Do Adults Really Need Braces? (I mean, I waited this long already!)

The short answer is ‘No’. But, in much the same way a broken bone doesn’t need resetting…it’s highly recommended for your long-term health and not just aesthetics.

Your teeth affect more than just your smile and confidence – they affect the health of your entire mouth, bone structure, as well as other parts of your mouth.  We are in the business of making sure your mouth is in perfect working order, and if your teeth are crooked or your bite is misaligned, there are more side effects than just aesthetic discomfort. Braces aren’t just about giving you the smile you’ve always wanted (though that is a fantastic benefit!). In much the same way as a broken bone, it’s about making sure everything is in place so you don’t develop problems down the road.

Misaligned teeth can result in excessive plaque build-up, which can contribute to gum disease. More abstractly, if a cross-bite is severe enough, it can actually lead to gastrointestinal problems as chewing is the first step in the digestive process. The structure of your jaw can also be compromised, and the jaw has the amazing ability to place anywhere between 55 and 268 pounds of pressure – that’s not pressure you want exerted improperly because it can lead to further damage.

Thankfully, since you were a child the dental industry has made fantastic strides in technology which means you can avoid metal mouth! One of the most common concerns for adults who are candidates for orthodontic correction is a mouthful of braces, appearing juvenile and unsightly.

A newer alternative to metal braces are clear or ceramic brackets. While still physically adhered to the teeth, they are far less noticeable and offer nearly identical benefits to traditional metal brackets and wires.

Additionally, Invisalign is an even more subtle option that is preferred by many adults. Unlike metal or ceramic braces, nothing is adhered to your teeth at all! Instead, you receive a custom fit tray that is changed every two weeks; each time being  modified slightly to gradually adjust any misalignment issues.

An often overlooked, but equally viable option is Veneers – an instant fix to many aesthetic issues. This will not correct any health issues relating to crooked teeth, but if your problems are strictly aesthetic and you just want a quick boost to your confidence, Veneers may be your answer. Veneers are extremely thin porcelain covers that are adhered on top of your teeth. They are symmetrical and white and everything you want for your perfect smile. However,  Veneers do not fix any cross-bite issues and your misaligned teeth are still just below the surface.  Although it is a viable cosmetic procedure, not everyone is a good candidate for Veneers and may instead need something that is actually corrective.

So do you need braces? Maybe not, but it could be an invaluable investment in your oral health and your confidence. Straightening your teeth doesn’t have to mean a mouth full of metal; now you can get it done with style.


Dr. Pedro Alquizar

Miami Orthodontist Group

Phone: (305) 279-3968
9125 SW 87th Ave.
Miami, FL 33176

Pre-Medication for Dental Work After Joint Replacement

What is pre-medicating? What do artificial joints have to do with dental treatment? Why is this related to my oral health and not just overall health?
Good questions! Although artificial joints can seem like a far cry from concerns with your dental health, the two are more related than one may think. When it comes to artificial joints, there is an increased risk of infection due to the inorganic material in the body that should be taken into consideration. This is true from the time of placement, but it may also play a role with future medical treatments. It has long been suggested that pre-medicating should be a standard prerequisite to dental and other procedures, but what is pre-medicating and why would it help?

Pre-Medication Before Dental Procedures

Pre-medicating is the act of giving medication prior to a medical or dental procedure, which is done with the intention of staying ahead of potential infection problems. The theory is that bacteria from the mouth can enter the blood stream, and those with artificial joints are already more susceptible to infection. Pre-medication is meant to help mitigate this risk prior to the procedure to keep your overall health in check from start to finish.

Sounds simple – what’s the dilemma?

Your replacement joints may not affect treatments at all! Many question pre-medication as it does not appear to be necessary. In fact, the ADA directly states “In general, for patients with prosthetic joint implants, prophylactic antibiotics are not recommended prior to dental procedures to prevent prosthetic joint infection.” There is evidence that dental procedures are not associated with prosthetic joint implant infections, along with the fact that there is evidence to suggest that there are potential harms in taking medication when not completely necessary. As such, the risks do not outweigh the benefits of pre-medication. In individual cases, there may be exceptions; however, as a rule pre-medication is not a necessary prerequisite for effective dental treatments.
Please be sure to let us know if you have artificial joints, or any out of the ordinary medical circumstances. We will be sure to take them into consideration when it comes to developing your treatment plan. For the most part, your artificial joints will not require special treatment on your end – we can treat you as we would any other patient to keep your smile looking sharp!

Dr. Pedro Alquizar

Miami Orthodontist Group

Phone: (305) 279-3968
9125 SW 87th Ave.
Miami, FL 33176

This is What to Consider Before Choosing a Regular Dentist for Orthodontic Treatment

dentist vs orthodontist for teeth straightening

MIAMI, FLORIDA- It is not uncommon these days for general dentists to promote orthodontic treatment options like Invisalign that they offer at their practice, but potential patients should stop and consider the benefits that a specialist offers before making their decision.

“The best choice for orthodontic procedures is an orthodontist,” says Dr. Pedro Alquizar, a Pinecrest braces provider.

An orthodontist’s expertise is in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities, whereas general dentists are experts in the diagnosis of dental decay, preventive dentistry and restoring, replacing and repairing teeth.

“Our job as orthodontists is to help your teeth and jaws work in perfect unison so that you can speak, bite and chew comfortably and effectively,” says Dr. Phillip Kaner, an orthodontist in South Miami who has been in practice for more than 40 years.

Orthodontists studied the fundamentals of dentistry alongside their general dentistry peers then went on to complete an additional two to three years learning the basics and intricacies of orthodontics.

“Training and experience are crucial when it comes to orthodontics because even cases that may look easy are sometimes quite complex,” says Dr. Alquizar, a Miami FL Invisalign provider. “Only an orthodontist has the specialized knowledge to identify and plan for all the variables in your mouth.”

Braces are not one size fits all. Each case requires a tailored treatment plan and expert supervision for optimal results. Whether the best treatment option is clear aligners or traditional style braces, orthodontists are trained to take your unique needs and wishes into consideration when recommending the best treatment option.

“As orthodontists, we spend all our time focused on learning and using the latest in orthodontic tools, techniques and technology to provide our patients with the best possible results,” he says as a Kendall orthodontics professional.

Being able to give our patients the best dental care requires a team approach, and we consider general dentists invaluable for achieving great results. We communicate with them to get the right restorations, dental cleanings and maintain overall oral health while in braces and beyond.

“Schedule a complimentary appointment and consultation to find out how we can help you get the smile you have always wanted,” says Dr. Kaner, who is one of the Miami orthodontists.

Dr. Pedro Alquizar

Miami Orthodontist Group

Phone: (305) 279-3968
9125 SW 87th Ave.
Miami, FL 33176

Easter Hard Candy

Blog Title-Hard Candy2

Easter means many things to different families everywhere, but one thing that remains consistent is the appearance of candy! Whether it’s hidden in eggs or just passed around, it comes at a nice nearly halfway mark in the year from Halloween. Sweets make for some excellent treats, and there is no reason not to indulge (in moderation of course)! However, all candies are not created equal, and it may be worth knowing which ones you can have relatively guilt free, and which could spell trouble for your wonderful smile.

When it comes to Easter indulgences, chocolate may make it onto the nice list – we know, this is great news to many of you. The less forgiving candies are the ones that make that all-too-familiar CRUNCH! Hard candies, like lollipops or jolly ranchers, can be an awfully tempting treat to bite. But best case scenario is they can pack hard-to-reach pieces of sugar into your gums that end up sitting there, as saliva can have a difficult time breaking them down. Worst case scenario, that crunch sound may be coming from a broken tooth, and sending you straight from your Sunday activities into our office. We do love seeing our patients, but not at the expense of their healthy smile! It happens more often than you think, and it’s not just because of the sugar – even some who are prone to absentmindedly crunching on ice have discovered the dangers of biting down on crunchy munchies when they find a piece of their tooth broken off. Your teeth are durable for normal eating and chewing, but anything that causes too much stress can run the risk of chipping or breaking one of your pearly whites. Before you try to impress your friends with breaking that jaw breaker in half, remember that it’s earned that name for a pretty good reason.

Even if you resist that satisfying crunch, there are still a few other points of concern for hard candies that you don’t run into with other options (like chocolate!). Hard candies that you suck on tend to spend a concentrated period of time in a single location, which over-exposes particular areas of your mouth to sugar and lead to a very concentrated build-up of acid, which can be a quick way to damage the enamel. Consider this next time you find yourself unwrapping that tootsie pop or after-meal mint, and perhaps enjoy a stick of gum instead. It’s not often that the solution for a sweet treat is yet another sweet treat, but you’re in luck because this time it is! After enjoying your holiday treats, consider enjoying a piece of sugar-free gum – the increased saliva productions while chewing can actually help dislodge and break down the remaining sugar in your mouth.

Overall, we don’t want to take the enjoyment out of candy-filled holidays – enjoy your time with your friends and family, and definitely don’t be afraid to pop open that plastic egg and see what treats hide inside. If you do find yourself going crazy for the crunchy candies, we hope you chew safely…and if things go wrong, you always have your friends at our office to set things straight (: