It’s Still Cool to Get Braces…Even as an Adult | Paul E. DiFranco

60465 Orthodontist

When you were a kid, braces were the coolest! It’s still the same now.

It’s never too late to improve your confidence and self-esteem by correcting any issues with your bite or the alignment of your teeth. Adults often seek orthodontic treatment for problems that extend beyond cosmetic concerns. It doesn’t matter if you’re thinking about changing your smile for aesthetic reasons or to fix long-standing bite and jaw alignment issues, specialized orthodontic treatment can give you a smile that looks and feels great!

With recent advancements in orthodontic treatment, there are more options available to adults. These treatments are effective, less noticeable, and more comfortable than ever before. If you are considering orthodontic treatment, our Palos Hills Orthodontist will discuss which options best suit your lifestyle, needs, and goals.

Conventional metal braces

Even though the thought of metal braces as an adult may not appeal to everyone, conventional braces for adults provide exceptional treatment outcomes and may be the best option for specific types of orthodontic concerns. Modern braces are smaller and more comfortable than ever before, and more and more adults choose traditional metal braces because of their fast results.

Ceramic braces

For adults who desire the benefits of traditional braces but wish to receive treatment more discreetly, ceramic braces are also a popular option. With ceramic braces, metal braces are replaced with tooth-colored composite brackets, which mimic your natural tooth color. Ceramic braces are susceptible to staining just like your natural teeth are, so you must clean them thoroughly.


Treatment with Invisalign clear aligners, the most popular option for adults, uses a 3D image of your teeth to create a series of custom-fit trays that gradually shift your teeth and jaw to the desired position. The most discreet form of orthodontic treatment could be the perfect solution if you’re concerned about the visibility of your orthodontic appliances.

In what ways does orthodontic treatment differ for adults?

As with children and teens, orthodontic treatment for adults involves gently pushing teeth into their desired positions over time using their orthodontic devices. In adults, however, teeth and jawbones are no longer developing, so treatment may take longer than it does for younger patients with less bone density.

Smoking, tongue thrusting when swallowing, and clenching or grinding your teeth can also affect the length and outcome of adult orthodontic treatment. For severe cases, your orthodontist may need to consult your dentist or enlist the help of a specialist.

Why should adults consider orthodontic treatment?

Is there value in having a confident, healthy smile in your everyday life, at special events like weddings, or in your career?

Through specialized orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign clear aligners, individuals can achieve an improved smile that will improve their quality of life and psychological well-being. Researchers have shown that healthy, straight smiles inspire confidence and self-esteem in relationships, social settings, business, and your career and that individuals who are embarrassed by crowded or crooked teeth don’t smile as much as those with perfect teeth.

The result of a bad bite, known as malocclusion, can cause abnormal jaw pain and pressure. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, difficulty chewing, and abnormal wear of the tooth enamel. In addition, you may experience headaches, migraines, and pain in your jaw. These problems are alleviated with skilled orthodontic treatment, which eliminates the tension that causes pain.

Additionally, orthodontic treatment may be able to improve your ability to chew and speak, as well as help with sleep apnea. Straight teeth and proper jaw alignment are essential to your overall health and well-being.

By investing in orthodontic treatment, you can drastically reduce the amount of money you’ll spend on dental and health care throughout your lifetime. You’ll get to enjoy a healthier, more comfortable bite, avoid lifelong pain, and smile with confidence.

How will braces change my appearance?

Braces typically affect facial structure less in adults than in teens who are still growing, although you will notice a more balanced appearance after treatment. The greater the imbalance at the start, the greater the result will be. Rest assured, you will still look like yourself!

When planning your treatment, it’s vital to work with a highly qualified orthodontist. The specialized expertise and precision of our Orthodontist Palos Hills will ensure that you get both aesthetic and functional benefits. Contact our Orthodontist in Palos Hills, IL office today to schedule a consultation appointment.

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

Understanding the Need for Two Phases of Braces | Palos Hills, IL Orthodontist

Orthodontist 60465

When your child needs braces, you’ll discover there are many different ways orthodontists can make sure your child has the perfect smile. A two-phase treatment encourages gradual changes that correspond with a child’s different growth phases. As a result of early intervention, this treatment method can help reduce the need for invasive corrections, such as extractions of adult teeth.

Age plays a significant role in determining your child’s eligibility for two-phase orthodontic treatment. The majority of children who need early orthodontic care will need to be referred to an orthodontist around age seven or eight to assess their treatment options. When it comes to braces for kids, their rate of growth can have a huge impact on the effectiveness of the treatment. 

With two stages of treatment, an orthodontist can use noninvasive devices to promote healthy jawbone growth before fitting braces. The process allows for earlier treatment of problems identified during dental exams.

Phase 1

During this first stage, your child will receive any care that is needed to properly prepare the teeth and jaw for braces. To support proper jaw growth, your Palos Hills Orthodontist will determine the best approach. The goal of this phase is to ensure the upper and lower jaws grow large enough to accommodate the permanent teeth. Additionally, the first stage of treatment centers around eliminating issues that could affect your child’s bite, tooth spacing, and overall dental health. For example, a palatal crib can be used to prevent your child from developing an abnormal bite from thumb sucking, which may still happen at a young age.

Using proven dental appliances, your 60465 Orthodontist can intervene in developing bite issues. In some cases, your child may need palatal expanders to correct bite issues by widening the upper jaw. An orthodontist can adjust the upper jaw width correctly by using these adjustable expanders based on your child’s growth. Patients with underdeveloped jaws and crowded teeth are often treated with palatal expanders in phase 1. Other indications for phase 1 treatment are less common and should be evaluated by an expert.

Your child may need to wear a retainer to maintain his or her results after completing the first phase of treatment.

Phase 2

Phase two begins once your child’s adult teeth have fully erupted. As part of phase two, orthodontists adjust the spacing between teeth. To achieve this goal, braces are usually placed on the upper and lower teeth to facilitate their gradual movement into the correct position. Depending on your child’s orthodontic treatment goals, braces may need to be on their teeth for up to 24 months. 

As your child’s braces or aligners move teeth into their correct positions, they will periodically need to be adjusted. We will arrange regular adjustment appointments for your child to ensure treatment progress. During this phase, please make sure that your child is properly caring for their braces. Many children need to wear retainers to keep their teeth in their new positions after braces are removed. Depending on your child’s needs, it may be necessary to wear the retainer around the clock or only at night.

Two-phase orthodontics gently corrects your child’s bite and tooth spacing issues. Your child will feel less discomfort during and after an orthodontic adjustment if there are gradual shifts in tooth placement and jaw width. As a result, the patient experience improves across the board, which leads to your child remaining focused and enthusiastic about the outcome.

We want your child’s experience with braces to be positive. To schedule an appointment, please call our Orthodontist Palos Hills office today.

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