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Simply Orthodontics Success List

Download PDF to post at home: Orthodontic Success List

S I M P L Y avoid these for SUCCESS!

Our goal is to provide you with a beautiful smile! What YOU EAT and DO is the key to successful orthodontic treatment.

Sticky – Chewy

Gum (Sugar or Sugarless)
Tootsie Rolls Tootsie Pops
Blow Pops
Carmel Apples
Gummy Bears
Gummy Worms
Jelly Beans
Fruit Roll-ups
Fruit Snacks
Now & Laters

Hard – Crunchy

Taco Shells
Hard Candy
Jolly Ranchers
Jaw Breakers
Pizza Crust
Nuts (Food And Candy With Nuts)

Other Orthodontic “No-No’s”

Lip Biting
Biting Fingernails
Chewing On Pencils or Pens Tearing or Opening Things with Your Teeth
Cookies (Dunk Them In Milk)
Carrots-Apples-Cut Into Pieces
Hard Breads – Tear Small Pieces
Corn On The Cob – Cut Off Cob
Meat – Cut Off Bone

Foods You Can Still Enjoy

Peanut Butter Cups
Use common sense!

  • Hard foods: break or damage wires and brackets
  • Sticky foods: get caught between brackets and wires.
  • Sugary foods: cause tooth decay and related problems.
  • Chewing on hard objects: break or damage your braces.

Teeth move their best with the braces on the teeth.
YOUR HELP is the key to successful orthodontics.
Check your braces occasionally for anything loose or bent. If a brace or band comes loose, or you break a wire, it’s not a problem! Call us and we can fix it.

What to look for when choosing an Orthodontist?

pogoThe United State is the land of options.  Especially in Orange County and even Irvine the options for anything you can think of are beyond numerous.  I’ve always wondered why people choose Target over Wal-Mart or Costco over Sam’s Club and vice versa.  So I always think to myself, without bias, what should be people look for when choosing an orthodontist? In Irvine there are four within one block of each other!?
An orthodontist is a practitioner unlike any other.  It’s a long term commitment and relationship that can last anywhere between 6 months to 3 plus years and you are going to the office every 4-8 weeks.  Besides palliative care in the medical field there is not another health field where the relationship is that long.  So really, for lack of better words, you need to find someone you are willing to “marry” for an average of 2 years or more if you have more children.
So here is a list of what I consider important in no specific order.  Each depends on what you are looking for and not every orthodontist is a perfect fit for you or your family.

  1. Convenience: You will be seeing us about every four to eights weeks.  Is the commute convenient, is the office close to your house, can you run errands if the appointments are long etc.  Can my child walk there or bike there.

  3. Trust:  Is the orthodontist trust worthy.  Do you believe in what the doctor is telling you?  Does the treatment coincide with the most current research and is it evidence based.  Is the office too “salesy” or do they have your best interest as top priority.  Tough questions…but ones you’ll have to figure out.

  5. Personality: Does you are your child like this doctor? Can you build a relationships with the doctor and is he/she personable and polite enough to answer my questions and address my concerns. Does my child like him/her? You are going to be around the orthodontist for 2+ years so that’s important!

  7. Credentials: img16Is the orthodontist a SPECIALIST or a General Dentist that does orthodontics?  You can look on the AAO website and if they are member of the AAO then they are usually an orthodontist that has gone through three years of training to specifically straighten teeth.  It’s a lot harder than most dentists think so make sure the orthodontist is a certified specialist, meaning they came from an accredited program.  All orthodontists are dentists but dentists are not orthodontists.

  9. One or multiple doctors: There are many ways to skin a cat. Having multiple doctors can be confusing as each can have different opinions so I would sway from a group practice multi doctor office.  No one cares as much for patients as much as a single owner and orthodontist of the office IMO so you will get the best care from a solo practitioner.  For large corporate office chains the doctors do change often so be weary of that and ask if you decide to go to one.

  11. Reputation:  Are there any bad history or online reviews on the doctor or the office?  Ask your friends and family who they use…friend can be the best sources.  Any negative reviews.  I know negative reviews can be very biased but they do mean something. Yelp and Google reviews can be helpful!

  13. Staff: The staff is a reflection upon the practice. You are going to be scheduling appointments making payments and asking the staff questions.  Do they reflect well upon the practice.  Sometimes I hear my wife say, “I love the doctor but I can’t stand the receptionist.”  For other health professions would say “if you like the doctor just suck it up a couple times.”  For orthodontists, you are going to be making at least 18 plus appointments… do you really want to have a negative expererience every time you make an appointment?

  15. Office cleanliness: Does the office use sterile instruments and is it clean? It’s scary what goes on behind closed doors so check out the sterilization area.  Make sure all the instruments are sterilized and in pouches before they go into you or your loved ones mouths.

  17. Office protocol: Is the office smooth flowing or does it seem like everyone is flustered? Good chemistry usually means that things run smoothly and everyone knows what they are doing, especially the orthodontist.

  19. Availability of the doctor:  Is the doctor available to answer questions conveniently or is he/she behind and impenetrable wall where only a death will bring them out.  Sometimes it’s better to hear things from the doc than a receptionist and the doctor should be available.

  21. Hours: Is the office open most days of the week and do the hours fit within your schedule.

  23. Insurance: Do they accept your insurance.  HMO and PPO are very different. If you have an HMO you may need a referral from your general dentist to find an in network provider so double check. (To be discussed in another blog! A whole different ball game!)

  25. Treatment Cost: I put this last on purpose! It is usually number one on everyone’s list for orthodontic treatment and I fully understand orthodontic treatment is an investment.  It’s taken me awhile but I’m slowly learning you get what you pay for.  I pay for an Apple product because it suits my needs so I am willing to pay more.  I pay more for organic food in the hopes it is safer for my children. So in the same token, you pay more for and orthodontist that has your goals in the treatment and can provide you the service you desire. It’s a short term investment for a long term benefit.  If you need financing find an orthodontist with flexible payment plans and options to suit your needs.

You can visit our office anytime and test us!  Simply Orthodontics will pass all these tests with flying colors! Hope you see you soon!

Why orthodontics as an adult: A Testimonial

Sometimes adults feel sheepish about getting braces or getting their teeth straight.  The benefits of having a great smile go beyond just health benefits.  Here is a personal testimony of a patient that decided to pursue orthodontic treatment in her 20’s.  Thanks so much for writing this LN!


Growing up my parents didn’t think braces were a necessity for me. They felt that my teeth “came in pretty straight.” Consequently, I was being compared to my older brother who had teeth coming in from all different directions, and had orthodontic treatment for about 3-4 years. So…yes, compared to him my teeth were dealt the better hand.
Around the age of 20 I started to pay more attention to my smile, I was always told that I have a, “big beautiful smile and that braces would make it even better.” So I strongly considered them and how much better it could be if I just invested in braces. The mental image of Ugly Betty always came to mind considering what I would look like with braces on…especially in my 20s!


Luckily now there are options for those adults who would prefer not to have the traditional metal braces.  Clear braces and Invisalign are a growing technology that in the past we were unable to capitalize on.  Growing up in Orange County, California our looks are very important for more than just superficial reasons.  Colleges and Employers strongly consider who is representing their schools/companies so impeccable appearance is a necessity, unfortunately but that is the reality.
A few more years passed and I finally committed to Orthodontic Treatment for the next 18-24 months of my life. It was everything I was told it would be: “sore for the first week, avoid certain foods during your treatment time” but that it would all be worth it once I saw my new smile. My orthodontic treatment was completed in 18 months! I never broke a wire or bracket. I understood the importance of properly taking care of my braces and how it would affect how long I stay in orthodontic treatment.
Women have a lot of pressure when it comes to psychical appearance. There is so much pressure to look perfect that many end up creating temporary and false perceptions of themselves. As a girl in my twenties I definitely felt a lot of pressure to be skinny, have perfect skin, and of course perfect teeth. There are so many temporary things a girl can do to make herself feel better about her looks such as, makeup, hair extensions, or the not so temporary and get plastic surgery. I decided that I wasn’t interested in the temporary or the drastic steps I could take. I chose to work on myself by being the best version of who I already was. I felt more confident with making a life long commitment to a healthy life style change at the age of twenty two to lose weight, have a healthy diet so that my hair and skin look healthy, and invest in braces to get my perfect smile. Now looking back at the transformation and the difference it has made to my confidence, and overall happiness, it was the best decision I have ever made! The results from my Orthodontic Treatment was much greater than I imagined.
Through my own personal journey with orthodontic treatment I learned so much about the process and had such a great experience that I made the career move to the dental field to work in orthodontics! To see every patient’s before and after pictures and go through their journey with them, to relate and understand how our patients feel along the journey to their perfect smile has been a very rewarding experience. -LN

Simply Orthodontics' Successful Tips with Invisalign


The Invisalign site is a great place if you are thinking about getting treatment. The benefits of straight teeth and how Invisalign works can be see on their website!
If you are a new Invisalign patient refer to these guidelines to help you on your journey!
Do’s for Success!

  • Wear the aligners at least 22 hrs per day. Take them out only when you eat and brush your teeth. “When they aren’t in your case they are in your face

  • Keep your aligners in the given storage cases when they aren’t in your mouth. This keeps them from getting lost. Replacements are not cheap.

  • Refer to your instruction booklet for guidance or always feel free to contact us with any questions!

  • Keep the aligners clean. Use a toothbrush an brush the inside and out. A denture brush is a good tool to purchase to keep them clean. If they start getting dingy you can soak in a mixture of peroxide baking soda and water.

  • Use chewies or the bite tube to help seat your trays. This ensures a snug fit and proper movement of your teeth.

  • Keep one aligner prior in case you lose or break your current aligner to hold your teeth in a position so we can replace your next aligner.

  • Change your aligners as instructed. And monitor your progress. The aligner should fit snug there should be no gaps between the aligner and your teeth.

    Poor fitting aligners that are not tracking

    If you see gaps either use the chew stick more frequently or wear the aligner longer until the gap disappears.  Also use the chewies more to help the tray seat.


  • Feel free to contact us with any questions!

Do Not’s for treatment delays

  • Put your aligners on a food tray! You will for sure accidentally throw them out!

  • Wrap aligners in a napkin and place in your pocket or purse, you will forget about them and break them

  • Change the aligners at your own pace.

  • Stop wearing them if your teeth are sore. Soreness tell you your teeth are moving!

  • Leave them sitting in a hot place. Leaving your aligners in a hot place like your car or by a heater can cause the aligners to fit or distort.

  • Drink hot liquids with the aligners. This may distort the aligners because they are heat sensitive.

What ifs
I lose or break my current aligner?
If you lose or break the current aligner and the next one fits simply start wearing the next aligners.
If you lose or break the current aligner and the next one does not fit wear the previous aligner and we can order a new aligner for you. There is a fee for replacement aligners and it takes about 2-3 weeks to replace. This will delay your treatment.
an attachment breaks?
This is happens do not worry. Give us a call and we can replace the attachment with your current aligner. Continue wearing the aligner until we fix it for you.
the aligner is scratching my gums, cheeks or lips?
A simple remedy is to use a nail file or emory board to smooth the area that’s bothering you on the aligner. If you don’t feel comfortable we can fix it for you.
Invisalign is a great way to straighten your teeth! Just follow these simple steps for success and you will finish with a great result and on time!

Dental Insurance and Orthodontics: Answers to your questions!


With dental insurance becoming more prevalent in our society we get a ton of questions all the time regarding orthodontics and dental insurance.  Questions such as:

  • Does my insurance cover braces?
  • Does my insurance cover Invisalign?
  • How much does it cover?
  • Should I switch to a better insurance?

Hopefully this article well help answer YOUR questions.
There are two types of Insurances HMO and PPO dental insurances…let’s start with PPO.
PPO Insurance
PPO plans give you the freedom to choose any orthodontist that accepts your insurance and is in Network.  PPO plans to be more pricey but give you the flexibility to choose who you want in case you obviously want the “best” orthodontist or one that fits your needs.  (Check out the blog on How to Choose an Orthodontist.)
Most PPO plans cover orthodontic treatment.  The range is usually between $500-2500 lifetime benefit, meaning you can only use the amount once while you have the insurance.
Lifetime benefit Important points:

  1. They can only be used once! If you use it up for early treatment it cannnot be used it for Phase II orthodontic treatment.
  2. It is SEPARATE from your general dental benefit.  So you can still use your orthodontic benefit and your general dental benefits will not be affected.
  3. It IS NOT paid all at once, so you cannot use it, drop insurance and sign up for another one to get more benefit ;-p Insurance companies are smarter than us. It is paid in portions monthly quarterly depending on the insurance company.
  4. Sometimes it is not paid in full depending on the insurance company.  Orthodontist are unsure why this is the case but ultimately it is the company that decides what they want to cover or not. In this case it is the patients responsibility to pay the remainder.  It is what it is.

Percentage coverage: The percentage of coverage can be confusing.  Let’s use 50% since that is most typical percentage.  This essentially means that they will cover 50% of the covered benefit.  Ex: Let’s say your orthodontic treatment costs $3000 they will cover 50% up to the max of $1500. If the treatment costs only $2500 they will only cover $1250.   The rest can be used for something else orthodontically related.
Changing insurances:  Often times insurance companies know people will pick up an insurance just for the orthodontic benefit.  Many companies place a “waiting period” on their plans meaning you have to wear a certain ammount of time, usually 1 year, before you can utilize the orthodontic benefit.
If you change insurances often times they will no pick up treatment in progress. Double check with your insurance company prior to changing if you our your child is in orthodontic treatment.  If your employer changes their insurance company, they are required to pick up the tab of the prior insurance company.
Adult coverage:  As an adult if you are interested in orthodontic treatment make sure you check if “Adult orthodontics” is covered.  Most insurance only cover orthodontic coverage up to age 19.
Invisalign: The best thing to do is to check to see if you Invisalign is covered by your insurance company.  Some do some don’t.
HMO Insurance
HMO is a network of dental providers that accept your insurance.  Therefore you often need a referral from a General Dentist to another orthodontist “in Network”.  You are required to pay a set fee, set by the insurance company for orthodontic treatment anywhere with a network provider.
So if your set copayment for braces is $2000, you can go anywhere in network and you just have to pay $2000 regardless of the provider.  You may be charged other fees by the provider such as records fees, retainer fees, additional charges for clear braces or Invisalign, and this is required by law.  This fee/copayment unfortunately cannot be negotiated…it is against the law.
Hopefully this helps! Please comment if you have any additional questions and I will answer the best I can!  If there are experts that want to correct me by all means please let me know!

To remove teeth or to not remove teeth…The Irvine Orthodontist’s take

The thought of removing permanent teeth in your child or even yourself can be frightening for almost anyone. I have a lot of patients reject orthodontic treatment or some even say “my orthodontist said I don’t have to get teeth taken out” or “this dentist said if I get Damon braces or Fast Braces teeth don’t need to be removed.”
Sometimes when I hear these statements it makes me upset.  As an orhtodontist, there is no reason why I would want to put a patient through teeth removal if they absolutely did not have to.  If there was the slightest chance that I could straighten your teeth without having to extract teeth I would always chose that option.   It comes down to a matter of trust and that is what Simply Orthodontics is based upon.  There are often cases where there can be a compromise but there are also cases where extraction is a necessity. Taking teeth out often times extractions improve how your face looks and even makes the treatment progress faster because there is room for the teeth.  Taking teeth out is still a proven effective method of treatment and anyone that tells you they don’t take teeth out anymore you should get a second opinion.
PLEASE be wary of all the marketing videos and media of “new techonology” where you don’t need to have teeth removed, i.e. DAMON braces, FAST braces.  I just saw a video of a GENERAL DENTIST, not a specialist,  telling the media “you really don’t have to take teeth out anymore to get your teeth straight.”  I thought this was a completely ludicrous statement which inspired me to write the blog.  I am going to write a completely new blog entry to break all the myths the the doctor “myth busts.” Like I said be WEARY of these videos.
There are 4 main reasons why most orthodontists recommend the extraction of teeth:

  1. Severe Crowding
  2. To reduce buck teeth in a non growing patient
  3. To reduce an underbite in a non growing patient
  4. Protruded teeth

1) Crowding
Teeth crowd for a vast array of reason some unexplainable but there is a mix of genes in your body and you may have a small mouth but the genes for large teeth.  You may be born with tight cheeks and a wide jaw.  The explanations are limitless but the fact is…your teeth are crowded.
Imagine your jaw is a garage.  You have a 2 car garage but you have four cars…you aren’t going to cram 4 cars into a two car garage. It’s just not going to happen no matter what you do unless you widen your garage or you sell your car.  Just like your mouth, you can’t fit all your teeth into your jaw unless you remove some teeth or make your jaws bigger.  And let’s say your property only fits only a three car garage there is no physical way you can get another car into your garage unless you move into a new house.  So there is no way you are going to cram teeth into you mouth unless you get a new body or you grow your jaws or your extract teeth.
Below are photos of before and afters of an extraction case.



In a nutshell, extraction for crowding is very common practice in orthodontic treatment. Sometimes it’s the most healthy and best treatment for your teeth.  Many people are scared that people will know they have missing teeth. You can see in the picture that unless your friend is a dentist, it is extremely difficult to notice. No spaces are left after treatment.
Common risks for not extracting teeth when indicated: Gum Recession, lip and teeth protruding
2) To reduce teeth sticking out in  and adult
There are certain patients where their lower jaw didn’t grow as much as their upper jaw or the upper jaw grew too much or their upper jaw has crowded teeth because it is too small.
This is show below
There are two options for these patients people that aren’t growing anymore (ie adults)

  1. Surgery
  2. Extraction of two top teeth

If there is enough room for the top teeth then orthodontics and a surgical procedure to move your lower jaw to match your upper jaw position can be performed.  This is an invasive and costly procedure that many people do not want to undertake especially if is not absolutely necessary. There are patients where the skeletal discpreancy is so big that it is warranted. Talk to your orthodontist and we should give you the best options and limitations.
On the borderline case the optimal treatment usually involves the extraction of upper teeth. Especially if your teeth are protruded! Below is picture of the patient above after extractions and orthodontic treatment.



3) To reduce and underbite in a non growing patient
The reverse of teeth sticking out on the top is and underbite.  The lower jaw sticks out.  Most often is the is present and the patient does not want to undergo surgery we can extract teeth in the lower to mask the underbite.
4) Protrussion
So when your your teeth don’t crowd and they try to fit in a smaller jaw this is masked by what orthodontists call Protrussion.  Your teeth look like they lean out and make your lips stick out.  This is very common in the ASIAN population called (Bo ya). It’s a feeling you have when your lips don’t fit over your teeth or your can’t close your mouth.  The only way to fix this is with extraction.
In a nutshell, extraction should not be seen as a negative in your orthodontic treatment if prescribed or recommended.  Orthodontists recommend it for your health and to benefit your treatment.  I have treated many extraction cases and the results are dramatic and if prescribed correctly I have not had a patient tell me the regretted taking out their teeth.  Taking out teeth does not affect your eating or speech.  Be weary if you one orthodontist recommends extractions and another does not.  Come to us! We’ll steer you in the right direction…that is our goal.

Why is my orthodontist telling me my child needs braces so early!?


I get this question a lot! Even with all the information online I think coming from my mouth (ie a specialist) they feel more comfortable hearing it from me.  A lot of parents think it’s a scam in that it’s a way for orthdodontists to get more money. There are truly so many philosophies on when a child should get braces.  The goal of orthodontists is to be able to fix jaw issues before they can’t be fixed.  Most of the time the treatment methods we use works but in some cases unfortunately they don’t.  Growth in humans is so difficult to predict, and as orthodontists we try our very best to modify growth. Sometimes the genes are so strong that certain features cannot be fixed but it is definitely better to attempt treatment than not.
That being said…I base my reasons on research. So here is my research based professional opinion.
If you could fix something for your child and avoid a surgical procedure in the future why would you NOT do it? Herein lies the basis for interceptive orthodontic treatment or more commonly Phase I.  Research shows five main reasons to treat children orthodontically with phase I
1) Finger/thumb sucking habits: These can cause open bites which are extremely difficult to correct later in life if they persist.  These should be addressed once the permanent teeth begin erupting.  Prior to the permanent teeth erupting there is not any permanent damage yet.
2) Posterior crossbites: This means that the upper jaw is too narrow and the back teeth are biting flip flopped.  The palate in humans fuses prior to adolescence which is why kids need the so called “expander.” In adults this can only be corrected with surgery.
3) Anterior crossbite: Front teeth flip floped or an underbite.  Single teeth in crossbite are bad because they can cause recession of the gums in the bottom teeth.  They act like a wedge and wedge the lower tooth forward.  Lost gums are extremely difficult to regenerate.  An underbite needs to be corrected ASAP because bones that can be manipulated at an early age fuse later in life.  Yes this may require the dreaded headgear/face mask but surgery later in life…or headgear as a child…pick your poison.  The bad news is underbites sometimes cannot be corrected the genes are too strong and sometimes surgery is still warranted. My instructor once told me “play the game until you lose, then change the rules so you win.” That is the deal for the underbite.
4) Psychosocial: Who wants their kid to be bullied!? Not me. Kids now are getting bullied and made fun of at a younger age.  I really don’t promote braces at a young age…it’s tough for the orthodontist, it’s tough for the parent, but if it prevents a child from getting made of, or makes them feel a ton better about themselves you bet I’ll recommend braces. It is a short term investment for a long term benefit.
5) Risk of palatally impacted canines: These are miserable to fix when all the adult teeth are in. A new study says that 85% of these bad boys can be prevented with some expansion and interceptive treatment to create space.  Otherwise you are looking at a lengthy full phase of orthodontic treatment with surgical exposure of the canines. Doesn’t sound good to you? Doesn’t sound good to me either.  It’s still correctable at an older age but if we can try to prevent them we should definitely try.
So early treatment, in my eyes if necessary, is definitely warranted.  It can be a challege for child, parent and orthodontist, but the benfits outweigh the negatives.  Don’t be afraid of it, bring your child to see me and we can make the best decision at Simply Orthodontics! -Simon Shung, DMD

Your Orthodontist…My Story #IrvineOrthodontist

shungorthodontist-1024x681 Simon Shung DMD | Orthodontist at Simply Orthodontics Irvine[/caption]

On a daily basis, I hear the line, “You like looking at teeth all day!”  I’ve always wondered if patients care to hear about the personal background and career path that leads to becoming an orthodontist.  Here’s my story, if you’re interested…
Oddly enough, I really wanted braces when I was young, probably because it was trendy and all the cool kids had them.  I was totally bummed that I had to wait to get my braces because my teeth weren’t ready until the age of twelve.  I would bend paper clips and put them in my mouth so it would look like I had braces.  Sad…but true.  My orthodontist, Dr. Campbell, did an amazing job on my teeth, and he was the coolest, happiest, jolliest person!  He worked with tools, he was fun, and he had a great staff.  I knew I had to do this!  I love tools, I am happy, I like having fun, and I love being around people.  This was something I definitely wanted to do.
With Dr. Campbell’s inspiration, my quest to become an orthodontist began by ninth grade.  I asked him, “How do I become an orthodontist?”  He replied strictly, “Well, you have to be at the top of your class and have the best grades.  Orthodontics is extremely difficult to get into, and you have to go to dental school first.”  That is not what I expected to hear, but it didn’t change my mind…Drive on!
I graduated from Penn State with a degree in chemical engineering; it’s technological and biological, and it fulfilled all my prerequisites for dental…perfect!  Chemical engineering was a tougher road than I had anticipated.  I mean, what does entropy, enthalpy and fugacity have to do with teeth?  Absolutely nothing (other than my life being entropic), but I did what I had to do…Drive on!


I was accepted to the University of Pittsburgh for dental school.  Dental school went by in a flash.  Of course, there were the pressures of making it to the top of the class so I could get into Orthodontics, but in the end I had a huge commitment to fulfill prior to my career—the Army!  It was frustrating to see my friends moving into their respective specialties, but I just had to…drive on.
I joined the Army under a health profession scholarship to cover my expenses.  During my second year of dental school, 9/11 changed the world and our military mentality.  At Officer Candidate School, the first thing the commanding officer said was, “Ninety-eight percent of you will be deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.”  How scary is that!?  On top of that, I was getting married after training…Drive on!


The Army taught me leadership, perseverance, respect, honor, integrity, and a whole lot about dentistry.  My first year in the military was an internship in general dentistry at Fort Lewis, Washington.  After that I was stationed in Korea and then moved to the Capital Region, where I was placed in the Pentagon Dental Clinic.  I excelled as a dentist and leader, so the command placed me as the officer in charge of the Headquarters Marine Corps dental clinic.  During my last year in the Army, my dream of becoming an orthodontist was fulfilled when I was accepted into the Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics Advanced Dental Education/Residency Program at the University of Pittsburgh…SCORE!
Orthodontics is a three-year training program in which we get certified to straighten teeth.  It is a program on top of dental school which is four years.  My residency exposed me to that numerous advancements, controversies, at pretty much every way to make teeth straight and fix a bite.  It was an awesome experience.  It is way beyond what a weekend Six Month Smiles course provides. It only increased my passion for creating great smiles and doing it the right way!  So how did I end up as an orthodontist in Irvine!?  My father is a professor at USC, so my family relocated to Southern California about ten years ago.  My wife and I determined that Irvine—with its great people and great schools—would be a great place to raise our children!  After graduation, I worked as an associate for a dental corporation before I decided to open Simply Orthodontics in Irvine.  My associateship allowed me to treat tons of cases.  I’ve been exposed to the good and bad of capitalistic health care, and it is scary for the layperson.  I always a dream of having my own practice and patients to care for since dental school.  It took me ELEVEN years before I took a massive leap of faith.  Every colleague was telling me “Irvine is a competitive market, it’s financial suicide, don’t do it” but a perfect space corner space opened in the Town Center and it called my name.  It wasn’t easy in that we all know the Irvine Company has a lot of rules.  To get approved to even be IN the Town Center was a HUGE challenge that I couldd not imagine. To be affiliated with the elite Irvine Company, a new business needs to be approved.  Fortunately, the Irvine Company liking my vision and proposal, approved me!  There was no turning back. The risk was great, the rent was greater…Drive on!
I opened Simply Orthodontics in Irvine so I could have the freedom to treat people how they should be treated and more!  My passion is people.  Straightening teeth is one thing, but making someone smile by giving a child a Disney sticker, referring someone to a good dentist, listening to a life story, and building relationships is my true joy, as cheesy as it sounds.  Simply Orthodontics in Irvine was also created to be an asset to the community; supporting PTAs, sports teams, and local organizations is a dream for me.  I plopped us in the middle of Woodbury, rather than a medical plaza, so we could be a part of the community.  Our success leads to the betterment of the community.  I have the luxury of meeting a variety of people on a daily basis, which is amazing.  (My teen patients keep me young!)  Where I am at is the scariest thing for me, and with five kids it’s not easy!  Fortunately, I love and am good at what I do…Drive on!!

Are your teeth almost perfect?

simply-orthodontics-invisible-bracesDid you know that many folks who would have never considered braces because of the way it makes them look while they’re in the treatment period? This has always been the “toss-up” for people who’s teeth are nearly perfect but still could use a little work. They realize that the trade-off might not have been there; to have the look and feel of metal in their mouths for a few years only to make a minor improvement on their smile.

“Invisible Braces”

Well, there is good news if this is you. Did you know that orthodontic treatments are now virtually unnoticed from just a few feet away? Watch this amazing video below for more information on how new technologies are helping people just like you to get an even more amazing smile!

If you think you’d like to come in for a free consultation and hear your options, you might be in for a big surprise. Not only will you look amazing during your treatment time, but the duration of your treatment can be very short in comparison with legacy braces. So give us a call, your Irvine orthodontics office is waiting to hear from you! – Simply Orthodontics

Marketing misconceptions to the public


There are a lot of marketing strategies in today’s orthodontic world and I felt it necessary to educate my friends and patients on what’s out there and current claims so they aren’t  deceived by them.

  • Damon Braces: This is one of the biggest misconceptions in the orthodontic world.  Damon braces are a brand of bracket or commonly known as a “brace” that orthodontists place on teeth.  They are part of a group of brackets called “self-ligating” brackets. They are unique in that instead of a wire or a elastic “o-tie” to hold the wire in, a closing door built into the bracket holds the wire in.  Damon braces claim that you if you get them you can avoid extractions, your braces will be less painful, and your teeth will move teeth faster.  Time is of the essence…we want everything faster, our computers, our cars, and even our teeth to move faster!  As orthodontists of course we want your teeth to move faster!  The reality is teeth move at a rate regardless of what bracket an orthodontist uses.  This will be the factor in the discussion of other products or marketing tactics.  There are ways to manipulate the cells in the body that help teeth move faster but a bracket that is branded as “fast moving” will not. Damon braces have not been proven to “cause less pain” either. They reality is if you’re teeth aren’t sore after visits they aren’t moving.  Tooth movement is an an inflammatory process which is why your teeth get sore.  Plenty of research justifies this!  In a nutshell Damon braces are no better than any traditional orthodontic brace.

  • Invisalign or clear aligners: Invsialign is a brand of clear aligner that are removable and used to move teeth.  Other less well known branded clear aligners are Clear Correct, Simpli5, MTM; Red, white, blue  and the list goes on.  Invisalign, IMO, is probably the most innovative and well marketed of the other brands.  Not all people are candidates for clear aligners but they have the ability to move teeth just like braces.  Sometimes I call them a double edged sword in that you can take them out….and you can take them out.  They must be worn at least 22 hrs to be effective, that being said one still feels tooth soreness which tempts patients to take them out. They cause the same soreness as regular braces.  Tooth soreness is usually a sign of movement.  They are great for adults in that they are clear and removeable and most often more comfortable and tolerable than braces.  I fully endorse clear aligners for the right patient and case.  Make sure you find an experienced orthodontist to formulate your treatment and one that has formal orthodontic training.  We specialize in moving teeth!

  • Six month smiles is marketing scheme to claim to that people can have straight teeth in Six months using their technique.  The reality is teeth are able to become relatively straight in six months with any orthodontic treatment. It’s the other important details that an orthodontist provides that extend treatment past six months. Correcting bites, smile esthetics, and minor detailing all take time to get a complete result.  Simply Orthodontics can provide straight teeth in six months if that is your goal, but an orthodontist doesn’t need to be a Six months smile provider to do this.  As an orthodontist we want to understand your goals and treat you accordingly…trust us…don’t just trust the brand.

  • Fast braces is a branding similar to Six Month Smiles but the same marketing strategy.  They claim using their “special” wires moves teeth faster and their bracket moves teeth faster. Another marketing misconception.

That being said you probably are wondering: “What brackets do you we use then?” I’ve been around awhile so I have used pretty much every bracket out there.  At Simply Orthodontics in Irvine we use 3M Unitek brand brackets.  We use them because they are completely sterile and probably the best bracket on the market in terms of quality.  Little research has been done on this, but I look for a bracket that doesn’t break often, can take abuse, looks and feels the best for the patient and puts the teeth where the I want them with minimum adjustments.  Those are the biggest benefits to my patients.  3M brackets are individually sealed, so the only thing they touch is you or your child’s mouth prior to placement.  They are the only company to have patented the sealed bracket.  Other brands of brackets are left out and most likely not sterilized prior to placement in the mouth.  I chose 3M because I want my patients to know they have the best, safest product in their mouth from a world renown company .  As an orthodontist, I am the one that knows how your treatment can be shorted and less painful…not the bracket. So be weary of the common orthodontic marketing misconceptions .  They are all made for you to think that a bracket or technique is better than the other because of something they use, but the reality is they all do the same thing: move teeth.  What is important is the doctor who is using them. A Ferrari can only perform as well as the driver can drive it… as a bracket can only move teeth as well as the doctor knows how the move them.