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Baby Teeth and Orthodontics: Two-Phase Treatment

February 26th, 2021

Happy Tooth Fairy Day from Petty & Bielik Orthodontics! At our practice, we love the Tooth Fairy! While she cares for baby teeth, we care for baby and adult teeth. When the Tooth Fairy first comes into your child’s life, it’s the perfect signal to bring your child in for an orthodontic appointment. Read on for more about two-phase treatment and why it could be a great option this Tooth Fairy Day!

All things baby teeth

Children begin to lose their 20 baby teeth starting around the age of six. During this time, 28 adult teeth will gradually take their place over the next six or so years. As these larger and more numerous adult teeth erupt, orthodontic issues, like crowding, a poor bite, or misalignment, can begin to develop.

While many people may think that you need to wait for adult teeth before beginning orthodontics, this is not the case. Although teen and adult braces are very effective, orthodontists can intervene far earlier with something called two-phase treatment.

What is two-phase treatment?

There is no cookie-cutter age for orthodontic care. However, we recommend that kids visit around the time that permanent teeth first begin to come in—typically this is at seven years old. At this point, our orthodontists can detect issues early, like crowding and misalignment, and create a two-phase treatment plan if it is beneficial.

Two-phase treatment can minimize the likelihood that your child will require surgery or extractions later on. By working with your child’s natural facial growth, we can often treat problems early—before they become more serious. For instance, two-phase treatment allows us to address issues like crowding. If we notice the signs of a narrow dental arch, we might use appliances, like a palate expander. This device guides a child’s growth to create space for teeth as they erupt. A wider arch then becomes the foundation for a healthy smile transformation during the second phase of treatment.

Book your child’s first appointment today!

Our team (and the Tooth Fairy) love helping children enjoy their healthiest baby and adult teeth! If your child has begun getting visits from the Tooth Fairy, now is a good time to book an appointment with our team. We can’t wait to help your child enjoy their healthiest, happiest smile!

Love Your Smile This Valentine’s Day

February 13th, 2021

When it comes to holidays, Valentine’s Day is so sweet! However, even though we love this holiday, celebrating recklessly can lead to a less-than-ideal smile. Our Petty & Bielik Orthodontics team is breaking down our top three tips for a healthy and happy Valentine’s Day.

1. Know your chocolates. Chocolates are one braces-friendly candy that you can indulge in all Valentine’s Day—as long as you choose the right ones. Before opening up that box of chocolates from your valentine, make sure you know what you are eating. You should always avoid chocolates with caramel, toffee, nougat, and nuts since they can break your braces or bend wires.

Forest Gump taught us that “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” However, this is not true—you can usually predict which chocolates are braces-friendly! Sticky chocolates with toffee and caramel fillings are almost always square or rectangular. You’ll be able to spot and avoid nut chocolates easily, which are bumpy and textured. Your safest bets are round or oval chocolates. They are usually soft cream-filled or ganache.

2. Love your smile transformation. Keeping your braces or aligners safe helps you get the best smile transformation possible. If you have braces, avoid chewy, hard, or sticky foods. Then, after eating any meal or snack, brush and floss. For an extra-clean mouth, rinse with water to remove small food particles beforehand.

If you wear clear aligners, remember to remove them before eating or drinking. This keeps your aligners clear and prevents tooth decay. After you finish, brush and floss thoroughly before you wear your aligners again. Since acid-neutralizing saliva cannot reach your teeth when you wear aligners, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is even more important.

3. Freshen up your breath. Even though your Valentine’s Day date may be virtual this year, keep that breath fresh! Many patients with braces experience halitosis since food particles can get stuck in hard-to-reach areas. Taking extra time to brush and floss, staying hydrated, and keeping a few sugar-free mints on hand can quickly remedy your bad breath. If you are out of the house, be sure to bring a travel toothbrush with you for a fresher smile!

We hope you all have a sweet, healthy, and happy Valentine’s Day! This holiday, love your smile and practice moderation with any candies or sweets. The last thing you need on Valentine’s Day is a cavity! For more tips or to book an appointment, call our team at (708) 636-2900 to book a consultation. 

Smile-Friendly New Year’s Resolutions

January 10th, 2021

With the New Year underway, now is a great time to add some smile, braces, or aligner tips to your resolution list. We know that with a little dedication, you’ll be on your way to a healthier smile as you tackle the new year! Read on for some resolution ideas from our Petty & Bielik Orthodontics team.

Resolutions for braces

1. Make sure you brush and floss!

Maintaining good oral hygiene is always important, but it is even more important when you have braces. Otherwise, food can easily get stuck in brackets or wires and cause decay.

2. Quit bad habits.

Chewing on ice, biting your nails, or holding items in your mouth are all bad habits to quit. Each can cause tooth or braces damage.

3. Fix your diet.

If you are a fan of sugary or acidic foods and drinks, now is the time to kick those habits! Sugary and acidic foods can lead to decay or cavities—especially if you find it difficult to clean your teeth while you wear braces. Everything in moderation!

Resolutions for Invisalign® wearers

1. Keep your aligners in!

Though Invisalign is fully removable, don’t abuse this power. Only remove aligners to eat, drink, brush, and floss. The less frequently you wear your Invisalign, the longer it will take to achieve your desired results. Plus, when you wear aligners the proper amount, you’ll barely notice them.

2. Don’t chew up those trays.

Though it may be tempting, avoid chewing on aligners. This can cause them to break, warp, or become damaged. Remember: trays are not convenient to replace and they aren’t toys.

3. Clean your aligners.

Since aligners sit on your teeth for hours on end, they can harbor bacteria. Make sure you regularly clean aligners to remove bacteria. And, always use cold water (hot water can warp plastic!).

With these tips in mind, we know you’ll be ready to kickstart 2021 with a clean, aligned, and healthy smile!

Start Your Smile Transformation From Home!

January 10th, 2021

2020 has been an unprecedented year. And with telecommuting, working from home, virtual school, and social distancing, we understand that your schedule is busy. Leaving the house these days can be both nerve-wracking and, at times, inconvenient. But, there’s good news! If you’ve always wanted a better smile, now you can begin your smile journey from the comfort of your home—before the hectic holiday season begins. Read on to learn more about how our new virtual consultations can set you up for the smile you’ve always dreamed of having.

How our virtual consultations work

Our virtual consultation tool is trusted and used by orthodontists across the country. Whether you are interested in traditional braces, Invisalign ® , or ceramic (clear) braces, you can use our virtual tool to start your smile transformation. The process is simple and convenient. All it takes is a few minutes of your time, some pictures of your teeth, as well as information and preferences from you.

After you submit your information, we will get to work—custom-creating your treatment plan. Your plan includes everything you need to know, from details about your smile makeover, to pricing and the estimated length of treatment. Once this plan is ready, we will contact you. We’ll answer your questions and help you navigate through any concerns that you may have.

Best of all, virtual consultations are no strings attached. So, if you decide that treatment is not right for you at this time, do not worry! And, if you do love your treatment plan, you can book your first appointment ahead of the busy holiday season. In the office, we are taking every precaution and following safety guidelines set by governing organizations like the ADA, CDC, and AAO. We are going above and beyond to keep you safe and smiling.

Get started today

Virtual consultations are ideal for anyone who has a busy schedule or would prefer to minimize trips outside. With the holidays approaching, we can help you get started with your dream smile—in just a few minutes from the comfort of your home. To begin, please visit our website. Click on the blue icon in the lower right-hand corner and start your consultation today!

If you have any questions about this service or if you would prefer to book an in-person appointment with our team, please reach out at 708.636.2900.

(708) 636-2900 4233 W 95th St, Oak Lawn, IL 60453