Back To School With Braces

It seems like we blinked, and summer was over! Although there’s technically another few weeks until the first official day of fall, school is back in session, which means we’ll be putting our sandals and shorts away before you know it. But before we drag our jackets out of the closet and start getting ready for Christmas (we only have another 100+ days….), this is the perfect time to discuss proper dental care during the school day with our patients who are in braces. This is an especially important overview for children who are returning to school for the first time since starting orthodontic treatment. Wearing braces at school doesn’t have to be difficult, but like any other new adventure, it comes with its own set of learning curves. Dr. Lee wants to help your child get through the first days of school smiling, so keep reading below for a few of our favorite tips on transitioning from summer to school with no stress!

Stay prepared

We always recommend that students in braces keep a basic care kit in their purse, backpack, or locker. This goes double for those who haven’t been wearing them for very long. Having a few common items close to hand can help prepare your child for any braces-related dilemma that might pop up during the school day. Some things they may want to include are:

  • a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • fluoride toothpaste
  • dental floss
  • orthodontic wax
  • lip balm
  • an unsharpened pencil

These items can be useful in a number of ways. Because brackets and wires have a tendency to trap food particles, we encourage brushing after lunch, with a quick floss added if needed, and if your child has the time. It’s not uncommon for the lips, gums, and cheeks to feel mild irritation from time to time, and orthodontic wax is an excellent way to reduce that and find some relief. All it takes is a pea-sized amount placed over the area causing problems. For wires that have strayed and are poking into the cheeks, the eraser end of a pencil can be used to nudge them back into place. Last but not least, lip balm is a must-have for lips that are dry and irritated due to braces-wearing.

Dr. Lee working with a patient

Stay smart

Whether your child is at school, at home, or anywhere in between, all the same rules for braces care to remain the same, particularly when it comes to food restrictions. This can be one of the biggest challenges your child will face while undergoing orthodontic treatment, and school can make it even harder for kids to choose lunches and snacks that are braces-friendly. It’s usually easy enough to manage this at home where you can keep your child away from any foods that are too crunchy or chewy, but it may be a bit more difficult if your child normally buys school lunches or uses a vending machine for snacks.

In order to keep your child’s orthodontic treatment progressing as it should, make it a habit to check the school’s lunch menu every week for options that are safe for braces. This includes things like lean meat, mashed potatoes, spaghetti, mac and cheese, and cooked vegetables. If the choices tend to be limited, packing a lunch can sometimes make things easier for both of you! Try packing pasta, soups, and other soft options into a Thermos, or cut a sandwich into smaller bites the night before. All of these will make eating and chewing easier for students in braces. Don’t forget the snacks! Healthy options such as applesauce and yogurt can be a great addition to your child’s lunch bag, and will help keep them feeling full and satisfied throughout the school day, as well as being gentle on braces.

Food isn’t the only important consideration at lunchtime. What your child chooses to drink at school can also affect their braces! Staying hydrated is always a priority, but drinking water is also a really easy way to keep food particles from sticking to the teeth and braces. Drinking from a water bottle throughout the day will keep your child’s thirst quenched and teeth clean. We encourage our patients to stick to plain water instead of soda, fruit juices, or other sugary drinks, as these can stain teeth and increase the risk for cavities. For the occasional sweet drink, kids should use a straw to keep the sugar as far away from their teeth as possible. 

Stay safe

If you have a student-athlete on your hands, or a child who still has regular P.E. or gym class, we recommend an orthodontic mouthguard. Most people tend to think of sports like football and hockey as the most dangerous to the teeth, but almost half of all sports-related mouth injuries actually occur in basketball and baseball. A properly fitted orthodontic mouthguard is designed to be worn with braces, and is the easiest way to protect your child’s mouth from injury (and their braces from being damaged) if they are tackled, elbowed, or if they fall down. These mouthguards, as well as non-orthodontic models, are generally available at most major sporting goods stores. Dr. Lee is also happy to recommend or order one for your child, if you’d prefer to go through our office instead.

Dr. Lees staff talking with a patient

Dr. Jared Lee will send your child back to school with a smile on their face

For kids who are going back to school with new braces, it’s not uncommon to feel nervous or anxious about what to expect. Even patients who have been in braces for a while might struggle with feeling slightly more stressed than usual about going back to school! The good news is, it really doesn’t take long for life with braces to become just another part of your child’s daily routine. We’re here to help make your child’s orthodontic journey as rewarding and exciting as possible! If either of you have any questions or concerns about how to navigate the new school year while wearing braces, please get in touch with us and we’ll do all we can to set your minds at ease. We wish you and your child a wonderful start to the new school year, and look forward to seeing their straight-A smile soon!

The History of Braces

Orthodontics might seem ultra modern, but they have been around just as long as the pyramids of Ancient Egypt. Orthodontics gradually developed into the sophisticated practice it is today with the help of varied devices and techniques. It is not surprising that the history of orthodontics goes back thousands of years as poorly aligned teeth and jaws have always affected our ability to chew and speak. Dr. Lee and 805 Orthodontics are proud to carry on the tradition of perfecting straight and healthy smiles!

Ancient Orthodontics

Crooked teeth in human remains have been found by archaeologists that date back 50,000 years. Something very similar to what orthodontists use today to correct misaligned teeth has been found in Egyptian mummies. Many of the mummies had crude metal bands around their teeth similar to today’s orthodontic wire, and archaeologists believed that catgut, a type of cord made from the natural fibers of an animal’s intestines, was tied to these bands to provide the pressure needed to close gaps in the teeth and mouth. Even Cleopatra wore a pair!

Other Ancient people, including the Greeks, the Etruscans, and the Romans, also practiced orthodontia. Etruscan women used gold bands to to maintain space and prevent collapse of the teeth during the afterlife. The first known description of tooth irregularities was written down by the Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates around 400 B.C. Both Hippocrates and Aristotle contemplated ways to straighten teeth and fix various dental conditions. 400 years later a Roman writer named Celsus recommended bringing newly emerged teeth into their proper position by regularly pushing them with your fingers. Around the same time another Roman named Pliny the Elder, advised filing elongated teeth to size. Roman tombs have been found with a number of teeth bound with gold wire documented as a ligature wire, a small elastic wire that is used to affix the arch wire to the bracket. Little research was carried out on dental braces until around the 17th century due to lack of evidence, poor preservation of bodies, and primitive technology.

teeth mold

The 17th and 18th Centuries

Around the beginning of the 17th century Matthaeus Gottfried Purmann reported using wax to take dental impressions. Then Phillip Pfaff began to use plaster of Paris in 1756.

Progress in orthodontics stalled until the 18th century,when a surge in development of dental techniques began to take place. Pierre Fauchard is considered the Father of Dentistry. In 1728 he published a book on the methods of straightening teeth entitled The Surgeon Dentist. He invented an appliance called bandeau: a horseshoe-shaped strip of metal that contained regularly spaced holes to fit around the teeth and correct their alignment. Fauchard operated on patients with a set of forceps called a pelican. He would forcibly realign teeth and tie them to the neighboring teeth to hold them in place while they healed.

In 1754, the dentist to the King of France, Louis Bourdet, followed Fauchard’s book with his own entitled The Dentist’s Art, and dedicated a chapter to tooth alignment and application. He perfected the bandeau, and was the first dentist on record to recommend extraction of the premolar teeth to alleviate crowding and improve jaw growth. A few years later, Christophe-François Delabarre introduced the wire crib, which marked the birth of contemporary orthodontics. He tried to separate overcrowded teeth by inserting swelling threads or wooden wedges between each space.

Orthodontics in the United States

Although teeth and palate straightening had been practiced since early times, orthodontics, as a science of its own, did not really exist until the mid-19th century. Several important dentists helped to advance dental braces with specific instruments and tools that allowed braces to be improved, and most of these significant contributions began in the United States. In 1822, J.S. Gunnell invented the occipital anchorage, a form of headgear that fastened to the jaw from the outside of the mouth to exert gentle pressure on the teeth. In 1840, Chapin A. Harris published the first classic book on dentistry, The Dental Art. It outlined practices like soldering knobs on bands to assist with tooth rotation, and applying gold caps to molars to open the dental bite. Charles Goodyear invented vulcanized rubber in 1839, and orthodontists realized the potential of the new material. E.G. Tucker became the first American dentist to use rubber in an orthodontic appliance by cutting rubber bands from rubber tubing in 1850. Norman William Kingsley, who was a dentist, writer, artist, and sculptor, wrote the first article on orthodontics. He published his book, Treatise on Oral Deformities, in 1880. John Nutting Farrar was the first dentist to suggest the use of mild force at timed intervals to move teeth and wrote two volumes on the subject entitled A Treatise on the Irregularities of the Teeth and Their Corrections.

family with braces

Entering the 20th Century

Edward Hartley Angle is considered the Father of Modern Orthodontics. Beginning in 1880, he identified the true properties of a malocclusion, or misalignment, and addressed them with an increasingly effective set of orthodontic appliances.

Prior to the 1970s, orthodontists had anchored brackets to teeth by winding wires around each tooth. But the invention of dental adhesives meant that they could instead stick the brackets to teeth surfaces. At this time stainless steel replaced gold and silver as the most popular choice for wires due to its manipulability, which also reduced the cost of braces significantly. Lingual braces, which run along the inside surface of teeth, were also introduced around this time to address the aesthetic concerns we still have today.

So whether you want to have the straight smile of a queen like Cleopatra, or are looking for the healthiest smile you can have, 805 Orthodontics is here to help you achieve your dreams! Call us, or stop by our Oxnard and Santa Paula offices today.

Invisalign Teen

Braces and teenagers have gone hand in hand for years. A lot of our friends and us had them growing up. Sometimes they were so commonplace that they were not something that anyone was teased about. The same might not be said for others. The discomfort and annoyances that went along with having metal brackets cemented to your teeth were compounded by the possibility of being teased. 805 Orthodontics has an alternative to help you out. Say hello to Invisalign Teen: Custom made, removable plastic aligners that do the same work as traditional metal braces but are clear and practically invisible while in the mouth. They are easier to wear, less noticeable, and more comfortable than metal braces because they have no wires, brackets, or bands. But are they right for your teen? Here are a few facts to help you decide whether Invisalign is right for your teen.

How Invisalign Works

Invisalign looks just like the plastic retainers that teenagers get when they are done with their metal braces treatment. Wondering how these plastic trays can actually move your teen’s teeth? They do it in a very similar way to how braces move your teeth. The aligners put pressure on the teeth, gradually shifting them out of misalignment and into alignment. Every two weeks, your teen will trade out the old aligner for a new one, and the teeth will continue to move. There may be some discomfort as the teeth adjust to the new aligner, but there is generally less discomfort than with metal braces.

Invisalign is Just as Affordable as Traditional Braces

A common misconception about Invisalign is that it is going to be more expensive than other treatments, which leads many parents to decide on metal braces instead of Invisalign. Braces and Invisalign treatments cost about the same amount these days when covered by insurance. The simplest answer to this is for you and your teen to come in for a consultation at 805 Orthodontics.

Easy to Replace

It is possible that your teen might take out his aligners to eat lunch at school, put them on a napkin, and accidentally throw them away. They might leave them at a friend’s house, or they might, as things do, just disappear. What is going to happen if they misplace a set of aligners? In general, you can simply get a replacement by contacting us and letting us know that the aligners have gone missing. Depending on how close your teen was to swapping out those aligners for the next set, we might just move on to the next set and not worry about a replacement.

hand holding invisalign

Daily Wear

In order for treatment to be as effective as possible, your teen needs to wear their aligners for a minimum of twenty-two hours every day. That gives them plenty of time to take them out for eating and cleaning. At all other times, as often as possible, they should be wearing them. Like most things in life, Invisalign only works when you use it. If your teen is not wearing their liners, then their teeth are not being helped. Sometimes, your teen might have extracurricular activities that require them to remove those aligners, like band or sports, but Invisalign aligners are designed to be discreet enough that they can be worn at all other times without disrupting your teen’s life.

Dietary Restrictions

With metal braces, there are lots of diet restrictions and it can be very difficult to determine whether or not your teen is actually following those restrictions. With Invisalign for teens, however, there are no dietary restrictions. Because your teen can remove the aligners completely from their mouth when it is time to eat, they can eat whatever they like, whenever they would like.

Adjusting to Invisalign

The biggest roadblock we at 805 Orthodontics see with Invisalign for teen patients is that they simply do not wear their aligners enough. Especially in the beginning, there is an adjustment period, during which your teen might notice increased saliva production as the mouth adjusts to something new in its environment, or speaks with a little bit of a lisp. These things can discourage a teen from wearing their aligners, even if they know that if they keep wearing their aligners these issues will go away. It is really up to the parent and the teen to make sure that the aligners are being worn.

teen with invisalign

Invisalign Upkeep

If your teen is progressing at the right rate, it will be obvious that they have been diligent about wearing those aligners as much as possible.We will be able to tell, when your teen comes in for checkups, whether or not they have in fact been wearing their aligners. If they are lagging behind a little bit, this could be an indication that they have not been wearing them as often as they should have been. If they are far behind on their treatment, we can attribute this to not wearing their aligners as prescribed.

If you are in Oxnard, Santa Paula, or the surrounding areas, and are ready to explore what Invisalign may have to offer your teen, set up a free Invisalign Teen consultation with us today. 805 Orthodontics will be happy to help you discover if Invisalign Teen is right for you!

Orthodontics for All Ages

A common question we get before a free consultation is, “Am I too old for orthodontic treatment?” At Oxnard Orthodontics and Santa Paula Orthodontics, we treat patients of all ages! As long as your teeth are healthy, it’s never too late to straighten them. In fact, taking action at any age can help prevent oral health problems from developing in the future. That is why we have treatment plans no matter your age or situation. We can help you or your loved one achieve a smile that benefits dental health as much as it increases confidence.

Dr. Lee has years of expertise in the treatment of specific needs corresponding to patients young and old, and it all starts with the first conversation. Coming in for a free consultation means we can advise you on your own treatment options and give your kids a first orthodontic check-up, even if treatment isn’t needed.

As you consider treatment, check out the list below. You may be a good candidate if you suffer from:

  • A bad bite or malocclusion
  • Crowded teeth
  • Gaps or spaces in between the teeth
  • Abnormal jaw pain or pressure that is caused by crooked teeth

Perhaps you desire a healthier mouth and a more confident smile. Plenty of patients choose treatment for aesthetic reasons, but orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile and build confidence—it creates a healthier you. Research shows that your oral health affects your overall health. When you correct oral health, you are making a lasting investment into your overall health.

Orthodontic treatment offers huge benefits at every age. Take a look below to learn more about the options available to you.   

Orthodontics for children

young boys teeth

While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting the orthodontist around age seven. By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for the orthodontist to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems sooner and without surgery.

For parents, it’s not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment. Parents should consult with their pediatric dentist regularly, but there are several warning signs you can look for in your child that may be indicative of childhood orthodontic problems such as:

  • Finger or thumb sucking
  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Grinding teeth
  • Teeth that come together abnormally
  • Breathing through the mouth or snoring
  • Biting of cheeks
  • Apparent over- or underbite
  • Difficulty chewing

For many of these cases and others not listed, early intervention may be a good solution.

Dr. Lee is very conservative with early orthodontic treatment. Most kids will go on “observation,” which means Dr. Lee will see them every few months until they are ready to start treatment. We at Santa Paula and Oxnard Orthodontics understand that no one wants to be in braces, or pay for braces, longer than needed!

Orthodontics for teens

teens at skate park

The adolescent years are a prime time for corrective treatment on the permanent teeth. By the age of thirteen, almost everyone has all of his or her permanent teeth, and a clear picture of an orthodontic situation has developed. This is the reason when you imagine someone with braces, you probably think of a teenager.

We get a lot of very excited teenagers–excited to beautify their smile. But, as hard as we try, many teenagers dread the orthodontist. With heightened social anxiety, the last thing they want to do is wear fixtures on their teeth. The good news is there are more options in braces than ever before for teenagers needing orthodontic treatment. Braces today come in a wide variety of styles and colors, making life with braces much more comfortable and stylish than ever before. Even still, some teenagers are hesitant. For that reason, we often recommend Invisalign.

Invisalign has many great features, but perhaps the most important for teenagers is its virtual invisibility. You can wear it all day, and nobody will have the slightest idea that it’s there. And as an added bonus, the trays are removable, so your teenager can eat the same foods as before!

Orthodontics for Adults

Did you know that plenty of adults are choosing orthodontic treatment? In fact, The American Association of Orthodontists reports that 25% of orthodontic patients are over 21 years of age. In our practice, about 40% of our patients are adults!

Why do adults seek orthodontic treatment? Sometimes, parents choose to have treatment when they see how confident it makes their children. Often, adult patients seek treatment for aesthetic reasons. Other times, adult patients want to do what is best for their oral health based on their dentist’s referral, as many oral health problems only get worse over time. No matter the reason for seeking adult braces, we have a solution that can help you reach your orthodontic goals and get the smile you want.

Most adults deal with one or more of these issues:

  • Gum disease (caused by crowded or uneven teeth that are difficult to clean)
  • Shifting and tilting invited by open space from missing teeth
  • Worn teeth from misaligned bite
  • Retreatment of orthodontic treatment from earlier in life (i.e. if you stopped wearing your retainer)

You may be surprise to know that there’s a wide variety of orthodontic options for adults. During your initial consultation, we will do a thorough examination and discuss your personal situation with you. Our practice recognizes that adults have different needs from children and adolescents, and require a different level of attention and care. We will work with you to ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatments and that your needs are met with understanding and respect.

Everyone is welcome at Santa Paula and Oxnard Orthodontics

At the Oxnard and Santa Paula orthodontic offices of Dr. Jared Lee, we strive to make our office comfortable for patients of all ages.  We are here to help you find the solution that best suits you and your needs and will make you feel comfortable and confident throughout your entire treatment with us.

Based in lovely Oxnard and Santa Paula, we provide treatment with Invisalign and braces to residents in surrounding cities, including Ventura, Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, Camarillo and Simi Valley. If you have questions or are looking for an orthodontics provider to help you and your family work toward better smiles, look no further.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to learn about the benefits of orthodontics at every age. We hope to see you soon!

Dentist vs. Orthodontist For Braces

Have you recently been told your child would benefit from treatment with braces? Or perhaps you’re considering braces for yourself? If so, you may be wondering if this is something your own dentist can do, or if you’ll need to see an orthodontist. After all, you’re already familiar with your dentist’s office, and you might be reluctant to go elsewhere for orthodontic treatment. Like many people, you may assume that dentists and orthodontists are more or less interchangeable. But as many similarities as there may be between the two, there are also some significant differences that set them apart.

When you’re looking into orthodontic treatment like braces, it’s important to to understand what orthodontists like Dr. Lee have to offer that general dentists don’t. To learn more about those important differences, and how to decide which option is best for orthodontic treatment like braces, keep reading below!

Education and training

Orthodontists and dentists follow a similar educational path up until they graduate from dental school. At this point, orthodontists embark on a different, more difficult path that involves two to three more years of schooling and full-time training that specializes in orthodontia. This includes a focus on braces, bite problems, and straightening teeth. Although some do, most general dentists will not have this kind of rigorous supplementary training.

To put it in simple terms, orthodontists are dentists who also have additional, specialized training in orthodontics. It’s only after a dentist has successfully completed this orthodontics residency program that they may refer to themselves as an orthodontist.

Are general dentists able to straighten teeth?

Yes, there are some general dentists who are able to provide orthodontic care to their patients, but there are stipulations. This is only permitted if the dentist has committed to taking continuing education seminars and acquiring experience in the subject. Unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect system, since these workshops and seminars lack the kind of rigorous training and testing needed to truly learn extensive and specific material. A surface understanding of orthodontics isn’t always enough to be able to provide the best possible treatment plan for patients.

Considering a dentist for orthodontic treatment

If your primary care dentist offers orthodontic care, it’s not unusual to consider using them for treatment. All dentists receive some basic orthodontic training in school, but before settling on moving forward with braces by your dentist, consider that an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Lee:

  • will be able to provide more treatment options, with a wide variety of braces and clear aligner therapies to choose from, depending on their particular case
  • will have experience treating multiple cases that are similar to your own
  • will be more efficient at treatments and visits, since orthodontics are their only focused area of care
  • will be able to deliver the best possible outcome on your treatment plan, especially if your case is complicated or severe

While general dentists practice a wider scope of treatment, orthodontists are able to focus solely on orthodontic care. Because this is our only specialty, we spend a great deal of time and energy perfecting it! We perform teeth straightening procedures daily, keep up to date on industry practice, purchase the latest equipment, and take advantage of as many continuing education courses as we can throughout the year. Dr. Lee is also well versed in creating the best individualized treatment method for each of our patients, rather than taking a more one-size-fits-all approach some general dentists may be inclined to use.

Should you choose a dentist or an orthodontist for braces?

question mark on paper

Let’s say you suddenly found yourself with a heart condition that required surgery to correct. Would your first choice of care provider be your primary care doctor? Or would you look for an experienced cardiologist? Though your doctor will have had some training in heart-related issues, a cardiologist will have had a great deal more education and experience. This line of thought can apply to teeth as well. Having a general dentist perform specialized orthodontic work is a bit like a general physician performing open heart surgery. It can be done, but would you want to risk it?

The choice of care provider is always up to you as the patient, but while some general dentists will have a fair amount of orthodontic experience, orthodontists focus solely on orthodontic issues, and are much more likely to have dealt with the specific dental issues that require orthodontic care. Orthodontists like Dr. Lee also put a lot of emphasis on optimal, customized treatment approaches. With the training to notice the small things a dentist might overlook, orthodontists are able to recommend plans that can save you time and money, as well as reduce the chances of any complications developing. You can keep your health and your finances intact by seeking treatment from someone with the kind of knowledge, experience, and specialized education available at Oxnard Ortho and Santa Paula Ortho. We have everything you need for an optimal orthodontic experience!

The best braces experience by 805 Ortho

girl smiling with confetti

Oxnard Ortho and Santa Paula Ortho have one specialty – quality orthodontics. Our team has the experience and dedication needed to provide all of our patients with the best treatment options, cost, efficiency, and results. To see this kind of care in action, we offer complimentary consultations at our two conveniently located offices, and would love to schedule one for you! After this initial exam is completed, Dr. Lee will determine if orthodontic treatment could benefit your smile, and if so, outline a personalized treatment plan for you. Even if you decide not to get braces — or just want a second opinion — we’re happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you might have in order to make an informed decision. If you’re ready to see how treatment by a qualified orthodontist can transform your smile, get in touch with us today!

Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment

When thinking ahead about your child’s smile, let the phrase “timing is everything” be your guide. Planning orthodontic treatment for your child can be confusing and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! By following the recommendation of the American Association of Orthodontists that all children have their first orthodontic consultation by age seven, many common dental issues can be detected before they have a chance to become a more serious problem. The kind of early intervention Santa Paula Ortho and Oxnard Ortho has to offer has also been shown to reduce the overall need for more complex orthodontic treatment at a later age.

This idea of being proactive rather than reactive where orthodontic treatment is concerned can be summed up in two-phase treatment. But what exactly is this, and how can it benefit your child?

What is two-phase orthodontic treatment?

Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized process that combines straightening the teeth with bony physical, facial changes if needed. Consisting of two separate phases, or times, when a child receives orthodontic treatment, there will also normally be a break in treatment in between the phases.

The first phase of treatment usually begins while the child has a mix of their baby teeth and adult teeth. The second phase then takes place once the child has most or all of their permanent teeth. Braces or other orthodontic appliances may or may not be used during the first phase of treatment, depending on the nature and severity of each specific case.

Two-phase treatment can play an important role in maximizing the opportunity to give your child a healthy, functional, and beautiful smile that will last a lifetime. The goals of two-phase treatment are:

  • To ensure a proper, working relationship between the teeth and jaws
  • To correct the alignment of the teeth, resulting in a straighter smile
  • To position the teeth and jaws for more pleasant facial symmetry

What would qualify a child for two-phase treatment?

Once an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Lee has completed a thorough examination of your child’s mouth, a recommendation may be made for two-phase treatment. The goal of this treatment is to create a better environment for your child’s permanent teeth to grow in, so the first phase of treatment may be suggested to:

  • prevent a problem from developing (preventive treatment)
  • intercept a developing problem (interceptive treatment)
  • guide the growth of the jaw bones that support the teeth (growth modification)

Orthodontic treatment and a child’s growth can complement each other well. By timing the first phase of orthodontic treatment to the predictable stages of dental development, orthodontists are able to take advantage of normal childhood growth and development. This provides the most potential for the improvement and correction of any suspected orthodontic issues early on.

Some problems that can be treated relatively easily in a growing child may require more intensive treatment, such as corrective surgery, if treated after most growth has occurred. Early treatment is effective for achieving lasting results for certain issues, and lessening the impact of others. As the name implies, most patients will require a second phase of treatment in order to complete the tooth and jaw alignment started during the first phase of treatment.

How does two-phase treatment work?

To understand how two-phase treatment could benefit your child, it’s important to understand what happens with each phase, as well as in the resting period in between.

Phase OneYoung girl with braces

Phase one treatment is initiated to help the jaw develop in a way that will accommodate all of your child’s permanent teeth, as well as improving the way the upper and lower jaws fit together.

There are a number of ways that this method of treatment can benefit patients. It can improve their ability to bite, chew, or even digest their food more effectively. It can also reduce the risk of broken teeth, due to crowded, crooked teeth or malformed jaws. There are even emotional benefits, as there can be an increase in self-esteem and self-confidence, something that is always important and sometimes lacking in younger patients.

The changes that result from first phase treatment can contribute to longer-term stability, meaning that the teeth stay where the orthodontist moves them. The second phase of treatment will move the teeth into their final, preferred positions.

Resting Period

During the resting phase, the remaining permanent teeth are left alone as they continue to erupt. Most orthodontists believe it’s best to allow the these permanent teeth some freedom of movement, and generally won’t recommend retainers or fixed appliances during this time. A successful first phase will have created room for the permanent teeth to have a clear path to erupt in.

Phase Two

Young boy with bracesIn the first phase, orthodontic records are made, a diagnosis is established, and a customized treatment plan is created for your child. Certain types of appliances may have been used to correct and realign the teeth and jaw. The second phase is where everything begins to come together! This phase will typically begin once all permanent teeth have erupted, and will usually requires braces on the teeth for a time. Once treatment is complete, retainers should be worn as directed to ensure your child’s straight new smile lasts a lifetime.

If you decide to go ahead with two-phase treatment after discussing it with a knowledgeable and experienced orthodontist such as Dr. Lee, you can help your child achieve its goals by:

  • Following the recommendations and directions for maintenance and care
  • Keeping appliances, teeth, and gums clean by sticking to an excellent dental hygiene routine,  including brushing and flossing thoroughly at least twice daily
  • Keeping scheduled appointments with the orthodontist’s office so that progress can be closely monitored
  • Visiting the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning
  • Avoiding any foods that can damage the appliance
  • Maintaining a healthy diet

Customized treatment with 805 Ortho

Like most things in life, orthodontics has no “one size fits all” option. Every patient we see has a unique problem that requires a unique treatment plan, and we know that what is right for one child won’t necessarily be right for another. Here at Santa Paula Ortho and Oxnard Ortho, we are committed to providing customized care and a top-notch orthodontic experience. Dr. Lee has years of both dental and orthodontic experience, and is able to provide everything your child needs for a happy, healthy smile. If you’re in the Santa Paula or Oxnard area and are interested in what two-phase orthodontic treatment could offer your child, get in touch with us today. We’re here to give your child their very best smile!

What Is Orthodontics?

Most people have heard the term orthodontics, although they may not know what it actually means. This sometimes even applies to orthodontic patients sometimes! It’s important to all of us here at Santa Paula Ortho and Oxnard Ortho that the patients and families we work with are educated on exactly what we do so that they can be active participants in their own orthodontic treatment. To help provide information to both our current and potential patients, we’ve put together this easy primer on what orthodontics is, and the many ways it can benefit your smile.

What is Orthodontics all about?

Orthodontics is a dental specialty that and focuses on the correction of teeth and jaws that are improperly positioned. Orthodontists attend dental school just like dentists do, but once they finish, they continue to study for three more years in an orthodontic training program that’s approved by the American Dental Association. This means that orthodontists like Dr. Lee are dental specialists who know a lot about teeth, jaws, and orthodontic care.

Some people think cosmetic issues are the main thing orthodontists treat, since it tends to be the benefit people focus on most often. However, there are many ways orthodontists can help improve your overall oral health, with treatment benefitting you both cosmetically and fuctionally. One example of this is crooked teeth. While they can certainly detract from your appearance, the more important problem is that they are harder to clean, and in some cases, misalignment can lead to things like headaches, TMJ syndrome, neck, shoulder and back pain. Orthodontic treatment is able to address all this and more!

Who benefits from orthodontic treatment?

There are many common dental issues that can benefit from orthodontics. If you find yourself struggling with any of the following problems, you may be a good candidate for orthodontic treatment:

 

  • Overbite — the upper front teeth lie too far forward and stick out over the lower teeth.
  • Underbite — a “bulldog” appearance, where the lower teeth are too far forward or the upper teeth are too far back.
  • Crossbite — in normal bites, the upper teeth will be out over the top of the lower teeth when biting down normally. With a crossbite, this does not happen. There are a few different types of crossbites, depending on where the upper teeth fall in relation to the lower ones.
  • Open bite — there’s a space between the biting surfaces of the front or side teeth when the back teeth bite together.
  • Misplaced midline — the center of the upper front teeth doesn’t line up with the center of the lower front teeth.
  • Spacing issues — there are gaps in between the teeth as a result of missing teeth or teeth that don’t “fill up” the mouth.
  • Crowding issues — there are too many teeth for the dental ridge to accommodate

Could orthodontic treatment work for me?

You’ll need an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Lee to determine if you would benefit from orthodontic treatment. To do so, various diagnostic tools are used, such as:

 

  • a full medical and dental health history
  • a clinical exam
  • digitized or plaster models of your teeth
  • X-rays and photographs

Santa Paula Ortho and Oxnard Ortho offer free consultations, during which Dr. Lee will talk with you and review the results of your examination. He’ll be able to help you decide which, if any, orthodontic procedures would be right for you. Based on your particular case, a customized treatment plan can be created, taking into account your specific needs and desired goals.

What kind of orthodontic treatment options exist?

Although it will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of your particular problem, there are a number of orthodontic appliances available to help move your teeth into more desirable positions. These appliances are able to retrain the muscles and affect the growth of the jaws by placing a gentle, continuous pressure on your teeth and jaws. There are two different types of appliances, fixed and removable, and an experienced orthodontist will be able to determine which of these approaches is more likely to be be effective for you.

Fixed appliances

Smiling girl with braces leaning chin on her knees outdoorsBraces: Traditional braces are the most common and well-known orthodontic appliance, and have thankfully made a lot of improvements over the years! Today’s models are smaller, lighter, and much less obvious than they used to be. Bands are fixed around the teeth and used as anchors, while brackets are bonded to the front of the teeth. Arch wires are then passed through the brackets and attached to the bands. Regular tightening of the arch wire puts tension on the teeth, which will slowly move them into the desired position. This process can take anywhere from several months to a few years.

 

Fixed space maintainers: Baby teeth can sometimes come out prematurely, and if this happens, it’s important that the space is kept open until the permanent tooth erupts. Neglecting to do so can allow the neighboring teeth to crowd the empty space. A customized space maintainer can be used to prevent this. Spacers have a band attached to the tooth next to the empty space, with a wire extending into the tooth on the other side of the space.

Removable appliances

Aligners: Clear aligners, like those provided by the Invisalign system, are the most popular alternative we have to traditional braces for teens and adults. These continue to be used more and more often by orthodontists because these aligners move teeth in the same way fixed braces do, but without the hassle and restrictions that can come with metal wires and brackets. They are virtually invisible, easily removed when eating and drinking, and they make brushing and flossing a snap.

Removable space maintainers: With basically the same function as fixed space maintainers, these are made with an acrylic base that fits over the jaw, with a plastic or wire branch between specific teeth to keep the space between them open.

Jaw repositioning appliances: These devices are sometimes called splints, and can be worn on either the top or lower jaw. They help train the jaw to close in a more favorable position.

Lip and cheek bumpers: Designed to keep the lips or cheeks away from the teeth, these relieve pressure that the lip and cheek muscles can exert.

Palatal expander: This device widens the arch of the upper jaw by applying pressure to the plate and back teeth. The pressure encourages the bones of the roof of the mouth to grow, widening the palatal area in the process.

Removable retainers: You’re bound to have seen one of these before! Worn on the roof of the mouth after orthodontic treatment has been completed, these devices help keep your new smile straight by preventing teeth from shifting back into their previous position.

Headgear: Headgear holds the back teeth in place by placing a strap around the back of the head attached to a metal wire in front, and is useful for slowing down the growth of the upper jaw.  

The orthodontic experience with Santa Paula Ortho | Oxnard Ortho 

group of smiling teenagers in the park taking a selfieA beautiful, healthy, straight smile can have a positive impact on your life in many ways. If you’re in the Oxnard or Santa Paula areas, and are interested in what orthodontics has to offer you, get in touch with one of our two conveniently located offices to schedule a complimentary consultation. From cosmetic benefits to an overall healthier mouth, Dr. Lee and his team are here to get you started on the path to a self-confident smile!

 

Can I Eat Candy With Braces?

Dr. Jared Lee and the experience staffs of Oxnard Orthodontics in Oxnard CA and Santa Paula Orthodontics in Santa Paula CA have the knowledge and skill to answer all of your questions about undergoing orthodontic treatment. One of the most common questions they receive is “can I eat candy with braces?” The truth isn’t so simple. If you have braces and a sugar craving comes along, you might be tempted to sink your teeth into an oozy, gooey candy bar. There are tons of foods you can and can’t eat with braces, candy is among one of the items on that list.

So Can I Eat Candy with Braces?

It is generally okay to enjoy something sweet from time to time, but it is important to know what candies are less harmful to your braces and what types to avoid altogether. Understanding this will ultimately affect the health of your teeth and gums in the long run as well as ensuring a successful orthodontic treatment period.

It’s all about the sugar.

For a tooth without braces, candy is a huge threat. Add in the brackets and bands that are necessary during orthodontic treatment and your teeth will most certainly be facing the nightmarish experience of tooth decay. This might be especially hard for you or your child during the holiday season and holidays like Halloween! If you can, try opting for baked goods or something from a braces friendly cookbook! However, Dr. Lee of Oxnard Orthodontics in Oxnard CA and Santa Paula Orthodontics in Santa Paula CA tells his patients it’s important to brush and floss immediately after consuming candy and sugary foods.

food you can eat with braces

Sticky, Hard, Ooey Gooey

Candy comes in a number of different forms, but it’s all the same when you consider eating candy with braces. From hard, mint-like candies, to sticky toffee and gooey chocolate bars, candy does a number on your braces, regardless of its form. With braces on your teeth, biting into a hard piece of candy will put additional force onto the bracket or band attachment, along with the tooth.

More often than not, the bracket or band will succumb to the force it takes to eat the candy, and they will break or pop off. When a bracket or band becomes loose, your orthodontic treatment comes to a screeching halt until you are able to see your orthodontist have the problem repaired. For most patients, a loose band or bracket will set their treatment back one to two months.

Ouch! That Hurts!

Aside from the force and effort, it takes to eat really sticky or hard candy that can ultimately damage your braces, imagine how your teeth feel after just an archwire adjustment!

Schedule a complimentary consultation! Oxnard: 805-253-7357 Santa Paula: 805-636-6424

 

“Dr. Lee is a friendly and an AWESOME doctor! He does a good job with his patients and makes sure that his patients have a big smile on their face every day they come out from his clinic!” -Cesar Karen Sandoval

Dr. Jared Lee and the team at Oxnard Orthodontics and Santa Paula Orthodontics are experts in braces. If you have any questions pertaining to Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, braces and clear braces in Oxnard CA, 93030, Santa Paula CA, 93060, Ventura County CA Camarillo CA, Port Hueneme CA, Ojai CA, Ventura City CA and the surrounding areas or would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Lee contact us at: Oxnard: 805-253-7357 Santa Paula: 805-636-6424

The Perfect Age to Get Braces

Folks with orthodontic problems near Camarillo, CA can benefit from treatment by a professional orthodontist at any age. Your teeth are unique, just like you. Oxnard Orthodontics near Camarillo, CA can evaluate your oral health care needs and provide you with the best orthodontic care available. Whether you are 7 years old or 50 years old, braces can help straighten and beautify your smile. After an initial consultation and assessment of your teeth and gums, Dr. Jared Lee will be able to discuss with you if braces are right for you.

 When Is The Right Time For Braces?

While patients at any age can benefit from orthodontic treatment, there are a few specific ages where treatment is optimal, like after the last baby tooth has fallen out and all of the adult teeth have grown in.

 By the age of 7 years old, children should see an orthodontist and get an evaluation to address any possible issues. From the ages of 8 years old to 14 years old, children’s head and mouth are still growing, which makes this a good time in life to correct any orthodontic issues.

Even after age 14, you can still benefit from an orthodontic consultation and treatment from Oxnard Orthodontics.

How long will I need to have my braces?

The question that Dr. Jared Lee is asked most often by prospective clients needing braces is, “How long do I need to wear braces?” (It depends on the individual patient’s case and their specific treatment). Most patients experience orthodontic treatments over a period of 18 to 30 months. A consultation with the team at Oxnard Orthodontics is the best indicator of how long your specific treatment may last.

Orthodontic treatment or braces can cause minor pain and sensitivity for a patient. It is important that parents explain to their children under age 18 what they may experience before, during, and after their braces are put on. And although wearing braces can be uncomfortable at first, they will get used to wearing them and their braces will become easier to wear over time.

If a patient participates in a sport that requires a mouthguard, or plays a musical instrument, make sure to speak with Dr. Jared Lee about playing while undergoing orthodontic treatment. You will learn quickly how to engage in your favorite activities with your braces.

Whether you are 7 years old with crooked teeth or 50 years old with an overbite, Dr. Jared Lee can administer the appropriate treatment for your specific needs and age group.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Oxnard Orthodontics near Camarillo, CA, visit our office or call us at: 805-253-7357

How Long Do I Need to Wear Braces?

Orthodontic treatment in Ventura County, CA, whether treating a mild or severe case, is often a lengthy process. Whether you are a child, teen, or adult, orthodontic care takes some time to achieve the optimal result. Every patient’s term of treatment will vary, and most patients are eager to complete their treatment and begin living life with a beautiful smile. Dr. Jared Lee of Santa Paula Orthodontics advises that there are steps you can take to keep your orthodontic treatments on schedule and that may even help you achieve your treatment goals more quickly!

  1. Maintain Good Oral Health.

    It is important to maintain good oral health, whether being treated by an orthodontist or not. Straight teeth are only one aspect of a healthy mouth – preventing tooth decay and the build of plaque on the surfaces of the teeth are also key to protecting your good oral health. Having braces makes brushing and flossing a bit more difficult. Dr. Jared Lee recommends brushing your teeth after every meal, before bed, and once you wake up.
    It is also important to floss your teeth as often as you can to remove food particles from on and around the teeth and braces. The team at Santa Paula Orthodontics helps their patients assemble a braces hygiene kit for trips out or away.  A proper kit should have a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash. This way, you will never have to worry about the state of your oral health slowing down your orthodontic treatment process.

  2. Follow the Rules.

    There are adjustments patients need to make when they get braces. Sometimes many of the new rules of eating associated with wearing braces may seem hard to follow. For instance, one new rule to follow is to avoid hard and/or sticky foods that may cling to or break your braces and potentially prolong treatment time.
    Orthodontic appliances are made of many parts that assist the braces in doing their job. These appliances are things like rubber bands, which help to move the teeth to the right position. Use these appliances exactly as they are directed or treatment time will be longer.

  3. See Your Orthodontist with Any Problems. 

    Dr. Jared Lee understands that accidents happen, and that it is extremely important to seek care for them immediately. Braces are made of delicate brackets and archwires which can pop free or snap from eating hard and sticky foods. Dr. Jared Lee recommends placing wax on any sharp or broken area that is causing you discomfort and then contacting Santa Paula Orthodontics as soon as possible so the damages can be repaired, keeping your braces functioning properly and avoiding any delays.

  4. Protect Your Mouth.

    Dr. Jared Lee also recommends that patients who play sports wear mouthguards to avoid accidents. Whenever you are playing sports, wear a mouthguard so that your braces are not exposed to any pressure or impacts. This will keep all the parts of your braces intact and ensure a quick and complete treatment outcome.

  5. Follow your Schedule:

    Follow a conscientious appointment schedule with your orthodontist. Throughout your treatment, you will need to come into the office for checkups, adjustments, and more. The Santa Paula Orthodontics team will work with you to make appointments that best fit your schedule and your treatment needs. Staying consistent and on time with your appointments is just another important step in making sure that your treatment progresses smoothly and efficiently.

Patients of Dr Jared Lee of Santa Paula Orthodontics can reduce their treatment time wearing braces and get the optimal treatment results — a perfect smile.

If you have any questions about these steps toward a healthier mouth and an easier course of treatment, feel free to contact Santa Paula Orthodontics in Ventura County, CA today at: 805-636-6424