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

Eating with Braces: Surviving the Challenge

Having braces isn’t always fun, especially when it comes to food intake. Most orthodontists tell their patients to avoid sticky snacks or hard candy because these food items can damage brackets and wires. Although there are some limitations on your diet, you still have lots of choices for healthy eating during orthodontic treatment.

Fruits and vegetables are alright. An important part of eating right, most people several servings of both categories each day. Hard fruits and vegetables, such as apples, carrots, and broccoli, can be tough to bite into, so cutting these foods into bite-size pieces so that back teeth can chew them will prevent any issues. Choosing soft options, like bananas or cooked squash, is another good option.

Go with whole grains. Since most grain products are soft, having braces shouldn’t impact your ability to eat regular breads or cereals. You may want to avoid unground whole grains because the seeds can get stuck in between your brackets.

Get your dairy on. Calcium helps keep your teeth strong, and dairy products are a great source of this mineral. Low fat milk, yogurt, and cheese are soft on your braces too.

Eat more chicken (or beef too). Certain cuts of meat can be tough and difficult to chew when you wear braces. Don’t eat meat straight off the bone, and select lean cuts of fish, beef, and chicken for easier chewing.

Sweet treats you can still enjoy. Although taffy, lifesavers, and gummy bears are temporarily off the menu, feel free to indulge in chocolate or a bowl of ice cream every once in a while.

It’s time to schedule a visit to our Sherman Oaks, CA orthodontic office – Mehdi Fotovat, DDS.

Avoiding Gum Disease While Wearing Braces

While braces are a fantastic way to achieve a beautiful and perfectly aligned smile, they also can create difficulties in keeping your mouth completely clean and healthy. It can be tricky to clean effectively around the metal wires and brackets, and if you don’t realize the importance of maintaining a clean mouth, you may be destined for developing gum disease while you are wearing braces.

The best way to keep your mouth clean is to brush and floss regularly. While wearing braces, this often means several times a day for the best results. When you eat, the food gets caught in the wires and brackets that are part of your braces. Without brushing and flossing the trapped food away, it remains trapped and collects bacteria. This means that the bacteria combines with the acid in your mouth and can begin attacking your teeth and gums.

The more plaque and bacteria that attacks your gums, the greater your risk of developing gum disease. It starts out in the minor stages as gingivitis, but if left untreated will advance to periodontitis. If gum disease reaches this advanced stage, tooth loss can result. Your orthodontic treatment won’t be worth it if you end up losing your teeth!

Instead of fighting the battle of trying to regain healthy gums once you’ve developed gum disease, the better approach is to combat it in the first place. This means making time to brush and floss your teeth so that your mouth is kept clean. You’ll end up with a healthy mouth and an attractive smile, which was the goal of wearing braces in the first place.

Orthodontist in Burbank CA

Answers to Common Orthodontic Questions

At some point, you or a loved one may need orthodontic treatment. A flawless smile looks amazing and improves oral health because straight teeth are easier to clean. As you begin the process of selecting an orthodontist and considering treatment options, you will probably have questions. We have provided answers to some of the typical concerns patients raise about orthodontic treatment and care.

When should my child have an orthodontic screening?
By age seven, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) suggests a complete evaluation with an orthodontist. At this point, your child will likely have several permanent teeth in place, which helps provide a more accurate picture of development.

Won’t my teeth straighten on their own?
No. To adjust the position and alignment of crooked teeth, you will need orthodontic therapy. Typically, braces or similar treatment can shift teeth into the correct position.

How long does orthodontic treatment last?
The actual time frame depends on the severity of the problem and responsiveness of the patient, but the average time is about 22 months. Treatment can range from about 12 months to 30 months.

I am an adult. Is it too late for me?
You are never too old to enjoy the benefits of a straight, attractive smile. Modern treatment options such as lingual braces, ceramic brackets, and Invisalign clear braces allow adults to transform their images without the hassle or embarrassment of metal orthodontia.

Can I wear braces even if I have dental crowns?
Sure. The crowned tooth will move just like a tooth with a simple filling or no restoration at all.

The Benefits of Removable Orthodontic Aligners

For a long time the only option to straighten teeth were metal braces and wires. Although this orthodontia serves a purpose, it creates a less-than-appealing image, especially for adults seeking treatment. Now, older teen and adult patients can enjoy gorgeous smiles without the hassle and embarrassment of traditional orthodontia.

Systems like Invisalign and ClearCorrect utilize custom, acrylic aligners to gently shift teeth into the desired position. Adult patients often choose this type of orthodontia because it offers advantages to metal braces, including:

With the clear aligner systems, your orthodontist will take images and gather data so that a dental lab can fabricate your complete set of aligners. You wear each set for about two weeks and then move on to the next ones. Usually, the orthodontist will check your progress every six weeks.

Constructed from clear plastic, Invisalign and ClearCorrect aligners are barely discernible to friends and family, allowing you to look great while you straighten your teeth. Only you and your orthodontist will know that you are undergoing treatment.

Because you can remove the aligners, patients are able to take them out for special events or important meetings. For optimal results, you need to wear the aligners about 22 hours a day.

Often, traditional braces make brushing and flossing more difficult, which can contribute to dental issues like gum disease or tooth decay. With the Invisalign and ClearCorrect aligners, you remove the trays to brush and floss as you would normally.

Removable Orthodontic Aligners at Mehdi Fotovat Sherman Oaks Orthodontist

Teens and Braces

An estimated four million people in the U.S. each year undergo orthodontic treatment. If one of those patients is your teenager, you are probably faced with the daunting task of making sure they take care of their teeth and braces. While kids and teens normally love bright, shiny things, that concept probably doesn’t hold true for their orthodontia. Follow these tips to help your teen have a successful experience while wearing their braces.

Encourage lots of brushing

Individuals without braces are supposed to brush twice a day, so double that number if you are an orthodontic patient. Remembering to brush may not make your teen’s priority list, so offer gentle reminders throughout the day.

Send a travel toothbrush

Because your teen likely spends hours away from home, you should purchase a toothbrush and toothpaste for on the go. Your son or daughter will have a harder time fighting you on this point if you supply the right tools.

Focus on getting between teeth

Though it may be more difficult, your teen needs to floss once a day and focus on reaching between teeth, at the gum lines, and around brackets. Flossing is the best way to combat plaque accumulation.

Schedule professional cleanings

When your teen has braces, regular cleanings are critical. Because they have a harder time getting all the areas spick and span, you should make sure to visit the dentist’s office. The hygienist will be able to remove tartar and any build up on teeth.

Recruit help

Sometimes, teenagers respond better when the information doesn’t come from their parents. Ask your orthodontist and dentist to explain the importance of good hygiene to your child.

Caring for your child’s teeth – Dr. Fotovat – Burbank Orthodontist – WebBraces.com

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)