.

Dealing with Soreness and Discomfort

The first few days are the worst as far as soreness and discomfort are concerned. Remind your child that it’s normal for the teeth and mouth to be sore after having braces put on but also remind them that this discomfort only lasts for a few days. We do not want the discomfort of new braces to change your child’s daily life, and we don’t ask that patients change their schedule when they first get their braces. Rather, we recommend patients stay busy to keep their mind off of the discomfort. Your child can take over-the-counter pain medication such as Ibuprofen to help him or her deal with the soreness and discomfort if needed. You can help by preparing soft foods for the first few days. Foods like soups, mashed potatoes, yogurt, scrambled eggs, macaroni & cheese and applesauce are braces-friendly foods your child can enjoy while adjusting to braces.

Orthodontic Wax

You can pick up orthodontic wax at nearly any drugstore. This wax is designed to be placed on brackets and wires that may be causing sore spots on the inside of the mouth. Your child can use as much of this wax as needed. To apply it, just have your child squash the wax between his/her fingers and then press it onto the wire ends or brackets that are bothersome.

Dealing with a Self-Conscious Teen

If your child feels very self-conscious about wearing braces, remind him or her of all the celebrities who wear braces now or who’ve worn them in the past. Some famous faces with braces to mention include Faith Hill, Gwen Stefani, Emma Watson, Tom Cruise and Prince Harry. It also could prove helpful to tell your teen that wearing braces is very common and that most people are not at all judgmental towards people who are in orthodontic treatment.

Remind Your Child of How Great They Will Look When the Braces Come Off

Remind your teen that he/she is going to have a straight and attractive smile when the braces come off at the end of the treatment process. Consider finding some before-and-after photos online or at our website that clearly show just how dramatic a difference braces can make.

If your child is really struggling with his or her personal image after being fitted for braces, see if you can help in another area of his or her appearance. Maybe a new haircut would make your teenager feel better or even a new pair of shoes or shirt. You also can help your child cope with braces by complimenting him or her on other aspects of his/her appearance or by pointing out positive personality traits.

Go to Each Orthodontic Appointment with Your Child

It’s a good idea to go along with your teen when he or she has to visit the orthodontist to have adjustments made. This way you can find out first-hand how the treatment is progressing. You also will be given the opportunity to ask the orthodontist any questions you may have. When you’re present at each orthodontic appointment, you’ll be showing your teen that you support him or her every step of the way on his/her quest for an improved, straight smile!


The Importance of Mouthguards for Those in Orthodontic Treatment

Dr. Peralta and his staff here at your leading Seattle, WA orthodontic office would like to wish all our school-aged patients good luck in the 2013-14 school year! Now that school is back in session and fall sports are being played, we’d like to remind our patients wearing braces and other orthodontic appliances of the importance of wearing mouthguards.

Mouthguards Protect Against Serious Injury

When you wear a mouthguard while playing sports or when partaking in any activity that poses a risk of injury to the face or mouth, it will help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth, injuries to your lips, tongue, face or jaw. A mouthguard is designed to cover your upper teeth and provides protection for the soft tissues of your lips, tongue and insides of your cheeks.

A mouthguard should be a part of your standard sporting equipment. Studies have proven that athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer injuries to the teeth if they’re not wearing a mouthguard. While you may associate the wearing of mouthguards with sports like football and boxing, a mouthguard also should be worn when playing many different sports, including:

  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Rugby
  • Skateboarding
  • Skating
  • Gymnastics

In short, if you are partaking in any activity that carries a risk of you becoming injured in the face due to a fall or blow, you should be wearing a mouthguard. By doing so, you will greatly reduce the risk of serious injury.

A Custom Mouthguard Provides the Ultimate Level of Protection

You can find stock, or ready-to-wear mouthguards, and boil-and-bite mouthguards for sale at many drug stores and sporting good stores. While these two types of mouthguards do provide adequate protection against injury, a custom mouth guard made by our Seattle orthodontist will provide you with the highest level of protection, lowest profile and most precise fit.

When you are wearing braces or another type of orthodontic appliance it is still important to wear a mouthguard. There are special mouthguards available that don’t fit precisely to the teeth in order to accomodate changes in the teeth and bite, but still act as a barrier between your braces/appliance and your cheeks or lips to limit the risk of soft tissue injuries.

If you or your child is in need of a mouthguard, please contact our Seattle orthodontist office so we can help you choose the right mouthguard that will provide you with the best level of protection!


Why Your Retainers Are So Important

Dr. Peralta and his team at our Seattle orthodontic office are always pleased when our patients are getting their braces removed as it’s an exciting day for both the patient and us! However, just because you’re no longer wearing braces doesn’t mean that your orthodontic treatment is complete. In order to maintain your straight and beautiful new smile, your retainer must be worn consistently as it holds your teeth in place while your gums, ligaments and bones adapt to their new positions.

Why You Should Wear Your Retainer Consistently as Instructed

When you get your braces removed, your teeth will try to return to the original positions. This is why it’s an absolute ‘must’ that you wear your retainer as instructed by Dr. Peralta. You will most likely have to wear your retainer full time for six months after you get your braces off to ensure that your teeth get used to being in their new positions. This means you should wear it all day and all night, even to sleep. Otherwise, your teeth will simply move back into the positions they were in before you had braces put on, which means all of your orthodontic treatment will have been in vain, not to mention the cost you’ve paid for your braces!

Use Your Case!

On the day your braces are removed, we’ll instruct you to wear your retainer full time and will tell you that you should take your retainer out when eating. Remember to put it in the case when it’s not in your mouth as it’s very easy to lose a retainer in a school lunchroom or restaurant. Keeping your retainer in the case when you’re eating will also help ensure that your retainer doesn’t become damaged or even chewed on by your pet as dogs tend to enjoy chomping on retainers!

Most of our patients are instructed to wear their retainers full time, day and night for six months and then only at night for the rest of their lives. While wearing your retainer for the rest of your life may sound extreme, it’s important because as you age your teeth could slowly shift back into the positions they were in before your braces were put on.

We want you to be just as happy and proud about your straight new smile years from now as you were the day you got your braces removed! It will become second nature for you to wear your retainer regularly and by doing so, you’ll be able to maintain your amazing new smile for the rest of your life!