The Benefits of Early Orthodontic Intervention for Your Child’s Dental Health | Palos Hills Orthodontist

Early orthodontic intervention is an important part of a child’s overall dental health. By intervening early, orthodontists can help prevent more serious dental and jaw problems from developing later on. There are a number of benefits to early orthodontic intervention, such as improved facial aesthetics, improved oral health, and the potential to reduce treatment time and cost. 

The first benefit of early orthodontic intervention is improved facial aesthetics. Orthodontists are able to correct jaw and teeth misalignments before they become more pronounced. This can help ensure that the child’s smile is attractive and symmetrical. Orthodontic treatment can also help reduce the effects of genetic factors that can contribute to facial asymmetry. By intervening early, orthodontists are able to guide the growth of the jaw and teeth to create a more proportionate smile. 

The second benefit of early orthodontic intervention is improved oral health. Orthodontic treatment can help prevent more serious dental problems from developing by correcting misalignments early on. When the teeth are properly aligned, it is easier to maintain proper oral hygiene and reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Orthodontic treatment can also help reduce the risk of TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) by correcting the alignment of the jaw and teeth. 

The third benefit of early orthodontic intervention is the potential to reduce treatment time and cost. By intervening early, orthodontists can correct misalignments before they become more severe. This can shorten the treatment time and reduce the amount of treatment needed. It can also reduce the cost of treatment, since orthodontic treatment is usually more expensive when more complex issues are present. 

Finally, early orthodontic intervention can help children develop healthy self-esteem. Orthodontic treatment can help create a more attractive smile, which can boost a child’s self-confidence and sense of self-worth. It can also help reduce the effects of teasing and bullying that can arise when a child has misaligned teeth. 

Overall, early orthodontic intervention is an important part of a child’s overall dental health. By intervening early, orthodontists are able to correct misalignments and improve facial aesthetics, oral health, and self-esteem. Additionally, early intervention can help reduce treatment time and cost. For these reasons, it is important for parents to discuss the potential benefits of early orthodontic intervention with their children’s dentist.

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

Unlock the Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment | Orthodontist Palos Hills

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of malocclusion and other related conditions. Malocclusion is a condition where the teeth and jaws do not align properly, resulting in improper bite and function. Orthodontics focuses on the straightening of teeth and the correction of improper jaw position to restore the natural bite and function of the mouth. 

Orthodontic treatment is a long-term process that can involve braces, appliances, and other devices to help correct the alignment of a person’s teeth and jaw. Orthodontic treatment not only improves the appearance of a person’s smile, but it also helps to improve the overall health of their teeth and gums. It can help to reduce the risk of dental diseases, such as tooth decay and gum disease, by helping to keep teeth and gums in the proper position for proper cleaning. 

The orthodontic process typically begins with a comprehensive evaluation of the patient’s mouth and teeth. This evaluation will usually include X-rays, photographs, and impressions of the teeth. After the evaluation is complete, the orthodontist will develop a plan to correct any malocclusion or misalignment present. The treatment plan may include braces, retainers, headgear, or other appliances. 

Braces are the most common orthodontic treatment and involve the use of brackets and wires to move the teeth into the desired position. Braces are usually made of metal, ceramic, or plastic and are typically worn for a period of several months to several years, depending on the severity of the misalignment. Retainers and headgear may also be prescribed to help maintain the desired position of the teeth once the braces are removed. 

Orthodontic treatment can have many benefits, both cosmetic and functional. By correcting misalignment, orthodontic treatment can improve a person’s appearance and boost their confidence. Additionally, it can improve the fit of the teeth, which can improve overall oral health and reduce the risk of dental diseases. Orthodontic treatment can also improve the patient’s speech, chewing, and other functions of their mouth. With the right treatment plan, you can enjoy the long-term benefits of improved oral health and a beautiful smile. Contact our orthodontic office 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

Getting The Facts Straight About Retainers | Orthodontist in Palos Hills IL

Orthodontist 60465
Orthodontist 60465

Straight teeth can be achieved with braces, but how can they be maintained once they are removed?

If you want to maintain the position of your straightened teeth, you must wear your retainer for at least 12 hours per day for the first eight weeks following the completion of your orthodontic treatment. When your teeth have been moved to a new position, diligent wear is crucial as the teeth are the least stable during this time. Following the completion of eight weeks of wearing your retainers for half of each day, with the approval of your 60465 orthodontist, you can begin wearing them at night only.

There are several types of retainers that may be recommended for you:

  • Clear Retainers: This is a clear plastic removable retainer similar to teeth whitening trays. They are invisible and less likely to affect your speech than traditional retainers.
  • Traditional Retainers: These are acrylic or wire-based removable appliances that are fitted to the roof of your mouth; the wire runs along the outside of your teeth to keep them in their proper position. Although this is a more durable option, it is also more noticeable than other options.
  • Permanent Retainer: This type of retainer consists of a wire that is bonded to the inside of your front teeth (usually the lower ones) to hold them in place. Patients at high risk of relapse or those who are likely to ignore instructions for wearing removable retainers are often prescribed permanent retainers.

In addition to keeping your teeth straight, retainers provide many other benefits. Aligned teeth are easier to clean. They are less likely to develop tooth decay because plaque is less likely to accumulate. Certain types of retainers can help improve breathing and snoring. Children can wear retainers to help them adjust the placement of their tongues, which can reduce speech impediments. Orthodontists help treat many of these problems.

Maintaining retainers

Maintain your retainers’ cleanliness by brushing them every day with toothpaste. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the entire area. Ensure that the wires aren’t bent out of place when handling them.

Take care of your retainer, and it will take care of you when you complete your orthodontic treatment. The retention phase begins when you remove your braces. Your retainer is considered the maintenance phase of your orthodontic treatment. Yes, you do need to wear your retainer forever. During the first few months, you will need to wear it 24/7. Your teeth will then be locked into place, but you’ll still need to wear your retainer at night. This will make sure that your teeth don’t shift back to their natural positions, which is known as “relapse.” Your retainer should be one of the most important components of your orthodontic treatment plan. 

We invite you to contact our Palos Hills, IL orthodontics office for more information about retainers or to schedule an appointment.

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

Brushing After Eating: Is it Necessary? | Orthodontist Palos Hills IL

Orthodontist 60465
Orthodontist 60465

A tooth’s enamel is the hardest material in your body and your teeth are its guardians. A healthy mouth is the first line of defense against harmful bacteria that can cause tooth decay. You create bacteria when you eat certain foods, which attack the enamel of your teeth. For example, carbohydrates and sugary foods flood the enamel. Our orthodontist in 60465 shares that brushing your teeth immediately following a meal can damage your enamel.

Why is this harmful?

Your mouth’s pH level changes when you consume liquids and food. When you eat acidic foods, you raise the pH balance until it reaches a level where demineralization occurs. By causing the enamel to soften, the new acidity can allow bacteria to penetrate your teeth. After eating, brushing your teeth may harm your enamel. It would be best to protect your enamel because enamel protects your teeth.

Protect your enamel by following these steps:

After eating anything acidic, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. 

A good example is citrus fruits. It is a good idea to brush before consuming acidic foods or drinks.

You can remove acids by drinking water. You can follow this up by chewing sugarless gum. When these steps are followed, saliva can help restore the pH balance needed for a healthy smile.

Our Palos Hills, IL orthodontic team says to limit your soda intake to avoid permanent damage from phosphoric acid.

Maintaining optimal oral health requires brushing twice a day. 

Was it taught that you should brush your teeth directly after eating? This may seem like the right habit to adopt, but it could be detrimental to your dental health. It may be better to rinse your mouth with water after eating to maintain healthy enamel. We can provide you with tips for maintaining healthy, strong teeth if you come to our office for an examination. Get in touch with our orthodontics office in Palos Hills, IL today.

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

Do I Have to Wear My Retainer? | Orthodontist Palos Hills

Palos Hills, IL Orthodontist
Palos Hills, IL Orthodontist

Keeping your teeth straight is crucial in the period following the removal of your braces. Maintaining the smile you have worked so hard for is best achieved with a retainer worn as directed by our orthodontist in 60465. Wearing your retainer may help keep your teeth from shifting back to their original positions. What can happen if you do not wear a retainer after braces treatment? Learn more in the following paragraphs.

Within one week.

Once your braces are removed, your teeth will move back into their original positions. There are different rates of tooth movement, and even slight shifts in your teeth can affect how your retainer functions. It is essential to wear your retainer at night during the first week to prevent any relapses. 

A month later.

When you don’t wear your retainer for one month, you may find your bite has changed, and your teeth have begun to move back into their previous alignment. A second appointment will need to be scheduled to get you fitted for another retainer at this point. Additionally, you may be required to wear your retainer during the daytime and at night. 

One year later.

If you skip a retainer, your teeth will have returned to their original position, and maybe even be crooked after one year. You might need to restart your orthodontic treatment. You can prevent this from happening if you wear your retainer as instructed. 

Wearing a retainer after removing your braces can help keep your teeth straight. If you stop wearing your retainer, the smile you worked hard to achieve will disappear. In the long run, you will see that it is worth the effort to get into the habit of wearing a retainer.

If you want more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact our orthodontics office in Palos Hills, IL.

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

Can My Braces Cause Swollen Gums? | Orthodontist 60465

Orthodontist 60465
Orthodontist 60465

No matter how old you are, braces are a safe and effective way to straighten your teeth. Although you cannot see your teeth moving, constant, steady pressure caused by braces causes changes in your gums and jaw bone as your teeth move. Occasionally, some patients may experience minor side effects, such as gum irritation. If your gums are red, sore, or swollen, determine the cause and seek treatment from our orthodontist in 60465 as soon as possible.

It may be difficult to maintain good oral hygiene when wearing braces. This results in plaque building up and causing gingivitis, damaging the gums and causing them to swell and bleed. While wearing braces, if you notice your gums are red, swollen, or bleeding when you brush, this is indicative of infection and an inflammatory reaction. Hormone changes make children and teenagers more likely to develop gum disease. Additionally, it makes it harder to clean teeth and gums.

Swollen gums are a common occurrence when you first get braces. You may feel that your gums are sensitive while wearing braces. In some circumstances, metal brackets and wires can increase gum size due to hypertrophy or hyperplasia. When your orthodontic treatment is complete and your braces are removed, your gums will likely return to normal.

Wearing braces requires you to take dietary precautions. Some dietary habits are known to cause orthodontic appliances to break and increase the risk of dental decay. You should avoid eating anything hard or crunchy, such as raw vegetables and popcorn, which can irritate your gums. While wearing braces, limit foods and drinks that may cause dental caries (cavities). Your orthodontist will inform you of dietary restrictions while you are under their care.

Here are a few steps you can take to alleviate swelling and inflammation in your gums:

  • Get an electric toothbrush with an orthodontic head to thoroughly clean your teeth.
  • Clean between your teeth with a water flosser.
  • Interproximal brushes and floss threaders clean around and under wires better than toothbrushes.
  • You might want to consider mouthwash containing fluoride or antimicrobials.
  • To relieve inflammation in the mouth, rinse with warm water containing a pinch of salt.
  • Smoking and alcohol aggravate inflammation further.

To achieve the best results from your orthodontic treatment, it is important to make a conscious effort to maintain healthy oral hygiene habits. If you have a high risk of periodontal disease, your orthodontist may wait to begin orthodontic treatment until your teeth and gums are healthy. 

We invite you to call our orthodontics office in Palos Hills, IL and schedule an appointment if you have any questions or would like more information.

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

The Disadvantages of Misaligned Teeth | Palos Hills Orthodontist

Orthodontist 60465
Orthodontist 60465

If you have uneven teeth, you may be considering orthodontic options to improve your smile. Straightening your teeth can do more than just boost your confidence. It is important to consult with your orthodontist in 60465 if your teeth are not aligned properly. 

People often fail to realize how the health of their mouths affects the health of their bodies overall. Poor oral health puts you at greater risk for heart attacks, strokes, illnesses, miscarriages, and more. Having misaligned teeth makes it harder to take care of your mouth properly, increasing your risk of oral health problems. The following are some of the most common problems caused by misaligned teeth: Contact our office today if any of these symptoms affect you.

Gum disease

In comparison to straight teeth, it is harder to keep uneven teeth clean. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, you are more likely to get gum disease. In many adults, plaque buildup can cause gingivitis and periodontal disease, which can lead to tooth loss. When your gums are swollen or inflamed, bacteria may be released into your bloodstream, which can cause inflammation and increase your risk of strokes, heart attacks, etc.

Make sure you see your dentist twice a year for dental cleanings and examinations and maintain good oral hygiene. 

Jaw discomfort/TMD TMJ

If you have misaligned teeth or an abnormal bite, your chances of developing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) may be increased. Even though most TMD cases are caused by teeth grinding and clenching, a misaligned bite can also contribute to the condition. In addition to jaw pain and discomfort, TMD can also cause headaches and other symptoms such as clicking sounds while chewing. 

You may need TMD treatment if you have been experiencing jaw pain. An orthodontist can help determine if this condition requires treatment. By correcting a misaligned bite, TMD patients can experience less pain.

Enamel Erosion

Tooth enamel is a complex and thin coating covering the surface of the tooth that prevents it from being chipped or worn away. Grinding your teeth is a common cause of enamel loss, but various environmental factors contribute as well. Simple actions such as speaking and chewing can grind your teeth together if they are uneven and your bite isn’t aligned correctly. Eventually, this will wear away your teeth’s enamel, making them appear discolored, more sensitive, and more likely to crack and chip. The enamel of your teeth can be protected at home in many ways, including drinking plenty of water, avoiding excessively acidic and sugary foods, and brushing and flossing as directed by your dentist. The alignment of your teeth may limit your ability to prevent enamel erosion on your own.

Orthodontists can help you improve the alignment of your teeth and smile. Please contact our Palos Hills, IL orthodontics office to find out whether orthodontic treatment is right for you.

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

Maintaining Your Retainer | 60465 Orthodontist

Orthodontist 60465
Orthodontist 60465

Are you going days, or even weeks, without cleaning your retainer? A retainer has the same bacteria as your mouth and, if not cleaned daily, is almost equivalent to not brushing your teeth for weeks. You accumulate bacteria throughout the day, which can lead to bad breath, gingivitis, and cavities. If you want to practice good oral hygiene, your orthodontist in 60465 recommends following these tips.

Clean your retainer with toothpaste.

You should brush your retainer at night when you brush your teeth. Once it becomes a habit, brushing it won’t seem like an extra step. To achieve the best results, use non-whitening toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Maintaining the integrity of your retainer acrylic is essential through the use of soft toothbrushes and the avoidance of abrasive toothpaste, as repeated scrubbing can cause it to scratch, allowing bacteria to grow. 

It is not enough to just wash it with water.

A simple wash with water won’t get rid of bacteria. Bacteria can be reduced by using water throughout the day, but distilled white vinegar is the best solution. Combine one part vinegar with three parts water in a cup. Soak your retainer for approximately 15 minutes, then gently brush with a soft toothbrush.

Use baking soda.

Aside from teeth whitening retainers, baking soda restores the pH balance in retainers. A paste can be made by mixing half baking soda and half water. When applied to the toothbrush, it will be similar to a light toothpaste. Gently brush your retainer to ensure it is clean. 

Quick mouthwash soaks

In most cases, orthodontists do not recommend mouthwash as a primary way to clean your retainer. However, you can give it a quick soak to kill bacteria and freshen its smell. Mix equal parts of mouthwash and lukewarm water. Alcohol can damage acrylic, so make sure the mouthwash is alcohol-free.

A retainer cleaner bought at the store is an option.

If you decide to use a cleaner, be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging. Stores sell cleaners specifically designed for cleaning retainers. Your orthodontics team in Palos Hills can recommend a cleaner, and you should follow the directions on the packaging.

By keeping your retainer clean, you are maintaining your oral health. Maintaining your retainer using the methods we have discussed above will help you avoid potential health problems caused by bacteria. Consult your orthodontist about which cleaning option would be best for you. We invite you to schedule an appointment to our orthodontics office in Palos Hills, IL.

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

Traditional Braces Versus Clear Aligners | Orthodontist in 60465

Orthodontist 60465
Orthodontist 60465

Whether it’s for purely cosmetic reasons or to improve oral function, many people seek orthodontic treatment to help improve their smile. Braces and Invisalign® (clear aligners)  are both popular options used for straightening teeth. Though both can be incredibly effective, each has their own unique strengths that can help determine which is better for your particular needs.

Benefits of Traditional Braces

Braces are a time-tested method for correcting problems with tooth alignment. As braces have become more comfortable, they are now much less inconvenient to wear. Whether you want fun colors or a more subtle look, braces are a good solution for patients of all ages. Since braces are completely customizable to the needs of your teeth, they are often the best solution for more complex cases where teeth need to be dramatically realigned to create a better bite.

Benefits of Invisalign® (Clear Aligners)

Invisalign® is a newer, less invasive approach to orthodontic care. Unlike braces, which are permanently fixed on your teeth for the duration of treatment, Invisalign® uses a series of custom-made trays to help slowly shift your teeth into a more optimal smile. Invisalign® is a great solution for those needing less intensive treatment. Being able to remove the trays when eating and brushing your teeth reduces the inconvenience of treatment and makes it easier to maintain proper oral hygiene.

Disadvantages

Both treatment options have their disadvantages as well. Traditional braces are a bit more prominent in their appearance. They are harder to maintain and keep clean. Clear aligners may be more subtle, but they can easily be lost when removing them to eat or drink if you are not careful. Our orthodontist in 60565 agrees it can be a hassle to have to take them out in public.

Which Option is Right For Me?

As we have seen, both traditional braces and clear aligners offer great solutions. The best way to figure out the most appropriate treatment plan for you is to consult with our team. We will give you a full evaluation of your treatment needs and help you decide the best treatment plan accordingly. To set up an appointment with our orthodontist, or for any other questions, contact our orthodontics office in Palos Hills, IL today.

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

The Effects of Fruit Juice on Your Teeth | Orthodontist in Palos Hills IL

Orthodontist in 60465
Orthodontist in 60465

Don’t be fooled by the label “100 percent fruit juice.” Drinks advertised in this way might seem like a healthy choice, but these drinks may be doing more harm than good. In fact, fruit juices contain loads of sugar that can lead to tooth decay. The American

Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently reevaluated their recommendations for allowing small children to consume fruit juice. Here’s what you need to know about the new guidelines.

Stick to Water For The First Year

The AAP used to suggest that infants younger than 6 months old should not be given fruit juice to drink. This year, however, the AAP updated these recommendations to suggest refraining from fruit juice for any infant 12 months and younger. Children do not need to be exposed to large amounts of sugar in the juice at such a young age.

A Good Source of Vitamins–And Sugar

Fruit juice can be an excellent source for vitamins and minerals. Many fruit juices contain vitamin C and potassium. However, fruit juices are often very high in sugar content. According to a study summarized by Medical News Today, fruit juice may contain as much as 2 teaspoons of sugar for every 8 ounces.

The Harmful Effect of Fruit Juice

Sugar is a leading cause of tooth decay, especially in children. The AAP advises that toddlers and young children should not be served fruit juice in a “sippy cup.” These cups provide greater exposure of decay-causing sugar to teeth, leading to an ideal environment for tooth decay. Our orthodontics team in Palos Hills agree that the amounts of sugar in juice along with the high acidity create a recipe for disaster within the mouth.

According to the updated guidelines set by the AAP, moderation is key. While children under 12 months of age should not be provided fruit juice, small amounts may be permitted for older children. The AAP suggests a maximum of 4 ounces of fruit juice per day for children aged 1 to 3, 4 to 6 ounces per day for children aged 4 to 6, and 8 ounces per day for those between the ages of 7 and 18. You may also consider adding water to dilute the juice before giving it to your child, so they receive less sugar.

Children and adolescents aren’t the only group that can benefit from consuming fewer sugary drinks. Sugar leads to decay in adults as well. Our orthodontist in 60465 suggests trying to limit your own consumption of sugary drinks.

Maintaining regular visits to our office will allow our dental team to ensure your child’s

teeth are healthy. We will provide a comprehensive screening to locate and treat decay. If your child drinks more than the suggested amount of sugary fruit drinks, consider scheduling an extra cleaning with our team at our orthodontics office in Palos Hills, IL. Together, we can work to promote a lifetime of optimal oral health.

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