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Traditional Braces vs. “Aligners:” the Straight Facts

When considering braces, you may be weighing the pros and cons of traditional braces and the clear “aligners” available by mail order. At face value, clear Mail Order Aligners may sound like the less expensive way to go. But a closer look at your choices may get you thinking that getting the right orthodontic treatment, delivered by a qualified orthodontic professional, an Orthodontist, is what you really need to attain a beautiful, straight smile in the long run.

The process of getting traditional braces starts with clearance by a general dentist, who checks for cavities and any gum issues, and then a consultation and evaluation by a trained orthodontist. The orthodontist will determine any teeth straightening challenges you may have, estimate the length of time you’ll need to reach your goal, and develop a treatment plan. They will take impressions of your upper and lower teeth to make a working model, which will serve as a guide for the placement of traditional braces. Orthodontists have two to three years of additional training in an Orthodontic residency program, which makes them the most qualified person to evaluate and deliver Orthodontic Care face to face with the patient.

The fact is, traditional braces aren’t so traditional anymore. Besides the commonplace metal braces our parents may have worn, braces are now available in gold brackets and are much more compact than traditional braces. Clear brackets are another option; they appear to blend into the surrounding teeth, giving a very subtle appearance. All traditional braces are securely attached so that they will constantly guide your teeth into their proper alignment throughout your treatment.

Any way you decide, traditional braces have a high probability of delivering the smile you want, treat a wide range of teeth straightening complications, and are under direct supervision of a trained orthodontist at every step of the process. The orthodontist checks progress during your visits on a regular basis (every 4-6 weeks) and makes any adjustments as needed.

Mail Order Aligners, on the other hand, are very limited in the results they produce. They aren’t appropriate for everyone and can only a treat a few very basic cases. Patients must take their own impressions, allow them to harden, and then mail them to the aligner company. There are no in-office visits; in fact, there is very little, if any, supervision of your treatment by a Board-certified orthodontist. Contact is “virtual” on an as-needed basis by staff with varying degrees of experience. If aligners are lost, precious treatment time is interrupted while waiting for replacements, which can add additional costs and negatively affect the outcome of treatment.

Before considering Mail Order Aligners, it’s important to meet with an expert first. Orthodontic consultations with a Board Certified or Board Eligible Orthodontist at Western Dental and Brident are free, so it doesn’t hurt to make an appointment to get all the facts.

And, when you consider that every Western Dental and Brident office is a complete “dental home” that includes hygiene, periodontics, general dentistry and a comprehensive range of dental specialties, you just may decide that starting your teeth-straightening journey there will be the best investment you can make for a lifetime of smiles.

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Santa Claus is Coming to Town!
We invite you to join Santa for a free holiday photo opportunity at your Western Dental Kids dental office! Bring your little ones and your camera to snap holiday pictures with Santa during the dates and times below. Check below to see when Santa is coming! Baldwin Park 14510 Baldwin Park Towne Center, Suite G-1Baldwin Park, CA 91706 Dec 6th from 1:30pm-5pmDec 7th from 1:30pm-5pm Burbank 1400 West Olive AvenueBurbank, CA 91506 Dec 21st from 11:30am-1:30pm   Carson 20700 S Avalon Blvd, Suite 600Carson, CA 90746 Dec 20th from 1:30pm-3:30pm   Crenshaw 3015 Crenshaw Blvd, Suite BLos Angeles, CA 90016 Dec 21st from 11:30am-1:30pm   Eagle Rock 2700 Colorado Blvd, Suite 263Eagle Rock, CA 90041 Dec 4th from 11:30am-1:30pm   East LA 4900 Whittier BlvdLos Angeles, CA 90022 Dec 13th from 2:30pm-4:30pm   El Monte 11017 East Valley BlvdEl Monte, CA 91731 Dec 4th from 3pm-5pm   Fresno 3920 North Cedar AveFresno, CA 93726 Dec 21st from 10am-2pm   Hollywood 1155 North Vermont AvenueLos Angeles, CA 90029 Dec 5th from 3pm-5pm   Huntington Park 1357 East Florence AvenueLos Angeles, CA 90001 Dec 11th from 2:30pm-4:30pm   Lynwood 10900 Long Beach Blvd, Ste 105Lynwood, CA 90262 Dec 14th from 2:30pm-4:30pm   Modesto Prescott 1705 Prescott Rd.,Modesto, CA 95350 Dec 17th from 1pm-4:30pm   Norwalk – Firestone 10965 Firestone Blvd, Ste BNorwalk, CA 90650 Dec 12th from 2:30pm-4:30pm   Norwalk – Pioneer 14119 Pioneer BlvdNorwalk, CA 90650 Dec 12th from 11:30am-1:30pm   Oxnard 1200 Saviers RoadOxnard, CA 93033 Dec 17th from 2:30pm-4:30pm   Panorama City 8214 Van Nuys BlvdPanorama City, CA 91402 Dec 18th from 11:30am-1:30pm   Paramount 14101 Paramount BlvdParamount, CA 90723 Dec 20th from 4pm-6pm   Pasadena 1127 East Green StreetPasadena, CA 91106 Dec 18th from 3pm-5pm   Santa Ana 2144 South Bristol StreetSanta Ana, CA 92704 Dec 7th from 11:30am-1:30pm   San Jose 1153 S. King Rd Suite B,San Jose, CA 95122 Dec 7th from 1:30pm-5pm   South Gate 4444 Tweedy BlvdSouth Gate, CA 90280 Dec 10th from 11:30am-1:30pm   Sunnyvale 897 W. El Camino RealSunnyvale, CA 94087 Dec 1st from 1pm-4pm   Whittier 15634 Whittwood LaneWhittier, CA 90603 Dec 19th from 11:30am-1:30pm  
How to choose the right Halloween candy
It’s October and time for Halloween! It's great fun for children, trick-or-treating around the neighborhood, collecting candy, coming home to admire their haul, and sometimes stockpiling it for months. But dentists aren’t nearly as enamored with Halloween, because they know the possible ramifications of eating candy: not only damage to the teeth and gums but also possibly to a child's overall health. You already know that having healthy teeth and gums has an impact that goes far beyond the mouth. Poor oral hygiene can lead to cavities, periodontal disease and infection, which can impact a patient's heart, lungs, and entire body. Dr. John Luther, Chief Dental Officer at Western Dental & Orthodontics, has five tips on candy for patients of all ages: 1. Choose candy carefully. Avoid hard candy, such as lollipops, and other sweets that stay in the mouth for a long time. These candies increase the risk for tooth decay. 2. Avoid chewy candy. Chewy, sticky treats, such as caramels or gummies, are particularly damaging as they are high in sugar, spend a prolonged amount of time stuck to teeth, and are more difficult for saliva to break down. 3. Chocolate is preferable. Chocolate dissolves quickly in the mouth and can be eaten easily, decreasing the amount of time sugar stays in contact with teeth. 4. Eat Halloween candy only after mealtime. Parents should avoid letting their kids snack on candy throughout the day. Saliva production increases during meals, helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and helps rinse away food particles. 5. Take preventive steps. Drinking water intermittently helps to keep the sugar from resting in the grooves of their teeth. And while you might be tired of hearing it, brushing and flossing your teeth thoroughly before going to bed are crucial. By exercising good common sense, you’ll maintain a bright smile and healthy gums throughout the Halloween season and beyond. Happy Halloween!