Vacationing with Braces

May 22, 2018

Summer is right around the corner, and for many of us, that means it’s time to take a vacation.

For those of us in braces, being on vacation also brings up the thought of “what do I do if something happens with my braces while I am on vacation?”

The most common things to occur while in orthodontic treatment is to have a loose wire or a broken bracket.  Some people go through their entire treatment time and never break a bracket, while others are more susceptible to having a bracket break more than once.  If you break a bracket on any normal day, you can simply call our office and schedule an appointment to come in and have your bracket fixed.  But what happens if you’re on vacation?

Here are some simple tips to guide you through your vacation to help prevent compromising on your comfort:

  1. Avoid eating hard foods – they loosen, break, and bend wires and bands! ex: popcorn, apples, chewing on ice cubes.
  2. Avoid sticky foods – like taffy, caramels, and other types of candy.
  3. Don’t be too aggressive when brushing your teeth – incorrectly brushing your teeth or brushing too vigorously can cause the brackets to loosen or break. Make sure when you’re brushing that you hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the gums and use gentle back and forth tooth-wide strokes.

If you happen to break a bracket and do not have access to your orthodontist you can follow these steps:

  1. Assess the extent of your broken bracket and control the issue –  Did the bracket fall off? Is there a wire sticking out?  If the bracket is still attached to your tooth, you can use wax to place onto the bracket to hold it in place until you are able to visit your orthodontist.  If there is a wire sticking out, you can gently use the end of a pencil eraser or a cotton swab tip to move/ tuck it back into place, or you can clip it by very carefully using nail clippers as close as possible to your teeth and use wax over the wire to prevent it from cutting the inside of your mouth or cheeks.
  2. Rinse your mouth regularly – If there is any type of cut or irritation, you can use a salt water rinse or professional mouth rinse to promote healing,
  3. Call your Orthodontist to book an appointment – Drs. Tarek Abousheta and Bahar Ghafouri will want to see you as soon as you’re back from your vacation to fix your broken bracket or loose wire.  Be sure to contact us by phone at 949-786-7800 or on our website by submitting an online Appointment Request.

A broken bracket does not mean an orthodontic emergency, but we do want you to be as comfortable as possible so you can enjoy your vacation and not have a pesky wire or broken bracket interfere with your fun!!

Be sure to ask us at your next appointment for wax to bring on vacation with you so you can be prepared in the event you need it!

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!

Happy Holidays from Irvine Orthodontics!

December 17, 2017


Thank you to everyone for allowing us to be your oral health care provider!

As a team are grateful for the opportunity to give you our best service and newest technology.

We wanted to take a moment and extend gratitude to all those that have supported our give back and fundraising efforts.

It is important to us as an Irvine business to be part of the community in any way we can.

We are honored this Holiday to have had those of you who participated in our Toy Drive with The City of Irvine join in with us all and the spirit of giving back.

A huge thank you to our partner, in the Holiday Toy Drive giveaway, Pretend City Children’s Museum. With their generous donation of a family 4 pack to visit the city, we were as to put together a sweet gift of thanks!

Wishing everyone a safe, wonderful Holiday and prosperous healthy New Year!

We hope to see you in office in 2018, remember, it’s a good time to be happy with your healthy smile at any age!

Best wishes,

The Irvine Orthodontics Team

Diet Soda vs. Regular Soda: Which is better for teeth?

February 17, 2017

When most patients ask Dr. Wanda Claro and Dr. Bahar Ghafouri this question, they’re thinking strictly about sugar content — cut out the bacteria-feeding sugar that’s present in regular soda by opting for a diet soda and it will be better for your teeth. That seems logical, right? Well, there’s a bit more to it than that. Let’s take a closer look at how any kind of soda can affect your dental health.

Diet Soda – Why it can also lead to tooth decay

The main culprit in these drinks that leads to decay is the acid content. Diet sodas and other sugar-free drinks are usually highly acidic, which weakens the enamel on your teeth and makes them more susceptible to cavities and dental erosion. The level of phosphoric acid, citric acid, and/or tartaric acid is usually high in sugar-free drinks so it’s best to avoid them.

Some patients also enjoy drinking orange juice or other citrus juices. These drinks are high in citric acid and have the same effect on the enamel of your teeth.

So what about regular soda?

We know the acidity of diet sodas and sugar-free drinks contributes to tooth decay, so what about regular soda? Like we alluded to earlier, regular soda is high in sugar — a 12 ounce can contains roughly ten teaspoons of sugar — and sugar feeds the decay-causing bacteria in the mouth. This also includes sports drinks and energy drinks, which are highly acidic and loaded with sugar too. So these drinks are a double-whammy of sugar and acidity your teeth and body simply don’t need.

The problems caused by both diet and regular soda is exacerbated when you sip on them throughout the day. If you drink it all in one sitting, you won’t be washing sugar and/or acids over your teeth all day long and your saliva will have a chance to neutralize the pH in your mouth.

The best beverages to drink and how to drink them

Drinking beverages that are lower in acid is a good step to take to keep your enamel strong. According to a study conducted by Matthew M. Rodgers and J. Anthony von Fraunhofer at the University of Michigan, your best bets are plain water, black tea or coffee, and if you opt for a soda, root beer. These drinks dissolved the least amount of enamel when measured 14 days after consumption of the beverage.

If you still choose to drink soda, diet soda, sugar-free drinks, or juices here are some other tips to lessen tooth decay:

  • Drink your soda or acidic beverages through a straw to minimize contact with teeth
  • Rinse with water immediately after consumption of the beverage
  • Avoid brushing your teeth between 30 minutes to an hour after drinking the beverage as this has been shown to spread the acids before your saliva can bring your mouth back to a neutral pH
  • Avoid drinks that have acids listed on the ingredients label

Still have questions about soda, sugar, and acid? Give our Irvine, CA office a call and we’d be happy to help!