We Have Reopened – But Slowly!

Our orthodontic office in Salem Oregon has re-opened after being closed for COVID-19. However, since we have stringent social distancing protocols in place, we are encouraging our prospective patients to take a virtual consultation with us!

Now more than ever, virtual consultations for Invisalign & braces are a popular choice among potential patients that need more information before making the important decision about starting their smile journey. You can get answers to important questions from the comfort of your own home, such as:

  • Am I a good candidate for Invisalign?
  • Will colorful braces work better for my smile?
  • How long treatment with Invisalign or braces will take?
  • How much will braces or Invisalign cost?
  • What will getting treatment with Dr. Castilla and the team be like?

Although virtual consultations for Invisalign & braces are not a substitute for in-office exams, you’ll get professional answers to questions like these. Then, you’ll be well-informed and motivated to begin treatment when you’re ready.

Start Your Journey Towards a Beautiful and Confident Smile

As more Americans stay at home and spend more time online, it’s the perfect time to make plans for a happier, healthier future with more smiles. Importantly, getting the orthodontic care you need improves your health, your appearance, self-confidence, and often self-esteem.
There are so many benefits to Invisalign and braces. Plus, it’s probably more affordable than you think. By taking the virtual consultation, you’ll have the answers you need to take charge of your health.

Virtual Consultations for Invisalign & Braces are Fast and Easy!

Just click here, watch the quick instructional video, and get started today!!

Tips for Braces Pain Relief

The brackets components of dental braces are now smoother, narrower, and smaller than ever, which means that they are also much more comfortable to wear than before. While any adjustments or alterations to the teeth can take some getting used to, Dr. Castilla and the team are finding that fewer and fewer of our patients are experiencing much pain or discomfort from their braces. However, since from time to time some patients may experience some tenderness or irritation from getting their braces installed or adjusted, Dr. Castilla has assembled a list of helpful and easy tips to alleviate pain.

Be Patient with the Process

In most cases, the pain or discomfort associated with having braces or getting them adjusted subsides in a relatively short amount of time. For the most part, it’s just a matter of getting used to having the new appliances in your mouth and the pressure that they exert on your teeth/jaw.

Practice Excellent Oral Hygiene

Since a buildup of bacteria in the mouth can lead to inflammation and even infection, practicing proper dental hygiene can play a large role in preventing unnecessary discomfort. While the smoother low profile brackets are less likely to cause irritation to the gums, good oral health can help any abrasions heal quicker and prevent them from leading to an infection. Be sure to make brushing and flossing an important part of your daily routine, and don’t skip out on your regular cleanings from the dentist. Castilla Orthodontics even rewards our patients for keeping good oral hygiene by having a quarterly contest with cool prizes!

Rinse with Warm Salt Water

Warm salt water has been used for many centuries as a way to soothe inflammation of the gums, and it works very well with alleviating the pain associated with having braces. The combination of salt’s antibacterial qualities, with the soothing qualities of warm water goes a long way in reducing any irritation associated with having braces.

Apply Orthodontic Wax

Until the cheeks and gums become used to the new orthodontic appliances in your mouth, silicon orthodontic wax is very helpful in creating a barrier between the soft tissue and the metallic braces. Over time, your mouth will become used to the appliances and you will no longer experience any discomfort from them.

Eat Soft Foods

Since loose brackets and archwires can cause irritation to the cheeks and gums, it is very important to follow the guidelines set by Dr. Castilla and the team in regards to choosing the right foods to eat. Your braces are finely tuned to place just the right amount of pressure on the teeth to move them to the right place, so it is important to avoid bending or breaking the brackets and wires. Hard and sticky foods can disturb the precise placement and integrity of your orthodontic appliances. 

Use Over the Counter Orajel

Orajel is an effective over the counter medicine that offers temporary relief from pain due to sores and irritation of the gums and cheeks. If you are experiencing some discomfort from getting your braces installed or adjusted, Orajel can effectively ease the pain. It is also very effective in offering some comfort if your cheeks and gums are irritated from rubbing against the brackets or arch wires.

Take an Anti-Inflammatory

The use of over the counter anti-inflammatories such as Advil, Aleve, or their generic counterparts is quite helpful during the first 12-24 hours of having your braces installed or adjusted. In order to avoid any health complications, please be sure to consult with your doctor if you are currently on any medications or have any health issues that may be complicated by taking a non steroidal anti inflammatory drug (NSAID).

Use a Pencil Eraser if an Archwire is Poking Your Mouth

In the event of a poking wire, be sure to schedule an appointment with us as quickly as possible so we can remedy the situation. However, don’t wait for your next available appointment to reduce the amount of irritation that the poking wire may be causing. Instead, take a clean pencil eraser and gently bend the poking wire away from the soft tissue of your mouth. 

Apply an Ice Pack to the Cheeks

Applying an ice pack to sore regions of the mouth can provide a much needed reduction of swelling in the mouth. 

Gently Massage Your Gums

Since the torque of the braces can make the gums sore, gently massaging them with your fingertips in a circular motion will greatly help.

If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment with braces, the caring team at Castilla Orthodontics in Salem is always here to help. If you experience persistent pain or discomfort for more than a week after trying the above techniques, please make an appointment so we can make sure that you are not experiencing any complications.

health benefits of braces salem or

How Braces or Invisalign Can Improve Your Overall Health

Dr. Ana Castilla and the team at Castilla Orthodontics identify some of the health benefits of having straight teeth after being treated with Invisalign or braces in Salem Oregon. Their ultimate goal is to help their patients live happier and healthier lives with a beautiful and healthy smile!

What’s Healthy About Having Braces or Invisalign?

Many patients choose to receive orthodontic treatment for the aesthetic purpose of straightening their teeth and improving their smile. Another bonus to having straight teeth is the health benefits that that they provide. However, many do not know what exactly these health benefits are. Dr. Ana Castilla and her team like to inform their patients about all of the benefits of having straight teeth!

A Healthy Smile Leads to More Self-Esteem.

Getting braces or Invisalign from Castilla Orthodontics and achieving straight teeth automatically helps improve self-esteem in most of our patients. One example is Alaina G., who posted on Instagram and shared with the practice that “I used to be so insecure about my smile/teeth. Now, I’m excited to show off these pearly whites to everyone I encounter… Invisalign is not the ONLY reason I feel more confident in my smile. The truest reason is because along this journey, I simply started smiling MORE. And when I smiled more, I realized that others around me smiled more. Smiling is truly contagious.”

When your teeth are straight, your mouth is healthy and your smile is bright. Many patients of Dr. Ana Castilla are no longer embarrassed of their crooked teeth, and can now put their smile and positive energy out to the world!

Less Plaque Build-up Because Straight Teeth are Easier to Keep Clean.

When you see an ad for toothpaste or a toothbrush, the models used in these ads typically have exceptionally straight and bright teeth. That’s because straight teeth, aside from looking better, are easier to keep clean. Whether the teeth are overlapped, overcrowded, or hard to reach, food (and thus plaque) may build up because it cannot be reached by a toothbrush or floss. This buildup of plaque can lead to cavities, discolored teeth, and bad breath. More serious problems including tooth decay and gum disease can be caused by a buildup of plaque. By simply aligning your teeth with braces or Invisalign, all surface areas of the teeth will then be easily accessible and can be brushed and flossed effectively.

Oral Hygiene Promotes a Healthy Body.

There is medical evidence that supports the fact that poor oral health may contribute to a variety of physical maladies beyond the mouth. These maladies include diabetes, stroke, heart disease and complications for pregnant women. Bacteria and plaque from the mouth can enter the bloodstream, the lungs, and the digestive system, thus affecting the entire immune system. Crooked teeth can also cause patients to have problems eating. When teeth are not aligned properly, it can be difficult to bite into hard, chewy, and crunchy foods. This problem can cause patients to stop eating certain types of foods, even if they are healthy and provide daily needed nutrition. Dr. Castilla and the team at Castilla Orthodontics stress the importance of good oral hygiene with their patients, and even have a quarterly contest to help promote it!

Less Injuries to the Teeth.

Crooked teeth tend to chip or break more easily than teeth that are in alignment. This is because the upper and lower rows of teeth receive more stress over time from grinding against each other when they are crooked. Protruding teeth also tend to receive more force while biting down, rather than the pressure being more evenly applied across the even rows of teeth. Braces and Invisalign correct these misalignment problems and ensure a healthy, straight, functional set of teeth for a lifetime.

Less Stress to the Jaw Bones.

When teeth are crooked or crowded, the functionality of the jaw is also compromised. This can not only lead to abnormal wear and tear on the teeth, but also cause discomfort or pain to the jaw. This pain might occur due to an imbalance between the jaw bones and their muscles and connective tissue. Chewing, biting and speaking abilities are optimized when you have straight teeth. By straightening your teeth, the pain will subside because your teeth and jaw bones will be aligned to work at their optimal effectiveness.

Start Your Journey Today Towards a Beautiful and Healthy Smile!

As you can see, there are several reasons why straight teeth and a healthy mouth are more than just a cosmetic concern. Correcting the misalignment of one’s teeth through braces or Invisalign improves the quality of life for the patients of Castilla Orthodontics. To start your journey with Castilla Orthodontics:

  1. Take a Virtual Consultation
  2. Call or Text us at 503-399-0721 to schedule a complimentary consultation
  3. Email us at justsmile@castillaortho.com
  4. Contact us via our website
  5. Stop by our orthodontic office in Salem Oregon

Tips To Make Invisalign in Salem OR More Comfortable

Invisalign clear aligners have become very well known for the advantages that they offer over colorful braces, while being able to treat many of the same types of cases. Unlike braces, Invisalign aligners are clear, removable, easy to clean, and best of all virtually invisible! The clear aligners are made of smooth thermoplastic for maximum comfort, and each set is worn for about two weeks until being replaced by the next set. However, when wearing a new set of aligners for the first time, some patients may experience slight discomfort or soreness while their mouth and teeth adjust. Here are some tips to make treatment with Invisalign in Salem OR more comfortable:

Take An Anti-Inflammatory To Reduce Swelling and Inflammation

Since the new set of aligners is going to put some pressure on the teeth, some patients will experience a small amount of discomfort or slight pressure. The use of over the counter anti-inflammatories such as Advil, Aleve, or their generic counterparts is quite helpful during the first 12-24 hours of wearing your new set of aligners. In order to avoid any health complications, please be sure to consult with your doctor if you are currently on any medications or have any health issues that may be complicated by taking a non steroidal anti inflammatory drug (NSAID).

Change Your Invisalign Clear Aligners Right Before Bedtime

In addition to taking a dose or two of a doctor approved NSAID, applying your new aligners right  before going sleep will help prevent some discomfort and soreness. This will provide 6-8 hours of adjustment time, so by the time you wake up, your aligners will already have a more comfortable fit.

Use An Emery Board To Smooth The Edges of Your Invisalign Clear Aligners

It is not uncommon for Invisalign patients to place a new set of aligners on their teeth and experience slight discomfort in their tongue or cheek. Invisalign aligners tend to have a rough edge to them, which can be easily resolved by using the smooth side of an emery board. Gently file along the rough edges of the Invisalign aligners to make for a more comfortable fit.

Apply Orthodontic Wax Along the Clear Aligner Edges

Orthodontic wax is a silicone wax that applies clear and has been used for many years by patients that are being treated with braces. In addition to filing the rough edges with an emery board, you can also help reduce or prevent irritation in your gums, tongue, or lip by applying orthodontic wax along the gum line where the Invisalign aligner edges are located. A small strip of wax can be pushed up flat against the gums to prevent the aligners from rubbing against the gums and irritating them.

Use Canker-X on any Gum Irritation

Canker-X is an ointment that is used to treat canker sores and sores in the mouth, and it can also help relieve any discomfort associated with applying a new set of Invisalign clear aligners. This ointment contains benzocaine, which is a topical anesthetic that instantly numbs the area of application for at least a couple of hours. In addition, this also acts a bandage that sticks to gums or lips to provide relief and comfort to any of the areas that may be irritated by the aligners.

Use Biotene & XyliMelts to Moisturize Your Mouth

Invisalign may cause dry mouth for patients that do an extensive amount of speaking during lectures, business meetings, or phone calls. Biotene is a moisturizing mouth spray that helps fight against dry mouth by lubricating the inside of your mouth for hours of additional comfort. XyliMelts are lozenges that are intended to rest in between your cheek and gums in order to coat, soothe, and moisturize the mouth during the work day or throughout a night’s sleep.

Getting Treatment With Invisalign Clear Aligners in Salem OR

We hope these tips will help make your Invisalign treatment enjoyable and comfortable. Dr. Castilla and the team at Castilla Orthodontics are here to answer any questions you may have regarding treatment with Invisalign and Invisalign Teen in Salem, Sublimity, Mt. Angel, Dallas, Keizer, and the surrounding areas of Marion County. Call or text Castilla Orthodontics at 503-399-0721 to schedule a free consultation today, or take an online virtual consultation.

the health benefits of smiling

4 Ways Your Smile Improves Your Life – And The Lives Around You

Many people go to the dentist not just because they want good oral health, but also because having a great smile is a good confidence booster and makes them more likely to smile more often. But it also impacts those who see that dazzling smile.

“Every day we see people who tell us about how their friends, family and business colleagues are also affected by their new smiles,” says Dr. Ana Castilla, an orthodontist and author of the book The Smile of Your Life: Everything You Need to Know for Your Orthodontic Journey. “They are just more willing to smile, and they didn’t anticipate how much that would impact others in their life.”

Studies have shown that people believe smilers are reliable, relaxed and sincere. A study published in the journal of Neuropsychology reported that seeing an attractive, smiling face activates the orbitofrontal cortex, the region in the brain that processes sensory rewards. This suggests that when someone sees a person smiling, they feel rewarded.

As a result, Dr. Castilla says some of the things a smile can do for you include:

  • Make you more attractive. “Your smile is your best accessory,” Castilla says. “Studies have shown that people who smile are automatically viewed as more attractive, reliable, relaxed, and sincere. Seeing an attractive face can be considered a rewarding stimulus, and when a person sees a smiling face, the region of their brain that processes sensory rewards is activated significantly more than when viewing a non-smiling face.”
  • Relieve stress and boost your mood. Science has shown that smiling increases your health and happiness, not just at the moment, but even in the long run, Castilla says. “The more you smile, the healthier and happier you will be,” she says. How so? When you smile, your brain releases signaling molecules called neuropeptides to the rest of your body, she says. These neuropeptides influence your brain, body, and behavior in many ways, including reducing stress, aiding sleep, and elevating your mood.
  • Lower your blood pressure. When you smile your brain also releases feel-good neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. These chemicals calm your nervous system by lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. “It’s great to know that even when you skip out on going to the gym, you can still work on your health by smiling away,” Castilla says. “Although I don’t recommend skipping the gym.”
  • Help you make others happy. Smiling not only has the power to elevate your mood, it can also change the moods of others. “If you’re grumpy or rude, then you’re likely to put others in a bad mood or even put them off,” Castilla says. “The same thing happens with laughter and smiling. What happens when you smile at someone? They smile back, of course. Even babies know what to do. Smile at a baby and they will smile right back at you.”

“A beautiful smile is so much more than just straight teeth,” Castilla says. “It is health, confidence and joy. It is what you display during the happiest moments of your life, such as when you graduate from school, get married, or your child is born. It is a reflection of your spirit, and make no mistake, it can change your life.”

About Dr. Ana Castilla

Dr. Ana Castilla is an orthodontist and the author of the book Smile of Your Life: Everything You Need to Know for Your Orthodontic Journey. Dr. Castilla is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics and is dedicated to both education and research in the field of orthodontics. Her research on indirect-bonding techniques has been published in the Angle Orthodontist journal. Dr. Castilla was born in Ecuador, and grew up in the United States.