Dr. Castilla with a patient

Why You Should Choose Castilla Orthodontics

When it comes to choosing an orthodontic practice, we know that it is a very personal decision and that there are many choices available to you. That is why Castilla Orthodontics work so hard to stand out from the crowd! Although we were voted as the Best Orthodontist of the Mid-Valley by readers of the Statesmen Journal in 2017, we are not resting on our laurels. Our team is determined to uphold this title by focusing on providing our patients with only the best in orthodontic care, and by demonstrating to families in our community the extraordinary care, attention, and results they can expect from us. Let us take a look at how we accomplish that!

Supporting education in our community

Did you know that only 6% of dentists will go on to become orthodontists? It takes years of additional schooling and specialized training, so it is unsurprising only a small percentage attempt it. Dr. Castilla spent four years as a general dentist before deciding to take the plunge into orthodontics, and she has a real passion for her profession! She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, is dedicated to further orthodontics education and research, and has had her research published in the Angle Orthodontist journal.

Dr. Castilla is also an Affiliate Assistant Professor at the Oregon Health and Science University Department of Orthodontics, and a member of various organizations, including the

Every quarter, our team choose a charity to support. Many of our patients donate tokens they earn during orthodontic visits to each quarter’s charity and Dr. Castilla donates 50 cents for each one donated. Some of the charities that we have recently supported are:

Dr. Castilla also donates to various local school fundraisers and programs throughout each year. Castilla Orthodontics is a $1K sponsor of the Annual Salem Academy Fund Raising Event each year, and we also support the Englewood Elementary and Grant Elementary schools. Not only that, but Dr. Castilla is proud to offer an annual college scholarship to high school seniors who are interested in the dental field. We have two different scholarships:

  • The Castilla Orthodontics College Scholarship, which offers a $500 scholarship each year to a Marion or Polk County high school graduate that has been accepted into college.
  • The Castilla Orthodontics Scholarship via the Chemeketa Foundation, which offers a $1500 scholarship each year to a Latina female who is entering her first year in the Dental Assisting Program at Chemeketa Community College.

Being a lifelong learner is something Dr. Castilla truly takes to heart – she is proud to participate in continuing education each year in order to maintain her status as an Invisalign Gold+ provider.

A practice that is ahead of the pack

At Castilla Orthodontics, we have a passion for creating beautiful, healthy smiles for families in the Salem community and surrounding areas. We offer a number of services and perks that keep us ahead of the pack!

Continuity of care is important to Dr. Castilla. As the only doctor at our practice, she sees every patient for their scheduled visits and creates every customized treatment plan herself. But as any good orthodontist will tell you, they cannot do it all on their own! Dr. Castilla is supported by an experienced, skilled team who have over 80 years of combined orthodontic experience.

To ensure every patient feels supported throughout their orthodontic journey, we always have someone available to answer our phones during lunch hours. We also offer text communication with our team members and have 24/7 online chat service. Your comfort is a priority with our office, so you never have to worry about a question going unanswered or a concern going unheard here.

Here at Castilla Orthodontics, we know that orthodontic treatment is a big investment. Our treatment fee is all-inclusive and includes all treatment visits, all records and x-rays, any emergency visits, 1 set of initial retainers, and 1 year of retention appointments. We do discounts for multiple family members and for payment in full, and to keep things simple for you, we accept most major credit cards and are happy to set up auto-debit payments. If you have dental insurance that covers orthodontic treatment, we will take the paperwork off your hands and file all the claims on your behalf. We do not want anyone to miss out on the smile they deserve due to finances, so we also offer zero-interest, in-house, flexible financing that is customized to each individual budget.

When it comes to treatment, we believe our patients should have access to the option that best suits their case, goals, and lifestyle. We do not upcharge for the Invisalign clear aligner system in our office, offering braces and Invisalign at equal cost instead. To provide the best overall orthodontic experience, we use only the latest state-of-the-art technology. This includes taking digital impressions of the teeth with our iTero® digital scanner to avoid gooey and messy impressions. We also sell professional, at-home whitening trays and gel to keep newly straightened smiles bright!

Our commitment to your smile does not stop once the first phase of treatment is complete. Our office is the only provider of the Guarantee My Smile program in the Mid-Valley area. By choosing a GMS orthodontist like Dr. Castilla for orthodontic treatment, you receive a guarantee that if you ever find yourself unhappy with the alignment of your teeth, we will put braces back on for free and charge only a reasonable monthly fee for treatment until you are fully satisfied with your smile. When it comes to retainers, we know life happens, and they are sometimes lost or damaged. We are the only orthodontic office in this area to offer a Lifetime Retainer Program. 

Castilla Orthodontics staff

An orthodontics office built around YOU

We want every patient we see to feel relaxed and comfortable from the moment they walk through the door of our Salem office. We have designed both our reception and treatment areas to reflect this. While you wait for your appointment, you will have access to free Wi-Fi, up-to-date reading material, a play area for young children, and a beverage station stocked with coffee, tea, water, and snacks. Waiting does not have to be boring here!

Our team also believes orthodontics should be fun and exciting. We have ongoing events to make each visit something you can look forward to, including monthly contests and quarterly drawings. Patients love our token program. You can earn tokens at each visit, then use them to “buy” items such as gift cards, toys, and movie passes from our “Token Board.” And when your orthodontic treatment with us is complete, we have a big celebration in store!

As you can see, Castilla Orthodontics takes great pride in providing only the best orthodontic experience possible to all of our patients and their families. If you are in Salem or the surrounding areas and are interested in learning more about how Dr. Castilla and our team can benefit your oral health, get in touch with us today to schedule a complimentary consultation. It is our mission to go above and beyond in the Salem community to create healthy, beautiful smiles that last a lifetime!

Man chooses between electric and manual toothbrush

Should I Use A Manual Or Electric Toothbrush For Braces?

Take a walk down the toothbrush aisle of your favorite grocery or drug store, and you may be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices on display these days. There are sensitive toothpastes, whitening toothpastes, alcohol and alcohol-free mouthwashes, manual and electric toothbrushes— the sheer amount of choices can seem massive! No different than other aspects of life, your choice of dental hygiene products is all a matter of preference, just like whether we like baseball better than football, or the comic better than the movie, we may also prefer manual toothbrushes over electric ones, or vice versa. But when it does come down to it, electric toothbrushes have the edge over manual ones for patients undergoing orthodontic treatment. To make sure you keep your braces and teeth shiny and clean, the team at Castilla Orthodontics is here to help you out!

According to studies by the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, an electric toothbrush actually promotes better oral hygiene for those with dental braces. An electric toothbrush will outperform a manual toothbrush before, during, and after orthodontic treatment for numerous reasons. Because food can become easily trapped around the brackets and under the archwires of braces, good oral hygiene can sometimes be a challenge for orthodontic patients. To get the best results from your dental hygiene routine, you should:

  • Brush gently at a 45-degree angle toward the gumline and around the top and bottom of the braces, moving the toothbrush in a small circular motion across all surfaces of the teeth in order to effectively remove bacteria, as well as any trapped food particles.
  • Brush at least three times per day, after breakfast and dinner as well as after getting home from school.
  • Replace your toothbrush or brush head every 3-4 months, or sooner if it shows signs of wear, or if you have a cold or any other illness.
  • Make it a point to look for clean and shiny braces, with the edge of the brackets clearly visible, as fuzzy or dull-looking metal can indicate poor brushing habits.
  • Floss at least once per day to remove bacteria and any food that has accumulated, taking advantage of tools like floss threaders and waterpiks if you are having difficulty getting into the tighter spaces.
  • Use antimicrobial and fluoride mouthwashes such as ACT mouthrinse.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste and a toothbrush with soft, rounded bristles.

Daily brushing and flossing helps to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath— whether it is done with a manual toothbrush or an electric one. There are quite a few ways using an electric toothbrush can help you get a little extra out of your oral hygiene routine, even though in many ways, brushing your teeth with an electric toothbrush is very similar to brushing with a plain one.

Electric toothbrushes make it easier to manage brushing because they have settings like timers and brushing intensity for better control. They work well on metal, ceramic, and lingual braces. A two-minute timer that alerts the patient when it is time to stop brushing comes built in with most electric toothbrushes. Children and adults who use a manual toothbrush often times use it for just a few seconds and think that the full two minutes has passed. A timer helps patients brush for the full recommended times. For those who have limited dexterity or arthritis, and for those who do not brush long enough or brush incorrectly, electric toothbrushes make it much easier because they remove stains and plaque better than a manual. An electric toothbrush will make your teeth feel less fuzzy and filmy. With or without wearing braces, you definitely want to avoid plaque!

Pair of toothbrushes

Just by cleaning your mouth the right way, cavities and gum damage can often be avoided. Many people are surprised to learn they are not brushing their teeth in the correct manner. Because they take most of the guesswork out of it— the timers, sensors, and modes of electric toothbrushes make the most of each brushing session.

You want to look for an electric toothbrush with a small head and soft bristles when brushing your teeth with braces. Gently apply pressure and allow the toothbrush to do the work for which it was intended. Take care around bands, brackets, and wires to ensure healthier gums, and remember to brush below and above the armature of the braces.

A manual toothbrush will work just fine with braces, but they can possibly lead to poor brushing in some people. According to studies, people tend to brush for shorter periods of time when using a manual brush. You should always brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes at a time. Learn to love your toothbrush!

The best toothbrush for braces is an electric toothbrush, when it is all said and done. For added cleaning, an interdental brush can help you reach the backs and interproximal areas of your teeth. These brushes reach the hard to get to areas, and all those nooks and crannies that either an electric or manual toothbrush may miss. Dr. Castilla will always keep you up-to-date on the best methods of brushing teeth with braces!

Smiling young woman with dental braces choosing toothy brush.

Whether you are purchasing an electric or manual toothbrush, always look for the ADA Seal (American Dental Association). A toothbrush with the ADA seal means it has been studied and tested for safety and effectiveness and is guaranteed to perform as promised. It is important to remember to replace manual toothbrushes or electric toothbrush heads more often while you are undergoing orthodontic braces treatment. It is a good idea to replace them more often to ensure the best possible performance, because the braces can be a little tougher on the bristles.

Castilla Orthodontics is here to help support you as you work towards a more healthy smile, whatever your preference of toothbrush may be! Dr. Castilla and her team of orthodontic experts are happy to answer any and all questions you may have about brushing, flossing, and your health in general. If you are in the Salem area, stop by or call to setup your appointment so we can get started on the smile of your dreams. Happy brushing!

Young woman with clear braces

Braces Vs Invisalign

When new patients who are interested in straightening their teeth and improving their smile first come into Castilla Orthodontics, one of the first questions we ask them is: “Are you interested in braces or Invisalign?” Much of the time, patients are not sure because they are not aware of the differences between the two. Our team here at Castilla Orthodontics has put together this tip sheet, so you can be fully informed on which orthodontic device is the right fit for you!

Most people already know that braces consist of little metal or ceramic brackets that are glued to your teeth.  When a wire is connected to your braces, that wire puts a small amount of force on your teeth which over time, moves them into better alignment.  What some people might not know is that Invisalign uses a series of clear, plastic aligners to apply a small amount of force to your teeth, and move your teeth, over time, into better alignment.  Teeth respond to low-level forces by moving, and both of these orthodontic options are able to effectively provide that force. Either way you go, both braces and Invisalign will work for patients of all ages – children, teens, and adults.  But that is where the similarity ends. So the question of braces or Invisalign all depends on the kind of experience you, as the patient, want for your orthodontic treatment  The information below will go a long way to help you make the right decision for you or your child. Your first consultation with us at Castilla Orthodontics will allow you to explore your options further.


Some of the main differences between braces and Invisalign come from that fact that Invisalign is removable and braces are not. Invisalign aligners can be removed for eating – which means you can eat anything you want without worrying about breaking your braces. It also means no braces to clean around, and makes cleaning your teeth a whole lot easier when brushing and flossing. You do have to wear your aligners all the time, which takes some getting used to, but patients are surprised how easy it is once you are in the habit. 

If you’re a heavy snacker, or do not want to put in and take out your aligners multiple times a day, then braces may be the right option for you. Once your braces are placed on your teeth, they are on until your treatment is finished.

Smiling Woman With White Teeth Holding Teeth Whitening Tray


Invisalign clear aligners are barely noticeable, which means you can straighten your teeth without metal braces showing up in your pictures. Braces are of course, visible, but you can customize your braces with fun color ties at each adjustment appointment to fit your mood or the season. Braces these days are often a fashion statement, and if that is the look you want, then go with braces. But if you or your child does not want the braces look, the choice is clear, choose Invisalign.


Many patients find Invisalign much more comfortable than braces. You do not have to worry about pokey braces and wires bothering your cheeks and lips when you go with Invisalign. However, it does take a few days to get used to the edges of the Invisalign aligners.


Treatment with Invisalign can be more convenient than treatment with braces for two main reasons: fewer adjustments and fewer emergencies. All the tooth movement is planned on a computer and then programmed into aligners that are changed weekly. With Invisalign, your adjustments are accomplished by changing your aligners at home. This allows you to schedule adjustments with Dr. Castilla much less frequently – usually about once a quarter. This saves you a lot of time in your already busy schedule!   Patients in braces typically come in every 6-8 weeks for adjustments.

Length of Treatment

You or your child’s time in braces or Invisalign will be much shorter now than it would have been years ago, because orthodontic treatment is much more efficient than it used to be. Either way, treatment with Invisalign or Braces takes about the same amount of time since length of treatment depends on the individual case and not the appliance used. Therefore, you can feel confident that you can choose your orthodontic appliance primarily on personal preference.

Both Invisalign and braces can help you get the fantastic smile you are looking for, but which one is right for you?  There are patients who come to our office who just want braces – their friends have braces, they want the fun colors, they want to have the braces experience. For these patients, braces are the right option, because it is the option they want. There are other patients who know that they will not be good about wearing aligners, but they want to straighten their teeth. For these patients, braces are probably the best option since aligners will not work if you do not wear them — although they might find that wearing aligners is easier than they think! For those who want their braces to show as little as possible or who have very busy schedules, Invisalign may be best choice.


Whichever treatment option you choose is not just about improving your smile but improving your overall oral health. This decision should not be taken lightly, which is why it is best to find an orthodontist like Dr. Castilla who is experienced with both braces and Invisalign. She can recommend which method will best perfect your smile and teeth. Our team at Castilla Orthodontics has years of experience working with both braces and Invisalign, and we will make sure you are an active partner in any treatment plan we design.

If you are in the Salem area and are interested in learning more, stop by our office or call us today! We can help you achieve the smile of your dreams and give you an orthodontic experience that you will truly enjoy. Our orthodontic professionals here at Castilla Orthodontics promise friendly, comfortable, and expert care!

Woman surrounded by question marks

Dentist vs. Orthodontist for Braces

Thinking about getting braces? Or maybe you have just been informed that your child would benefit from treatment with braces. If so, you may be wondering if  you will need to see an orthodontist or whether this is something your own dentist can do. You are already familiar with your dentist’s office and know it is convenient, so you might be reluctant to go elsewhere for orthodontic treatment. There is a misguided assumption out there that dentists and orthodontists are more or less interchangeable. Even though they may share a similarity or two, there are also some significant differences that set them apart.

It is important when looking into orthodontic treatment like braces that you  understand what orthodontists like ours at Castilla Orthodontics have to offer that general dentists do not. To decide which option is best for orthodontic treatments like braces, and to learn more about these important differences, we have put together the informative list below. Read on!

Training and Education

Up until they graduate from dental school, orthodontists and dentists have followed a similar educational path, but graduation is what sets dentist and orthodontists apart. After graduation orthodontists enter into two to three more years of schooling and full-time training that specializes in Orthodontics. This includes a focus on the straightening of teeth, bite problems, and braces. There are a few dentists who might have some supplemental training, but for the most part general dentists will not have the kind of rigorous training that Orthodontists have.

To break it down, orthodontists are dentists who also have additional, specialized training in orthodontics. A dentist may refer to themselves as an orthodontist only after they have successfully completed this orthodontics residency program.

stack of school books

Can My Dentist Straighten My Teeth?

Yes, but only if a dentist has committed to taking continuing education seminars and acquiring experience in the subject are they then allowed to perform orthodontic treatments. However, this is nowhere near a perfect system. Rigorous training and testing are needed to truly learn the extensive and specific knowledge necessary to perform these procedures, and these workshops and seminars completely lack them. To be able to provide the best possible treatment plan for patients, much more than just a surface understanding of orthodontics is necessary.

Pros and Cons of Using Your Dentist

It is not unusual to consider using your primary care dentist for treatment if they offer orthodontic care. Before moving forward with braces by your dentist, consider that experienced orthodontists, like the one here at Castilla Orthodontics, have this to offer:

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

Orthodontists focus solely on orthodontic care, while general dentists practice a wider scope of treatment. We have spent a great deal of time and energy perfecting it, because this is our only specialty! We take advantage of as many continuing education courses as we can throughout the year, purchase the latest equipment, perform teeth straightening procedures daily, and keep up to date on industry practice. Rather than taking the one-size-fits-all approach general dentists are inclined to use, here at Castilla Orthodontics we are well versed in creating the best individualized treatment method for each of our patients.

Dr. Castilla with a patient

Who Should You Choose for Braces?

As the patient, the choice of care provider is always up to you. Orthodontists focus solely on orthodontic issues, and are much more likely to have dealt with the specific dental issues that require orthodontic care than general dentists, who will have had little to no amount of orthodontic experience. The orthodontist at Castilla Orthodontics puts alot of emphasis on optimal, customized treatment approaches. Orthodontists are able to recommend plans that can save you time and money, as well as reduce the chances of any complications developing because they have the training to notice the small things a dentist might overlook. By seeking treatment from someone with knowledge, experience, and a specialized education, you can keep your health and your finances intact.

Quality orthodontics are Castilla Orthodontics one specialty. We provide all of our patients with the best treatment options, cost, efficiency, and results. We offer complimentary consultations so you can see this kind of care in action.  We can determine if orthodontic treatment will benefit your smile after this initial exam is completed. If you do need orthodontic treatment, we can outline a personalized treatment plan for you. Even if you just want a second opinion or decide not to get braces, we are happy to address any concerns you might have in order to help you make an informed decision. Get in touch with us today if you are ready to see how treatment by a qualified orthodontist can transform your smile!

Women on a bike

Teeth Whitening After Braces

Here at Castilla Orthodontics, we know that orthodontic treatment with braces can be quite a journey, requiring a lot of time and dedication on your part. When the day finally comes to ditch the brackets and wires, it’s something worth celebrating! But what happens if your newly aligned teeth are discolored or you just want them whiter and brighter?

It’s common for patients to desire a whiter smile after completion of orthodontic treatment. After all, your teeth are now beautifully straight. Whitening can be the icing on the cake! The finishing touch! Fortunately, professional teeth whitening after braces can give you the kind of bright and beautiful smile you want to show off to the world.

Let’s take a closer look at what options are available to you once your braces come off.     

Options for teeth whitening

girl comparing tooth shades

There are quite a few options when it comes to teeth whitening, from toothpastes to in-office bleaching. While over-the-counter products are available for teeth whitening, professional procedures will generally provide the best results. These tend to use much more powerful products that are able to produce the desired effect in a shorter period of time. Over-the-counter products can contain abrasive chemicals that may irritate your mouth when used over an extended length of time. Professional services protect your entire mouth, including the tooth enamel.

Tray bleaching

Castilla Orthodontics are proud to offer our patients at-home professional whitening trays at an affordable price. These trays are made with a custom mold of your teeth so they fit perfectly over your teeth. This can take from a few hours to a few days to make. The whitening gel used with the trays is only available through a dentist or orthodontist. Once you receive the tray, you’ll place the whitening gel in the custom-fitted tray, and the gel will whiten your stained teeth. Unlike strips, this process is able to whiten all your natural teeth, not just the front ones. Although you may notice results in as little as three to five days, most at-home professional tray whitening will take about ten days to two weeks to yield the best results.

Paint-on teeth whiteners

Available in many over-the-counter varieties, this option tends to be relatively inexpensive, but is less effective than whitening strips or professional treatments. These whiteners essentially consist of a gel that you apply to the teeth using a small brush. This hardens into a film that coats the teeth and dissolves in the mouth. This gel has a peroxide component similar to the gel used in tray bleaching, but this variation is less effective because it dissolves in the mouth.

Whitening strips

Teeth-whitening strips usually consist of thin, flexible plastic polyethylene strips that have a thin film of hydrogen peroxide on one side. Whitening strip kits tend to come with two types of strips — one for the upper teeth and another for the lower teeth. The strips are placed across your teeth, gel side down, gently pressing the whitening agent in place, taking care to ensure contact with all your teeth. These are typically worn for thirty minutes, twice a day. The length of time required to see results will depend on how efficient the strip variety you’ve chosen is. While convenient, the main disadvantage of strips is that they only whiten your front teeth, while professional whitening will whiten all of your teeth.

Whitening toothpaste and mouthwash

Whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes are the least expensive and most easily accessible option for brightening up your smile. These products work to remove surface stains using mild abrasives, but cannot lighten the actual color shade of your teeth. They will, however, slightly lighten your teeth, as long as you are using them regularly.

Your regular toothpaste is designed to help remove some surface stains as they clean teeth and improve the health of your mouth. Whitening toothpastes take this one step further by adding more abrasive ingredients, such as silica, to scrub the surface of the teeth and help remove even more surface stains.

After you begin using a whitening toothpaste, it can take several weeks to begin to see results. Because a whitening toothpaste doesn’t change the actual color of your teeth, any results can be undone by continuing habits that contribute to stains on the teeth, or by discontinuing use of the product. Always look for a whitening toothpaste that has a seal of approval from the American Dental Association.

How does teeth whitening work?

To understand how teeth whitening works, you need to understand how teeth become discolored in the first place. There are two types of discoloration: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic stains are basically surface stains left from coffee, tea, nicotine, etc. Brushing your teeth daily with a whitening toothpaste can help to remove some of these extrinsic stains. Intrinsic stains are actually below the enamel, and these are caused by years of exposure to staining substances, making them harder to remove.

Teeth whitening agents are able to get stains from “inside” your tooth out with whitening gels, or bleaching agents, that contain an oxidizing agent in the form of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. This is the active ingredient in most whitening agents. The gel reacts with the internal aspect of your tooth, mixing with the discolored areas and breaking them apart, giving your teeth a noticeably whiter appearance!

Results will vary when you use whitening toothpastes and other whitening products, depending on your specific teeth. Whitening treatments are also incapable of changing the color of fillings, veneers, or crowns. For lasting results with tooth whitening toothpaste, you’ll need to continue to use it as directed, brushing with it at least twice per day. Don’t forget to floss for the overall health of your teeth and gums, too.

Brightening your newly straightened smile with Castilla Orthodontics

Dr. Castilla and a patient

After your braces have been removed, we recommend getting a professional cleaning at your general dentist’s office before attempting any sort of whitening treatment. This will ensure all outer stains, plaque, or tartar is removed before the whitening process. Sometimes, whitening may cause tooth sensitivity. This sensitivity is temporary and goes away once you complete the whitening treatment.  If you know you are prone to sensitive teeth, you can try using a desensitizing toothpaste for at least one month before beginning any whitening. You should also let us know if you are having any sensitivity, as Dr. Castilla may be able to change the protocol or frequency of the whitening application.

Whether you are a current or past braces patient with Castilla Orthodontics, or you are looking for teeth whitening options in Salem or the surrounding areas, we can help answer any questions you have about achieving a brighter, whiter smiles after braces treatment. Get in touch with us today to schedule your free consultation! We can help top your new smile off with the finishing touch!