Blog

Orthodontist in Palos Hills | Should You Brush Right After Eating?

Orthodontist in Palos Hills

Enamel is the guardian of your teeth and the hardest material in the body. It’s the first defense against harmful bacteria which may lead to tooth decay. When you eat certain foods, it creates bacteria which attack your tooth enamel. Carbohydrates and sugary foods are examples of these foods. Brushing directly after eating can be harmful to your enamel. 

Why this is a problem 

When eating or drinking, the pH balance in your mouth changes. After each bite of acidic food, the pH balance moves towards a level which causes demineralization. The new acidity softens the enamel which can cause bacteria to get into the teeth. Brushing right after you eat may damage your enamel. This is important because enamel protects your teeth from damage.   

Steps you can take to protect your enamel: 

If you’ve had anything acidic, don’t brush for at least 30 minutes.  

Fruits with citric acid are one example. If you are planning ingesting acidic foods or drinks, you can brush beforehand. 

A glass of water will help remove the acid. Follow this by chewing sugarless gum. These steps help create saliva which will help bring back the necessary pH balance needed for a healthy smile. 

Try to avoid soda as prolonged phosphoric acid can cause permanent damage. 

Brushing your teeth twice a day is an important habit for optimal oral health.  

Have you ever been told you should brush your teeth right after eating? While this may sound like the right habit to adapt, this practice could be detrimental to the health of your teeth. Rinsing your mouth with water after eating may be a better option to keep enamel strong. Visit our office for an exam and we can give you for tips for healthy, strong teeth. Call our office today.  

Palos Hills IL Dentist | What Happens If I Don’t Wear My Retainer?

The time immediately following the removal of your braces is the most critical for keeping your teeth straight. Wearing a retainer for the time prescribed by our team is the best way to maintain the smile you have worked so hard to achieve. If you neglect to wear your retainer, your teeth may move back into their original position. This is what may happen if you do not wear your retainer after treatment with braces.

After One Week 

Your teeth will begin to move back into their initial place as soon as your braces are removed. Everyones teeth shift at different speeds and even the slightest shift can impact how your retainer fits. Wearing your retainer at night is especially crucial in the first week to prevent any relapse.  

After One Month 

After a month of not using your retainer, you may notice that your bite has changed and your teeth have started to move back into their original position. At this point, you will need to schedule another appointment with our team to get fitted for a different retainer. You may also need to return to wearing your new retainer during the day as well as at night.  

After One Year 

Going a year without wearing a retainer means that your teeth will have continued to move back to their original position and may even be crooked. The solution may be to restart treatment with braces. By wearing your retainer as instructed, you can prevent this from happening.  

Keeping your teeth straight can be as simple as wearing your retainer after getting your braces off. Not wearing your retainer will make you lose the smile you spent time and money on to achieve. While it may take you a while to get into the habit of wearing a retainer, it will be worth it in the long run. 

Contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation.  

Paul DiFranco Orthodontics Email: pdifrancoortho@gmail.com Phone: (708) 930-5941 Fax: (708) 430-5979 Url: http://www.paloshillsortho.com 10059 S. Roberts Road Suite 2A Palos Hills, IL 60465

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Braces and Swollen Gums

BBraces are a safe and effective way to straighten misaligned teeth at any age. However, some patients may encounter minor complications such as gum irritation. If your gums are red, sore, or swollen, it is important to determine the cause and find an appropriate solution as soon as possible. 

Regular oral hygiene may be challenging with braces. Because of this, plaque can build-up and cause gingivitis, leading to red, swollen, bleeding gums. Children and teens are especially prone to this because hormone changes can accelerate gum disease. When this occurs, teeth and gums can be more difficult to clean, further escalating the issue. 

Your gums may be sensitive with braces. Hyperplasia or hypertrophy can cause gums to grow larger in reaction to the metal brackets and wires. Gums will often return to normal once orthodontic treatment is completed and your braces are removed. 

The pressure of chewing firm foods causes gums to become more irritated and painful. Avoid hard and crunchy foods, such as raw vegetables and popcorn. Habits such as chewing a pen, biting nails, or pressing your tongue against your teeth can all add discomfort, as well. 

To mitigate the effects of swollen, inflamed gums, you can try these basic steps: 

  • Use an electric toothbrush with an orthodontic head for more thorough cleaning. 
  • Try a water flosser to remove debris and bacteria between teeth. 
  • Floss threader and interproximal brushes can clean under and around wires more effectively than a toothbrush. 
  • Ask if a mouthwash containing fluoride or antimicrobial is advised. 
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water containing a pinch of salt to soothe inflammation. 
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco, which increase irritation. 

If gum irritation persists, contact our office for a consultation. We will check to see whether there may be another cause for your inflammation and will advise you on the next steps. 

To schedule a visit, please contact our team

Paul DiFranco Orthodontics Email: pdifrancoortho@gmail.com Phone: (708) 930-5941 Fax: (708) 430-5979 Url: http://www.paloshillsortho.com 10059 S. Roberts Road Suite 2A Palos Hills, IL 60465

Palos Hills Orthodontist |  How to Take Care of Your Retainer

Are you someone who goes days or even weeks without cleaning your retainer? Retainers contain the same bacteria that grows on your teeth. Not cleaning your retainer daily is virtually the same as not brushing your teeth for days. If you want to practice proper oral hygiene, take note of these tips for proper retainer care.

Brush Your Retainer with Toothpaste 

While brushing your teeth at night, remember to brush your retainer as well. Make this a habit and it won’t feel like an extra step. Use a soft-bristled brush and non-whitening toothpaste. Using a soft toothbrush and avoiding abrasive toothpastes is important because repeated scrubbing can scratch the surface of the retainer acrylic which leaves areas for bacteria to grow.  

Don’t Just Wash with Water 

Using water alone won’t fight bacteria. Water can reduce bacteria growth throughout the day, but distilled white vinegar will do a more effective job. Mix one part vinegar to three parts water in a cup and soak your retainer in the mixture for about 15 minutes, followed by a gentle brushing with a soft toothbrush. 

Use Baking Soda 

Baking soda helps restore the pH balance in retainers while also whitening them. Create a thick paste by using half water and half baking soda. The finished product should resemble a light toothpaste and can be applied to your toothbrush. Scrub the retainer gently for a safe disinfectant.  

Use Mouthwash to Fight Off Bacteria 

Only use a mouthwash to clean your retainer if you have verified that the mouthwash is non-alcoholic, since alcohol can damage the retainer acrylic. The best mouthwash to use would be a clear one to avoid staining your retainer. Soak your retainer in the mouthwash for an hour, then remove and scrub gently with a soft toothbrush. This not only fights plaque and bacteria, but also prevents deposits from forming. 

Using Store Bought Retainer Cleaner 

Stores sell cleaners specifically made for retainers, reinforcing that they need to be cleaned. Your dentist can recommend cleaners, and if you choose to use one, make sure to follow the instructions on the package. 

Take care of your oral health by also taking care of your retainer. Built up bacteria in retainers can lead to other health issues, so make sure you get into the habit of cleaning your retainer every night when you brush your teeth using one of the methods we recommend above.  

To schedule your next visit to our office, contact our team

Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills 10059 S Roberts Rd Suite 2A Palos Hills, IL 60465 Phone: (708) 761-4255 URL of Map

Palos Hills Orthodontist | Health Alert: The Downsides of Crooked Teeth

If you have crooked teeth, you may already be looking into orthodontic solutions to improve your smile. However, did you know straightening your teeth can have benefits beyond increased confidence? 

Many people may not realize it, but your oral health plays a large role in your body’s overall health. Poor oral health can put you at a much higher risk of stroke, heart disease, illness, miscarriages, and more. Crooked teeth can impede your ability to take proper care of your mouth, putting you at an increased risk of any number of ailments. Below are some of the most common issues exacerbated by crooked teeth. If you are experiencing any of these issues, contact our office today to see how orthodontic care can offer relief. 

Gum Disease 

Crooked teeth can often be much harder to properly clean than straight teeth. Without regular brushing and flossing, your chance of developing gum disease increases significantly. An untreated buildup of plaque can lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease, the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. Swollen and irritated gums can open the door for bacteria to enter your blood stream and trigger inflammation elsewhere in your body and increase your risk of stroke, heart disease, and more. 

It’s important for everyone to maintain a proper oral care routine and visit their dentist at least twice annually for cleanings and examinations. However, even that may not be enough if your teeth are too crooked to properly clean. We offer a variety of orthodontic solutions to help correct misaligned teeth and make it easier for you to take care of your smile. Visit our office today to learn more! 

TMD/TMJ Pain 

Crooked teeth or an improper bite may increase your risk of developing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). While the most common cause of TMD is the clenching and grinding of teeth, a misaligned bite may be a contributing factor. TMD can cause soreness and discomfort in the jaw, clicking sounds while chewing, headaches, and other facial pain.  

If you have been experiencing jaw pain, an evaluation may help you determine if treatment for TMD is necessary. Correcting a misaligned bite can go a long way in alleviating some of the discomfort caused by TMD. 

Enamel Erosion 

Enamel is the thin, tough shell coating the outside of your teeth that protects them from damage and wear. Though a variety of environmental factors can lead to enamel loss, teeth grinding is another common cause. When your teeth are crooked and your bite does not properly align, the simple acts of speaking and chewing can cause your teeth to grind against each other. When left untreated, this can contribute a degradation in your enamel. 

A loss in enamel can lead to tooth discoloration, increased pain and sensitivity, and cracks and chips forming in your teeth. There is a lot you can do at home to protect your enamel, including drinking plenty of water, avoiding excessively acidic or sugary foods, and brushing and flossing regularly. However, your crooked teeth may limit your ability to prevent enamel erosion on your own.

Contact our office today to see if orthodontic treatment could be the solution you need. 

Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills 10059 S Roberts Rd Suite 2A Palos Hills, IL 60465 Phone: (708) 761-4255 URL of Map

Brushing with Braces

If you’re considering braces or are new to them, you may be wondering the best way to maintain your oral hygiene.  This is probably especially true since wearing braces requires more frequent brushing than before you had them.

Swish to Start

Before you begin brushing, rinse your mouth with water.  This will help loosen food and debris stuck in all the nooks and crevices of your braces and teeth.

Brush, Brush, Brush

Use the same technique you would without braces–angle your brush at a 45-degree angle and start brushing at the gumline.  Once the gumline has been cleaned, move down to the top of the brackets, being sure to angle downward to reach all the way around each bracket.  Once the tops of all the brackets have been brushed, repeat the process for the bottom by angling the brush upward.  Be sure to brush the back of your teeth and the interior surface (facing the tongue).

Between the Teeth

Don’t forget to clean between your teeth, too!  Flossing can be a bit trickier with the braces, so many patients find that using a floss threader makes this process easier.

Swish to Finish

Following the steps of brushing and flossing, use mouthwash to do a final rinse.  This will help sweep away any remaining debris or particles.  Mouthwash will help your whole mouth feel fresher and cleaner.

Contact our office to discuss any questions or concerns you have about your orthodontic care, or to schedule your next visit.  In the meantime, keep up the good hygiene habits!

Orthodontist in Palos Hills | 8 Great Ways to Improve Your Smile

60465 Orthodontist

We all know the importance of making a great first impression. Whether you’re going into a job interview or about to go on your first date with someone new, you want to have the confidence that comes with a great smile. After years of wear and tear however, a lot of people end up with teeth that they’re not completely proud to show off. If you feel unhappy with the way your smile looks, don’t worry; there are plenty of options that can help.

Figuring out the best ways to improve your smile can be a daunting task, but our dental team is here to help, offering a range of services dedicated to helping you look and feel your best.

8 Ways to Improve Your Smile

1.    Teeth Whitening

2.    Dental Crowns

3.    Veneers

4.    Tooth Bonding

5.    Braces or Invisalign®

6.    Dental Implants

7.    Brushing and Flossing

8.    Regular Dental Visits

There are a myriad of ways you can improve your smile. Whether you decide to pursue a more in-depth treatment at our clinic or simply want advice on how to improve your oral health routine at home, our dentists are happy to help. Our highly trained team offers all the state of the art services necessary to help keep your mouth healthy and your smile shining bright.

It’s clear that there are a lot of treatments available for anyone looking to improve their smile. With options for any budget, there’s no reason to wait to begin your journey towards a better smile. To schedule a professional cleaning or to speak with someone about a personalized treatment plan, contact our office today!

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

REFERENCES:

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/ways-to-improve-smile

https://findadentist.ada.org/

60465 Orthodontist | Non-Cosmetic Benefits of Braces

Orthodontist in Oak Lawn

When most people consider the benefits of getting braces, they tend to focus on cosmetic improvements. A better smile is an obvious benefit to orthodontic treatment, but there are plenty more improvements than what you’ll see on the surface.

Whether you have an overbite, an underbite, or your teeth simply don’t meet properly when you close your mouth, braces can be an effective solution. The benefits of a proper bite are innumerable, and treating the problem can help minimize discomfort dramatically. Braces are an investment in the future of your oral health, as addressing potential issues early could help save you years of pain and oral complications. Common benefits of braces include:

  • Corrected Jaw Alignment
    • Reduced Teeth Grinding
    • Reduced Jaw Pain
    • Improved Bite Strength
    • Reduced Speech Impediments
    • And More!

Even if you don’t chronically grind and clench your teeth, having a bite that is not properly aligned will inevitably cause wear as your teeth will be rubbing against each other in ways they ought not. Another common side effect is temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain that can develop in your jaw. If the joint connecting your jaw to your cheekbone is in pain or if you experience a clicking sensation when chewing, you might have a TMJ issue that braces can help correct.

Whether you’re simply looking for an improved smile, or you’re experiencing any of the above complications, you could greatly benefit from braces. For more information about treatment options, contact our office today!

10059 S. Roberts Road Suite 2A
Palos Hills, IL 60465

Phone: (708) 930-5941

Orthodontist in Palos Hills | Say Cheese!

60465 Orthodontist

It has long been known that dairy products contain high amounts of calcium, which is important for developing and maintaining strong teeth and bones. However, not all dairy works in the same ways. Did you know that a recent study has found that cheese can actually help protect teeth against cavities?

How does cheese prevent cavities?

Eating cheese helps stimulate the production of saliva in your child’s mouth, which washes away sugars, acids, and bacteria on their teeth. Additionally, cheese is a great source of both calcium and phosphorous, which can help strengthen tooth enamel. What’s more, the scientists who performed the study found that some of the other compounds found in cheese seem to adhere to tooth enamel, further protecting the teeth from acids in the mouth.

Are all cheeses the same?

No, some cheeses are healthier for your family than others. To get the greatest benefit from your child’s cheese intake, stick with real cheese varieties, rather than processed cheeses. American cheese, cheese dips, and pre-packaged cheese products, such as those found in jars or spray cans, have added sugars to enhance their flavor. These sugars can be harmful to teeth, rather than protecting them. In addition, these types of cheese products contain a significantly reduced amount of actual cheese content. These processed cheeses can even wear down tooth enamel, increasing risk of decay.

What kinds of cheese should I give my child?

There are hundreds of types of real cheese available, which are packed with calcium and great for tooth protection. If your child enjoys aged cheeses, Cheddar, Swiss, Monterey jack are all tasty options. If he or she prefers softer cheeses, Mozzarella, Brie, or Camembert may be a great way to make your child smile. Gorgonzola, Roquefort, and other similar cheeses have much to offer for a child with a more expansive palate.

What if we’re on a low-fat diet?

Good news! The fat content of your cheese choices do not affect its ability to protect your child’s teeth. The low-fat or non-fat versions of your child’s favorite varieties of cheese contain just as much calcium, phosphorous, and other tooth-protecting compounds as the full-fat varieties.

With so many great options to choose from, consider offering your child cheese instead of sugary or starchy options for a snack or end of meal treat. Cheese tastes great and is healthy for your child and their teeth. For more ideas for healthy snacking, contact our pediatric dental office.

Resource: https://www.sciencedaily.com

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

Oak Lawn Orthodontist | 8 Great Ways to Improve Your Smile

Orthodontist in Oak Lawn

We all know the importance of a first impression and its lasting effects on that individual. We value our reputation, and sometimes when we aren’t expecting, a client or friend confronts, we have not seen in a while. The first thing we do smile, say hello, and maybe even notice their smile. Perhaps you and your significant other are taking some much-needed time for yourselves and going out for a night on the town to enjoy a simple dinner and a movie. Inevitably, you will smile, and you’ll to look your best. If we yearn for that perfect smile, there are many options out there available to you, some perhaps at your local dentist’s office to get back to looking our best and achieving this is possible through such procedures as teeth whitening, braces, and brushing and flossing.

For one study, it focused on smiling as it pertains to success and love, looking at when asked the participants responses with the majority agreeing that appearance is an indication of: 

  • Professional success (68)
    • Financial success (64%)
    • Trustworthiness (52%)

8 Great Ways to Improve Your Smile

  1. Whitening your teeth.
  2. Crowns
  3. Veneers
  4. Bonding
  5. Braces
  6. Implants
  7. Brushing and flossing
  8. Regular dentist visits

It’s clear that through a simple measure of how someone who is being perceived to have a great smile is also looked upon in higher regard, maybe even helping our confidence through an interview or feeling confident when taking that family picture. These are the solution to improving your smile, all that’s left if for you to make that time and enjoy your foolproof way of achieving and improving your smile. The how has now been answered and the when we will take back our smiles and do so with confidence. Below you will find links to some of those, and how to set up an appointment with our office. Finally, in most instances, it is as simple as adding a tooth whitening kit. For more information on these different options available to you, or to schedule your appointment contact our office below.

Annual checkups to our dentist can often provide us with additional options furthering our smile. If we want a foolproof smile, we must take the first step and schedule a visit to our dental office and get routine cleanings.

10059 S. Roberts Road Suite 2A
Palos Hills, IL 60465

Phone: (708) 930-5941