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.

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.

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.

Enter Our Q4 Hygiene Contest!

Since oral hygiene is an incredibly important part of one’s orthodontic treatment with braces, Castilla Orthodontics near Keizer OR likes to reward our patients for their fantastic flossing and brushing! Starting on October 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018, you will have a chance to WIN a $50 Fandango Gift Card. Plus, the winner’s dentist office will get a pizza party during lunch on us!

Why is Flossing and Brushing Important During Orthodontic Treatment?

Flossing and brushing is important for everyone since poor oral hygiene has been linked to significant health issues such as heart problems, dementia, respiratory infections, cancer, diabetes, and fertility issues with both men and women. Gum disease is incredibly difficult and expensive to treat, and can often result in the loss of teeth. So, good oral hygiene extends far beyond preventing bad breath.

During orthodontic treatment with braces, there are more places for food and sugar to get trapped. Dr. Castilla and the team will show you some tips and tricks for keeping your good oral hygiene during your treatment with us.

Do I Need to See My Regular Dentist During Orthodontic Treatment?

It is a common misconception that regular visits to the dentist aren’t necessary during orthodontic treatment because the patient is going to the orthodontist instead. While flossing, using proxibrushes, waterpiks, and electronic toothbrushes will help keep up a patient’s oral hygiene, your hygienist will be able to give you a much more thorough cleaning. This is why we always recommend seeing your regular dentist once every six months during orthodontic treatment with braces.

How Do I Enter to the Q4 Hygiene Contest to WIN a $50 Fandango Gift Card?

Just click here to download your entry card, and be sure to have your hygienist fill it out during your next appointment with them. Bring it back with you during your next appointment with us, and you’ll automatically be entered to WIN!

Good Luck!!!

Invisalign Vs. Smile Direct Club

Are you having trouble deciding between Invisalign vs. Smile Direct Club? At Castilla Orthodontics, we are dedicated to educating our patients about the latest advancements in the orthodontic industry, as well as offering affordable orthodontic treatment in Salem that can accommodate any budget. Here are some things you should consider in deciding between Invisalign with an orthodontist like Dr. Castilla vs. Smile Direct Club.

Where Can I Find Out About Invisalign Vs. Smile Direct Club Near Me?

Our team at Castilla Orthodontics specializes in Invisalign and Invisalign Teen in Salem, OR. As a leading Salem orthodontist, Dr. Castilla is experienced in all forms of orthodontic care and is constantly improving her skills with advanced training. Castilla Orthodontics provides supervised treatment with Invisalign by an orthodontic specialist that has received the necessary education and training to help guarantee the best possible results. We offer free consultations where we can discuss all of your options for achieving your smile goals.

How are Invisalign and Smile Direct Club Similar?

The Invisalign system uses sets of removable, clear aligners to provide the same results as traditional braces. Because the aligners are clear and there is no metal, it is difficult to see them, especially from a distance or in photography. Thus, they are considered a more esthetic or discreet option for orthodontic treatment. Because they are removable, there are no food restrictions and teeth cleaning is much easier.  Each set of aligners is made of a smooth and lightweight high-tech plastic material called Smart Track that gently and gradually shift teeth into alignment. Both Invisalign and Invisalign Teen use this advanced material so you can be certain your teen is receiving the latest technology treatment. Smile Direct Club also uses a set of clear aligners to achieve straight teeth and therefore have all the same benefits of esthetics and removability as Invisalign.  However, it does not use the Smart Track material used by Invisalign.

How are Invisalign and Smile Direct Club different?

Aside from the actual material used to fabricate the aligners, Invisalign and Smile Direct Club have many other differences. Below are some of the major differences:

Cost of Invisalign Vs. Smile Direct Club

While Smile Direct Club is less expensive overall than traditional Invisalign treatment, it is not fair to compare the fees since you are getting two completely different products. Furthermore, you may be surprised to learn that on a monthly basis, Invisalign can still be very affordable. At Castilla Orthodontics, we offer industry-leading financing that allows our patients to afford their treatment even if they don’t have insurance by taking advantage of our in-house, zero-interest, flexible financing. In fact, you can get started with Invisalign for as little as $500 down!

Getting Started with Invisalign or Smile Direct Club

With Smile Direct Club, you have to visit a Smile Shop to get a digital scan of your teeth and bite or if you don’t live near one, then you will receive a kit that allows you to take impressions (molds) of your teeth at home. This  can lead to some frustration and even inaccuracies, especially since you’ve probably never done this yourself. With Invisalign, instead of visiting a Smile Shop, you visit a doctor’s office where you get to meet the doctor who will be doing the treatment and they will take scans of your teeth as well as x-rays to make sure you don’t have any cavities or periodontal (gum) disease that could make it dangerous to move teeth.

Convenience of Invisalign Vs. Smile Direct Club

Smile Direct Club is designed to eliminate visits to an orthodontist by allowing treatment to be completed from home. Once your aligners are ready, you will receive your aligners in the mail and then the rest is up to you. You can send pictures via email to the dental professional at Smile Direct Club so they can check your progress, but of course this is a limited way to examine your teeth and bite. With Invisalign, you go to your orthodontist’s office to get your aligners. During this visit, your orthodontist will check your aligners in person, to make sure they are fitting great and there are no issues. There is a misconception that with Invisalign, you have to have monthly visits with your doctor, but nothing could be further from the truth! At Castilla Orthodontics, our Invisalign patients come to our office every 12 to 15 weeks for progress checks. Thus, you have the convenience of not having to go to your doctor every month and the security of having your doctor available in person, should you have a question, concern, or issue with your treatment.

Level of Supervision of Invisalign Vs. Smile Direct Club

If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment, you can call Smile Direct Club where they have multiple customer care representatives that can assist you. You can even email your provider. With Invisalign, you can call or email your doctor’s office as well.  However, you also have the option of seeing your doctor in person so that he or she can directly, and in person, examine you to see what is going on with your aligners, your teeth, or your treatment in general. Furthermore, your orthodontist is available to directly communicate with your primary care dentist should you get dental work during treatment that affects the fit of your aligners, or if you are planning cosmetic work after you straighten your teeth such as composite build-ups or porcelain veneers.

Capabilities of Invisalign Vs. Smile Direct Club

By its very nature, Smile Direct Club aligner treatment does not involve x-rays, elastics, or attachments. Attachments are small, tooth-colored ridges made of dental composite resin, a material very similar to what your dentist uses for tooth-colored fillings, that are bonded or glued to certain teeth during Invisalign treatment. These are used only on certain teeth which require more difficult movements and being tooth-colored, blend in with your teeth. Thus, Smile Direct Club treatment is limited to more simple cases where you are mainly improving the alignment of the front teeth and not necessarily fixing the bite. On the other hand, Invisalign can treat all types of cases, including advanced cases. This is due to their well-adapting material, the use of attachments, and the direct in-person supervision of an orthodontist.

Why Choose Invisalign With A Certified Orthodontist?

While Dr. Castilla and the team at Castilla Orthodontics do not have anything negative to say about Smile Direct Club, it is important to understand that this type of treatment is not for everyone. If you are looking for cosmetic improvement and not bite correction or ideal alignment of your teeth, then Smile Direct Club may be an acceptable option. However, it is important that you are very careful and make sure your teeth and gums are healthy enough to undergo orthodontic movement safely. Since your doctor will be monitoring you remotely and without x-rays, you will have to figure this out on your own by contacting your family dentist. If you are looking for bite correction to get a healthy bite that will help you keep your teeth for a lifetime, as well as beautifully aligned teeth (not just a cosmetic improvement), then Invisalign treatment with a certified orthodontist such as Dr. Castilla is the way to go.

Finding the Difference of Invisalign Vs. Smile Direct Club

In conclusion, Dr. Castilla and our team at Castilla Orthodontics are experts in various forms of affordable orthodontic treatment, including limited orthodontic treatment for minor to moderate corrections. We are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding Invisalign and Invisalign Teen in Salem, Woodburn, Keizer, Sublimity, Mt. Angel, Dallas, and the surrounding areas of Marion County.

How To Protect Your Braces While Playing Sports

If you are involved in sports and braces are on your horizon, you may be worried that this will keep you stuck on the sidelines when you’d rather be on the field or the court. This is a very common concern, and fortunately, it’s one that is unfounded. Here at Castilla Orthodontics, we treat many sports-playing patients, and we’re happy to report that you’ll be able to continue participating in any athletics you’re involved in at school or in the community while undergoing orthodontic treatment!

From Dwight Howard to Cristiano Ronaldo, Venus Williams to Brett Favre, multiple professional athletes have proven that straightening your smile doesn’t have to interrupt the sports you love to participate in. While braces don’t have to mean hanging up your jersey, you will need to be careful to not damage your orthodontic appliance, or injure your teeth or mouth. This is especially true if you play contact sports. Let’s take a look at the #1 way you can protect your braces – and your smile! – while participating in sports.

Avoiding injury while wearing braces

Sports-related injuries to the mouth and jaw are some of the most common injuries incurred by athletes. Protecting your smile while playing sports is especially important when you have braces due to the increased risk of oral injuries, which can occur if your mouth or your braces are hit by a ball or another player. While these injuries are rarely life-threatening, they can be painful, cause serious damage, and be costly to fix. Typical injuries from sports can include lacerations to the cheeks, lips and tongue, chipped or broken teeth, dislocation of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), and root fractures.

Wearing a fixed orthodontic appliance like braces adds another element to these kinds of injuries. Braces can cut to the inside of your mouth during a collision, causing lacerations, and the braces themselves can be damaged, including bent wires and broken brackets. The single best way to protect your teeth, mouth, and braces while playing sports is by wearing a mouthguard, preferably an orthodontic model. But even a basic mouthguard will help prevent hits that could lead to bleeding gums, broken brackets, or potentially fractured teeth, particularly when playing sports that include contact, such as football, wrestling, soccer, basketball, and hockey.

Whether you are wearing a mouthguard or not, get in touch with your general dentist’s office the moment you receive an injury to your teeth. Your dentist will be able to diagnose if you have any root or jaw bone fractures. If you are wearing braces, contact us (your orthodontist!) after your dentist has assessed for, and treated any tooth damage so your orthodontist can check if any of your braces need replacement or repair as well.

Castilla staff looking at teeth

More about mouthguards

Easy to find, simple to use, and highly effective, mouthguards are an excellent option for athletes wishing to prevent damage and injury from occurring. While they are especially useful for high-contact sports, we recommend wearing them for light contact or low-impact sports, too, since even a small amount of pressure on your braces can irritate your mouth, or cause small cuts or abrasions to your gums and the inside of your cheeks.

If you intend to regularly play sports while wearing braces, it’s worth looking into and investing in an orthodontic mouthguard. These are made from a high-grade silicone that helps to cushion your lips and keeps them from bumping against your teeth and braces. This also protects the brackets from any impact-related damage, and stops your lip getting caught in your braces, which can be as painful as it sounds! Although orthodontic mouthguards may be slightly larger than most regular mouthguards, the silicone makes them just as comfortable to wear.

Some orthodontic mouthguards, such as Shock Doctor and Tapout, can adjust to the movement of your teeth during treatment, re-molding to them multiple times as they change. Because they adjust based on your current bite, they are great for any athletes undergoing orthodontic treatment, as well as those without any orthodontic appliances. Most orthodontic mouthguards will be affordable, and will come in strapped or unstrapped styles. We strongly recommend that any of our sports-playing braces patients consider having an orthodontic mouthguard to keep their teeth and mouth protected.

Castilla staff looking at a patients teeth

Keeping your smile safe in Salem with Castilla Orthodontics

Mouthguards are an excellent investment for braces patients who play sports, shielding your teeth while they move into their new permanent positions, and protecting the orthodontic process itself. While an orthodontic mouthguard is optimal, we encourage all of our patients to wear any mouthguard over not wearing one at all when participating in athletics.

Are you currently undergoing orthodontic treatment with us and wondering what braces will mean for your sports schedule? Do you have an appointment scheduled to have braces put on and need some peace of mind that you’ll be able to continue playing the sports you love while we straighten your smile? Our expert team is dedicated to helping you continue to participate in your favorite sports while protecting your teeth and braces! We’re here to answer any questions you have, or talk through any concerns with you, so get in touch with us today and let us set your mind at ease. With the protection of a mouthguard and the support of our skilled staff behind you, you’ve got the best of both worlds: your favorite sports and a way to keep your braces and smile safe and shining brightly!

What Is A Waterpik And How Does It Work?

A good dental hygiene routine is important for all of us, but it’s especially crucial for kids who are undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces. Brushing and flossing regularly and effectively is essential for removing the plaque and food that can accumulate around braces, reducing unsightly white marks, cavities, and even gum disease. But if you ask any Castilla Orthodontics patient that’s currently in braces, they’ll tell you this kind of care comes with its own set of challenges! Flossing can be tricky at the best of times, but brackets, wires, and bands can add a new element of difficulty. The good news is there are multiple tools on the market that are designed to help make this an easier process. One of our favorites is an oral irrigator, such as a Waterpik.

When you use traditional flossing methods with braces, it involves guiding the floss underneath the archwire of each tooth, flossing that tooth, removing the floss, then repeating the process as you go. This can be time-consuming, especially at first, though it’s likely you’ll get better and faster at it as time goes on. Adding an oral irrigator to your dental routine can be a helpful tool if you’re having trouble getting the hang of flossing with braces, making it easier to keep your teeth clean and free of debris. Keep reading to learn more about what exactly a Waterpik is, and what it can do to help keep your mouth healthy!

What is a Waterpik?

An oral irrigator is a health appliance that’s been designed for dental care at home. It uses a combination of pressure and pulsation to release a targeted stream of water into the mouth, which helps to remove any stubborn plaque, food particles, and bacteria. The pulsating action also stimulates gum tissue, increasing the blood flow and keeping them healthy. While they should never take the place of regular flossing, oral irrigators are a great addition to your dental hygiene routine, and can also be used in between meals or whenever you want to freshen up your mouth!

Waterpik tends to be the most well-known brand of oral irrigator. All Waterpik water flossers include a motor with a pump, a water reservoir, and a special water flosser tip, though the sizes and features will vary. Waterpik flossers generally come with a special orthodontic tip, which is an innovative tapered brush that’s been designed to remove hard-to-reach plaque around brackets and wires. This tip should be replaced about every three months.

Common Waterpik models and features

There are multiple Waterpik designs available, including ones that are cordless and ones for the countertop, for your convenience. There are also a number of Waterpiks designed for children.

Some of their most popular models include:

  • Complete Care WP-900: You’ll be able to save on counter space and power outlets with this convenient model that’s a water flosser and sonic toothbrush in one.
  • Ultra WP-100: For the ultimate in water flossing performance, the compact Ultra features ten pressure settings, a covered reservoir with tip storage, and six unique tips.
  • Aquarius Professional WP-660: The Aquarius is one of the most advanced water flossers available, and includes on/off water control on the handle, an LED information panel, seven tips, and a one-minute timer with a 30-second pacer. This model also features new pulse-modulation technology to provide maximum plaque removal in Floss Mode and enhanced gum stimulation in the Hydro-Pulse Massage Mode.
  • Water Flosser For Kids WP-260: This flosser is made for children ages six and above, and features an extra safe, kid-proof electrical design. There are easy fingertip controls on the On/Off switch and the Pressure Control System, and a reservoir that can be used as a cover to keep the unit clean, all of which are covered under a two-year warranty.
  • Cordless Plus Professional WP-440: For orthodontic patients on the go, this rechargeable unit is a great choice. It also comes with the Nano-Sonic toothbrush.
  • Traveler Water Flosser WP-300: The Traveler has a compact design that is ideal for smaller bathrooms and frequent travel. It also features global voltage compatibility for easy use in any country around the world, four tips, a pressure control system, and a premium travel case.

What are the benefits of using a Waterpik?

When used correctly, Waterpiks can be a great addition to your regular daily dental routine. For patients undergoing orthodontic treatment, water flossers may provide additional benefits that regular brushing and flossing alone can’t match, such as:

Removing plaque more effectively

Although your toothbrush does a pretty good job of removing this plaque, it doesn’t always reach the areas in between the teeth to remove the bacteria that can lurk there. The longer these spaces host bacteria and plaque, the higher your risk for developing complications like cavities and inflamed or infected gums. Multiple studies have shown that a Waterpik is more effective at removing plaque than string floss alone.

Helping to treat gingivitis

Gum disease is the inflammation or soreness of the gums caused by the bacteria in plaque infecting them. Gingivitis is the mildest form of this, causing some redness, inflammation, and slight bleeding. The best way to deal with gingivitis is to thoroughly clean away plaque every day by brushing, flossing, and using an oral irrigator. This can both treat and reverse gingivitis.

Making it easier to clean implants, bridges, crowns, and braces

The areas under and around implants, bridges, crowns, and braces are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria. It is especially vital for dental implant and orthodontic patients to maintain excellent oral hygiene, as any form of active gum disease can interrupt or delay treatment. The combined effect of water pressure and pulsation from a Waterpik is an effective method for ensuring the area around your orthodontic hardware and implants, bridges, or crowns is thoroughly cleaned and free of debris.

Dr. Castilla talking to a patient

Keeping your smile sparkling clean with Castilla Orthodontics

When used correctly, as a compliment to and not in place of regular flossing, a Waterpik can help keep your braces and teeth squeaky clean. If you are in Salem or the surrounding communities and want more information on how Waterpiks can assist in your orthodontic treatment, get in touch with us today! Dr. Castilla will even be happy to recommend a water flosser for you based on your particular needs. We’re here to help you achieve a straight, sparkling smile any way we can!