Orthodontic FAQs

April 3, 2018

Here are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about Orthodontics:

What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry focusing on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.

Who is an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of additional training and experience. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile.

What is the best age to visit the orthodontist?
If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see the orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every five orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.

How can I take care of my teeth if I’m wearing braces or a retainer?
ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day.
Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your orthodontist or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities!
If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
Keep your retainer clean, too, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Certain retainers can also be soaked in denture cleaner, but only if instructed to do so by your orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar (sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities).
Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes) or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc.).

Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.

What are braces?
Braces are used by your orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile. There are several different types of braces to choose from, including:

Clear braces
Ceramic (Clear) braces
Gold braces
Invisible braces InBrace (Braces on the BACK of the teeth)
Self-ligating braces
Invisible braces (Invisalign)
Traditional metal braces

If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?
The amount of time spent in braces will vary depending on the individual patient, because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere from 8 months to 30 months or more. Treatment with the SureSmile system takes about 35% less time than traditional braces, on average.

Do braces hurt?
Braces do not often hurt though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces.

Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?
With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. Your orthodontist can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.

If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?
Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can’t easily reach. This causes bacteria to build up that can lead to cavities, scarring of the teeth, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.

Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?
Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.

How do I schedule my free consultation or next appointment?
Simply call our practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next appointment at your convenience.

If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know and one of our treatment coordinators will help to guide you through our easy New Patient process.

Click here to contact Irvine Orthodontics and Children’s Dentistry or call us at 949-786-7800 to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Tarek Abousheta or Dr. Bahar Ghafouri.

Spring Break fun in Orange County

March 27, 2018

Spring Break is right around the corner.. There are so many beautiful places to travel to, but living in Orange County we have some of the funnest activities around and the most gorgeous weather in the world!

Here’s a list of our own Top 10 fun things to do in Orange County this Spring Break:

  1. Visit the Beach – Known as the California Riviera, Orange County has some of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world right in our own backyard.  San Clemente, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Corona del Mar, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach – any of these make an excellent choice for your Spring Break beach day – or better yet, visit a different beach each day!  One of our current favorites and a local favorite for years is Table Rock Beach located in south Laguna Beach.
  2. Lido Marina Village – One of the cutest new additions to Newport Beach and the Balboa Peninsula, Lido Marina Village will indulge your inner designer, your artisan flair and your love for everything beach related from it’s adorable beach cottage style shops to it’s charming setting overlooking Newport Harbor. Make this is a must see on your list!
  3. Adventure Playground – If you have young kids who love to play and get super dirty, Adventure Playground is the place to be this Spring Break!  Brought back to life from it’s heyday in the 80’s, this amazing playground exudes imagination and creativity, from it’s tree house, to the art wall, to it’s very own mud river – you and your kids will experience quite the adventure!
  4. Hiking through Crystal Cove State Park – Located off of Pacific Coast Highway between Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar, Crystal Cove State Park offers a wide variety of hiking trails with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and has access to many beautiful tide pools to visit! Get outside and soak in this breathtaking State Park with hiking trails that range from easy to expert.  Follow up on your trailblazing with a meal from the Crystal Cove Shake Shack or The Beachcomber Cafe.
  5. Irvine Park Railroad – You could spend an entire day here.  This beautiful park has a Zoo, Pony Rides, Horse Rentals, Train rides, picnic areas, hiking trails, bike rentals, Paddle boats, there are even friendly peacocks roaming the grounds! Every Tuesday there is even a Farmers Market from 9am -1pm.
  6. Balboa Island – Walk or bike along the beautiful bay front. Take the Balboa Ferry across the harbor to the Fun Zone.  Rent a boat and cruise through the harbor.  From charming shops to beautiful homes, this area has a lot to offer and has been a favorite for decades.
  7. Disneyland – How can we not put this down on our Top 10 list?!  The name speaks for itself and this is definitely the place to be to have fun and get happy!  If you don’t want to pay to enter the park, visit Downtown Disney and take plenty of photos or visit the nearby Anaheim Garden Walk!
  8. Knott’s Berry Farm – The Birthplace of the Boysenberry Festival each Spring, this fun amusement park offers thrilling adventures and even has a waterpark at Knott’s Soak City.  If you’re in the mood for unique food and good entertainment, visit the Boysenberry Festival going on now until April 8th.
  9. Boomers Irvine – Miniature golf, Go Karts, arcade games, lazer tag, batting cages, amusement park rides, and even a water park!  Boomers has it all!  If you’re not worn out by the time you’re done visiting all the activities offered, go next door to and knock over some pins at Irvine Lanes Bowling Alley!
  10. Make an Appointment with your Orthodontist or Pediatric Dentist! – Spring Break is the perfect time to get all of your much needed appointments taken care of!  All of us at Irvine Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry would love to see you over the break – give us a call today to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Tarek Abousheta, Dr. Bahar Ghafouri, or if your child is in need of a dental check-up, Dr. Susan Do would love to see you!  Call us at (949) 786-7800 or submit an online appointment request.

Whatever it is you’re up to this Spring Break, we wish you lots of good times and many fun memories in the making!!

March is National Nutrition Month, and while we always want to feed ourselves and our families the healthiest food choices, we sometimes get caught up in the busyness of life and lose sight of what’s important in our daily meal planning.  National Nutrition Month helps remind us that we are what we eat, and what we eat determines how well we function.

Greek Physician Hippocrates, also known as the “Father of Medicine,” famously quoted “Our food should be our medicine & our medicine should be our food.”

We all know that good nutrition helps us do better at work, at school, and in our daily lives as a whole.  Here are some of our favorite foods to help you stay on track and get the proper nutrition you need to live a healthy, happier lifestyle.

Apples – “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” Known for their powerful antioxidants, apples are naturally sweet and full of fiber and Vitamin C.

Avocado – Made up of the “good fats,” Avocado has heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that help lower your cholesterol and offer vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and potassium.

Beans – Boost your protein and fiber intake with kidney, black, garbanzo, chickpeas, lentil, peas, navy.. the list goes on!  These legume Superfoods are soft and easy to eat and provide an abundant source of key vitamins and minerals!

Bell Peppers – Cooked or Raw, one bell pepper provides more vitamin C than an orange. While both are key to good health, bell peppers offer a variety of nutritional benefits and make a great addition to some of your favorite dishes!

Berries – How fast can you call out all the different berry varieties? Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, loganberries, elderberries, huckleberries.. look them up, there’s plenty more! They contain anthocyanins, which improve vision and protect blood vessels and the nervous system.

Broccoli – What kid (or adult!) doesn’t love to pretend they are a friendly giant eating up these healthy “little trees.”  Broccoli is full of vitamins, fiber and rich in antioxidants.

Carrots – Crunchy or soft, carrots provide all kinds of health benefits and contain essential nutrients for growth and development , immunity and vision.

Chicken – Any chickatarians out there?  If you’re not a big meat eater but aren’t fully vegetarian, chicken is the way to go for a solid source of protein.  There are countless good recipes for cooking chicken and it goes well with virtually everything.  Did you know that dark meat chicken contains the good, healthy polyunsaturated fats? No wonder it’s so flavorful!

Eggs – However you choose to eat them, eggs are an excellent source of just about everything that’s good for our bodies and contain the highest biological value for protein. Full of iron, vitamins A & D, choline, healthy Omega-3’s fats.. the list goes on and on and they are quick and easy to make.

Yogurt – Each cup of yogurt contains a wealth of protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamins and and gut-friendly probiotics.  Mix it with fruits, nuts or granola for a hearty snack!

While we can go on and on about all the healthy foods out there, we hope this list helps you with an easy ‘go to’ source of what you can do to continue to integrate wise, healthy food choices into your daily routine.

If you love smoothies, visit our Irvine Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry Pinterest page for a list of 10 healthy, yummy kid friendly recipes!

For more information on what healthy food choices there are or if you are looking for brace-friendly recipes be sure to ask Dr. Tarek Abousheta or Dr. Bahar Ghafouri at your next orthodontic appointment!

Elastics and the Importance of Wearing Them

March 6, 2018

Happy day from Irvine Orthodontics and Children’s Dentistry.

Today’s topic of “why” brings us to the wonderful world of… Elastics!!!!

I know, so many questions already!

What are elastics? What purpose do elastics serve? Why are you asked to wear them? What’s the importance of wearing elastics anyway?

All of these are great questions and we wanted to address them for you all.

Elastics are the small rubber bands that supply the connective force needed for placement or correction.

Elastics, also known as bands or rubber bands, are used in treatment to improve the fit of your upper and lower teeth and/or jaws – okay what we mean is your actual bite. Elastics/Rubber Bands align your bite and are very important for the bite-fixing phase of your orthodontic treatment.

Not all patients are asked to wear Elastics. It all depends on the existing jaw alignment and what is recommended to the patient based upon the models of the teeth and the recommended treatment plan.

The major importance of Elastic wearing… it is a critical part of your Orthodontic treatment. If it wasn’t, doctor would not be asking you to wear them 24 hours a day. Yes they are that important!

We provide you with specific Elastics so when we do, please make sure to wear your Elastics, not borrowed from a friend. Also, the more you keep the Elastics off, the longer your treatment will be. It’s key to wear them all the time so if you lose your pack call or come on by asap to get a new pack of Elastics!

If you have any other questions for Dr. Tarek Abousheta or Dr. Bahar Ghafouri please feel free to email or call us. It is our goal here at Irvine Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry to offer education on the treatments we provide so that as a patient and office we are an excellent team!