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

Palos Hills Orthodontist | Should I Still Visit My General Dentist if I’m Seeing an Orthodontist?

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist

Do I need to go to the dentist if I have braces and am seeing an orthodontist? We hear this question all the time. The answer is yes, absolutely! Whether you’re wearing braces or aligners, we recommend that you see a dentist every six months for regular checkups. Here are just a few reasons why: 

To Remove Plaque and Tartar Buildup

During orthodontic treatment, brackets and wires provide the perfect hiding places for food particles, while plastic aligners create a warm, moist environment where bacteria can grow. When debris isn’t removed during everyday brushing and flossing, plaque and tartar can form and cause cavities. A professional hygienist in your dentist’s office can remove buildup on your teeth to prevent this from happening. 

To Protect Your Teeth from Decalcification

When acidic and sugary foods settle into hard-to-reach areas around brackets, bacteria can form and eventually strip away calcium and phosphates on your teeth. This process, called decalcification, results in unattractive chalky white spots, and that’s not something you want to see when your braces come off! Fluoride treatments during regular dental exams can strengthen your enamel, protecting your teeth from bacteria that cause decalcification.

To Prevent Gum Disease

Since flossing between teeth isn’t easy with braces, there’s a higher chance that bacteria will enter your gums and cause infection. During a regular dental exam, your dentist will watch for inflammation in your gums and tell you how to reverse it before it progresses.

To Keep Your Orthodontic Treatment on Track

Most likely, your orthodontist has given you an estimated time frame for how long you’ll be in braces or aligners, but gum disease or tooth decay can delay your treatment. You can stay closer to your original completion goal by receiving professional cleanings and fluoride applications that keep your teeth strong and healthy.

To Love Your Smile When You’re Finished

Remember the reason you started orthodontic treatment in the first place: to achieve a bright, beautiful smile! If you do everything you can to take care of your teeth with braces or aligners on, you’ll be thrilled with the results when you get your braces off!

We’re proud of the wonderful relationships we’ve built with many dentists in the area, so if you’re looking for an Orthodontist to help keep your teeth clean and healthy during your orthodontic treatment, contact Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills. We’ll recommend one of our trusted colleagues who cares about our patients as much as we do.  

 

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

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Healthy Smile, Healthy Body

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Healthy Smile, Healthy Body

Good oral hygiene habits are essential to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. What

you might not know is that research has found the health of your mouth actually mirrors the

overall condition of your body. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, there is a direct

relationship between gum disease and many serious health conditions, including heart disease,

stroke, and diabetes. The good news is, research also shows that good oral health may actually help prevent certain diseases from occurring.

Understanding the mouth/body connection

Poor oral habits can cause bacteria to build up on your teeth, making your gums more prone to

disease and infection. When that happens, your immune system goes to work attacking the

infection, leading to inflammation and gum disease, also known as periodontitis. Left untreated, periodontitis and chronic inflammation can wreak havoc on the rest of your body, leading to a host of health problems. Thankfully, this “worst-case-scenario” is easily preventable. Here’s what you can do to elevate your oral hygiene habits and keep unwanted health concerns at bay:

  • Brush twice a day for at least two minutes using a soft-bristled brush. Be sure to choose a toothbrush that is the right size for your mouth so you can reach back teeth easily. If you have any questions about which toothbrush we recommend for you, you can ask our office during your appointment.
  • Remember to replace your toothbrush every three or four months.
  • Choose an American Dental Association-approved fluoride toothpaste to keep teeth free from decay.
  • Floss daily to remove tooth decay-causing bacteria that tend to linger between teeth. Regular flossing also helps remove plaque under the gumline and minimize your risk of contracting gum disease.
  • Eat a healthy diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks.
  • Avoid cigarettes and other tobacco products, which are known to contribute to gum disease and oral cancer.

In addition to maintaining good daily oral health habits, seeing your dentist regularly is one of the best ways to keep your mouth – and your body – healthy. These exams allow our Palos Hills Orthodontist to monitor any changes to your teeth and gums and make recommendations that will help you avoid future health problems. Contact Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills today to schedule an exam.

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

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | The Importance Of Dental Specialists Working Together

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | The Importance Of Dental Specialists Working Together

If you’ve spent any amount of time with missing teeth, you know just how detrimental it can be to your quality of life. You may be ready to finally do something about it and restore your smile with a dental implant. However, if you’ve spent too much time with those teeth missing, you may have a problem.

Teeth have a natural ability to move due to periodontal ligaments and a thin layer of bony-like material called cementum. When you have a full smile, this ability for teeth to shift is not all that noticeable as the pressure from surrounding teeth tend to help everything stay in place.

However, when there is a gap from a missing tooth, the surrounding teeth suddenly have a lot more room to move, and will take up the space quickly. As a result, if you’ve gone a long time with missing teeth, your remaining teeth may have moved into the vacant area, blocking the place where your dental implant restoration needs to go.

In order to remedy this situation and get your mouth ready for your implants, it may be necessary to correct your alignment with orthodontics.

Orthodontic treatment, such as braces, is used to incrementally change the position of your teeth to get them back in place. When your teeth are back in place, your doctor will be able to place the implant. While orthodontics are an extremely effective method of correction, traditional metal braces can be quite noticeable in the mouth.

For those adults who may need orthodontic treatment, there are multiple options to choose from that can fit your lifestyle and your needs. If this is the case, one possible option may be found in the form of clear aligners.

While there are many aligner systems on the market today, many know about Invisalign or have seen a commercial for the system. Changed roughly every two weeks, these plastic trays are worn consistently to achieve the same effect as braces, but with a lower profile.

Regardless of which option works best for your needs, this process speaks to the interrelatedness all dental professionals must share in order to give you the smile of your dreams.  Our office is happy to play its part in helping you smile with confidence again.

If you need to schedule an appointment, or want to ask us any questions about your current treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you smile and look forward to doing so.

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Why Should I Brush More Often With Braces?

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist | Why Should I Brush More Often With Braces?

Your braces are made up of many different parts, all of which can possibly hinder your ability to reach the entire tooth surface while brushing. The Wires, brackets, bands, and screws can trap food particles after every meal, even if you feel as if your mouth is perfectly clean. Giving your mouth a quick rinse and brush after meals not only helps to keep your teeth and brace clean, but can also help you sustain great oral health throughout the period of your orthodontic treatment and beyond.

The Best Way To Brush:

Your braces themselves can become a hotspot for bacteria buildup if you aren’t diligent in making sure no food is left behind. When brushing with braces, make sure to get in all the nooks and crannies, as there are many. Brush your teeth at different angles to target the spots between brackets and bands. Remember to take your time – you should expect to be brushing for longer amounts of time and more thoroughly with braces.

It is also important to be regularly rinsing your mouth with water to dislodge anything lingering in your bands or brackets. If you find yourself without a toothbrush after a meal, this rinsing could help remove stubborn food particles left in your braces and protect your from plaque build up or tooth decay.

Brush, But Don’t Overdo It:

Should you be brushing more often with braces? Absolutely, but don’t overdo it. Having braces doesn’t require you to be brushing upwards of ten times a day. It also doesn’t mean that you should be brushing aggressively.

Be gentle on your mouth. You should never be brushing to the point of feeling any pain or discomfort. A thorough rinse and brush in the morning, at night, and after meals will leave you with the healthy smile of your dreams once your braces are removed.

For more tips on optimal oral health, or to schedule an appointment contact our office today. We are here for you.

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.

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.