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

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Too Busy For Orthodontic Care? Not Anymore.

As busy as you are, it may feel impossible to find the time to get orthodontic care for your crooked or misaligned teeth. But don’t be fooled.

You’re busy with life. We get it. From work, to kids, to anything else that comes your way, you may not be able to remember the last time you had “free time”. As busy as you are, it may feel impossible to find the time to get orthodontic care for your crooked or misaligned teeth. But don’t be fooled.

Your dental health is critical. Not getting the necessary treatment could result in the need for even more time consuming care as later issues arise. While the aesthetic value of straighter teeth is widely recognized, the health benefits are often overlooked. Crooked teeth can increase your chances of having gum disease, tooth decay, and even tooth loss. In fact, you may not have the time to NOT receive orthodontic care.

However, if you are worried about the time that orthodontic care requires, there are solutions, one of which is clear plastic aligners. This orthodontic treatment may be the perfect choice for your busy life. Here are some of the most important reasons why.

Aligners Fit Your Lifestyle:

Removable aligners allow you to participate in all your regular activities, from sports and fitness to eating your favorite foods. When it comes to enjoying your favorites, just remove the trays and eat exactly as usual. This saves you the time and energy it may take to prepare “braces safe” meals and snacks.

You also won’t have to significantly change your dental hygiene routine. One complaint we often get about traditional braces is the added time it takes to brush and floss properly. With aligners, simply remove the trays before brushing and flossing to get the same clean you always have. The only difference is that you’ll have to take the few extra minutes to clean your aligners before putting them back in your mouth. 

No More Self Consciousness:

When people say they are too busy for orthodontic care, what they sometimes mean is that they don’t want to have to deal with the hassle and potential embarrassment of wearing braces as an adult. With aligners, you won’t have to worry about trying to hide your smile, both during your treatment and after.

Fewer Emergency Visits:

Traditional braces can sometimes need to be fixed by our office. Either because of a broken wire or another issue, these visits can come at the worst of times for your schedule. With plastic aligners, you won’t have to worry about broken wires, you’ll just need to come in to get your new trays at regularly scheduled intervals. 

While aligners may not be for everyone, it’s worth getting a consultation from our office to see if they may be right for your orthodontic needs. Schedule an appointment today and see the difference that orthodontic treatment can have on your life.

Palos Hills IL Dentist | Simple Tips to Prepare Your Child for Braces

Palos Hills IL Dentist | Simple Tips To Prepare Your Child For Braces

If your child is a candidate for braces, chances are both of you have a least a few questions and potential concerns. Young children and even teens may feel a combination of apprehension and excitement as they begin their journey towards a straighter smile. Here’s what you can do to help them prepare for orthodontic treatment:

1. Include them in discussions about treatment options.

Orthodontia is no longer a one-size-fits-all solution. Talk to your orthodontist about all of your child’s potential treatment options and include your child in the conversation. While metal braces are the most popular choice for children and teens, there may be other methods that are equally effective and affordable.

2. Describe what to expect during treatment.

Ask our orthodontic office to help you anticipate common questions. Plan to be as candid as possible and honest when it comes to discomfort – braces take some getting used to, but assure your child that any potential discomfort will ease with time. Also emphasize the commitment needed to keep their teeth clean during treatment; brushing and flossing will take longer with braces, but the time investment is well worth it.

3. Stock up on soft foods.

Your child’s teeth may feel sensitive for the first few days after getting their braces fitted. Keep them comfortable by stocking up on softer foods that will make eating easier. Rice, pasta, mashed potatoes, soups, yogurt, and pudding are all great choices.

4. Invest in orthodontic wax.

Your child may experience some mouth soreness as they get used to the brackets on their braces. Orthodontic wax offers a thin layer of protection between the brackets and their tender gums. Show your child how to use it so they can keep it handy in their backpack for use at school and during extracurricular activities.

5. Focus on the benefits.

Explaining the benefits of braces to your child will reinforce the importance of adhering to their treatment plan. Children are often impatient and want immediate gratification, so remind them that while a year or two may seem like forever, the pay-off will be a beautiful, self-confident smile they can be proud of for years to come.

If you and your child are embarking on your first orthodontic journey together, we’re here to help. Contact our office for additional tips to set your child up for treatment success.

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Trust Your Smile to an Experienced Orthodontist

Yet, with the rise in popularity of “mail order aligners” and at-home teeth straightening kits, many people are choosing cost-savings over safety when it comes to their orthodontic care. Here are some facts to consider when comparing at-home teeth straightening with traditional orthodontic care:

Few of us would trust our car maintenance to an unlicensed mechanic, or embark on costly home repairs using an inexperienced contractor. Yet, with the rise in popularity of “mail order aligners” and at-home teeth straightening kits, many people are choosing cost-savings over safety when it comes to their orthodontic care. Here are some facts to consider when comparing at-home teeth straightening with traditional orthodontic care:

  • Orthodontic care is not only about aesthetic outcomes. Misaligned teeth can also lead to health problems best addressed by a trained, licensed orthodontist. For example, patients with crooked teeth are more prone to tooth decay and gum disease, and regular office visits during your treatment plan can ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy as your teeth are being repositioned.
  • Safety and supervision go hand-in-hand. When you get your treatment plan in a traditional setting, our orthodontic team oversees your progress to ensure your teeth are moving at the safest, most efficient rate. Our orthodontists can also adjust your treatment plan as needed based on your overall oral health. This type of personalized care is not available if you choose a mail order aligner service, where you are tasked with managing your own care from home, without scheduled office visits.
  • Orthodontic care is a medical treatment, not just a device or a product. The American Association of Orthodontists strongly recommends that consumers only receive clear aligner treatment plans from an experienced, licensed orthodontist to ensure that they receive the safe, high-quality care they deserve. Some of the risks associated with at-home teeth straightening include poor outcomes, damage to teeth roots and gums, and a poorly aligned bite.
  • Aligners may not be right for you. Although many people are good candidates for treatment plans using clear aligners, some will achieve better results using other orthodontic methods like metal braces. Since mail order kits only offer clear aligners, you will not have the benefit of a trained orthodontist who can assess your teeth and your bite to make sure aligners are the preferred approach for you.

Orthodontic care has evolved in recent years and there are more methods than ever to help you achieve a straighter smile. While the less expensive price tag associated with mail order aligners and at-home teeth straightening may seem alluring, the caliber of care offered in a traditional orthodontic office remains the best choice for the long-term health and beauty of your smile. Contact our office today for a complete smile evaluation.

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | The Importance Of Dental Specialists Working Together

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | The Importance Of Dental Specialists Working Together

If you’ve spent any amount of time with missing teeth, you know just how detrimental it can be to your quality of life. You may be ready to finally do something about it and restore your smile with a dental implant. However, if you’ve spent too much time with those teeth missing, you may have a problem.

Teeth have a natural ability to move due to periodontal ligaments and a thin layer of bony-like material called cementum. When you have a full smile, this ability for teeth to shift is not all that noticeable as the pressure from surrounding teeth tend to help everything stay in place.

However, when there is a gap from a missing tooth, the surrounding teeth suddenly have a lot more room to move, and will take up the space quickly. As a result, if you’ve gone a long time with missing teeth, your remaining teeth may have moved into the vacant area, blocking the place where your dental implant restoration needs to go.

In order to remedy this situation and get your mouth ready for your implants, it may be necessary to correct your alignment with orthodontics.

Orthodontic treatment, such as braces, is used to incrementally change the position of your teeth to get them back in place. When your teeth are back in place, your doctor will be able to place the implant. While orthodontics are an extremely effective method of correction, traditional metal braces can be quite noticeable in the mouth.

For those adults who may need orthodontic treatment, there are multiple options to choose from that can fit your lifestyle and your needs. If this is the case, one possible option may be found in the form of clear aligners.

While there are many aligner systems on the market today, many know about Invisalign or have seen a commercial for the system. Changed roughly every two weeks, these plastic trays are worn consistently to achieve the same effect as braces, but with a lower profile.

Regardless of which option works best for your needs, this process speaks to the interrelatedness all dental professionals must share in order to give you the smile of your dreams.  Our office is happy to play its part in helping you smile with confidence again.

If you need to schedule an appointment, or want to ask us any questions about your current treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you smile and look forward to doing so.

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Why Straighter Teeth Require a Professional

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Why Straighter Teeth Require A Professional

Having a great smile with straight teeth is an often sought after look. As orthodontic technology continues to improve with more convenient options becoming available, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to find the best and most affordable options for you.

One thing we can tell you for sure is that when considering options for straighter teeth, it is crucial to consult with an orthodontist. Orthodontists can personally assess your teeth and create an ideal treatment plan for your unique needs. Everyone’s teeth and alignment are different, and a personal, professional touch is a necessary tool for those who want to increase their chances of desirable results. Even thoroughly researched options should still be reviewed by a professional orthodontist before any action is taken. Failure to do so could result in detrimental impacts for you or your child’s oral health.

Nowadays, there are many commercials on television and social media for companies that are looking to sell you plastic aligners and straighter smiles without a visit to an orthodontic office. While this may sound like a positive solution, avoiding orthodontic supervision by a professional may be detrimental to your dental health. Our office has your best interests in mind and wants to make sure your smile is straightened the correct way for lasting oral health.

Working to improve your smile is a big step in health, financial, and emotional terms. Making sure you find the right orthodontic professional to help your treatment go smoothly is important. Don’t allow a non-professional service to ruin your smile with rushed orthodontic care. Our team will work with you to find the best options available to you both personally and financially. If you have any questions, or want to schedule a consultation, contact our office today.

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Why Should I Brush More Often With Braces?

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Why Should I Brush More Often With Braces?

Your braces are made up of many different parts, all of which can possibly hinder your ability to reach the entire tooth surface while brushing. The Wires, brackets, bands, and screws can trap food particles after every meal, even if you feel as if your mouth is perfectly clean. Giving your mouth a quick rinse and brush after meals not only helps to keep your teeth and brace clean, but can also help you sustain great oral health throughout the period of your orthodontic treatment and beyond.

The Best Way To Brush:

Your braces themselves can become a hotspot for bacteria buildup if you aren’t diligent in making sure no food is left behind. When brushing with braces, make sure to get in all the nooks and crannies, as there are many. Brush your teeth at different angles to target the spots between brackets and bands. Remember to take your time – you should expect to be brushing for longer amounts of time and more thoroughly with braces.

It is also important to be regularly rinsing your mouth with water to dislodge anything lingering in your bands or brackets. If you find yourself without a toothbrush after a meal, this rinsing could help remove stubborn food particles left in your braces and protect your from plaque build up or tooth decay.

Brush, But Don’t Overdo It:

Should you be brushing more often with braces? Absolutely, but don’t overdo it. Having braces doesn’t require you to be brushing upwards of ten times a day. It also doesn’t mean that you should be brushing aggressively.

Be gentle on your mouth. You should never be brushing to the point of feeling any pain or discomfort. A thorough rinse and brush in the morning, at night, and after meals will leave you with the healthy smile of your dreams once your braces are removed.

For more tips on optimal oral health, or to schedule an appointment contact our office today. We are here for you.

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Your Braces Survival Guide

The wait to have them removed, including the need to avoid certain foods or habits can be tough, but taking care of your braces will ensure you have a healthy smile when they finally are removed.

Getting orthodontic treatment is a big step towards a straighter, healthier smile. Taking the time to correct your smile is not beneficial to your appearance, but also is a step to improving your oral health overall. The wait to have them removed, including the need to avoid certain foods or habits can be tough, but taking care of your braces will ensure you have a healthy smile when they finally are removed. Following the tips below can help you make it through having braces as easily as possible.

Watch what you eat
Your diet while wearing braces is very important. Avoiding certain foods can help you prevent many problems that may occur with braces. As a general rule of thumb, there is likely a better alternative to most of what we would refer to as “junk food” while wearing braces. Chips or sweets can get stuck in braces, causing plaque to build up faster than normal.

It is also in your best interest to avoid chewing hard foods like raw carrots or apples. These foods, while healthy overall, can damage brackets which may result in additional visits to the orthodontist for repairs. Preparing foods in softer manners or cutting them into small pieces is a preferable way to still enjoy the foods you love without causing any damage.

As a final note, always avoid gum when wearing braces as it can get stuck in many spots and is harder to remove when cleaning.

Keep your braces clean
Maintaining proper oral hygiene is very important when wearing braces, especially after they are removed. Brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush is important to avoid damaging components of the braces. You can also incorporate an interdental brush to better clean hard to reach areas. Floss threaders are also a useful option to get behind the brackets to floss normally. Rinsing your mouth with water is a quick and easy way to remove larger pieces of food stuck in the braces.

Break those bad chewing habits
Chewing on non-food items like fingernails, pens, or ice are habits to break when wearing braces. Picking and pulling on braces is a bad habit that should be avoided as this can cause unnecessary damage to components. Breaking these habits will save you many troubles in the future.

Braces can be tough at times when dealing with them on a daily basis. Avoiding certain foods and maintaining proper oral hygiene is very important to ensuring a positive experience wearing braces. If you have any questions or concerns with your braces, please contact our office today.

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Take Care of Your Braces So That They Can Take Care of You

Take Care of Your Braces So That They Can Take Care of You

So you’ve invested in a set of braces to beautify your smile. Although most of the work will be done for you by your orthodontist and the braces themselves, you still have a part to play in keeping your smile healthy and beautiful by taking care of your braces on a daily basis. The care that you put into your daily brushing, flushing and flossing will make all the difference for your oral health as well as how beautiful your smile will look once your braces are removed.

What Gets Caught In and Around Your Braces?

Orthodontic hardware can become a breeding ground for germs if not cleaned properly on a daily basis. Although we know them simply as braces, when disassembled into parts they include brackets, bands, wires, springs, screws, and elastics, meaning there are quite a few pieces of hardware that stubborn food particles and germs can reside in. When braces aren’t cleaned properly, the germs can linger and multiply in the various nooks and crannies of your orthodontic hardware. Those germ colonies then develop into plaque biofilm, which presents itself as a chalky patch on the tooth around the braces. If these patches are not properly cleaned off of the tooth, the risk of tooth decay is drastically increased. Sugary and acidic foods increase the chances of developing plaque biofilm around your braces if they are not being cleaned daily and properly.

Cleaning Your Braces at Home

The good news is that keeping your braces clean at home is a quick and easy process when done consistently. For great orthodontic health, remember the BFF acronym – Brush, Flush, and Floss.

Brush: Be sure to put some extra time and care into your brushing with braces. Brush your teeth at different angles to get to those hard-to-reach places between brackets. It may even be beneficial to physically hold your lip up to get every last spot. Remember to remove and elastic or bands before brushing, as they can block your brushing efforts and contribute to the development of plaque biofilm.

Flush: Oral irrigation systems, or simply flushing your mouth with water, are necessary for optimal oral health with braces. Water can dislodge food particles from the various parts of your orthodontic hardware, reducing your risk of developing tooth decay or plaque. At-home oral irrigation systems are specialized tools that push a thin stream of water to flush in between your teeth, and are available at local drugstore and retail stores. Oral irrigation systems are recommended but not required for optimal oral health with braces. SImply swishing water in between your teeth after meals and snacks will do the trick, as long as you keep it up regularly.

Floss: Flossing is especially important to keep your braces and mouth clean. OFtentimes a piece of floss or an interdental cleaner is the only tool that can reach in between wires and brackets. It is important to thread floss under the wires of your braces every day in order to stay clean and healthy.

Don’t let the excitement of having your braces removed be overshadowed by dirty or decaying teeth. By learning how to effectively clean your braces, you’ll be sure to end up with a healthy and confident smile.

If you’d like us to show you how it’s done, or need to see us for a follow up appointment, contact our office to schedule a visit. We’ll be happy to provide you with any help or support that you may need in order to ensure you have a beautiful new smile by the end of your orthodontic treatment.

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Malocclusion: More Than Just a Bad Bite

Here, we’ll discuss some of the most concerning effects malocclusion can have on your health and explain why orthodontic care is necessary, and potentially life saving care.

We all know of the aesthetic issues misaligned teeth and jaws can have. However, the issues of malocclusion extend far beyond the aesthetic, negatively influencing both your oral and total body health. Here, we’ll discuss some of the most concerning effects malocclusion can have on your health and explain why orthodontic care is necessary, and potentially life saving care.

Hygiene:

When teeth are not aligned properly, it can make it extremely difficult for your toothbrush to reach all the places that it needs to. When this occurs, it allows plaque and tartar to build up on teeth, potentially leading to tooth decay, periodontal disease, and therefore an even worse bite. Beyond the unenviable prospect of losing teeth due to tooth decay or periodontal disease, this condition also leaves your remaining teeth open to decay in a domino like effect. Avoid this fate and get the orthodontic care you need.

Speech:

In addition to proper hygiene, your teeth and jaw can have serious impacts on your ability to speak properly. From speech impediments to proper breathing, a malocclusion can be a serious hindrance on your life.  

Diet:

This may be one of the effects of a misaligned bite you haven’t thought of. When your bite isn’t working the way it should, it can impact your ability to eat the foods you need to remain properly nutritioned. When this happens, patients can start to eat foods they shouldn’t, gaining serious weight, or not eating at all and losing too much weight.

The huge host of health issues that come from malnutrition and the resulting fluctuations in weight are far too innumerable to list out in this short blog, but you can certainly imagine the damaging impacts for yourself. Among the many are high blood pressure, stroke,  osteoporosis, depression, and some types of cancer.

The good news is that professional orthodontic care can prevent all of these negative effects from occurring in the first place. Our team is dedicated to giving you the healthiest smile possible so that you can enjoy your life to the fullest. To get the care you need, schedule an appointment with our office today.

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | The Importance of Post Orthodontic Care

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | The Importance Of Post Orthodontic Care

When your braces or aligners come off for the last time, the active phase of your treatment has come to an end. This is fantastic news and we’d love to congratulate you. However, if you want your treatment to last, your orthodontic care is not over. The next step is retention.

What is Retention?

Teeth aren’t set rigidly in place. Rather, they’re held by periodontal ligaments that take time to adjust to the new position of your teeth. After you finish with your braces, your teeth still need help to remain in their new position. Without this help, those ligaments will want to move your teeth back into the position they were in before orthodontics. Typically, this help involves wearing an orthodontic appliance called a retainer.

Which Retainer is Best For You?

Each of the three basic retainers available today are best in certain situations for certain needs.

The most common retainer is known as a Hawley retainer. This is probably what you first think of when you hear the word retainer. It involves a thin piece of acrylic molded to fit your mouth and a wire that holds your teeth in position. These retainers are simple, easy to wear and extremely durable.

Another popular retainer is the clear aligner-type. This looks similar to an Invisalign ® tray and is also custom made. Thin, and transparent, this style of retainer is nearly invisible and is easy to put on and take off. While the plastic is durable, it is not as strong as the Hawley retainer and is not recommended for people that grind their teeth.

The last kind of retainer we’ll talk about here today is the fixed retainer. These retainers are not removable and are instead placed in the mouth for years. Put behind the teeth, they are not visible at all and are commonly used for lower front teeth.

Usually, you will only have to wear your retainer 24/7 for 3 to 6 months, although it could be different depending on your individual needs. If you have any questions about post-orthodontic care, contact our team. We will be happy to help you achieve your perfect smile.