Simplify Your Life: 6 Braces Hacks You Need to Know | Orthodontist Palos Hills, IL

Braces have come a long way in terms of comfort and effectiveness, but they can still require some adjustment. That’s why we’ve put together a list of six simple hacks to make wearing braces a breeze. Try these tips to maintain a healthy and beautiful smile throughout your orthodontic journey.

  1. The Toothbrush Superhero

We understand your desire to complete your braces treatment as quickly as possible, and excellent oral hygiene is key to achieving that goal. Maintaining a healthy oral environment ensures that your teeth move efficiently and prevents unnecessary delays caused by issues like cavities. Since braces can trap food and plaque, it’s crucial to prioritize your brushing routine. Consider investing in a high-quality electric toothbrush to keep your teeth clean and your treatment on track.

  1. Waterpik Flosser 

For effective and efficient cleaning, a waterpik flosser is a fantastic tool, especially for those with braces. It can reach hard-to-access areas and remove stubborn buildup. Additionally, it’s gentle on sensitive gums, providing relief after braces adjustments.

  1. Tackle the Small Spaces 

Braces can create tight spaces in your mouth that are challenging to clean with a regular toothbrush, electric or not. To ensure thorough cleaning, we recommend using an interproximal brush. These small brushes are a valuable addition to your oral health toolkit and come in travel packs, making them convenient for on-the-go cleaning.

  1. Braces Kit On the Go

Whether you’re at school, work, or on vacation, oral hygiene remains important. Assemble a travel kit that you can easily bring along on your adventures. It doesn’t need to be elaborate, but customization is welcome. We suggest including a travel toothbrush, a small mirror, floss, and orthodontic wax in a toiletry bag that fits easily in your backpack, desk, or vehicle.

  1. Braces-Friendly Snacks 

Before getting your braces, it’s a good idea to stock up on soft, braces-friendly foods. Your teeth may be sensitive when you first get braces or after adjustments, so opt for gentle options. Mashed potatoes, yogurt, soup, smoothies, and steamed veggies are some excellent choices. Having the right foods on hand eliminates the need to think about it afterward and reduces temptations for hard, sticky, and chewy foods you should avoid.

  1. Protect Your Mouth 

Finally, it’s important to safeguard your mouth from potential harm caused by sharp metal edges. If you participate in sports, invest in a protective mouthguard that can prevent your braces from cutting into your soft tissues.

Remember, our experienced Palos Hills dental team is always here to support you. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or to schedule your next appointment at Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills. We’re committed to helping you achieve a healthy and confident smile.

Avoid These Beverages for Healthy Teeth | Orthodontist Palos Hills

Orthodontist Palos Hills

We all know that certain beverages are detrimental to our health. Whether it’s the excessive sugar, caffeine, or alcohol content, popular drinks can have a significant impact on our bodies. However, what many people overlook are the immediate effects these beverages can have on our teeth. Below, we’ve compiled a list of common beverages to be cautious of, along with tips for responsible consumption.

Soda, Juice, and Energy Drinks 

These drinks are notorious for their high sugar content, which not only affects your overall physical health but also poses a serious threat to your teeth. Prolonged exposure to sugary foods and drinks can lead to enamel damage and decay, making you more susceptible to cavities and other dental issues.


Even though some may opt for black coffee without added sugar, excessive consumption can still harm your smile. Coffee, especially when consumed frequently, has the potential to stain your teeth. The degree of discoloration may vary from person to person, but it’s something to be mindful of.

Wine, Beer, and Liquor 

While it’s commonly known that red wine can stain teeth, all types of wine pose a similar risk. Additionally, darker beers can gradually stain teeth over time. While hard liquors may not pose a direct risk to your enamel, the mixers often paired with them can contribute to dental problems.

Protecting Your Teeth

After consuming any of these beverages, the immediate response may be to brush your teeth right away. However, brushing immediately can potentially cause more harm than good. The beverages mentioned above contain high levels of acid, which softens the enamel. Brushing immediately after consumption can further soften the enamel due to the pressure applied. Instead, it is recommended to follow sugary or acidic drinks with water and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing. Swishing the water around your mouth as you drink it can help rinse your teeth gently and allow the enamel to reharden before brushing.

Maintaining a Healthy Smile

Monitoring your diet not only benefits your overall health but also plays a vital role in maintaining proper oral hygiene. While moderate consumption of these beverages won’t cause significant issues, it’s crucial to follow a consistent oral care routine. This includes regular brushing and flossing, as well as scheduling professional cleanings at least twice a year. To book your next appointment, please contact our Palos Hills office today.