All posts by AO Smiles

Do I Need Advanced Orthodontic Care?

When it comes to your smile we understand how it can really change the way you feel about yourself overall. Whether you are self-conscious of your teeth or just looking for corrective care, orthodontics can make a huge difference in your future.

So how do you know if you need advanced orthodontic care? Every case is different and at Advanced Orthodontics here in Arizona, we have seen it all. Specializing in Invisalign for all ages, high tech braces, and accelerated treatment there is an option available for you.

Some of the most common issues we see are:

  • Under or Over bite- a condition where your Jaw causes your bite to either fall to far back or forward in your mouth.
  • Gaps- When gaps form in your smile only orthodontics can close them
  • Crowding- Teeth crowding is a common issue, when your teeth come in too close together for the amount of space in the jaw.
  • Overlapping or Crookedness- Probably the most common issue aside from gaps in teeth we see is general crookedness.


Orthodontic Solutions

  • Invisalign– Invisalign is a series of invisible aligners created specifically for you to slowly straighten your teeth over time. Each aligner brings your smile straighter and straighter.
  • Accelerated Treatment– With a product like Propel we are able to stimulate the gums and actually speed up your treatment. Learn more about accelerated orthodontic treatment.

If you are considering orthodontic care for yourself or your child come in and visit us at our Chandler, Arizona or Mesa, Arizona locations. We also suggest reading up on What to Expect from your first Orthodontist Visit to feel more comfortable with the process! We hope to see you soon.

Orthodontist vs DIY Orthodontics

4 Reasons to Pass on DIY Orthodontics

One of the big changes in recent years is DIY Orthodontics. The invention of invisible aligners changed the game when it came to orthodontic care and now companies are providing a service of aligners sent to your home by mail without having to see a professional orthodontist. We have all seen the TV commercials and if you are currently considering invisible aligners there are a few reasons you may want to pass on DIY orthodontics and go with a more standard approach. 


  1. Doctor Consultation- One of the big differences between DIY orthodontics and a traditional Orthodontist is the initial consultation. There is a lot that goes into determining the right solution for you. Depending on your bite, wisdom teeth, and molars invisible aligners can be carefully monitored for more detailed movements. A trained orthodontist like Dr. Larrabee will be able to create a specific plan for you and your needs.

  2. Ability to Change Treatment- In the same light depending on how your body and teeth react to treatment, there might be a time where additional treatments can be considered like appliance therapy. A DIY orthodontic routine is not as flexible and personal as a dedicated Doctors approach.

  3. Experienced Team- Dr. Larrabee has over 15 years of experience with orthodontic care. His experience alone is a huge differentiator compared to DIY Orthodontics. Our staff has the experience to define your needs, be there throughout the process, and discuss with you the entire process.

  4. Maintenance Plan- Last but most certainly not least. One of the most important parts of maintaining your new smile is maintenance. No one wants to spend money on the smile of their dreams only to have it revert back to your previous smile. An orthodontist will be able to help you maintain your smile and educate you on how to take care of your new smile. 

Whether you decide to go with DIY orthodontics or see a professional the choice is yours, however, we hope that you do your research. If you have any questions about Invisalign or other orthodontic care we would be happy to answer any questions you have!

Child Orthodontics

Orthodontics for Children: Signs Your Kid Needs Braces or Orthodontic Care

Children’s Orthodontics is something you may have already considered, bringing you to this article. As with any decision you have to make about your child, there are a lot of opinions out there. We know you want to do what’s best for your child and that is why at Advanced Orthodontics our expert Team has experience from kids as young as 7 to adults. We are here to help you make the right decision for your child and provide you as much information as you need to feel comfortable with orthodontic care.

Some things that you may look out for that could make your child a good candidate for braces or other orthodontic intervention, include:


  • Thumb Sucking– One of the common causes for dental issues in young children are incessant thumb sucking, or even pacifier use. When your child copes with either of these methods it causes the teeth to come in, in a manner that lends itself to overbites and other issues. The good news is once you ween your child off thumb sucking early intervention can repair the dental issues and set them up for a lifetime full of healthy smiles.

  • Crowding- Another issue you may notice as your child’s teeth begin to come in is crowding. If teeth are overlapping, coming in behind each other, or turning as they come in there is a good chance your child will need intervention for a straighter smile.

  • Gaps- The opposite of crowding is gaps in teeth, while these may close over time many children develop a permanent gap between their two front teeth. While these gaps don’t necessarily post a health issue, they can cause self-consciousness over time. The best time to get ahead of that is to have your child complete orthodontic care as early as possible.

  • Overbite- The last of the most common issues we see in young children is an overbite. An overbite is where the top set of teeth stick out much farther than the bottom set. This can cause jaw issues down the line. By aligning the teeth both top and bottom we correct the issue and help with overall dental health in the long run. 


If you suspect your child has any of the above issues, come in for a free consultation. We will address all the issues we see, discuss your options as far as Invisalign for teens or traditional braces. Call 480-405-3719 to schedule today.

Scared of Orthodontist

5 Ways to Help Your Child Stop Their Fear of the Orthodontist

Kids being afraid of the orthodontist is normal. They may have heard scary stories or are unsure of what their life will be after their visit.

Their fear of the orthodontist shouldn’t stop them from making and going to their appointments, oral health is important for overall health. Luckily, there are ways to help soothe their fears.

Listen to Their Fears

No one likes to be ignored. Listening to your child’s fear will let them feel heard and more secure. There are a variety of worries that come with an orthodontist’s appointment.

For example, pain is usually the number one fear. Having painful experiences with a dentist could cause a lot of anxiety towards an orthodontic appointment.

If your child is getting braces or Invisalign, it may be a good idea to explain to them that some discomfort is expected, but nothing will be painful. Discomfort can occur when the appliances are adjusted, during the time that your mouth is getting used to them, and other occurrences. It’s crucially important to be honest with them as you explain the process, while also keeping their fears in mind.

They could also be afraid of how they are going to look in front of their peers, or that they’ll be made fun of. If their appearance is a large concern, clear brackets or Invisalign Teen may be the best option for them.

Listen to their fears and work with them to create tools for them to feel better. Knowing what to expect can bring comfort to your child.

5 Ways to Help with Their Fear of Orthodontists

Any and all these suggestions can help ease their fear of the orthodontist. Some may suit your child better than others depending on their personality.

1. Make a Pre-Appointment Meeting

Remember how knowing what’s going to happen can bring a sense of comfort? Start by making a consultation appointment. By doing this, your child can meet Dr. Larrabee and the staff and see how friendly we are.

At the consultation, if treatment is recommended, your expert treatment coordinator will review the step-by-step process of what to expect at each visit from start to finish. Your child can ask any questions they have.

2. No Surprise Appointments

No one likes getting surprised by an appointment, especially if you’re already nervous. Going back to knowing what will happen, it’s good to let them know a few days before the appointment.

However, you don’t want to let them know too early, because that’ll give them more time to stew in their anxiety.

3. Find a Kid-Friendly Orthodontist

While no orthodontist is deliberately mean to children, finding an especially kid-friendly orthodontist will make everything go smoother. Luckily, Dr. Larrabee loves kids and does everything he can to make them feel better about the whole process.

4. Let Them Bring Their Favorite Toy

Is there a special stuffed animal or blanket that they cuddle with all the time? Let them bring it with them to the appointment. They can cling to it while the orthodontist works. It’s an extra layer of comfort.

5. Advanced Orthodontics’ Kids Club

The Kids’ Club is a fun way to let Dr. Larrabee keep track of your child’s dental progress. Once your child becomes part of the club, they can earn points for going to regular appointments, great oral hygiene, community service, and good grades. With these points, they can get all kinds of prizes.

Make an Appointment Today

Now that you know there are ways to bring some comfort to your child about orthodontists, come visit us.

Feel free to use our Contact Us page or call our Mesa office at (480) 357-4900 or our Chandler office at (480) 550-5500.

5 Things I Wish Had Known Before Getting Invisalign

Your smile is important. It’s the first thing that makes an impression on other people. It gives you confidence.

What if your smile isn’t as straight as you want it to be? While braces have been a tried-and-true orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth, it may not seem like the best option for your lifestyle.

Luckily there is another option—Invisalign.

Even if you are about to start your teeth straightening journey, have you done your research?

Are you prepared for what the process entails? Do you realize what you’ll deal with daily? If not, don’t worry – Advanced Orthodontics is here to help give you the scoop!

The Length of the Invisalign Journey

The majority of Invisalign treatments last for at least a year – however, this can vary due to what Dr. Larrabee recommends. There will be certain milestones that will require you to get new alignments along the way to help your teeth progress into a healthy, straight smile!

First, you will meet with Dr. Larrabee to get an initial exam as well as our 3D impression-free scan. After that, you will receive your first custom-made Invisalign aligner in about four to six weeks.

From there, you will switch to the next aligner every week. That’s right, every week. This is to help ensure your progress continues quickly and smoothly.

Around two or three months later, you go in for a checkup. This is to see if Invisalign is working as it should and your teeth are progressing correctly.

Finally, depending on your progress, in six to twelve months you are due for another checkup. This appointment is to make the final adjustments that will finish your Invisalign journey!

For more information, read our infographic about Getting Started With Invisalign!

5 Things to Know Before Getting Invisalign

It’s well known that this Invisalign is a dependable method for teeth straightening. Here are some tips for Invisalign treatment that people have shared:

1. Invisalign Requires More Responsibility Than Braces

Even though it’s easier to use than braces, the process is complicated. It doesn’t matter if you’re an adult or a child.

Because the Invisalign aligners are removable, you have to pay more attention to it than braces, which are permanently adhered to your teeth. You will have multiple aligners to keep track of and it can become expensive if you lose or damage any.

You also have to be diligent about cleaning your aligners, especially after meals, where you will need to wash your teeth AND the aligners. This will prevent bacteria from growing in them, which could cause complications along the way.

In addition, you will have to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours each day. Don’t give in to the temptation of taking them off whenever you feel like it, or leaving them off for extended periods of time – ultimately, you may affect the progress you are making which could result in a longer treatment time.

2. Slight Changes in Your Speech

Similar to braces, there will be a slight learning curve to speaking with aligners in your mouth. Each new aligner may present new challenges, such as a slight lisp. Luckily, your speech won’t be affected very much or for very long, and some patients report having no issues whatsoever!

Eventually, you will get used to it and speak as you normally would.

If you are continually having a problem, or if your speech is heavily affected, this could mean that there’s an issue with the aligner you are using. You should make an appointment with Dr. Larrabee to have it looked at as soon as you can.

3. There May Be Some Discomfort

Because your teeth are going through changes and the aligners are putting pressure on your teeth, you may experience some discomfort. This may happen each time you change aligners, though results may vary from patient to patient.

Even though you may still be uncomfortable at times, Invisalign is much more pleasant than if you had braces. There isn’t any metal being put in your mouth that can irritate your gums or tongue.

4. Don’t Forget About Hygiene!

It’s important to pay attention to your oral hygiene a lot more than usual during your Invisalign process. Luckily, you can remove your aligners and brush and floss with ease, which is very different than cleaning your teeth with braces. Cleaning prevents gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral issues that could impede your progress to straight teeth.

5. Wash Your Hands Often

Because your aligners are removable, you will have your hands in your mouth more than usual. This is because it is recommended to remove your Invisalign aligners every time you eat, or engage in sports.

It’s important to wash your hands before and after putting your fingers in your mouth. Washing prevents spreading germs that could get you or others sick!

Now You Are Prepared for Anything with Invisalign!

These tips were curated from patients who have undergone and LOVED their Invisalign treatment – we hope some of these will be helpful for you as you start your journey with Advanced Orthodontics! While it does take some adjustments to your lifestyle and habits, you’ll have a beautiful, healthy smile to show off your hard work and dedication.

Get in Touch with Advanced Orthodontics to Get Started

We look forward to providing you with top-notch orthodontic treatment that gives you the confidence in your smile that you deserve. With locations in both Mesa and Chandler, we are conveniently located for patients across the region. Contact us today to get started!