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Posts for tag: braces

By Michael E. Huguet DDS
September 22, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
LadyGagaWasntBornThisWay

Sometimes, looking at old pictures can really bring memories back to life. Just ask Stefani Germanotta—the pop diva better known as Lady Gaga. In one scene from the recent documentary Five Foot Two, as family members sort through headshots from her teen years, her father proclaims: "Here, this proves she had braces!"

"If I had kept that gap, then I would have even more problems with Madonna," Lady Gaga replies, referencing an ongoing feud between the two musical celebrities.

The photos of Gaga's teenage smile reveal that the singer of hits like "Born This Way" once had a noticeable gap (which dentists call a diastema) between her front teeth. This condition is common in children, but often becomes less conspicuous with age. It isn't necessarily a problem: Lots of well-known people have extra space in their smiles, including ex-football player and TV host Michael Strahan, actress Anna Paquin…and fellow pop superstar Madonna. It hasn't hurt any of their careers.

Yet others would prefer a smile without the gap. Fortunately, diastema in children is generally not difficult to fix. One of the easiest ways to do so is with traditional braces or clear aligners. These orthodontic appliances, usually worn for a period of months, can actually move the teeth into positions that look more pleasing in the smile and function better in the bite. For many people, orthodontic treatment is a part of their emergence from adolescence into adulthood.

Braces and aligners, along with other specialized orthodontic appliances, can also remedy many bite problems besides diastema. They can correct misaligned teeth and spacing irregularities, fix overbites and underbites, and take care of numerous other types of malocclusions (bite problems).

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that kids get screened for orthodontic problems at age 7. Even if an issue is found, most won't get treatment at this age—but in some instances, it's possible that early intervention can save a great deal of time, money and effort later. For example, while the jaw is still developing, its growth can be guided with special appliances that can make future orthodontic treatment go quicker and easier.

Yet orthodontics isn't just for children—adults can wear braces too! As long as teeth and gums are healthy, there's no upper age limit on orthodontic treatment. Instead of traditional silver braces, many adults choose tooth-colored braces or clear aligners to complement their more professional appearance.

So if your child is at the age where screening is recommended—or if you're unhappy with your own smile—ask us whether orthodontics could help. But if you get into a rivalry with Madonna…you're on your own.

If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Orthodontics For The Older Adult.”

WhyemBigBangTheoryemActressMayimBialikCouldntHaveBraces

Mayim Bialik has spent a good part of her life in front of TV cameras: first as the child star of the hit comedy series Blossom, and more recently as Sheldon Cooper’s love interest — a nerdy neuroscientist — on The Big Bang Theory. (In between, she actually earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA…but that’s another story.) As a child, Bialik had a serious overbite — but with all her time on camera, braces were just not an option.

“I never had braces,” she recently told Dear Doctor – Dentistry & Oral Health magazine. “I was on TV at the time, and there weren’t a lot of creative solutions for kids who were on TV.” Instead, her orthodontist managed to straighten her teeth using retainers and headgear worn only at night.

Today, there are several virtually invisible options available to fix orthodontic issues — and you don’t have to be a child star to take advantage of them. In fact, both children and adults can benefit from these unobtrusive appliances.

Tooth colored braces are just like traditional metal braces, with one big difference: The brackets attached to teeth are made from a ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of teeth. All that’s visible is the thin archwire that runs horizontally across the teeth — and from a distance it’s hard to notice. Celebs like Tom Cruise and Faith Hill opted for this type of appliance.

Clear aligners are custom-made plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Each one, worn for about two weeks, moves the teeth just a bit; after several months, you’ll see a big change for the better in your smile. Best of all, clear aligners are virtually impossible to notice while you’re wearing them — which you’ll need to do for 22 hours each day. But you can remove them to eat, or for special occasions. Zac Efron and Katherine Heigl, among others, chose to wear clear aligners.

Lingual braces really are invisible. That’s because they go behind your teeth (on the tongue side), where they can’t be seen; otherwise they are similar to traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are placed on teeth differently, and wearing them often takes some getting used to at first. But those trade-offs are worth it for plenty of people. Which celebs wore lingual braces? Rumor has it that the list includes some top models, a well-known pop singer, and at least one British royal.

So what’s the best way to straighten your teeth and keep the orthodontic appliances unnoticeable? Just ask us! We’d be happy to help you choose the option that’s just right for you. You’ll get an individualized evaluation, a solution that fits your lifestyle — and a great-looking smile!

For more information about hard-to-see (or truly invisible) orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Orthodontics for the Older Adult” and “Clear Aligners for Teenagers.”

By Michael E. Huguet DDS
July 19, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Invisalign   orthodontics   braces  

In the past, the only way to fix a crooked smile or abnormal bite was to submit to wearing metal braces for a long time. Now your dentist invisaligncan correct orthodontic deficiencies using a modern treatment called Invisalign. When you compare the benefits of Invisalign versus the downsides of wearing metal braces, the choice is clear—literally. Soon after a smile evaluation at Michael E Huguet DDS & Associates in Pleasant Hill, CA, you could be wearing an Invisalign tray and on the way to a better-looking smile.

Common Orthodontic Challenges
Orthodontic treatment is focused on arranging the teeth for optimal looks and function. Most people are born with alignment issues that can only be corrected by an orthodontist. These are some of the most common problems that patients want fixed:

- Crowded teeth (they may look like they’re fighting for the same position).
- Crooked and protruding teeth.
- Gaps between the teeth (Invisalign can move them closer).
- Open bites (the front teeth don’t close when you bite down) and crossbites.

What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an alternative to metal braces that has helped countless patients who are concerned about aesthetics. They want a straighter smile, but the idea of wearing clunky braces is too much to bear. With Invisalign, the treatment plan calls for the patient to put on clear tooth-shaped trays, somewhat similar to mouthguards, that gradually and gently realign the teeth. Talking and smiling with a clear aligner is much more comfortable compared to the traditional way (metal or ceramic lattice braces). 

Why Choose Invisalign?
You can remove the trays when you’re eating and when you’re cleaning your teeth. With permanent metal or ceramic braces, both of these daily tasks are much more difficult. Invisalign also takes less time to deliver desired results—about six to 24 months, whereas metal braces may require several years. Your Pleasant Hill dentist must check your smile to ensure that you’re a candidate for this treatment. It’s worth going in for a quick examination to know for sure that your orthodontic problem can be corrected with Invisalign.

Call for a Consultation
The process of getting Invisalign braces starts at an initial consultation with a dentist. Call (925) 945-6204 today for an appointment with an orthodontist at Michael E Huguet DDS & Associates in Pleasant Hill, CA.

By Michael E. Huguet DDS
June 29, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   tooth extraction  
ExtractingCertainTeethcanBoostOrthodonticEffectiveness

We treat most malocclusions (bad bites) with braces or clear aligners. But not all malocclusions are alike — some can require extra procedures to achieve successful results.

One such example is when incoming teeth crowd other teeth and cause them to erupt abnormally. The crowding also reduces the space needed to move the misaligned teeth to better positions. To make more room we'll often remove some of the teeth before undertaking orthodontics.

The key is to extract the right teeth. The best candidates are those whose absence will have minimal effect on both appearance and dental function. That's commonly the bicuspids, located right on the edge of the “smile zone” (the teeth most visible when we smile) between the cuspid (eye) teeth and the back molars.

Once we choose and remove the teeth our next concern is to protect the bone at the extraction site. The bone in our jaws benefits from the pressure created when we bite or chew. This stimulates new bone cells to form and replace older cells. Without it, as when we have a missing tooth, the amount of bone can diminish over time and affect the success of any future orthodontics.

To prevent this, we take care not to damage the gums and bone removing the tooth. We may also install a graft under the empty socket to encourage bone growth.

If we've removed teeth outside the smile zone, the resulting orthodontics will move teeth into the opened space. In the end, you won't even notice they're gone. Teeth lost or congenitally missing in the smile zone, though, may eventually require a replacement tooth. A dental implant is the best choice, but it should be put on hold for a younger person until their jaw has fully developed.

In the meantime, we can install a spacer or a temporary restoration to hold the empty space and prevent other teeth from drifting into it. This can be incorporated into braces or aligners, or with a removable partial denture or a temporary modified bridge.

Extracting teeth to aid orthodontics first requires a well-laid plan that could encompass several years. The end result, though, can be well worth the time and effort — better function and a new, attractive smile.

If you would like more information on the process of straightening teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Removal for Orthodontic Reasons.”

By Michael E. Huguet DDS
August 23, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Invisalign   orthodontics   braces  

If you're an adult with crooked teeth, you might believe it's too late for braces. You might also be wary of how you'd look with "metal invisalignmouth." Invisalign, a revolutionary orthodontic system offered by your Pleasant Hill, CA family dentist is changing the "face" of braces by being inconspicuous and removable! Learn more about how Dr. Michael Huguet, Dr. Mariangela Verano and Dr. Tran Hoang use this amazing treatment that's designed to straighten adults' teeth clearly and comfortably!

What is Invisalign?

Similar to traditional metal braces, the Invisalign trays, called aligners, straighten the teeth by putting concentrated pressure on the teeth that need adjustment. However, Invisalign's aligners are transparent, flexible and made from plastic. They are worn between 20 and 22 hours a day; they're removed for eating and cleaning. Each aligner is worn for a set period of time, then changed out for the next one in a series that usually averages between twenty and thirty aligners. Your Pleasant Hill dentist will determine how many aligners you will need to straighten your smile.

Why is Invisalign better for adults?

While traditional metal braces are still widely used, many adults are unhappy with the way these braces change their entire appearance and announce to the world that they're undergoing orthodontic treatment. Invisalign, however, makes straightening your teeth an inconspicuous but comfortable process. The aligners are lightweight and do not require periodic adjustments or "tightening" - just switching out the aligner for the next in the series is all you need to do. Invisalign also makes eating a simple process; there's no need to avoid the foods you love for fear they'll become stuck in your wires and brackets. Simply remove your aligners and enjoy your meals! The removable aspect of Invisalign also makes cleaning a breeze.

Invisalign's benefits are anything but invisible! Contact Michael E. Huguet, DDS & Associates in Pleasant Hill, CA for a consultation about Invisalign today.