PALOS HILLS ORTHODONTIST
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 | Why Straighter Teeth Require a Professional

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Why Straighter Teeth Require A Professional

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

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

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

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

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Your Braces Survival Guide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

60465 Orthodontist | Non-Cosmetic Benefits of Braces

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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.

Oak Lawn Orthodontist | Biting Off More than You Can Chew?

It is not uncommon for many of us to grab a bite to eat in a hurry. Americans have grown accustomed to bigger food portions at restaurants, but our mouths have not. Trying to fit that oversized sandwich or apple in your mouth might be worse for you than you have ever imagined. Below are some reasons why this could be detrimental for your oral health and what you can do about it.

Why This Is a Problem
According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), taking bites that are too big for you to chew can not only cause jaw and teeth issues, it can also cause digestive problems. Discomfort, swelling and difficulty eating may result from opening your jaw too wide. Taking large bites may also result in food not being chewed thoroughly, which can lead to weight gain and digestive issues.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)
Constantly opening your jaw too wide becomes an even larger problem for people with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). The temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the skull bones enabling movement during chewing. People with TMD, usually have a restriction with how wide they can open their jaws. Taking large bites of food, especially hard foods like apples, can aggravate this condition making pain and jaw clicking worse.

What You Can Do
If you have food that is too large to chew or starts to cause jaw discomfort, try cutting your food into smaller portions. This makes food easier to eat with less hassle. Also consider eating softer foods that won’t harm your teeth or irritate your jaw.

Tip: Avoid chewing on ice, popcorn kernels, hard candies, and opening nuts with your teeth. This can lead to a chipped tooth!

Contact our team today to schedule an exam and cleaning.

Orthodontist Palos Hills | Keep Kids’ Teeth Safe and Healthy This Winter

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Orthodontist in Palos Hills
Orthodontist in Palos Hills, IL

As a parent, you want to keep your child’s teeth safe and healthy all year long. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits are great ways to prevent tooth decay. What you may not realize is that the colder weather of the holiday season brings its own challenges to bear. Here are some ways to help protect your child’s oral health this winter.

Encourage Water

While you may think of summer as having dangers of dehydration, winter play holds similar risks for children. The air is drier during this season than in the spring or fall. Activities such as sledding and snowball fighting can lead to sweating out fluids. Have your child sip water throughout the day. This can keep them hydrated and prevent dry mouth, which can raise risk of tooth decay.

Mouth Guard

Whether your child enjoys skiing, sledding, skating, or snowball fights, winter brings increased risks of falls and injuries to both mouth and face. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), up to 40% of kids’ dental injuries occur during sports. Having your child wear a mouth guard during these activities can greatly reduce their risk of damaging teeth or gums.

Strong Hygiene

Regular brushing and flossing are crucial to keeping teeth healthy. If your child becomes ill with a cold or flu virus, continuing dental hygiene can help their immune system concentrate on getting well. If your child vomits, have them rinse their mouth with water right away to avoid leaving acids on their teeth. Discard and replace your child’s toothbrush once they are well to prevent re-infection.

Limit Sugar

Cold weather can lead to sniffles and coughs. Avoid bathing your child’s teeth in sugar from cough drops. Choose sugar-free options to soothe sore throats. Limit juice and cocoa that have high sugar content. Monitor your child’s candy intake through the holidays and ensure they brush after indulging.

Don’t Share

While sharing toys and books is a habit to encourage, sharing cups or silverware is not. Tooth decay, cold sores, and other oral ailments can be spread through saliva. Make sure each family member is using their own drink, spoon, and fork.

For more ways you can keep your child’s teeth safe through the winter season, contact our office.

Palos Hills, IL Orthodontist | Let’s Get This Straight

Orthodontist in Palos Hills

Braces create a beautiful, straight smile, but how do you maintain these results after treatment? Your final orthodontic results depend on your retainer. Retainers help maintain the position of straighten teeth, so be sure to follow up with us for additional treatment after your braces have been removed.  Read the information below to learn more about retainers and how to care for them at home.

Types of Retainers

There are a few different types of retainers that may be recommended to you:

  • Clear Retainers – A removable, clear plastic tray that fits over your teeth.
  • Traditional Retainers – A removable appliance made of acrylic and a wire that sits on the front side of your teeth.
  • Bonded Retainer – A thin, fixed wire that is temporarily bonded to the lingual (tongue) side of the anterior teeth.

Other Ways Retainers Help

Besides maintaining straight teeth, retainers have many other advantages. Straighter teeth are easier to clean which decreases plaque buildup and reduces the chance of developing tooth decay. Special types of retainers may help improve breathing and snoring at night. Retainers can also adjust the placement of your child’s tongue, which helps with speech impediments during vocabulary development.

Caring for Retainers

Just like teeth, retainers should be brushed daily with toothpaste. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently brush the entire area. Be extra careful around the wires so that they don’t bend out of place.

Your retainer is an important part of completing your orthodontic treatment, so take care of it and it will take care of you. Once your braces have been taken off, the retention phase begins. It is vitally important to follow through with retention in order to maintain your newly straight smile. Retainers may also help with additional problems like speech impediments or trouble breathing.

Call us to schedule an appointment today to see if retainers are the right fit for you or your child.