It’s Time to Set the Record Straight | Palos Hills IL Orthodontist


When you wear braces, you achieve a beautiful, straight smile, but how do you maintain these results after treatment? The final results of your orthodontic treatment are dependent on your retainer. The purpose of retainers is to maintain the position of straightened teeth. Discover more about retainers and how to care for them at home by reading the information below.

The types of retainers

You may be recommended to wear one of the following types of retainers:

Clear retainers: A removable, clear plastic tray that is worn over the teeth.

Traditional Retainers: A removable acrylic and wire appliance that fits over the front of the teeth.

Bonded Retainer: A thin, fixed wire that is temporarily bonded to the anterior teeth on the lingual (tongue) side.

Other ways retainers help

Retainers provide many benefits in addition to maintaining straight teeth. Straighter teeth are easier to clean, which reduces plaque buildup and the risk of tooth decay. There are certain types of retainers that may be helpful in improving snoring and breathing at night. Additionally, retainers may be used to adjust the placement of your child’s tongue, thereby assisting with speech difficulties and vocabulary development.

Here are some tips to help you remember your retainer.

  • Use your cell phone to set daily reminders to remind you to insert your retainer before going to sleep.
  • If you have a designated retainer spot, you will not forget where you left your retainer if you misplace it.
  • You can always use Post-Its to remind yourself! They are bright and colorful and serve as a pleasant reminder.
  • It is okay to ask for helpful reminders through the buddy system. Consider asking a sibling, spouse, or friend to help you remember with periodic check-ins and nudges.

Retainer care 

As with teeth, retainers should be brushed daily with toothpaste. Brush the entire area gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Make sure that you are extra careful around the wires so they do not bend out of place.

Maintaining your retainer is an essential part of completing your orthodontic treatment, so take good care of it, and it will take good care of you. The retention phase begins once your braces have been removed. In order to maintain your newly straight smile, it is vital that you follow through with tooth retention.

For more information about retainers, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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

Why Should My Child See an Orthodontist? | Orthodontist in Palos Hills IL


It’s common for parents to wait until a child loses all of his or her baby teeth before consulting an orthodontist, usually in their preteen or early teenage years. In addition, some view orthodontics as an aesthetic treatment that is often desired but not really necessary. The majority of dental professionals recommend that parents bring their children in for an initial exam at a young age. Without an orthodontist’s evaluation and possible treatment, children and adults are at risk of developing serious conditions beyond crooked teeth.

Early orthodontic evaluations are important.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, children who exhibit signs of future orthodontic issues should be seen by the age of seven. It is much younger than most parents believe treatment should begin, but it is important for a young patient’s treatment plan and outcome. Early intervention devices can be used to prevent the need for future surgery when the upper and/or lower jaws of young children are not growing or shaped properly.

Headgear worn at home can help many patients with underbites, while a retainer-like device called a bionator can treat severe overbites in young children. As permanent teeth grow in properly, these devices make alignment treatments, such as braces or clear aligner trays, much easier in the future.

The risks of neglecting orthodontic treatment
There are several reasons why parents should not disregard orthodontic treatment for their children. Many of the negative side effects impact children immediately, but others can develop or worsen over time.

Unattractive teeth
There is no doubt that crooked smiles are unsightly and can negatively impact children for the rest of their lives. A lack of alignment can negatively affect self-esteem, adversely affecting social and professional relationships and opportunities. Additionally, gaps caused by crooked teeth may continue to shift and worsen over time.

Bites that are not properly formed
Improper bite formation can either cause or contribute to poor alignment. These cases are caused by shifting of the teeth, which makes it difficult for the teeth to meet properly for effective biting and chewing. If left untreated, this problem may develop into more serious jaw problems in the future.

Tension in the jaw, pain, or surgery
An improperly shaped jaw or crooked teeth can result in poor bite alignment, causing tension and pain in the jaw. There is a possibility that the condition may worsen over time and may lead to the development of TMJ or other serious conditions. In some cases, surgery is required in order to correct the problem and alleviate chronic pain.

In most cases, orthodontic treatment does not begin until all baby teeth have fallen out, but parents of children with orthodontic issues should seek evaluation earlier rather than later. By seeing an orthodontist by age seven, serious alignment issues can be prevented. Also, addressing the problems at a young age can make future treatment with braces or other aligners more efficient and less invasive. As tooth alignment issues can lead to serious complications, orthodontic treatment should never be neglected, regardless of the patient’s age.

We invite you to schedule a consultation with our orthodontic office for more information.

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