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

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. 

Orthodontist Palos Hills, IL | The Positive Impact a Straighter Smile Can Have on Your Life

While it may seem like a strange idea, a healthy smile can truly have a monumental impact on our lives. Beyond the obvious health benefits of straighter teeth, investing in your smile can make a difference in how you live day to day. Below are just a few of the ways that a properly aligned smile can have a positive impact on our emotions, our relationships, and our lives.

Confidence

Confidence plays a key role in just about everything we do. It’s on display when we’re at our jobs, socializing with friends, dating, and pursuing our biggest goals in life. In many ways, our level of confidence controls how much we can achieve­.

Having a straight smile improves our appearance—and how we feel about the reflection we see in the mirror every day—significantly enough that it provides a permanent confidence boost.

How Others See You

Having a straighter smile doesn’t just affect how you see yourself. A great deal of research speaks to just how influential teeth are in how other people evaluate your appearance.

According to one study, individuals with straight teeth are 45 percent more likely to get a job than those with crooked teeth. Another found that people with straight teeth are nearly 60 percent more likely to be seen as successful than those with crooked or misaligned sets.

Desire to Smile

There’s no denying it: if you’re self-conscious about your teeth, you’re going to be far less willing to smile in public. This apprehensiveness, in turn, affects your overall mood and limits how much you can enjoy yourself in social settings.

On the other hand, people that love to flash their straight teeth are going to smile more often. It’s a drastic conclusion, but it’s possible that having straighter teeth will positively impact your happiness simply by virtue of making you want to smile more.

Our practice knows that the power of a smile is not to be underestimated. Though it’s just a single facial feature, your smile has a staggering level of influence on your life. Make sure that influence is positive and schedule your next appointment with our office today.

Orthodontist Near Me | Types of Orthodontic Appliances

Malocclusions, or irregularities in the way teeth are positioned in the mouth, are fairly common, and many cases do not require dental intervention. But for those that do, orthodontists have a strong repertoire of appliances to draw from. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the most common, and their benefits.

Braces

Braces are easily the most well-known and recognizable orthodontic appliance. They’re usually made from stainless steel, titanium, and rubber, and they apply gentle pressure to teeth over time. This pressure gradually nudges the upper and lower sets of teeth into greater alignment. Over the course of anywhere between one to three years, patients will have straighter, better-aligned teeth that are more aesthetically pleasing and less likely to create complications later in life.

Retainers

Orthodontists rely on retainers to keep teeth straight and in place after braces have been removed. They’re a kind of post-treatment that helps cement the gains made by braces and ensure that teeth don’t shift back into misalignment.

Headgear

Headgear is generally reserved for the most serious cases of malocclusions. If someone has either an underbite or an overbite that an orthodontist feels will not be adequately addressed by braces, he or she may consider headgear.

Headgear can manipulate jaws in a more holistic way than braces by pulling a person’s upper or lower sets of teeth back with elastic bands and coils to achieve greater alignment. Adolescents with severe malocclusions like overjet, underbite, and crossbite may be candidates for headgear.

Aligners

As an alternative to traditional braces, aligners are a safe, effective, and discreet option for straightening misaligned teeth. Removable aligners are worn over the teeth and can be removed to allow you to eat, brush, and floss normally during your orthodontic treatment. Made of clear plastic, this appliance is nearly invisible and can be more comfortable than traditional braces.

This is by no means a conclusive list, and to determine the correct solution for your own orthodontic needs it is always important to converse with your doctor. To do so, schedule an appointment with our office today and achieve a healthier smile. 

Palos Hills Orthodontist | Conventional Braces or Clear Aligners?

Deciding to straighten your teeth is likely a good idea. Not only will it improve the appearance of your smile, but it also helps your teeth and jaw function properly. If you’ve decided that you want orthodontic treatment, the next step is to decide which kind will work best for you. Here we’ll look at some of the benefits of conventional braces and clear aligners in order to get you started on making the right decision.

Conventional Braces:

Is the original still the best option? There are a lot of great things about traditional braces, but not among them is a slim profile. Braces are often clunky and draw attention to themselves. However, as technologies become better, braces have become much more discreet than in the past.

Braces apply a steady pressure to your teeth through a system of brackets and wires. You’ll have to schedule appointments with your doctor to get the wires tightened as the treatment starts to work your teeth into place. The good news is, braces get the job done quickly and efficiently as long as you maintain excellent oral hygiene.

Clear Aligners:

Clear aligners are nearly invisible and are removable. They may not be as effective on extreme cases of misalignment, but they work well on mild to moderate cases. Similar to conventional braces, you’ll have to schedule regular appointments with your doctor to ensure everything is progressing smoothly.

In general, clear aligners provide great results. However, your success is directly dependent upon you. The aligners are designed to be removed, but you should still be wearing them as often as possible. If you decide to not wear your aligners as often as you should, the process will be either extended, or your results will suffer. Remove the aligners only when you are eating or brushing your teeth.

If you want to learn more about which of these solutions is right for you, contact our office today. Our doctor will be happy to schedule an appointment with you where you’ll come up with a dental solution that fits your goals and your lifestyle together. We look forward to hearing from you.

Orthodontist in Palos Hills | 3 Tips on Retainer Care

Palos Hills Orthodontics

So, you’re finally done with braces. Great job! It wasn’t always easy, but it was definitely worth the healthy, beautiful smile you’ve achieved. To make sure that smile lasts, it’s important to wear your retainer. Taking care of your retainer is just as important as taking care of your teeth themselves. With that in mind, here are three of our best tips for retainer care.

1.) Just In Case

There are really only two places that your retainer should ever be: in your mouth, or in its case. Easily damaged, it’s important to store your retainer in a proper case to help it last. When in the case, you can help prevent your retainer from being damaged, thrown away, or eaten by a curious pet. Batman stores his tools in his utility belt when he’s not using them, you should store your oral health tools just as securely.

2.) Keep It Clean 

If not taken care of properly, retainers can become pretty gross pretty quickly. You should always remove your retainer when you eat. Eating with your retainer in means you’re exposing your retainer to the potential for bacteria or plaque build up, or even physical damage caused by food and drinks. Make sure you remove it from your mouth and clean your retainer properly according to your orthodontist’s instructions.

3.) Avoid Harsh Heat and Chemicals

If left in a hot car, or near some other heat source, your retainer can easily become deformed, rendering it useless. Also avoid using products like bleach or alcohol based mouthwash to clean your retainer. It may seem like a great way to keep your retainer clean, but these products can actually damage the plastic.

It’s up to you to keep your smile healthy and beautiful. In addition to taking excellent care of your retainer, keep up with your regular hygiene routine and professional cleanings and exams. Schedule your next appointment with our office today to make sure your smile stays bright.

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Even Mummies Wear Braces: A Look at Ancient Orthodontics

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Even Mummies Wear Braces: A Look At Ancient Orthodontics
Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Even Mummies Wear Braces: A Look At Ancient Orthodontics

It’s natural that your braces may seem annoying, or even painful at times. While they definitely take some getting used to, you should know just how far braces have come since teeth straightening technology began in Ancient Egypt. That’s right, egyptian mummies have been found with metal bands wrapped around their teeth. Instead of wire or elastic, the Egyptians used a natural cord made out of animal intestines called catgut to tighten the metal. But that’s far from the strangest technique humans have used to straighten their teeth.

The Ancient Greeks and Romans were also concerned with creating straighter smiles. A Roman writer called Pliny the Elder, who is responsible for the famous line “home is where the heart is,” recommended pushing on teeth with your fingers and filing them down regularly.

In the 18th century, a french man named Pierre Fauchard, often referred to as the Father of Dentistry, began experimenting. Using a giant pair of metal tweezers called forceps, he would realign teeth by hand and tie them together so they would stay in place while healing- all without any modern anesthesia. Thankfully times have changed.

Braces are advancing faster than ever as the use of plastics and 3D printers begins to develop. Technology such as plastic aligners, lingual braces and retainers help straighten teeth with ease, not to mention much less painfully.

While braces may not be your favorite accessory, we want to ensure that you have as comfortable a process as possible. Contact our office to schedule your next appointment.

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!