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

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | 4 Common Misconceptions About Orthodontic Care

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist

It’s not surprising that some patients are a little unsure about how orthodontic treatment works. To clear up some misconceptions you may have, we’d like to set the record straight on some of the most common myths we’ve heard.

Only Kids Need to See an Orthodontist

While it’s true that a lot of teens and adolescents wear braces and aligners, there are actually over one million adults in America currently undergoing orthodontic treatment. Whether they didn’t receive orthodontic care as children, their teeth have shifted since having braces, or they suffer from jaw joint disorders that cause headaches and chewing problems, patients at any age can benefit from visiting an orthodontist.

The Reason People Wear Braces or Aligners is to Improve Appearance

Many of our patients come to us in search of a beautiful smile, but the truth is that wearing orthodontics delivers multiple other benefits including:

  • Making it easier to brush and floss between crowded teeth, which reduces the possibility of future oral health problems.
  • Fixing jaw alignment problems to alleviate speech and chewing issues.
  • Eliminating teeth grinding.
  • Reducing the risk of injury from protruding front teeth.

Orthodontic Treatment Fixes Teeth Permanently

Did you know that your teeth can remember where they were before? It’s true! After braces or aligners come off, teeth try to return to where they were before treatment began. This is why it’s really important to wear your retainer for as long as we recommend. At first, you’ll need to wear it throughout the day and at night, and as time progresses and your teeth start to feel comfortable in their new “home,” you’ll be able to wear it only at night.

Children Shouldn’t See an Orthodontist Until They’ve Lost All Their Baby Teeth

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, children should actually have an orthodontic consultation at the age of seven. We like to examine patients while baby teeth are still present to see how permanent teeth are erupting, and to evaluate how the jaw is growing. After examining a young child, we may recommend early orthodontic treatment if we find issues such as:

  • Irregular Jaw Structure. Intervening while bones are still soft can prevent oral surgery when they’re older.
  • Bite Problems. A crossbite, underbite or overbite can cause chewing problems, speech impediments, and other major issues. Early orthodontic care can address these before they become bigger issues.
  • Potential for Crowding. By making plenty of room for permanent teeth to come in, we allow space for thorough brushing and flossing, reducing the chances of oral disease as they grow.
  • Dangers of Protruding Teeth. Young kids can sometimes be clumsy, and if their front teeth aren’t protected behind the lips, they’re likely to be damaged during a fall. Early treatment can pull the teeth back into a safer position.

Confused About Orthodontic Treatment?

If you have any questions about how orthodontics works, we’re always happy to answer them. Just give us a call or make an appointment with Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills and we’ll be glad to address your concerns.

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 Research Your Orthodontic Treatment

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist

Embarking on orthodontic treatment requires an investment of time and money. Researching your options is always a good idea, to make sure you choose the orthodontic treatment plan that is right for you. As you begin compiling a list of questions to ask during your consultation, here are some things to consider:

Types of braces

Gone are the days when a mouth full of metal was the only way to achieve a straighter smile. Depending on the condition of your teeth and gums, in addition to metal/traditional braces, you may be able to select from:

·         Ceramic braces. These braces are preferred by some patients because they are less noticeable than metal braces. Keep in mind, ceramic braces may require more diligent maintenance as they tend to become stained when not properly cared for.

·         Lingual braces. This choice is most similar to traditional metal braces, except that the wires and brackets adhere to the inside of the teeth, making them invisible from the outside. Because the brackets are behind your teeth, these braces can be more challenging to keep clean, and the treatment time may be longer than with traditional braces.

·         Clear aligners. These clear plastic aligners are popular with adults of all ages and can be removed for eating and drinking, just like a retainer. With this treatment plan, you will wear a series of custom-made aligners that you swap out every few weeks until you achieve your treatment goal. Clear aligners may not be suitable for children and in some cases, can be significantly more costly than metal brackets. They also require a higher degree of compliance, since failing to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day can significantly compromise your results.

Treatment time

One of the first things many people wonder when it comes to getting braces is, “How soon can I get them off?” The answer to this question is going to depend on many factors, including your age, the condition of your teeth, and the type of treatment plan you choose. Most orthodontic plans range between 12 and 24 months.

Out-of-pocket costs

If you have dental insurance, inquire about your covered benefits prior to your orthodontic consultation. Be sure to mention the type of braces you are considering, and ask if there could be additional expenses for retainers and aftercare.

When it comes to orthodontic treatment, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Doing your homework and researching your options is a good first step, and meeting with our experienced orthodontist is the best way to find out what types of braces will help you achieve the confident smile you’ve always wanted. Contact Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills today to schedule your consultation with our Palos Hills Orthodontist and get started on your new smile.

 

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 | 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

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.