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Proper brushing and flossing with braces on

July 22nd, 2015

Hygiene is more crucial when a patient has braces on, so brushing your teeth takes a little more time and effort. Plaque needs to be thoroughly removed from your teeth a couple of times each day and when you have braces, it’s even more important to remove plaque. With all the brackets and wires in your mouth it creates places for plaque to hide. Plaque is sticky and made up of food, saliva, and lots of bacteria. So when plaque attaches to your braces and teeth it causes cavities, swollen gums, bad breath, and permanent stain marks on your teeth. Brushing your teeth twice a day is important, but whenever possible try brushing after every meal.  Floss is also very important as it helps get in between the teeth, which braces make it easier for food to get stuck. It is also good to keep seeing your dentist and hygienist regularly every six months to keep your mouth healthy.

An end-rounded bristle toothbrush works well for brushing braces, and your dentist might prescribe fluoride toothpaste to help you fight tooth decay even more. Brush gently but thoroughly. If your braces look clean, shiny, and you can see the edges of the brackets clearly, you’ve done a good job! Make sure to rinse your mouth after brushing with water, or with a mouth rinse. Having wires that connect your braces from tooth to tooth makes flossing a challenge, but it can be done. You just need to take your time being careful and get under the gum line. A floss threader is a tool that allows dental floss to get underneath the arch wires easily. There are a lot of other inter-dental cleaners that might be even easier for you to use.

One of the most common issues we see when braces come off is decalcification. Sometimes called white spots, decalcification are stains around your braces and they can be permanent. During treatment, your orthodontist will watch and warn you if white spots are developing, but you can prevent that from happening yourself. Your braces can’t damage your teeth but poor oral hygiene can and that’s why we stress the importance of brushing and flossing when you have braces.

Summer fun in the sun contest

May 22nd, 2015

Summer is just around the corner, and here at Get It Straight we decided to get in on the fun with our patients. We have started a new contest where we encourage our patients to send us postcards or pictures of their adventures. Many of our young patients go away to camp for the summer, so we would love to see them having fun and smiling. We would also like to see pictures this summer on our Facebook page. Contest will run all summer long and we will pick four winners from various categories. They include farthest location, most creative, most adventurous, and funniest. Check back later for the results.

How Your Pearly Whites Can Help You in Life

February 27th, 2015

At Get It Straight Orthodontics, Drs. Neil Warshawsky and Ketti Boller and our staff have found that patients who like their smiles have better self-esteem. People who don’t like their smiles are often skittish about talking to other people. According to the National Women’s Health Resource Center, when women are asked about what they’d most like to change about themselves, many point to their smile. Despite wanting to change their smiles, quite a few of the people who are unhappy about that part of themselves won’t consider getting braces.

Most Americans Don’t Have Straight Teeth

The American Association of Orthodontics estimates that 4.5 million Americans wear braces or other orthodontic equipment to straighten their teeth and to get a healthier mouth. One in five of those braces wearers are women. The organization’s statistics also show that about 75 percent of the population doesn’t have straight teeth, and those people would benefit from getting braces.

While the main benefit of braces is straight teeth, and to improve the look of your smile, there are other benefits that make braces even more useful, including:

  • Straighter teeth help people chew better.
  • Straighter teeth give people a proper bite.
  • People speak better when they have straighter teeth.
  • When people have straight teeth, they have better overall gum and mouth health. A healthier mouth means flossing and brushing are easier, and that means your entire mouth stays healthy.
  • A healthy mouth is also linked to a healthy body.

When you feel proud of those pearly whites, you feel better about your smile, and that contributes to a better self-image and improved self-esteem. Ultimately, that can lead to greater career success and a more fulfilling social life.

What's the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?

February 20th, 2015

Orthodontists and dentists both help patients improve their oral health, but in different ways. Dentistry is a broad medical specialty that deals with the teeth, gum, nerves, and jaw, while orthodontics is a specialty within dentistry that focuses on correcting bites, occlusion, and the straightness of teeth. One important difference is that all orthodontists like Drs. Neil Warshawsky and Ketti Boller are dentists, but not all dentists are licensed orthodontists.

How are they similar?

The main similarity between a dentist and orthodontist is that they both focus on oral care. An orthodontist can work in a dental office and provide the same care as a dentist. So in this respect, they are quite similar. They are both considered doctors, and deal with the teeth and gums.

How are they different?

There are more differences than similarities. An orthodontist requires additional schooling as a dental specialty; the situation is similar to a doctor who obtains additional schooling to become a surgeon. Another difference is that orthodontists specialize in helping patients with the alignment of their teeth, improving their bite, or fitting them for corrective braces and devices. If a patient has an overbite, a dentist will refer him or her to an orthodontist.

Dentists typically encourage good oral hygiene and provide services related to:

  • Tooth decay
  • Root canals
  • Gum disease
  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Veneers
  • Teeth whitening

Orthodontists are dentists that specialize in the alignment of teeth, and provide services related to:

  • Misaligned teeth
  • Crowded teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite

What an orthodontist can help with

Orthodontists help with crooked teeth, but they assist patients with other issues as well. These include overbites and underbites, crossbites, spaces between teeth, overcrowding of teeth, and the treatment of temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Additional problems with the jaw also need to be treated by an orthodontist.

While a dentist may be trained to provide orthodontic care in addition to extractions, TMJ treatments, and fillings, trusting your smile to an orthodontist can better balance the different procedures you require.

To learn more about the difference between dentists and orthodontists, or to schedule an initial consultation with Drs. Neil Warshawsky and Ketti Boller, please give our team at Get It Straight Orthodontics a call at our convenient Lake View, Lincolnshire, Hyde Park, or Orland Park office.

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