PALOS HILLS ORTHODONTIST
10059 S. ROBERTS RD. SUITE 2A
PALOS HILLS, IL 60465

Medications That Can Affect Your Oral Health | Orthodontist Palos Hills

Orthodontist in Palos Hills IL
Orthodontist in Palos Hills IL

If you have braces, you know how important it is to take extra care of your oral health. This is even more critical if you also take medications. 

Orthodontist in Palos Hills IL

Nearly half of all Americans take prescriptions for a medical condition, and more than half take vitamins or other dietary supplements, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Even when used as directed and under medical supervision, you may experience medication side effects that can impact your oral health.

Here are a few side effects of common medications and supplements

Gum Tissue Enlargement

Overgrowth or enlargement of gingival (gum) tissue may occur as a side effect of certain medications. These include anticonvulsants, immunosuppressants, and calcium channel blockers. Patients taking these medications must pay special attention to keeping teeth and gums clean to prevent inflammation.

Dry Mouth

Some medications reduce saliva production, including certain antidepressants, muscle relaxants, diuretics, antacids, decongestants, and antihistamines. When your mouth does not produce enough saliva, it is more susceptible to inflammation and infection, tooth decay, and other oral health problems.

Abnormal Bleeding

Blood-thinning medications may lead to excessive bleeding during treatment for periodontal conditions. Tell our orthodontist if you are taking this kind of medication or a blood-thinning supplement before scheduling treatment.

Soft Tissue Reactions

Inflammation, oral sores, or soft tissue discoloration can be a side-effect of some medicines. These include minocycline to treat acne, some oral contraceptives, chemotherapy medications, immunosuppressive agents, and certain blood pressure medicines. If you experience this type of reaction, we may be able to prescribe a special oral hygiene regimen to alleviate your discomfort.

Fungal Infection

Oral candidiasis is a fungal infection that can affect people who use oral inhalers for asthma and other breathing conditions. We encourage patients with inhalers to rinse their mouth thoroughly with water after using their inhaler. Other medications that cause oral yeast infections include antibiotics, steroids, and chemotherapy drugs.  

Tooth Decay

You already know to avoid sugary foods while wearing braces, but did you know that many medications contain sugar to improve flavor? This is especially true for children’s medications. When sweet liquids, chewables, and lozenges are used over time, the sugar left on the teeth can increase the risk of tooth decay. Whenever possible, choose capsules or sugar-free versions of medications, or rinse well after taking sweetened medicines. 

If you have concerns about the effects of medications while wearing braces, contact our Palos Hills Orthodontist for advice. 

Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills
Phone: (708) 930-5941
10059 S. Roberts Rd. Suite 2A
Palos Hills, IL 60465

The Benefits of a Retainer After Orthodontic Treatment | Orthodontist Palos Hills

Palos Hills Orthodontist
Palos Hills Orthodontist



Most orthodontic treatment consists of traditional braces or aligners. Both move teeth slowly into new positions to correct misalignment. This ensures both a straight smile and an even bite. However, once braces have been removed or the last aligner used, you will most likely need an orthodontic retainer. 

It is vital to follow through with the retention phase to maintain your newly straight smile. Proper retainer use will yield the results you have waiting a long time to achieve.   

Palos Hills Orthodontist

How Orthodontic Retainers Work

The process of shifting teeth with braces involves the subtle building and breakdown of bone in the jaw. Once your teeth have been moved into their final place, bone must harden around them to keep them in position. Your retainer does that job.   

Types of Retainers

Here are three types of retainers that orthodontists typically recommended:

  • Traditional retainers – This removable appliance is made of acrylic and a wire arch that sits on the front side of the teeth.
  • Clear retainers – This is a removable, clear plastic tray that fits over the teeth.
  • Bonded retainer – Also called a permanent retainer, this is a fixed wire bonded to the lingual (tongue) side of the teeth. It may be worn for months or years.

Our orthodontist will provide the best retainer option for your orthodontic treatment plan. If yours is removable, be sure to wear it as directed. Keep in mind that your teeth have been in active treatment for months, or perhaps years. Wearing your retainer right after treatment for the designated amount of time is critical to successful treatment.  

Caring for Your Retainer

Regular cleaning is an important part of retainer care. When it is not in your mouth, keep your retainer in its case. Bacteria can build up on it just as they do on teeth, making the appliance less hygienic and possibly affecting the fit.

Clean your removable retainer with a wet toothbrush. Thoroughly rinse it with water before placing it back in your mouth. If it is removable, disinfect it regularly by soaking it in a cleansing solution our doctor will recommend. 

Bonded retainers need to be handled like braces. That means twice-daily brushing and flossing in a way that thoroughly cleans all interdental surfaces.  

For more information about your retainer, or if yours gets lost, contact our orthodontist in Palos Hills office. 

Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills
Phone: (708) 930-5941
10059 S. Roberts Rd. Suite 2A
Palos Hills, IL 60465