Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that treats irregularities in your teeth or bite (known as malocclusion, or “bad bite”). Malocclusion is caused when your jaws don’t properly meet or when your teeth are misaligned, protruded, crowded, or crooked. Along with detracting from your smile’s appearance, malocclusion can negatively affect chewing and speaking, abnormally wear down tooth enamel, decrease your overall oral health, and trigger jaw and facial pain. Misaligned teeth are also harder to keep clean, increasing the risk of cavities and gum disease.

Whether you’re seeking orthodontic treatment for yourself or your teen, Dr. Elizondo will carefully design a personalized treatment plan to address malocclusion, support your oral health concerns, and create a straight and even smile you’ll love sharing.

Getting Braces

To chart your treatment plan, Dr. Elizondo will evaluate your teeth, mouth, and facial structures with digital X-rays and an oral exam. A hygienist will then take a digital impression of your mouth and teeth, which will be used to examine your bite and create a three-dimensional digital model of your teeth. If needed, Dr. Elizondo will recommend essential dental work before braces, such as cavity treatment or wisdom teeth removal.

Once you have a treatment plan and a clean bill of oral health, Dr. Elizondo will place stainless steel bands around your molars and attach brackets to your front teeth. Next, he will secure a flexible, U-shaped wire (known as an archwire) to each bracket and band on your upper and lower arches of teeth. Archwires are held in place with small O-rings, which come in countless color possibilities.

Throughout your orthodontic treatment, Dr. Elizondo will periodically adjust, bend, or tighten your archwires or integrate springs or rubber bands. Archwires, springs, and rubber bands apply strategic pressure onto your teeth, encouraging them to gradually shift into the desired positions.

Orthodontic treatment varies from patient to patient, though it’s usually complete within 18 to 36 months. In children and teens, braces are often placed between the ages of 11 and 13, or once all of their adult teeth have grown in.

How to Take Care of Braces

Taking good care of your braces is the key for best results. Braces create tiny spaces in between wires and brackets. These spaces tend to trap food and bacteria, which promotes the formation of plaque and subsequent dental issues. Good oral health with braces can be maintained with brushing after every meal and snack, flossing at least once daily, and seeing Dr. Elizondo for routine dental cleanings.

When you first have your braces put on or have an adjustment, you may experience some discomfort in your mouth and jaw as your body adjusts to your new orthodontic appliances. You may find it uncomfortable to chew on hard foods or notice small abrasions inside your lips or cheeks. Eating soft foods helps minimize discomfort while chewing, while a salt water rinse helps soothe the mouth’s soft tissues.

Once your orthodontic treatment is complete, you’ll have a healthy, beautiful smile that will last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance, like daily hygiene habits, routine dental visits, and the use of orthodontic retention devices.

Restorative Dentistry

Dr. Alizondo offers compassionate restorative dentistry services that are catered to your individual situation and needs.


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