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Ceramic Braces

September 28th, 2022

Congratulations! You have made the decision to get orthodontic treatment with our Forever Smiles Team at our Buffalo Grove office. Now it’s time to choose among your various appliance options. Traditional metal brackets and wires, lingual braces, a series of aligners—they all have positives to recommend them. And for some people, ceramic braces are the clear favorite.

Ceramic braces work like regular metal braces. Brackets are bonded to the front of each tooth, and rubber bands surrounding the brackets hold the arch wire that gradually moves the teeth into alignment.

Ceramic braces, however, use brackets made of clear or tooth-colored ceramic or porcelain which blend beautifully with the color of your tooth. The elastic ligatures, or rubber bands, can be chosen to match the brackets or your enamel. There are self-ligating ceramic brackets which don’t use bands at all. Technology is even working on ways to make the arch wire less visible! The end result is braces that are almost undetectable.

If you want a less obvious appliance for professional or personal reasons, talk to us about ceramic braces. As always, there are other factors to consider before you decide, which we will be happy to discuss with you.

  • Ceramic brackets are very strong, but they are still more brittle than the metal model. If you play a contact sport, these might not be for you. (But whatever braces you choose, please wear a mouthguard when playing sports.)
  • Ceramic braces might not be ideal depending on the amount of alignment and bite correction that is needed. They might also take a bit more time to bring your teeth into alignment. We will be able to tell you if ceramic braces will work for you and if they might require a longer period to move your teeth to their perfect position.
  • Brackets can sometimes be somewhat larger (though this isn’t always the case), and, because they can be abrasive, are often recommended for upper teeth only. This way, the lower teeth will not impact, or be impacted by, contact with the upper teeth.
  • Oral hygiene can trickier with ceramic braces. Although today’s brackets aren’t as prone to staining, you still need to be careful to brush away the plaque that can accumulate around the brackets. And the bands are susceptible to staining by the usual suspects—coffee, tea, colas, blueberries, or any strongly colored food or beverage.
  • Costs will differ depending on the treatment method you choose. Talk to us about cost comparisons with other orthodontic treatments.

Ceramic braces, because they are so much less visible, are a popular orthodontic option, especially for older teenagers and adults. If you are interested, talk to Dr. Yan Razdolsky about this effective way to straighten your teeth—discreetly. Ceramic might be the clear solution for creating your lasting, beautiful smile.

Generations of Smiles

September 20th, 2022

The Birth of Modern-Day Orthodontics

From Hippocrates and Aristotle who first recorded tooth irregularities to modern day first- and second-generation orthodontists like Dr. Yan Razdolsky and Dr. Elizabeth Razdolsky Michalczyk who work to preserve patient smiles, the study of dental orthopedics and development of treatment options has come full circle to create a better aligned and healthier Forever Smile. In this first of a three-part series, we will explore just how orthodontics has evolved through the generations to impact how our dynamic father / daughter duo work side by side today.

“It is fascinating to learn just how quickly the study of Orthodontics has emerged,” said Dr. Yan Razdolsky of Forever Smiles Orthodontics. “In what is truly a very short time in history, something so incredibly important to the health and well-being of human life has come forward all because a handful of dentists wanted to standardize the teaching and practice of the specialty.”

The Lost Generation (1883-1900) so called due to the disillusioned, directionless, and cynical spirit of many post WWI survivors, can remarkably be the generation credited with discovery of modern-day Orthodontics. Reportedly penned by Gertrude Stein, this “Lost Generation” introduced us to Edward Angle, the father of modern orthodontics who brought us the first school of Orthodontics in the world.

Founded in 1899 to educate four dental professionals of the time, The Angle School of Orthodontia included course study in histology, anatomy, biology, and physiology over a period of 3 to 6 weeks. The four graduates in turn taught seven more students with each graduating class expanding on the Angle legacy. Today, we can trace the origins of American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), the largest professional member organization in the field, and American Board of Orthodontics (ABO), the certifying agency for doctors specializing in the field all to Edward Angle. Dr. Yan is an ABO Certified orthodontist, and he and Dr. Liz are active members of the AAO which has grown to include more than 12,000 specialist members in the US, Canada and abroad!

Notable orthodontic innovations of The Lost Generation:

  • First use of intermaxillary elastics
  • First School of Orthodontics
  • Birth of American Association of Orthodontists and American Board of Orthodontics

“Being a board-certified orthodontist means that I not only straighten teeth, but I work to correct problems with a patients bite,” said Dr. Yan. “There is so much to patient orthodontic treatment that impacts breathing, speech, sleep and more. I love what I do knowing that it helps so many people with issues they otherwise may not know they have,” he added.

It is a very laborious and involved process to become ABO certified and only 25% of orthodontists are ABO certified according to Dr. Yan. In addition to an extensive interview process by an esteemed panel, applicants must provide detailed case reports for a broad range of patient issues to affirm their expert knowledge in treatments, clinical skills, and orthodontic judgment. Additionally, they are held to a much higher standard of care through continued certification, education, and professional collaboration.

The Greatest Generation, also called the GI Generation (1901-1924), was so coined by Tom Brokaw in tribute to the hard working, resilient and gritty Americans who lived through the Great Depression and fought in WWII. For this generation, orthodontics was still in its infancy. For working-class parents of this generation, fixed braces demanding extensive medical treatment and made from expensive materials such as gold wire were simply too expensive for the general population.

Notable orthodontic developments of The Greatest Generation:

  • Manufacture of Standardized Appliances
  • Removable Lingual Arch
  • Craniometric Measurements & Classification of dental development
  • 1920 Introduced Stainless Steel to make orthodontics more affordable

One orthodontic historic note was the rise of a prominent American Orthodontist, Calvin S. Case. Case had several divisive professional views from orthodontic pioneer Edward Angle, but none more so than that of extraction vs. non-extraction. Case argued in favor of tooth extraction in some orthodontic cases to account for the aesthetic appearance of the whole face. Angle was stanch in treatment to include retaining a full complement of teeth. The debate split the orthodontic community for several decades and even with today’s research and study remains unresolved. Dr. Yan has published articles and delivered numerous case studies on extraction vs. non-extraction. He asserts that each patient’s treatment must be addressed on a case-by-case basis as the science behind a healthy smile truly demands it.

“The approach to patient orthodontic treatment is a very complex issue. We have countless research articles which often contradict each other in their findings because every case is so unique,” said Dr. Yan. “I myself have conducted several case studies throughout my career and have learned that only through treatment of the patients unique underlying issues can we hope to ensure them a true Forever Smile.”

Indeed. Our early American generations of dentists brought to us an opportunity to fulfill our desire for learning about how orthodontics effects our human condition. In our next issue of Bracket Chatter, we will discover just how that thirst for knowledge became the driving force behind the amazing technological advances available to us today to help patients achieve a beautiful, healthy smile.

Can I use mouthwash instead of flossing?

September 14th, 2022

While mouthwash goes a long way in improving your oral care, it is not a substitute for flossing. Mouthwashes and flossing provide different benefits that you should understand.

Mouthwash Benefits

Mouthwash comes in two categories. Some are considered cosmetic. This type of rinse provides temporary relief from bad breath and has a pleasant taste. These do not actually kill any bacteria.

Therapeutic mouthwashes provide the healthier benefits. These may contain different ingredients including fluoride or antimicrobial agents. This type is used to remove plaque buildup and reduce the potential for calculus formation. Therapeutic rinses can also help prevent cavities, bad breath, and gingivitis. In addition, Dr. Yan Razdolsky can prescribe special rinses to assist patients after periodontal surgery or other procedures.

Flossing Benefits

Flossing is what removes the plaque formation before it can harden and become calculus. While a rinse reduces buildup, only flossing will fully remove plaque, especially between teeth. The bristles on a toothbrush do not get between teeth completely. If plaque is not removed, it hardens into tartar or calculus. When this builds below the gum line, gum disease can start.

Types of Floss

Floss is available in a thin string form or a tape. It can be waxed or unwaxed. If you find flossing difficult, you might want to try a different type of floss. You can buy bulk floss in containers or purchase the disposable type with a plastic handle attached. This style can be easier for many individuals to use. Interdental picks are available for bridgework or other situations where regular floss cannot be used.

If you have questions regarding the best mouthwash or floss, or need tips for easier flossing, please ask our Forever Smiles team for advice. We will be glad to give you solutions to help keep your mouth clean and healthy.

What was your favorite part of summer?

September 7th, 2022

It's the end of summer, and fall is just around the corner. Soon the temperatures will cool down, the leaves will start to change, and Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our team at Forever Smiles are sure that you’ll soon be thinking about Halloween costumes and Thanksgiving plans in no time. But wait! First, we want to know about your favorite parts of the summer! Did you go on a wonderful family trip? Did you pick up a new hobby? Did you try to spend as much time outside and in the sun as possible?

Share your favorite memories, stories, or photos with us by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook page.