All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth

November 26th, 2018

SOMETIMES UPPER FRONT TEETH don’t come in on time. If more than one year passes since the expected time of arrival of an upper front tooth, usually at age 7, and the front tooth is still delayed, it’s time to take action and visit an orthodontist.

There Are Many Possible Causes...

There are many possible causes of delayed permanent front teeth.

1. A baby tooth may be lost too early due to a cavity or an accident. When this happens, bone and tissue fills the tooth path and the permanent tooth may not be able to push its way out.

2. A baby tooth can be maintained too long. A baby not loose and firmly in place too long may not allow a permanent tooth to come in or may cause the permanent tooth to come in out of place.

3. An extra front tooth in the middle of both front teeth can prevent these front teeth from coming in. This extra middle tooth is called a mesiodens. Sometimes this tooth comes into the roof of the mouth or it may stay stuck in the bone.

4. Front teeth may be deformed, turned sideways, or even upside down. This situation will require a surgical procedure and attachment of a metal chain to pull the tooth into position with braces.

Get An Orthodontic Evaluation By Age 7!

In all of these situations, orthodontic space preparation is important. In some cases, a surgical incision may be all that is necessary to release a front tooth and allow it to come into position.

The esthetic and social consequences of a missing front tooth for a child are significant. This is why the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child have an orthodontic evaluation by age 7.

So please bring your child to Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California for a complimentary consultation if you hear them say All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.”

Shift Your Bite Into High Gear

November 2nd, 2018

WHEN UPPER AND LOWER DENTAL MIDLINES do not line up and the lower jaw moves to the side on closing, these are signs of a bite functional shift.

When The Upper Arch Is Too Small For The Lower...

When the upper arch is too narrow or too small for the lower jaw, the lower jaw is forced to move to the side when closing. The unwanted movement, called a functional shift, temporarily relieves discomfort by creating a maximum tooth biting surface for chewing. The unnecessary jaw movement can be eliminated by upper arch expansion and comprehensive orthodontic treatment.

The Imbalance Can Be Fixed

The upper jaw may also be too small for the face and the lower jaw. This is called maxillary deficiency. The backward position of the upper jaw can be corrected with Class III rubber bands, reverse pull headgear, or an upper jaw surgical advancement procedure.

This case was treated by board certified orthodontist Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca of Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California.

If you have questions about midlines that don’t line up or a jaw functional shift, call us at 925-757-9000. Visit us at

Straight dental midlines are important. Eliminate your bite functional shift to get your smile into high gear.

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Bad Breath? Are You Keeping Your Retainer Clean?

August 24th, 2018

DOES YOUR BREATH STINK? Do you know if your breath stinks? What causes it? What can be done about it? Here at our practice, we often get questions about bad breath. Sometimes the questions come from a long-suffering friend or family member of somebody else with bad breath.

Besides A Dirty Retainer, There Are Lots Of Bad Breath Causes 

Halitosis (chronic bad breath) can be caused by a number of things — some more serious than others. Here are the most common causes:

1. Things You Eat, Like Garlic And Onions

Foods like garlic and onions contain oils that transfer through your bloodstream into your lungs, causing odor to be emitted each time you exhale.

2. Things You Don’t Eat, And A Dry Mouth

Dieting can trigger different chemical processes that can make you more susceptible to bad breath. Also, not eating slows down saliva production, decreasing your mouth’s ability to clean away bacterial build-up. That’s why “morning breath” is unpleasant. Also, certain prescription medications can cause dry mouth.

3. The Way You Feel

Sometimes a cold or sore throat can be the culprit with odors coming directly from the bacteria or mucus trapped in your mouth or sinus area. Typically, these problems won’t go away until the symptoms causing them are gone.

4. Things That May Be More Serious

More serious causes include things like gum disease, kidney problems, diabetes, oral cancer, anorexia/bulimia, and others. That’s why it’s so important to contact us or your general dentist about chronic bad breath problems that you just can’t seem to solve.

Things You Can Do That Help

Remember, chronic or extreme bad breath is not normal. If you have any questions about causes, symptoms, or remedies, talk with our team.

  1. If you wear a retainer, or any other orthodontic appliance, clean it thoroughly.
  2. WE KNOW it’s hard with braces, but practice good oral hygiene! You know — brush and floss!
  3. Gently brush your tongue.
  4. Use an antibacterial mouthwash regularly.
  5. Eat healthy, drink enough water, and don’t smoke.
  6. Occasionally suck on a sugarless mint.
  7. Don’t miss or postpone your appointments with us, or your checkups with your dentist.

A Little Fun With “...a new sense of daintiness...”

Contrary to the popular legend that Listerine coined the term “halitosis,” it actually dates back to the 1870s. However, Listerine made the term commonplace by using it in many of their ad campaigns. Halitosis combines the Latin “halitus” (meaning “breath”) with the Greek suffix “osis” (used to describe a medical condition).

Thanks, As Always, For Being Our Valued Patient

We sincerely appreciate the trust you place in our orthodontic practice! And thanks for your kind referrals of friends, family members, and coworkers. Leave us a comment below or send us a direct message on our Facebook page!

See you soon at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California. Find us at or call us at 925-757-9000 for a free orthodontic exam.

Your smile is our inspiration.

Kissing Pros And Cons (Including Stuck Braces)

February 16th, 2018

IS A KISS RISKY WITH BRACES? You’ll have to answer that question on your own! Once in a while we’ll hear a story about braces getting stuck when two people with braces were smooching. But there’s a more-often-talked-about concern about kissing that our practice would like to briefly address below.

Bacteria Can Lead To Increased Plaque Which Can Lead To Tooth Decay

We know it’s not pleasant to think about, but it’s true — your mouth is full of bacteria. Some of it is good and some of it isn’t. For the most part, your body (and your mouth, specifically) does a pretty good job of keeping bacteria, germs, and viruses that make their way into your mouth in check. But increased bacteria can also lead to increased plaque. Maintaining great oral hygiene habits is the very best way you can help your mouth do its job.

Kissing (with or without braces) Introduces Your Mouth To Someone Else’s Bacteria And Viruses

Now there’s no need to make this a huge cause for worry. Our team just wants to be sure that you know about the most common viruses and diseases that you could be sharing with a smooch:

  • Cold Sores. Cold sores are a manifestation of a herpes virus. Even when there are no signs, it can be contagious.
  • Colds And Flus. Lots of viruses are included under the blanket “common cold” term. Colds happen, but you can decrease the spread by avoiding kissing while you’re sick.
  • Mononucleosis. Also known as mono, glandular fever, or the kissing disease, this is caused by a viral infection that is easily spread by saliva and can knock you out for weeks.

Yes, There Are Lots Of Kissing Positives Too

We’re not condemning kissing! Think about the benefits! Kissing increases saliva flow, which is great for your teeth and overall oral health. And of course, an affectionate peck can make you happier and strengthen relationships, which leads to better overall health and wellbeing. So don’t put the brakes on a great relationship just because you’re worried about germs! Just be smart, make sure that you maintain great oral hygiene, and that you always know who’s on the other end of that kiss.

Any Questions About All This?

We love answering your questions about ANY orthodontic or oral-health related matter. It gives us a chance to know you better.  Give us a call, leave a comment below, or send us a direct message on our Facebook page. We’re always happy to discuss things with you!

Give us a call at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California (925) 757-9000.

Thanks again for the trust you place in us! We value your friendship!

Clues To Your Overall Health Can Be Discovered In Your Mouth

February 5th, 2018

DID YOU REALIZE THAT an estimated 90 percent of systemic diseases can have an oral manifestation? Your mouth is loaded with helpful information about your body’s overall health.

Now, we are neither your physician nor your dentist. But we see your mouth more often than either of them, and sometimes we spot important signs about your body’s total health. Fortunately, most of your mouth’s “stories” are related to minor issues. However, some can actually be signs of more serious problems.

Your Teeth

If you have worn-down teeth, it can mean that you’ve been grinding them — probably in your sleep. Teeth-grinding is more common in teens than any other age group. If it starts to cause a problem for your treatment plan, we may recommend a special night guard for your teeth.

If we notice that your tooth enamel is thin, it could be a sign of a condition such as acid reflux or bulimia because both regularly bathe teeth in stomach acid.

Your Gums

Occasionally, we all may have swollen, sensitive gums. But if it persists, even when you’re taking really good care of your mouth, it could be an early sign of something serious like diabetes or leukemia. Sometimes it may simply be a sign of vitamin C deficiency. But it’s good to consider all the possibilities.

In addition, modern research and many health experts continue to draw lines between gum disease and other whole-body health issues, including lung disease, cardiovascular problems, and even early-term labor.

Your Tongue

There are a few odd tongue conditions like hairy black tongue (which is pretty much what it sounds like) and geographic tongue (random-shaped, smooth red patches) that have various causes but are not considered serious — although they can cause discomfort. However, what IS serious are early signs of oral cancer which often show up on the side of your tongue first, in small red or white spots. If you have a sore on your tongue, cheek, or elsewhere in your mouth that doesn’t go away in a reasonable amount of time, have a dentist check it out right away.

Nutritional Imbalances

Nutritional deficiencies are often reflected in your mouth where the soft tissues are renewed quickly. An Academy of General Dentistry study shows that oral tissue sensitivity can be a sign of deficiencies in iron, zinc, and folic acid which can show up as gum disease.

Questions About Your Oral Or Overall Health? 

First of all, don’t skip your doctor appointments! That’s not what we’re suggesting with this post! But remember that your regular dental checkups are more important than ever. And if, at any point, we see something that might be a sign of a health problem, we may recommend that you have a dentist or physician take a closer look.

Here at our practice, we’re so grateful for your trust. If you ever have any questions or concerns about your oral health or your orthodontic treatment, please ask us. And if you have any persistent symptoms like those listed in this post, let us know.

Thank you for choosing Gorczyca Orthodontics for your orthodontic needs.

Who Encourages You?

January 23rd, 2018

MY FATHER ALWAYS ENCOURAGED ME TO WRITE A BOOK. Driving each morning for the past 17 years to my orthodontic office, I would call my father and tell him about the things we were doing at Gorczyca Orthodontics for our patients, for our community, and for our referring doctors. He loved hearing about these special things and thought other dentists would, too.

Marketing Is Very Important In The Healthcare Industry

When I was a student at Harvard School of Dental Medicine, I had the opportunity to study at Harvard School of Public Health in the Department of Health Management and Policy. There, I attended my first marketing lectures and started to understand the importance and broad-reaching effects of marketing in the healthcare industry.

I learned that marketing involves many things including case studies, comparisons, differentiation, product analysis, demographics, communities, and target audiences. Marketing is about personal preferences, branding and customer service. Marketing is the ability to move others and direct them toward what we have to offer—dentistry. This perspective is valuable to all dental professionals in the marketing of their business, the dental practice.

I Hope My Book Makes A Difference

My book It All Starts with Marketing—201 Marketing Tips for Growing a Dental Practice is a collection of ideas, experiences, and strategies I used to gain new patients and grow my orthodontic practice from scratch from the ground up. I hope that several of these tips will be helpful to its readers, especially those dentists just starting out who may need a little help, encouragement, a positive push or a “you-can-do-it” cheer to make them feel more empowered to persevere.

I hope this book is also useful to those who have been in practice for several years—those who are looking for a few new ideas to help make their patients feel special, their team more engaged, and their dental office just a little more fun.

My Dad Encouraged Me

My father was the most positive, loving, and optimistic person I have ever met. He was so looking forward to the release of this first book. I received the first final printed copy on July 30, 2013. I lost my dad two days earlier.

Ultimately, we all encourage ourselves. For me personally, this book will not only be the story of marketing at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California, but also a reflection of the beautiful memories of the morning phone conversations I would have with my dad.

“To my father, Fryderyk, who always encouraged me to write a book.”

About The Author

Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca is a Clinical Adjunct Professor of Orthodontics at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, University of the Pacific, where she speaks on practice management topics including marketing, teamwork, treatment coordination, customer service, management systems, and human resource management. She was a marketing speaker at the 2011, 2012, and 2014 American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) Annual Sessions. Formerly a faculty member at UCSF School of Dentistry, she has received teaching awards from UCSF and University of the Pacific Dental Schools.

Eat Gelatin For Healthy Gums

November 3rd, 2017

YOU MAY NOT THINK of gelatin as a health food. Yet, homemade natural jello is one of the best things you can eat for healthy gums.

Gelatin And Gum Tissue

Gelatin is made of collagen. The collagen of natural jello gives your body the amino acids glycine and proline, which are important for new collagen synthesis in your gums. New collagen produced in your gums helps make your periodontal tissue firm and strong. Some components of the collagen in gelatin have been shown to help repair gum tissue and can also be beneficial in your body’s wound healing.

Gelatin’s Other Benefits

Not only is natural gelatin good for your gums, it is also good for your bones, teeth, cartilage, joints, and digestive tract. Gelatin can help reduce wrinkles. How great is that? Gelatin can also give you healthier skin and hair. It can even reduce cellulite! In addition, gelatin has been found to improve sleep and relieve stress.

Homemade Gelatin

To make your own healthy gelatin at home that is low in sugar and free of artificial coloring, try the recipe below:

  • 4 Tbs gelatin power
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 3 1/2 cups fruit juice
  • fruit
  • shredded coconut

Mix ingredients together, then chill in refrigerator.

Enjoy Your Gum-Healthy Gelatin Treats!

With all these health benefits, why wouldn't we all eat gelatin? Make some gelatin for your gums. Gelatin can be acquired either in a powdered form for your recipes or from bone broth.

Here’s to your dental health!

Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca, Orthodontist, 5201 Deer Valley Road, Suite 1A, Antioch, California (925) 757-9000

Top image by Flickr user Andrew Mager used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Are Cavities Contagious?

October 20th, 2017

WE ALL KNOW it’s possible to catch a cold from someone who’s under the weather. Did you know cavity-causing bacteria can be passed from person to person too?

Bacteria Is At The Root Of Cavities

While sugary treats often take the blame for causing cavities, the real culprits for tooth decay are bacteria. Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus are bacteria which stick to our teeth and eat food particles left behind from our last meal, producing acids which threaten gum health and cause tooth decay. And just like cold-causing bacteria, these bacteria like to travel.

Bacteria Travels From Person To Person

Whether it’s through sharing a drink or kissing a loved one, cavity-causing bacteria can be passed from person to person the same way many other bacterial infections can. Studies have shown that “catching a cavity” is not only possible, it happens far more often than you might think.

One of the most common transmissions is from parent and child. Cavity-causing bacteria is commonly passed along to a child when a mother or father tastes food to ensure it’s not too hot or when he or she “cleans” a pacifier by sucking on it before handing it over.

Take Simple Steps To Stop The Spread Of Bacteria

What can you do to reduce your risk of transmitting these cavity-causing bacterias to someone else?

  • Floss and brush frequently.
  • Chew sugar-free gum—this promotes saliva production and washes away plaque and bacteria).
  • Be mindful of drinks and eating utensils you’re sharing and the risks that are involved.
  • Be aware of other behaviors which may spread these bacteria.

Trust Our Practice For Solutions

Nobody wants to inadvertently “catch a cavity.” Our practice is committed to providing you with the best information possible to help you create a healthy and resilient smile. If you have any questions about this, be sure to ask us! We love visiting about your orthodontic health. You can also comment below and reach out to us on social media.

Visit us at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch California for a free oral exam and orthodontic evaluation. Call us at (925) 757-9000. Find us at the Deer Valley Dental Professional Center, 5201 Deer Valley Road, right behind Deer Valley High School.

Your smile is our inspiration.

Top image by Flickr user bigbirdz used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Count Dracula’s Teeth

October 13th, 2017

IT’S EASY TO REMEMBER the character Count Dracula, a vampire, seen as a popular costume for both children and adults at Halloween. Dracula’s appearance is unforgettable as a thin, pale, tall man with a long nose, pointed ears, dressed in black, wearing a black cape.

But the most unforgettable feature of Count Dracula's appearance is his teeth. Sharp and pointy, they were described in Bram Stoker's original 1897 Gothic novel Dracula as “a smile of which the Count could not be proud.”

Although the novel Dracula is a work of fiction, it does contain historical references to Transylvanian-born Voivode Vlad III Dracula of Wallachia who reigned as ruler from 1456-1462. “Dracula” means “Son of Dracul,” Order of the Dragon knights, founded by Sigismund of Luxembourg (then King of Hungary).

As An Orthodontist, I’ve Wondered...

As an orthodontist, I’ve often wondered, did the historical figure Vlad Dracula have hypererupted maxillary canines?

Upper side teeth (maxillary canines) that stick out too far (hypererupt) are common and affect 1-2 percent of the population. Because these upper canine teeth are the last teeth to come in at the front of the dental arch, they are the teeth that most often stick out. 

This is a serious orthodontic problem not only for the sake of appearance, but also because it may lead to these teeth getting stuck in the bone (dental impaction) or making the roots of surrounding teeth dissolve (root resorption), which could lead to tooth loss. This occurs when not enough space is available in the dental arch for the canine teeth. There also appears to be a genetic basis for this eruption phenomenon.

Early Orthodontic Treatment Could Have Prevented It... 

The prevention of this “Dracula tooth” problem is to orthodontically create enough space early. This can be done by orthodontic dental arch expansion or tooth extraction, which is what we do at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California. For this reason, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child receive an orthodontic examination by age 7, and so does Orthodontist, Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca.

Count Dracula’s life could have been changed by early orthodontic treatment. Perhaps he could have grown garlic in the sunlight, lit more candles, smiled more often, married, had children, and lived happily ever after in his Carpathian Mountain castle!

Why Do I Need to Wear Orthodontic Elastics?

October 3rd, 2017

FOR SOME PATIENTS, ELASTICS aren’t their favorite part of orthodontic treatment. However, they’re essential! Be sure to follow our rubber-band-wearing instructions to the letter!

Elastics Use Varies From Patient To Patient

The size of the bands used, the positioning, and the elastic strength vary from patient to patient and during treatment periods. How often you need to wear them may vary too. And some patients need to wear them full-time for short periods of time.

Full-time means your elastics are ALWAYS on, unless:

  • you’re brushing your teeth
  • you’re eating a meal

That’s it! Otherwise, they’re in. This will speed up treatment time. It may seem surprising, but it will also reduce discomfort, since your teeth will move swiftly, and then stay where they need to be, instead of going back and forth.

Elastics Are Often An Important Step In Bite Correction

Proper orthodontic treatment isn’t just about cosmetically straight teeth. It’s also about bite correction. Elastics can be a vital component in bite correction.

A proper bite is the FOUNDATION of a beautiful smile. A misaligned bite can cause jaw clenching, teeth grinding, and daily headaches. We specialize in finding the right balance for YOUR mouth and face, and giving you a smile that will be healthy for life.

Just Do It!

The more cooperative you are in following our instructions, the sooner you’ll have your beautiful new smile. Let us know if you have any questions about the treatment that we’ve prescribed for you. And if you’re at all confused about your rubber bands, please call us!

Call us at Gorczyca Orthodontics (925) 757-9000. Find us at in Antioch, California.
To find an orthodontist near you, visit the American Association of Orthodontists at

Thanks for your trust in our orthodontic practice. We appreciate you!

5 Items to have on Hand in Case of a Dental or Orthodontic Emergency

August 29th, 2017

OUR TEETH–AND BRACES–POTENTIALLY DEAL with a lot when we’re out and about. Basketball games, pie-eating contests, pizza crust... it’s a rough life. Usually our teeth are strong enough (or we’re lucky enough) to not suffer any major problems.

However, accidents happen. And fortune favors the prepared, so here are some tips for guarding yourself against dental and orthodontic emergencies.

You’re Less Likely To Suffer A Dental Emergency If You...

  • Wear a mouth guard during sports
  • Keep good, regular care of your teeth and gums
  • Keep your regularly scheduled appointments to check on teeth and orthodontic work
  • Stay away from the hard, crunchy, and sticky foods we warned you about when you started orthodontic treatment

Just In Case, Here Are Five Items To Have On Hand

Keep these items in a little dental emergency kit that you can keep on hand—at home, in you car, and while you travel.

Painkiller: An all-natural topical painkiller that many people find useful is clove oil. Remember, NEVER put aspirin right ON the tooth.
Orthodontic wax: If something is out of whack, you can just cover it with wax until we can take a look.
Floss: This is handy if something uncomfortable gets wedged between teeth, or wires.
Gauze: In case of a knocked-out or loose tooth, you can put the tooth back in place, and bite on some gauze to keep it there until you get professional care.
Fingernail clipper: A fingernail clipper can be used to clip a poking wire.
Pencil with eraser: The eraser of a pencil can be used to slide a wire back into place or push a poking wire.
Tweezers: Tweezers can be used to grab the end of a wire and place it back into an orthodontic bracket.
Our contact info: Be ready to contact us. If you’re on vacation, we can give you professional advice and maybe refer you to someone nearby.

Are You Going On A Vacation This Summer?

Remember the tips above. If it’s time for your check-up, visit us before your trip. Contact us at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California 925-757-9000. Don't let dental or orthodontic issues interfere with your family vacation. Be prepared!

Let us know where you’re going on vacation below! We’d also LOVE to see your photos. You can share them on our Facebook page.

Thanks for being a valued part of our practice. Stay safe, and have fun!

Protect Your Teeth From The Affects Of Pool Water

August 17th, 2017

PROLONGED POOL WATER EXPOSURE can affect your teeth. One study showed that 39% of swim team members suffered from dental erosion, dental lesions, pits or white spots, on their front teeth. These front tooth spots were found in only 12% of recreational swimmers, while only 3% on non-swimmers had anterior tooth damage.

Avid Swimmers: Protect Your Smile from Pool Water!

If you're on a swim team, play water polo, or swim daily, be aware of the affects of pool water on your teeth. To make your pool water ideal for the protection of your teeth, make sure that your pool water is not only pH neutral but also that it is saturated with hydroxyapatite components.

Pool Water Isn't The Only Risk Factor

Factors that increase the risk of dental erosion include the duration of swimming and the amount of training in pool water. Other extrinsic factors include acidic foods, carbonated beverages, citrus fruits, low pH medications, and occupational exposure to acidic environments. Diseases associated with vomiting and other eating disorders that lower pH in the mouth can also cause dental erosion.

Dental decalcification and erosion caused by pool water may also make it more difficult for your braces to stick on your teeth.

3 Simple Ideas To Protect Your Teeth

If you are a competitive swimmer and you want to protect your teeth from the affects of pool water, here are things you can do:

  1. Drink fluoridated water often and swish your mouth with water, especially right after you work out.
  2. Rinse with a fluoridated mouthwash such as Crest ProHealth Anti-cavity Rinse.
  3. See your dentist regularly for your 6 month check-ups.

If you are an occasional swimmer in pools on vacation or in hotels, chances are you will not be affected by pool water erosion of your teeth. Please pass this information on to others you may know to spend hours working out in the pool.

If you have additional questions about your teeth, visit us at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California,, or call us at (925) 757-9000.

We care about you and your beautiful smile. Thank you for the trust you place in our practice and for choosing us as your orthodontist.

Licks, Riffs, and Invisalign

July 28th, 2017

YOUR TEETH DON’T NEED TO GET IN THE WAY when you’re jamming with the band. Playing an instrument like flute, saxophone, or trumpet for hours with braces can quickly make your lips raw. You can try using wax, but this is neither easy nor ideal for the embouchure of the serious musician.

Invisalign is the perfect way to straighten your teeth when you are either a professional or aspiring horn player.

Invisalign Retainers Won’t Get In The Way Of Your Music!

Invisalign clear aligners can be worn when performing or practicing your instrument so that continuous orthodontic tooth movement can be made. When needed, your aligners can be removed for a gig, audition, or an important concert. Whether on or off the stage, your smooth aligners will always be comfortable.

We Have Extensive Experience With Invisalign

We have treated hundreds of patients successfully with Invisalign and Invisalign teen. You can find us at or call us at (925)757-9000 for a complimentary Invisalign or Invisalign teen consultation with our board certified orthodontist, Dr. Ann Marie Gorcyzca.

Invisalign aligners will help you look, feel, and sound great. We’d love to hear your music. Let Invisalign keep your licks and riffs simply amazing.

How Well Do You Serve?

July 12th, 2017

I FIRST LEARNED customer service as a child working as salesgirl on my grandmother’s vegetable stand. My grandmother told me to look cute, smile, and make the customers happy. My goal was to make each person feel special by doing a little something extra just for them. So I smiled and delivered an extra cucumber especially for them. My grandmother valued and recognized customer service. And so my education in customer service began.

Exceptional Customer Service Goes A Long Way

As an orthodontic specialist for over twenty-seven years, I've heard some patients talk about their dentist with love, while others say they would never return to a dental office ever again. Yet there are dental patients who will drive hundreds of miles for outstanding customer service from a favorite dental professional.

Individual service and attention breeds dental patient loyalty and makes for a five-star patient experience. Outstanding dental teams know how to deliver at every touch point of the patient's office journey. Their actions attend to every detail of patient comfort and feeling of fulfillment. By doing so, they make the patient feel they are getting high value for their money not only in terms of their dental care, but also with respect to the overall patient experience.

Customer service leaders work well together, delighting patients while producing dental practice success. To some dental professionals, "soft skills" come naturally. For others, customer service tips need to be reviewed for best practices in order to acquire emotional intelligence and service acumen. To those who need to work on their customer service skills, the information in this book will help.

Recognizing Good Service Breeds More Good Service

When I was a student at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, I had the opportunity to study at the Harvard School of Public Health in the Department of Health Management and Policy. There, I attended my first management lectures and started to understand the importance and broad-reaching effects of customer service within the healthcare service industry, including dentistry.

When I started teaching at the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, we added a customer service lecture to the business management curriculum. We reviewed the impact of such terms as "my pleasure" versus "no problem." Aiming to remain relevant and memorable, we gave a Customer Service Award to the most service-oriented orthodontic resident. We also give an annual Customer Service Award at Gorczyca Orthodontics. You get what you reward. This is the highest award achievable in the dental office.

Social Media Makes Receiving Customer Feedback Easy!

In the past, dental offices often used questionnaires to obtain patient service metrics. In the age of social media, customer online reviews often take away this administrative task. Social media sites such as Yelp, Facebook, and Google give dentists immediate feedback regarding their service each day. Once service information is collected, compiled, and communicated, corrections can be made in management systems to improve customer service. This requires time, attention, and action by a devoted team working together to produce immediate customer service results.

Dentistry is, after all, a service industry. The definition of a "profession" is that we put others above ourselves. First, last, and always, we are here to serve our patients. This is why outstanding customer service is so central to a successful dental practice.

Five-star customer service is something each of us can deliver. Outstanding customer service is the end that we all wish to achieve, day after day, year after year. This book describes the means to this end.

To My Grandmother, Babcie, delighter of customers. Thank you for everything you taught me.

About the Author

Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca speaks on practice management topics including marketing, teamwork, treatment coordination, customer service, management systems and human resource management. She was a speaker at the 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) Annual Sessions. She has received teaching awards from UCSF and University of the Pacific Dental Schools. She is author of the books, “It All Starts with Marketing-201 Marketing Tips for Growing a Dental Practice” and “Beyond the Morning Huddle-HR Management for a Successful Dental Practice” She is an orthodontist at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, CA. This is her third book.

For the Busy Professional, Invisalign is the Orthodontic Treatment of Choice

June 28th, 2017

YOU’RE IN A RUSH, AT THE airport, hosting a conference, giving presentations, and meeting with very important clients. All through your busy day, you, the business professional, need to look and feel your best. You want straight, white teeth. Your every word counts. Clients need to listen to you, not stare at your teeth.

Invisalign Is Perfect For Your Lifestyle

That’s why, for the professional on the go, Invisalign is the orthodontic treatment of choice. Invisalign is comfortable, clear, and removable. 3-D computer generated and high tech, these trays are precision generated for the fastest, most effective orthodontic treatment result possible. To further cut your treatment time in half, add Acceledent. With Invisalign, you can see your virtual treatment result from the start and even bleach your teeth while you wear your trays.

Call For A Free Consultation

There’s nothing to hold you back. It’s time for Invisalign.

Call Gorczyca Orthodontics at 925-757-9000 for a free consultation.

Abracadabra! Veneers Can Work Smile Magic!

June 8th, 2017

WE’RE NOT ALL BORN WITH beautiful teeth. When teeth need a beauty makeover, your orthodontist will prepare you for veneers.

Some teeth are too narrow...

Some teeth are too short...

Some teeth do not match the opposite side.

Like magic, all of these conditions can be fixed.

At your initial orthodontic exam, your orthodontist will measure the width and height of your upper front teeth and plan the most beautiful smile makeover possible. Your orthodontist will work closely with your general dentist to give you the best result.

Ready To Get Started? Give Us A Call

If your teeth are in need of a beauty makeover, call us at Gorczyca Orthodontics (925) 757-9000. Visit us at for a complimentary tooth size and shade assessment and orthodontic treatment plan for veneers.

Abracadabra! Like magic, you have a beautiful smile.

Stay Healthy And Save Money With Preventative Care

May 11th, 2017

LIFE CAN BE UNPREDICTABLE. When times get tough, it can be tempting to postpone or maybe even neglect your orthodontic treatment. Resist that temptation! Doing so can compromise the health of your teeth and the end result of your treatment. There’s a better way to save money and stay healthy: A Preventative Care Plan.

Part 1: Do Your Part At Home

All you need is a toothbrush, some dental floss, and five minutes of your day. Thorough daily brushing and flossing helps to prevent tooth decay as well as decalcification that can be caused by plaque buildup around your appliance. This is the most important part of your new preventative care plan and only you can do it!

Part 2: Don’t Skip Your Dental Visits

Deep cleanings from your dentist can reach those areas you can’t—such as below the gums—and can help fight plaque and other dental demons. Regular maintenance appointments are less expensive than restorative work.

Part 3: Fix Problems Early

If something is wrong or doesn’t feel right with your appliance, contact us immediately. To stay on track with your treatment, it’s important that we catch and fix any problems while they’re still minor.

One thing is for sure, crowded teeth will continue to get worse over time. Crowded teeth can compromise dental and periodontal health. An unhealthy bite can also lead to excessive tooth wear, tooth sensitivity, and jaw discomfort. The sooner you can receive an orthodontic examination and treatment with either braces, Invisalign, or retainers to correct your orthodontic problem the better. Your oral health goal is to keep your teeth healthy for life.

Your Preventative Plan May Be A Life Saver

By following this plan you can better protect yourself from major issues down the road. Some studies even indicate that neglecting your oral health may lead to other health issues including cardiovascular problems and diabetes. Faithfully following your “Preventative Dental Care Plan” helps keep you healthy.


Let us know if you have any questions about your at-home oral care techniques. 

Call us today at Gorczyca Orthodontics for a complimentary orthodontic consultation at (925) 757-9000 or find us at

We see children as early at seven years of age. There are many orthodontic problems that can be prevented by early orthodontic treatment with braces, expansion appliances, or retainers.

Thank you for being our patients and friends!

Antioch Dentists: The Super Simarro Brothers

February 13th, 2017

THE DEER VALLEY PROFESSIONAL BUILDING has a new dentist in town. Dr. Nathan Simarro has joined his twin brother Ryan in the practice of Miller and Simarro. Ryan is older than Nathan by a mere six minutes. Nonetheless, he is the oldest of the Dr. Simarro twins. I guess their practice will now be called Miller and the Simarro Brothers!

A Brief History Of The Simarro Brothers

Dr. Miller was originally an associate of Dr. Jim Green who built the Deer Valley Dental Professional Building at 5201 Deer Valley Road, in Antioch. Dr. Ryan Simarro joined the practice of Dr. Mark Miller in 2013. Dr. Nathan Simarro took one year off before dental school to study Spanish language and culture at Alcala de Heneares in Madrid, Spain. After dental school, he practiced at a nonprofit, Las Clinicas del Camino Real in Ventura, California. This week he was reunited with his twin in their practice in Antioch, California.

The Simarro dental twins are graduates of Deer Valley High School located right next door to their dental practice. Now, many of their high school teachers are their patients!

The Simarro Brothers Love To Give Back

Giving back to the community which they came from is very important to Drs. Ryan and Nathan Simarro. Their family has been rooted in Antioch and Brentwood for over 60 years. They are happy to see new patients many of whom are neighbors, classmates, family, and friends.

Drs. Ryan and Nathan bring difference strengths to their joint practice based on their varied experiences and educational background. Ryan is very cosmetically focused and one of the only providers of Lumineers; and in 2016 was the #1 Lumineer provider in the the San Francisco Bay Area. Nathan enjoys working with children and has seen young patients as early as one month old.

Together, Drs. Simarro are also providing All on Four dentistry offering dental implants and full mouth reconstruction to dental patients with extensive dental needs.

Help Us Welcome Our Dental Neighbors!

We are so happy to have the Drs. Simarro at The Deer Valley Dental Professional Building. Find them at or call them at (925)754-6020.

Here's to your dental health!

The King of Dental Social Media

February 10th, 2017

IT'S BEEN A FEW YEARS SINCE I happened upon the Facebook post from the Chicago Midwinter Dental Meeting reading "Girls, stay in school." Having sparse historical background on it's creator, Dr. Howard Farran, I was intrigued to follow this dentist of modern times. Little did I know that I had stumbled upon the King of Dental Social Media.

Dr. Farran Has A Wealth Of Accomplishments

Looking back, it is unbelievable what Dr. Howard Farran has accomplished in the past 6 years. In awe I watched his dental social media empire grow from his first tweet to 19.6K Followers. He makes 70 Instagram posts in a single day, keeps 263,961 Facebook followers engaged, while maintaining more Pinterest boards than dentistry has specialities, with 45,005 entertained Followers.

As if superhuman, when not at his dental practice, or Farran Media, publishers of Dentaltown, Hygienetown, and Orthotown magazines, Dr. Farran:

  • Writes books,
  • Has taped over 600+ podcasts for Dentistry Uncensored,
  • And travels all corners of the world lecturing about dentistry.

His talks are so entertaining that audience members experience stomach pain from laughter and smile until their faces hurt. Then when his work is done, Dr. Farran runs an IronMan.

But like King Arthur, what is most impressive about the Farranian legend is Dr. Howard Farran's good qualities which he uses to give a voice to those often not heard by dentistry. He does this with courage, charisma, humility, loyalty, honor, and faith.

Dr. Farran's mission is simple: "To connect every dentist on earth so no dentist will ever have to practice solo again." This he has achieved in legendary style as the King of Dental Social Media.

Thank You Dr. Farran

I am thankful for great people like Dr. Howard Farran. They truly make the world a better place. Here lie the power and benefits of social media.

Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca is an orthodontist at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California. She is author of the books "It All Starts with Marketing" and "Beyond the Morning Huddle".

Pregnant with Braces

November 29th, 2016

CONGRATULATIONS! You're pregnant!

If you are wearing braces, let your orthodontist know as soon as possible your happy family news.

Your orthodontic treatment will continue while you are pregnant with a few special considerations.

Considerations for Dental and Orthodontic X-rays

Your orthodontist will elect not to do X-ray (radiographs) while you are pregnant. Please let all dental and medical professionals know when you are pregnant and restrain from having X-rays taken.

Pregnancy and Gingivitis

Due to the increased levels of your hormones, your gums are more susceptible to gingivitis. You may have "pregnancy gingivitis" if your gums become puffy and you are pregnant. Your gums may bleed when you brush and appear red. This is due to pregnancy gingivitis which affects up to 70% of pregnant women.

Pregnancy does not cause pregnancy gingivitis. The altered tissue metabolism of pregnancy accentuates the response to local irritants. For this reason, it is of utmost importance for your oral hygiene to be excellent during pregnancy for your to avoid the pregancy gingivitis condition.

If you have symptoms of pregnancy gingivitis, your orthodontist may recommend additional cleanings with your dental hygienist. These are best done with the orthodontic arch wires removed. If you have gingival enlargements of your gums, your orthodontist may also send you to your dentist or a periodontist for additional specialty gum care. Our goal is for you to have minimal gingival inflammation during pregnancy with no infections of your teeth or gums.

Your teeth may also feel lose during pregnancy if you have pregnancy gingivitis. Your orthodontist may recommend that your teeth be moved more slowly or not at all during the last trimester of pregnancy.

Pregnancy gingivitis can be minimized or prevented by excellent oral hygiene from the beginning to the end of your pregnancy.

If You Have Questions, Let Us Know!

If you have questions about orthodontics or pregnancy gingivitis, visit us at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California. Find us at

Your body may feel hot during pregnancy as well. Due to your hormonal changes, your taste buds may have the constant urge to eat ice cream. Eat up and enjoy this special time. Come see us for braces when your pregnancy is over and be sure to bring your baby for an initial orthodontic exam at 7 years old.

Eliminate Tooth Wear for a Beautiful Smile

November 10th, 2016

AN EDGE TO EDGE BITE WITH zero overjet and zero overbite will lead to excessive tooth wear. Left untreated for many years, this continual process of front teeth meeting and grinding unnaturally will lead to excessive tooth abrasion or early wearing down of your teeth. This will produce short teeth and may even lead to tooth sensitivity.

Orthodontic Treatment Can Create An Ideal Bite

Orthodontic treatment will correct this problem by creating ideal tooth horizontal overlap "overjet" and ideal tooth vertical overlap "overbite." Once this is done, your worn teeth can be cosmetically restored to their original length. This smile makeover will give you the youthful teeth and look which you once had.

Temporary Restorations Help Prep For Final Treatment

After orthodontic treatment, temporary restorations will be made for you to adjust to before you receive your final crowns and permanent tooth build up.

Your orthodontist will need to move the teeth that were worn to ideal tooth and gum position. Your general dentist will then be able to build up these teeth to ideal height and length making them look good as new.

Your orthodontist and general dentist may also recommend a night guard to prevent tooth wear from nocturnal bruxism. Bruxism is the clenching and grinding of teeth throughout the sleep cycle that almost every person occasionally experiences. This will keep you from experiencing further tooth wear in the future.

If You Have Any Questions, Let Us Know!

If you have questions about worn or short teeth, call us at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California (925) 757-9000. Dr. Gorczyca works closely with the many fine dentists of East Contra Costa County and beyond to restore teeth to their ideal position and give you a beautiful smile.

Eliminate your edge to edge bite today with orthodontic treatment and a smile makeover. Get back your dental health and your beautiful smile.

There's No Need for a Snaggletooth

October 27th, 2016

THE UPPER CANINE TOOTH, cuspid tooth, or pointed "eye tooth" is the last front tooth to come into the front upper dental arch. When space runs out, this gets pushed out of position. This tooth may become impacted in bone, stuck, and not come in at all. Or, it may push its way out and over the other teeth making its way into the dental arch. It is now hypererupted. It appears as a "Snaggletooth."

Dental Arch Expansion Can Prevent A Snaggletooth

If orthodontic treatment is started early, dental arches can be expanded to prevent the creation of a snaggletooth. This is why the American Association of Orthodontists and all orthodontists recommend an orthodontic examination by age 7.

In Some Cases, Tooth Extraction Is Necessary

In adults, depending on bone, soft tissue or gums, tooth position and facial appearance, snaggletooth treatment may require tooth extraction. The snaggletooth is a very important tooth with a long root. It is usually the tooth behind it which need removal.

We Love Helping Our Patients Make The Most Of Their Smiles!

To find out how orthodontics can help you prevent snaggletooth in the first place, visit Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California. Please schedule your child's examination by age 7. Find us at or call us at (925) 757-9000 for a complimentary exam.

See your orthodontist if you need help with a Snaggletooth. Here's to your happiness and living snaggle free.

Top image by Flickr user Mark Anderson used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

I Love My Dental Hygienist

October 24th, 2016

FOR ME, going to the hygienist is like a mini vacation. I love my dental hygienist and the great work that she does.

Let Me Share My Experience...

When I arrive at my 6-month hygiene appointment, my hygienist gives me a warm blanket heated in the dryer for one minute before I am seated. This blanket is so warm and cozy. Snuggling here in the dental chair for an instant gives me the feeling of a luxury hotel.

Cool jazz plays in the background while my teeth are gently cleaned. My hygienist does not talk excessively during our appointment. She lets me relax. As a busy orthodontist, wife and mother, I appreciate this time very much. I can close my eyes and unwind. This is a rare and enjoyable time.

An aroma candle burns in the hallway. It smells great. A hint of the fragrance makes it's way into the cleaning room and hides the scent of my own breath.

My hygienist polishes my teeth with my favorite flavored pumas. I think it is cherry. It tastes so good I almost want to eat it. It reminds me of how much I loved having my teeth cleaned as a child and is probably one of the reasons why I became a dentist.

After polishing my teeth, my hygienist hands me a warm towel heated in the microwave. I wipe and freshen my face. For an instant, I feel like I'm in the clouds flying Transatlantic First Class.

My hygienist then schedules my next cleaning at my convenience. She fills her own schedule. No need to bother the front desk. She schedules the appointment right then and there in the treatment room. She saves me time and the front desk additional work.

On my way out, I'm handed a goody bag with a new toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. I'm now equipped to achieve excellence in oral hygiene and I don't want to let my hygienist down.

After a little small talk with the lovely ladies at the front desk, I take a few pieces of my favorite orange Trident sugar-free gum displayed in a little clothe covered basket. It taste great and I feel great. I just can't wait to come back and get my teeth cleaned again next time.

Thank You Wendy!

My hygienist gets a 5 star rating not only for excellence in clinical care but also for excellence in customer service. She is so sweet and also amazing! Thank you, Wendy, for all that you do.

Happy National Dental Hygiene Month to all of our wonderful dental hygienists from Gorczyca Orthodontics, Antioch, California

Missing Teeth are Cute (on Little Kids)

October 18th, 2016

THERE’S NO NEED to live with missing teeth. Your missing teeth can be replaced with permanent dental implants.

Orthodontic Treatment May Be Needed Before Implants

Replacement of your missing teeth may require orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign prior to implant placement. Orthodontic treatment can open tooth spaces for ideal implant placement, an excellent bite, and a beautiful smile.

Your implant sites may need ridge augmentation (bone grafting) to increase bone in areas where teeth have been missing for a long time. Ridge augmentation will make your implants more stable and your teeth and gums more aesthetic.

If You Have Questions, Give Us A Call!

If you have questions about how to get started replacing your missing teeth, call us at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, CA 925-757-9000. We will assemble your tooth replacement team of a general dentist, oral surgeon, and orthodontist. We will work together to treatment plan your case and give you the smile of your dreams.

There's no need to live with missing teeth. Give yourself the gift of a cute smile at any age.

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

September 22nd, 2016

EVERYTHING'S PUMPKIN SPICE this time of year at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California.

Once the colder weather arrives, morning patients visit our refreshment center for a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Pumpkin spice coffee is part of our menu. Add a little whipped cream, sprinkles, and a side cinnamon roll and Viola! You're in pumpkin spice heaven!

Enjoy A Refreshment In Our Office

On Fridays, for your convenience, Gorczyca Orthodontics opens at 8:00 a.m. If you need a little relaxation, come early or stay late for your appointment and enjoy a refreshment. We love seeing you, taking care of you, and talking with you. We consider you part of our orthodontic family.

Hospitality is a core value at Gorczyca Orthodontics. We strive for clinical excellence, outstanding customer service, and a great patient experience. We are committed to making your orthodontic visits the best possible.

Take time to let us know how we can make your stay and treatment at Gorczyca Orthodontics even more enjoyable. Give us your customer feedback and let us know how we may serve you best.

Come Visit Us Today!

Gorczyca Orthodontics is located at 5201 Deer Valley Road in Antioch, California. Call us at (925) 757-9000 or find us at for your orthodontic needs.

We appreciate you and your referrals of family and friends to our practice. We look forward to seeing you soon and sharing some pumpkin spice and everything nice.

Top image by Flickr user hirotomo t used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Avoid Cracking a Tooth

September 12th, 2016

I REMEMBER it like it were yesterday. Finishing my lunch at a nearby Mexican restaurant, I decided to freshen my breath and have a little sweet after lunch by chewing on a gum ball from the gum ball machine. So, I put the money in, took the gum ball, and bit down.

Within seconds of biting down, I had cracked a tooth.

Even Tough Teeth Can Be Cracked

Although tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, teeth can still be cracked. It is best to avoid foods and activities that are known to crack teeth. These include:

  • Chewing on ice
  • Biting down on unpopped popcorn kernels
  • Using teeth as tools
  • Chewing on hard sweets

Hard candy including gum balls, jawbreakers, and frozen candy bars can easily crack your teeth. The sugar also can lead to increased cavites.

Don't Worry, It Can Be Fixed!

My tooth was fix by Antioch dentist Dr. Ken Dupree who gave me a gold crown on an upper second molar.

If you have a cracked tooth, let us help you at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California. Call us at (925) 757-9000 or find us at We will help you get the dental care you need so your tooth will be good as new.

Avoid cracked teeth by avoiding gum balls. Here's to your dental health.

Smiling Can Improve Life And Your Health

August 18th, 2016

CHANCES ARE YOU DON’T THINK MUCH about smiling. It just “happens” once in a while, right? You hear something funny. You meet someone new. You cuddle your newborn daughter.

Smiling feels good, and studies show that people who frequently smile are perceived to be more in control, at ease, and attractive than those who smile less often.

But did you know that smiling can also improve your health? It’s true.

The Health Benefits Of Smiling

Serotonin, Pain Killers, And Endorphins—Oh My!

Studies show that smiling actually releases natural pain killers, endorphins and serotonin (a neurotransmitter believed to help people feel happier) in your body. Yes, a smile may be the simplest, natural, legal drug.

Stress Relief And Reduced Blood Pressure

Chronic stress can do significant damage to both mind and body. According to Columbia University PhD, Mark Stibich, increased smiling may help reduce many symptoms associated with anxiety including improved digestion, lower blood pressure, etc.

And Finally, People Who Smile More May Actually Live Longer

Living longer—now THERE’S a serious health benefit. Could this really be true? A 2010 Wayne State University study examined the relationship between smile intensity and longevity among 230 pro baseball players from a ’52 baseball registry. They found that players with big smiles lived an average of five years longer that those who didn’t (or barely) smiled. Even players with small smiles lived longer than those who didn’t smile.

Facial expression and smiles have long been shown to be a good indicator of people’s emotions—and those with positive emotions are even shown to have better interpersonal skills and more stable marriages.

The Moral Of The Story? Smile!

Our team is passionate about doing everything we can to help you and your loved ones feel confident when you smile! Our hunch is that if you feel confident when you smile, you’ll smile more often—and THAT could make your life (and the lives of those around you) healthier and happier.

Do YOU have a great story about the power of a smile? If so, post it on our Facebook page!

Be sure to contact us or visit us at if you ever have any questions about the services we provide. You can also leave a comment or question below and we’ll respond right away.

Thanks for the confidence you place in our practice. We Appreciate You!

We Care About Your Orthodontics, And About YOU During Pregnancy

July 15th, 2016

PREGNANT? KNOW SOMEONE WHO’S PREGNANT? There’s plenty to think about during this time! But while you’re picking out baby clothes and reading up on childcare philosophies, our team reminds you to remember the importance of your oral health.

Gum Disease Risk

Pregnancy brings a heightened level of hormonal activity which can lead to gum sensitivity and increased gum disease risk. And some studies have shown that gum disease could be linked to pre-term labor and other associated risks. The good news is that pregnancy doesn’t cause gum disease—plaque does. So keeping up your great oral habits helps keep you safe. Brush regularly, floss every day, and don’t miss your regular dental checkups. If you’re pregnant, an ideal time to schedule your check-up appointment is during your second trimester—your pregnancy is stable, but not far enough along to risk any stress-induced problems.

Regular Checkups During Pregnancy

During regular checkups, your teeth and gums are more thoroughly cleaned than you can through brushing and flossing yourself. This is a major step in preventing periodontal disease. In the past, women were sometimes anxious about dental procedures during pregnancy. Typically, there’s never an issue, but be sure to let our practice—and your general dentist—know you’re expecting so that any appropriate adjustments can be made in your care.

Other Special Concerns

  • Morning Sickness: DON’T brush your teeth right after being sick. Stomach acid makes your teeth softer and brushing can wear them down. Rinse out your mouth, and then wait a while before brushing.
  • Dental Procedures That Can’t Wait: If you need to have a more involved procedure performed while you’re pregnant, be sure to (1) let us (and your general dentist) know you’re pregnant; and (2) talk it over beforehand with your OB. We want to make sure there aren’t any special details we should know.

Did You Know?

Congratulations on your pregnancy! We’re excited for you!

For more information about taking care of your oral health during pregnancy, check out these links from the ADA and Columbia University. And if you have questions, just ask us! You can also comment below, or send us a direct message on our Facebook page.

Wearing Orthodontic Elastics is like Rolling a Ball Uphill

June 9th, 2016

WEARING ORTHODONTIC ELASTICS is like rolling a ball uphill. Constant pushing force, 24 hours a day, 7 days per week gets the ball to the top of the hill as quickly as possible.

So it is with orthodontic elastics. If you wear your orthodontic elastics full time, your orthodontic treatment will be fast and completed as quickly as possible.

Neglecting To Wear Elastics Can Slow Treatment

If you let go of a ball on a hill, it will roll back down. If you wear your orthodontic elastics only part time, your teeth will move back towards there original position and your treatment time will take longer.

The light force of your orthodontic elastics has been scientifically proven to be the most physiological and healthy movement of your teeth. This force level is usually 6 1/2 ounces.

Doubling Elastics Can Harm Your Oral Health

DO NOT double your orthodontic elastics! This will cause damage to your teeth, gums, and bone and may even cause you to lose a tooth!

Your orthodontist cannot control how much you will wear your orthodontic elastics. Progress can only be made by you and evaluated from one appointment to the next. This is why treatment time with an orthodontist varies from patient to patient.

If you have questions about orthodontic elastics or orthodontic treatment, call us at Gorczyca Orthodontics for a complimentary consultation 925-757-9000. Find us at in Antioch, California.

Get your teeth to their final destination fast! With orthodontic elastic wear, consistency is queen! Follow your orthodontist's instructions and wear your orthodontic elastics 24/7 for the best orthodontic result in the shortest treatment time possible.

Top image by Flickr user Fuzzy Gerdes used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

How Early Can I Close My Child's Open Bite?

June 7th, 2016

OPEN BITES can be seen in children as early as four years old. When an open bite is first seen with the baby teeth, parents often ask "How early can I close my child's open bite?"

Open bites can be either:

  1. A normal transition from baby to permanent teeth
  2. Due to an oral habit or thumbsucking
  3. Due to a skeletal growth problem

Age 7 Is The Perfect Time To Correct An Open Bite

When an open bite is present with baby teeth, orthodontists usually want to wait until age 7 to correct the open bite.

Correcting an open bite at age 7 usually includes a habit appliance which is cemented to the permanent 6 year molars and braces. This treatment is called Phase I orthodontic treatment and usually takes 18 to 24 months. After Phase I treatment, there is usually a second Phase II orthodontic treatment when all permanent teeth erupt at age 12.

Open bite affects less than four percent of children. Should the open bite persist into teenage years and the opening involve more than just the front teeth, there could be a more complex vertical skeletal growth problem.

We Can Help Your Child's Open Bite!

If you are seeing an open bite in your child, please call us at Gorczyca Orthodontics (925) 757-9000 in Antioch, California for a complimentary consultation. Visit us at To find an orthodontist near you, visit

Age 7 is the ideal time to start closing an open bite. Close your child's open bite at age 7 before it becomes more complex.

Top image by Flickr user Lucas Possiede used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

6 Ways Broadening Your Dental Arch Will Give You a Dazzling Smile

May 27th, 2016

A BROAD DENTAL ARCH FORM is crucial to your beautiful smile.

6 Ways Broadening You Arch Can Improve Your Smile

Here are 6 ways broadening your pear shaped dental arch will give you a dazzling new smile.

1. Arch expansion help to correct overjet and overbite making your bite functional.

2. Expansion of dental arches eliminates crossbites which cause cheek biting.

3. Expansion of dental arches helps correct the front to back relationship of your bite.

4. Expansion of dental arches creates space for tooth alignment.

5. Expansion of dental arches makes the canine teeth look beautiful.

6. Expansion of dental arches eliminates black corridors from the corners of your mouth giving you a full and beautiful smile.

Comprehensive orthodontic treatment by an orthodontist with braces or Invisalign expands dental arches.

We'd Love To Answer Your Questions!

If you have questions about expansion of your pear shaped dental arches, call us at Gorczyca Orthodontics (925)757-9000 for a complimentary consultation. Visit us at in Antioch, California.

Your broad dental arches are sure to light up the room. Here's to your dazzling new smile.

Understanding the Effects of Sports and Energy Drinks

May 4th, 2016

YOU ALREADY SUSPECT THAT ENERGY DRINKS contain a lot of sugar, but at least they're not as bad as soda pop, right? You wouldn't be alone if you’ve thought that sports drinks, thanks to their supplement arsenal, are good for growing bodies. But the truth is energy and sports drinks can be even worse for your teeth than soft drinks.

A One-Two Punch

Energy and sports drinks launch a twofold attack on your teeth: sugar and acid. Drinks like Gatorade and Powerade have about half the sugar of sodas, but popular energy drinks like Monster or Fuel often have the same amount of sugar as soda (or more). In addition, both sports and energy drinks are loaded with acid—enough to do ten times more damage to tooth enamel than soda.

Check out this Academy of General Dentistry study on tooth enamel and beverages. Researchers immersed tooth enamel in a variety of popular sports and energy drinks for 15 minutes and then transferred it to artificial saliva to imitate the effects of consuming energy drinks a couple times a day. Significant enamel damage only took five days.

Today, Half Of Teens Drink One (or more) Sports Drinks Or Energy Drinks Daily

The market for energy drinks has almost tripled in the past few years, targeting teens and young adults. Considering their popularity, it's important to know about the dangers. If you suspect you've already experienced damage from sports or energy drinks, contact us to visit about ways we can help.

Four Helpful Tips

Here are some tips & tricks to minimize damage caused by sports and energy drinks:

  1. Rinse out your mouth with water or chew some sugar-free gum after having energy drinks. This rebalances the pH level in your mouth to counteract the acid. Don't brush for a while after drinking—your enamel is still soft and brushing can damage it even more.
  2. Drink sports drinks before you get dehydrated, not after. That way, you'll have the saliva you need to protect your teeth.
  3. Drink it all at once (but don’t choke!). Your mouth takes time to recover after each sip, so drinking continuously prevents teeth from regaining their protection.
  4. Stick to healthier options when NOT working out. Sports drinks are meant to rehydrate and replenish when you’re working out hard. So, if you’re just “active”, consider alternatives like water or electrolyte drops in water.

Ask Us More About It The Next Time We See You

Here at Gorczyca Orthodontics we want you to be aware of what you can do to help prevent enamel damage. Do you have a story to share about sports or energy drinks? If so, comment below or visit our Facebook page and tell us about it. Do you have other questions for our team? We'd love to hear from you! Give us a call at (925)757-9000 or find us at

And thanks for the trust you place in us. We appreciate it!

Protect Your Face When Playing Baseball

April 22nd, 2016

WE DON’T THINK OF baseball as a contact sport. Yet, baseball is the sports leader in facial injuries to children and teenagers.

The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) of the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that more than a quarter million children ages 5 to 14 are injured playing baseball each year.

Stray Baseballs Can Do A Lot Of Damage

Along with basketball, baseball accounts for nearly half of all sports-related injuries. An estimated 50,000+ baseball facial injuries occur each year to players ages 5 to 15 which required emergency room treatment.

Catastrophic injuries also occur when baseball players are struck in the head with the ball or bat. As small as this number is, baseball still has the highest fatality rate among all sports.

If your child plays baseball, please have your child wear safety gear including a facemask helmet and a sports mouth guard.

Proper Sports Protection Is Key To Avoiding Injury

Orthodontist, Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca has seen many children lose teeth due to baseball related injuries when mouth guards are not worn. These accidents include teeth being hit by a foul ball or a ball bouncing up and hitting the player in the mouth. She recommends that every baseball or softball player wear a mouth guard at all times when playing the sport.

We Can Help Your Athlete With Their Home Run Smile!

If you have questions about custom made sports mouth guards or tooth straightening with or witout a facial injury, please call Dr. Gorczyca at (925) 757-9000 in Antioch, California for a complimentary orthodontic evaluation. Find us at

Let your child play and be safe at the next baseball or softball game. Provide a helmet and mouth guard. Give your child the benefit of facial protection.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Is A Big Problem That Can Be Prevented

April 8th, 2016

YOU MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE CHILDREN OF YOUR OWN. Either way, we all have children we care about in our lives—nieces, nephews, grandchildren, neighbor’s and coworker’s children, etc. That’s why we’re taking a quick step away from orthodontics this week, to help everyone be aware of this severe health issue affecting kids.

It’s Easy To Protect Against Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Did you know that the most common childhood disease today is tooth decay? Tooth decay results when bacteria in one’s mouth interacts with the sugar and starches in foods and beverages, creating acid which erodes tooth enamel. And although baby teeth are temporary, they’re critical to a child’s health, comfort, and long term oral health development. Without proper care those baby teeth are subject to painful, unnecessary caries.

Don’t Let Babies Fall Asleep With Their Bottles

Here’s what typically happens... The baby is put to bed with a bottle. Seems harmless enough. But if the bottle is full of milk or juice it’s also full of sugars that combine with bacteria to produce acids. Babies drift off with the bottles still in their mouths. The fluid pools around their teeth and the enamel on those new little teeth is slowly eroded away throughout the night.

The result can be painful caries, and/or the need for stainless steel crowns. In addition, since children’s teeth are still coming in they’re more susceptible to decay underneath the gum line. This decay can become so severe that delicate surgery under a general anesthetic may be required to remedy the problem.

Take A Moment To Be Informed

If you start early, you may be able to train your child to drink water in his or her bottle at nap time. Here are some other tips:

  • use gauze or a wet cloth to wipe children’s gums and teeth after feedings
  • work toward using “sippy” cups by his or her first birthday
  • don’t nurse continuously during the night
  • never dip pacifiers in honey or any sugary liquid

The video below offers other suggestions:

If You Have Questions, Please Ask

Think about the children you know and kindly help every parent understand this important topic. If you have any questions about dental health for your child, or for a child close to you, ask our team at Gorczyca Orthodontics about it. You can leave a comment below, or on our Facebook page.

You can also learn more about baby bottle tooth decay from this ADA webpage.

Thanks for your trust in our practice. We appreciate having you as our valued patient!

Your Fountain of Youth, an Invisalign Smile Makeover

March 29th, 2016

NEW SMILE, NEW YOU. Your Invisalign smile makeover will take years off of your appearance, make you feel young again, and give you a reason to smile.

Invisalign Is An Easy Way To Improve Your Smile

Invisalign is a fast and easy way to correct your bite, tooth position, and smile to prepare your teeth for your gorgeous smile makeover.

Invisalign is a comprehensive orthodontic treatment. Combined with the wearing of orthodontic rubber bands, Invisalign will move your teeth and correct your bite to make your smile ideal.

Invisalign And AcceleDent Can Drastically Reduce Treatment Time

Orthodontic treatment combined with the technology of AcceleDent can cut your Invisalign treatment time in half giving you a fantastic bite and smile in less than two years.

We Can Help With Your Smile Makeover

This case was completed by Board Certified Orthodontist Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca and General Dentist Dr. Jeffrey Haug of Antioch, California. Both doctors are located at the Deer Valley Dental Professional Building, 5201 Deer Valley Road in Antioch, California.

For a complimentary orthodontic consultation and information about your smile makeover, visit us at or call us at (925) 757-9000.

Turn back time with Invisalign and a smile makeover today. Here's to your beautiful and youthful smile.

Oral Hygiene Attack of the Jelly Beans

March 25th, 2016

ONE BY ONE, over and over, cute and tasty, fun flavored, multi-colored jelly beans violently attack your teeth and your oral hygiene.

Be Careful: Jelly Beans Can Wreak Havoc On Teeth

Caught in a braces dragnet, jelly beans may sit for hours on your teeth spreading their sugar leading to plaque formation and enamel decalcification. Eaten before bed without brushing, jelly beans are like an oral hygiene nuclear attack.

Chewy, sticky, and hard, jelly beans adhere to your braces and teeth making it difficult for your saliva and tongue to wash them away. Like a sugar invasion, jelly beans set up camp and coat your teeth with their stickiness which can only be removed by brushing and flossing.

Cavity producing bacteria love to eat jelly beans even more than you do! They eat the jelly beans and produce acid which damages your tooth enamel and causes tooth decay. Long term, jelly beans create holes in your teeth called cavities.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene To Protect Your Teeth

Be sure to brush and floss your teeth as soon as possible after eating jelly beans. If you're a jelly bean eater, consider adding a plaque prevention rinse to your oral hygiene regimen. Brush for two minutes twice per day, floss, and visit your dentist and hygienist regularly twice per year for excellent oral hygiene.

Orthodontist Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca recommends eating jelly beans in moderation and avoiding jelly beans if you have braces. Find us at

Be sure to drink water and brush and floss as soon as you can after eating jelly beans. Prevent your dental hygiene attack of the jelly beans.

An Irish Dental Blessing

March 15th, 2016

IN HONOR OF ST. PATRICK'S DAY, the Team at Gorczyca Orthodontics would like to wish you and your family excellent dental health. It is an honor and a privilege for us to treat you and take care of you and your family's orthodontic needs. Thank you for choosing Gorczya Orthodontics.

So as the rains fall softly upon our Northern California hills and fields until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Irish Dental Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
and may your teeth be free of plaque.


Gorczyca Orthodontics, 5201 Deer Valley Road, Suite 1A, Antioch, Caifornia 94531, (925) 757-9000,

Once Upon An Orthodontic Office...

March 2nd, 2016

ONCE UPON A TIME, there was a princess named Veronica. She did not look like a real princess because her face made her look sad. Quiet and thoughtful, the smile of her eyes, gums, and teeth did not express the happiness in her heart.

One Day There Was A Terrible Storm...

One day there was a terrible storm. There was thunder and lightning, and rain poured down in torrents. To come in from the cold, the princess knocked on the door of Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California.

An Old Queen came to the door and looked at the princess. “Good gracious!” said the Queen. “You are under the spell of vertical maxillary excess giving you ‘Adenoid Facies’. This makes you look sad by:

1. Showing the whites of your eyes under your pupils
2. Pulling down the smile muscles of your cheeks
3. Separating your lips at rest
4. Allowing your teeth to protrude
5. Giving your chin a puckered ‘golf ball’ appearance”

Orthodontic Treatment Is A Fast And Permanent Solution

A Wizard had told the princess she could be saved by a lifetime of Botox needle shots to her upper lip. “Hogwash!” said the Queen. “This will not help you! We need a fast and permanent solution by an orthodontist. Let us be happy and fix this forever. Your prince will be here soon!”

A Young Prince Arrived...

Soon the Princess’s teeth were straight, and she was smiling ear to ear. A young prince arrived to Antioch, California from Ciudad Guzman, Jalisco, Mexico. He looked at Veronica and said “You are dear to me. By the smile on your happy face, I can see that you have the best heart and that you are a real princess. I will marry you!”

So the prince and princess were married. Nothing made the Queen happier than to see the prince and princess happy and thriving. They soon had four children. And, they all lived happily ever after.

This Is A True Story!

This is a true story. Veronica is now Treatment Coordinator at Gorczyca Orthodontics and her orthodontic treatment was done by Orthodontist Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca, Gorczyca Orthodontics, in Antioch, California.

To find an orthodontist near you, visit the American Association of Orthodontists at

Please share if you like this post.

Baby Teeth After Age 13 Are a Serious Problem

January 22nd, 2016

WHAT IF YOU'RE 13 YEARS OLD AND you still have a baby tooth? A baby tooth at age 13 indicates an orthodontic and dental health problem.

Baby Teeth Shouldn’t Be Present After Age 13

Most children lose their last baby tooth by age 12. Girls can be up to two years earlier than boys and lose their last baby tooth by age 10. Boys could lose their last baby tooth as late as age 13. In either case, boys or girls, baby teeth present after age 13 are cause for concern.

If you or your child are over the age of 13 and still have a baby tooth, it is important to have an orthodontic examination with an orthodontist as soon as possible.

4 Possible Problems of a Baby Tooth at Age 13

#1: Your baby tooth is stuck to the bone (ankylosed).

It will not fall out on it's own. The permanent tooth below is unable to push the baby tooth out. This baby tooth needs to be extracted as soon as possible.

#2: The baby tooth is mechanically blocked from falling out.

It is obstructed by crowded side teeth. It can't make an exit, like being too wide for a doorway. There is crowding and braces are needed to allow the baby tooth to fall out or be extracted.

#3: The permanent tooth below is crooked, malpositioned, or sizeways and can't push the baby tooth out.

The permanent tooth in the bone under the baby tooth is is in a poor position and will never come into the mouth without orthodontic treatment. Even if the baby tooth is extracted the permanent tooth will not come into the mouth. Your orthodontist and oral surgeon can bring this impacted permanent tooth into position by removing the baby tooth, exposing the permanent tooth, and then moving it with braces into the mouth.

#4: A permanent tooth is missing.

Below the baby tooth there is a missing permanent tooth. You have tooth agenesis (congenitally missing tooth). You will need to maintain this baby tooth as long as possible and replace it with a dental implant or bridge in the future.

We're Here To Help!

If your general dentist has told you or your child that there is still a baby tooth at age 13, see an orthodontist as soon as possible. To find an orthodontist in you area, contact the American Association of Orthodontist at

At 13 years old, you're not a baby any longer. Take care of your last baby tooth today to find out how you can restore dental health.

Follow Dr. Gorczyca on Twitter @drgorczyca
Gorczyca Orthodontics,

Beautiful Smiles At Age Seven

January 19th, 2016

A GAP BETWEEN YOUR seven year old's front teeth may look cute at 7, but unless you're Madonna, it may not be wanted in adolescence or adulthood. To prepare for your child's future, many 7 year olds have their gap closed by orthodontic treatment.

A gap, or diastema, is common at age 7 when half baby teeth and half permanent teeth are present. Orthodontic treatment at age 7 is called Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment. It is treatment of half permanent teeth. Additional Phase 2 treatment of all permanent teeth may be needed at age 12.

If a diastema is larger than 2mm, it will not close on it's own. Your orthodontist can help to close this space and get your 7 year old's teeth looking beautiful.

A diastema is often caused by a thick frenum, a piece of skin between the front teeth. Frenums are often hereditary in families. The frenum is best removed once the diastema is closed. The space will be held closed by a wire on the back side of the front teeth.

A periodontist, or gum specialist, will remove your child's frenum to make space closure permanent. Frenum removal is done AFTER the space is closed by your orthodontist.

If you have questions about your child's diastema or frenum, Orthodontist Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca and Gorczyca Orthodontics can help. Call us at (925) 757-9000 or visit us at

Goodbaye Gap! Hello happiness! Here's to looking at your 7 year old's beautiful face, teeth, and smile!

Four Things Moms Need to Check in Their Four Year Old’s Bite

January 14th, 2016

WHEN YOUR FOUR-YEAR-OLD says “Cheese!” at her birthday party, take time to notice if her bite is right.

Most children see a pediatric dentist by age two. By age four, your child may be referred to an orthodontist for severe tooth and bite problems.

There are four childhood conditions treated by an orthodontist as early as age four.

1. Crowded Baby Teeth

Baby teeth should have spacing between them. Overlapped baby teeth are a sign of severe crowding. The permanent front teeth are larger than the baby teeth they replace and need adequate space.

2. Crossbite of Baby Teeth

Crossbite occurs when upper teeth fit inside the lower teeth. If your four year old is experiencing difficulty chewing or bites her cheeks, she may have a crossbite. A crossbite can cause grinding and wearing down of baby teeth. Long term, a crossbite will create an abnormal growth pattern.

3. Lower Jaw Shift with Baby Teeth

Baby teeth out of position can create interference tooth hitting and produce a lower jaw shift. Tooth interference with jaw shifting will wear down teeth and create an abnormal growth pattern.

4. Narrow Upper Jaw with Baby Teeth

A narrow upper jaw indicates narrow nasal passages. This can create open-mouth breathing and sleep problems. Lack of sleep can significantly contribute to difficulty learning at school.

Correction of these early bite problems is of great health benefit to your four year old child. Early treatment by an orthodontist will minimize the need for more extensive orthodontic treatment at a later age.

To Find An Orthodontist Near You...

To find an orthodontist near you, visit the American Association of Orthodontists at To find a pediatric dentist nearby, you can visit the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) at

This patient was treated by Orthodontist Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca of Gorczyca Orthodontics, in Antioch, California. For a free consultation call (925) 757-9000.

Make sure your child’s bite is healthy when saying “Cheese!” and that she enjoys eating her birthday cake at age four, or any age.

Happy New Year from All of Us at Gorczyca Orthodontics

December 18th, 2015

During this Holiday Season
more than ever,
our thoughts turn gratefully,
with much appreciation,
to all those who have made
our year at Gorczyca Orthodontics

In this spirit we say,
simply and sincerely,

As we find ourselves
reflecting on the year,
and on those who have helped us
shape Gorczyca Orthodontics,
we look forward to the coming year
and to working with you.

We wish you a
Merry Christmas
a Happy New Year.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Gorczyca Orthodontics.

Gorczyca Orthodontnics, (925) 757-9000 in Antioch, California.

Deck Your Teeth with Strands of Braces

December 8th, 2015

Deck your teeth with strands of braces,
fa la la la la, la la la la
'Tis the season to close spaces
fa la la la la, la la la la

Invisalign your bite unravels,
fa la la, la la la, la la la
Smiling for the Yuletide carols,
fa la la la la, la la la la.

See amazing smiles before us,
fa la la la la, la la la la
Retainers worn while in the chorus,
fa la la la la, la la la la

Soon we see the tooth retraction,
fa la la, la la la, la la la
While the rubber bands take action,
fa la la la la, la la la la

Fast away the treatment passes,
fa la la la la, la la la la
Love your smile, ye lads and lasses,
fa la la la la, la la la la

You'll look great with teeth together,
fa la la, la la la, la la la
Smiling now in Chrismas weather,
fa la la la la, la la la la

Happy Holidays from all of us at Gorczyca Orthodontics, Antioch, California!

Top image by Flickr user Ruth Hartnup used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Patient "Walls of Fame"

December 1st, 2015

"A PICTURE SPEAKS A THOUSAND WORDS..." is reflected at Gorczyca Orthodontics on our Patient "Walls of Fame."

We Love Seeing Our Patients' Smiles

At Gorczyca Orthodontics, we take excellent Before and After photos of each and every one of our patients. We give these photos to you and your general dentist at the completion of your orthodontic treatment.

We consider your smile our orthodontic masterpiece. Dr. Gorczyca lovingly says "Please put this Before and After smile photo on your fireplace mantle." Most patients think she is kidding. But she really means it!

We Create Confidence-Inspiring Smiles

At Gorczyca Orthodontics, we feel that nothing will give our new patients more confidence and trust in our office, our skill, and our expertise, than seeing beautiful smile photos of our actual patients on our walls.

Come see for yourself. Envision yourself with a gorgeous new smile from Gorczyca Orthodontics. Visit us in Antioch, CA at or call us at (925) 757-9000.

Your smile truly is our inspiration.

The Candy Apple, An Orthodontic Hazard

October 30th, 2015

CANDY APPLES, also know as toffee apples, are whole apples on a stick covered in a sugar candy coating or hard toffee. They are a common treat throughout the world.

The Origin of The Candy Apple

Invented in 1908 by a candy shop owner William Kolb in Newark, New Jersey, candy apples have been popular worldwide for over one hundred years. They are found at amusement parks, circuses, along the Jersey Shore, and on New York's Coney Island. Kids love candy apples.

Candy apples are a tradition in many countries. They are called pommes d'amour (apples of love) in Brazil and France. They are called Tanghulu in China and are popular at Japanese festivals. In Germany, they are associated with the Christmas season. In Israel, they are sold at Yom Ha'atzmaut eve (Israel Independence Day). In the U.K., they are associated with Bonfire Night. In the U.S., Canada, and Australia, candy apples continue to be associated with fairs and carnivals and may also be served at Halloween.

They may also be the world's #1 orthodontic hazard.

Candy Apples Can Do Serious Damage To Braces

Eating a candy apple is one sure way to break off all of your orthodontics brackets. Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca, Orthodontist at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California learned about the orthodontic hazard of candy apples orthodontic the hard way. While in braces during the seventh grade, she bit into a candy apple at the Lincoln Park Amusement Park in Westport, Massachusetts.

All my friends bought candy apples. Though in braces, I bought one, too. Tempted by this childhood delicacy, I took a bite. I still remember, vividly, the feeling and sound of my beloved braces crackling and breaking off my teeth! My dear orthodontist, Dr. Lawrence Oliveira of New Bedford, Massachuetts, was so upset with me! When I returned to his office for my bracket repair and replacement, he was so troubled, he could barely speak! I hope I can save other orthodontic patients from this unfortunate occurrence!

Be Sure To Look Out For Your Braces!

Take care of your braces at amusement parks and during Halloween. Save the candy apple for the braces removal celebration on debond day when your braces are removed at your orthodontist's office.

To find an orthodontist in your area or near an amusement park you may visit, go to the American Association of Orthodontists at

Don't Bob For Apples With Braces!

October 27th, 2015

BOBBING FOR APPLES is a game often played on Halloween. Fill a large tub with water and less dense apples will float. Catch the apples with your teeth with your hands behind your back. What fun!

Bobbing for Apples Around the World

Bobbing is called "dooking" (i.e. ducking) in Scotland. In Northern England, bobbing for apples is called apple ducking or duck-apple. In Ireland, mainly in Kerry County, apple bobbing is known as Snap Apple. In Newfoundland and Labrador, Snap Apple Night is Halloween.

The tradition of bobbing for apples dates back to the Roman invasion of Britain. Young unmarried people would try to bite into the apple by either bobbing for or eating an apple hanging on the string. Those who were successful were thought to be the next to marry.

Bobbing For Apples? Braces Beware!

If you have braces, DON'T play bobbing for apples! Your braces will break off. This is no fun at all! You will need to go back to your orthodontic office for an emergency appointment. This may produce upset parents and teachers. There may even be an orthodontic charge to replace your carelessly broken braces. YIKES!

Look On The Bright Side

Although you cannot bob for apples with braces, look on the bright side. By not bobbing for apples, you will be avoiding an unsanitary game where a number of individuals have placed their entire heads, mouths, and saliva into the same bowl of water. In addition, you will avoiding the Roman belief that you will be marrying soon, in addition to not breaking your orthodontic brackets.

Gorczyca Orthodontics, Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca, Antioch, California 929-757-9000

To find an orthodontist near you, visit the American Association of Orthodontists at

Parents: Orthodontic Treatment Will Change Your Child's Life

October 23rd, 2015

YOU NEVER GET a second chance to make a good first impression. Many young people say braces were the best thing that ever happened to them. Many parents report that braces had a very positive impact on their child's confidence and self-esteem. Who doesn't want to look and feel their best?

A Smile Can Affect All Aspects Of Your Life

Parents: your child's smile will affect how they feel, who they date, who they marry, what type of job they get, and ultimately how successful they may be in life. That's why at Gorczyca Orthodontics, we are passionate about giving young people the orthodontic treatment they need for the happiest and most successful life possible.

Dr. Gorczyca has over 25 years of orthodontic experience and our professional team has over 100 combined years of knowledge in delivering orthodontic satisfaction . We have treated over 10,000 happy patients. We understand what your child's straight teeth mean to them and to you.

We Help Create Happy And Healthy Smiles

Advanced orthodontics can give your child amazing results. We create a personalized orthodontic solution to your child's unique needs. Call us today at (925) 757-9000 or visit us at to schedule your child's complimentary orthodontic evaluation.

Parents: whatever your child's orthodontic needs, we're here to help. You will be very happy with the way your child looks after orthodontic treatment. People's reaction to your child's smile will be beyond positive and everyone will feel great.

Getting To Know Our Team Members: Spotlight On Gwen!

October 22nd, 2015

AS YOU KNOW, HERE at Gorczyca Orthodontics, we’re honored to have you as our valued patient! Our goal is ALWAYS remarkable, one-to-one patient care... Thanks to our amazing team members!

Gorczyca Orthodontics Is Growing!

Gorczyca Orthodontics is thrilled to welcome our newest orthodontic assistant, Gwen.

A Little About Gwen

Gwen is originally from Concord, California. She is a graduate of Mt. Diablo High School where she was in the Culinary Academy. She is a resident of Bay Point, California.

Gwen got into dental assisting through her friends who were first dental assistants. They told Gwen she should try it out because she would LOVE IT!

Gwen graduated from dental assisting school this May and completed her internship at the office of Dr. Janis in Concord. She then joined Gorczyca Orthodontics.

We recently put Gwen in the hot seat and asked her some questions so you can get to know her better...

When you’re not here working, what are your favorite things to do?

When Gwen has a day off she likes to hang out with her friends and do volunteer work. She is very involved with her church. She loves to travel and throw parties!

Gwen's favorite place to travel to is New York City. Gwen was there this summer. She really enjoyed the fast pace of New York City.

When you first started working here, what were your first impressions of the office and the team? Have those impressions changed?

When Gwen started working at Gorczyca Orthodontics, her first impressions were that the team was very close. Every team member helps each other out and we always put the patient first. Everyone is very welcoming to both the patients and their family. Gwen enjoys getting to know each and every patient and their families. She considers this the best part of her job.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

Like every assistant at Gorczyca Orthodontics, Gwen has her own chair and her own schedule. She loves this ownership of her patient care and working with Dr. Gorczyca. Orthodontics is fascinating and can really change people's lives. Our patients smiles truly are our inspiration.

We’re So Happy To Have Gwen As A Member Of Our Team!

At Gorczyca Orthodontics we have three goals:

  • Clinical excellence,
  • Outstanding customer service,
  • and a Great patient experience.

Thank you Gwen for being part of our Gorczyca Orthodontics team!

As one of our valued patients, if you have your own question for Gwen, please ask in the comments section below! Also, you can always send us a message on Facebook anytime.

We look forward to seeing you at your next visit! Thanks for the trust you place in our practice.

Trick-or-Treating with Braces

October 20th, 2015

TRICK-OR-TREATING is said to have originated from the medieval practice of “mumming,” a Northern European practice of masked persons parading the streets and visiting neighboring houses on feast days. In North America, “guising” was first reported in 1911 in Kingston, Ontario where disguised children visited house-to-house around the neighborhood. The term “trick-or-treat” first appears in 1927 in the Blackie Herald newspaper of Alberta, Canada. The treat soon became known to be an oral health nightmare, candy.

Trick-Or-Treating Provides A Variety Of Treats

Trick-or-treating is a fun activity. Children, with and without braces, will recieve a myriad of Halloween treats. An apple may be given. Some homes may give a fruit or granola bar. Generous relatives may even distribute a coin. Dentists may give a toothbrush. But most homes will be giving out candy.

The question arises “What should I eat on Halloween if I have braces?”

Be Mindful Of Halloween Snacks If You Have Braces

Although apples are a healthy treat, care must be given to cut the apples into small bite size pieces in order to not break off the orthodontic brackets.

Chewy, sticky, hard candy is to be avoided. This includes Starbursts, jawbreakers, Twizzlers, skittles, and gum. Chewy sticky hard candy will not only break your orthodontic brackets but also loosen your orthodontic bands.

Nuts in general are to be avoided. These can be found in not only granola bars that are hard with big nuts but also in some candies such as Almond Joys.

What Treats Can Someone In Braces Eat On Halloween?

Orthodontist, Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca of Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California weighs in on her favorite Halloween treats: "I recommend Mounds candy as a choice for kids in braces. These are soft bars of mostly coconut with a soft chocolate covering. Mounds are very unlikely to break orthodontic brackets or loosen bands. My second favorite candy choice for kids in braces is Junior Mints. This candy is soft, small, and easy to eat with braces.

We at Gorczyca Orthodontics give out Halloween toothbrushes to trick-or-treaters. They are orange with black bristles. Now, that's scary!

Soft candies are fine to eat with braces as long as you remember to floss and brush your teeth afterwards. To maintain excellent oral hygiene and remain cavity free, be sure to brush and floss your teeth twice a day, not only on Halloween but every day of the year."

Happy Halloween from all of us at Gorczyca Orthodontics!

How Do You Feel?

October 15th, 2015

I FIRST OBSERVED HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (HRM) FROM MY MOTHER, an elementary school principal for over 32 years. I remember her daily, weekly, and annual preparation of HRM tasks. She meticulously reviewed performance and praised achievements, as well as set goals and areas of improvement for her teachers. She held team meetings at our home, and her school was recognized as a national school of excellence. Regarding one teacher whose performance was substandard, there was a well-planned legal termination. This wasn't easy—but it was necessary. Such may be the case for you, in your dental practice.

Human Resource Management Is Very Important In The Healthcare Industry

When I meet fellow dentists and ask “How are you?” we frequently discuss practice personnel issues. There is no aspect of dental practice management as difficult and daunting as human resource management (HRM). Challenging and emotionally charged, HRM may be something dentists wish to avoid, but cannot.

HRM is critical to the effective running of a dental practice, management of the team, and effective leadership capability of the doctor.

When I was a student at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, I had the opportunity to study at the Harvard School of Public Health in the Department of Health Policy and Management. There, I attended my first management lectures and started to understand the unique psychological and legal aspects of HRM. After 25 years of my own Office Manual updates and close work with HR and legal professionals, I've learned recruitment, integration, scheduling, reviews, termination, and distribution of employee resources.

HRM takes courage, communication, and candor. It requires an understanding of good work behaviors versus dysfunctional behaviors. HRM is the ability to direct performance towards the vision and goals of the dental office. This perspective is valuable to all dental professionals, in the management of their business, the dental practice.

I Hope My Book Makes A Difference

My new book, Beyond the Morning Huddle: HR Management for a Successful Dental Practice, is a collection of HR policy and procedure tips, employment law review, and case study solutions which have been critical to the running of my practice during the past twenty-five years. I hope that these insights will be helpful to readers, especially those dentists just starting out who need understanding of employment law, encouragement, a useful HR reference, or just an "It's O.K. to be the boss" cheer to make them feel empowered to persevere. I hope this book is also useful to those who have been in practice for several years; those looking to update HR regulations, effectively coach a high performance team, or sharpen their leadership saw.

You Will Feel Great!

My mother was one of the best HR managers I have ever known. Once you spend less time putting out HRM fires and more time focused on HRM excellence, you will have moved closer to your own personal happiness. What great HR managers know is that people don't change that much. Once you eliminate undesirable behaviors, you will be peaceful, fulfilled, and looking forward to another great day at the dental office. You will feel great!

Ultimately, all business owners take the HR lead. For me personally, this book will not only be the story of HR management at Gorczyca Orthodontics and within my dental community but a personal journey towards creating my own workplace paradise.

To my mother, Stasia. She understood people and how to bring out the best in them.

About the Author

Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca speaks on practice management topics including marketing, teamwork, treatment coordination, customer service, management systems and human resource management. She was a speaker at the 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) Annual Sessions and will speak again in 2016. She has received teaching awards from UCSF and University of the Pacific Dental Schools. She is author of the book, "It All Starts with Marketing-201 Marketing Tips for Growing a Dental Practice." She is an orthodontist at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, CA. This is her second book.

Getting To Know Our Team Members: Spotlight On Pam!

October 12th, 2015

AS YOU KNOW, HERE at Gorczyca Orthodontics, we’re honored to have you as our valued patient! Our goal is ALWAYS remarkable, one-to-one patient care... Thanks to our amazing team members!

Gorczyca Orthodontics Is Growing!

We are thrilled to welcome our new Patient Coordinator, Pam, to our front desk! Welcome, Pam! We're glad you're here to welcome all of our wonderful patients at Gorczyca Orthodontics.

A Little About Pam

Pam is originally from San Francisco, California. She has worked in dentistry for three years, is married, and the mother of five children. She not only works at Gorczyca Orhtodontics but she is also currently an orthodontic patient herself!

We recently put Pam in the hot seat and asked her some questions so you can get to know her better...

When you’re not here working, what are your favorite things to do?

Pam loves to spend time with her children. They go to the park, play football, go shopping, and love all waterfront activities.

When you first started working here, what were your first impressions of the office and the team? Have those impressions changed?

When Pam first started working here she found Gorczyca Orthodontics to be such a bright, positive, and energy filled environment. She loves it here! Everyday is a new adventure at Gorczyca Orthodontics. We love our patients and it shows.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

Pam loves greeting the patients, serving them coffee, getting to know them and their families, and helping them with their orthodontic treatment and in anyway that she can.

Pam herself is presently an orthodontic patient at Gorczyca Orthodontics. She has a very complex orthodontic case and she is very happy that Dr. Gorczyca is Board Certified and vastly experienced in interdisciplinary dental treatment with combines all of the the dental procedures with the specialists that Pam needs to give her an amazing new smile.

We’re So Happy To Have Pam As A Member Of Our Team!

At Gorczyca Orthodontics we have three goals:

  • Clinical excellence,
  • Outstanding customer service,
  • and a Great patient experience.

Thank you Pam for being part of our Gorczyca Orthodontics team!

As one of our valued patients, if you have your own question for Pam, please ask in the comments section below! Also, you can always send us a message on Facebook anytime.

We look forward to seeing you at your next visit! Thanks for the trust you place in our practice.

Some Important Tips For Flossing With Braces

October 2nd, 2015

IF YOU HAVE BRACES, you still need to floss. Flossing is important in the prevention of cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease—especially while wearing braces.

Tips For Flossing With Braces

To help you floss with braces, here are some helpful tips:

  1. Use enough floss! The amount of floss should be equal to the length from your fingers to you elbow.
  2. Thread floss between your wire and the contact of two teeth with your fingers or use a floss threader.
  3. Wind floss around one finger of one hand and one finger of your other hand.
  4. Waxed floss is less likely to tear. Oral B Glide floss is our favorite.
  5. Help Youngsters Out!

    If you or the little ones in your life who don’t wear braces are having trouble flossing, consider Crest Glide Floss Picks.

    We Want To Help Keep Your Smile Bright

    We at Gorczyca Orthodontics hope that these flossing tips were helpful and keep you excited about flossing and maintaining excellent oral hygiene. If you have questions about your teeth or oral hygiene, visit us at or call us at (925) 757-9000.

    Thanks for flossing and letting us be part of your beautiful smile.

    Top image by Flickr user Alan Light used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

How Sour Candy Affects Your Teeth

October 1st, 2015

WHY ARE CERTAIN CANDIES so bad for our teeth? One reason is all that sugar, of course. We know that. Here’s something you may not think about as often... Many popular treats include the descriptors tart, tangy, and sour. It seems the more bitter, the better.

Trouble is, our teeth are paying the price for this sour trend and we continue to see the damage.

Acid Erodes Our Teeth

A pH scale shows where substances are on a spectrum from base to acidic. 14–12 is really base, and 2–0 is really acidic.

A nice, neutral pH level of 7 is ideal for your mouth. When you eat acidic foods the pH level lowers. This can create a hostile, enamel-eroding environment for your teeth. No sugar (or plaque) is necessarily needed for an “acid attack” to be damaging.

Let’s Break It Down

Our tooth enamel can start to erode at a pH level of 4. Spree, a relatively mild sour candy, has a pH level of 3, Sour Skittles 2.2, and WarHeads Spray 1.6. That’s pretty shocking when you consider battery acid has a pH level of 1.0.

The Sad Signs Of Erosion

The acid in sour candy can really take a toll on our teeth and may even cause:

  • Sensitivity
  • Translucence at the biting edge of your teeth
  • Increased cavities due to weakened enamel

Be Smart

Chewing sugarless gum stimulates saliva flow for cleansing. Swishing water around in your mouth can also help. Still, the smartest thing you can do is to stop eating tart candies, or eat them very sparingly. They’re treats, not snacks.

If you have braces you need to be extra careful. Not only can candy damage your appliance, it can be hard to remove around the brackets and may increase the chance of decay. You’re better off avoiding it.

If you’re experiencing signs of acid erosion, ask us about it. We can help.

Thanks for being our valued patient! We hope you and your smile are doing well!

The Role Of Calcium And Vitamin D In Keeping Teeth Healthy

September 21st, 2015

UNDER ALL THAT AWESOME ORTHODONTIC WORK we’re doing together, we’re well aware that there are teeth! And, we’re always concerned about their health during your orthodontic treatment period. Most of us have been told (and many of us tell our children) that drinking milk builds healthy teeth and bones. But our nutritional and dietary preferences are not only widely varied, they also change from time to time. Does milk really “do a body good”? Some believe it does, and others believe it doesn’t.

Regardless of your take, you’re not alone. Today, millions of people follow vegan or vegetarian diets, and tens of millions of people are lactose intolerant. Whether or not you choose to avoid dairy for health or other personal reasons, here are some thoughts from our team and a prominent nutritionist.

Calcium And Vitamin D Are Important To Oral Health

It’s true that dairy products are full of calcium, and often supplemented with vitamin D (which helps your body absorb calcium and other bone-building minerals). While people on specialized diets (including vegans and vegetarians) are typically very careful about eating healthy, there’s still a risk of calcium and vitamin D deficiency.

One of the dangers in calcium and vitamin D deficiency is the increased risk of periodontal (gum) disease. In addition, these deficiencies can weaken your teeth and lead to tooth decay. Without the right vitamins and minerals, your mouth’s defenses may be down.

There ARE Alternatives To Dairy Products

The good news is that, if you choose, you can get these nutrients from alternative sources. For example, just one ounce of sesame seeds contains almost as much calcium as an entire glass of milk. Other major sources of calcium are dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens.

When it comes to vitamin D, surprisingly, your best source is the sun! When exposed to the sun’s radiation, your body naturally produces vitamin D. But of course, be careful and use common sense—you also know the potential problems associated with prolonged/unprotected sun exposure.

There are also a number of things we can eat and drink that are “fortified” with calcium and vitamin D including soy milk, orange juice and some breakfast cereals. You can also consider taking supplements.

Do you have questions about this topic? Contact us! Do you have suggestions for others who may be wondering about other sources for their daily calcium? Let us know! Leave a comment below, or on our Facebook page. We love hearing from you!

And, as always, thank you for being our valued patient!

Thanks for Making Gorczyca Orthodontics #1 on Yelp

September 1st, 2015

TO OUR VALUED PATIENTS, thank you for making Gorczyca Orthodontics the #1 Orthodontic Office in Antioch, California on Yelp! We appreciate you and our opportunity to serve you. Here's what some patients on Yelp had to say:

Place: Your Patient Experience

"The office is very clean and comfortable"
"The office is always cheerfully decorated"
"I'm thrilled with the service I received there"
"Best run office I've been to"

Product: Things Patients Love

"Super nice and fun!"
"I'm very happy with my treatment"
"omg it was awesome!"
"I give them an A+"

Price: I Can Afford Dental Care

"Prices are reasonable"
"Easy payment options"
"Finishing up our third kid. All experiences have been great."

Promotion: Patient Experience

"I couldn't be happier"
"I will Gorczyca Orthodontics ;)!
"You are definately #1 in my book":

The Team

"The staff has repeatedly gone the extra mile"
"Amazing and talented group of people"
"High standard of professionalism"

The Doctor

"Dr. Gorczyca always takes time to listen"
"She is about patients and their individual needs"
"Friendly, helpful, compassionate"
"Dr. Gorczyca is fantastic"
"She's the best orthodontist EVER!"

We Love Making You Smile

It makes our day at Gorczyca Orthodontics to receive a 5 star patient review on Yelp. Find us at or call us at (925) 757-9000 to schedule a complimentary orthodontic exam.

Your happiness and smiles are what we at Gorczyca Orthodntics are all about. Thank you for allowing us to serve you and for referring your family and friends. Your smile truly is our inspiration.

How To Get A Hollywood Smile In Antioch

July 27th, 2015

A BRIGHT, BEAUTIFUL SMILE is an advantage in every area of life. At Gorczyca Orthodontics, smile design is more than just straightening. We take into account all the proportions of the face and mouth to create a healthy, balanced, and beautiful smile. We guide you through all the steps to create a gorgeous, star-quality smile.

As you embark on your smile makeover, remember that quality orthodontic treatment provides the strong foundation on which to build your beautiful new smile. Only an orthodontist knows how best to bring your smile into balance and give you healthy, long-term results.

The Merging Of Medicine And Art

Cosmetic dentistry provides both therapeutic and aesthetic benefits. When your plan for a smile makeover includes orthodontic treatment, it can repair your teeth and correct your bite, and at the same time give you the gorgeous smile you’ve always wanted! Orthodontic treatment can be done in coordination with your cosmetic dentist to prep teeth for veneers, dental implants, and other cosmetic or restorative dental work.

Orthodontic Treatment As A Part Of Your Smile Makeover

If you are planning a full smile makeover, Gorczyca Orthodontics can provide you, your cosmetic dentist, and your oral surgeon with a diagnostic wax-up of your anticipated final result. This plaster study model of your bite will include the final tooth-like wax-up of your veneers as well as your full final bite, including implants.

Gorczyca Orthodontics will also work closely with your cosmetic dentist and periodontist to give you the gum height and shape needed to make your smile simply fabulous.

All doctors involved in the comprehensive treatment planning of your full smile makeover will meet to discuss your case and coordinate your procedures to give you a beautiful and healthy result in the most comfortable and fastest way possible.

Designing Your Perfect Smile

At Gorczyca Orthodontics, we have been creating beautiful smile makeovers for over 25 years. Dr. Gorczyca is an active member of the Seattle Study Club, a group of over 22 dentists of East Contra Costa County which meets monthly for the sole purpose of discussion and planning of the latest dental procedures and technology involved in full mouth smile makeovers.

Thank you for being our valued patient and friend!

Top image by Flickr user David Shankbone used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Take Home A Smile

July 17th, 2015

Take Home a Smile

Edgar Guest

Take home a smile; forget the petty cares,
The dull, grim grind of all the day's affairs;
The day is done, come be yourself awhile:
To-night, to those who wait, take home a smile.

Take home a smile; don’t scatter grief and gloom
Where laughter and light hearts should always bloom;
What though you’ve traveled many a dusty mile,
Footsore and weary, still take home a smile.

Take home a smile- it is not much to do,
But much it means to them who wait for you;
You can be brave for such a little while;
The day of doubt is done- take home a smile.

What Is Phase I Phase II Orthodontic Treatment?

July 7th, 2015

DENTAL AND SKELETAL bite problems are evident by age 7. Phase I Phase II orthodontic treatment is like doing half now, half later, assisting you with the development of your smile from age 7 to age 13 when your smile is mature.

Phase I orthodontic treatment starts around age 7 in the mixed dentition when 12 permanent teeth and 12 baby teeth are present.

Phase I Phase II Treatment May Improve Your Final Result

In 15% of cases, the overall result will be improved by Phase I orthodontic treatment. Benefits include symmetrical jaw growth, eliminating the need for tooth extraction, preventing tooth wear, or stopping harmful habits such as thumbsucking while improving speech and self-esteem.

Permanent retainers are popular after Phase I orthodontic treatment. These bonded wires prevent tooth relapse and the need for replacement of lost retainers.

Sixteen permanent teeth come in between Phase I and Phase II orthodontic treatment. The chances of one of these new teeth being crooked is high. Usualy there is a benefit in doing Phase II orthodontic treatment after Phase I treatment.

Phase I Treatment Makes Phase II Go Easier

Phase II orthodontic treatment begins when all the permanent teeth have come into place at age 12.

Phase II treatment is easier because Phase I treatment has already corrected the major orthodontic problems.

If you have questions about Phase I Phase II orthodontic treatment, visit us at Gorczyca Orthodontics or call us at (925) 757-9000 for a complimentary consultation.

Every smile is unique. Here’s to the growth and development of your beautiful smile!

What Orthodontics Can Do For You

June 22nd, 2015

WORDS CAN BARELY EXPRESS the transformation in appearance, confidence, morale, and happiness that comprehensive orthodontic treatment makes in a young person’s life.

Comprehensive orthodontic treatment takes an investment of time and resources, but this investment is priceless. Having a beautiful smile will make a big difference in your life.

At Gorczyca Orthodontics, we love changing lives by improving smiles. We have treated over 10,000 orthodontics cases. Each patient is unique and has their own story. We treat each patient with individualized attention, one at a time, with tender loving care.

Thank you for trusting us to care for your orthodontic needs. We guarantee satisfaction. We value you and the family and friends who you refer.

Visit us at Gorczyca Orthodontics at or on Facebook.

It is our privilege to give you the smile of your dreams. Your smile is our inspiration!

Orthodontics and Switzerland

June 16th, 2015

ORTHODONTICS IS LIKE invading the country of Switzerland: it’s easy to get in, but it’s hard to get out.

Orthodontics Isn’t Just Brackets On Teeth...

Facial esthetics are improved, occlusion and function are created, and teeth are moved in three planes of space. Mechanics of force application, science of materials, biology of tooth movement, and anatomy of jaw and joint must be well understood. Tooth positions depend on surrounding bone and periodontium. There’s a lot to know to produce an ideal orthodontic result.

Over one hundred years of research has contributed to the art and science of orthodontics. This is why orthodontists devote over 10,000 hours and many years of full time practice to be experts in the specialty of orthodontics.

In 1914, there were no orthodontists. As dental technologies and techniques evolved, the orthodontic specialty was created to offer advanced patient care.

Ideal Orthodontic Results Take A Specialist

Those who think orthodontic treatment is easy will find they are mistaken. The problem is, being “in over your head” may occur months or years after a patient has started orthodontic treatment.

Trust Your Smile To An Orthodontist

Should you find yourself in a situation where you would like to transfer your care to an orthodontist, you can find one at the American Association of Orthodontists.

This case transferred to Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, CA. Board certified orthodontist Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca works closely with excellent general dentists to create beautiful smiles. You can find her at

Switzerland is unique. Enjoy the breathtaking landscapes, natural resources, culture, and people.

College is the Perfect Time for Invisalign

June 4th, 2015

CONGRATULATIONS! YOU’RE A HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE. Time to move on to the college scene.

Do you wish you had straightened your teeth in high school?

Good news! Invisalign is the perfect option for you to straighten your teeth during college.

Your hometown orthodontist can still provide you with the aligners you need to get started with your Invisalign treatment today. You can then take your custom made aligners with you to college. Once at college, you will continue to make maximum progress with your Invisalign aligners. Your orthodontist will check your progress and give you additional aligners when you are back home again for your Thanksgiving or Christmas break.

The Major Advantages Of Invisalign Treatment During College Are:

  1. You can eat whatever you want
  2. Nothing will get broken or loose
  3. You will be extremely comfortable during your treatment
  4. You can look great at parties!

Call Us To Schedule A Complimentary Invisalign Exam

Call Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, CA today if you are interested in starting Invisalign treatment. Visit us at or call us at (925) 757-9000 to schedule your complimentary Invisalign exam.

Get ready for college. Prepare for rush week today with Invisalign.

Consider Invisalign As An Alternative To Traditional Braces

May 7th, 2015

IT’S NO SECRET that straight, well-aligned teeth are an important part of a great smile. Unfortunately, the inconvenience and discomfort often associated with traditional braces keeps some people from straightening their teeth.

We’ve Been Using Invisalign Since 1999

Gorczyca Orthodontics is a leader in Invisalign treatment. Having provided Invisalign treatment since 1999, we have treated hundreds of patients with a variety of problems including protruding teeth, generalized spacing, and severe crowding. Due to the advances in Invisalign technology, it is now possible for orthodontists to even treat skeletal malocclusion (orthognathic surgery cases), and cases which need extraction or elastics with Invisalign.

Invisalign is a modern approach to teeth straightening without many of the drawbacks of braces. Let’s talk about why Invisalign may be right for you.

The Clear Plastic Aligners Are Nearly Invisible

Most people won’t even know you’re wearing Invisalign aligners. You can confidently show off your smile while straightening your teeth!

No Wires Or Brackets To Irritate Your Mouth

Invisalign uses a series of soft, plastic aligners that fit comfortably over your teeth to gradually and gently straighten your smile.

Traditional braces require frequent tightening visits. With Invisalign, you can save time, since all you have to do is come in every couple weeks for your new trays, and to give us a chance to check in on your progress.

You Can See Your Whole Treatment Plan From The Beginning

Invisalign also provides a 3D computerized set-up of your virtual case (ClinCheck) so that you can track your progress with treatment and see your eventual outcome.

Your Invisalign outcome will be as successful as your orthodontists treatment plan and your commitment to wearing your aligners 24/7. We suggest that aligners be worn a minimum of 22 hours per day for the quickest and most successful treatment.

Brush, Floss, And Eat Without Interference

Unlike traditional braces, you can remove your Invisalign aligner during your oral hygiene routines, and while eating your favorite meals! Brushing and flossing is not complicated and you don’t have to give up any of the foods you love.

We want to help determine whether or not Invisalign is right for you. Call us today to set up a smile consultation.

Thank you for being one of our valued patients!

And, thanks for considering Invisalign!

To Moms Everywhere... Thanks For The Smiles

May 4th, 2015

THIS SUNDAY MUCH OF THE WORLD CELEBRATES motherhood and the many moms who have helped shape our lives. Most of us can thank a mom for our first smiles, subsequent years of grins and endless hours of care—including lots of help and encouragement taking care of our smiles. For ALL our mothers do, we want to say “thanks”!

The next time you eat, brush, or floss, stop and think about who taught you to do all those things? It may have been a dad or someone else who watched over you, but chances are it was your mom. Regardless of who it was, the individual(s) who taught you how to take care of yourself—and your smile—have made a big difference in your life.

This Mother’s Day, when you talk to your own mom or send a message to another mom who’s important to you, think about all the times that person made you smile. If that special somebody helped you with oral care, say “thank you” specifically for that! Let us know what that person says back to you by commenting below! We’d like to hear what their reactions might be!

After all, if it weren’t for the people who cared for us and taught us about good oral hygiene, we’d probably all have less to smile about (and fewer teeth to smile with).

A Fun, Thank You Tribute To Moms

If you have a favorite memory of mom, we’d love to hear about it. Share it with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Have a great Mother's Day!

April Is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April 29th, 2015

THIS YEAR ALONE, 400,000 people throughout the world will be diagnosed with oral cancer. 40% of those diagnosed won’t live another five years. Oral cancer has such a dismal survival rate because it’s usually not detected until very late in its progression. Because April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, we’re encouraging everyone to get screened this year during their regularly scheduled checkups.

Early Detection Is SO Important

Early oral cancer detection can boost survival rates to 80–90%! One of the reasons oral cancer goes undetected is because many of the symptoms are not painful. If you experience any of the following symptoms, please let us know right away:

  1. A lump or thickening of your cheek
  2. A white or red patch on any part of your inner mouth or throat
  3. A sore inside your mouth that doesn’t heal within two weeks
  4. Difficulty moving your tongue or jaw
  5. Numbness inside your mouth
  6. Chronic difficulty swallowing or chewing
  7. Jaw swelling

The Best Offense Is A Good Defense

Keep regularly scheduled cleaning appointments and screenings. Doing so GREATLY increases the likelihood that any problems will be detected early. It’s worth it.

If You Have Any Questions, Let Us Know

Please be aware that smoking, chewing tobacco, and alcohol consumptions have all been linked to an increased incidence of oral cancer.

If you or a family member have any unusual lesions in your mouth, inside your cheek, or on your tongue, which has lasted for more than 10 days, please have it examined by your dental health care professional or physician. We can help at Gorczyca Orthodontics (925) 757-9000. Call us for a complimentary oral exam or visit us at

Gorczyca Orthodontics serves the great East Contra Costa Community including Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, Pittsburg, Concord, Discovery Bay, Bethel Island and Rio Vista. Let us be your partner in oral health.

Other Resources:

Space... The Final Orthodontic Retention Frontier

April 14th, 2015


These are the bonded lingual retainers of the office, Gorczyca Orthodontics.

Its mission, to retain straight dentitions for life,

to seek out retention excellence for all patients,

to boldly retain, longer and better than ever before!

Recent studies have shown that bonded lingual wires maintain straight teeth at 20 years with imperceivable change (0.06mm).

These cases were treated by Board Certified Orthodontist, Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca. Find us at

Keep your dental space closed for a lifetime with bonded lingual wire retainers.

Kowabunga Dude! Expose Your Impacted Canine

April 8th, 2015


Yet, it often creeps up on other teeth and takes a bite out of their roots.

There is danger in the unerupted impacted canine.

An Orthodontist Knows How To Recognize The Problem

Early detection of impacted canines is often missed by non-orthodontists. The teeth and bite may look great and there may be no patient complaints. Yet, an orthodontist knows that when primary canines are not lost by age 12, lurking below the surface of the oral cavity, there may be... the impacted canine.

Working With A Team, We Can Eliminate The Threat

Impacted canines can be detected by panoramic X-ray or a CBCT for a 3-dimensional view. Once found, your orthodontist will recommend opening adequate space orthodontically for the impacted canine and refer you to an oral surgeon for impacted canine exposure. The oral surgeon will then expose your canine and place an orthodontic bracket with a gold chain attached on to the impacted tooth. Your orthodontist will then bring your impacted canine into your mouth slowly, gently, and methodically. Once in your mouth, your canine can function properly. Your canine can no longer be a threat to your bone or other teeth.

When Is The Time Right?

It is important to bring in an impacted canine into your mouth as soon as possible. Movement around age 12 is ideal. Movement after age 15 is slower. Movement after age 21 may no longer be possible.

What’s The Danger?

Why remove the impacted canine? The primary baby tooth canine will eventually be lost. It may be at age 40, 50, or 30. We don’t know when, but chances are, the baby tooth canine will not be maintained for your entire adult life. When lost, it may not be possible to place an implant for tooth replacement with the impacted canine in an implant blocking position. Your impacted canine could limit your future tooth replacement options to a fixed bridge or partial denture. As an adult, an impacted canine is very difficult to remove.

Call Us For More Information

This case was treated by Board Certified Orthodontist Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca of Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, CA. Find us at or call us at 925-757-9000 for a complimentary orthodontic examination.

Kowabunga Dude! Don’t be scared of an impacted canine! Expose this threat for ideal dental health.

The Most Common Orthodontic Problem

March 23rd, 2015

A GORGEOUS SMILE IS more than six straight front teeth. A beautiful smile includes facial balance, an esthetic profile, ideal lip posture, and straight front teeth that contact.

The most common orthodontic complaint, teeth that stick-out “overjet” in the horizontal direction, requires careful orthodontic analysis.

Overbite + Overjet Can Cause Severe Problems

When “overbite” (front teeth overlapped in the vertical direction) is combined with excessive overjet, an impinging bite occurs. Lower teeth contact the roof of the mouth. Left untreated, this deep bite will produce severe tooth and gum problems.

There are several treatment options to reduce excessive overjet and overbite:

  • growth modification
  • elastic wear
  • tooth extraction
  • orthognathic surgery

Orthodontists Treat Your Whole Face

Your initial photo can be morphed to show you the predicted facial changes with each treatment option.

Your orthodontist will carefully analyze your profile X-ray to produce a customized treatment plan to improve your bite, profile, and dental health. Orthodontists treat faces, not only teeth.

Questions? Give Us A Call

This case was treated by Board Certified Orthodontist Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca of Gorczyca Orthodontics, Antioch, California.

If you have questions about overjet and overbite, call us at (925) 757-9000 or visit us at

You don’t have to “stick-out.” Consider orthodontic treatment today.

Phase 2 Orthodontic Treatment and the Junior Prom

February 2nd, 2015

AFTER PHASE 1 orthodontic treatment, your 12 year old’s teeth look really good. Why do Phase 2 orthodontic treatment?

Phase 1 orthodontic treatment is completed between ages 7 and 9. Between Phase 1 and Phase 2, 16 additional permanent teeth come into the mouth. The chances of all 16 of these permanent teeth coming in perfectly are pretty low.

Phase 2 Is The Final Bite Tune-Up

Growth can also modify midlines, bite, or tooth position. Consider Phase 2 orthodontic treatment as the final bite tune-up that will last your child’s lifetime.

When choosing to do Phase 1 Phase 2 treatment versus comprehensive orthodontic treatment starting at age twelve, consider two phase treament as “half now, half later.” Doing Phase 1 and starting Phase 2 treatment early will insure that your child has their braces off by the Junior Prom. Two phase treatment will make their final treatment phase shorter and easier to complete during this delicate and precious teenage time of life.

Two-Phase Treatment Is Sometimes Needed For Best Results

In 15% of cases, doing Phase I Phase 2 orthodontic treatment will produce a better result. Growth and tooth position can be modified. There is also the psychological benefit of early confidence that goes with having a beautiful smile at a young age.

Questions? Give Us A Call!

It is possible to do Phase 2 orthodontic treatment with either braces or Invisalign Teen. Call us at Gorczyca Orthodontics if you have questions about Phase 1 Phase 2 orthodontic treatment (925) 757-9000 or visit us at

The Junior Prom will be here soon. Phase 2 orthodontic treatment with make your child’s smile and bite great!

Back To School Time? Don’t Forget Dental Checkups

January 27th, 2015

TOOTH DECAY IS THE #1 CHRONIC DISEASE IN CHILDREN. It’s estimated that 40% of children have some form of tooth decay before they even reach kindergarten. Alarming, isn’t it? But SO much of the problem is preventable through routine hygiene appointments.

Add Dental Checkups To Your Back-To-School Checklist

Don’t wait until there’s a problem—even if your child isn’t complaining about discomfort. Tooth pain doesn’t usually exist until decay reaches the tooth’s pulp. At that point, it’s probably advanced and may require more extensive treatment. Good preventive treatment happens BEFORE there’s pain.

Don’t Forget About Orthodontic Evaluations Too!

Loose baby teeth ready to fall out can also cause tooth and gum pain.

The first baby teeth to fall out are the lower central incisors. These teeth can become loose at kindergarten age. The last baby teeth to fall out are the lower primary second molars. These teeth usually fall out by sixth grade.

When baby teeth stay too long, they may have a root caught in the gum with a permanent tooth pushing up underneath it. These teeth wiggle back and forth and may not be possible for your child to remove on their own. This can be uncomfortable and also cause the permanent teeth to be pushed out of place, making permanent teeth crooked.

Painful and harmful loose baby teeth are one of the reasons the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child receive an orthodontic evaluation by age 7. Your orthodontist can evaluate baby teeth loss to make sure that your child will be pain free. To find an orthodontist in your community, visit

At Gorczyca Orthodontics, We Love Working With Kids

At Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California we see children for a complimentary orthodontic examination as early as age 4. If tooth decay is visible, we will refer your child to a pediatric dentist or back to your family dentist for treatment.

Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca has been a licensed dentist since 1988. She completed her university based orthodontic residency program to become an orthodontic specialist in 1990. She is a Board Certified orthodontist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics.

In 2015, Dr. Gorczyca celebrates 25 years of being an orthodontist and working with children. She has now treated over 10,000 patients! To have your child seen by Dr. Gorczyca, call us at (925) 757-9000 or visit us at to schedule a complimentary exam.

How Do We Protect Your Child’s Smile?

It is important to be free of tooth decay prior to getting braces. Gorczyca Orthodontics also uses Opalseal, an additional bonding resin to protect teeth from decay during orthodontic treatment. While in braces, it is important to still have cleanings twice per year with your regular dentist. Dr. Gorczyca removes wires for dental cleanings to ensure that all parts of teeth can be cleaned well and that excellent oral hygiene can be maintained during orthodontic treatment.

Patients receive a hygiene evaluation at every appointment at Gorczyca Orthodontics. Wires will be removed and an extra cleaning and hygiene instruction scheduled with your hygienist if necessary. If hygiene is excellent at your orthodontic appointment, you will recieve a reward token to collect to win a prize.

Our goal is to have your child decay free, pain free, with the most beautiful smile possible.

Help Set Your Child’s Great Oral Health Habits Now!

When you take an active role in your child’s oral health, you do a lot more than care for his or her teeth. You help your child develop habits that will positively shape overall health for life... Habits that will likely be passed down to your posterity as well.

Have a great school year!

Top image by Flickr user Elizabeth Albert used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Dental Implants Look, Feel, And Function Like Real Teeth

January 23rd, 2015

IF YOU’RE MISSING A TOOTH, OR SEVERAL TEETH, we want you to know there are remarkable replacement options. One reliable, natural looking option to consider is dental implants.

Dental implants are artificial tooth “roots”—usually made of titanium—that are placed in your jawbone and covered by a natural looking tooth replacement.

Implants Can Improve Your Appearance And Comfort

Tooth loss can often lead to bone deterioration in the jaw, which can give your face a sunken appearance. Dental implants can help keep your bone and facial structure intact—so you can look and feel your best.

Because they replace the whole tooth—starting at the root—dental implants also look, feel, and function like real teeth. You’ll feel natural and comfortable when smiling, speaking, and eating. The only thing people will notice when you smile is your smile!

Effective Smile Restoration May Require A Team

At Gorczyca Orthodontics, we will work with your dentist and oral surgeon as a team to restore your overall bite and dental health. This is the comprehensive team approach to implant dentistry. The doctors will evaluate your dental health, bone, and teeth together to provide you with the best comprehensive treatment plan possible.

Sometimes an implant site space needs to be widened or closed by orthodontic treatment for your implant to function properly and look as natural as possible. This may require orthodontic treatment. To find an orthodontist near you, visit the American Association of Orthodontists at

How Will Orthodontic Treatment Correspond With The Implant Process?

Your implant site may be maintained by your braces during the implant placement process. Your braces will hold the space open from the time of implant post placement to the time that your final crown is placed.

You may need a bond graft prior to implant placement. In these cases, your oral surgeon will work closely with your orthodontist to maintain a tooth in the empty site attached to your braces so that you can look good and feel comfortable during the implant process.

Implants Help Keep Your Smile Healthy

Neighboring teeth are not altered or damaged when implants are placed. In fact, implants can help preserve the structure and positioning of your teeth.

Implants also make it easier to maintain the brightness and beauty of your smile. Because they function like a real tooth, implants don’t complicate oral hygiene. You can continue to practice the same great care you always do while brushing and flossing.

There Are Many Different Types Of Implant Treatments

Selecting the ideal treatment method is very important. Here are a few simple illustrations that reference some of these treatment methods. When we visit together, we’ll be sure that you understand everything. You can count us us to help determine what the best course of action will be for you.

Dental Implants Will Improve Your Quality Of Life

If you’re hiding your smile because of a missing tooth (or teeth), stop! Dental implants are a permanent solution and can have a positive impact on your appearance, comfort, and health. They can help give you the confidence you need to smile proudly! So, what are you waiting for?

Call us today and we’ll walk you through the dental implant process, start to finish, and answer any questions you may have.

We’ll Be With You Every Step Of The Way

Implants may take up to 6 months to complete. Your orthodontist will be with you every step of the way working with your general dentist and oral surgeon to make your implant experience and result the best possible.

To learn more about orthodontics and dental implants, visit us at Gorczyca Orthodontics or call us at (925) 757-9000 for a complimentary consultation. We’re here to help you achieve a lasting bite with implants for a gorgeous new smile.

Thank you for being our friends and patients! Do you know someone who could benefit from this information? Please share this post online! Thanks.

Neuromuscular Dentistry Can Help Treat TMD

January 19th, 2015

NEUROMUSCULAR DENTISTRY differs from traditional dentistry in that it includes focused consideration of the muscles and nerves in and around the jaw—and the correct positioning of the jaw—as part of overall oral health.

Neuromuscular Dentistry Can Help Treat TMD

Our teeth, joints, muscles, and nerves all work together in the proper alignment and functioning of our jaw. When any part of this delicate equation is overlooked, painful conditions such as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) and other serious dental problems can develop.

How Does Neuromuscular Dentistry Relate To Orthodontic Treatment?

Orthodontists are well educated and experienced in the treatment of TMD. University-based orthodontic residency programs include working in a TMD clinic where patients with severe TMD problems are treated by a team of specialists to provide a solution to this complex dental problem. To find an orthodontist near you, visit the American Association of Orthodontists at

What Can You Expect From TMD Treatment?

The first step of TMD treatment is a comprehensive radiographic evaluation of the temporomandibular joints and discs by a dental radiologist. Once a diagnosis is made, the patient will be referred to the appropriate specialist to treat the symptoms and remove the cause of the pain.

In situations where the bite is involved, orthodontists make a TMD splint. This splint is made of hard acrylic from mounted study models where your jaw placement is recorded in the most relaxed and natural bite position (centric relation). Hard biting will be relieved from the back of this splint (sometimes called a guard) so that your jaw can settle to the most relaxed and comfortable joint position.

Where Is The Pain?

At Gorczyca Orthodontics, we are usually able to reduce TMD pain within 6 months. When appropriate, patients are asked to wear a TMD splint 24 hours per day and come in for weekly adjustments.

“Where is the pain?” is an important question. When pain is in the joint, the bite may be a factor. After the splint is worn and pain is gone, some patients seek orthodontic treament for permanent pain relief.

Some muscle pain can be caused by grinding and clinching of the teeth (bruxism). This pain occurs at certain times of the day, early morning or after a long commute in heavy traffic. In these situations, the splint is extremely useful for relaxing the muscles and relieving muscle pain.

Pain can also be caused by a tooth or crown being high when biting or making jaw movements. This can be relieved by a small adjustment of the teeth with light grinding (equilibration). For this, Dr. Gorczyca will record your bite, complete the process study models of your teeth on an articulator, show you the result, and then reproduce these changes on your natural teeth for a more comfortable bite.

Hard And Soft Tissues Have A Complex Relationship

We work to make that relationship harmonious. If your jaw is misaligned, many physiological problems can result, including:

  • Headaches/migraines
  • Facial pain
  • Back, neck and shoulder pain
  • Sensitive and sore teeth
  • Jaw pain
  • Limited jaw movement
  • Worn or cracked teeth
  • Clicking or popping in the jaw joints
  • and others…

TMD Affects Millions Of People

Neuromuscular dentistry utilizes modern technology to precisely determine the proper positioning of the jaw, and to place the jaw into its optimal position, which can help relieve the symptoms associated with TMD.

If you have symptoms like those listed above, take a minute and make an appointment with our team. We’d be happy to take the time to visit with you about the benefits of neuromuscular dentistry.

Dr. Gorczyca Has Advanced Training In TMD Treatment

Dr. Gorczyca completed a two year study of TMD in addition to her orthodontic residency program. This study was held at the University of Detroit and called “Advance Education in Orthodontics” AEO.

Jaw pain is complex. There could be rheumatoid arthritis involved or damage to your nerves, muscles, and joints due to trauma or pathology. In these situations, Dr. Gorczyca will refer you to the UCSF Craniofacial Pain Clinic or the TMD Center at Kaiser Hospital for evaluation by an additional team of specialists.

For Temporomandibular Dysfunction (TMD) treatment or neuromuscular bite evaluation, call Dr. Gorczyca at (925)757-9000 or visit us at for a complimentary exam. We are here to help make your life pain free.

And, as always, thanks for being our valued patient and friend.

If You Bite Your Cheek, You May Have A Crossbite

January 9th, 2015

OUCH! WHY DID I DO THAT?... If you occasionally bite your cheek by accident, you may have a posterior crossbite. A posterior crossbite occurs when the upper back teeth are inside the lower back teeth.

When posterior crossbite exists, the inside cheek does not drape out to the side properly. Instead, it can drape inward or get pushed toward the lower teeth during eating. The inside cheek then gets caught between back teeth accidentally when chewing. Ouch!

Crossbite Can Be Painful And Unhealthy

There are two types of posterior crossbites. Posterior crossbites can be all teeth on one side or a single tooth on one side.

Cheek biting is especially painful when second molars are in crossbite and they bite the cheek with a sudden heavy force.

Your Crossbite Can Be Treated By An Orthodontist

Posterior crosssites can be treated as early as age 7.

To find out if you have a posterior crossbite, visit an orthdontist near you. Contact the American Association of Orthodontists at

These crossbites were corrected by orthodontist Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca of Antioch, Calfornia. Visit us at, or give us a call at (925) 757-9000.

Eliminate cheek biting forever. Enjoy dinner. Bon appetite!

How Does Diabetes Affect Orthodontic Treatment?

December 19th, 2014

347 MILLION PEOPLE WORLDWIDE have diabetes, and that number grows every year. Diabetes affects all areas of people’s health, from the skin to the kidneys. Diabetes can also cause severe dental health issues.

Diabetes Increases Gum Disease Risk

Research has shown that people with diabetes are more likely to develop periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a serious health problem that can lead to bone and tooth loss if not properly managed.

Periodontitis Can Also Reduce One’s Ability To Control Blood Sugar

Periodontitis (an advanced stage of gum disease) can make blood sugar levels spike and fluctuate. Additional research suggests that when diabetic patients gain control of gum disease, they can also gain better control of their diabetes.

Can Periodontal Disease Affect Orthodontic Treatment?

Many patients with diabetes needs orthodontic treatment. When bone is lost surrounding teeth, often these teeth move into undesirable positions. Bone loss in the presence of inflammation, as found in periodontitis, can result in unpredictable orthodontic tooth movement during orthodontic treatment.

That’s why, at Gorczyca Orthodontics, we send every adult orthodontic patient for a thorough periodontal examination with a periodontist prior to starting active orthodontic therapy.

Periodontist, Dr. Nancy Dubuk of Deer Valley Professionals, 5201 Deer Valley Road in Antioch, California says:

“A diabetic patient seeking orthodontic treatment can be stable with blood sugars under control with proper monitoring. These patients can maintain their periodontal health well, as long as they are on a good oral hygiene maintenance schedule, both at home and professionally. Once these are established, they can begin orthodontic treatment.”

Help Us Raise Awareness About Diabetes-Related Periodontal Disease

What Can You Do To Prevent Periodontal Disease?

Patients can brush and floss twice per day to prevent periodontal disease. Be sure to have professional cleanings done at least twice per year with your dentist. Ask your dentist to complete a thorough periodontal exam, which includes pockets probing measurements and full mouth series radiographs. If bony pockets deeper than 4 mm exist, early treatment by a periodontist can help prevent further bone loss.

For more information about periodontal disease, contact the American Academy of Periodontology at To find an orthodontist near you, visit the American Association of Orthodontists at

Oral hygiene maintenance and beautifully white straight teeth will help you prevent the danger of of diabetes associated periodontal disease. Let your periodontist and orthodontist help you achieve a beautiful smile.

To learn more about adult orthodontics, call us at Gorczyca Orthodontics (925) 757-9000 or visit us at

Share This Information With Someone You Know

Most of us know at least one person who is affected by these diseases. If you have a friend, family member, neighbor, or coworker who has diabetes or periodontitis, share this information with them! It’s essential that they understand the relationship between these two things—and, what they can do to help improve their situation.

Thank you for your trust in our practice!

Don’t Let Your Insurance Benefits Go To Waste!

November 17th, 2014

THE END OF THE YEAR IS approaching fast! Before year’s end, our team wants to remind you to take a look at your dental insurance benefits!

Insurance Benefits Typically Don’t Roll Over To Next Year

Each year your dental insurance company probably gives you a maximum amount of available benefits. Since those benefits don’t typically roll over into the following year, you’ll want to contact us now to get your appointment scheduled!

We all know how it is, once the holiday season is upon us—hectic! Life can get really busy. So remember that your dental health is incredibly important—not just for the sake of your teeth, but for your overall health. If you’re due (or overdue) for an appointment, make sure to talk to our office. Take advantage of those dental insurance benefits before time is up!

Do You Have Orthodontic Insurance Benefits?

Please visit Gorczyca Orthodontics today for your complementary orthodontic check-up. Our treatment coordinator, Veronica, will check on your orthodontic insurance benefits for you. You, your spouse, and your children may have orthodontic insurance benefits of which you are unaware. These benefits are usually one time life-time.

If you need a general dentist or are new to the area, Gorczyca Orthodontics can help. We work with excellent dentists in our greater East Contra Costa Dental Community and we are happy to give you a referral.

Orthodontic Health Has Long-Term Benefits

Orthodontic health can improve periodontal health, TMJ health, and the elimate snoring, grinding, and sleep apnea. It also will help you look great, feel great, and have more confidence.

You will love the way you look and feel after orthodontic treatment and we at Gorczyca Orthodontics are here to help!

Here’s to the end of 2014 and to a great 2015!

Call us today! (925) 757-9000 Gorczyca Orthodontics

We’re looking forward to seeing you soon!

Tale of Two Openbites: Adult Orthodontics

November 13th, 2014

It was the best of times...

“Have you ever thought of having orthodontic treatment?”

It was the age of wisdom...

“I have already had orthodontic treatment” is often heard with openbites.

It was the epoch of belief...

Openbites are skeletal or dental. They are not caused by tongue thrust.

It was the season of light...

All orthodontic problems can be solved. Adult openbite is one of them.

It was the spring of hope...

Get It Corrected By An Orthodontist For The Best Results

Openbite correction in adults may require extractions, surgery, or placement of temporary anchorage devices (TADs) with braces or Invisalign.

Whether you’re in London, Paris, or Antioch, California, openbites corrected by an orthodontic specialist will give you far, far better results. Your smile will be beautiful, healthy, stable, and possibly “illustrious”.

If you have questions about adult openbite, call Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca at Gorczyca Orthodontics (925) 757-9000 for a complimentary consultation. You can visit us at

To find an orthodontist near you, visit the American Association of Orthodontists at Non-US orthodontists are also members of the AAO or the World Federation of Orthodontists.

Make it your best of times.

What Should You Expect From A Palatal Expander?

November 12th, 2014

WHEN YOU START your orthodontic treatment, we create a specialized plan just for you! We use many methods and tools to give you a unique, personalized, beautiful, well-balanced smile.

Teeth Crowding Is Often Solved With A Palatal Expander

Many orthodontic patients have crowded teeth—often caused by a narrow palate. Crowded teeth can be hard to clean and interrupt the symmetry and balance of your bite. Sometimes, we solve this problem with a palatal expander.

Palatal expander treatment is most effective when patients are young, before the growth plate in the roof of the mouth has fused (which often happens by age 14).

What Can You Expect From An Expander?

Expanders gently help your palate become wider, making room to straighten your teeth. Braced on each side of your mouth, it gently and gradually exerts pressure. Typically, there’s a small key that fits into the expander and is turned at regular intervals.

When you advance your newly fitted cemented expander, it is best at first to be seated. Take a hand mirror to see the arrow and hole in your expander. Remember to use the key front to back and then remove the key at the back of your mouth. Long handled keys are best. If you need help, lay down on the couch and have a parent help or return to your orthodontist for more instruction. Once you are a pro, you can advance your expander yourself while looking in the bathroom mirror.

How Will It Feel?

An expander may feel strange at first. Patients report feeling a little pressure each time the expander is adjusted, but that feeling goes away quickly. You may also find yourself speaking a little differently, or experiencing extra saliva flow as your mouth adjusts to the changes.

Palatal Expanders Are Most Often Used For Crossbites

Crossbites occur when upper teeth sit inside your lower teeth instead of outside. The presence of crossbites may cause you to bite the inside of your cheeks. This problem will go away once your crossbite is corrected.

The Benefits Of Palatal Expansion Are Numerous

Palatal expanders widen not only the roof of your mouth but also your nasal passages. An added benefit of palatal expansion is that it will improve breathing and help prevent sleep apnea. In old age, it will also help you not snore!

The most beautiful benefit of palatal expansion is that you will have a broad smile. In photos, you will show teeth all the way to the corners of your mouth and there will be no "black spaces". Your smile will light up the room.

If You Ever Have Questions About The Treatments We Recommend, Please Ask!

Regardless of the particular appliances and/or treatment plan we recommend for you, the bottom line is that you’re going to FEEL fantastic about the change in your appearance.

We want you to feel confident about your treatment, and excited about your future smile. If you ever have any questions about the process, please talk to us. We’d love to explain the steps that we’re recommending to you!

To find out more about palatal expansion, visit us at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, Calfornia. For a complimentary exam, please call (925) 757-9000 or visit us at

Consider orthodontic palatal expansion today. Your smile will be gorgeous!

Thanks for your trust in our practice!

Sports Mouth Guard Love Story

November 6th, 2014

WHEN I THINK OF DENTAL SPORTS mouth guards, I think of my cousin John. Always the scholar athelete, a few seconds without his dental mouth guard caused him to lose an upper front tooth while wrestling in high school.

It has been reported that sports cause approximately 36% of injuries to children and adolescents. According to the American Dental Association, 10-20% of all sports related injuries are to the jaws and teeth.

It’s Mouth Guard Month At Gorczyca Orthodontics

For this reason, Orthodontist Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca of Antioch, California has made November mouth guard month at Gorczyca Orthodontics.

Having recently returned from the office of Dr. Todd Yerondopoulos, Dentist of the Oakland Raiders, Dr. Gorczyca and her assistant Tiffany are ready to serve local athletes in the fabrication of professional grade sports mouth guards. Custom designs are also available for Deer Valley High School, Antioch H.S., Pittsburg H.S., as well as Liberty, Freedom, and Heritage High Schools in Brentwood, California. Our goal is to prevent sports related dental injuries in our East Contra County community.

But What Ever Happened To Dr. Gorczyca’s Cousin?

What happened next to Dr. Gorczyca’s cousin is the stuff of dental legend. Making the best of the situation, John visited Boston University Dental School for his dental implant, where he became the patient of a beautiful and charming dental student named Maria.

He was so impressed with her passion for dentistry and his love for his new dental implant that he decided to marry her! Thirty four years later, John is the father of three and a leading orthopaedic trauma surgeon making for a romantic ending to this "toothsome" tale.

What Our Team Loves About Dr. Gorczyca

October 29th, 2014

IT’S SO GREAT TO GET UP each day, go to work, and be part of something great—an orthodontic practice that truly cares about our patients. We love helping people smile with confidence. Most importantly, we value the relationships we build with you—and with other team members.

That’s why we’re so grateful for the person who makes it all possible, Dr. Gorczyca.

At Gorczyca Orthodontics, we pride ourselves on Clinical Excellence, Outstanding Customer Service, and a Great Patient Experience. Our team leader, Dr. Gorczyca, emphasizes these core values and these are part of our everyday practice culture.

Dr. Gorczyca is a busy lady! She is writing her second book due to be out by May 2015 on HRM in dental practice management (Us!). She serves on the board of the Northern California Angle Society of Orthodontists, an honorary orthodontic society where she was the first woman ever accepted! She is also serving on the board of the Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists.

Dr. Gorczyca was the first Board Certified Orthodontist in East Contra Costa County. She is a graduate of Wellesley College, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and Northwestern University, and is member of the CDA, ADA, and AAO.

But enough of this! Here's the real scoop:

Why We Love Dr. Gorczyca

As a little surprise to Dr. Gorczyca we wanted to show our appreciation! We asked team members to comment with a favorite memory about her, or something about why they love working with our fearless leader!


“I love Dr. Gorczyca's positive attitude and her bubbly personality! Dr. Gorczyca is an awesome orthodontist! I love working for her. I have been with Dr. Gorczyca for over 15 years. I was her patient, intern, and now I work for her! She has made a major impact on my life and I really appreciate her! OXOX!”


“What I love most about Dr. Gorczyca is that she truly LOVES what she does. She enjoys making her patients feel good about themselves and giving them a reason to smile. I enjoy working for her because she is always so upbeat and
friendly. Dr. Gorczyca is so enthusiastic about orthodontics which inspires me to be as well.”


“Dr. Gorczyca is an AMAZING Orthodontist! I was a patient of hers when I was 12 years old and I always loved coming to my appointments because she was always very upbeat and had tasty gloves! She is always enthusiastic and doesn't let the slightest thing bring her down. Dr. G was, and still is very passionate about the work she does with her patients and their fabulous smiles! I was once a patient, intern and now I am pleased to say that I work for such a fantastic person!”


“I love working for Dr. Gorczyca. Our office gives me the opportunity to interact with our great patients in the way I love most. Dr. Gorczyca also gives me the opportunity as Public Relations Director to regularly visit each one of our referring doctor offices in our greater East Contra Costa Community. I really love doing this! Dr. Gorczyca and Gorczyca Orthodontics is always fun!”

Monica and Veronica:

“Dr. Gorczyca is a wonderful orthodontist who is very passionate about her profession. She recently sent both of us to the American Association of Dental Office Managers Meeting (AADOM) in Southern California. It was a great experience and we appreciate Dr. Gorczyca for giving us this opportunity.”

Thanks for all you do, Dr. Gorczyca!

To Our Patients...

Do you have something to add? Any special experiences that you’ve had with Dr. Gorczyca? Please add your own comments below!

Is Your Bite A High Performance Chewing Machine?

October 13th, 2014

LIKE COGS ON A WHEEL, teeth are made to fit together. With a good bite (occlusion), you can eat your food with the fewest chewing strokes possible. Your food is mashed by your teeth and when soft enough to swallow, you swallow it. This is how you eat.

If your upper and lower back teeth have spaces between them when you bite, you take longer to chew your food.

A Misaligned Bite Can Create Numerous Problems

This bite is called a Class II malocclusion (mal=bad, occlusion=bite). The upper teeth here are 5 millimeters forward of where they should meet the lower teeth giving the appearance of open black spaces. Teeth that only meet at the tips (cusps) wear flat. Tooth wear will create tooth sensitivity to heat and cold.

When upper and lower midlines are not centered, your bite is not healthy. It is a sign that your bite is off.

Effective Orthodontic Treatment Is About More Than Straight Teeth

Front teeth may look straight, but you may still have a destructive unhealthy bite. This is why orthodontics is more than six straight front teeth. It is important to be examined and treated by an orthodontist for the healthiest bite possible.

Orthodontic Rubber Bands Help Us Correct Malocclusion

Front to back bite correction is made with orthodontic rubber bands. These rubber bands move upper and lower teeth towards each other 1 millimeter per month and make the tooth tips fit properly. You need to wear your rubber bands 24 hours per day, 7 days per week to complete your orthodontic treatment as fast as possible.

This treatment took 23 months. Two years is often the treatment time needed for a healthy bite result produced by an orthodontist.

This Case Was Treated At Gorczyca Orthodontics

This case was treated by Board Certified Orthodontist, Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca of Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch California. Visit us at or call us at (925) 757-9000 for a complimentary exam to find out if your bite is right.

Keep the cogs on your chewing wheel running. Turn your bite into a high performance chewing machine.

Getting To Better Know Our Awesome Dental Assistant, Ebony

September 15th, 2014

SOMETIMES, WE’RE  GUILTY OF ASSUMING TOO MUCH, RIGHT? We recently realized that we’ve probably wrongly assumed that ALL of you—our valued patients—know Ebony as well as we do! That’s probably not the case.

So, We Asked Ebony A Few Questions

We asked Ebony a few questions to help you get to know her a little better. Those questions are found below—along with her candid answers! Enjoy!

Where are you originally from?

“I am originally from Antioch, California. My parents named me Ebony because this name was very popular in the 90's due to the magazine and a Stevie Wonder song. I went to Berean Christian High School, and then studied at Sonoma State where I was a biology major.”

What made you decide that you wanted to become a dental assistant?

“I am planning to attend dental school and I hope to become an orthodontist. I originally decided to become an orthodontist because I had braces when I was young. I just loved how my teeth looked when I finished my orthodontic treatment and I always felt that this was my calling to make other people feel the same wonderful way that I did about orthodontics.”

When you started as a dental assistant was there something funny that happened? Do you dare tell us that story?

“I started as a volunteer intern at Gorczyca Orthodontics in the summertime. During that time, I had Dr. Gorczyca proofread my application essay for dental school for fall of 2015. When I described how I used to suck my thumb and how my teeth stuck out, how I had my teeth fixed, and then wanted to become an orthodontist, Dr. Gorczyca said that is exactly her story as well and that I was destined to be an orthodontist! You can see Dr. Gorczyca tell her story HERE on The Wellness Hour with Randy Alvarez!”

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?

“When I'm not at work, I love to cook. I also like to draw and paint. I also work out in my free time.”

What do you enjoy most about being a dental assistant?

“I really enjoy helping people. When I can accommodate them, schedule them, help them with their orthodontic needs, and make them happy it makes me happy. What could be better than that?”

We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know Ebony a little better. Here at our practice we feel really fortunate to have her as a member of our awesome team.

Do YOU Have A Question For Ebony?

If so, please enter it in the comments section below and we’ll be sure to pass it along to Ebony for an answer! Also, as you know, you can always send us private questions or comments on our Facebook page.

Would you like to learn more about our practice? Visit us online at

Thanks for the trust you place in us!

How to Become An Orthodontist

July 25th, 2014

I AM FREQUENTLY ASKED, how does one become an orthodontist?

I Was Inspired By My Orthodontist, Dr. Larry Olivera

In middle school and high school, it’s good to like dentistry, people, and orthodontics. I was inspired in 7th grade by my orthodontist, Dr. Larry Oliviera of New Bedford, Massachusetts to become an orthodontist. I thought his work was fun.

I loved his orthodontic office and looked forward to going there. His brother was our Monsigneur and his sister was one of my mother's best friends. I admired him as a person and thought that he was very nice. If you feel this way about going to your orthodontist, perhaps you should consider becoming one.

I Prepared For Dental School At Wellesley College

There will be several college classes you will need to take for your dental school application. These include: Biology (2) Chemistry (2) Organic Chemistry (2) Physics (2) Calculus (2) and English (2). During Junior year, you will need to take the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) which will test these subjects.

You will need to have a good DAT score and good grades to get into dental school. At Wellesley College, I majored in Molecular Biology and Music.

Research Projects Strengthen Your Application

While in college, it is a good idea to do a research project. This will strengthen your dental school application. In college, I had a research grant and worked at Massachusetts General Hospital in the lab of a young oral surgeon, Dr. R. Bruce Donoff. My research project was “Collagen Synthesis in Wound Healing”.

I was with Dr. Donoff the day he paid off his student loans. Now he is Dean of Harvard School of Dental Medicine! I also had students loans. Don’t let money prevent you from following your dream of going to dental school.

Dental School Is Busy, But Exciting!

Once in Dental School, you will be working full time on your studies. Your classes are assigned. You will take Biochemistry, Physiology, Anatomy, Pathology, Neurobiolgy, Immunology, Pharmacology, Dental Anatomy, Nutrition, and other classes.

Then after two years you take the National Board Part I on these subjects. At Harvard School of Dental Medicine where I went to school, we also took the Medical Board Part I. During Third and Fourth years of dental school you will be treating patients full time. Then you take the National Board Part II Exam on clinical subjects and Regional Board exam on live patients.

Dental School is a lot of fun. You live in the dorm and spend a lot of time studying with your friends. The time passes quickly.

To Be An Orthodontist Requires Additional Training After Dental School

To become an orthodontist or any dental specialist, you must study hard and be near the top of your dental school class. I was the only orthodontist from my dental school class of thirteen students at HSDM '88 to become an orthodontist. After Junior year, you fill out your application for residency and go on interviews to these programs.

I did my residency at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. I loved Chicago and lived two blocks from Oprah! My biggest surprise, however, was that I was the only female student! These guys were like my brothers.

Questions? Please Ask!

To learn more about orthodontics and how to become an orthodontist visit Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California or invite her to come and speak at your school. She would love to see you! At Gorczyca Orthodontics, we love orthodontics, braces, Invisalign, and retainers and being an orthodontist. You will, too!

True Love and Kissing Molars

July 21st, 2014

TRUE LOVE IS RARE. SO ARE “KISSING” MOLARS. The condition of impacted bilateral kissing molars is so rare a phenomenon, it has only been reported five times in the literature.

Kissing Molars Can Cause Complications

“Kissing” or “rosetting” molars are impacted permanent mandibular second, third, and very rarely, fourth molars with contacting occlusal surfaces. The imaginological appearance of “kissing” molars show roots pointing in opposite directions while their occlusal surfaces are in close apposition “kissing” while occupying a single follicular space.

The term “kissing molar” was given by Van Hoof in 1973. Early surgical removal of kissing molars is recommended as this condition can cause complications including formation of dentigerous cysts and other pathologies that can cause destruction of the lower jaw bone. In surgical treatment of impacted kissing molars of the lower jaw, a high resolution conebeam computed tomography (CBCT) can be used to evaluate the relationship of the impacted teeth to the alveolar inferior nerve. In the management of asymptomatic patients, the risk and morbidity of a surgical procedure must be evaluated.

This Case Was Actually Found By Dr. Gorczyca

This case of “kissing” molars was discovered by Orthodontist Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca at Gorczyca Orthodontics, in Antioch, California. If you would like to find out how romantic your molars are, visit us at If you need to find an orthodontist in your area, visit the American Association of Orthodontists at

If you have third molar symptoms, your molars need to elope. To find an oral surgeon in your area, visit the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons at Isn’t it romantic?

More Topics
diplomate american board of orthodontics Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists advanced education in orthdontics
member american association of orthodontists seattle study club american dental association california dental association
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