(818) 980-5300 5445 Laurel Canyon Blvd.
Valley Village, CA   91607

5 Things Parents Need To Know About Invisalign Teen®

Many parents know about Invisalign®, the virtually invisible way to straighten teeth without metal braces. But I’m often asked for more information about Invisalign® Teen.

In short, rather than wires and brackets, Invisalign® Teen uses a series of clear, removable aligners that have been custom-made for your teen’s teeth, a result of precise images I take with the sophisticated iTero Element Scanner. Your teen simply wears these aligners over their teeth and changes them out for a new set of aligners periodically—most often every two weeks. Little by little, your teen’s teeth gradually shift into place.

Here are the answers to the top five questions I’m asked about Invisalign Teen. I hope you find it helpful!


When worn according to the customized plan I set in place, Invisalign Teen can be as effective as traditional braces. In fact, the chances are very high your teen will be a candidate for Invisalign as it can treat many of the common issues we see. Call us at (718) 848-6900 to set up an appointment to find out for sure.


With Invisalign, the aligners are removable, so your teen can play sports, musical instruments and eat their favorite foods without the worry that braces will get in the way. Plus, it’s much easier to brush and floss normally to maintain proper oral hygiene.


Research shows that parents underestimate the extent to which teens feel self-conscious about their smile—and their appearance in general. Wearing braces can often make this lack of confidence even worse. Invisalign Teen removes a potential source of anxiety, giving them more confidence during what can be a challenging time in their lives.


Invisalign Teen is most effective when worn 20 to 22 hours per day and changed approximately every two weeks. In fact, Invisalign Teen aligners have blue indicators that fade over time when used as directed so I can track compliance.


Invisalign Teen often requires less time with your orthodontist than traditional braces do. There are no adjustments to make, no brackets to re-glue and no broken wires to fix. After the initial appointment, follow-up appointments are usually scheduled every four to six weeks.

Dr. Fotovat offers complimentary new patient exams. You can reach us at: 818-980-5300 or request an appointment here.

Interceptive Orthodontics: A Phased Approach

You might think that teenagers are the primary age group who are candidates for orthodontic treatment, but it is not unusual for younger children to begin treatment these days. Early intervention, or interceptive orthodontics, may prevent more severe issues later with the mouth, bite, and jaw.

Teens and adults have gotten all of their permanent teeth, which means that any orthodontic treatment will involve correcting existing problems. Some of the most common reasons that people in these ages need braces is teeth crowding, crooked teeth, bite misalignment, protruding teeth, and other problems related to the placement or position of the teeth and jaw. Interceptive orthodontics seeks to avoid such problems in the first place.

Early intervention provides treatment of the mouth, jaw, and palate while the child is still growing. Issues that resulted from thumb sucking or pacifier dependence can be corrected, since these habits can affect the jawbone and cause teeth misalignment. Teeth may become crooked, especially front teeth which can stick out. Tongue and bite problems also can be related to pacifier use or thumb sucking.

Interceptive orthodontics may involve adding spacer appliances to the mouth, which are used to reshape the jaw and palate or improve teeth spacing. Palate issues or uneven jaw growth can also be more easily treated while a child is growing, because the tissues are more pliable and soft. Treatment at younger ages may shorten braces time after permanent teeth erupt, or avoid braces later completely. It can also prevent more intrusive procedures when the child gets older.


To learn about orthodontic option in the Burbank CA area, schedule your appointment today.

Caring for Your Teeth During Pregnancy

Your teeth may be the last thing on your mind during pregnancy, but your oral health is actually a very important part of your body to consider during this time. Not only can dental problems affect an expectant mother, they can also impact her unborn baby. Here are some things to keep in mind about your oral health if you are pregnant.

Dental hygiene
Increased hormone levels during pregnancy can cause gum bleeding, inflammation, and higher risk of trapped food. Gum disease is more likely during pregnancy; in fact, gingivitis affects 60 to 75 percent of expectant mothers. If untreated, periodontal disease and tooth loss can occur. Pre-term births are even linked to gum disease. Therefore, following a strict routine of brushing and flossing will help avoid oral health problems.

Women should continue to see their dentist throughout pregnancy. Tell your dental professionals that you are pregnant so that appropriate precautions can be taken. The second trimester is the perfect time to schedule a checkup. If you require extensive dental treatment like fillings, root canals, crowns, or extractions, discuss the procedures with both your dentist and your doctor to ensure your health and that of your baby are protected.

Avoid routine X-rays during pregnancy. In some cases, X-rays are essential to handling a serious dental problem. According to the American College of Radiology, a single diagnostic X-ray does not contain enough radiation to harm your baby.

Dosages of any medication should be kept as low as possible. Category B drugs are considered safe in limited amounts. Be careful not to overmedicate yourself with over-the-counter pain relievers for a dental problem. Even though some drugs are approved, that doesn’t mean they can be taken in high doses. If antibiotics are needed, ask your dentist about which ones are approved to be safe for unborn children.

Undergoing anesthesia should be avoided while pregnant. Lidocaine is commonly used in dental procedures, and is known to cross the placenta. This means that if it is used, the dosage should be kept low.

Family orthodontist in Sherman Oaks

Why Can’t I Eat That with Braces?

Once you’ve gotten your braces on, your orthodontist will probably give you a list of foods to avoid. Your goal while wearing braces should be to prevent damage to the brackets, bands, and wires, not to mention keeping your teeth healthy and clean during treatment. Try to stick to the following food guidelines while wearing your braces so that you reach the best results at the end of treatment.

Raw vegetables
Veggies like raw carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower are hard to bite into while wearing brackets on your teeth. Cut vegetables like these into bite-sized pieces that can be chewed easily with your back teeth. Or, cook your vegetables before eating them.

Hard fruits
The brackets on your teeth also may break by biting into hard fruits, such as apples and unripe pears. Cut hard fruits into smaller pieces to be chewed with your back teeth.

Meat causes problems for braces patients because it may be fibrous and hard to chew. Stringy meat gets stuck in your braces or between your teeth. Tough meat may loosen the bands around your molars. You can pop off a bracket by eating meat from the bone, like ribs or chicken wings. Select tender, lean cuts of meat, cut it into bite-sized pieces, and remove meat from the bone before eating it.

Hard breads
Hard crusted breads like bagels can be very hard to bite. Either break breads into small pieces or soften them by warming them before eating.

Nuts and seeds
The problem with nuts and seeds is that they can be hard and small, both problems for braces patients. You might break a band or bracket, or bend a wire that can delay your treatment.

Avoid both hard and sticky candy. Biting or chewing hard candy can break your braces, and sticky candy like gummies or caramel can get stuck in your braces or bend wires. Also, any type of candy is sugary and should be avoided because your teeth are more susceptible to decay while in braces.

Mehdi Fotovat, D.D.S.


5445 Laurel Canyon Blvd.

Valley Village, CA 91607

(818) 980-5300

Our practice is conveniently located on Laurel Canyon Blvd. between Burbank Blvd. and Chandler Blvd. in Valley Village. Free parking is available behind the building.

Our Hours

Tuesday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (closed for lunch 12-1:20)

Wednesday: 7:30 am – 5:30 pm (closed for lunch 12-1:30)

Thursday: 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Friday: 7:30 am – 3:30 pm (closed for lunch 12-12:30)