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

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.

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Will Braces Impact My Speech?

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Will Braces Impact My Speech?

When beginning your orthodontic treatment, it’s natural to have a lot of questions. One that we get all the time is about the effect braces will have on your ability to talk properly. In short, there are a few changes that you may notice for a short time, but these effects are not at all permanent and are not nearly as noticeable as you may think.

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Will Braces Impact My Speech?

When are changes most noticeable?

In the first few days or weeks of your orthodontic treatment there may be temporary changes in how you form words. With the appliance in your mouth and the swelling that occurs because of it, your tongue and mouth will need time to adjust. It is likely that you’ll notice the most difference on your “s” and “th” sounds.

But don’t worry.  

Your tongue and mouth are extraordinarily adaptable. In a short time, they will learn how to function with orthodontics to have you sounding like normal again. However, if you are very worried about the effects, there are some treatment options available to reduce them.

For instance, lingual braces installed on the back of the teeth help to minimize any differences in speech. Plastic aligners such as Invisalign™ are also a great option, as they are perfectly shaped to fit your teeth and create little interference with your tongue.

The only drawbacks to these particular appliances is that they tend to cost more than traditional braces. If your budget is an issue, you still have options. Dental wax can be used on traditional braces to help make speaking slightly easier.

There are also big benefits in the long term that are worth the short struggle.

Straighter teeth play a big role in better speech. When your teeth are misaligned, it can cause lisping, whistling and other major speech impediments. Orthodontic treatment can help correct all of those issues while giving you a healthier, happier smile.

Schedule an appointment with our office today and learn more about which orthodontic treatments are the best fit for your lifestyle. We’ll also be sure to answer any other questions you may have.

Palos Hills IL Orhtodontist | Key Tips on Safely Removing Your Child’s Baby Teeth

Palos Hills IL Orhtodontist | Key Tips On Safely Removing Your Child's Baby Teeth

One of the near-infinite range of small, peculiar challenges young parents face is their child’s baby teeth. When should they come out? Do you need to remove them? And if so, is there a safe, painless way to do so? Let’s take a look at baby teeth and the long, occasionally unpredictable process children go through in losing them.

Palos Hills IL Orhtodontist | Key Tips On Safely Removing Your Child's Baby Teeth

Baby Teeth

By the time a child is around three years old, he or she usually has a full set of primary teeth. These are also known as baby teeth or milk teeth. Children hold on to these primary teeth for several years before they start to lose them, at around age six. The process of losing baby teeth and gaining a full set of 32 adult pearly white can take years. In fact, some kids don’t have all their permanent teeth until the age of 13. The long timeline for losing primary teeth and gaining permanent ones can sometimes be confusing or even frustrating for parents.

Should You Remove Your Child’s Baby Teeth?

The short answer to whether or not parents should actively participate in removing their child’s primary teeth is no. Baby teeth are meant to fall out by themselves. The roots gradually disintegrate, loosening their hold on the gums. In due time, they should drop off completely. Under most circumstances, there’s no need for a parent to hasten this process. Further, primary teeth are important to the formation of the jawline and also assist permanent teeth coming in properly. Messing with primary teeth unnecessarily could have unintended consequences.

Consult a Dentist if Complications Arise

Most baby teeth should adhere to the natural process of falling out on their own. Primary teeth that don’t seem to be loosening, are causing your child recurring pain, or appear to be triggering an infection are all causes for concern. If for any reason you suspect there’s an issue with one of your children’s baby teeth, it’s best to reach out to our dental practice. We know exactly how to safely address whatever’s going on with your child’s teeth and can help get them enjoying being a kid again. Schedule an appointment with our office today. 

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Do you Think You are Too Old For Orthodontics? Think Again.

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Do You Think You Are Too Old For Orthodontics? Think Again.

Most of us associate braces with early teen years, along with highschool algebra and acne. If you’ve been wondering what “could have been,” wonder no longer. Adult orthodontic treatment is an option for most adults, and don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of company.

 Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Do You Think You Are Too Old  For Orthodontics? Think Again.

According to the American Association of Orthodontists over 1 million adults are wearing braces in the United States. Popularity of adult braces has grown by over 40 percent since 1989 and is showing no signs of slowing down. Our physical appearance has become increasingly important to us as social media thrives and our life span increases. Orthodontics  can also help people who are struggling with headaches because of their misaligned teeth. In short, having braces as an adult is nothing to be embarrassed  about and can help you become healthier and more confident.

Adults getting braces today will find that there are significantly more options than there were when they were children. Our team will work with you to ensure that you choose the option that works best for your lifestyle and smile. If the appearance of traditional braces is a concern, there are alternatives.

Aligners 

Common brands of aligners include,  Invisalign and ClearCorrect. . Aligners are clear trays that are worn for 20-22 hours per day, and only removed for eating and cleaning. They don’t add extra hassle to your oral hygiene routine. While certainly less visible than traditional braces, aligners aren’t completely invisible. They also require a certain level of discipline to ensure that they are in for every possible moment. If you go with this option, you’ll also be in charge of adhering to a schedule of changing your liners every two weeks. Without diligence, this option may take longer to complete than traditional braces. 

Lingual Braces

You may also consider lingual braces. Similar to traditional braces, lingual braces are cemented to the back side of the tooth making them virtually unseen by anyone but your dentist. While they work just as quickly as traditional braces, they are custom made and typically cost more than any other option available to you.

Regardless of the type of orthodontic care  you choose, we will work with you to help you achieve a beautiful smile. . For more information or to schedule an appointment contact our office today.

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Make Your Life Easier: Our Top 6 Hacks for Braces

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Make Your Life Easier: Our Top 6 Hacks For Braces

While current technologies have made braces easier and less painful than ever before, they can still take some getting used to. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of six easy ways you can make having braces no big deal. Go ahead and try these out to keep your mouth healthy and beautiful.

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Make Your Life Easier: Our Top 6 Hacks For Braces
  1. The Super Hero of Toothbrushes

Believe us, we know you’d like to be done with your braces as soon as possible. We’d love to help make that happen. The best way to speed up your treatment is to maintain excellent oral hygiene. Teeth move more efficiently in a healthy oral environment and issues like cavities can become unnecessary bumps in the road that add time to your treatment. Braces tend to trap food and plaque, making your brushing routine more important than ever. To keep your teeth clean, consider investing in a high quality electric toothbrush.

  • Waterpik  Flosser

Speaking of effective and efficient alternatives, a waterpik flosser is ideal for patients with braces as it can get hard to reach places and blast away stubborn buildup. They are also great for sensitive gums after getting your braces tightened.

  • Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Braces can make your mouth feel like a pretty crowded place. Some areas may be difficult for a normal brush, electric or not, to get to. To help you keep those small spaces  clean we recommend using an interproximal brush. These tiny brushes make a great addition to your oral health tool box. They’re available in travel packs as well so you can bring one with you wherever you go.

  • Braces On the Go

School, work, a tropical vacation: oral hygiene is important no matter where you are, which is why we recommend creating a travel kit that you can easily bring with you on your adventures. There’s no need to get fancy, but you’re certainly welcome to customize your kit however you see fit. We recommend carrying a travel toothbrush, a small mirror, floss, and your orthodontic wax in a toiletry bag that you can easily keep in your backpack, desk or vehicle.

  • Braces Friendly Snacking

We recommend stocking up on braces-friendly food before getting your braces on. Your teeth will be sensitive when you first get your braces and after each adjustment, so go for soft foods. Some of our favorites are mashed potatoes, yogurt, soup, smoothies and steamed veggies. Getting the food you need before hand makes sure you don’t have to think about it afterwards and will help cut back on your temptations for the hard, sticky and chewy foods you know you should avoid.

  • Protect Your Mouth

And last, but certainly not least, sharp metal edges in your mouth can cause some serious damage if the proper precautions aren’t taken. If you play a sport, make sure you invest in a protective mouthguard that will prevent your braces from cutting into your soft tissue.

As always, our experienced dental team is here for you. Don’t hesitate to contact our office with any questions you may have, or to schedule your next appointment. We look forward to seeing you!

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 Oak Lawn |3 Ways Gummy Vitamins Can Impact Your Child’s Teeth

Oak Lawn Orthodontist

Multivitamins are an excellent way to help children and adults receive nutrients that their diet lacks. For parents of picky eaters, this can be especially helpful. However, not all vitamins are created equally. Chewable, gummy vitamins are often marketed to children but carry risks to your child’s oral health. Here are three ways gummy vitamins affect your child’s oral health.

1. Gummy Vitamins Stick to Your Child’s Teeth

Like gummy candy, particles of gummy vitamins can easily stick to your child’s teeth. Bacteria that causes decay feeds on sugars and food matters left on your teeth. Because they can be harder to clean by brushing, the risk of developing decay increases. If your child takes a gummy multivitamin, encourage them to brush their teeth thoroughly shortly after consuming one. Our dentist also suggests scheduling your child’s next visit to ensure a professional and thorough cleaning.

2. Gummy Vitamins Contain Sugar

Compared to pills and harder, chewable multivitamins, gummy vitamins generally contain more sugar. Ingredients such as gelatin and sucrose are often found in gummy vitamins. Sugar feeds bacteria that can contribute to tooth decay.

3. Don’t Confuse Them For Candy

Candy contributes to tooth decay because the sticky, sweet, sugary contents cling to teeth, promoting decay. Gummy vitamins are similar because they share several key ingredients with gummy candies. It is vitally important that your child never confuses a multivitamin for a candy. Consuming more vitamins than the suggested amount can lead to serious health complications.

Multivitamins can help balance a diet that does not include key nutrients. While gummy vitamins are often a great way for children to be excited to take a vitamin, consider the risks they pose to your child’s oral health. If your child does regularly take a gummy multivitamin, have them brush their teeth after taking one. Taking a vitamin before brushing your teeth prior to bedtime is one way to ensure your child’s teeth remain clean.

We advise you to consult your child’s pediatrician for information regarding which multivitamin supplements are best for your child. Children should receive at least two dental examinations per year, with additional visits needed for those with a high risk of developing decay or other oral health complications. To schedule your next visit to our office, please contact our dental team today.

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

Phone: (708) 930-5941

Palos Hills Orthodontist | The Truth Behind “Natural Whitening” Fads

Orthodontist Oak Lawn

It seems like there is a new headline nearly every week featuring someone who swears their teeth are whiter and brighter due to their natural home remedy for stain removal. These articles showcase the idea that whitening can be cheap and easy, if in some cases unpleasant. It can be tempting to consider trying for brighter, whiter teeth without investing time and money on in-office or at-home whitening under a dentist’s care. However, before you pin your hopes on one of these “natural whitening” methods, take a look at the truth behind some of the recent fads.

Fad 1: Oil Pulling

Oil pulling has been cropping up in headlines for months with claims of a wide variety of potential health benefits. It is a very old folk remedy in which a person swishes a tablespoon of edible oil, such as coconut, sunflower, olive, etc., in their mouth and between teeth for up to 20 minutes daily.

Despite the number of years this practice has existed and the number of health issues it purports to treat, there is no evidence that oil pulling whitens teeth or improves health.

Fad 2: Fruits

Due to celebrity endorsement, some people have begun to try rubbing mashed strawberries on their teeth to try to achieve a whiter smile. Others are using lemon or orange peels, and still others tout the virtues of eating pineapple or swishing apple cider vinegar.

However, there is no science to support any of these claims. In fact, one recent study found that brushing with a mixture of baking soda (which is known to have whitening effects on teeth) and strawberries did not whiten teeth. Even worse, the citric acids found in all of these fruits and vinegars can actually be harmful to the enamel on your teeth.

Fad 3: Hydrogen Peroxide

While it is true that many forms of in-office and over-the-counter teeth whitening make use of hydrogen peroxide, there is more to consider before opening a bottle. The hydrogen peroxide used in professional teeth whitening, whether in-office or at-home, is mixed with other substances and provided in a form designed for use in teeth whitening.

Simply swishing from a bottle of hydrogen peroxide will have little or no effect on the whiteness of your teeth, but may cause irritation to your gums and mouth and can be dangerous if accidentally ingested.

If you want whiter, brighter teeth, there are safe and effective ways to achieve your goal. Talk with our doctor for a recommendation for what kind of whitening will be best for your needs. For more information about whitening, contact our office.

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

Phone: (708) 930-5941

Palos Hills Invisalign | The One Piece of Gear Every Athlete Needs

Orthodontist in Palos Hills, IL

Orthodontist in 60465An injury to your mouth can be a painful, expensive experience. For athletes, mouth and tooth injuries pose a very real risk. Mouthguards are an excellent tool for protecting your mouth from injury and harm. Our team can help you find a solution that protects your teeth.

Why Wear a Mouthguard?

Mouthguards protect your teeth. For athletes who play contact sports, injuries to the mouth can cause cracked teeth, or even worse, missing teeth. Mouthguards defend your teeth against such injuries. But mouthguards aren’t only for teeth. Your mouth is mostly made up of soft tissues, such as your tongue, inside cheeks, and lips. These areas can become injured or pierced when playing sports.

Do All Athletes Need a Mouthguard?

High-contact sports such as hockey, wrestling, football, and boxing pose the greatest risk for mouth injuries. But all athletes can benefit from being cautious. Gymnasts should consider wearing one to protect their mouth in the event of a fall. Baseball and basketball players should also wear one to protect themselves from being injured by a ball or collision with another player. Mouthguards should be treated as a necessary piece of your athletic gear.

Which Mouthguard Is the Most Effective?

Our team can help you find the best mouthguard during your next visit to our office. There are a number of options available ranging from store-bought ones to custom-fitted mouthguards. We will work with you to determine which type of mouthguard is best for you. It is important that any guard fits properly. We can also work with you if you are currently undergoing orthodontic treatment and are wearing braces. Braces can puncture your mouth if impacted, particularly during sports. Our team will help you find a solution that works.

Your mouth should be protected while participating in athletic activities. Oral injuries can make eating, drinking, and talking difficult. Protect yourself from an injury before one happens. Contact our office and ask about finding a mouthguard that is right for you.