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How Do I Care For and Brush My Teeth with Braces?

October 27th, 2017

It's up to you to ensure that your mouth is healthy and your nearly-straighten teeth are clean, Dr. Varghese recommends regular and timely brushing and flossing of your teeth. Braces are specialized appliances placed on your teeth to correct their position and improve your bite. However, one of the famous questions that are asked every day is, HOW DO I BRUSH AND FLOSS MY TEETH WITH BRACES?

Everyone will agree that it can be time consuming and difficult to keep proper oral health and boost self-care habits while in orthodontic treatment. Braces can be the perfect location to hide all food particles, plaque and saliva build-up!

How to Brush with Braces

Brushing your teeth with brackets on isn’t much different to brushing without them. Many of those with braces typically brush their teeth at least twice every day. There’s a lot of information to know, more than brushing after every meal.

Before you begin brushing, swish some clean water around your mouth to get rid of any lying food particle.

A soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste are the perfect components to keep your teeth clean. However, standard orthodontic treatment recommends the best anti-tooth decay product, frequently a fluoride-based. Using a “go-between” brush, commonly called a “proxabrush” is highly recommended as their heads can easily and quickly be replaced, and their bristles are cone-shaped.

When using the proxabrush, carefully move it in small, circular movements to reach all food debris including those trapped under the gum line. Additionally, do not use lots of pressure; hold the brush at an angle while covering all places between the teeth, their surfaces, and between the brackets. It should take you some time to guarantee thorough cleaning of your teeth. Navigate it on the top of all teeth, further to your “wisdom teeth” and in a circular motion.

Flossing with Braces

It’s worth mentioning that unlike the common belief that flossing with braces isn’t possible, it’s equally important. It’s incomplete to brush, hence, failing to floss or improperly doing it can increase the risk of a tooth disease. Flossing is another important step, especially to clean those locations where your brush can’t reach. Reusable floss thread or Super-Floss, will remove pieces of food and plaque in between teeth making it effective and easy.

How Often?

But how often should I brush my teeth? How often should I floss? Dr. Varghese recommends at least four times that include:

After having your breakfast

After lunch

After dinner

Before bed

Gingivitis can form within 48 hours. It is clear that if you miss brushing and flossing for two consecutive days, or even improperly brush, you will be risking exposure to plenty of diseases not to mention the discoloration of your teeth.Oral diseases, including gingivitis and plaque thrive on the germs resulting from pieces of food, not brushed or flossed away. Flossing must be followed, then, we recommend using an antibacterial mouthwash. Dr. Varghese recommends at least 30 seconds of rinsing. Apparently, different from the common belief that braces on your teeth can’t inhibit a thorough cleaning; you can surely maintain the health of your teeth with them on. They will gradually straighten and keep them healthier but if a poor cleaning technique is maintained, the risk of the most common oral diseases can be real.

Please do not hesitate to contact our offices at 630.907.9680 or 847.961.5515 if any questions arise regarding your oral health during your orthodontic treatment.

How To Alleviate Discomfort After Your Braces Are Put On

October 29th, 2016

One of the most common misconceptions about braces is that they are painful to have put on and adjusted. While getting braces placed on your teeth is NOT painful, your gums and teeth will most likely be sore for a little bit. The discomfort after braces can last anywhere from a few days to a week. Discomfort or soreness after new braces, is caused by your teeth and body adjusting. It is very likely that you can experience the braces rubbing against your gums and cheeks. The discomfort is usually mild and there are several things you can try to alleviate, or help any soreness. Try these tips to reduce discomfort and adjust to your new braces as quickly as possible ☺

When your braces are put on or adjusted, our assistants will give you a special wax that can be applied to the braces to act as a barrier or band aide, between the brackets and your cheeks and lips. Applying orthodontic wax to your gums, teeth, and braces can reduce discomfort while preventing gum irritation from the friction between your new braces and your mouth.
Simply break off a small piece of the wax and form a small mold with your fingers before applying it to any area where the bracket irritates your mouth. This wax is non-toxic, but remember to remove it before eating, brushing, or flossing. Apply more wax after each meal or as needed.

Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water a few times a day can help heal sores and cuts on your cheeks and gums while reducing mild swelling and discomfort. Make a simple salt water rinse by mixing one teaspoon of table salt into a glass of warm water. Swish the rinse around in your mouth for about one minute before spitting it out.

Frozen or cold treats like popsicles and ice cream help numb the cheeks and gums to quickly reduce soreness. Frozen foods and ice can also reduce mild swelling in the gums.

Whenever you feel discomfort, try rubbing your gums with an ice cube then rubbing your fingers gently over your gums. This can reduce swelling and numb your gums against mild pain.

Some foods should be avoided when you have braces. Some of these foods can damage your braces while others can get stuck in the brackets or cause discomfort while chewing. The list of foods to avoid include:
▪ Gummy or sticky foods like taffy and soft caramel
▪ Foods with a tough texture or hard surface like apples and bagels
▪ Corn on the cob
▪ Chewing gum
▪ Ribs and beef jerky
▪ Popcorn
▪ Raw carrots

Call Varghese Orthodontics to schedule your complimentary consultation with us in our North Aurora and Huntley areas today. Remember that every beautiful smile begins with healthy, straight teeth, and that is the goal of Dr. Varghese and our team at Varghese Orthodontics ☺

Why Did My Bracket Come Off My Tooth?

September 26th, 2016

There is nothing more frustrating than getting your braces on and then having one come loose. What exactly causes this and how can it be avoided? If there were only one reason that brackets come off (break), this would be a very short blog! Surprisingly, there are at least three variables that must be considered when trying to diagnose the cause of bracket failure, 1) The Tooth 2) The Placement Technique and 3) The Patient.

Ideal bond strength is most easily achieved between normal ivory colored enamel and a new orthodontic bracket. Although there are different orthodontic adhesives on the market, most have at least enough strength to hold a bracket on a normal tooth under regular conditions. When a bracket is attached to any other surface besides normal enamel, there is a loss of bond strength that results in more frequent bond failures. Examples of other surfaces include porcelain, hyper-calcified enamel (usually have a white, chalky appearance), hypo-calcified enamel (usually yellow or brown staining visible), or any number of dental restorations including tooth-colored composite and silver fillings. If a bracket must be attached to any of these surfaces, there will be a loss of bond strength. Another tooth-related cause of loose brackets is a non-ideal bite. If a tooth in the opposing arch hits on a bracket when the patient bites down, or even if a cusp tip in the opposing arch is directly across from a bracket, it is more likely that bracket will become broken during chewing.

The second variable that determines if a bracket stays on is the clinical technique used by the orthodontist. Modern bonding techniques require that teeth are clean, isolated, and dry before they are sealed. This is the reason why we use cheek retractors with built-in suction when placing brackets. Keep in mind that if a bracket breaks off from the tooth due to a bond failure, this will happen in a matter of minutes or hours. Brackets will not break off weeks later do to bond failure!

The patient is the third cause of bracket failure. Although all patients receive instructions about what they can and cannot eat with their braces on, changing eating habits is challenging. Hard and sticky foods must be avoided. This includes ice! Some patients forget that even some healthy foods (like raw carrots) are not good for their braces and must be avoided during treatment. Sports mouth guards are essential, but they can also break brackets and should be reported to our office. Last but not least, any habit that involves foreign objects going into the mouth (i.e. pens, fingernails, etc.) must be stopped.

It is important that you check your braces every night when you brush to make sure that none of the brackets have come loose during the day. Although patients commonly tell us a bracket came off during brushing, in reality it was probably already loose but was merely discovered at that time. You can tell if a bracket is loose by gently pushing on it with your finger. If you notice that it moves but the tooth does not, it is probably no longer attached.

If at any time you suspect a loose bracket, you should call us to schedule an appointment to have it repaired within one or two business days. Waiting longer than that could result in unwanted tooth movement that may lengthen your treatment time.

Call Varghese Orthodontics to schedule your complimentary consultation with us in our North Aurora and Huntley areas today. Every beautiful smile begins with healthy, straight teeth, and that is the goal of Dr. Varghese and our team at Varghese Orthodontics ☺

Preventing Delays During Orthodontic Treatment

May 12th, 2016

Our patients dislike the thought of delaying their treatment and often ask us what they can do in between their adjustment visits to help. Today, Dr. Varghese and our team thought we would provide some tips on how you can stay ON TRACK OR AHEAD of your scheduled treatment time.

The first thing is to keep your adjustment appointments! Each visit with Dr. Varghese is carefully planned to move your teeth a specific way, and in a certain time frame. It’s important to note that missing an appointment can add weeks or months to your treatment time.

Next, we want you to let our team know right away if you experience any problems with your braces or appliances. A missing wire, rubber band, or broken bracket can delay treatment, so we ask that you please call right away to report any issues rather than waiting until your next visit.

Make sure you wear your rubber bands as prescribed by Dr. Varghese! Most, if not all, of our patients will need to wear elastics or rubber bands at some point during their treatment. Not wearing the bands or elastics, or not wearing them enough, can slow down treatment time. Rubber bands are critical in aligning your bite and are important for correcting the way you bite.

Finally, we want you to maintain optimal oral hygiene, just as you did before your treatment began. In addition to flossing regularly, we encourage you to brush your teeth several times a day. Not brushing will allow sugar to wear away the cement on the braces, making them less effective in moving your teeth, as well as elevating your risk of developing cavities or tooth decay, which will inevitably delay treatment time.

If you have any questions about any of these tips, or if you have any general questions about your treatment, please give us a call at our North Aurora or Huntley locations.

Does Your Retainer Fit?

March 10th, 2016

An orthodontic retainer is an appliance that Dr. Varghese delivers to our patients to keep their teeth as straight as possible, after braces are removed. We even see patients that have been out of orthodontic treatment for years that have lost their retainers, and now they need a replacement, so their teeth do not continue to shift more than they already have.

We deliver retainers to our patients' on the same day that patients’ braces are removed ☺ Dr. Varghese makes certain our patients' retainers fit comfortably and correctly before they leave our office. We expect retainers might feel snug at first, but they will surely loosen up the same way that a new pair of slip-on shoes loosen up with wear. If a retainer doesn’t fit right when first delivered, we will either remake it or change the kind of retainer completely.

When a patient reports that his or her retainer is no longer fitting, there are two things that could have happened. The first occurs when a patient does something to his or her retainer that distorts its shape. This can happen when a clear plastic retainer, known as an Essix retainer, is cleaned in water that is too hot. Washing or soaking retainers in water that is too warm can cause the heat sensitive plastic to “relax” and lose its shape allowing teeth to move. Retainers with acrylic and wires, also known as a Hawley retainer, can be deformed by being inserted or removed incorrectly (using the front wire as a handle for example) or by being stepped on or slept on.

The second and most common cause of retainers not fitting properly, or not at all, is that the retainer is simply not being worn as prescribed by Dr. Varghese. There are different regimens for maintaining straight teeth, so we can’t dictate here what is appropriate for you. After 1 full year of being out of braces, we suggest to our patients' to go from full time retainer wear, to part time retainer wear. We recommend going a couple nights without your retainer (after the first year),then, insert your retainer. Does your retainer feel tight? If so, you may want to wear it more frequently than not. We can say, that if your retainer fit when you left our office, but it no longer fits, chances are you have not worn it enough and your teeth have moved. If the change is recent and minimal (and your retainers still fit but are tight) you can try wearing them full time to see if the teeth will move back where they were before. If the teeth don’t realign within a couple of days however, you’ll need to see Dr. Varghese as soon as possible. If you stopped wearing your retainer more than a few days and your retainer won’t fit at all, you’ll also need to see Dr. Varghese. Waiting too long will only allow more movement and increase the likelihood that you’ll need braces once again to correct the shifting.

How NOT To Forget Your Retainer!

February 25th, 2016

The alarm sounds in the morning, you wake up and realize “I forgot to wear my retainer!”

If this only happened once, don’t panic. Missing one night with a retainer is unlikely to cause significant tooth movement. However, if it has happened often, give our office a call to make sure your teeth haven’t shifted position.

Here are some tips from Dr. Varghese to help you remember your retainer:

1. Write down the instructions we give you for wearing your retainer, whether you should wear it all day, at night, or just a few times per week. Writing things out helps set the schedule in your memory.

2. Clean your retainer when you take it out each and every time. If you don’t, you may not have time when you’re rushing to get to work or school to clean it properly, and may be tempted not to wear it.

3. Put a note on your mirror or in your purse or wallet reminding you to wear your retainer.

4. Set an alarm on your mobile phone to remind you when it’s time to put your retainer in. If you have email with a calendar, you can set up daily reminders, too.

5. Always put your retainer in its case when you take it out to eat, brush your teeth or sleep. You’ll reduce your risk for losing it or accidentally throwing it away.

6. If you don’t have to wear the retainer every day, you can use some recurring events to help you remember. With this system for example, watching your favorite weekly TV show, laundry day, or family pizza night can all serve as reminders that you should put in your retainer.

7. Don’t be shy about asking for help if you’re forgetful. Assure your spouse, parents, siblings, or roommates that you won’t consider it "nagging" if they remind you to wear your retainer.

8. Surf online for examples of how teeth can shift when retainers are not properly worn. Those stories can serve as timely warning not to let the same thing happen to you!

Remember, you can always call our North Aurora and Huntley offices if you feel your retainer is uncomfortable or painful. We’ll work with you to protect your smile!

Are You Visiting Your Dentist During Your Orthodontic Treatment?

January 11th, 2016

If you’re brushing your teeth three times per day and maintaining your daily flossing routine during your orthodontic treatment, Dr. Varghese and our team think that is AMAZING and to keep up the great work! Keep in mind that it’s just as important for you to visit your general dentist (DDS) every six months, or as recommended, in addition to daily brushing and flossing.

Remember: Don't forget to keep your regular visits with us too to keep your treatment on track and on time ☺

Dental check-ups are crucial for maintaining optimal oral health. Your general dentist can check for problems that might not be seen or felt, detect cavities and early signs of tooth decay, as well as catch and treat oral health problems early. During an oral exam, your dentist examines the overall health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue. Check-ups will also include a thorough teeth cleaning and polishing by a Dental Hygienist (RDH).

At Varghese Orthodontics we monitor our patients' oral hygiene and let our patients know if more brushing and flossing is needed! Daily brushing and flossing is so important to keep your orthodontic treatment on track and on time ☺

If you have not been to the dentist in the last six months, please let us know during your next adjustment visit, as we can provide a few great references in the North Aurora and Huntley areas!

If you have changed your general dentist (DDS) since your last visit, please talk to Gigi, Jenn or Lindsey so we can update your information. Dr. Varghese keeps dentists updated on our patients' progress throughout treatment.

What to Expect When Visiting Varghese Orthodontics for the First Time

December 10th, 2015

The American Association of Orthodontists states that more than one million Americans are wearing braces!

Thanks to the advances in technology, adults and children are able to correct the appearance of their smile, due to a variety of orthodontic procedures and treatment plans. When it pertains to this specialized dental field, the question that most adults and children have is: What should I expect when visiting an orthodontist for the first time?

After Dr. Varghese completed his Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree (DDS), he proceeded to become an orthodontist, completing an additional 2 years of schooling at Marquette University, specializing in Orthodontia. Orthodontists are highly skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced dental professionals that help patients improve the appearance of their mouth by achieving straighter and healthier teeth, leading to beautiful smiles!

The priority of an orthodontist is to help you and your children achieve the goal of having straight and healthy teeth. The appearance of a person’s teeth has a huge influence on their smile, and statistics have shown that 83% of people believe their teeth are more important to their appearance than hair and eyes!

During your initial visit to Varghese Orthodontics, we will:

▪ Review your medical history forms.
▪ Perform an oral exam, along with an x-ray (only if Dr. Varghese requests for diagnostic reasons); this will help us determine if treatment is possible.
▪ Determine what type of treatment plan works best for your dental needs.
▪ Discuss the costs of treatment, in addition to all financial information, including your insurance options and the various types of payment plans that are available.

During your complimentary consultation, we will ask about your desires for treatment. Again, your input is valued from start-to-finish. After we hear your desires, we let you know what realistic expectations you should have about your entire orthodontic experience.

Dr. Varghese recommends an evaluation at the age of 7. At this time, Dr. Varghese will know what problems exist, and he can determine the best time for your child to begin treatment, if needed, as we can detect major issues at an earlier age, to avoid extractions of permanent teeth and the likelihood of more invasive procedures later in life.

Choosing to see an orthodontist is a huge decision, and we realize how intimidating that decision can be, which is why our professional team at Varghese Orthodontics goes above and beyond expectations by providing you and your children with the best treatment possible, in a warm, friendly environment. We work hard to develop a dental plan that will help improve the appearance of your teeth, which improves the way you feel. Dr. Varghese and our team are there every step of the way, providing you with care, assistance, and advice to ensure that your orthodontic experience is as rewarding as possible.
We use state-of-the-art equipment that is always up-to-date. You will receive a variety of safe and gentle orthodontic treatment options to choose from, giving you the individualized care that you need, and deserve!

Call Varghese Orthodontics to schedule your complimentary consultation with us in North Aurora and Huntley areas today.

Remember that every beautiful smile begins with healthy, straight teeth, and that is the goal of Dr. Varghese and our team at Varghese Orthodontics ☺

HAPPY HALLOWEEN…. Do You Know How Halloween Came To Be?

October 31st, 2015

Happy Halloween!! Dr. Varghese and our team wanted to be sure to wish our patients a fun-filled day, no matter how you might celebrate this holiday. The Halloween that is familiar to most people today bears little resemblance to the original Halloween; back in the “old days” it wasn’t even called Halloween!

Festival of the Dead

Halloween started out as a Celtic festival of the dead that honored departed loved ones and signified a change in the cycle of the seasons. The Celtic people viewed Halloween, then called “Samhain,” as a very special day – almost like our New Years day in fact, as their new calendar year began on November 1st. Samhain was the last day of autumn, so it was the time to harvest the last of the season’s crops, store food away for winter, and situate livestock comfortably for the upcoming cold weather. The Celts believed that during this day, the last day of winter, the veil between this world and the spirit world is the thinnest, and that the living could communicate with departed loved ones most effectively on Samhain due to this.

Modern Halloween

Halloween as we know it today started because Christian missionaries were working to convert the Celtic people to Christianity. The Celts believed in religious concepts that were not supported by the Christian church, and these practices, which stemmed from Druidism, were perceived by the Christian church as being “devil worship” and dangerous.

When Pope Gregory the First instructed his missionaries to work at converting the Pagan people, he told them to try to incorporate some of the Pagan practices into Christian practices in a limited way. This meant that November 1st became “All Saints Day,” which allowed Pagan people to still celebrate a beloved holiday without violating Christian beliefs.

Today, Halloween has evolved into a day devoted purely to fun, candy, and kids in costumes. What a change from its origins! We encourage all of our patients to have fun during the holiday, but be safe with the treats. Consider giving apples or Pirate's Booty to the kids instead of candy that is potentially damaging to the teeth and gum.

BE AWARE.... Sticky, Chewy and Gummy candies can break or damage orthodontic appliances.

Remind kids to limit their candy intake and brush after eating it! Sweets can cause tooth decay and aggrivate gum disease. So stay warm, safe and of course, have a fun-filled Halloween!


October 11th, 2015

Orthodontic braces are used to straighten teeth, which not only creates a more pleasing appearance, but also helps prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems. Braces are only effective when they are properly cared for, however. Certain foods, for example, are better suited for individuals who have braces, as opposed to hard and sticky foods that can cause damage. So what types of foods should you or your kids eat to protect dental appliances?

The best foods to eat with braces are those that are not high in sugar and do not require excessive chewing. For breakfast, try eggs, yogurt, wheat toast, or oatmeal. Lunch may steer toward a banana rather than an apple, a salad without nuts, and a glass of water. If you are looking for some after-school snacks for your kids, consider string cheese with fruit.

A healthy dinner can include most types of vegetables, so long as they are cooked to an appropriate softness. Pair that with a lean protein, such as fish or chicken, and follow up with dessert. Just be sure to brush afterward!

Post-Tightening Foods

As braces begin to adjust the alignment of the teeth, Dr. Varghese will periodically tighten them to continue the alignment process. After tightening, the teeth may be sore and sensitive to certain foods. During this time, it is best to eat soft foods. Examples include:

• pudding
• mashed potatoes
• soup
• ice cream
• cottage cheese
• peas
• pancakes
• pasta

Foods to Avoid

According to the American Dental Association, anyone who wears braces – whether fixed or removable – should avoid excessive snacking and should aim to eat a healthy and balanced diet. It is also important to avoid foods that could cause damage to the braces, such as:

• hard candies
• gum
• nuts
• popcorn
• certain raw vegetables (for example, carrots)

Regardless of what types of foods you eat with braces, it is important to keep the crevices between the teeth and around the braces very clean. That means brushing and flossing after meals to prevent the build-up of plaque and decay. Not only can failing to do so damage the teeth, but it can also cause discoloration.

How Do I Care For and Brush My Teeth With Braces?

October 4th, 2015

While it’s normally up to you to ensure that your mouth is healthy and your nearly-straightened teeth are clean, orthodontists require regular and timely brushing and flossing of teeth. Braces are specialized appliances placed on one’s teeth to correct their position and improve speech. They come in different sizes for every individual, and are proven to align the teeth to stay in proper position. However, one of the famous questions that are asked every day is, HOW DO I BRUSH AND FLOSS MY TEETH WITH BRACES?

Everyone will agree that it can be a real obstacle to keep proper oral health and boost self-care habits while in orthodontic treatment. Braces can be the perfect location to hide all food particles, plaque and saliva build-up.


Brushing your teeth with brackets on isn’t much different to brushing without them. Many of those with braces typically brush their teeth at least twice every day. There’s a lot of information to know, more than mere brushing after every meal.
Before you begin brushing, swish some clean water around your mouth to get rid of any lying food particle. It’s always overlooked, but orthodontists typically require that you gently run your finger up and down the brush’s bristles. It’s imperative as it removes any food particle left.
A soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste are the perfect components to keep your teeth clean. However, standard orthodontic treatment recommends the best anti-tooth decay product, frequently a fluoride-based. Using a “go-between” brush, commonly called a “proxabrush” is highly recommended as their heads can easily and quickly be replaced, and their bristles are cone-shaped.

A proxabrush cleans the teeth behind every archwire, in-between the brackets and work well on where flossing is insufficient or where the floss-thread won’t easily clean. It’s critical to use them every time you are cleaning your teeth as getting them isn’t a huge task.

When using the proxabrush, carefully move it in small, circular movements to reach all food debris including those trapped under the gum line. Additionally, do not use lots of energy; hold the brush at an angle while covering all places between the teeth, their surfaces, and between the brackets. It should take you some time to guarantee thorough cleaning of your teeth. Navigate it on the top of all teeth, further to your “wisdom teeth” and in a circular motion.


It’s worth mentioning that unlike the common belief that flossing with braces isn’t possible, it’s equally important. It’s incomplete to brush, hence, failing to floss or improperly doing it can increase the risk of a tooth disease. Brushing alone isn’t an adequate measure that warrant clean and healthy teeth, thus flossing is another important step, especially to clean those locations where your brush can’t reach. Reusable floss thread, will remove food particles and plaque, this will typically take more time than just brushing. Similar to brushing, little energy as well as careful flossing between the arch wires and braces, and between the teeth and gums is critical.


But how often should I brush my teeth? How often should I floss? Dr. Varghese recommends at least four times that include:

▪ After having your breakfast,
▪ After lunch
▪ After dinner, and
▪ Before bed.

Gingivitis can form within 48 hours. It is, thus, clear that if you miss brushing and flossing for two consecutive days, or even adopt an improper brushing technique, you will be risking exposure to plenty of diseases not to mention the discoloration of your teeth.

Ordinary oral diseases, including gingivitis and plaque thrive on the germs resulting from food debris. Flossing must be followed, then, use an antibacterial mouthwash. Varghese Orthodontics recommends at least 30 seconds of rinsing. After a few rinsing and spitting sessions, a bit of water can help restore the freshness.

Apparently, different from the common belief that braces on your teeth can’t inhibit a thorough cleaning; you can surely maintain the health of your teeth with them on. They will gradually straighten and keep them healthier but if a poor cleaning technique is maintained, the risk of the most common oral diseases can be real.

Research has proven that although absolute abstinence from brushing eventually leads to tooth decay, poor brushing and flossing will also result in the same. Furthermore, an individual with braces, but who seldom brush their teeth and who practice substandard brushing, face the same risks.

Please do not hesitate to contact our offices at 630.907.9680 or 847.961.5515 if any questions arise regarding your oral health during your orthodontic treatment.

When are Two Phases of Orthodontic Treatment Necessary?

September 27th, 2015

Usually patients in orthodontic treatment already have their permanent teeth – they are pre-teens, teens and adults. But in some cases, it will be beneficial to the patient to begin orthodontic treatment earlier, even before the patient’s permanent teeth completely erupt. We call this “Two-Phase Treatment.”

When we have patients with clear developmental problems at an early age, it’s best to start work when they are young, before the problems get bigger and more difficult to treat.
These Examples include:

• An upper or lower jaw that is not growing correctly (over-bite/under-bite)
• A mouth growing in a way that doesn’t leave enough room for all the permanent teeth to come in (crowding)
• A severe malocclusion, or bad bite, which means the jaw doesn’t fit together correctly (cross-bite)

In these cases, we will start early and do one round of treatment – "Phase I" – while the patient still has their baby teeth. Phase I does not always involve braces, but will more than likely include a different type of appliance that help the jaw or palate grow into place. Dr. Varghese will follow up for "Phase II" every 4-6 months, until permanent teeth are in place. Generally Phase II involves the Damon System to align the teeth and correct the bite, or malocclusion.

In order to catch problems early, we recommend that children have an orthodontic check-up no later than age seven (and so does the American Association of Orthodontists). However, if your dentist or pediatrician see any sign that early treatment might be necessary, he or she may recommend your child visit Varghese Orthodontics even sooner.

All Consultations are complimentary, please call our office in North Aurora at 630.907.9680 or our Huntley office at 847.961.5515.


September 22nd, 2015

Fall "Tailgate Cooler" PrizeWe hope everyone had a pretty awesome summer and we can't believe that Fall is upon us. This means that Football Season is back, ya'll! So, Varghese Orthodontics has been kicking it into high gear :)

Win this "Tailgate Cooler" filled with some pretty sweet tailgating treats:

* A Frisbee
* Pirate's Booty Popcorn (Totally Braces Friendly)
* A Varghese Orthodontics Beverage Mug
* Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
* Tailgate sized soft cookies

All you have to do is match the mascot to the NCAA Football Team! Please don't forget to write your name and best contact phone number to redeem your prize. Please submit your entries at the front desk.


We wish you the best of luck! Go Chicago!

Fun 4th of July Facts!

July 3rd, 2015

July 4th is the best time to get together with family and friends for outdoor games, fireworks, BBQ's and other celebrations in honor of our country's independence. Here are some extraordinary facts and historical tidbits about some of our country's traditions and symbols, from our team at Varghese Orthodontics. Enjoy :)

The Statue of Liberty

With a torch in one hand and a tablet in the other, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most iconic and recognizable symbols throughout our country's history. As recognizable as some parts of the statue are, not many recognize the broken shackles on Lady Liberty. These broken shackles represent oppression and tyranny, which lay at Lady Liberty's feet. According to the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, the copper-plated lady weighs 450,000 tons and has been holding her torch for more than 125 years.

Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

Believe it or not, since 1916, people have been gathering at Coney Island every year on July 4th to witness what is called the "Super Bowl of competitive eating." Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest challenges competitors to chow down as many hot dogs as possible in just 10 minutes. The current record holder devoured 68 hot dogs! This event is so huge, ESPN has been broadcasting this contest for several years now, so you can watch it comfortably from your home.


The perfect ending to a great July 4th celebration is the much anticipated gorgeous display of fireworks. Many know these brilliant displays were most likely originated from the Chinese culture. Many historians also believe that fireworks were stumbled upon when the Chinese roasted bamboo sticks over fires and watched them explode. After many years of roasting these bamboo sticks, a group of alchemists created an early form of gunpowder, which they stuffed into the bamboo sticks to create an even more powerful explosion, paving the way for today's elaborate displays.

Whatever you are planning this holiday weekend, Dr. Varghese and our entire team wish everyone a safe and fun-filled Fourth of July Celebration! Happy 4th :)

Summer is Right Around the Corner: Tips for a Bright and Beautiful White Smile!

June 19th, 2015

The official day of summer is just days away! This means a season full of vacations, adventures and great memories for our patients and their families here at Varghese Orthodontics.

Everyone wants a radiant white smile and we have a few reminders to keep your pearly whites healthy and beautiful over summer gatherings. We suggest to try to stay away from drinks that will stain your teeth like coffee, soft drinks, dark colored juices and tea. Not only will drinks like this weaken your enamel, they will also darken your beautiful smile! Another tip is to focus on brushing your teeth; everyone knows when busy schedules begin to pick up, getting a good brushing session in tends to be set aside. A great tip for keeping your teeth safe from staining and other possible pitfalls is to rinse your mouth out with water after any meal, when fully brushing is just not quite an option. Trust us! You and your amazing smile will benefit and thank us later :)

Remember! Whether you are headed to the beach, a barbecue or just having fun in the backyard this summer, we would love to hear all about it!

Have a wonderful and safe start to the summer :)

Summer is Almost Here! Tips to do Before Getting Your Braces On :)

May 6th, 2015

The school year is coming to a close way too fast! This is the perfect time to schedule your appointment, as our patients will not have to be taken out of school and will be well adjusted with braces before they go back in the Fall 2015!

So.... Congratulations! You are taking the next step to a beautiful, more functional smile at Varghese Orthodontics. As with anything that is good for you, there are a few things you will have to avoid to get that "Amazing Varghese Smile".

As many of our patients already know from talking to their friends and the like, there are some foods you will have to avoid while in braces :(
Some foods listed below while wearing braces should be avoided:
1.) Beef jerky (anything really tough)
2.) Taffy (anything really chewy)
3.) Pizza Crust (anything really hard)
4.) Popcorn with kernels (Pirates Booty is a really great alternative! Popcorn with kernels and typically the culprit for broken brackets, bent wires and sometime.... infections)

The reason why we say to stay away from these kinds of foods is because the more likely you're going to break a bracket and bend your wires. Ultimately, this can ruin your day by sending you back to repair the broken appliance. Not so much fun :(

Dr. Shaun and our entire staff will go over exactly what you can and can not eat during your treatment, so.... bring all your questions as we want to make your experience with Varghese Orthodontics as enjoyable as possible :)

So, you can indulge now and remember, this won't be forever , so hang in there. We will have a surprise for you at the very end :)

Please call today for your complete complimentary consultation!

Varghese Orthodontics is Now Proud to Offer Our Patients' AcceleDent!

April 20th, 2015

Who would not like to reduce their time in braces?

Dr. Varghese proudly welcomes AcceleDent, an innovative way to reduce treatment time and lessen the discomfort that come with braces.

Dr. V and our team are proud to offer our patients AcceleDent, an innovative device designed to increase your rate of tooth movement as well as potentially decrease your overall treatment time.

AcceleDent is a comfortable, light weight, hands-free device that you bite between your teeth for 20 minutes per day while undergoing treatment. AcceleDent uses micro-vibrations that help stimulate bone movement, which complement the controlled force braces provide to help bring your teeth into proper alignment and occlusion.

Multiple studies have indicated that AcceleDent is an effective treatment in safely increasing bone movement, and can reduce the time our patients spend wearing braces about 38-50% faster than usual.

To learn if AcceleDent is right for you, please give us at call at 630.907.9680 to schedule your complimentary exam with us today :)

Do Braces Cause White Spots on My Teeth?

March 24th, 2015

Getting you braces off is hands down the most exciting time, as we know you have been counting down the days! Once you have that perfect smile you have always wanted, noticing white spots on your teeth can put a damper on your celebration :(
These white spots, also called decalcification or demineralization of the enamel is caused by plaque (the substance that causes cavities). These white and chalky looking marks appear on the teeth when acids created by the plaque remove minerals (demineralization) from the tooth surface and change the way it reflects light. The most common areas of the tooth at risk of decalcification are between the gums and the brackets, where brushing can become a little bit more challenging. When a patient has poor oral hygiene, sometimes these white spots develop under swollen gum tissue, making detection most difficult.
Although brackets (braces) do NOT cause the demineralization of your tooth surface, they do complicate the removal of the plaque responsible.
Can these white spots be prevented? ABSOLUTELY! 1.) A deep cleaning removing all the plaque 2.) Protecting the enamel with a coating and 3.) EDUCATION!
By teaching and giving our patients the proper tools from the very beginning, our goal is to eliminate this issue of decalcification from the first appointment to the very last.
The day our patients get their braces on, we not only go over foods to avoid during their whole orthodontic treatment and successful oral hygiene, be we also prepare the teeth in a way their enamel is being protected with the use of fluoride in our dental cement. Each appointment we monitor oral hygiene and voice to the patient and the parent when improvement needs to be made for an optimal orthodontic and dental result.

Keep in mind, that you still need to be a really good brusher, flosser and visit your general dentist every 6 months :D
For more information, please do not hesitate to call our office at 630.907.9680

Why Flossing is So Important While Undergoing Orthodontic Treatment :)

March 2nd, 2015

Having braces or undergoing any kind of orthodontic treatment is truly an investment, so keeping your teeth in optimal health while in orthodontic treatment is essential to the health of your teeth and gums. Your overall oral health, of course, is important at any stage in your life, orthodontic treatment or not.

Dr. Varghese and our team understand that oral hygiene, especially flossing, is much more time consuming with braces, and sometimes our patients are reluctant to floss each day. Lets face it, even parents have told us, "Really? Thread each tooth? I do NOT have the time!"

The truth is that brackets, hold food, sugars, liquids upon eating. If these sugars are not completely removed on the front of the teeth, on the sides and behind, a cavity will be more prone to form. Having a cavity during orthodontic treatment may mean an extended treatment time and possibly more frequent visits.

When flossing, gently massage your gums in between the teeth. You will find that flossing with braces takes extra time, as you will have to thread each bracket. Remember, when flossing, there should be no signs of blood. If you do see blood, that is an indication that you are not flossing as much as you should be. Using an electric toothbrush is a great idea to massage your gums before or after flossing, as electric toothbrushes can help remove any harmful bacteria that are lingering in your mouth. By adding mouthwash to your routine will help break up any bacteria that has formed.

For a smooth and successful orthodontic experience it is up to you, our patient, to maintain optimal oral health by flossing at least once per day, brushing at least 3 times per day and keeping your regular visits with Dr. Varghese :)

If you have any questions about flossing, hygiene or your orthodontic treatment at Varghese Orthodontics, please don't hesitate to give us a call or during your next adjustment appointment!

Wisdom Teeth...... Not So Wise After All.......

February 24th, 2015

Why are our third molars called "Wisdom Teeth" anyway? The answer is because they usually appear in the late teens/early twenties. The reality is that the majority of people around the world have "impacted" wisdom teeth, meaning their third molars are stuck underneath their jaw bone and sometimes can not be seen without a panoramic x-ray. Many of these "wisdom" teeth erupt at an angle either, vertically, horizontally, mesioangular (most common) and distoangular.

Dr. Varghese monitors our patients' dental eruption, including the formation of "wisdom" teeth during treatment. The last thing our patients' want is their beautiful new smiles to be compromised by pesky third molars! This is the reason why we see every patient every 6 months up to 2 years after their braces come off! When and if the time comes to have your "wisdom" teeth removed, we will send a letter to your general dentist or give you a great referral to an oral surgeon, depending upon the severity of the impaction.

Please contact our office for some more great info at 630.907.9680 or 847.961.5515 :)

What is the Difference Between an Orthodontist and a Dentist Who Does Orthodontics?

January 28th, 2015

This is such a great question that we are asked every day!

Did you know that ALL Orthodontists are Dentists, but NOT ALL Dentists are Orthodontists?

Orthodontists and dentists both help patients improve their oral health, but in different ways. Dentistry is a broad medical specialty dealing with teeth, gums, nerves and the jaw, while an orthodontist, like Dr. Varghese, focuses on correcting a patient's bite and straightening teeth.
Once Dr. Varghese earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree (DDS) he proceeded with additional years of schooling to become an Orthodontist. Even though Dr. Varghese helps our patients with crooked teeth, he also specializes in overbites, underbites, crossbites, spaces between teeth, crowding of teeth and the treatment of temporomandibular disorders (TMD).

While a dentist may be trained to provide orthodontic care, in addition to extracting teeth, TMJ treatments and fillings, trusting your smile to an orthodontist can better balance the different needs of our patients.

Please call us to set up a complimentary consultation to learn more :)

The Lowdown on Wearing Your Rubber Bands/Elastics

January 22nd, 2015

What do you mean rubber bands? Will I need them? When will I need them? How often do I wear them? Why do I wear them in different directions? These are great questions that we hear everyday here at Varghese Orthodontics!

There are many different corrections that Dr. Varghese can achieve with brackets and wires, but some of the movement of teeth can only be done with the help of rubber band wear. This is where, YOU, the patient come in, so you do have some kind of say as to when you get your braces off. Orthodontics is not just about straightening teeth, it's also about the function of your bite. A good bite allows for a more stable result and allows the reduction of wear on your teeth later in life.

Not necessarily every patient needs to wear elastics to correct their bite. Some of our patients may need to wear rubber bands the day they get their braces on, others may be told to wear elastics later on in their treatment. The different way of wearing elastics is dependent upon the type of correction Dr. Varghese needs to correct.

There is definitely a reason for wearing your rubber bands full time! Think of it as pushing a car up a hill. As long as you push, progress is being made, but when you stop pushing, the car moves back down hill and the progress is lost. If our patients are not faithful with their elastic wear, it will keep their teeth sore because the body does not know if is should allow the teeth to move or to just keep them in place.

Like I said earlier, rubber bands are one of the few things that you can do to control how quickly things move along. When it's time to wear your elastics, our assistants will draw on a diagram of how to wear them, how long to wear them and also the type of rubber band you need to wear. LET'S GET THINGS MOVING, WHAT DO YOU SAY?

The Importance of Wearing a Mouthguard During Contact Sports

January 15th, 2015

When participating in contact sports such as football, basketball, soccer, wrestling, karate, etc... you should always wear a mouthguard! Here are 5 reasons below as to what a mouthguard can help protect:

1.) Helps reduce the chance of a concussion
2.) Protects jaw joints against injury
3.) Protects soft tissues from injury
4.) Cushions teeth against impact
5.) Helps prevent injuries to the jaws and neck

We encourage you to inform us if you do participate in any such sports and we will make arrangements to have a mouthguard for you at no extra charge. If your teeth are loose or your appliance is damaged due to an accident, call our office immediately so we may advise you of the kind of treatment required.

What Exactly is "Successful Orthodontic Treatment" and How Do You Achieve it?

January 5th, 2015

Successful orthodontic treatment is a partnership between Dr. Varghese and each individual patient of ours. Dr. Shaun and our amazing staff are hands-down, dedicated to achieving the best possible result for each patient. In order to attain this goal, patients must follow instructions carefully so that teeth can be moved properly and on schedule.

Treatment frequently takes a long time (often years) and greatly depends upon the patient faithfully following detailed instruction from Dr. Varghese and staff. As with all health care, there is some risk associated with orthodontic treatment. Treatment usually goes as planned, but results can not be guaranteed. When you have made the decision to proceed with the recommended treatment plan, you must be fully committed to doing your part.

The level of treatment depends upon the severity of the problem, the patient's growth and the level of patient cooperation. More severe problems take longer and require more patient cooperation. The estimated time of treatment usually is very close to the actual treatment time, but treatment may be lengthened if growth is different than expected or if patient cooperation is less than needed. Certain cases may require two of more phases. The amount of time spent with Dr. Varghese is a very small fraction of the treatment time. Most movement of teeth takes place continuously during normal daily activities.

At anytime during treatment, please do not hesitate to call our office and our staff is more than willing and able to assist with any questions, or call to make an appointment to speak with Dr. Varghese regarding treatment at anytime. Our goal each and every day is to provide the BEST ORTHODONTIC CARE POSSIBLE FOR EACH AND EVERY ONE OF OUR PATIENTS!

Dr. Varghese, Lindsey, Gigi, Jennifer, Jessica, Chris, Deb and Cortney wish Everyone a Happy 2015!

January 1st, 2015

A New Year is like a blank book. The pen is in your hands. It is your chance to write a beautiful story for yourself, so make certain you write a good one! We would love to read how you plan to write your New Year for 2015. Comment Below :)

Did You Know Orthodontics is NOT Just for Straightening Teeth?

December 22nd, 2014

Dr. Varghese and our entire team continue to work tirelessly to give our patients straight teeth and a beautiful smile. It's always nice to have a smile full of evenly aligned teeth, but did you know that straightening your teeth keeps them healthier too?
Straight teeth leads to better oral hygiene, increasing your chances of keeping your very own pearly white teeth for a lifetime, due to the fact that straight teeth are less prone to decay, a soft sticky colorless substance that forms on our teeth, every day, throughout the day. When you visit Dr. Varghese and our spectacular team, we monitor dental hygiene at each appointment!

Remember that it does not take much to remove plaque. Brush longer, not harder :)
Please call us to schedule your complimentary consultation and learn how to keep your natural teeth for a lifetime!

The Advantages of a Damon Smile!

December 17th, 2014

Varghese Orthodontics proudly offers Damon braces, which allow teeth to move more comfortably and easily, as compared to traditional braces with its signature colored ties. Thanks to this innovative technology, achieving your perfect smile will be faster and more comfortable than you ever thought possible! Here's How:

Shorter Treatment Times
With a Damon smile, Dr. Varghese and our extraordinary team can achieve superior results and complete treatment faster due to "self-ligating" brackets. Our average treatment time is 18-20 months, depending upon each of our patients' individual needs and wants. This may mean a savings of many months of treatment time. After each complimentary consultation, we will be able to provide you with a specialized treatment plan.

Fewer Visits to Varghese Orthodontics
As much as we LOVE to see ALL of our patients, Damon brackets are very precise and effective. We typically see each Damon patient every 8-10 weeks in between adjustments, as this system is perfect for kids on the go and involved in many sports and/or activities!

Greater Comfort
The unique and smaller, more rounded design allows Dr. Varghese to move teeth into the correct position with less discomfort compared to traditional braces.

Hygienists LOVE The Damon System as it's so much easier to keep teeth healthy and clean!

Please contact our office at 630.907.9680 or 847.961.5515 if you have any more questions regarding your future Damon smile :)

Hints for Dealing with Discomfort that Come with Braces

December 9th, 2014

The day you get your braces on, it will feel kind of awkward and you'll salivate a little bit more than normal. This is completely expected! So No Worries :) Typically patients feel a dull soreness 1-3 days after each orthodontic adjustment. Here are a few things YOU can do to lessen your discomfort:

Home Remedies
Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water will soothe and promote healing. Rinse several times per day or when you feel some soreness from poking wires. Dr. Varghese also recommends Tylenol during these times too. Cold foods like ice cream or yogurt can help dull the soreness, while ice packs help as well. Dr. Varghese stresses the importance of not biting into ice if you choose to place an ice cube directly on your sore, as ices cubes can crack a tooth right in half :(

Products you can use
Products for canker sores can be applied directly to your mouth sores that may develop from your braces. There are also some various mouth rinses that can act as a shield or barrier in your mouth to protect you from sores and further irritation. Dr. Varghese and our team recommend dental wax to apply on abrasive areas to protect your mouth from getting scraped and poked from long wires. Please come in during our business hours and help yourself to our scented wax at our "Good Bye Center" located next to the "Check-In Desk".
Remember that your discomfort will NOT last forever, one day you will wake up not even thinking you have braces on and the next moment, your orthodontic treatment will be complete and you will be braces free and have a beautiful new smile to show for it.
Please call our offices if you have any questions :)

Why it's so Important to Wear Your Retainers for Life!

December 1st, 2014

Nothing is more frustrating than noticing your teeth begin to shift as soon as you get your braces off. It is completely normal for your teeth to "settle" after your braces are removed, and our goal is to minimize these changes. As we get older, our bodies change, resulting in wrinkles in our skin, the thinning of our hair and yes!, the alignment and movement of our teeth. Retainers are the key to preventing tooth movement! The most important time to be faithful with your retainer wear is the first year after your braces are immediately removed. Absolutely everyone is different, as each individual's teeth move differently, so Dr. Varghese encourages our patients to monitor your own tooth movement to get a better idea of how often retainer wear is needed after the first critical year. Typically Dr. Varghese recommends retainer wear every night or every other night for lifetime after the first year. If you are not faithful with your retainer wear, Dr. V guarantees your teeth will move and most likely will need orthodontic treatment once again!
If you notice small, progressive changes in the days or weeks after your braces come off, your retainer may need to be adjusted. The sooner you call our office, the better chance we will have from orthodontic relapse. Otherwise, the longer the changes are left unaddressed, the more extensive the additional treatment will be.
Please do not hesitate to contact our office and our wonderful staff could answer any questions you may have.

Flossing Between Your Permanent Retainer

November 17th, 2014

All of us can agree that one of the most challenging tasks about having a permanent retainer is keeping it clean. Retainers that are bonded behind the teeth look nice and do their job perfectly without your help. Unfortunately, these retainers tend to accumulate plaque and stain, which require more time and effort when flossing.
Dr. Varghese uses bonded retainers because they have proven to be the most reliable when it comes to preventing tooth movement after braces are removed. There are 3 ways to floss your bonded retainer:
1.) "Floss threaders" are thin plastic needles that are used to help direct floss between the teeth and under your permanent wire. Once the floss is under the wire, it can me moved up and down the sides of your adjacent teeth, to remove plaque and stain build-up.
2.) "Superfloss" is a pre cut piece of floss on which one end has been made thicker by the manufacturer. This stiff end makes is much easier to thread your floss between your teeth making flossing a little bit faster than using floss threaders.
3.)"Airfloss or Waterpik" are great to use when you are on the go and do not have the time to spend on threading between each tooth. But don't forget to floss traditionally when you get home :)

Please contact our office if you need to know where to purchase these products or have any questions at 630.907.9680.

Happy Flossing :)

Are You Visiting Your Dentist During Your Orthodontic Treatment?

November 11th, 2014

Dr. Varghese regularly vocalizes how important your regular dental checkups are for maintaining optimal oral health. Even though Dr. Varghese and our orthodontic assistants monitor oral hygiene during each visit, your general dentist can check for problems that might not been seen or felt, detect cavities and early signs of tooth decay, as well as catch and treat oral health problems early. During an oral exam, your dentist can also check the overall health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks and tongue. Checkups will also include a thorough teeth cleaning and polishing.

Dr. Varghese recommends dental checkups every 6 months, or as recommended, in addition to brushing 2-3 times per day and flossing daily.

If you have not been to the dentist in the last 6 months, please let us know during your next adjustment and we will provide a few great references :)

Love Your New Smile? We Would Love to Hear About It!

November 3rd, 2014

Varghese Orthodontics proudly treat children, teens and adults; so no matter what your age, you deserve your best smile. Our energetic and welcoming team is know for making your experience personalized as we have been creating beautiful and confident smiles for years. Today we would like to ask: What do you Love about your new smile? How has your smile improved your life?

Whether you've recently come in for an initial orthodontic consultation with Dr. Varghese, or your family has been visiting our office for years, we would love to hear your thoughts about your personalized treatment. We encourage you to leave a few words for us below or on our facebook page :)

We are really looking forward to reading your feedback!


October 27th, 2014

As you already know, you can always connect with Dr. Varghese and Team by calling our North Aurora and Huntley offices, emailing us straight from our webpage or going to our Facebook page, so DON'T FORGET TO LIKE US:) However, if you have recently moved or received a new phone number or even a new general dentist, it is crutial for us to update our records so we can easily connect with you and provide you with the best orthodontic treatment and experience possible!

Halloween “TREATS” May Really be “TRICKS”!

October 20th, 2014

We all know exactly what damage sugar and "sticky" candy can do to teeth, so Dr. Varghese wants to remind our currents patients and future patients to be cautious when choosing candy from your bag at the end of your Halloween adventure of "Trick or Treating". So...go ahead and enjoy your treats. We want everyone to enjoy their Halloween....but we also want you to protect the investment you and your family has made in helping us create your beautiful smile, so please be sure your candy is orthodontic and dental friendly! Here are some examples of "Ortho-Friendly Treats": Soft, melt-in-your-mouth chocolates, peanut butter cups, milk shakes, gelatin, peeled, thinly sliced apples and ice cream. Now, here are some examples of "Treats to Avoid":Caramel, nuts, licorice, taffy, jelly beans, hard pretzels, bubble gum, candy corn, lollipops, popcorn with kernels, taco chips and ice. Please do not hesitate to call us if you have specific questions or concerns and of course, DO NOT FORGET TO BRUSH AND FLOSS! We hope everyone has a happy and healthy Halloween!

Back to School with Braces

September 5th, 2014

We can not believe summer flew by once more and it's that time of year again! The temperature is cooling off, fall sports are underway and all the kids are back to school. We would like to offer a few helpful tips for going back to school with braces!
1.) Be sure to follow the 2x2 brushing rule: brush your teeth TWO times a day for TWO minutes each day! It doesn't take much to get plaque off, longer, not harder. This will help keep your teeth and braces clean, which can lead to quicker appointments and healthier smiles :) If you want to brush after snacking or lunch, keep your toothbrush in your backpack for easy access.
2.) Bring a water bottle to school. Drinking water throughout the day helps to keep your whole mouth clean, fight cavities and bad breath, as soft drinks and even sports drinks are pure sugar in a can or bottle, which can lead to tooth decay and cavites. Stick with water and you can never go wrong!
We wish everyone a happy, healthy and safe return to the new school year :) Keep Smiling!

Handling Out of Town Emergencies!

July 28th, 2014

Summer vacation is here and many families are squeezing in last minute get aways before the new school year begins. Do you know what to do in case of an orthodontic emergency while away? Here are some tips from Dr. Varghese.
Fortunately, most problems with your braces do not qualify as true emergencies. Let's talk about a few things you can do while you are away to avoid the inconvenience and expense of trying to find an orthodontist in an unfamiliar area. Here are some helpful hints on what to do if you have any problems with your braces.
Take a mini emergency kit with you- include orthodontic wax, nail clippers or small pair of wire cutters, tweezers, a pencil with an eraser and our phone number if you need guidance.
Irritation of your lips or cheeks- Apply wax to the area causing the irritation and follow the instructions on the package. If you do not have wax on hand, sugarless gum works well. If any sores develop, go to a local drug store and purchase topical anesthetic like Orabase or Orajel to temporarily numb the area til you return and we can fix the issue.
Poking or protruding wire- Occasionally, the arch wire extends in the back or may come right out of the band or bracket when chewing gum, hard candy and sticky foods. You can use a pencil eraser or something soft to push the wire flat against your teeth. Add wax or sugarless gum to the end of the wire if needed to prevent irritation. If the main wire breaks, you can clip the wire with a pair of nail clippers, flush to the next anchored bracket- just remember to disinfect the clippers or wire cutter first with rubbing alcohol, if handy, or use the flame on a lighter to kills the germs. Once the wire is clipped, make sure to avoid swallowing the clipped piece of wire.
Loose band- If a band around one of your back teeth comes loose, don't worry about it unless it is causing problems while you eat. Worst-case scenario, clip the main wire with nail clippers flush to the next bracket and remove the loose band. Apply wax or sugarless gum if needed to avoid irritation from the cut wire. We can repair when you return.
Loose bracket- Hard foods are the main cause of loose brackets. During the summer, we all tend to be lax with our normal routines. however, out of town is not the time to take a chance breaking a bracket by not following the restricted diet. If the bracket does come loose from a tooth, remove the bracket with a pair of disinfected tweezers if you can and continue on your merry way. Do not forget to contact us when you return so we can schedule an appointment to replace the bracket. It is difficult to repair an emergency during your regular appointment when there isn't sufficient time scheduled to repair.
Loose ligature wire or elastic- If a small elastic ligature (the piece that attaches the archwire to the bracket) comes partially or completely off your braces, use a pair of disinfected tweezers to put it back into place. If a ligature is lost, don't worry about it. Call us when you return.
True emergencies
If you experience a true emergency where you are so uncomfortable you can't wait til you get back, contact the local dental society for an orthodontist recommendation. You can also search on your cell phone for an orthodontist near you. Most orthodontists provide an emergency contact number when out of the office and will help an out of town patient with a problem they can not easily attend to on their own. A local emergency room is always a last resort.

Please do not hesitate to give us a call at 630.907.9680 to ask us for guidance if you don't know what to do in these sticky situations. Our goal here at Varghese Orthodontics is to provide you with the most excellence of service and- just as important- to be sure you are comfortable and safe throughout the course of your treatment, even when you are away.

Braces and Playing your Musical Instruments

April 11th, 2014

Worried that your clarinet, trumpet or flute will gather dust while you are in braces? Dr. Varghese says not to worry! Although you will have to adjust to playing your instrument, braces do not usually get in the way of playing your beautiful notes.

Give your Child the Gift of a Healthy Smile for this Summer

June 8th, 2012

Not only do well-aligned teeth look and feel great, they are also an important part of good dental health. Poorly aligned teeth can lead to future dental problems. Not everyone needs orthodontic treatment, but every child should be evaluated by an orthodontist. It pays to start treatment when your child has the greatest chance for success. It is important to make sure your child receives an orthodontic check-up no later than age 7.

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