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Orthodontics Specialist

Downey Smile Center

Dentists located in Downey, CA

If you worry what others think of your smile or you find yourself suffering from jaw pain, John Pham, DMD, can help get to the root of the problem at the Downey Smile Center in Downey, California. With a friendly, expert staff and the latest in dental technology and orthodontic treatment options, Downey Smile Center is dedicated to correcting your tooth and jaw problems as efficiently and comfortably as possible.

Orthodontics Q & A

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a type of dentistry that studies and treats problems associated with the improper position of teeth. Orthodontics also treats other aspects of facial growth, including the proper shape and alignment of the jaw. Sometimes an orthodontic treatment is purely for aesthetic reasons, such as straighter teeth.

Why do I need orthodontic treatment?

We may prescribe orthodontic treatment for any of several types of mouth and face, or orofacial, issues:

  • Tooth crowding
  • Overbite, underbite, or crossbite
  • Tooth spacing, either too large or too small
  • Speech issues
  • Difficulties chewing or biting
  • Breathing or swallowing problems
  • Disfiguration of the face and mouth

What kinds of orthodontic treatments are available?

Giving your mouth a smile it deserves can require several kinds of treatment depending on the severity of your tooth and jaw needs. Orthodontic appliances generally come in two varieties: fixed and removable.

These are some of the most common treatments we may prescribe:

Metal braces

Braces and other fixed orthodontic appliances are the most commonly used devices in orthodontics. Traditional braces are made of wire and bands that are fixed to the teeth. The tension created by tightening of the bands slowly moves your teeth into their proper position. Once in place, braces cannot be removed except by us or another specialized dentist.

Plastic aligners

Plastic aligners, such as Invisalign®, are clear molds specially created for your teeth. Once fitted, you wear the aligner day and night except to eat, floss, and brush your teeth.  


This device is often combined with braces as part of your teeth management plan. Headgear is designed to slow down growth in the upper jaw while aligning the front teeth to the back. Unlike braces, you can remove headgear if necessary.

Lingual braces

Like traditional braces, this device uses metal wires to maneuver your teeth into proper alignment. Lingual braces are installed behind the teeth, rather than the front, making them a great option if you are concerned about the look of your smile during treatment.

How long does treatment last?

Depending on the severity of your orthodontic needs, we may prescribe treatment for just a few months to several years. For the best and fastest results, closely follow your treatment instructions.

Are orthodontic devices uncomfortable?

The first few days after we install braces may be uncomfortable or painful. However, this discomfort should only last a few days as your teeth adjust to the braces. Discomfort with Invisalign tends to be minimal, and you may remove the aligners for temporary relief if necessary.

If you or your child is experiencing tooth, face, or jaw pain, make an appointment online or call the Downey Smile Center to discuss effective orthodontic options.