Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Is Invisalign Right For You?

When you think of orthodontics, you probably think of traditional metal braces. But metal braces are only one of the options when it comes to correcting your smile.

The Invisalign System is virtually undetectable and straightens your teeth without wires and brackets. Invisalign takes a modern approach to straightening teeth, using custom-made aligners created for you and only you. These aligners are smooth, comfortable, and virtually invisible. Not only are the aligners invisible, but they are also removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment.

Invisalign aligners gradually and gently shift your teeth into place, based on the exact movements Dr. Kelly plans out for you. With the Invisalign System, you will achieve a great smile with little disruption in your daily life. You will wear each set of aligners for about 2 weeks. As you replace each aligner with the next in the series, your teeth will move little by little. You will visit Dr. Kelly about once every 6 weeks to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned. Total treatment time averages 9-15 months and the average number of aligners worn during treatment is between 18 and 30.

Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners can be removed instantly and easily. Invisalign makes it easy to eat whatever you want, whenever you want, and you never need to worry about your meals interfering with your orthodontic treatment.

If you want straighter teeth but don’t want the look of traditional metal braces, Invisalign may be the perfect option for you. Contact Kelly Orthodontics in St. Charles, IL to talk to us about Invisalign!

Did you know…

Only an orthodontist, like Dr. Kelly, who has been trained and certified by Align Technology can diagnose and treat using Invisalign. Invisalign is designed to correct a variety of orthodontic problems in children, teens, and adults. However, Invisalign is not appropriate for everyone. After an initial examination, Dr. Kelly will determine if the Invisalign System is an effective treatment option for you.

 

Monday, May 24, 2021

Throw Your Toothbrush Away

Brushing your teeth is one of the most important ways you maintain your oral health. However, if you are brushing your teeth with an old or dirty toothbrush, you might be doing more harm than good.

At Kelly Orthodontics, we recommend that you switch out that old toothbrush for a fresh new one every 3 to 4 months and even more frequently if you are wearing braces because your toothbrush becomes less effective once the bristles begin to wear down. Also, bacteria tend to build up on your toothbrush over time. Therefore, to stay in good health and ensure you are brushing successfully, it is important to replace your toothbrush after three months of use.

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t keep a record of the last time you switched out your toothbrush…and that’s okay…we have some easy ways to tell if your toothbrush is ready to be replaced.

1. Do the bristles on your toothbrush look worn down or frayed? Check out the bristles on your toothbrush. Damaged bristles are not going to do the best job of cleaning your teeth. Therefore, if they are looking worn, it is probably time for a new one.

2. Have you been sick? While your toothbrush is used to clean your teeth, it is not immune to the accumulation of bacteria. If you’ve been sick, those germs can linger on your toothbrush. It is always a good idea to swap out your toothbrush after dealing with an illness.

3. Have you traveled lately? If you have visited another country or a new place where the water is not safe to drink, it is likely time for a new toothbrush to avoid getting sick.

4. Do you store your toothbrush correctly? When storing your toothbrush, you want to ensure you leave it in a place that is clean, dry, and allows airflow. Therefore, you shouldn’t be keeping your toothbrush near the toilet or in the shower, and you should not store it in an airtight case. Otherwise, your toothbrush could become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. If you have been storing your toothbrush incorrectly, toss it and replace it with a new one that you can hang in an upright position so it can dry out between brushings.

If you feel like changing your toothbrush every three months is wasteful, we’ve got a solution. Put that old toothbrush to work doing odd jobs around the house. Old toothbrushes are great at cleaning around facet fixtures and in tile grout. They can even be used to clean tools, computer keyboards, and tennis shoes.

 

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Digital Orthodontic Impressions with iTero

At Kelly Orthodontics we have made treatment even easier with the use of our latest iTero Digital Impression Scanner. This state-of-the-art technology allows our well-trained team members to take accurate 3D digital images of your mouth. By taking these scans we eliminate the need for traditional putty impressions as well as speed up the start of your orthodontic treatment.

The iTero scanner is all about patient comfort. It delivers digital impressions that are much more accurate than traditional dental impression. The iTero scanner is completely safe and does not expose our patients to any sort of radiation. The best part is…the iTero scanner is fast and accurate.

During the impression process, you can breathe or swallow as you normally would. You can even pause during the process if you need to sneeze or just want to ask a question. Your mouth is scanned with a radiation-free laser, and in as little as two to three minutes, the laser renders a digitally perfect, 3D impression of your teeth and soft tissue structures. This 3D model of your mouth that can be used for all your orthodontic treatment needs.

Why Our Patients Love Our iTero Digital Impression Scanner

Traditional dental impressions can be unpleasant because the patient needs to wait for several minutes, with their teeth held in place while the alginate material sets. Patients with a strong gag reflex may struggle with this traditional procedure. The putty material is not strongly flavored, but it may prove to be too much for some patients, which can cause gagging or throwing up while the goopy putty sets.

Digital impressions eliminate the goopy impression material and allow for a better fitted final smile restoration. With our iTero Digital Impression Scanner, we can capture images of the patient’s teeth and soft tissue structures as digital photographs. These digital impressions greatly increase productivity, efficiency, and accuracy and Dr. Kelly can send the impressions over to the laboratory almost immediately, rather than needing to mail off the impression that has been made using the traditional goopy alginate.

iTero Digital Impression Benefits

  • Improved quality impressions ensure better fitted orthodontic appliances 
  • No goopy and gaggy putty alginate 
  • Whole mouth scans can be completed in under 10 minutes 
  • An eco-friendly solution that eliminates the need for plastic trays and the materials used for the impressions 
  • Less time in the chair for the patient

Improving the patient experience is one of the priorities we focus on at Kelly Orthodontics and the iTero Digital Scanner helps us create the best possible orthodontic care for our patients.

 

 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Beautiful Smiles That Last A Lifetime

It’s time to celebrate! You’ve just gotten your taken braces off and your smile looks amazing!

If you want to keep that beautiful smile for life, you are going to need to make sure you wear your retainer. Your orthodontic treatment does not end once we remove your braces. Wearing your retainer is the final step in keeping your smile perfect.

Your teeth aren't set rigidly into your jawbone like you might think. They are held in place by bands of fibrous tissue called the periodontal ligaments. After your teeth have been moved into their ideal position by your braces it takes time for the periodontal ligaments to adjust. When you’re not wearing your retainer, pressure from your lips and tongue can cause your teeth to shift. Even if your teeth don’t look like they have moved, that doesn’t mean they haven’t. If you go without wearing your retainer for long periods of time, your teeth will continue to move until misalignment is visibly noticeable. If you don’t wear your retainer as prescribed, your teeth will move out of alignment and back into their original, crooked places…it will be like you never went through orthodontic treatment at all.

The retention phase of your treatment begins as soon as your braces are removed and lasts about two years. So, please wear your retainer as prescribed by Dr. Kelly. If you have any questions about the retention phrase of your orthodontic treatment, please don't hesitate to contact our St. Charles orthodontic office. A member of our friendly and knowledge team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Protect Your Enamel

Braces provide patients with a spectacular tool for straightening smiles and correcting jaw problems that impact self-confidence and overall oral wellness. Your wires and brackets are fundamental to the treatment process, but they also can make it difficult to remove food particles that get stuck under and between your brackets and wires. Unfortunately, if this food is left to fester, the acidic content of the food can eat away at your tooth’s vital tooth enamel.

If you have braces, your smile can be prone to enamel erosion. Enamel erosion occurs when acid attacks the teeth and wears down the enamel. This can make your teeth vulnerable to tooth fractures and cavities. Pay special attention to cleaning your teeth every day. Permanent damage to tooth enamel can occur if the teeth and brackets are not kept clean.

To prevent enamel erosion, Dr. Kelly encourages you to:

  • Avoid Acidic Foods and Beverages: Consuming acidic products can expose your smile to the acid that harms the teeth. So, it’s best to avoid consuming acidic foods and drinks as much as possible.
  • Keep Your Teeth Clean: This includes regular brushing, an interdental brush, floss (and floss threaders) and possibly a water flosser to help you use the force of water to rid your mouth of stuck debris.
  • Use Fluoride: Fluoride can strengthen your tooth enamel and help you avoid enamel erosion. Use a fluoride toothpaste and fluoride mouthwash whenever possible.

When it comes to taking care of your teeth with braces, one of the best things you can do is pay attention to what you are putting in your mouth. Thinking about what is coming in contact with your pearly whites can protect your teeth from erosion and decay.

Certain foods and beverages are more acidic than others. During orthodontic treatment, focus on eating foods that are both good for your body and your teeth.

Less tooth-friendly foods and drinks include: apples, cherries, oranges, peaches, pears, plums, pineapples, raspberries, tomatoes, pickles, soft drinks, and fruit drinks.

More tooth-friendly foods and drinks include: bananas, mangoes, melons, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, milk, water, meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, crackers, and pasta.

If you like to learn more about how you prevent enamel erosion while wearing braces, our friendly staff at Kelly Orthodontics is available to train you in methods for keeping your teeth clean and strong. Please reach out to our orthodontic team at 630-584-9666. We look forward to talking with you!

Monday, March 22, 2021

Facts About Braces

At Kelly Orthodontics, we often get asked a lot of great questions about orthodontic care and treatment. We have also seen a lot of false information on orthodontic treatment. Some are rumors and others are myths that are believed to be fact.

Myth: “Braces and orthodontic treatment are only for children.”

Fact: Braces are not just for kids… orthodontics can be rewarding to adults as well. Teeth provide the support structure for the soft tissue of the lower face, including lips, and cheeks. By repositioning the teeth and jaw, skin can appear tighter, and lips can appear fuller. Adults can often achieve greater facial aesthetics without surgery or the extraction of teeth with a treatment plan utilizing an appliance that can expand the jaw and reposition teeth and gums.

Myth: “I can’t play sports anymore because I have braces.”

Fact: Having braces, does not mean you have to stop living your life! Whether you just received braces or are near the end of your treatment, braces should not be a barrier to playing any type of sport. If you wear a mouth guard, braces should not stop you from playing your favorite sport. If you are unsure which type of mouth guard to use or need more information on mouth guards, ask our staff.

Myth: “My dentist says he can give me braces or Invisalign.”

Fact: Both an orthodontist and a dentist are health care professionals that work on teeth. Both health care professionals help patients achieve good oral health and both are dental school graduates. All Orthodontists are dentists, but only a small percentage of dentists are orthodontists. Orthodontists must successfully complete an additional two to three-year residency program of advanced dental education in orthodontics. Orthodontists specialize in the alignment of teeth and services include treating misaligned teeth, crowded teeth, overbites, and under bites. Only an orthodontist who has been trained and certified by Align Technology can diagnose and treat using Invisalign.

A new smile means a new life change. At Kelly Orthodontics, we understand that a big decision like this is not easy. We will ensure that we answer all questions and make you feel comfortable. If you have any addition questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask us before coming to your first visit.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Straighter Smile Online

You may have noticed that some online direct-to-consumer orthodontic companies have been making orthodontic treatment sound cheap and easy. While it may sound great to save money and buy your orthodontic treatment online, the reality is…you are not getting the treatment for less. You are simply purchasing a product and opting out of the many important aspects that make orthodontics work. The money you save today may end up costing you thousands of dollars in future corrective action.

Orthodontic treatment involves the movement of biological material, which if not done correctly could lead to potentially irreversible and expensive damage such as tooth and gum loss, changed bites, and other issues.

Orthodontic treatment is a major medical procedure. This is precisely why orthodontists require extensive training and education before they can begin performing treatments. Proper orthodontic treatment must include: 

  • X-rays of your teeth and jaws 
  • Clinical examination of your jaw alignment, teeth, bite, and relationship of your teeth to your bone structures 
  • Digital scans and/or impressions of your teeth 
  • Multiple available treatment options explained by a licensed professional who can provide the best recommended course of treatment for you 
  • Regular, in-person consultations to evaluate the progress of your treatment and make any necessary adjustments 
  • Access to a licensed professional who can help immediately if you have an issue or emergency during your treatment

Remember…orthodontic treatment is not a product or device. Orthodontic treatment is a professional, medical service. When your care is personally supervised by an orthodontist who is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, you are assured that your orthodontist spent years in a post-doctoral residency program focused on providing orthodontic treatment to patients.

If you are thinking about ordering aligners online without seeing a licensed orthodontist first, we strongly encourage you to schedule a free orthodontic consultation with Kelly Orthodontics before clicking that buy button. Dr. Kelly and his team sincerely care about your smile and will take the time to discuss the pros and cons of all your treatment options with you.

Before making any decision about orthodontic treatment, consider doing some research and having an in-person consultation with Dr. Kelly at our St. Charles location.

 

Is Invisalign Right For You?

Kelly Orthodontics When you think of orthodontics, you probably think of traditional metal braces . But metal braces are only one of the op...