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

Why You Shouldn’t Skip Flossing Your Teeth | Dentist in Palos Hills, IL 60465

Why You Shouldn't Skip Flossing Your Teeth
Why You Shouldn't Skip Flossing Your Teeth

Wearing braces means you need to double up on efforts to keep your mouth clean. That means brushing twice a day or after meals, as well as flossing. That last step stumps some people when they first get outfitted with traditional braces, but it doesn’t have to. 

Removing food particles and plaque between teeth requires some adjustments while wearing braces. The wires, brackets, and bands can be trickier to get in between, but it can be done with some patience, extra time, and some simple tips.

  • Use the right amount of floss.  Too much or too little can make flossing more difficult. The American Dental Association recommends using 12 to 18 inches of floss. Ideally, you should use a clean section in between each tooth.
  • Experiment with different kinds of floss. Waxed floss and dental tape slip between teeth more easily than the unwaxed variety, making it less likely that you will damage your wires. Both options are also less likely to shred and leave pieces of floss stuck in your orthodontics. Waxed floss works best for tight teeth while tape is generally easier to use in wider spaces.
  • Use a floss threader. This inexpensive dental tool resembles a tiny lasso and works like a (dull) sewing needle and thread. It lets you pull the floss through the teeth above the wires. This allows you to floss between your teeth at the gum line, which is important for maintaining healthy gums. Floss threaders are available at the drugstore, supermarket or online. They are meant to be disposable, so use a new one each time you floss.
  • Look into other interdental cleaners. Water flossers can help blast away food particles around brackets and between teeth, while interdental brushes can help remove debris when flossing is not convenient. While dental floss is your best defense against tooth decay, our team can talk to you about these adjuncts to proper oral hygiene with braces.  
  • Help younger children with their flossing. Flossing successfully, especially with braces, requires a degree of manual dexterity that younger wearers may not have. Time, practice, and help from an adult are the best solutions. Impress on kids the importance of cleaning every tooth surface to avoid tooth decay and gum problems while they are wearing braces.

Maintaining proper oral hygiene habits while wearing braces will help ensure that when the orthodontics come off, the wearer will have the beautiful and healthy smile they have always wanted. We welcome your questions and are happy to help demonstrate good oral hygiene with braces for your child.  Call our 60465 orthodontist today.

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

Unexpected Uses for Toothpaste | Palos Hills, IL 60465 Orthodontist

Unexpected Uses For Toothpaste |
Unexpected Uses For Toothpaste |

Toothpaste does a great job of keeping your teeth clean but there are many other, unexpected uses that you might not have considered. The same ingredients that help polish teeth can also prove to be a real helper around the house. Here are a few toothpaste tips that go beyond keeping your smile bright and mouth healthy. 

Dry out pimples. This is a time-honored trick that is even used by Hollywood stars. Apply toothpaste to pimples before bedtime and wash the dried paste off in the morning. This will dry out the affected area and speed up the healing process.

Prevent mirrors from fogging. Rub toothpaste on mirrors and wipe it off before your next shower. This will help you save time waiting for the mirror to clear up and streamline your morning routine.

Relieve irritation from bug bites and stings. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to bee stings and insect bites to stop the itching and decrease swelling. The toothpaste dries out the wound and helps it heal more quickly.

Remove crayon and other marks from painted walls. Rub toothpaste on a damp cloth gently on a marked-up wall and watch the marks disappear. The best part is that it won’t remove most types of wall paint.

Make silver jewelry and diamonds sparkle. Rub toothpaste onto jewelry and leave it on overnight. Wipe clean with a soft cloth in the morning. You can also shine diamonds by gently scrubbing them with a very soft toothbrush, some toothpaste, and water.

Remove scuffs from shoes. Apply toothpaste directly to the dirty or scuffed area, then scrub with a brush and wipe clean. Stubborn stains may require another round or two.

Remove scratches on DVDs and CDs. If you have any old CDs or DVDs that you want to preserve or convert to digital, toothpaste can rub out shallow scratches and smudges. Apply a thin coating, rub gently, and rinse. Repeat if needed.

Deodorize hands. Pungent foods, cleaning products, and fragrances can linger on your hands no matter how many times you wash them. Try washing your hands using a small dab of toothpaste in addition to soap and water.

Fill in small nail holes. Squeeze toothpaste into the hole and use a putty knife or your finger to remove the excess. Let the toothpaste dry and your wall will look good as new. If needed, you can also use touch up paint right over the toothpaste.

It doesn’t matter whether you use toothpaste with fluoride or without, but the mild abrasives and drying action of white pastes usually work better than tooth gel. Give some of these ideas a try, and at your next appointment with our 60465 orthodontist, be sure to let us know the unusual ways you used toothpaste.

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

Orthodontist in Palos Hills | 6 Fascinating Facts About Your Toothbrush

palos hills il dentist
palos hills il dentist

Most of us don’t give our toothbrush much thought, but we should. From its fascinating origin to its dirty little secrets, here are six fascinating facts about your toothbrush. 

  • Where Did Modern Toothbrushes Originate?

It is believed that the first modern toothbrush was invented by a prisoner in England. Sometime around 1780, William Addis created a toothbrush from bone and used swine bristles for the brush. The first electric toothbrush in the U.S. was the Broxodont, manufactured by Squibb in 1960. 

  • Ancient Toothbrushes

Long before Mr. Addis invented what we know as the toothbrush, ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, and Chinese crafted tools for teeth-cleaning, including chew sticks that were fashioned from split twigs with a frayed end. It’s believed the Chinese invented the first handled toothbrush, fashioned from bone or bamboo with boar bristles, in the 13th century. 

  • What are Toothbrush Bristles Made of?

Boar bristles were used until the late 1930s, when Dupont de Nemours introduced the nylon bristles we use today. The first toothbrush of this kind was named Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush. 

  • Thank a Soldier for Modern Tooth Brushing Habits 

GIs coming home from World War II carried their fastidious tooth-brushing habits back home, and helped spark the daily oral hygiene trend that we know today. 

  • What Color is Your Toothbrush?

Blue is the most common color for manual toothbrushes. The second most popular color is red.

  • A Home for Bacteria

The average toothbrush carries more than 100 million bacteria. Most are found in your mouth, which is why you don’t get sick. However, you could catch an illness if you don’t change toothbrushes regularly. It is easy to disinfect them. Ask us how. 

Now that you are a toothbrush expert, spread the word about the importance of regular brushing. Be sure to brush for two minutes twice each day. The American Dental Association recommends that you change your manual toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every few months and more often if you have a weakened immune system or have been sick recently. 

For more dental care tips, or to schedule your next visit to our office, please contact our Orthodontist in Palos Hills.

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

Palos Hills, IL Orthodontist | Am I too Old For Braces?

dentist in palos hills
dentist in palos hills

Many adults who never had orthodontics but needed them as kids are self-conscious of their smiles; yet they wonder if they are too old for braces. The answer is most likely no. 

Straight teeth can help you bite, chew and, in some cases, speak properly. They also contribute to overall oral health. Properly aligned teeth and jaws may alleviate or prevent some physical health problems, too. Of course, an attractive smile can also have a positive mental health impact, boosting your social life and self-esteem.

Would an adult patient benefit from orthodontics?

In most cases, yes! Many adults seek orthodontic treatment to improve their smiles and maintain good oral health. Teeth can be adjusted at any age to create a healthy, straight new smile. Many orthodontic problems can be corrected as easily for adults as for children.

Benefits of adult braces

When teeth are properly aligned, they are easier to keep clean and therefore less prone to decay and gum disease. Straight teeth collect less plaque. Bacteria in plaque feed on the carbohydrates that we eat and drink. These bacteria excrete acids that cause decay. Plaque can also increase the risk of periodontal disease. Why not straighten teeth to lower your risk?  

What is the best age to visit the orthodontist?

Adults and children of all ages can benefit from orthodontic treatment. For children, the American Association of Orthodontics recommends the first visit to an orthodontist around the age of seven. There, the orthodontist can look for any potential issues that may be addressed now or as the child grows. Some orthodontists report seeing patients in their 80s and 90s!

What conditions can braces address in adults?

As an adult, you are no doubt used to your bite. That overbite might prevent you from eating, say, corn on the cob, but you’re long accustomed to cutting the kernels off. That crossbite might make it tough to floss, but you’ve resigned yourself to a less than clean mouth. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the teeth you’ve always dreamed of in a few months? 

It’s not too late to get braces if you live with these conditions: 

  • Crowding
  • Spacing issues 
  • Overbite 
  • Crossbite
  • Under-bite
  • Jaw misalignment

Will braces hurt?

Although braces don’t hurt, in the first couple days after initial fittings and adjustments you may feel a slight discomfort. This feeling is temporary and means that your teeth are being gently and slowly moved into the right place.

If I have braces, do I need to brush my teeth more often?

When you have orthodontics, it is important to brush your teeth around four or five times a day. This means brushing after every meal if possible, to prevent food from getting stuck. You should also floss after meals using special floss threaders and other appliances. It can be a tricky process at first, but you can certainly master it more easily than a child. 

How long does adult orthodontic treatment take?

The duration of treatment can depend on many different variables. However, there are things you can do to make sure the process goes as quickly as possible. If you are required to wear rubber bands, for example, make sure to follow the instructions you receive. It is important to note that orthodontics can’t be rushed, or you risk permanent damage to the tooth nerves.

How often should I visit my regular dentist while I have braces?

It is particularly important to keep up with your general dentist appointments when you have braces. With orthodontics, it is easier for food to build up in places where your toothbrush can’t reach. This means going to see your general dentist regularly for a checkup every six months — or as directed — to ensure your teeth stay clean and decay-free.

Will having braces interfere with playing sports or playing a musical instrument?

No, braces will not prevent you from participating in activities such as playing sports or musical instruments, although it may take a little getting used to at first. However, if you are playing a sport, talk to our orthodontist in Palos Hills to see if you should wear a mouthguard.

Finally getting the smile you have always wanted is easier than you think. Conventional braces and invisible aligners can make a big difference in your life at any age. Contact our Palos Hills Orthodontist to discuss our options. 

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

Orthodontist Palos Hills | Make Your Smile Last

Orthodontist Palos Hills
Orthodontist Palos Hills

When most orthodontic treatments end, patients will still need help retaining their new smiles. This is commonly done with a retainer. If you want your orthodontic treatment to have lasting effects, it’s pertinent that you wear your retainer as directed by your orthodontist in Palos Hills.

Once your orthodontic treatment is complete, you’ll be given one of three different types of retainers:

  • Traditional Retainers – A removable piece made of acrylic and wire that attaches to the top of your mouth and sits on the front side of your teeth
  • Clear Retainers – A removable, clear plastic tray that fits over your teeth
  • Bonded Retainers – A thin, fixed wire that is temporarily attached to the inside of the anterior teeth

How Should I Wear My Retainer?

Our orthodontist in Palos Hills will provide you with solid options suited for your treatment plan. Your retainer should be worn as often as you’re instructed to do so. Even though your teeth have been under constant stress for the past couple years, wearing your retainer right after treatment is necessary. Depending on your dentist’s instruction, retainers should be worn at all times.

How to Clean a Retainer

Because wearing your retainer is a crucial part of your orthodontic treatment, it’s important to keep it clean. Bacteria and plaque can pose a threat to your retainer, just like your teeth. To prevent buildup, make sure you’re cleaning it regularly.

Regardless of what material your retainer is made of, the cleaning process will be nearly the same. Start by wetting your toothbrush and scrubbing the mouthpiece from top to bottom. Be diligent around small crevices. Also remember to regularly disinfect your device by letting it sit in mouthwash or an approved cleaning solution. Before placing the retainer back in your mouth, remember to rinse it with cool water.

Be sure to contact our Palos Hills orthodontic office for more information about your retainer, and protect that smile you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

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

60465 Orthodontist | What to do When Your Braces hurt

Orthodontist Palos Hills
Orthodontist Palos Hills

Getting used to orthodontic braces can be an uncomfortable experience. However, loose brackets or wires can also cause pain, an issue that could cause bigger problems if not addressed quickly. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of your oral health. Here are a few remedies to help with mild irritation; however, be sure to contact your Palos Hills orthodontist if any of these problems persist.

Irritation and Soreness

When you get your first set of braces, minor discomfort is common for the first few days. Your lips, cheeks and tongue won’t be used to the metal in your mouth, so they might rub against the wires or brackets and become scratched or irritated.

If your braces continue to cause irritation, here are a few things you can do to address it. First, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. A dry mouth tends to worsen the irritated areas. Next, be sure to regularly brush and rinse your mouth to limit the food or debris that could contribute to the irritation. Third, remember to use wax to cover the irritating parts of your braces. If the soreness continues, schedule an appointment with our orthodontist in Palos Hills to further examine the problem.

Damaged Braces

While unlikely, it’s possible for your braces to become damaged while you are wearing them. Perhaps the most frequent issue is when brackets or wires become loose or dislodged. These issues are no cause for panic, as our team is able to quickly address the problem. Schedule an appointment with our orthodontist in Palos Hills soon as possible to have your braces corrected.

Oral Injuries Caused by Braces

While wearing braces, you’re also more likely to become injured when doing physical activity. Try wearing a mouthguard when participating in sports or workouts to reduce the risk of damage to your tongue, lips, and cheeks. You can also apply wax to the parts of your braces that are causing the most irritation to avoid serious cuts.

Of course, not everyone who has braces ends up harming themselves, but there are risks with metal in the mouth. Being proactive against potential injuries is the best form of prevention but if you experience any pain or discomfort when wearing braces, contact Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills for a fast appointment.

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

Palos Hills Orthodontist | The Best Way to Floss With Braces

After getting a new set of braces, many people find there’s a learning curve with maintaining their oral hygiene. Flossing through your new brackets and wires, in particular, may take a little more effort, but it’s important: The last thing you want after enduring months or years of mouth hardware is decay on those straight new teeth.

It’s important to heed your Palos Hills orthodontist’s recommendation on products to use for cleaning between teeth and around wires and brackets. He can also advise you on the best brushing and flossing methods for your particular appliance. Here are some basic tips on flossing with braces.

Use a floss threader. This small, plastic, disposable tool allows you to weave strings of floss between your wires and between your teeth. It is an important part of the brace’s hygiene routine, as it allows you to floss your teeth all the way up to the gum line, where plaque can build. Flossing with a threader may require some practice to master, but it can make a seemingly difficult task quite simple. 

Waxed floss or dental tape. Many dentists prefer waxed dental floss for braces because it is less likely to get caught on bracket edges and wires, and it glides easily between teeth. Dental tape, which comes in waxed and unwaxed types, may be helpful for people with large gaps between teeth.

Consider an oral irrigation device. Commonly known by the most popular brand name, Waterpik, this device delivers pulses of water to targeted areas. Although it’s sometimes called a water flosser, it does not replace flossing because it does not eliminate plaque. Still, it can help remove particles of food from between brackets and teeth. It may also help prevent gum disease.  

Don’t floss too vigorously. Braces make gums tender, a problem that can be exacerbated by poor oral hygiene. This can create a vicious circle of pain, avoidance, and more pain. Work slowly and gently, especially at first. Be sure to rinse with mouthwash and water after flossing to dislodge food particles.

Helping children learn to floss. Flossing teeth properly can be a difficult skill for younger children to master, and it’s even more challenging when they are wearing braces. You may need to help them floss at first. To make it easier, tie waxed floss to a floss threader so it doesn’t slide out, and always direct the threader under the arch wire from the gum line toward the tongue. This will avoid poking sensitive gum tissue.

Proper brushing and flossing while wearing braces are vital to sustain long term oral health. Need guidance? Ready for braces? Contact the orthodontist in Palos Hills to schedule an appointment today.

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

Orthodontist in Palos Hills | How to Brush Your Teeth with Braces

Brushing your teeth after getting a new set of braces can make for quite a change in your daily routine. Your teeth will require extra care with orthodontics, so here are a few tips to help with the daily brushing process.

Start by rinsing

Before you pick up a toothbrush, rinse your mouth with water. The swishing action will loosen some of the remaining debris stuck between your teeth.

Brush away

Start brushing your teeth with the same technique you would use without braces but try angling your brush at the area above your top brackets. Once the gum line has been cleaned, brush around the brackets. Angle your toothbrush so that you’re reaching completely around each bracket. Take your time. After you’ve finished brushing your top teeth, move to the bottom row using the same angle technique. Don’t forget to brush the back and biting surfaces, as well.

Take your time with the floss

Flossing may take a little more time and patience when you have braces, but make sure that you’re getting in between all of your teeth. The best way to get into spaces around brackets and wires is with a floss threader and interdental brushes.

Finish with a rinse

After you’re done with brushing and flossing, remember to finish with a swig of mouthwash. This last step will clear out any remaining food debris that was dislodged from brushing.

If you have any questions or concerns about your oral hygiene, our Palos Hills orthodontist can help you find the best solution. Contact Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills today to learn more about protecting your smile.

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

Palos Hills Dentist | 6 Things You Never Knew About Braces

Oak Lawn orthodontist

The desire for straighter teeth goes back thousands of years. We’ve come a long way in improving our smiles. Braces have evolved over time to become more comfortable and efficient. Here are six things you probably never knew about braces.

  1. Ancient Egyptians May Have Wanted Straighter Teeth

Archaeologists have found mummies with cords wound around their teeth, likely to straighten them. What were these ancient braces made from? Animal intestines. Thankfully, our orthodontist has more modern materials to work with!

  1. You’re Not Alone

An estimated 4 million people in the US currently are wearing braces or another device to correct their teeth. That’s a little more than the number of people living in Los Angeles.

  1. Getting Braces is a Little Like Rocket Science

NASA scientists were looking for a flexible material for solar panels and turned to a metal called nitinol 60. As nitinol heats up, it reverts to its original shape. Today, nitinol is used in braces. The heat from your mouth makes the metal return to its original shape, helping guide your teeth to where they should be.

  1. Wear Your Retainer!

Did you know that an estimated 25% of braces wearers neglect to wear their retainer? Many end up needing a second set of braces. Don’t be one of the 25%. Wear your retainer for lasting results and a perfect smile.

  1. Braces Are Older Than America

If you consider 1776 to be the birth year of America, braces have another 48 years on the United States. The first modern braces were developed in 1728 by Pierre Fauchard. He used flat metal brackets and connected the teeth using thread.

  1. Busting Braces Myths

You don’t have a greater chance of being struck by lightning when wearing braces. Your braces also can’t interfere with any radio signals. Take some comfort in knowing not everything you’ve heard about braces holds true.

Though braces have been around for hundreds of years, today’s braces are more efficient and comfortable than in the past. Our experienced orthodontic team will help you get the results you desire. If you are ready for your perfect smile, set up a consultation with us today.

For more information about braces or to schedule your orthodontic consultation, please contact our Palos Hills orthodontic office.

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

Orthodontics in Palos Hills, IL | Healthy Teeth for Sick Kids

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist

Along with cooler weather and the end of year school break, winter brings the return of cold and flu season. When you are focused on a child with a fever, cough, or vomiting, it can be easy to question getting them out of the sickbed to brush their teeth. However, keeping mouths clean and teeth healthy can be even more important during illness. Here are some useful tips for protecting your child’s oral health when they’re sick.

Brush and floss

Brushing and flossing helps prevent build-up of harmful germs and bacteria in your child’s mouth. This helps keep their immune system focused on fighting the cold or flu virus. If your child’s illness includes vomiting, their teeth are exposed to acids that can weaken teeth. Help them rinse thoroughly and brush their teeth to avoid damage.

Hydrate

When your child is sick, they need plenty of water to stay hydrated, soothe a sore throat, and keep sinuses moist. In addition, dry mouth can occur during illness and increase risk of tooth decay. Drinking water helps combat dry mouth and congestion.

Watch out for sugars

Cough drops and cough syrups can contain high amounts of sugar to improve the medicine flavor. However, this can leave sugary residue on the teeth. Look for sugar-free options when possible and rinse well after any medicine with sugar.

Disinfect dental appliances

If your child has a dental appliance, such as a retainer, athletic mouth guard, or night guard, be sure it is cleaned thoroughly between uses. Contact our office for information on the type of cleanser that is appropriate for your child’s device.

Follow-up

When your child is well again, replace their toothbrush. Even a clean toothbrush may retain some bacteria or germs following use. To help protect your child from reinfection, discard the used toothbrush in favor of a new one.

For more tips on keeping teeth healthy through an illness, contact our office.

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