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

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Easy Flossing Alternatives to Preserve Your Healthy Smile

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Easy Flossing Alternatives To Preserve Your Healthy Smile

If there is one recommended dental habit that many people struggle to embrace, it’s flossing. Whether you find traditional thread flossing challenging to maneuver, messy, or just time consuming, you are not alone. However, The American Dental Association (ADA) and our Palos Hills orthodontist wants you to be able to floss regularly and thoroughly. Consider these effective alternatives to remove unwanted plaque from the places your toothbrush simply can’t reach.

1.) Disposable Floss Pick

These convenient little tools have plastic handles and Y-shaped prongs that come pre-threaded with floss. No measuring, snipping or finger threading required. Ideal for travel and on-the-go use, simply grab the handle, insert the floss between your teeth, and when done, toss the tool away.

2.) Non-Disposable Floss Picks

Fashioned with a longer handle than their disposable counterparts, these picks may be an excellent option for patients with small mouths and/or crowded teeth. They also help to make reaching back teeth a breeze.

3.) Water Flossers

Electronic flossers use streams of pressurized water to clean between your teeth. There are many different models to accommodate price preferences, and most offer adjustable pressure settings to ensure your comfort during use.

4.) Interdental Brushes

Designed to look like tiny toothbrushes, interdental brushes are especially effective for those who wear braces. They are also a nice option for patients with mobility issues who struggle with traditional flossing. Another plus? Like toothbrushes they can be used repeatedly – simply ask our office when we recommend replacement.

5.) Air Flossers

These high-tech tools use air pressure combined with a small amount of water to keep teeth and gums clean and healthy. Considered to be less messy than their water-based cousins, air flossers offer easy point and click instructions – just aim the flosser between your teeth and a blast of air does the rest.

Keeping the spaces between your teeth and gums free from plaque and tartar is essential to your oral health. Finding tools and techniques that work for you is the first step towards establishing lifelong habits that lead to a lasting, healthy smile. Consider any of these flossing alternatives or contact our Palos Hills orthodontist for a recommendation. Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills will be happy to evaluate your unique needs to help you find the solution that is right for you.

 

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

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Facts You May Not Have Known About Oral Cancer

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist

According to The American Academy for Oral Systemic Health, oral cancer claims one American life every hour of every day. Unfortunately, most cases go undetected until it is too late, making the need for regular examinations of even greater importance. Those who are proactive and seek treatment early have the best chance of beating the disease and living a long, healthy life. Below are some facts you may not have known about oral cancer, including warning signs, trends, and more.

1.) Oral Cancer Affects More Men Than Women

No matter your gender, you should be aware of the very real dangers of oral cancer. While studies conducted by the Oral Cancer Foundation have shown that oral cancer is one the rise among women too, a 2:1 incidence ratio between men and women still remains. This correlation may be due to the fact that, statistically speaking, men smoke and drink more than women. Regardless of your own habits, remain aware of the signs and symptoms and ask your doctor to perform a regular oral exam if they do not already.

2.) Each Year, 450,000 New Cases Are Discovered

As such, it is likely that oral cancer has affected someone in your life. Whether you know someone who has had, or is currently dealing with their own struggle against oral cancer, you should know that they are not alone.

3.) Alcohol and Tobacco Increase Your Risk

Among the many risk factors, your lifestyle choices can have a huge impact on the likelihood of you developing this cancer. It is estimated by the Cancer Treatment Centers of America that roughly 80% of people with oral cancer are heavy smokers, while 70% are heavy drinkers. Add this unfortunate statistic to the list of reasons why you should leave the cigarettes behind.

4.) When Detected Early Enough, Oral Cancer has a Cure Rate of 90%

According to many experts, part of the reason why oral cancer can be so destructive is because it often goes undetected for long periods of time. Don’t overlook or ignore any suspicious new developments in your mouth and call your Palos Hills orthodontist or oral surgeon as soon as you notice anything amiss.

The best way to overcome oral cancer is to stay informed and catch it early. As something that is important to all dental professionals, we hope you will take this disease just as seriously as we do. We look forward to helping you stay healthy and protecting your oral health throughout your life. If you have any questions call or contact Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills today and we will assist you however we can. 

 

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

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Am I a Candidate for Clear Aligners?

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist

More people than ever are discovering the amazing benefits that clear aligners, such as Invisalign or ClearCorrect can bring to their orthodontic treatment. If you’ve been considering this orthodontic option, but still want to know whether or not you would be a good candidate for the treatment, read through this list and see if aligners might be right for you.

1.) If you’re looking for a nearly invisible orthodontic treatment, aligners are probably a great option for you. Made of clear plastic that forms to your teeth, aligners are all but unnoticeable to most of the people you interact with. Many may not even know you are undergoing orthodontic treatment unless you tell them yourself.

2.) If you want to be able to remove your treatment occasionally in order to enjoy the same foods and beverages that you always have, aligners may be a great option. Beyond the benefits when it comes to food and drink, the removable nature of aligners also make it much easier to keep your teeth and gums clean, beautiful, and healthy.

3.) If you’re trying to reduce your treatment time, aligners can also help you do so in some cases. Aligners can sometimes speed up your treatment time when compared to that of traditional braces. While this may not always be the case, you can talk with our orthodontic office about your own circumstances, and which treatment option may be best for you. 

What Makes Me a Poor Candidate For Aligners?

Unfortunately, there are some sets of circumstances that can disqualify you from receiving aligner orthodontic treatment.

If you have untreated tooth decay, it is likely that our team will need you to be assessed and treated before moving forward with aligners.

If you are currently suffering from gum disease, you may also be disqualified from aligners. If your gum disease is active and causing you to have loose teeth, any attempt at aligner orthodontic treatment could be detrimental to your health.

If you have dental implants that won’t move, TMJ issues, or dental bridges that are long, these may also disqualify you as a candidate for aligners.

While these are all matters of concern, always discuss the options you have with our Palos Hills Orthodontist. We can offer you further guidance on whether or not your own circumstances prevent you from experiencing the amazing benefits of this particular orthodontic treatment. Contact Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills to schedule your consultation appointment and join the millions of people who have achieved straighter, healthier smiles with clear aligners.

 

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

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | How to Choose The Best Orthodontic Treatment For You

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist

Orthodontic care is one of the most important investments in your health, your appearance, and your confidence that you can make. That being said, you don’t want to rush blindly into your treatment without knowing that you have the best option for you. Follow this three step process and be sure that you have done everything you can to get the best orthodontic treatment you can.

Step 1: Do the Research & Know What’s Available

As the research and technology of orthodontics continues to progress, your list of available treatment options is only going to grow. Knowing all of these choices is the first step in deciding which one is right for you. Today, there are

  • Traditional metal braces
  • Ceramic braces, which are tooth colored, and less visible
  • Lingual braces that attach to the back of your teeth and are nearly invisible
  • Clear aligners that are removable and also nearly invisible
  • And many others

Step 2: Weigh the Pros & Cons

After you have found all the potential options that appeal to you, it’s time to discuss them with our orthodontic office. We know the best features of each, as well as the possible shortcomings they may have in addressing your needs. For example, not all alignment issues can be properly solved with clear, plastic aligners.

However, whatever your needs may be, our office can help make sure that your choice in orthodontic treatment is going to meet them all. 

Step 3: Find an Office That Cares

If you’re reading this blog, then you’ve already completed the third and final step in this important process. Our Palos Hills orthodontist truly cares about you as a person, not just your treatment. We’re going to help you choose the right care and follow through with it until you have the smile you’ve always wanted.

Begin the process and get started on your healthier smile today. Contact Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills and schedule your appointment with us today for quality orthodontic care you know is the best choice for you.

 

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

Palos Hills IL Dentist | How Orthodontics Can Alleviate TMJ Symptoms

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist

Your temporomandibular joint serves as a hinge that connects your jaw to your skull’s temporal bones (located just in front of your ears). This joint allows you to move your jaw up and down and from side to side, motions that are necessary when you talk, chew and or even yawn. Problems with this joint can lead to a condition known as TMJ disorder that is characterized by an array of troubling symptoms, including:

•           Tenderness in the jaw area or near the ears

•           Discomfort in the neck or shoulders

•           Difficulty opening your mouth wide

•           Clicking or popping sounds when you open and close your mouth

•           Facial tiredness or fatigue

•           Trouble chewing or an uncomfortable bite

•           Facial swelling

If you have experienced any of these symptoms, contact our office to schedule an evaluation. If TMJ is the culprit, your treatment options will vary, but many patients may find relief after embarking on an orthodontic treatment plan. Depending on the root cause of your TMJ, our office may suggest several options to address your symptoms, including the use of a night guard, the placement of a TMJ appliance, or teeth straightening using some type of braces or aligners.

A night guard is exactly what it sounds like: a mouthpiece that is worn while you sleep to guard against sleep-induced teeth grinding and jaw clenching. The night guard works to alleviate TMJ symptoms by easing the pressure exerted on the temporomandibular joint. Night guards are custom molded for you by our orthodontic team so they can realign your jaw and relieve your discomfort.

Unlike a night guard, a TMJ appliance, also known as an orthodontic splint, is worn 24 hours a day. Fashioned from acrylic resin, a splint is designed to fit on top of the upper or lower teeth and helps to stabilize the teeth and/or jaws to alleviate discomfort.

If your TMJ is caused by tooth misalignment or bite problems, braces may be the most effective method to shift your teeth into the proper position. Correctly positioned teeth will ultimately help realign the temporomandibular joint, reducing or even eliminating TMJ symptoms. 

If you have been experiencing jaw pain, teeth grinding, jaw clenching, or any other symptoms associated with TMJ, a consultation with our team may be the best first step in identifying a solution. Our orthodontic office has extensive knowledge regarding how tooth alignment impacts your face and jaw muscles, and is uniquely qualified to make treatment recommendations that will keep TMJ symptoms at bay. Call our orthodontic office and schedule a consultation to learn more today.

Paul DiFranco Orthodontics
Phone: (708) 930-5941
Fax: (708) 430-5979
10059 S. Roberts Road Suite 2A
Palos Hills, IL 60465

Orthodontist Palos Hills IL | Adult Orthodontics Myths and Facts

If you are considering orthodontic treatment as an adult, chances are you have a few misconceptions about your treatment options. The field of orthodontics has come a long way in recent years, and you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that adult braces can be discreet, convenient and surprisingly affordable. Let’s debunk some common myths:

Myth: “I will need a mouth full of metal.”

Fact: While metal braces are always an option, there are many non-metal alternatives that are ideal for self-conscious adults. One of the most popular are the virtually undetectable Invisalign™ aligners that are completely clear and conveniently removable. Simply pop them out to enjoy a meal and put them in again to keep your new smile moving in the right direction.

Myth: “Braces will hurt.”

Fact: While there may be some discomfort when you first begin orthodontic treatment, most patients become accustomed to the pressure on their teeth. Regardless, the potential discomfort does not detract from our patients’ quality of life, nor does it prevent them from doing many of the things they love to do. If you still have concerns, you can talk to our orthodontists about the options you have and how to best stay comfortable during your treatment period.

Myth: “Treatment takes too long.”

Fact: Depending on your recommended treatment plan, you may find your new smile can be achieved in a much shorter time than you expected. From digital X-rays and in-office impressions, to ordering retainers and everything in between, modern tools, techniques and technology offers faster-than-ever results for patients of all ages.

Myth: “I don’t have time for office visits.”

Fact: It may seem daunting to try and fit orthodontic appointments into your already busy schedule. Thankfully, the same improvements that have significantly shortened treatment times have also made it possible to potentially extend the intervals between office visits, depending on your own personal needs.

Myth: “Adult braces are not covered by insurance.”

Fact: As with nearly everything else in the world of orthodontia, dental insurance coverage has evolved, too. There are now many dental insurance providers who will cover adult orthodontics, and not just traditional metal braces.

Think braces are just for kids? Think again. More and more adults are choosing to straighten their smiles, using an array of grown-up treatment options that are both innovative and discrete. Schedule a consultation with our Palos Hills orthodontic team today to determine which treatment plan that is right for you.

Paul DiFranco Orthodontics
Phone: (708) 930-5941
Fax: (708) 430-5979
10059 S. Roberts Road 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.