Thanksgiving Trivia

November 23rd, 2022

At Forever Smiles we love learning trivia and interesting facts about Thanksgiving! This year, Dr. Yan Razdolsky wanted to share some trivia that might help you feel a bit smarter at the holiday dinner table and help create some great conversation with friends and family.

The Turkey

There is no historical evidence that turkey was eaten at the first Thanksgiving dinner. It was a three-day party shared by the Wamponoag Indians and the pilgrims in 1621. Historians say they likely ate venison and seafood.

According to National Geographic, the dinner at the Plymouth colony was in October and included about 50 English colonists and 90 American Indian men. The first Thanksgiving dinner could have included corn, geese, and pumpkin.

Today, turkey is the meat of choice. According to the National Turkey Association, about 690 million pounds of turkey are consumed during Thanksgiving, or about 46 million turkeys.

The Side Dishes

The green bean casserole became popular about 50 years ago. Created by the Campbell Soup Company, it remains a popular side dish. According to Campbell’s, it was developed when the company was creating an annual holiday cookbook. The company now sells about $20 million worth of cream of mushroom soup each year, which is a major part of the recipe.

While there were likely plenty of cranberries for the pilgrims and Indians to enjoy, sugar was a luxury. What we know today as cranberry sauce was not around in those early Thanksgiving days. About 750 million pounds of cranberries are produced each year in the US, with about 30 percent consumed on Thanksgiving.

The Parade

Since Thanksgiving did not become a national holiday until Lincoln declared it in 1863, the annual parades were not yearly events until much later. The biggest parade that continues to draw crowds is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Beginning in 1924 with about 400 employees, they marched from Convent Avenue to 145th Street in New York City. Famous for the huge hot-air balloons today, it was actually live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo that were the stars of the show then.

However you choose to spend your Thanksgiving holiday, we wish you a safe, happy and healthy holiday with those you love.

Generations of Smiles

November 22nd, 2022


This is Part three of a three-part series: Generations of Smiles is a historic telling of the origins of orthodontics, all the way to today. Part one of the series taught us about the Birth of Modern Orthodontics and part two shared with us An Orthodontic Renaissance - both of which you can read more about in the September and October issues of Bracket Chatter.

According to the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics there are currently four generations of orthodontists in the workforce. Thankfully Forever Smiles boasts two of the finest Buffalo Grove has to offer. When we left off in our last issue of Bracket Chatter’s Generation of Smiles, the Baby Boomer Orthodontic Specialists began to explore the importance of individualized treatment options which made way for the revolutionary, aesthetic and technologic orthodontic accomplishments of today’s Generation X followed by the Millennials.

Many of those in Generation X (1961-1981) grew up in dual income families who were said to be the first generation not to be as financially successful as their parents. Theirs was a cohort who displayed individualism and skepticism, but with a drive for results and a desire for getting a job done well. As a reflection of this, gold was more universally abandoned in the 1960s in favor of stainless steel bringing the cost of orthodontics down considerably. And by the 1970s, major breakthroughs such as development of a dental adhesive used to bond miniature brackets to teeth eliminated the need of bands around the teeth, thus beginning the era of aesthetic orthodontics. Along with these developments, elastics gained in popularity and self-litigating or ligature-less brackets reappeared allowing for greater control of force and movement in treatment. Also introduced in this generation is titanium alloys offering greater stiffness, strength, and range.

The 1980’s brought to orthodontics the first aesthetic ceramic brackets made from single crystal sapphire and polycrystalline zirconia. Although in the coming decades these products are replaced and refined, their appearance in the field of orthodontics opened the door for those who once bristled at the stigma of wearing braces. This decade also found the arrival of many innovative techniques to the U.S. from across the globe and introduces us to our first notable and favorite orthodontist!
In 1987, Dr. Yan Razdolsky earned his graduate degree in orthodontics and went to work with a prominent orthodontist on the west side of Chicago. In just six short months, he says he learned more than he had in two years of residency.
“It takes years to learn some of the techniques and procedures that I learned in practical application and working with real patients,” said Dr. Yan. “It wasn’t until years later that I realized just how valuable that experience was and how it influenced who I am as an orthodontist today.”

While many of the techniques which Dr. Yan learned were innovative back then, many are far more mainstream today. For that reason alone, they inspired him to develop his own techniques for which he has held five patents.
Notable orthodontic achievements of Generation X:

  • By the 1970 orthodontic appliances evolved into the traditional systems most of us recognize today as comprised of wires and brackets.
  • 1975 Lingual Braces (brackets placed on the back of the teeth) were introduced.
  • Debut of bonded miniature brackets, marking the arrival of esthetic orthodontics.
  • CAD/CAM technology first introduced to dentistry in 1985
  • 1987 First clear, tooth-colored ceramic brackets introduced using translucent polycrystalline alumina or TPA. Initially a product developed by NASA and Ceradyne, Inc., a global leader in manufacture of advanced ceramics for aerospace, defense, electronics, and industrial use.
  • As an aside, the 2016 AAO membership data shows that 41.9% of practicing orthodontists are Gen-Xers.

The Millennials or Generation Y (1982-2001) grew up a generation that is optimistic, tech savvy, confident, team-oriented, and achievement focused. They are smart, flexible and command respect. According to AAO’s 2016 membership data, 11.8% of practicing orthodontists are Millennials.
At the start of this generation to its close at the century mark, we can proudly reflect on the innovations and achievements of the era which brought us electricity, the automobile, aviation, electronics, civil rights, space exploration, and the computer age. Some might suggest that mankind accrued more knowledge in the 20th century than in all prior ones combined. It can then be argued that orthodontic developments during this time reflect those feats. Like computers and tech, the field of orthodontics strived to make things better, smaller, more aesthetic, yet functional and with accurately calculated results. These modern-day orthodontic marvels are more effective, efficient, and discreet than ever with self-ligating systems teeth can be straightened without elastic bands, while clear ceramic braces and aligners such as Invisalign are barely noticeable. The introduction of Temporary Anchorage Devices or TADs afford our Forever Smiles team the ability to better control movement using a less invasive and secure anchor. This, along with 3-D planning software means they can create a customized treatment program unique to each patient based on their unique facial and dental features. What’s more they can even give patients a sneak preview of what their smile will look like at the end of treatment.

A model example of her generation, Dr. Elizabeth Razdolsky Michalczyk brings to Forever Smiles thousands of hours of hands-on experience, helping hundreds of patients achieve cleaner, straighter smiles. Her residency at the Georgia School of Orthodontics is a testament to her craft as it offered her the opportunity to work in a state-of-the-art clinical setting with the latest orthodontic appliances and cutting-edge diagnostic technology representing generations of research and technology.
“Successful orthodontic treatment requires a thorough understanding of biology and physics,” said Dr. Liz. “The science behind today’s orthodontic correction and alignment isn’t just a simple straightening of teeth, but a complex orchestration of diagnosis, prevention, mechanics, technology, and art. All the things we have learned to this point have culminated to help us bring patients their beautiful Forever Smile. What a time to be in orthodontics,” she added.

Notable orthodontic achievements of the Millennial Generation:

  • Introduction of continuous fiber composites and CP-titanium products
  • Improved sliding mechanics with ceramic-bracket inserts and self-ligating brackets
  • Invisalign introduced to the market in 1999
  • Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs) introduced in 2005

Getting a Retainer? Make It Personal!

November 16th, 2022

If Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our team recommend a Hawley retainer to complete your orthodontic treatment, you’re getting a classic. This retainer, invented by Dr. Charles Hawley, has been in use since the early decades of the twentieth century.

But this isn’t your great grandmother’s pink plastic retainer! The look of today’s Hawley retainer has really evolved from its early days as the “Hawley bite plate”—and pink is now a choice instead of an inevitability. In fact, you can choose from any number of colors, patterns, and designs to create a retainer that is uniquely you.

Each Hawley retainer is customized to fit your mouth and teeth perfectly. Wire clasps and a labial bow wire are securely attached to an acrylic base based on a model made from your teeth and mouth.

Your retainer is designed for function—the bow wire makes sure your teeth stay in the perfect position while your bones and ligaments get strong enough to hold them in place. The acrylic base, of course, is also functional—but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it!

Retainer bases can be formed in different ways.  One type of retainer model uses pre-formed acrylic discs for the base, and these are available in many pre-formed colors and patterns. Another type of retainer builds the base by alternating several applications of liquid and powder acrylics, layer after layer. This process allows the retainer technician to create one-of-a-kind designs.

What are some of the ways to make your retainer uniquely yours?

  • Color—whether deep tones, pastels, electrics, neon, or metallic, you can find an appealing shade in the color chart. Or, if you want your retainer to keep a low profile, choose a clear or a color-coordinated pink tone.
  • Glow in the Dark—if you don’t want your retainer to keep a low profile, this might be just the look for you!
  • Glitter—accessorize your sparkling smile with a sparkling retainer.
  • Patterns—stripes, polka dots, geometric shapes—even animal patterns are possible.
  • Color Combinations—why choose one color when you can have a marbled swirl of your favorites? Or a tie-dye look? Or team colors?
  • Acrylic Designs—a colorful design that captures your personality is available with some creative acrylic artistry. Rainbows and flags, hearts and flowers, ladybugs, and spider webs are just some of the options on hand.
  • Picture Perfect—for that special hobby, pet, team, or other personal favorite, decals or pictures can be applied under a layer of clear acrylic.

Hawley retainers are made to last, so choose your design with years of use in mind. Talk to our Forever Smiles Team at our Buffalo Grove team about the custom looks which are available to celebrate your unique personality. After all, there’s nothing more personal than your smile!

At what age should my child have an orthodontic evaluation?

November 9th, 2022

You may have noticed that kids seem to be getting braces and other orthodontic care a lot earlier these days. There was a time, only a decade or two ago, when braces were mainly seen on teenagers, but that is beginning to change. If you’re wondering when to bring your child to our Forever Smiles Team at our Buffalo Grove office for an orthodontic evaluation, the answer actually has several parts.

The Telltale Signs

If your child has a very crowded set of adult teeth coming in, or if the permanent front teeth came in very early, these are signs that your child should see Dr. Yan Razdolsky, regardless of age.

The Dental Age

Barring signs of trouble or early adult teeth as mentioned above, the time that your child needs to be seen for initial orthodontic evaluation depends not so much upon your child’s actual age, but on what is known as a “dental age.”

The dental age of the patient might be entirely different from his or her actual chronological age; for example, an eight-year-old could have a dental age of 13. It is part of Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our staff’s job to determine the dental age and then make appropriate recommendations for the resolution of orthodontic issues if they are emerging.

The Official Recommended Age

The American Association of Orthodontists officially recommends that kids should see an orthodontist for the first time between the ages of seven and nine. Even if the child does not have all his or her permanent teeth, the teeth growth pattern can usually be predicted quite effectively by an orthodontist.

This allows for a proactive response to emerging problems, and this is the reason that some younger children are now getting orthodontic devices earlier in life. If a young child has serious orthodontic issues emerging, Dr. Yan Razdolsky can usually address the problems immediately and then follow up with another round of treatment when the child has all the adult teeth.

Why is flossing so important when I have braces?

November 2nd, 2022

You've made an investment on spending money on getting braces, so why not keep your teeth in good health while undergoing orthodontic treatment?  Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our team at Forever Smiles will tell you it is just as important to develop a regular hygiene routine while you're wearing braces as you did before proceeding with treatment.

Flossing is essential to the health of your teeth and gums when you're wearing braces. Because braces may hold food, sugars and liquids upon eating, it is very important to keep on top of your brushing and flossing, as well as visiting our office for regular adjustments.

While we know it's tough enough to get kids to floss daily without braces, that battle becomes even tougher when braces are involved. Remember that by not flossing, you will become more prone to cavities and gum disease during your treatment.

When flossing, remember to gently massage your gums in between the teeth. You will find that flossing with braces takes extra time, as you will have to weave the floss through each bracket. When flossing, there should be no signs of blood. If you see blood, you are not flossing enough or properly.

Using an electric toothbrush is also a good idea to massage your gums before or after flossing as electric toothbrushes can help remove any harmful bacteria that are lingering in your mouth. And don't forget to add a mouthwash to your routine to break up any bacteria that has formed. A good mouthwash will help keep your teeth and gums in good shape during your treatment.

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

Generations of Smiles

October 17th, 2022


In part two of our timeline review of generations of smiles, we pick up with two eras in which research and study have a profound effect on modern-day orthodontics. While masterful feats in orthodontic engineering come to us in the generations of our own Forever Smiles orthodontists, Dr. Yan Razdolsky and Dr. Elizabeth Razdolsky Michalczyk, the Silent and Boomer generations truly set the standard for orthodontic treatment of our Forever Smiles patients.

“As the child of a dentist, I have seen firsthand how doctors of my father’s generation looked to science to better develop treatments for their patients,” said Dr. Yan Razdolsky of Forever Smiles Orthodontics. “Even as a young boy I remember seeing the gratitude my father’s patients had for how he could change their lives by improving their oral health, restoring their ability to eat or chew, or simply by just making them feel better when so many other things were weighing them down.”

The Silent Generation (1925-1942), a faction reared with strict childhood discipline which expelled “seen but not heard” famously received their name for being considered conformists. However, unlike this Silent Generation, much made waves in the field of orthodontics with the introduction of “A New X-ray Technique and Its Application to Orthodontia” published in the inaugural issue of Angle Orthodontist in 1931 by B. Holley Broadbent.

In this historic text, Broadbent expounded the virtue of Cephalometric Roentgenography (exterior taken radiographs depicting side view of the head, including face teeth, jaw, and surrounding structures) using a cephalometer to properly position the head. This new technology benefited orthodontics through cephalometric tracing and evaluation and resulted in a boon in research on craniofacial form and development. Although today’s 3D imaging scanners are vastly improved over their early cephalometric ancestors, much of the orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning utilized by Dr. Yan and Dr. Liz would not be possible had it not been for these early advancements.

Notable orthodontic advancements of The Silent Generation:

  • First Removable appliance introduced
  • Introduced Cephalometer Roentgenography to the field
  • 1938 twin-arch appliance introduced

“The introduction of cephalometric analysis to orthodontics was a game changer,” said Dr. Yan. “Finally, we could understand the skeletal relationships of teeth to the human skull and formulate treatment! The development of this technology of the time is astonishing and has had such a profound impact on nearly everything and every tool we use in orthodontics today,” he added.

Most of us are familiar with how the Boomer Generation (1943-1960) was named for the spike in birth rates after World War II where around 3.4 million babies were born in 1946 alone. But like this great impetus, 1940-1950 saw the greatest growth in research activity including outstanding contributions to craniometry, dentofacial complex using x-ray. This growth set the standard for all future research in child developmental growth having a lasting and positive effect on the field of Orthodontics. In the latter part of this generation’s development, socioeconomic factors allowed for substantial growth of the profession as orthodontic care became more widely recognized and first introduced as a treatment benefit in some health care plans. This alone set the stage for massive growth in the orthodontic profession for the next generation.

Notable orthodontic achievement of The Boomer Generation:

  • No major breakthroughs in appliance development
  • Extensive craniometry and dentofacial research/theories
  • Specialists begin to explore the importance of individualized treatment

“My father’s generation understood the value of scientific research to the development of treatment,” said Dr. Yan. “It invigorates me and is something that I hope I passed down to all my children who have also followed me into the dental profession. And now with Liz here at Forever Smiles, she and I are eager to explore and study the next wave of orthodontic advancements for our patients.”

Join us next month as we move through the greatest modern-day achievements in orthodontics brought to us by generations X and Y and introduces us to our favorite orthodontists of these eras, Dr. Yan and Dr. Liz.

What's on your fall reading list?

October 5th, 2022

How better to spend the fall months than inside by the fireplace with a warm cup of cider and a book in hand? Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our team at Forever Smiles encourage you to warm up your mind this fall season with a few great books. Sure it may be easy to put off reading when balancing a hectic schedule, but reading is vital to brain development. Besides, reading is always a blast!

This week, we thought we’d ask what you or your child are reading this fall. Do you have any suggestions for must-read books this year? Out of ideas for great fall reads? Ask us for suggestions, and we would be happy to provide a few. You may also ask a local librarian here in Forever Smiles Team at our Buffalo Grove for some ideas.

Happy reading! Be sure to share with us your fall picks or your all-time favorites below or on our Facebook page!

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.

Celebrate Labor Day by Getting Away

August 31st, 2022

Labor Day honors the contributions that workers have made to this country, and for many Americans, the holiday is a great time to relax at home with family and friends. But there are quite a few people who celebrate the holiday by getting out of town, with an estimated 33 million people traveling more than 50 miles over Labor Day weekend each year. If you’re dreaming of a great Labor Day escape but you’re not quite sure where to go, here are a few ideas from our team at Forever Smiles to give you some travel inspiration.

Explore a National Park

On a national holiday like Labor Day, it’s only fitting to experience the beauty of America’s landscapes by heading to the nearest national park. If you’re confined to an office most days of the year, national parks can provide a relaxing and scenic escape, whether you’re by yourself, traveling with a group of friends, or bringing the whole family along. Depending on how close you live to the nearest park, you can stay for an afternoon or for longer than a week. With 58 parks located in 27 states, there are plenty of beautiful areas to choose from.

Chow Down in a BBQ Haven

Barbecuing is a popular Labor Day activity, but instead of sweating over your own grill or oven, try visiting one of the country’s BBQ capitals. U.S. News and World Report names Memphis as the top BBQ destination, with more than 80 BBQ restaurants in the city, most notably Corky’s BBQ and Central BBQ. Kansas City is also known for the sweet taste of its sauces, while central Texas is said to have perfected the technique of smoking tender and flavorful brisket.

Relax on the Beach

Many people think of Labor Day as the unofficial start of fall, which brings cooler temperatures, more rain, and for many people, an end to lazy days at the beach. End your beach days with a bang by taking a trip to one of the coasts or to a lakeside beach. For an added dose of festivity, find a city or town that celebrates the occasion with a fireworks display over the water.

Whether you’re looking to turn your getaway into a full week affair or you simply want to experience a quick escape, make the most of your holiday by changing your surrounding scenery. Happy Labor Day from the orthodontic practice of Dr. Yan Razdolsky!

Keeping It Clean—Better for Your Retainer, Better for Your Oral Health!

August 24th, 2022

Now that you’ve graduated from your braces or aligners, you might think you’re finished with orthodontic cleaning tips. Not quite yet! Your retainer needs love, too—not just because it can look or smell “less than appealing” without your help, but because it’s good for your dental health.

Removable Retainers

If you have a Hawley retainer or a clear retainer, cleaning it whenever you remove it is a great idea. Unappetizing white patches mean plaque or mineral deposits from your saliva have dried and hardened on your retainer’s surface. And if you notice an unpleasant taste or odor, it probably means that germs and bacteria have made themselves at home and are growing in and on your appliance.

You don’t want old plaque or new bacteria in your mouth! Here are some ways to keep your retainer clean and fresh:

  • After wearing it, you can clean your retainer with a toothbrush, but don’t brush too vigorously. You might scratch it. Use a soft or even extra-soft brush to clean out all the nooks and crannies, and then rinse.
  • Use cleaning products which have been recommended by Dr. Yan Razdolsky if your retainer needs a deeper clean. Denture cleaners, retainer cleaners, and even toothpastes can be too abrasive or cause discoloration, so use the products made for your specific retainer.
  • Let your retainer dry before storing it in a dry place after cleaning. Shutting a damp retainer into a closed case provides bacteria with the damp, dark environment they thrive in. (PS—clean your case regularly, too!)
  • One of the benefits of a clear retainer is that it’s almost invisible. And you can help keep it that way by removing it whenever you eat or drink. Your retainer can become stained from colored foods or liquids.

Fixed Retainers

A permanent retainer is a small piece of wire that is custom-fit and bonded to the inside of selected teeth to keep them from shifting. Because food particles and plaque can accumulate around a fixed retainer, brushing after meals and at least twice a day is recommended. Bacteria and plaque cause bad breath, cavities, and tartar buildup, and removing tartar might require removing your retainer.

While a fixed retainer can be tricky to clean, there are techniques and products that make cleaning easier and more effective:

  • An orthodontic toothbrush with a smaller head might reach behind your teeth more comfortably.
  • Don’t forget to floss! Using a floss threader will help you get that wriggly floss behind the retainer and between your teeth.
  • Try a water flosser. These handy devices direct a stream of water right into hard-to-reach places for more thorough cleaning.

If you’re having trouble keeping your retainer clean, our Forever Smiles orthodontic team can teach you all you need to know about tools and techniques to keep your retainer—and your teeth and gums—healthy. An attractive smile is a great thing. A healthy, attractive smile is even better!

Another Orthodontist in the Family!

August 19th, 2022

Dr. Yan Razdolsky, Anna, and the entire Forever Smiles family are excited to announce that Elizabeth Razdolsky Michalczyk, DMD, PhD will be joining our office, having just graduated from her orthodontic residency program in Atlanta, Georgia!

With this specialist designation, Elizabeth is adding to her already impressive list of credentials. In addition to being a qualified dentist, Dr. Liz received her PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago in tissue regeneration and wound healing. She has a record of published research that stretches back more than a decade, with four publications in the past three years alone! She even received the prestigious Recognition of Excellence in Research from the Emory School of Medicine and the Georgia School of Orthodontics. In addition to her remarkable publication record, Dr. Liz brings thousands of hours of hands-on experience, helping hundreds of patients achieve cleaner, straighter smiles. Her residency at the Georgia School of Orthodontics offered her the opportunity to work in a state-of-the-art clinical setting with the latest orthodontic appliances and cutting-edge diagnostic technology.

So, what can you expect when you walk into Forever Smiles for an appointment with Dr. Liz? You should expect to receive advanced orthodontic care, delivered with a smile by an exceptional orthodontist. She and Dr. Yan will collaborate, developing individualized plans to help all our patients, from children to adults, achieve their Forever Smiles. She will also bring her knowledge of the latest innovations and technologies to ensure that Forever Smiles remains ahead of the curve in improving the oral health of our patients. We couldn’t be happier to have Dr. Liz join our team.

In her (limited) spare time, Dr. Liz enjoys adventurous travel, playing tennis, and cooking new foods. She and her husband recently moved to the north suburbs of Chicago and are excited to be back in the area.

Orthodontic Emergency Care

August 17th, 2022

Although major orthodontic emergencies are relatively rare, when they do happen it is important to seek immediate attention. By comparison, a minor orthodontic issue is something you can usually take care of yourself, or wait until your next scheduled appointment for care. Here are some guidelines to help you understand the difference between an orthodontic emergency and a minor issue.

Orthodontic Emergencies

Acute, Direct Injury to the Mouth, Jaw, or Teeth

Whether undergoing orthodontic care or not, if you injure your mouth, jaw, or teeth, you should see a doctor or dentist immediately. You may need an X-ray to determine the extent of your injury. If the injury affects the orthodontic appliances, they will need adjustment or possibly replacement, depending upon the extent of the injury.

Infected Teeth

It is possible for teeth to become infected following orthodontic treatment. This may or may not be related to your orthodontic appliances. If you experience pain or swelling around a tooth that gets progressively worse, seek professional care as soon as possible.

Minor Orthodontic Issues

While true orthodontic emergencies are rare, minor issues are much more common. Here are some examples of minor orthodontic issues that can be remedied on your own and/or fixed at your next office visit:

  • Poking wire
  • Loose bracket
  • Loose elastic band
  • Loose wire
  • Loose appliance
  • Headgear does not fit
  • Lost or broken elastic band
  • General soreness

Any of the above issues can happen as a result of normal usage, shifting, and wear of your braces. Eating unusually hard or sticky foods can cause or exacerbate these problems. Vigorous brushing of the teeth can also be a factor. None of these issues are emergencies unless they are accompanied by acute or prolonged pain or discomfort.

As for on-the-spot remedies, covering a loose bracket or wire with wax can be a quick fix to alleviate discomfort until your next orthodontist visit. Poking or protruding wires can be moved with a cotton swab or tweezers, or clipped down with nail clippers. Be sure to sterilize the tweezers or clippers in alcohol first. Cover any clipped wire ends with a small ball of wax.

Some soreness or small abrasions in the mouth are normal, especially with recent orthodontic work. Rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution comprised of eight ounces or warm water and one teaspoon of salt.

When in doubt, be sure to contact our Buffalo Grove office with any questions, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Yan Razdolsky at Forever Smiles.

How does wisdom tooth removal affect orthodontic care?

August 10th, 2022

The purpose of braces and other forms of orthodontic treatment at Forever Smiles is to correct malocclusion, also known as crooked or crowded teeth, or “bad bites.” Past orthodontic practice dictated that wisdom teeth be removed, especially in cases of crowding.

The wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come in, and are officially known as the third molars. The teeth typically erupt, or break the surface of the skin, in young people between the ages of 13 and 20.

Sometimes, wisdom teeth are impacted. That means they cannot break through the gum tissue. This typically happens when the mouth or jaw is too small to accommodate the teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth can become infected, and some dentists and orthodontists may want to remove them as prophylaxis to prevent possible future infection.

Justification for removing wisdom teeth

Dr. Yan Razdolsky will tell you that in some cases, wisdom teeth attempt to come in the wrong way, either tilting in the jaw, or sideways. If the mouth is too small to accommodate these additional teeth, they inevitably become impacted. Swelling or infection of the gum flap above an impacted wisdom tooth may cause pain. The greatest danger is pericoronitis, a potentially dangerous infection that can occur in the gum area around an impacted wisdom tooth, or around a wisdom tooth that has erupted.

Orthodontists base their decision to remove wisdom teeth on each patient's individual circumstances. To learn more about the impact wisdom teeth have on orthodontic treatment, or to schedule a visit with Dr. Yan Razdolsky, please give us a call at our convenient Buffalo Grove office!

It's time to go back to school!

August 3rd, 2022

Now that many of the schools in Buffalo Grove are back in session, Dr. Yan Razdolsky would like to remind all of our patients about the importance of scheduling appointments in advance. With school, clubs, sports, and family duties to consider, we know that it can be challenging to find time to visit Forever Smiles this fall. In order to accommodate all of our patients’ busy schedules, it is important that you plan ahead for your appointments so that we are able to provide you with a convenient appointment time.

As always, please remember to give us advanced notice if you’re unable to make your regularly scheduled appointment with Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our team. Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions, or if you would like to schedule your fall appointment.

We’ll see you soon and hope summer is winding down nicely for you and your family!

Eating with Braces: Braces-friendly snack recipe

July 27th, 2022

At Forever Smiles, Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our staff know that eating with braces can be tricky. You want to avoid damaging the bands, brackets, and wires, since any damage can delay the progress of your treatment. After adjustments, your mouth may also feel sore, which will make eating more of a chore than a pleasure.

The good news is you do not have to avoid all of your favorite foods; there are ways you can still enjoy them. Try some of these ideas and recipes for great snacks that are friendly to your braces.

Fruits and Vegetables

You still need to eat fruits and vegetable for the healthy nutrients. The trick is to cut harder items into small pieces that you can chew easily with your back teeth. Canned fruits are also a great choice, but select fruits packed in water to avoid the heavy, sugary syrups. It’s a good idea to avoid excess sugar with braces, since sugar build-up around your braces can lead to plaque formation.

Single-serving packages are available to make your snack portable and convenient. Enjoy vegetables with a small amount of a healthy dip. Hummus or yogurt can be used for flavor without adding unnecessary fat or calories.

Banana and Honey Smoothie

Smoothies are a healthy treat, and you can create these drinks with your favorite ingredients. You can use a variety of yogurt types for your smoothie: regular, low or non-fat, and Greek are all great choices.  Here’s one of our favorite smoothie recipes:

  • 6 ounces of your choice of yogurt
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 6 ounces milk

Chop the banana into smaller pieces and put all your ingredients into a blender. Blend on low until everything is mixed and then blend on high for about 20 seconds to make your smoothie fluffy.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can substitute just about any small or cut-up fruit for the banana. Try blackberries, raspberries, or peaches for variety. Try to avoid fruits with small seeds; strawberries can leave bits stuck in your braces. You can even make a smoothie with peanut butter and jelly!

Please ask our team if you have any concerns regarding the foods you can safely eat while wearing braces.

What is early intervention?

July 20th, 2022

Many developing orthodontic problems can be intercepted and corrected if diagnosed and treated at an early age. Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our team at Forever Smiles recommend children have their first orthodontic evaluation no later than age seven, or younger if the front four permanent teeth have replaced the baby teeth. Early treatment, also known as interceptive treatment or Phase I treatment, provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Early intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later.

If your child is showing these signs, it may be time to think about early orthodontic treatment:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth (your child should typically start losing teeth around age five or six, and will have all their permanent teeth in around age 12 to 13)
  • Difficulty chewing and/or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Sucking his or her thumb
  • Speech impediment
  • Protruding teeth (the top teeth and the bottom teeth extend away from each other)
  • Crowded front teeth
  • Teeth that don't come together in a normal manner or even at all

Early intervention will greatly reduce the severity of your child’s case, and therefore reduce the length of treatment time and cost for a second phase of treatment when all of his or her permanent teeth have erupted. An evaluation at our Buffalo Grove office will determine if your child’s dental and skeletal growth is proceeding properly or if interceptive treatment is needed. Many times, a more severe problem can be corrected using sophisticated removable appliances instead of traditional orthodontic treatment.

To schedule a consultation for your child to visit with Dr. Yan Razdolsky, please give us a call! We will provide your child with an initial exam, and discuss with you the best steps to take toward caring for your child's smile.

Have clear aligners improved for better treatment?

July 18th, 2022

For many patients seeking treatment for tooth alignment, there is the preferred option of clear aligners. In fact, Dr. Yan Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team place or swap these orthodontic appliances on patients every day. And while he counsels that this treatment is not for everyone, he does suggest they can be a safe and effective way for some patients to achieve a straighter smile. But have they improved enough since their introduction to the market to provide better treatment? Let’s explore!

In a study published June 2020 in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Orthopedics, a study on the efficacy of tooth movement with Invisalign or clear aligners concluded, “There was a marked improvement in the overall accuracy; however, the strengths and weaknesses of tooth movement with Invisalign remained relatively the same.” (Haouili et al., 2020)

So, what does this mean? According to Dr. Yan, it means that successful and accurate treatment with clear aligners is predicated on the types of tooth movement required on a case-by-case basis. In other words, clear aligners are not for everyone. But the question here is have clear aligners improved or evolved to provide better treatment? The short answer is yes. The longer answer? Yes, but of course there’s more!

First invented in 1997, clear aligners are a moderately-priced, shorter-treatment term option for patients seeking minimal orthodontic alignment. Again, according to the research paper cited above, clear aligners afford patients who do not require a large amount of tooth movement a decent amount of improvement by moving them from 41% of alignment to an average of 50% overall tooth alignment. While this number may not seem like a lot, it can imply a noticeable difference in a smile’s overall appearance and for some patients that is all they are looking for.

So, how did clear aligners come to make such a difference in the field of orthodontics?

Alongside the introduction to clear aligners, 2001 brought the first 3D oral scanner for digital impressions. These ingenious devices not only replaced the traditional goop impressions, Dr. Yan says this type of intra-oral mapping offers “a more accurate visualization of the patient’s orthodontic need allowing for more precision in the development of the overarching treatment plan.” (See what he did there?)

Dr Yan also said clear aligners, more specifically Invisalign materials have drastically improved through technology and continue to evolve decreasing the length of necessary treatment time for some patients.

“Today, aligners employ SmartForce attachments and SmartTrack materials to control tooth movement and move teeth more precisely and comfortably for shorter treatment times,” said Dr. Yan “Kinda like a Jedi mind trick on your teeth, using ‘the invisible force’ to move teeth to the preferred alignment. For example, we can achieve 100% correction in less severe cases, but in complicated ones average correction is around 50%,” he added.

So all this said, while clear aligners may have improved, they may still not be the right choice for some patients.

“We have learned Invisalign is not as effective in instances where a patient’s teeth are severely rotated - more than 20 degrees, or off tilt - angled more than 45 degrees,” said Dr. Yan. “They are also not as effective with patients who have larger gaps between teeth, have deep overbite, open bite, or in cases where extraction of teeth may be required. In these cases, we will likely explore and ultimately prescribe another form of treatment.”

All-in-all, orthodontics is an evolving science. As technology changes, so too do the tools that allow for more accurate tooth movement, improved bite, quicker treatment, and better overall outcome. That’s why Dr. Yan and the Forever Smiles team continue to share articles like this with patients, so they may learn the latest in orthodontic treatment options including this exciting and ever-changing one.

Haouili, N., Kravitz, N. D., Vaid, N. R., Ferguson, D. J., & Makki, L. (2020). Has Invisalign improved? A prospective follow-up study on the efficacy of tooth movement with Invisalign. American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, 158(3), 420–425.

Electric Toothbrushes vs. Regular Toothbrushes

July 13th, 2022

Convertible or sedan? Downtown or suburbs? Electric or manual toothbrush? As life decisions go, it’s certainly not choosing your next car, or deciding where you want to live. But, even when you are selecting a toothbrush, it helps to make a list of the pros and cons of the contenders before you make that final selection.

  • Efficiency

The most important factor in choosing a toothbrush is finding out which model works best to eliminate bacteria and plaque. And studies have shown that, used properly, both electric and manual toothbrushes do a great job of removing plaque. Some electric models can reach the backs of teeth and the gumline more easily, some manual head designs work better for your individual mouth and teeth, so your particular needs should dictate which style of toothbrush you use. Talk to us about the best methods to brush with your preferred toothbrush, and we’ll let you know if one type of toothbrush or the other might work better for you.

  • Health Considerations

Brushing too energetically can actually harm teeth and gums, causing sensitivity and damage to the enamel and gum tissue. An electric toothbrush should provide a continuous brushing motion without needing any pressure from the brusher. This might be the model for you if you have a too-vigorous approach to brushing, or sensitive teeth and gums.

An electric toothbrush can also be more efficient for older and younger brushers, those with limited mobility, and those with health conditions or injuries that make brushing with a regular toothbrush more difficult.

  • Cost

An electric toothbrush is not a one-time investment. You should change the removable head as often as you change your manual toothbrush (every three to four months, please). But this cost is offset if an electric toothbrush is more efficient in removing your plaque, easier to use, or even if you just prefer it to manual brushing. If you find that you brush better and more often with an electric toothbrush, the added expense is well worth it.

Whichever brush you decide on, the most important part of the brush is the person holding it! A regular appointment with your toothbrush for two minutes of thorough brushing in the morning and two in the evening, daily flossing, and regular visits to our office for checkups and cleanings will keep your teeth healthy and strong no matter which toothbrush you choose.

Questions about your toothbrush choices? Don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Yan Razdolsky at our Buffalo Grove office.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

July 6th, 2022

You’re going to the game! And no matter which sport you follow, there’s so much to enjoy—the best athletes, exciting play, hometown pride—and those delicious concession stands! But if you’re wearing braces, your team spirit might be flagging. Here are a few ideas to help keep your food choices out of foul territory.

You know that you should avoid the foods that can damage braces or stick around your wires and brackets. This means any snacks that are sticky, chewy, hard, or crunchy are benched. So most of the traditional game foods—peanuts, popcorn, nachos, licorice—are just not safe for traditional metal or ceramic braces. Let’s save those for next season.

So what is on the program? You still have many great choices.

  • Ice Cream. A favorite that’s easy on your braces (no nuts or caramel, please). If you want a healthier option, try frozen yogurt or a smoothie.
  • Hearty Snacks. Pretzels and pizza can be too thick and chewy. Go for the mac and cheese, chili, or deli meats on soft bread. And remember, small bites! Check with us to see if hamburgers and hot dogs are safe for your braces.
  • Soft Candies and Cookies. Licorice, caramels, and crunchy cookies are out, but soft chocolate bars and moist, tender cookies are still on the menu.
  • Sodas and sports drinks can create a sugary and/or acidic environment which can damage enamel over time. If you do indulge, try to rinse with water ASAP.

Stadium and arena menus contain a lot of starches and sugars, which stick to braces and fuel cavity-causing bacteria. So it’s best to go easy on the snacks. But you don’t have to give up a half-time treat entirely—just enjoy in moderation and be sure to brush thoroughly when you get home.

If you wear clear aligners, your choices are simpler. You can remove your aligners, eat normally, and clean your teeth thoroughly before replacing them. But one flag on this play—remember that you’re supposed to wear your aligners for a set number of hours each day. You don’t want to be putting your treatment behind schedule if the game goes into triple overtime. Keep your eye on the clock, and you should be fine.

Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our Buffalo Grove team are always happy to recommend the best food options for your individual orthodontic treatment, and we can help you select a roster of safe and healthy choices. You might miss out on a few of your favorite sports snacks right now, but let’s remember the true fan’s motto: There’s always next year! Taking care of your braces and teeth means faster treatment and healthier teeth. Your All-Star smile will be worth it!

Fun Facts for the Fourth

June 29th, 2022

The Fourth of July is a great time to get together with friends and family members for BBQ, games, fireworks, and other celebrations in honor of our country’s independence. While your fellow revelers eat hot dogs and wave flags, you can impress them by sharing these fascinating facts and historical tidbits about some of our country’s traditions and symbols from the team at Forever Smiles.

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 of our country. However, as recognizable as certain parts of the statue are, not many people know that broken shackles, which represent oppression and tyranny, are lying at Lady Liberty’s feet. According to the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, the copper-plated lady weighs in at a whopping 450,000 tons and has been holding her torch up for more than 125 years, which must make for some impressive arm muscles.

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

Since 1916, people have been flocking to Coney Island on the Fourth of July to witness what some people call the “superbowl of competitive eating.” Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest challenges competitors to devour as many hot dogs as they can in just ten minutes, with the current record holder swallowing a whopping 68 hot dogs! If you’d like to witness this bizarre and frenzied eating competition but you won’t be anywhere near Coney Island on the fourth, don’t worry. ESPN has been broadcasting this popular event for several years, so you can watch from the comfort of your couch while you eat a reasonably portioned meal.

The History Behind Fireworks

Viewing the nighttime fireworks display is exciting way to finish off the fourth. Many people know that these brilliant displays probably originated with the Chinese. However, 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 the 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 the today’s modern fireworks.

Whether you’re planning on visiting the Statue of Liberty, watching fireworks in Buffalo Grove, or even participating in a hot dog eating contest, Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our team hope you have a safe and fun-filled holiday. Happy Fourth of July!

Best Ways to Prevent Bad Breath

June 22nd, 2022

Nobody likes bad breath, and although it can sometimes be difficult to tell if you have it, it is always better to practice good oral health than risk having a smelly mouth. There are many ways to reduce or eliminate bad breath, some are definitely more effective and longer lasting than others. Check out ways to do so below.

Floss Regularly

As difficult as it can be to remember to floss regularly, when it comes to bad breath, flossing is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to freshen your mouth. See, flossing reduces the plaque and bacteria found in areas of your mouth that a toothbrush simply can't reach, and in turn, it rids your mouth of the smell associated with that bacteria. While flossing may not eliminate bad breath on its own, if you do it along with other health oral hygiene habits like brushing, then you may just develop a fresher smelling mouth.

Use Mouthwash

Using some sort of mouthwash can really freshen up your breath, especially if you find it still smells after brushing and flossing. There is a wide variety of mouthwash products on the market, however, you can also create your own by simply using baking soda mixed with water.

Always Brush after You Sleep

Whether after taking a nap, or having a full night of sleep, you will want to brush your teeth in order to reduce bad breath. The truth is, bacteria accumulates in your mouth while you are sleeping (even during a short nap) and that is ultimately the source of bad breath. So next time you wake from a good slumber, give your mouth some brushing and you will find it makes a big difference in the freshness of your breath.

There are many ways to freshen your breath beyond just using gum or mints, the above mentioned are just a few for you to try. Test them out and you will likely find your bad breath problem is solved, or at least considerably reduced. Of course, you can always ask Dr. Yan Razdolsky at your next visit to our Buffalo Grove office.

The Not-So-Spotty Truth About Tooth Decalcification

June 15th, 2022

Getting your braces off is a very momentous occasion that deserves to be celebrated! Revealing a beautiful smile following the end of your treatment is a reward not only for you, but for Dr. Yan Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team too. Months of hard work and dedication will all be worth it! While it is exciting to count down the days until you get your braces off, it is also important to remember that your teeth require extra special care throughout the treatment process. Lack of proper oral hygiene can lead to obvious concerns such as bad breath or cavities, but it can also cause more severe issues such as tooth decalcification.

Tooth decalcification is a process in which your teeth lose vital minerals, primarily calcium and phosphorus, that help them stay strong and healthy. The stripping away of these minerals wears down the enamel on your teeth, forming white spots that are often permanent. Decalcification is very common among people who have braces due to the added difficulty of cleaning around the wires and brackets.  Tooth decalcification occurs when plaque is built up under braces for prolonged periods of time. This plaque, coupled with the consumption of sugary or acidic food and drink, expedites the decalcification process.

Not to fret, Dr. Yan says these spots are preventable with a thorough oral hygiene routine. Especially with braces, brushing twice a day and flossing regularly is crucial to keeping your teeth clean and protected. Additionally, moderating the food and drink you consume is the key to keeping your pearly whites healthy and happy. While lemonade, candy, soda, and other junk foods are yummy, too much of them can create a problem later on. So, brushing additionally after consuming these sugary treats is also very important.

Dr. Yan reminds patients that their dentist is also trained to keep an eye out for potential plaque buildup among those with braces. That’s why your regular dental checkups are so important. So be sure to schedule and keep regular dental check-ups to help ensure you steer clear of decalcification.

In the case that you get your braces off and find these pesky white spots on your teeth, all hope is not lost! There are some options available to help minimize the appearance of this decalcification. But before you try any home remedies you’ve learned about on TikTok or Instagram, you should always consult your dentist to find the best way to treat these spots. Since the loss of minerals is the cause of the discoloration, the best way to minimize the color difference is to reintroduce these minerals. While only your dentist will know what the right course of treatment is for you, staying hydrated keeps your mouth salivated. Dr Yan says saliva naturally triggers the remineralization process by providing necessary calcium, phosphate and fluoride to enamel and dentin. So that’s a good place to start and definitely a win, win!

And remember, at the end of the day, the best way to treat decalcification is to prevent it from the outset. Brush two minutes, two times a day and floss like your Forever Smile depends on it. It kinda does.

June is National Smile Month: Show off your smile!

June 1st, 2022

The community health awareness group Oral Health America has reported that 82 percent of adults are unaware of the role that infectious bacteria can play in tooth decay or cavities, and almost three out of five children aged 12 to 19 have tooth decay. Since June is National Smile Month, Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our team at Forever Smiles thought we’d remind our patients about the importance of good oral hygiene visits between office visits.

To keep your family’s smiles healthy and beautiful for years to come, be sure to:

  • Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss every day to clean between your teeth
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks
  • Visit Dr. Yan Razdolsky for scheduled appointments

If you want to know more about healthy home care habits, feel free to ask our team at your next appointment, or ask us on Facebook!

Memorial Day and Getting Ready for Summer

May 25th, 2022

Memorial Day didn't become an official holiday until 1971, but Americans started gathering annually in the spring to remember those who lost their lives in war during the 1860s, right after the Civil War. Celebrated on the last Monday in May, people still decorate the grave sites of war veterans and hold memorial services, but Memorial Day has also evolved into a day that signifies the beginning of summer.

During the summer months, many people take road trips to visit family members. Some head off to the airport to enjoy a long-awaited vacation far away, while others look forward to spending time with friends and family at home. However you spend Memorial Day and the subsequent summer months, there are a few things you can take care of to ensure your summertime is enjoyable.

Checklist for an Enjoyable Summer

  • Have the AC Checked. During the hottest days of summer, many families find themselves sweating it out due to a broken air conditioning system. Be proactive so you can avoid waiting for hours or days because the HVAC repair person is booked solid. Have your air conditioning system checked before or around Memorial Day each year.
  • Ensure Security While You're Away. When you leave for vacation, the last thing you should have to worry about is the security of your home. Install a home security system, if possible, and put a timer on your lights so they go on and off at normal hours. You can also alert your local police department that you'll be gone, and ask them to drive by your house once in a while to make sure everything is okay.
  • Visit Dr. Yan Razdolsky Before Vacation. Many people put off exams until after summer vacation. Avoid the crowds and make sure your physical and oral health are in top shape prior to vacation time so there are no unpleasant surprises.

Our team at Forever Smiles wants you to look forward to Memorial Day and the days of summer by preparing to spend the time safely and comfortably. As you plan ahead, take care of your health and secure your home, you can place your focus on creating memories with family members and friends while enjoying your favorite Memorial Day traditions.

Which Retainer is Right for You?

May 18th, 2022

Brackets and wires, clear aligners, lingual braces, regular brackets, self-ligating braces, elastics, spacers—you and your orthodontist have had to narrow down a lot of choices to discover the best treatment for your orthodontic needs. Now that the end of treatment is in sight, there’s one more important choice left—your retainer!

Do I Need a Retainer?

No retainer at all is probably the one option that’s off the table from the start. It’s not just your teeth that have changed position; it’s the bone and ligaments holding them that have changed as well.

A retainer prevents your teeth from moving away from their new, ideal location while your bones and ligaments are stabilizing. This process takes months, so keeping your teeth in place as your bone rebuilds and regains density is crucial.

What Are Your Retainer Options?

Three of the most popular retainer options available at our Buffalo Grove office include:

  • Hawley Retainers

This is the traditional retainer, with wires to hold your retainer in place and to keep the teeth properly aligned. The wires are attached to an acrylic plate molded to fit the roof of your mouth or around your bottom teeth. You can customize the acrylic base with colors and patterns for a one-of-a-kind look.

Hawley retainers are adjustable, so minor realignments can take place if necessary. The wire in front of your teeth makes these retainers visible, but, after several months of wearing them all day long, you may end up wearing them only at night.

Hawley retainers are removable, so you need to make sure they are safely in a case when you’re not wearing them. Minor damage can often be repaired, but it’s better to be proactive.

  • Clear Plastic Retainers

These retainers look like clear aligners. They are formed by heating a thin piece of plastic and vacuum-forming it around a model of your teeth to create a custom, comfortable fit.

Clear retainers are almost invisible when worn, and can be removed when you eat or drink—which they should be, because food particles and liquids can be trapped inside them.

When you’re not wearing it, a clear retainer should always be in its case, because it must be replaced if the plastic is warped, cracked, or broken.

  • Fixed Retainers

A fixed retainer is a small single wire bonded to the back of specific teeth, commonly the six bottom front teeth. Because fixed retainers don’t allow the teeth to move at all, they are often recommended for patients who had serious misalignments, extremely crowded teeth, or teeth with large gaps between them.

Many patients like fixed retainers because they keep teeth in perfect alignment, they won’t be seen, they’re comfortably small, and they can’t end up in the cafeteria recycling bin because you forget to replace them after lunch!

Fixed retainers are usually quite durable, but you’ll need to pay attention to your diet, because crunchy and chewy foods can put pressure on the retainer and damage it. These retainers also require special care with brushing and flossing, to make sure the teeth bonded to the wire stay clean and plaque-free.

The Right Retainer

The process of stabilizing your teeth in the jaw takes time. Choosing your retainer will depend in part on how long and how often you need to wear it: fulltime for months or for years, at night after several months of day-and-night wear, or long-term to make sure your orthodontic work lasts.

And there are other variables, as well. Your retainer might need to be removable. It might need to be adjustable. You might need a retainer for just your upper teeth, just your lower teeth, or both. All these factors and more need to be taken into consideration before deciding on your ideal retainer.

Fixed, removable, wire, plastic, colorful, clear—which retainer is right for you? The one that helps you retain the beautiful smile you’ve worked for all these months. Talk to Dr. Yan Razdolsky to discover the retainer that will protect that smile for years to come.

Vacay Away?

May 17th, 2022

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Tips for Dealing with Ortho Emergencies

So, you’ve scheduled a vacation. Awesome! We LOVE vacations. Fun, travel, memories, pictures…. orthodontic emergencies. Oh no! What a wet blanket that is for your trip. It should give you a little peace of mind to know that true orthodontic emergencies are extremely rare. Usually, it’s just a minor troublesome issue like a poking wire or broken bracket which can be fixed quickly and easily. But just in case, here's Dr. Yan Razdolsky and the Forever Smile’s handy guide and tips on dealing with common issues while at home or traveling.
Pack an Emergency Kit – Nothing says fun like an emergency orthodontic kit, we know. But they are smart! Pack orthodontic wax, Chapstick, nail clippers or small pair of wire cutters, tweezers, a pencil with an eraser, Q-tips, and a topical anesthetic like Orabase or Orajel along with our phone number so we can help with any guidance you may need.
Discomfort – It’s normal for you to experience a little discomfort a day or two after new braces placement or an adjustment. But it can make eating a bit uncomfortable. Choose softer foods and rinse with warm water to help with pain. And if you have irritation of the lips or cheeks, apply wax to the area to help. Simply pinch off a small piece and roll it between your fingers to soften before applying to the problem area. If you don’t have wax handy? Try sugarless gum as a substitute. And always have Chapstick or another lip balm handy to help soothe dry chapped lips.
Ligatures Come Off – sometimes the tiny rubber bands, or small fine wires we use to fasten the wire to your brackets can become dislodged. In the case of a rubber ligature, you may be able to put it back in place using sterile tweezers. In the case of a wire ligature, if it’s just sticking out, use a Q-tip to gently bend it back and away from soft tissue which could become irritated. You can then use wax to help protect the area if necessary. If it’s completely dislodged, however, it’s best to give us a call. Dr. Yan and the Forever Smiles team can walk you through what the best option is for management of your specific issue.
Protruding Wires – Occasionally, but not too often, the end of a wire can work its way loose and irritate a patient’s mouth. Here’s where that ortho emergency kit really comes in handy! Use the eraser end of a pencil, or Q-tip to gently push the wire flat against the tooth as much as you can and cover it with relief wax. If the wire cannot be moved, it’s best to give us a call for further instructions.
Loose Brackets or Bands – If a band or bracket becomes loose you may not need to worry about it unless it causes issues while eating. If this happens, it is best to call Dr. Yan to determine what next steps are appropriate. It may require temporary treatment until the wires and brackets can be repaired upon your return home.
Lost Aligner – The best way to avoid losing an aligner or retainer is to always carry your case with you. Store your aligners in the case any time you remove them to brush and floss or eat. Napkins are the natural enemy of aligners and retainers. We can’t count how many times a patient has put their appliance down on a napkin while eating lunch, forgot and accidentally threw it away. Ugh!
As always, Dr. Yan and the Forever Smiles team is here to help ensure that orthodontic mishaps don’t spoil your awesome vacation. If however, we are unable to help you fix the problem over the phone or if you have difficulty reaching our office, we suggest going online and searching for orthodontic practices in your area. Most orthodontists are used to helping traveling orthodontic patients and can help them with discomfort. In fact, Dr. Yan has helped many out-of-town travelers and vacationers himself!

Common Braces Problems

May 11th, 2022

It’s useful to know some of the common problems that can arise when you get braces. Even if you take great care of your braces and teeth, you might not be able to avoid certain issues or side effects that accompany braces. But don’t worry: These are all common problems that can be taken care of by following some simple advice.

If you just had your braces put on, you may notice some general soreness in your mouth. Your teeth are starting to adjust to having to shift, so they may ache, and your jaw might feel tender at first. This will subside once your mouth becomes used to the new appliance in residence.

You may experience soreness on your tongue or mouth, which may be a sign of a canker sore. Canker sores are common when braces rub against your mouth. You can use ointments to relieve pain and numb the area that’s been irritated. Canker sores are commonly caused by broken wires or loose bands on your braces.

Common Issues

  • Loose brackets: Apply a small amount of orthodontic wax to the bracket. You might also apply a little between the braces and the soft tissue of your mouth.
  • Loose bands: These must be secured in place by Dr. Yan Razdolsky. Try to save the band for repair.
  • Protruding or broken wires: Use the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire carefully to a less painful spot. If you are unable to move it, apply orthodontic wax to the tip. If a mouth sore develops, clean your mouth with warm salt water or antiseptic rinse.
  • Loose spacers: These will need to be repositioned by Dr. Yan Razdolsky and possibly replaced.

Avoiding Issues

You should avoid certain foods that could cause major damage to your braces. No matter what you eat, make the effort to cut your food into small pieces that can be chewed easily. This will prevent chunks of it from getting lodged between brackets.

Avoiding hard and chewy foods is also wise. Some foods can break your hardware: for example, popcorn, nuts, apples, gum, taffy, and hard candies. Avoiding any foods that easily got stuck in your teeth when you didn’t have braces is a good rule to follow.

The appliances in your mouth are bound to attract food particles and make it easier for plaque to build up. By making sure you brush and floss carefully every day, you can prevent stains and cavities from developing over time. Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our team recommend brushing and making sure that food isn’t lodged between your braces after every meal.

Having braces can be very exciting, but it can also be challenging at first. Watching for these common issues during your first few weeks can prevent problems down the road. If you experience a lot of pain from your braces, contact our Buffalo Grove office and we can try to resolve any issues.

Braces can sometimes be a pain, but they’re well worth it once your new smile gets revealed!

Wishing all our moms a happy Mother’s Day!

May 4th, 2022

"Motherhood: All love begins and ends there." - Robert Browning

We would like to take this moment to thank all the great moms out there for being so great during their child’s visits to Forever Smiles. Whether it’s driving their kids to regularly scheduled appointments or for “being there” while their child is treatment, the moms who come to our office are all stellar individuals, so Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our entire staff would like you to know that we appreciate you all!

Happy Mother’s Day and enjoy your special day!

The Importance of Wearing Your Retainer after Orthodontic Treatment

April 27th, 2022

It's the big day and your braces are finally coming off! Does that mean you are completely done? Not so fast! After you complete your treatment here at Forever Smiles, Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our team will recommend you wear a retainer, which must be worn routinely after treatment in order to hold your teeth in their proper, new position while your gums, ligaments and bones adapt. Most patients are required to wear their retainer every night at first, with many also being directed to wear them during the day. It's important to know there are different kinds of retainers, and today we thought we would explain the differences between them.

Hawley Retainers

The Hawley retainer is one of the most common types of retainers. It is a removable retainer made of a combination of a metal wire that typically surrounds the six anterior teeth and is designed to keep your teeth in place. This retainer is made from impressions of your teeth so that it fits snugly and comfortably in the roof of your mouth, while the wire and acrylic framing keeps your teeth in an ideal position. The acrylic can also be personalized with a large number of colors or patterns.

Essix (Clear) Retainers

The Essix retainer is a transparent removable retainer that fits over the entire arch of your teeth. This clear or transparent retainer fits over the entire arch of teeth and is produced from a mold. Similar to Invisalign’s clear aligner trays, Essix retainers have no metal or wires. They can also be used to produce minor tooth movements and can be helpful in prevention of tooth wear due to tooth grinding at night.

Bonded Retainers

Bonded lingual retainers are cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower canines. Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our team at Forever Smiles encourage our patients with bonded lingual retainers to be careful with their bite as the bonding material may break due to incorrect biting and cause your teeth to shift. As with removable retainers, it is important to keep your bonded retainers clean. When brushing, make sure to carefully clean the inside of your lower teeth, as well as the wire itself.

The retention phase of treatment begins when the patient’s braces are removed. Retainers are worn full time, typically for the first nine months, except while eating. Retainers should also be removed before brushing your teeth.

If you have any questions about the retainers we offer or to learn more about post-orthodontic treatment, please feel free to contact us at our convenient Buffalo Grove office and we will be happy to answer any of your questions!

Earth Day

April 20th, 2022

The idea for Earth Day was the brainchild of Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin. He envisioned an Earth Day that would be a kind of environmental teach-in. The first Earth Day celebration took place on April 22, 1970, and a surprising 20 million people participated on that day. Ultimately, it became the largest organized celebration in US history.

Earth Day Over the Years

Over the years, the recognition of the day, and the number of people celebrating it all over the world, turned Earth Day into an international celebration. Because it is celebrated throughout the world, it is not only the largest international environmental observation, but it is also more widely celebrated than any other environmental event in the world. Today, Earth Day is celebrated in 175 countries where over 500 million people participate in celebrations.

The Earth Day Movement

The Earth Day movement is credited with developing the idea that people should “think green”. It encouraged congress to enact laws, including one that resulted in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. It also inspired the passage of the Endangered Species Act.

The Five R's and Their Importance

  • Reduce – Reduce by avoiding unnecessary purchases. Reduce your use of materials that wind up in landfills. Reduce the use of chemicals around your house. Reduce your use of disposable bags, plates, cups, eating utensils, and batteries.
  • Reuse – Instead of using plastic bags for your groceries or purchases, bring your own reusable bags. When you go to buy coffee at Starbucks, take a travel mug so you don't have to get your coffee in a disposable paper cup. Instead of storing food in disposable refrigerator containers, buy containers that can be washed and reused. Don't use regular batteries. Whenever possible, opt for rechargeable batteries that you can reuse.
  • Recycle – Most cities offer a recycling program to collect used bottles, cans, and newspapers. Recycling includes collecting recyclable materials that would otherwise be considered waste, sorting and processing recyclables into raw materials such as fibers and manufacturing raw materials into new products.
  • Re-buy – Make an effort to purchase things that are made through recycling. When purchasing furniture, look for items that are made from reclaimed wood. When buying paper for kids school work, computer printer paper, holiday cards, or anything else, make a point of purchasing recycled paper products. Instead of buying clothing at full retail price, shop for second hand clothing. You will save a lot of money by doing so!
  • Rethink – Rethink the way you do things so that you do them in an eco-conscious way at all times. Instead of driving to work alone, consider taking the bus or going in a carpool. Walk or ride your bike when you're only going a short distance. Plan your shopping trips and errand runs so that you can do everything on one day, and do it in a way where you can save time and gas.

Other ways to "think green" include growing your own food, composting yard waste and food scraps, or by participating in local recycling programs. Join a group like Freecycle so you can share your unneeded and unwanted possessions with people who can use them. Likewise, you'll be able to get things you need or want for free.

Earth Day teaches people that the planet belongs to everyone, so everyone is equally responsible for protecting it. Although Earth Day is an environmental celebration, our team at Forever Smiles wants to remind you that you don't have to wait until then to make changes that will allow you and your family to live a greener life.

Happy Earth Day from the team at Forever Smiles.

The benefits of TONGUE SCRAPING?!?

April 17th, 2022

You have been a good patient and cared for your teeth and braces just like Dr. Yan Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles Team have instructed. But did you know there’s still more you can do to help protect your braces, teeth and gums from harmful bacteria that cause plaque and lead to a whole host of other problems?

Brushing away debris and bacteria from tooth surfaces and flossing between teeth is paramount to good oral hygiene, but these things can also build up on your tongue over time. This may lead to bad breath and have a negative impact on your overall oral health. But there is a solution… the tongue scraper!
Tongue scrapers have been in use for centuries. Once an oral tool used primarily by the well-to-do, Eastern civilizations have utilized tongue scrapers made from materials such as wood to various precious metals, even gold! Despite Western civilizations placing less importance on tongue scraping, in more recent decades, we have begun to have a better understanding of the importance of the practice, and of course have turned more commonly to ones made of plastic.

“Tongue scraping has many benefits for your oral health,” said board-certified orthodontist Dr. Yan Razdolsky. “In addition to the removal of bacteria that cause bad breath and dental decay, tongue scraping can improve your tongue’s appearance and overall taste sensation.”

That’s right, although studies are limited, it is suggested that using a tongue scraper twice daily can improve your ability to distinguish between sweet, salty, bitter, and sour. The theory is that using a scraper helps patients who have a “coated tongue” or a buildup of bacteria and/or dead cells trapped on the tongue’s surface. This can be a result of medication, dry mouth, inconsistent brushing, illness, certain foods, or habits like smoking. The good news, evidence indicates that plaque-forming streptococcal counts decrease significantly simply by cleaning the tongue.

And scraping can improve your tongues appearance as well? Yes, it can! Buildup of excess mucus can turn your tongue a white or colored hue. Daily scraping can help remove this coating, restoring the tongue to a natural healthy pink.

Tongue scraping can also help reduce bad breath. While this in no way replaces brushing your teeth for an overall clean, one 2004 study found that scraping was more effective than brushing at removing odor-causing bacteria, even over brushing the tongue with a traditional soft bristle brush. Although tongue coating was removed by both methods, the scraper performed as much as 30 percent better in reducing production of volatile sulfur compounds.

Although you now know improved tongue hygiene can help with bad breath, make your tongue look better, and help prevent dental issues, Dr. Yan warns when you wear braces there’s no substitute for practicing proper overall oral hygiene.

“When you wear braces, food easily gets lodged in brackets, wires and o-rings which can not only lead to bad breath, but a lot of other dental issues as well,” Dr. Yan said. “That’s why flossing, brushing, and rinsing with water is a great step one, which can naturally be followed by a little 30-second tongue scraping for good measure. With this added routine, you can boost your overall dental health and help your Forever Smiles orthodontic treatment go smoothly.”

Dangers of DIY Orthodontics on the Internet

April 13th, 2022

All over the Internet you'll find videos and articles showing how you can close the gap between teeth or space them out. There is a plethora of DIY orthodontic techniques out there — you can even mail order your own impressions to get clear aligners, without even seeing a dentist or orthodontist. Following the instructions laid out in these videos and articles (by people who have zero training in orthodontics) is about the worst decision you can make for your overall oral health.

Performing DIY or at-home orthodontia can lead to or cause:

  • Loss of teeth
  • Infection
  • Cavities or infections that are missed or undiagnosed
  • Gum damage

Dr. Christina Carter, president of the Northeastern Society of Orthodontists, says that DIY orthodontics can have terrible consequences. She spoke to TODAY about closing gaps between teeth using rubber bands or elastics:

"The teeth are connected to the gums and the blood supply and there is a risk of infection, of tearing the gums which might not heal properly, and a risk of damaging the attachment between the tooth and gums so the tooth no longer gets the support it needs." She also noted, "A simple rubber band can actually slide up the tooth and cut all the attachments to it and you can actually lose a tooth."

One of the worst parts about DIY orthodontics is that you never consult with a trained orthodontist, so you're really operating on a dangerous lack of information. It's best not to risk damage to your teeth or infection. Let Dr. Yan Razdolsky know what you want to accomplish with your teeth and we will help you find the safest and most cost-effective way to achieve it.

Dr. Yan Razdolsky want you to be informed and practical about your oral health. Should you have any questions about orthodontic treatment options, please do not hesitate to give us a call at our convenient Buffalo Grove office.

This April, Let’s Celebrate National Facial Protection Month!

April 6th, 2022

Poor April. While other months celebrate romance, or giving thanks, or costumes and candy, April has—April Fool’s Day and a tax deadline. We might be forgiven for thinking these two dates seem more like warnings than celebrations.

So here’s a new topic for the April calendar: National Facial Protection Month! Take the opportunity this month to review your safety practices while you’re enjoying your favorite activities.

  • Mouthguards

If you have a mouthguard for sports or athletic activities, wear it! In any activity or sport where humans come into contact with solid objects (including other humans) tooth injury is possible. A mouthguard will help protect you from dental injuries caused by falls, physical contact, or other accidents that might happen in your active life. And it’s not just your teeth—mouthguards protect your lips, tongue, and jaw as well.

You can buy mouthguards in stock sizes or shape-to-fit models, or you can have a guard made especially for you at our Buffalo Grove office. Custom mouthguards fit perfectly and are designed to make breathing and speaking easy and comfortable. If you wear braces, a custom mouthguard can be designed to protect your smile and your appliance. Just talk to Dr. Yan Razdolsky for suggestions!

After all the time and work you’ve put into your orthodontic care, don’t let a sports injury set you back. What else should you consider for your facial protection?

  • Helmets

If there’s a helmet available for your sport, use it! Helmets are especially important for protecting athletes from brain injury and concussion, and they help protect the face and jaw as well.

  • Face Guards

If you’ve experienced a puck speeding toward you, or a defensive tackle hurtling your way, or a fast ball coming in at 90 miles an hour, you know the importance of wearing a face guard. These guards can help protect your eyes, face, teeth, and jaws. Many sports now recommend using face guards—it’s worth checking to see if your sport is one of them.

  • Eye Protection

And let’s not forget eye protection. Whether it’s safety glasses or a visor, protecting your eyes and the bones around them is extremely important. You can even get sports goggles or protective sports glasses with prescription lenses to keep you safe and seeing clearly.

So here are a few suggestions for your calendar this month:

  • If you haven’t gotten a mouthguard yet, now’s the time. Tooth and mouth injuries occur in sports beyond hockey and football. If you play basketball, ski, skateboard, ride a bike—in fact, almost any sport where you can fall or make contact with a person or object—a mouthguard is a must.
  • If you need to replace an ill-fitting or damaged helmet and face guard, do it before your next game. And do replace a bike helmet if you’ve been in a crash—most likely it won’t be as protective, even if damage isn’t visible.
  • Talk to your eye doctor about protective eyewear if off-the-rack products don’t work for you.
  • If you are a parent or caregiver, make sure your child athlete has the proper facial protection—and uses it.
  • If you are a coach, make sure your athletes have the right protective gear—and wear it.
  • It’s also a great time to commit to using your protective gear every single time you’re active.

But, wait—these reminders are helpful and important, but weren’t we promised something to celebrate this April? Good catch! The great news is, using facial protection for sports and athletic activities gives you rewards you can celebrate all year: fewer injuries, fewer visits to the emergency room, and a beautiful, healthy, intact smile. Suit up!

How can I protect my child's teeth during sports?

March 30th, 2022

Sports are great for children for a variety of reasons. Children can develop their motor skills, learn how to solve conflicts and work together, and develop their work ethics. As a parent, you may recognize the benefits of sports, but also naturally worry about your child’s health and safety. Your job goes beyond providing a water bottle and making sure your child follows the rules of the game.

Although you may not think of your child’s teeth first when you think about sports, accidents can happen that affect your children’s teeth. A stray hockey stick, an errant basketball, or a misguided dive after a volleyball are examples of ways a child could lose a tooth. In fact, studies show that young athletes lose more than three million teeth each year.

Becoming a Better Athlete to Protect Teeth

Becoming a better athlete involves refining skills, learning the rules of the game, and being a good sport. These components are not just about winning. They are also about safety. Young athletes who are better ball-handlers and who are careful to avoid fouls and penalties are less likely to have harmful contact with the ball, teammates, or opponents. Children who are better roller-bladers are less likely to take a face plant into the blacktop, and more likely to save their teeth. Being a good sport and avoiding unnecessary contact is one way to protect teeth.

Proper Protective Equipment for Teeth

If your child is in a sport that poses a high threat to teeth, it is essential for your child to wear a mouthguard. Mouthguards fit your child’s mouth and consist of soft plastic. Dr. Yan Razdolsky can custom fit a mouthguard if generic ones are uncomfortable. While children may resist wearing a mouthguard initially, your persistence in insisting that they wear it should be enough to convince them. A helmet or face mask provides additional protection.

While prevention is best, rapid treatment can improve the situation if your child does happen to lose a tooth during sports. Rapid implantation can work in about ten percent of cases. To learn about ways to save a lost tooth, contact our Buffalo Grove office.

Making Your Life Better with Orthodontics

March 23rd, 2022

The number one goal of orthodontic treatment is to give you or your child a beautiful, healthy smile that will last a lifetime. One of the first things people notice about others is their smiles so take the first step towards getting the smile you’ve always wanted and make your initial consultation at Forever Smiles

A good bite not only makes it easier to eat and speak, but will enhance your dental and overall health as well. Straight teeth aren’t just pretty, they’re healthy as well. Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to clean reducing the risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease. 

Let your smile express yourself! Give us a call at our convenient Buffalo Grove office to schedule your consultation today!


St. Patrick's Day

March 16th, 2022

On March 17, everyone has a little Irish in them. St. Patrick’s Day is a joyous celebration of Irish heritage. The holiday originated as a commemoration of Saint Patrick, who brought Christianity to Ireland. The saint arrived in Ireland in 432 and earned the reputation of a champion of Irish Christianity. March 17th, the day of St. Patrick’s death, has been commemorated by the Irish for over 1,000 years. St. Patrick’s Day is still observed as a religious feast day by several Christian denominations, but it is better known in the public imagination as a rich celebration of Irish culture.

St. Patrick’s Day has been an official public holiday in Ireland since 1903. Each year, the Irish celebrate with a several-day festival that includes theater performances, music, fireworks, and festive parades. The celebration is also a public holiday in Northern Ireland, Montserrat, and Newfoundland and Labrador. In other parts of the world with heavy Irish populations, it is an unofficial celebration of Irish heritage. Parts of Great Britain, Canada, Argentina, South Korea, Switzerland, New Zealand, the United States, and Australia commemorate the holiday each year. Typical celebrations in these countries include drinking green beer, wearing green, eating traditional Irish foods, parades, and shamrock decorations.

Many people, Irish and non-Irish alike, take part in the “wearing of the green” on St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, the color originally associated with Saint Patrick was blue. His use of shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish made the green clover emblematic of the holiday, leading to the traditional green attire worn by thousands on St. Patrick’s Day. Other little-known facts about St. Patrick’s Day include the following:

  • Each year, the United States and Ireland face off in a rugby competition called the “St. Patrick’s Day Test.”
  • Montreal celebrates the holiday with an annual parade, which has been held each year since 1824. The Montreal city flag even features a shamrock in its corner, as a nod to its Irish heritage.
  • The Guinness World Records named St. Patrick’s Day the “Friendliest Day of the Year.”
  • Along with Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most widely celebrated saint’s day in the world.

No matter your cultural heritage, St. Patrick’s Day is a great time to let loose and celebrate your inner Irish-ness! Don your greenest attire and exclaim “Erin go Bragh!” (Ireland forever!) to everyone you meet. From Dr. Yan Razdolsky - have a great St. Paddy’s day!

Fossil Fascination

March 15th, 2022

Dental anthropology is a distinct subfield of bioarcheology and physical anthropology. It studies development, eruption, number, size, morphology, modification, wear, and pathology of teeth. It helps scientists answer questions about our ancestral evolution, as well as the diversity of humans and animals through analyzing variations in the form and dimensions of teeth, as well as micro- and molecular analysis of dental components.

Dr. Yan Razdolsky of Forever Smiles Orthodontics is, himself, an avid dental anthropology hobbyist and enthusiast. In fact, it is this deep-rooted characteristic that many who visit our office know has manifested in quite the collection of fossils! Not only does Dr. Yan use fossils as a teaching tool with patients, his fascination is also one he shares with each of his children, and even now with his grandson, Caleb.

Indeed, through the study of animal fossils we have learned that, unlike humans, many animals do not suffer the same dental afflictions we humans do. Most other vertebrae species rarely have crooked teeth, impacted wisdom teeth, gum disease, or even cavities. What we have learned is that through human evolution our biological, dietary, and cultural changes have shifted us toward a major modern health challenge.

Science tells us that the size of the human mouth has long been shrinking. Some say this is because the development of stone tools approximately 3.3 million years ago, which roughly represents the timeframe the shrinkage has occurred. You see, stone tools allowed humans to shift to a more carnivorous diet with the ability to cut meat into bite-sized pieces, thereby reducing the amount of chewing required for sustenance. Less chewing meant reduced need for larger, more powerful jaws. The development of agriculture further accelerated this evolution.

Some of you may recall, Dr. Yan shared with us in a previous Bracket Chatter the story of Otzi, the Ice Man. Otzi is a well-preserved mummy of a 46-year-old man who lived around 3300 BC. With his discovery, scientists for the first time could examine a 5,300-year-old mummy using the most advanced diagnostic methods. Much like the rings of a tree, the minerals typical of the landscape where a human experiences the first months of a human life are permanently stored in the teeth. By using 3D computer tomography researchers were able to reconstruct his oral cavity, providing insight into dental issues of the period, as well as uncovering significant findings of how the Ice Man lived.

So it’s no wonder the study of fossils, both human and animal, are so fascinating to Dr. Yan. Through the study of anthropology and evolutionary biology, he can help patients and his grandson understand how evolution, diet, and proper oral care can impact an ever-changing perspective of their Forever Smiles.

Permanent or Removable Retainers: Which is right for you?

March 9th, 2022

When the time comes for Dr. Yan Razdolsky to remove your braces, it is very exciting. Unfortunately, it can be somewhat confusing, too, because you are faced with choosing between two kinds of retainers. Should you go with permanent, removable, or a combination of the two? It is always wise to follow Forever Smiles recommendations, but knowing more about the two types of retainer beforehand can be helpful.

Removable Retainers

Removable retainers offer the advantage of easy use: you will generally put a removable retainer in at night and take it out in the morning. Regardless of your retainer schedule, you'll be able to enjoy some time with no retainer. However, a removable retainer can easily be forgotten at times, and this means you won't be taking full advantage of teeth retention.

Another potential advantage of a removable retainer is that you can take it out and brush and floss your teeth with ease, which is more of a challenge with a permanent retainer. Although removable retainers can be very effective, they don't tend to be as effective as permanent retainers, especially if they are not used as directed.

Permanent Retainers

Permanent retainers are the clear choice for patients who want to “get it and forget it.” Once your permanent retainer is placed in your mouth, you won’t need to worry about daily retainer schedules, since it is permanently affixed to your teeth.

Because teeth begin to shift naturally as we age, a permanent retainer typically offers better long-term results for teeth straightening than a removable one. You can't forget to put it in — it's already there! Temporary retainers get lost or are forgotten on trips, and often fail to get used as often as they should be.

One drawback to permanent retainers is flossing. Some patients find it more difficult to floss with a permanent retainer, but we can show you effective ways to floss fairly quickly with your permanent retainer.

Some orthodontists may recommend a combination of the two; for example, a removable retainer for the top teeth and a permanent one for the lower ones because the lower teeth are smaller and tend to shift more.

Ultimately, the most important thing to remember is that wearing your retainer as directed is extremely important. As long as you follow our orthodontist’s advice, you will get the best results from your retainer, regardless of its type. If you’re still not sure whether the choice you’ve made is truly right for you, get in touch with us at our Buffalo Grove location right away!

What is dentofacial orthopedics?

March 2nd, 2022

You may have noticed that we specialize in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. And while most people we talk to have heard of orthodontics, many are confused by the dentofacial orthopedics part of the title. Today, Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our team thought we would explain the difference.

While orthodontics entails the management of tooth movement, dentofacial orthopedics involves the guidance of facial growth and facial development, which occurs for the most part during childhood, and is a reason why kids are often the best candidates for receiving dentofacial orthopedic therapy. Dr. Yan Razdolsky will examine and monitor your child’s growth to determine when starting treatment will be most effective. If your child begins orthodontic treatment before his or her adult teeth have erupted, it is known as Phase-One treatment. During this phase, Dr. Yan Razdolsky will use treatments designed to correct your child’s jaw growth and make sure that the jaw bone is properly aligned before beginning the next phase of treatment, which usually involves placing braces to straighten your child's teeth.

Dentofacial orthopedics is also used to treat adult patients at Forever Smiles, however, this process may involve surgery. With our younger patients, we know the jaw bones are still forming, making it easier for our team at Forever Smiles to control bone growth and tooth movement. Adults, however, are a different story; their bones are no longer growing, and their jaw bones have hardened, so it is more difficult to adjust the bite and move teeth into proper alignment. Dr. Yan Razdolsky may recommend surgery to adjust the jaw bone and establish the proper bite alignment before beginning treatment.

Because our team at Forever Smiles is skilled in both areas, we are able to diagnose any misalignments in the teeth and jaw as well as the facial structure, and can devise a treatment plan that integrates both orthodontic and dentofacial orthopedic treatments.

We hope that helps! To learn more about dentofacial orthopedics, and to find out if this type of treatment is right for you, please contact our Buffalo Grove office and schedule an initial consultation for you or your child. It’s never too late to get a great smile, and we can’t wait to help you or your child get started.

How much do braces cost?

February 23rd, 2022

This is one of the most common questions that is asked at Forever Smiles and, unfortunately, it does not have a simple answer. Just as every patient we see is unique, so is their treatment plan. Some patients have very simple problems which require less appliances and time, while other cases are much more complicated and may require multiple appliances and phases.

The treatment fee usually reflects the amount of orthodontic work required to complete the treatment plan. The only way to find out how much braces will cost is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Yan Razdolsky. During your consultation, we will perform a complete oral examination, listen to your concerns, and explain how we will address your needs.

Our findings will include the cost of orthodontics and how long the treatment will take to complete. Give us a call today at our convenient location in Buffalo Grove for a consultation and discover how quickly we can make you smile!

Wax Facts

February 16th, 2022

In the long run, wearing braces is so worth it. Whether you’re working toward straight teeth, an improved bite, or both, you’ll end up with a beautiful smile! But sometimes, in the short run, they can be really annoying. Braces can irritate your lips, tongue, and cheeks while you are getting used to them or after an adjustment. Or a problem wire can poke the inside of your mouth and you can’t see us immediately for a repair. At times like these, Dr. Yan Razdolsky will recommend orthodontic wax to make your life more comfortable.

  • What is Orthodontic Wax?

Orthodontic wax is made from non-toxic products like beeswax, carnauba wax, and paraffin wax. Some products might contain extras like vitamin E, aloe, or flavorings. The soft wax covers the bracket or wire that is bothering you with a smooth surface that won’t irritate sensitive mouth tissue and will give sore areas a chance to heal.

  • What if I Swallow a Piece?

All dental wax is made of non-toxic ingredients. If you accidentally swallow a bit, no need to worry.

  • Is It Hard to Apply?

It’s not hard, but it takes a bit of practice. First, locate the wire or bracket that is causing the problem. You might know where it is right away, or be able to discover it by discovering which sharp bracket or wire is across from the sore spot in your mouth.

Always wash your hands first. Brush and floss, so you will have a clean surface to apply the wax. The drier the surface, the better the wax will stick, so let the area air dry or use something clean such as sterile gauze to dry around the bracket.  

The wax is actually quite easy to work with. Break off a small piece of wax (no bigger than the size of a popcorn kernel or a pea), roll it in your fingers to soften it, and press the wax firmly but carefully over the problem bracket or wire until it sticks. Rub until the wax is smooth. Don’t worry, we will be happy to show you just how it’s done.

  • Can I Eat with Wax in Place?

If you find that you can eat without much irritation, it’s better to eat without wax over your braces. Remove the wax before eating and brush carefully to remove any food particles from your braces before applying new wax. If you do snack while using wax, be sure to change it after you eat. Wax, after all, sticks easily to your braces—and food particles stick to wax! Not a good look, and not good for your teeth.

  • Brushing and Flossing

Take off any wax before you brush and floss. Your toothbrush will thank you!

You probably have lots of other questions. Can you sleep with wax on your braces? Will it help you be more comfortable at trumpet practice? That’s why we’re here! If you have any questions at all about orthodontic wax and how to use it, call our Buffalo Grove office. We want to make sure that the months you spend wearing braces are as comfortable as possible on your way to a lifetime of beautiful smiles. It’s so worth it!

Help! My Dog Ate My Retainer!

February 15th, 2022

According to Buffalo Grove Orthodontist, Dr. Yan Razdolsky of Forever Smiles there are only two safe places for your retainer - your mouth or the case. Any other place can leave you at risk for loss or damage. Just ask anyone who’s ever had their doggo eat their retainer. No way, you say? Oh yeah, it happens!

Take the story of one patient who only removed their retainers for a quick Snapchat. There they were posting to their story when their new pup Sparky darted out of nowhere and made off with his new prized chew toy. Good luck getting that back in working condition! (Eeeew, puppy slobber.)

Or how about another patient who left her retainer on her bathroom vanity. Her sweet tabby, Mittens bounded up and swatted them into the trash. (Thankfully, Mom found them before they were put out for garbage pickup.)

Not surprisingly, this happens more than you might think. The thought is that pets are drawn to the material retainers are made from. For cats and kittens, there’s just something about swatting things around that seems like fun to them. And think about it… you put the retainer in your mouth. For puppies, the smell of saliva may make them think your retainer is food.

Replacing lost or damaged retainers carries a cost. So, in addition to keeping your retainers safely away from Sparky’s lethal jaws and Mitten’s crafty paws, here’s a few more tips you can follow to keep them safe and working effectively.

Never wrap retainers in a napkin or paper towel! It’s inevitable. At some point someone other than you is going to think it’s discarded waste, scoop it up and toss it in the trash. Yes, it’s happened to a patient in a restaurant. The server snatched it up while clearing the table and the patient wasn’t looking.

Another tip is to never carry retainers in your pocket unless they are in their case. All too easily, they can become bent or broken simply from sitting or wearing your seatbelt.

Don’t leave your retainer sitting out on your vanity or sink. There are a lot of items used around that surface like hair dryers, or styling irons that produce enough heat they can warp them. Not to mention the bacteria they are exposed to. What’s more, your retainer can dry out when exposed sitting out on the counter making them more prone to cracking.

What if your retainers get yucky? You should avoid using harsh chemicals like alcohol-based mouthwashes to clean them. Dr. Yan says water and toothpaste will do the trick just fine. Or if you really want clean, try a very mild vinegar soak. But the best way to keep your retainer fresh is by brushing your teeth before you use it. Using your retainer with dirty teeth will only make the retainer dirty and spread bacteria. Make it a practice to brush your teeth, then the retainer to keep it clean and fresh. But be sure to not use hot water when rinsing or it could warp.

It’s not hard. Just remember when your retainer is not in use, simply keep it in the case Dr. Yan and the team gives you. Don’t put all your hard work, patience, and beautiful Forever Smile at risk.

The Start of Valentine’s Day

February 9th, 2022

Valentine’s Day, also known as Saint Valentine’s Day, has been said to originate with a Catholic priest named Valentine several thousand year ago. Valentine defied the emperor at the time by secretly marrying men and their brides after the emperor had made it illegal to marry. Emperor Claudius II did this because he wanted as many single young men to fight in his war as he could get.

Valentine disobeyed the emperor’s edict by continuing to marry couples until he was sentenced to death. Before his execution, he sent a letter to a secret love and signed it “From your Valentine.” Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our team have come up with some suggestions on how you can celebrate this Valentine’s Day, whether you have a valentine of your own or not.

Valentine's Day Ideas

  • Enjoy a tasty treat. There are plenty of options when it comes to cooking and/or baking on Valentine’s Day. Make your significant other his or her favorite meal or sweet treat, or make your own favorite dish to enjoy on this day. Oh, and be sure to make enough for leftovers!
  • Make a personalized card. Instead of buying a card from the grocery store, take the time to make your own for a loved one. People love handwritten notes, especially when it’s from someone special. If you’re single this Valentine’s Day, make a card for fellow single friend to brighten the day and remind the person that he or she is also loved.
  • Watch a movie. We all know there are plenty of romance movies out there. Put on your favorite romantic comedy, or pick up your significant other’s favorite movie to watch together. Even better, if you’re single, pick up your own favorite movies to watch to pass the time this Valentine’s Day.
  • Do nothing! We all know Valentine’s Day can sometimes get a lot of hype. If you’re worried about not making a reservation in time, don’t feel like planning an extravagant night out, or simply not in the holiday mood this year, spend your day sitting back and relaxing.

Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love and spend quality hours with the people you care about the most. Whether you’re in a relationship or single, take some time today to appreciate those you love in your life.

We wish you a happy Valentine’s Day celebration and look forward to seeing you at our Buffalo Grove office during your next appointment.

Talking Over Your Underbite

February 2nd, 2022

You’ve been told that you have a malocclusion called an “underbite.” Let’s look at just what this diagnosis means, and what it means for you.

Just what is an “underbite”?

A malocclusion is another way of saying that you have a problem with your bite, which is the way your jaws and teeth fit together when you bite down. In a typical bite, the front top teeth project slightly beyond, and slightly overlap, the bottom teeth.

An underbite, on the other hand, results when the lower teeth and jaw extend further forward than the upper teeth and jaw, causing the bottom teeth to overlap the top teeth.

What causes an underbite?

Underbites tend to be genetic, and run in families, so, most often, an underbite is something you’re born with. The size of your jaws, the shape of your teeth, or both will affect your bite.

A smaller number of underbites develop because of injuries or early oral habits, such as prolonged and vigorous thumb sucking or tongue thrusting.

How do we treat an underbite?

Your treatment will depend on the type and severity of your underbite, and your age when treatment occurs.

  • Braces and Aligners

If your underbite is a slight one, caused, for example, by crowded or overly large teeth, braces or clear aligners can help move the teeth into proper alignment.

  • Functional Appliances

If the underbite is caused by a problem with upper and lower jaw development, devices called functional appliances can be used to help guide the growth of the jawbones while a child’s bones are still growing and forming.

If you’re a young patient, two appliances commonly used to help correct an underbite are palatal expanders, which gradually widen the upper jaw if it’s too narrow, and reverse pull headgear, which fits both inside the mouth and outside on the face, and provides a steady, gentle pull to encourage the forward growth of the upper jaw.

  • Surgical treatment

In some severe cases, surgical treatment can correct an underbite by reshaping the jawbone itself and positioning it further back to align properly with the upper jaw.

Why treat your underbite?

A serious underbite can cause damaged teeth and enamel, painful problems with the temporomandibular joint, headaches and facial pain, sleep apnea, difficulty chewing, eating, and speaking, and can affect confidence and self-esteem.

By following your treatment plan, you’ll not only prevent these consequences, but you’ll achieve major benefits—a healthy, comfortable bite, and an attractive, confident smile. Want to know more? Talk it over with Dr. Yan Razdolsky at our Buffalo Grove office for all the information you’ll need!

Who benefits from Invisalign®?

January 19th, 2022

One problem with trying to answer the question as to who benefits from Invisalign is that the simple answer is “almost everyone.” The see-through, almost invisible aligners for straightening teeth are specifically molded to fit each individual’s mouth. Unlike conventional braces, they can be removed when eating and when cleaning the teeth. Because they use less force in straightening teeth than metal braces, the risk of harm to teeth is lessened.

Benefits to adults

Traditional braces are associated with children and teenagers. Many adults want to have their teeth straightened but cannot decide which is worse: having crooked teeth or wearing metal braces. They also worry about having to change their diet by not being able to eat the foods they normally enjoy.

If you are an adult considering braces, our team at Forever Smiles will tell you Invisalign aligners will give you the best of all worlds. Your teeth will be straightened with virtually invisible braces. You can remove your aligners when you eat so you can enjoy any food you normally would consume. You do not have to worry about embarrassing yourself by getting food stuck in your braces. You simply clean your teeth normally after eating and replace your aligners. If there is a special occasion during which you do not want to have any braces at all, you can remove the aligners for a few hours without causing any damage.

Benefits to teenagers

Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our team know that teenagers are often involved in contact sports or gymnastics. Others find that having metal in their mouth interferes with their ability to play a musical instrument. Traditional metal braces contain wires and brackets that can cause damage to the mouth and gums; this is not a risk with Invisalign aligners.

For sports that require players to wear mouthguards, the expense of specially constructed mouthguards to fit over braces is avoided. The aligners can be removed during sports activity, and a normal mouthguard is worn. Teenagers who play musical instruments simply remove the aligners when practicing or playing in the band or orchestra.

Teenagers often feel they are too busy to spend time and trouble flossing teeth between the wires and brackets of traditional braces. Since the Invisalign aligners are removable, brushing and flossing are simpler and more likely to be performed.

For more information about Invisalign or Invisalign Teen, or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Yan Razdolsky, please give us a call at our convenient Buffalo Grove office!

When is the right time to meet the Tooth Fairy?

January 14th, 2022

As a child’s permanent teeth erupt, their deciduous or primary teeth begin to fall out. For most children that is around age 5 or 6, although they can appear sooner or later depending on and correlating with when the baby teeth first came in.  As these “adult” teeth emerge however, the applied pressure along with biological stimuli cause the child’s baby tooth roots to dissolve, allowing them to loosen and ultimately come out naturally. But what if your child’s tooth comes out due to trauma, or maybe one larger erupting tooth forces out two baby teeth at the same time? What if extraction becomes necessary due to decay? How does this impact the timing and health of incoming permanent teeth?

“Baby teeth act like place holders and guides for the eruption of permanent teeth to come,” said Dr. Yan Razdolsky of Forever Smiles Orthodontics of Buffalo Grove. “Losing them too early can disrupt their natural function. This can result in misalignment or shift of the incoming tooth or result in blocked out or impacted teeth which do not erupt naturally or properly on their own. This can further cause malocclusion and bite issues which may progressively require extensive orthodontic treatment and even surgery down the road,” he added.

According to Dr. Yan, as losing a primary tooth early could result in these types of dental complications, parents should establish a game plan with their pediatric dentist should that happen with their child. First and foremost, if the tooth comes out due to trauma, treat the emergency. From there, schedule a consult with Dr. Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team.

“At Forever Smiles, we generally begin early evaluation for treatment around the age of 7. But our team is always happy to see a child sooner should their pediatric dentist recommend it or if there is cause for concern. Although treatment may not be necessary, interceptive treatment such as a space maintainer may help children forgo more extensive and expensive treatments down the road.”

Space maintainers are exactly what the name implies. These fantastic, passive treatment devices hold the place left behind by a prematurely lost tooth. This prevents the surrounding teeth from shifting and allows the permanent tooth to erupt safely and naturally into the right position. This can go a long way in helping a child’s teeth and dentition develop more naturally as intended.

“Parents should know, not every prematurely lost tooth is cause for concern. It all depends on the dental maturity of the child and location of the lost tooth,” says Dr. Yan. “While early interceptive orthodontics allows us to treat problems and avoid more serious, invasive, and expensive issues in the future, they may not always be necessary. It is always best to evaluate just so that we may know for sure.”

In the end, for a child who has lost a baby tooth it is a time for gap-toothed grins and visits from the Tooth Fairy. With early evaluation however, Dr. Yan can help parents ensure those grins grow to be beautiful Forever Smiles."

Let It Snow!

January 5th, 2022

The weather out there might be frightful for most of us, but not for you! You’ve been waiting all year for a fresh coat of powder and all the outdoor sporting activities winter brings. But before you grab those ski poles, strap into that snowboard, lace up those skates, or dust off that sled, be sure to remember one more essential piece of gear—your mouthguard!

Mouthguards aren’t just for contact sports. While all that lovely new snow looks like powder, it doesn’t feel like it when you land hard. If there’s a chance of a fall or an impact in any sport, there’s a chance you can suffer dental injuries.

Falls or collisions can result in chipped, broken, or dislodged teeth. Your mouthguard will help protect your smile from these accidents, and also works to protect you from biting your tongue and mouth in case of impact. It can even reduce the chance of jaw injuries.

Luckily, finding a mouthguard that works for you is even easier than finding the perfect board or the best wax for your skis. You have several options to choose from:

  • Ready-made appliances. These are available in drugstores and sporting goods stores, but come in pre-formed sizes, so they might not provide the best fit.
  • The “boil-and-bite” model. This mouthguard form is placed in hot water. You then bite down while it is pliable to shape it to your mouth and teeth.
  • Custom mouthguards. These guards can be fabricated just for you. They are molded to fit your individual mouth and teeth, so provide a better fit and better protection. They are also usually more durable and more comfortable. If you wear braces, a custom mouthguard can be your best option for preventing an injury to your mouth and your braces. Talk to Dr. Yan Razdolsky if you are interested in a guard fitted specifically for you.

When you visit our Buffalo Grove office, let’s discuss all the best ways to keep your teeth and mouth protected before you set out for winter sports. And then when you’re ready to go? Let it snow!

Sparkle with Braces this Holiday

December 15th, 2021

For some, holiday occasions are one of the most-anticipated events of the season, and what’s not to love? There’s delicious food, holiday lights, gift exchanges and so much to prepare for - from dressing up in sparkly jewelry, to polishing up those dance shoes. Everyone wants to look their best this season, but if you wear braces you might be concerned your orthodontics will steal the attention away from your celebratory smile. If you are worried about your braces being the standout feature when it’s time to deck the halls, Dr. Yan Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team have a few suggestions which may help ease your concerns and have you joyfully ringing in the holidays.

When it comes to bands, picking the right color can be essential to your holiday look. When planning for fun, spirited events, consider bands which reflect the season or your personality leading into the big affair. Red and green, or even red and white like a candy cane can be a fun and seasonal kick to boost your mood. For more formal occasions, perhaps select a neutral color for bands so they don’t jump out or clash with your anticipated attire. That’s right, if you’re concerned that the color of your bands will clash with your outfit, you can always schedule a visit to Forever Smiles before the big event and pick colors to complement your outfit and your mood! Another suggestion before heading out for holiday merriment is leave enough time for a mini photo-shoot to practice your celebratory smile. This will help boost your confidence when posing for holiday pictures with others.

Dr. Yan warns braces wearers should always be conscious of what foods are off limits when they’re out celebrating and want to make a good impression. Avoid crunchy, hard, chewy, and sugary foods that can damage the brackets if you have metal or ceramic braces. Nothing is worse leading up to and through a big day than pain or discomfort. Also remember, whether you have traditional braces or wear clear aligners which you remove before eating, it’s good practice to limit your sugary food intake as these bacteria favorites contribute to acid and plaque formation which do not take time off for the holidays. Other foods worth avoiding include hard sticky foods like candy canes, toffee, and peanut brittle. Braces wearers should also be cautious of meat on the bone and large chunks of raw veggies. Lastly look out for hard cookies, nuts, and foods with nuts in them, as they can bend or break wires which will certainly ruin a fun evening.

When you do taste the flavors of the season, Dr. Yan says it is important to remember your oral hygiene. Nothing is worse than a holiday greeting with food stuck in your teeth or braces! Tuck a compact mirror in your pocket or purse to check your braces for food particles once you finish eating or snacking. Even better, visit the restroom and use a travel toothbrush to gently brush your teeth as necessary to remove any accumulated plaque. In addition to a travel toothbrush and orthodontic wax, consider toting a mini bottle of mouthwash with you to kill bacteria and keep your breath minty fresh.

Regardless of how you choose to celebrate the season, remember the main reason why you have braces in the first place – a straighter, beautiful, more healthy Forever Smile. Beyond the physical benefits of straighter teeth, braces wearers are making a conscious choice to do something beneficial for their long-term health. There is nothing that says positive self-image more than looking ahead to care for oneself, so that alone should help ease your image concerns and boost confidence. Our advice – smile big and sparkle! In years to come, you won’t look back on photos from special occasions and regret having undergone orthodontic treatment. So, relax and celebrate… ‘tis the season of giving after all!

Braces Repairs—Should You Try This at Home?

December 8th, 2021

No matter how careful you are, accidents can happen. Perhaps it’s a slice of apple that was a little bit larger than it should have been. Or you were chewing on your pencil while you were trying to work out an algebra problem. Or you tried a piece of candy that your friend really, truly thought didn’t have a caramel center.

No matter the cause, when something‘s wrong with your braces, you know it. And you want to fix it as soon as possible. What can you do to make yourself more comfortable? And which repairs are best left to orthodontic professionals?

First things first. If you have been injured, and suffered a trauma to your mouth or jaw that has damaged your braces, we want to make sure that you get any medical attention you might need before we worry about your appliance. Call Dr. Yan Razdolsky, and your doctor, immediately if you have suffered a medical or dental injury.

Even if your braces are the only injured party, you might need a special appointment if the damage is something that shouldn’t wait and can delay your orthodontic progress. Broken wires, brackets that have fallen off, and loose orthodontic bands, for example, need to be replaced in our office.

But what about minor problems? First, call us to see if it’s something that really is minor, and whether you can do some home repairs to keep you going until your next regular visit.

  • Wayward Wires

One of the most common—and most annoying—problems is a broken or out-of-place wire. If a wire end is poking you, dental wax can be applied to the loose end to protect your cheeks and gums. If that doesn’t work, we can let you know how to apply gentle pressure to move the wire away from delicate tissue. Don’t try to cut a broken wire or remove it without talking to us—small pieces can be swallowed accidentally. We’ll give you suggestions for how to handle a broken or loose wire and protect your mouth until you can see us.

  • Breakaway Brackets

If your bracket becomes loose, this is another good reason to give us a call. Brackets are specifically placed to let your archwire guide your teeth where they need to be. Without a firmly bonded bracket, the wire isn’t doing you much good! If a loose bracket is irritating your cheeks or gums, you can try a bit of dental wax to stick it in place and cover hard edges until we can re-bond it. If the bracket comes off all together, bring it with you to your next appointment.

  • Balky Bands

Spacers are little rubber bands we put between your teeth if we need to create some room between your molars before you get your braces. They have a tendency to fall out after several days. We’ll let you know if their work is done, and you’re ready to start your orthodontic treatment. If you lose one of your ligatures, those colorful bands around your brackets, give us a call and we’ll let you know if replacement can wait.

We’re happy to help you with any braces problems, large or small. It’s best to check with us for even small fixes to make sure you avoid injury. Larger repairs can be handled in our Buffalo Grove office—and we can give you tips on how to prevent future ones. Accidents happen, but they don’t need to delay your progress toward a beautiful, healthy smile.


November 24th, 2021

At Forever Smiles, we love to celebrate the holidays with vigor! Dr. Yan Razdolsky would love to share some unique ways of celebrating Thanksgiving from beyond the Buffalo Grove area to the national level!

When Americans sit down to dinner on the last Thursday of November, the day that Abraham Lincoln designated as the day on which Thanksgiving would be celebrated, they do so thinking that the first Thanksgiving feast was held at Plymouth in 1621. According to National Geographic, the Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez Coronado and his men celebrated a feast of Thanksgiving in Texas in 1541, giving Texas the distinction of being the first place where Thanksgiving was celebrated.

Different Types of Celebrations

Native Americans had rituals around which they celebrated in hopes of ensuring a bountiful harvest. The Cherokees had a Green Corn Dance that they did for this very purpose. The Pilgrims (not to be confused with the Puritans,) rejected any type of public religious display. They held a three-day long non-religious Thanksgiving feast. Although they said grace, the focus of their celebration was on feasting, drinking alcohol (they did have beer,) and playing games.

The Pilgrims at the Plymouth Plantation celebrated a different day of Thanksgiving in 1623. Plagued by a crop-destroying drought, the settlers prayed for relief. They even fasted. A few days later, they got the rain they so desperately needed. Soon thereafter, they received another blessing when Captain Miles Standish came with staples they couldn't otherwise get. He also told them that a Dutch supply ship was en route. In gratitude for the abundance of good fortune, the Plymouth settlers celebrated a day of prayer and Thanksgiving on June 30, 1623.

The Story of Squanto

No discussion of Thanksgiving is complete without a discussion of Squanto, or Tisquantum, as he was known among his people, the Patuxet Indians. It is believed that he was born sometime around 1580. As he returned to his village after a long journey, he and several other Native Americans were kidnapped by Jamestown colonist, Thomas Hunt. Hunt put them on a ship heading to Spain where they were to be sold into slavery.

As fate would have it, some local friars rescued him and many of the other kidnapped natives. Squanto was educated by the friars. Eventually, after asking for freedom so he could return to North America, he ended up in London where he spent time working as a ship builder. By 1619, he was finally able to get passage on a ship headed to New England with other Pilgrims.

Upon arriving at Plymouth Rock, he learned that his entire tribe was wiped out by diseases that accompanied earlier settlers from Europe. In gratitude for passage on their ship, he helped them set up a settlement on the very land where his people once lived. They called the settlement Plymouth. Since they knew nothing about how to survive, let alone how to find food, Squanto taught them everything, from how to plant corn and other crops, how to fertilize them, how and where to get fish and eels and much more.

After a devastating winter during which many settlers died, thanks to Squanto's teaching, they had an abundant harvest. After that harvest, they honored him with a feast. It is this feast of 1621 which was celebrated between the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians that is widely considered the first Thanksgiving celebration.

About the Meal of the Plymouth Settlers

Surviving journals of Edward Winslow that are housed at Plymouth Plantation indicate that the first Thanksgiving feast was nothing like what Americans eat today. The meal consisted of venison, various types of wild fowl (including wild turkey,) and Indian corn. There were no cranberries, stuffing, pumpkin pie, potatoes, or any of the other “traditional” foods that appear on modern menus.

Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, the day that Abraham Lincoln designated as the holiday. It is still a day of feasting, and for some, a day of prayer and thanksgiving. For others, it is a celebration of gathering, especially for families. Still others may celebrate in entirely different ways, including watching college football bowl games, or by playing family games.

If you ever wonder why you're so tired after the Thanksgiving meal, it's because turkey contains an amino acid, tryptophan, and it sets off chemicals whose chain reaction combine to make people sleepy.

Braces & Pregnancy

November 17th, 2021

What to expect with your Forever Smile

So, you’re expecting a baby? Congratulations! While there are likely a million things on your mind you should probably table orthodontic treatment as one of them. That’s right. If you’ve ever heard us say it’s never a bad time to get straighter teeth or consider braces, when you’re pregnant is pretty much one of the only times you’ll hear us say, “don’t do it.”

You see, Dr. Yan Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team utilize ultra-low dose, iCat Cone Beam 3D x-ray imaging for evaluation and treatment planning. Although radiation exposure risk from iCat is at or near zero, he and the team must ensure the patients safety and understanding of relative risk is first and foremost. That’s why Dr. Razdolsky recommends expecting moms to hold off on treatment until after baby is born.

For expecting Moms already in braces, however, Dr. Razdolsky says now is a perfectly safe time to undergo orthodontic treatment. (Just be sure to tell him at your next appointment you are pregnant.) Although routine orthodontic processes and procedures are perfectly safe during pregnancy, some protocols may require greater care and observation during treatment. For example, pregnant moms may be surprised to learn how their new condition impacts their dentition. Hormones during pregnancy can affect teeth in many ways. This can include inflammation in the gums, loosening teeth and swelling. Don’t worry, your teeth aren’t at risk of falling out! They will anchor in once baby is born, but it is important for Dr. Razdolsky to know you are pregnant as it may impact the progression and timeline of your orthodontic treatment. Because of this, it may also be necessary to schedule your orthodontic appointments more frequently, so the Forever Smiles team can more closely monitor your progress and make necessary adjustments to keep you on track.

Dr. Razdolsky and the team cannot stress enough the importance of good oral hygiene, especially if you are pregnant and suffering from morning sickness. If braces are exposed to powerful stomach acids from vomiting it can not only destroy the metals over time it can erode your teeth causing a host of issues down the road. That’s why it is important to rinse and brush your teeth after each bout of morning sickness in addition to your routine orthodontic regimen and care.

Not coincidentally, caring for developing baby and your braces during pregnancy both include a healthy diet. But all that’s good for baby is not always good for your braces! Evidence shows a diet as high as 70 to 100 grams per day in protein increases the production of breast milk, but some meats can be tough to chew and not safe for those with braces. Moms-to-be with braces should avoid meats like beef jerky or tough steak. Instead, look to braces-friendly protein options such as eggs, chicken breast, fish (especially salmon), cottage cheese and Greek yogurt. Dr. Razdolsky advises expectant moms to consult with their obstetrician regarding specific dietary choices. For example, while some fish offer a great protein source, they can also contain mercury which could impact baby’s developing brain and nervous system when you’re pregnant.

In addition to eating a healthy, balanced diet for baby, Dr. Razdolsky and the team advise moms-to-be to watch out for crunchy, tough, chewy, and brittle foods which can bend wires or dislodge brackets. Some expectant moms might also be tempted to chew on ice to soothe swollen gums during pregnancy. Don’t! There’s nothing worse than the discomfort caused by a protruding wire or floating bracket--except maybe experiencing it while you’re also pregnant!

So, that said… are braces more painful while you pregnant? Maybe. No one can say for sure, but some expectant moms may experience a little more discomfort than others. Likely this is due to increased nerve sensitivity and doesn’t happen to everyone. That’s why Dr. Yan Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team are here with you every step of the way. We love welcoming a new baby to the family, it gives us all more reason to smile!

3D Imaging and Your Oral Health

November 10th, 2021

3D imaging, also known as CBCT (Cone Beam Computerized Tomography), can be an invaluable tool for Dr. Yan Razdolsky to help you to maintain or restore your oral health. Advances in the industry have allowed for more precise and detailed imaging than ever before.

CBCT machines work by rotating around a patient to capture both 3D and 2D images of the head and jaw all at the same time. This is then digitally reconstructed on the computer to allow for quicker and more accurate diagnosis. There are several benefits of 3D imaging over traditional imaging like X-rays and CT scans, for both doctor and patient.

The benefits of 3D imaging for the patient:

  • Radiation exposure is reduced as compared to traditional X-rays or CT scans. A 3D scan will expose patients to less radiation than a full set of oral X-rays and up to 95% less radiation than a CT scan.
  • 3D imaging allows the patient to view the results of the scan alongside the doctor, right on the computer. This way the patient can better understand what's going on if there is an issue.
  • The procedure is extremely quick and easy to perform. It usually only takes about ten to twenty seconds for the entire 3D image to be taken.
  • Cost savings are huge for patients when compared to traditional CT scans performed at a hospital.

The benefits of 3D imaging for the doctor:

  • One of the biggest benefits for doctors is the amount of information gained from one scan. Doctors receive much more in-depth and actionable information as compared to 2D X-ray imaging alone. This makes for better treatment planning and diagnosis.
  • The images are digital so they can be viewed on any computer or tablet instead of having just one physical printed image.
  • Clearer images are captured with this technology, which allows the doctor to more accurately diagnose any disorder such as impacted teeth, pathologies which are difficult to see, TMJ, or any other issue relating to the bone and structures of the tooth below the gum line.
  • 3D imaging allows for better communication between doctor and patient. The doctor can more easily show the patient what's going on and explain the course of treatment they suggest.

When called for, 3D imaging can be a very helpful diagnostic tool for both doctor and patient alike. This is why our Buffalo Grove office is equipped with state-of-the-art imaging technologies so we can provide our patients with the most accurate and comfortable experience possible.

The Mighty Little TADs

November 2nd, 2021

As most of you know the science behind successful orthodontic treatment requires a thorough understanding of biology and physics. For example, Newton’s Third Law: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction,” aptly describes the literal force necessary for tooth movement, realignment, and bite correction. Therefore, it becomes evident how Orthodontics uses physics, including the understanding of torque, pressure, pulling, pushing and the appropriate counteracting forces to straighten teeth.

According to Newton, forces always come in pairs -- equal and opposite. But what about those unusual cases where a simple back or forth isn’t going to simply correct an orthodontic problem? Sometimes equal and opposite means that in order to move a tooth the desired way, you must work up, down, in and even outside the mouth. In the past, treatment usually involved the use of headgear to be worn for 12 or more hours--not the preferred method of treatment for the patient to be sure. Fortunately, orthodontics has advanced in the form of a miniature titanium screw, known as temporary anchorage devices (TADs).

At Forever Smiles, we have successfully implemented these mini biocompatible dynamos via implant into the jawbone to serve as realignment anchors for several years now. As the name implies, these mini-implants are used temporarily, and removed after treatment once the teeth are aligned in the proper position. In some cases, Dr. Razdolsky can even employ TADs as an alternative to headgear altogether, allowing for greater results in a less invasive way. Overall, TADs deliver a more predictable result, may significantly reduce treatment time, may help avoid the removal of teeth, and prevent certain surgical procedures.

But are TADs all they are purported to be? Current studies published in 2020 and 2021 evaluated the effectiveness of orthodontic intrusion using TADs verses other orthodontic techniques. To note, intrusion of teeth involves moving them further into the bone in cases involving an open bite or gummy smiles, for example. The published results concluded that “the stability of molar intrusion using TADs can be considered relatively similar to that reported to surgical approaches.”(González Espinosa D;de Oliveira Moreira PE;da Sousa AS;Flores-Mir C;Normando D;)
In a real-world case study, let’s look at gummy smiles treated by Dr. Razdolsky with TADs. You have probably encountered a few people with gummy smiles by now. Normally, upon smiling the upper lip should cover the upper central teeth by 1 mm. However, scientific studies have demonstrated that patients with a gummy smile have excessive gingival display of 3 or more millimeters, and no lip over tooth coverage. While many treatment options are available, let’s explore the use of TADs.

Our first patient in this case review presented at Forever Smiles with 5mm of Gingival excess when smiling (Study 1). Cephalometric measurements exhibited Upper central incisor is below Upper lip 9mm whereas normal is 2mm in repose. So, we needed 7 mm intrusion to achieve normal measurements. Cephalometrics also shown Vertical Skeletal Excess but patient has rejected LeFort posterior impaction surgical option. It is worth mentioning that the U lip droops down 1mm with every decade.

Through the use of TADs, Dr. Razdolsky and the team were able to apply the proper force to intrude the incisors and vertically align the patient’s teeth for a straighter smile and visibly improved, less gummy aesthetic.

In our second case (Study 2), we can see our patient exhibited supra-erupted upper right second molar due to missing lower second molar. It needed intrusion to give restorative GP room for lower restoration. TAD supported Intrusion spring was used to accomplish that goal.

While these two case studies are truly noteworthy, what makes TADs even more impressive is when they are employed in more complex cases. Just take a look at the study diagram #3 below and see how Dr. Razdolsky uses TADs along with a lingual arch to shift the second maxillary molars and completely realign this patient’s anterior open bite. All this from a tiny, but very mighty little screw.

Halloween Fun with Braces

October 27th, 2021

Halloween is a favorite holiday among children due to the festive games, imaginative costumes, and candy. Modern celebrations stem from a combination of traditions from Pagan and Christian traditions throughout the centuries. The original holiday was called Samhain and derived from the ancient Druids of Ireland. In their belief system, November 1st marked the beginning of winter, and Pagans began their Samhain celebrations at sunset on October 31st.

Modern Celebrations of Halloween

Children and adults love dressing up for Halloween, and this tradition comes from the ancient belief in spirits. From sunset on October 31st until sunrise on November 1st, the souls of the dead entered the physical world. Some spirits were benevolent and wanted only to cross over to the afterlife while others harbored malicious intents of revenge and trickery. Pagans wore masks and disguised themselves so that the malevolent souls would mistake them as fellow spirits.

Families left food and ale outside of their doors to appease the spirits. With the rise of Christianity in Europe, the church encouraged its members to offer food and money to beggars. In exchange, the beggars would agree to pray for the family's deceased loved ones. Eventually these traditions led to the development of today's customs where children dressed up and received candy from their neighbors while circling the community.

Teeth-Friendly Treats

With all of the excitement and free candy on Halloween, it is easy to get carried away on a sugar high. Parents warn their children not to eat too many pieces in one night to avoid tummy aches and cavities. Our team at Forever Smiles especially wants to remind children with braces to be extra cautious about the treats they eat because some varieties can get stuck in between the brackets and damage the devices. Sticky candy, such as caramels, fruit chews, and gum should be avoided when wearing braces. Children can trade with their friends and siblings to get only safe candies. The following list offers some alternative treats that children with braces can safely enjoy.

  • Solid chocolate, including milk, white, or dark
  • Nougat-filled candy bars, such as Three Musketeers
  • Candy-coated chocolates like M&Ms
  • Powdery candy, such as Sweet Tarts or Pixie Stix
  • Mint-flavored candy
  • Malted milk balls
  • Cookies
  • Peanut butter crackers or cookies

When in doubt, children should ask their parents or Dr. Yan Razdolsky if a specific candy is safe. Halloween is a fun holiday for children, and having braces does not have to take away any of the excitement from tasty treats.

The Damon® Smile Treatment Process

October 20th, 2021

Damon Smile braces have quickly become one of the most popular orthodontic treatments at our Buffalo Grove office. Offering a more comfortable and hygienic treatment, many patients now prefer this over all other available braces. Unlike traditional braces, Damon Smile does not have wires or brackets. It works with self-ligating braces that actually remove the need for the rubber bands and metal wires that come along with more traditional styles of braces.

What makes Damon Smile different?

The number one reason many patients prefer Damon Smile is because there is the option of getting them in clear! This reduces the problem of being self-conscience and gives the patient a more aesthetically pleasing smile while going through years of treatment. Also, patients who wear Damon Smile versus the traditional braces will have less pain since there are no bands that have to be tightened every month. There is often no need to extract teeth to make extra room in the patient’s mouth.

Oral hygiene can be a real problem for many teens wearing traditional metal braces. However, with the reduction of moisture and no metal brackets to trap food in, your teeth are able to stay cleaner easier.

What is the estimated treatment time?

Since Damon offers a more advanced technology that straightens teeth faster with less pain the treatment time can be drastically reduced. This is another reason Damon is preferred over other types of treatment. The treatment time will vary from patient to patient depending on what your individual goals are, so you need to make an appointment with Dr. Yan Razdolsky to get an estimate of what will benefit you the most.

Overall Success

Overall, patients are very happy with Damon Smile. With less irritation, less treatment time, as well as better-looking aesthetics, patients love all of the bonuses that come along with this style of treatment. Call our Buffalo Grove office and set up an appointment today with Dr. Yan Razdolsky to find out if this popular option will work for you.

Orthodontic Health Month

October 14th, 2021

October is National Orthodontic Health Month and at Forever Smiles, we want to let you know about some critical, but little-known facts about the importance of your oral health. For example, did you know that nearly one in four orthodontic patients are adults? That’s right! And it’s a good thing too. As we get older caring for our teeth is more important than ever as overall systemic health often starts with our mouth. Why? Let’s dig deeper.

According to the CDC, Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., followed by cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, accidents, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. Moreover, “With the exception of accidents, each of these causes can be linked to proteins, enzymes, and bacteria in the oral cavity in some way.” (The Oral-Systemic Link: Monsters in Your Mouth, 2015). You see, our mouths contain bacteria that can form into a harmful film that sticks to teeth called plaque. When this calcifies it hardens into tartar. These two damaging substances on your teeth over time inflame the gums allowing more bacteria to gain access beneath the gumline to the tooth roots, jawbone and even rest of the body. With this advanced gum disease, the potential for the other problems defined above becomes even greater.
So how do orthodontics help? To maintain optimal health, we all know a proactive at-home oral care regimen is key. Additionally, visiting your regular dentist for cleanings and checkups can significantly decrease risk of issues by catching them early on or hopefully negating them altogether. But it is worthwhile to note, that straighter teeth are simply easier to clean and care for. Plaque and tartar often form where crooked or misaligned teeth overlap. What’s more, complex orthodontic issues such as an uneven bite can cause abnormal wear to tooth enamel leading to further problems with bacteria, decay and possibly even lead to tooth loss. That said, patients with orthodontic issues such as malocclusion are at a higher risk for development of these compounding issues and orthodontic screening and treatment by a certified orthodontic specialist like Dr. Yan Razdolsky is the right answer.

Orthodontics is key in the role it plays in helping patients maintain optimal tooth and jaw function to not only avoid disease but allow for proper long-term nutrition in the form of foods which require biting, chewing, and crunching to aid in digestion. Dr. Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team have been espousing for years the importance of oral systemic health. We take very seriously our role in helping patients and their families understand the correlation and its implications for a longer, healthier life. After all, proper nutrition starts with optimal tooth and jaw function.

So, let’s talk numbers. Did you know that according to the CDC, in 2010 the United States spent about $108.9 billion on coronary disease? Just behind that was oral health conditions at $102 billion, the second highest total healthcare spend over all others. While these healthcare costs are astounding, it is something that you personally can begin to address with respect to your own long-term outlook, as well as that of your family. Something as simple as utilizing a Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) sometimes offered by an employer can allow you to set aside money for qualifying health care expenses for yourself, your spouse, and eligible dependents. This can include orthodontic care! And with open enrollment, from November 1, 2021, through January 15, 2022, there’s no better time to review your policy to allow for you and your family’s future needs. Simply check with your insurance agent or provider to see if there’s a more suitable option for your needs.

But that shouldn’t stop you today -- especially if you think you may have an issue that needs attention. At Forever Smiles we offer flexible payment arrangements, accept cash, personal checks, and credit cards, as well as payments from private dental insurance carriers. We also offer an interest-free finance program for more extensive treatment plans. So ultimately, there’s no better time and more reason than ever to seek orthodontic consultation and treatment from Dr. Razdolsky and Forever Smiles. You owe it to your future self to do it today!

The Oral-Systemic Link: Monsters in Your Mouth. (2015). Inside Dentistry.

Halloween Guidelines from the American Association of Orthodontists

October 6th, 2021

Fall can be a really enjoyable time of the year for you and your family. The kids are back in school, the leaves are changing, and Halloween approaches. This holiday is a lot of fun for kids, but Forever Smiles wants to remind you it can also be risky, especially for your child’s braces. If you have kids with braces, take a look at the following tips from the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) on how to keep your kids and their teeth safe this Halloween season.

Important Safety Tips

Trick-or-treating is a favorite Halloween activity for kids everywhere. While it is a great holiday tradition for children, it comes with some potential risks. To keep your kids safe while trick-or-treating, try following these simple guidelines:

  • If you have young children, make sure they are accompanied by an adult at all times.
  • You or your kids should always carry flashlights.
  • For costumes, try to include a light-colored or reflective element that can be easily seen by oncoming traffic.
  • Avoid costumes that include a mask, especially for younger children. These can pose a safety hazard for both the wearers and the people around them.
  • Tell your kids not to eat any of their candy until they arrive home. Be sure to inspect all treats carefully before letting them dig in.

Following these guidelines can help you keep your kids safe on Halloween.

Halloween Treats to Avoid if Your Child Has Braces

If your kids have braces, you’ll want them to steer clear of certain treats on Halloween. Many candies can cause damage to braces, so it’s wise to avoid them while you’re celebrating this fun holiday. Here is a list of treats to stay away from:

  • Hard candies
  • Chewy candies
  • Nuts
  • Caramel
  • Licorice
  • Jelly beans
  • Taffy
  • Bubblegum
  • Hard pretzels
  • Popcorn

Some of these treats may seem harmless, but all of them have the potential to bend or break your child’s braces. So it’s best to avoid eating them altogether.

Braces-Friendly Halloween Treats

If your children have braces, they may feel like they can’t enjoy any treats on Halloween. However, there are plenty of braces-safe treat options for them to choose from, including the following:


  • Soft chocolate
  • Peanut butter cups
  • Gelatin treats
  • Ice cream
  • Smoothies
  • Root beer floats
  • Apple cider

These are just a few braces-friendly alternatives to traditional Halloween candy. Helping your kids have a fun and safe Halloween—while at the same time protecting their braces—can be easy if you follow these simple tips and guidelines. Help your kids enjoy the holiday without having to visit Dr. Yan Razdolsky for repair work on damaged braces!

Just What Is Plaque?

September 22nd, 2021

From the time you were small, you’ve been warned about the dangers of plaque. Why? Because:

  • It’s an unpleasant film that sticks to your teeth
  • It causes cavities
  • It causes gum disease
  • It can cause extra problems when you wear braces

And really, do we need to know much more than this to motivate us to brush? But if you’re in a curious mood, you might be wondering just how this soft, fuzzy film accomplishes all that damage. Let’s take a closer look at the sticky problem of plaque.

How does plaque form?

We live with hundreds of species of oral bacteria, most of which are harmless, and some of which are actually beneficial. But when our oral ecosystem gets out of balance, problems can occur. For example, without regular and thorough brushing and flossing, we start to build up plaque.

Plaque starts forming within hours of your last brushing. And even though plaque fits the very definition of “seems to appear overnight,” this biofilm is actually a complex microbial community with several different stages of development.

  • It starts with saliva.

Saliva is vital to our oral health, because it keeps us hydrated, washes away food particles, neutralizes acids in the mouth, and provides minerals which keep our enamel strong. Saliva also contains proteins, which help form a healthy, protective film on the tooth surface. This film is called a pellicle.

  • Bacteria attach to the pellicle.

There are species of oral bacteria that are able to attach themselves to the pellicle film within hours of its formation. As they become more firmly attached, they begin to grow and divide to form colonies, and are known as the early colonizers of the plaque biofilm.

  • A complex biofilm forms.

If you’ve skipped brushing for a few days (please don’t!), you’ll notice a fuzzy, sometimes discolored film on your enamel—that’s a thriving plaque community, and it only takes a matter of days to go from invisible to unpleasant.

If you’re not removing plaque regularly, it can harden further and become tartar. And once you have tartar buildup, you’ll need the care of a dental professional to remove it.

  • What happens if we ignore plaque and tartar?

We get cavities and gum disease.

How does plaque cause cavities?

  • The bacteria in plaque, like all organisms, need nutrients.

Our normal oral environment and the food in our everyday diets provide the nutrients plaque needs. And, as we mentioned above, certain types of oral bacteria convert these nutrients into acids. Foods such as carbohydrates, starches, and sugars are most easily converted into acids, which is why we recommend that you enjoy them in moderation.

  • The biofilm promotes acid production.

Within the plaque film, anaerobic bacteria (bacteria which don’t use oxygen) convert sugars and starches into acids. As the plaque film becomes denser, it blocks acid-neutralizing saliva and oxygen from reaching these bacteria close to the tooth’s surface, creating an ideal environment for the bacteria to produce their acid waste products.

  • Acids attack enamel.

The sticky nature of plaque keeps these acids in contact with tooth enamel, where, over time, acids dissolve minerals in enamel, weakening the mineral structure of the tooth.

How does plaque cause gum disease?

  • Bacteria cause inflammation and gingivitis.

The bacteria in plaque irritate the delicate tissue of the gums, which causes an inflammation response which can leave your gums swollen, red, bleeding, or tender. This early form of gum disease is gingivitis. Fortunately, good dental care and careful brushing and flossing can usually prevent and even eliminate gingivitis.

  • Plaque and tartar can lead to periodontitis.

When plaque and tartar build up around and below the gumline, the gums pull away from the teeth, leaving pockets where bacteria collect, leading to infection as well as inflammation. Infections and constant inflammation not only harm gum tissue, they can destroy the bone supporting the teeth. This serious gum condition is periodontitis, and should be treated immediately to avoid further infection and even tooth loss.

How does plaque affect orthodontic patients?

  • Plaque collects around your braces.

Braces provide plenty of spots for plaque to hide from your brush. If you aren’t extremely diligent with your brushing and flossing, plaque collects near brackets, wires, and bands—all those spots that a brush and floss find difficult to reach.

  • Plaque promotes demineralization

The demineralization process we mentioned above can cause white spots on teeth (decalcification), where minerals have dissolved. Sometimes these spots can be treated, and sometimes they are permanent. They can become quite sensitive, and may lead to cavities.

Careful brushing and flossing around your braces will help eliminate the plaque that can cause demineralization near brackets. Ask Dr. Yan Razdolsky about the tools and the brushing and flossing techniques which will give you the best results.

How do we fight plaque?

From the time you were small, you’ve learned how to fight plaque:

  • Brush at least twice a day for two minutes, and be sure to brush all of your tooth surfaces and around the gumline.
  • Floss to remove plaque from between the teeth and near the gumline.
  • See your dentist as recommended for a thorough professional cleaning.

Be proactive. If you have any questions, talk to us at our Buffalo Grove office about the best way to keep plaque at bay. We can show you the most effective ways to brush and floss, recommend anti-plaque toothpastes and rinses, even suggest plaque-revealing tablets if you’re missing some trouble spots.

We’ve only brushed up on some plaque basics, because there is a lot more to discover about this complex biofilm. Happily, even with all there is to learn about plaque’s growth and development, it’s reassuring to know that getting rid of it is quite simple—with just a soft-bristled brush, some dental floss, and a few minutes of your time each day, you’re on the way to a healthy, happy, plaque-free smile.

We’re ‘All-In’ for Safe & Clean - Treatment, Learning and Work Spaces.

September 15th, 2021

As patients head back to 5-day, in-person learning (or full time in the office) we are reminded that to help protect ourselves and each other, we are all in this together. In the past we have shared with you the infection control procedures we have adopted from the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It is with these recommendations we truly believe we can best help protect our community and each other. If there’s something to be learned from this pandemic the takeaway is this; let’s all adopt easy measures to benefit not only ourselves, but our families and community as a whole. Here’s what we’re doing. We encourage you to review these actions and see how they parallel with what Chicago Public Schools (CPS) recommends we can do to help keep us all safe and healthy.

What we do:  Observe meticulous hand disinfection protocols and always wear surgical masks in the clinic. For team members who are in direct contact with patients, this includes KN95 surgical masks, facial shields, goggles, cap, gown, and gloves.

What you can do: Wash your hands often, and when you can’t, use hand sanitizer, often. Wear your mask where required and appropriate – especially if you are in a crowded, public indoor area and cannot socially distance.

What we do:  For treatment procedures that generate aerosols, a disposable gown is added to the above mentioned personal protective gear. After the procedure, all our protective gear is changed.

What you can do: Always wear a mask when you are in an indoor public setting, using public transportation, attending public gathering or travelling. These high traffic areas where people congregate have the greatest potential to spread aerosols.

What we do:  All team member work uniforms are now washed/dried here in the office to ensure maximum sterilization. In addition, we have purchased an additional autoclave to double our sterilization capacity and revamped our entire OSHA manual procedures to comply with the latest Covid-19 guidelines.

What you can do: If you are in high-traffic, public areas for a prolonged period, change your mask. Keep a good supply of masks on hand and always have a spare on hand in case you need it. And be sure to wash reusable masks after each use to ensure they are fresh and ready for when you need them.

What we do:  We have partitioned our open bay clinic with plastic to trap aerosols and each compartment is disinfected both on surfaces and through “fogging” the air using hospital grade Hypochlorous Acid or HOCl. Comprised of electrolyzed salt, water and vinegar, this disinfectant kills 99.9% germs, is non-toxic and 100% safe.

What you can do: Respect social distancing. Help protect others by catching coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues. Be sure also to dispose of those tissues in the trash and not leave them laying around. Students should also remember to check for and take all belongings when leaving the classroom. Clearing desktops allows for proper cleaning/disinfecting between classes.

What we do:  All rooms are ventilated with an added iWave-R ionizing air, as well as Novareus non-chemical ultra-low energy plasma technology air purifiers placed throughout the office.

What you can do: Many office buildings, classrooms, and public venues all around the country are moving to implement similar purification systems. For your part, be sure to clear areas of belongings and trash to allow for proper disinfection protocols. You should also avoid sharing personal items with others which could transmit germs.

What we can ALL do: Most importantly, if you are sick… stay home! And if your quarantined, practice the same safety measures at home to protect family members and those with whom they come in contact from getting sick as well. Yes, we are all in this together, and we really should look to how individually and collectively we play a part in looking out for each other, the ones we love and our community.

The Benefits of Damon™ Smile Braces

September 8th, 2021

You have several options for orthodontic treatments that effectively straighten teeth. Damon™ Smile braces are a good option for patients who desire a method that is quick, convenient, and discreet.

Many patients want to avoid traditional braces that can cause pressure and uncomfortable pain. Traditional braces have wires and brackets that extend throughout the mouth, which gradually move teeth into their proper position with some pressure. They also use ties that connect wires to the teeth.

Damon Smile technology is different because it helps to guide teeth gently into place by reducing the amount of force. When you can wear braces in comfort, the process becomes much less intimidating.

The Benefits of Damon Smile Braces

  1. Faster results. Damon braces don’t contain metal or plastic ties, so there’s no need to tighten the wire on them. Damon Smile also has a unique system that allows for self-ligating. This system has a specialized clip with a “door” in place of the elastics in traditional braces.
  2. Fewer appointments. Lightweight, shape-memory wires allow teeth the freedom to move faster, without the need for as many adjustments.
  3. Comfort. Damon Smile realigns teeth and enhances facial appearance without extracting any teeth or using rapid palatal expanders. The slide mechanism facilitates more comfortable repositioning of your teeth.
  4. Better oral health. Damon braces are easier to clean because they don’t have ties attached where food particles commonly get stuck.
  5. Helps with facial balance. These braces can help achieve a wider smile, improves facial profiles, and help to decrease dark triangles that appear in the corners of the mouth.

If you’re considering a braces treatment for yourself or your child, ask Dr. Yan Razdolsky about the Damon Smile system and how this orthodontic method can achieve the results you’re looking for. There are an array benefits to appreciate when you compare the Damon method to traditional braces.

Feel free to contact our Buffalo Grove office if you have questions regarding orthodontic treatment for a more beautiful smile.

Damon® Smile vs. Traditional Braces

August 25th, 2021

Orthodontics researchers continue to innovate and develop the best ways to improve patients’ smiles. The latest generation of orthodontics includes Damon Smile, an advanced form of braces that improve upon the metal brackets of earlier generations. Talking to Dr. Yan Razdolsky can help you decide if Damon Smile braces are appropriate for your orthodontic needs.

What are Damon Smile braces?

Traditional braces require a series of brackets to be bonded to each tooth. Then, a thin metal wire connects the brackets. These wires are immovable and are firmly connected to the brackets. With Damon Smile, a special “invisible” bracket is placed on the teeth. Unlike with traditional braces, wires pass through these brackets but can slide within the bracket. This reduces friction and may result in a more comfortable process than traditional braces.

Aesthetic Considerations

Both teens and adults often hate the look of traditional braces, with their clunky metal brackets and wires. Additionally, rubber bands may need to be worn to hold brackets closed. With Damon Smile braces, none of these concerns apply. The brackets are clear and no rubber bands are needed, meaning that few people will notice your orthodontics unless they look closely.

Differences in Cost

Traditional braces tend to be the most cost effective orthodontic option available. Because of their specialized equipment, Damon Smile braces do cost more than traditional alternatives. It’s worth checking with your insurance company to determine whether both types of orthodontics are covered.

Length of Treatment

Another benefit of Damon Smile braces is a decreased length of treatment. Compared to traditional braces, individuals who opt for Damon Smile braces typically experience significantly lower treatment time. Particularly for those with complex orthodontic problems, shaving even a few months off of treatment may be worth it.

Less Irritation of Gums

Some people report that they experience sores or gum pain after implementation of traditional braces. Damon Smile braces are specially formed to be smooth and less invasive. This may result in diminished pain and a lower rate of gum problems. The differences are particularly noticeable in the first weeks of treatment.

To find out if Damon Smile braces can meet your smile needs, contact our Buffalo Grove office and schedule an appointment!

7 Benefits for booking your next appointment BEFORE you leave out office.

August 18th, 2021

Visiting Dr. Razdolsky and your Forever Smiles team about every four to twelve weeks is an important part of your orthodontic treatment. That’s why we work hard to make sure that your appointments are as convenient and productive as possible. But if you ever needed a reason to plan ahead for your next orthodontic appointment, here are seven team-approved benefits to help you understand just why we think it’s a really good idea.

  1. Pre-booking simplifies your orthodontic treatment by keeping you on track. Scheduling your appointment on the same day of the week and even the same time of day each time builds a healthy schedule and makes remembering your appointment so much easier. Scheduling later can make getting the same day, or even time of day more difficult.
  2. Just like airports sometimes have a layover, so too could your orthodontic treatment. Much like an air traffic controller, Dr. Razdolsky programs your wires to take your teeth to the destination required for this period of time. If you come much later, your teeth are not going anywhere. Booking your appointments on a regular schedule keep your orthodontic progress and teeth on track to their next destination. For someone who’s on the long road to a beautiful smile, there’s nothing better for staying on track than a well scheduled itinerary.
  3. Dr. Razdolsky books some appointments out as early as 6-10 weeks in advance and those appointment slots fill up fast! To ensure you get the time that works best for school and your parent’s work schedule, book before you leave. This helps ensure optimal selection from the available dates and times. Calling the week before your required treatment affords much less flexibility since most patients have already booked their time with Dr. Razdolsky. Booking your appointment in advance means you not only get the time which works for you, but that you receive your orthodontic treatment when you need it.
  4. Due to updated COVID guidelines, we allocate patient schedules and Dr. Razdolsky’s time differently. Many of our newer policies and procedures are designed to maximize patient safety by minimizing wait times and potential exposure risk. That’s why our policy requires at least 48 hours advanced notice of appointment cancellation otherwise a fee is applied. This policy ensures every patient gets the time they need, and treatment is not delayed.
  5. Balancing the appointment nature, for example banding, bonding and longer appointments with orthodontic emergencies requires concerted effort. Your appointment with us is important to us for that very reason. Being respectful of each patient’s unique orthodontic needs means that we run a very tight ship to ensure you get the time and treatment you deserve. Booking your appointment ahead ensures we make the most of your time with us.
  6. What if something comes up? Hey, we understand that sometimes “life happens”! Just give us a call at least 48 hours in advance and we can reschedule you for the next available appointment. It may take a little time, because as we mentioned we run a pretty tight schedule, but we’ll definitely get you in.
  7. But what about appointments with your regular dentist? Yes, you should still make and keep appointments with regular dentist for cleanings and checkups every six months. That way we are sure we’re all working together to keep your Forever Smile healthy and strong. That benefit alone earns a hearty thumbs up from our team!

Emergency Care for Orthodontics

August 11th, 2021

It’s vital to understand the difference between an orthodontic emergency and minor orthodontic issues. Minor issues can be handled the next day, or at your next scheduled appointment. When a real orthodontic emergency occurs, however, you will need to see a doctor immediately.

Emergencies can include injuries to your teeth, jaw, mouth, or face. Whether you have braces or oral appliances in your mouth at the time or not, it’s crucial to fix the problem before it gets worse. If you have an injury that affects an orthodontic appliance, that may need to be replaced or adjusted, depending on the extent of the injury.

You can watch for and address some common minor issues on your own, or wait to have them fixed at your next appointment with Dr. Yan Razdolsky:

  • Poking wire
  • Loose bracket
  • Loose elastic band
  • Loose wire
  • Loose appliance
  • Headgear does not fit
  • Lost or broken elastic band
  • General soreness

These minor issues may arise if you eat hard or sticky foods that damage your braces or other orthodontic appliances. Make sure to be extra careful, and avoid brushing your teeth too aggressively to avoid causing damage.

These problems should not be treated as emergencies unless they begin to cause prolonged pain and discomfort. If you notice this happening, contact our Buffalo Grove office and we can provide a solution.

Some at-home remedies you can try can include covering loose brackets or wires with wax. Wax can prevent canker sores from forming by covering sharp metal pieces that poke into your gums. If you have wires that have poked out into your gums, you can use tweezers to push the wires gently away from the direction of the sore area. Always make sure you use alcohol to sterilize anything you intend to put into your mouth.

When you get braces initially, you may notice some soreness of the jaw or small abrasions from your mouth getting accustomed to foreign materials. You should not worry too much about this temporary pain.

A warm salt-water solution can be used to alleviate any swelling or discomfort you’re experiencing. Many drug stores have ointment for canker sores that will numb the area if they continue to bother you. If you notice that your pain or swelling doesn’t get better, schedule an appointment with a medical professional as soon as you can.

When in doubt, contact our Buffalo Grove office if you are unsure or still have questions about an orthodontic problem you’re facing. If the situation becomes an emergency, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with our team, so we can help provide you with a solution.

Orthodontic emergencies should be taken care of promptly whenever they arise.

3D Digital Imaging… It’s Seriously Cool.

August 2nd, 2021

Dr. Razdolsky has always been an avid science and technology buff. And why not? Technology not only continues to improve the ways in which we live, at Forever Smiles it impacts how we can best serve patients through orthodontic treatment. Once such example is 3D Cone Beam technology. Since the introduction of 3D x-rays in orthodontics, Dr. Razdolsky and the team can see in greater detail structures of the mouth, jaw and developing teeth with clear and realistic imagery. This allows them to identify and predict potential dental and orthodontic conditions before they become problematic. This means treatment is proactive rather than reactive. That’s pretty cool.

But let’s look deeper. Unlike 2D x-rays which are taken as single images from varying locations throughout the mouth, 3D imaging is considerably more convenient to a patient’s in-office visit as the images are captured in a single sweep of the iCat machine. During the scan, a module called a gantry rotates around the head, producing a buzzer sound while simultaneously capturing and combining a series of flat images from radiation beams which are stacked, combined, and digitally output to a computer to produce a 3D virtual impression of your teeth and jaw. From there, Dr. Razdolsky can develop 3D CAD-CAM models where he can rotate, shift and even digitally realign your teeth and bone structure to determine just how your teeth will look once you have successfully completed treatment. Now that’s really cool!

Wait…what? Did we say radiation? Is 3D safe?

Yes, 3D cone beam technology has been used in dentistry and orthodontics for several years now and is very safe. While 3D images do make use of many flat x-ray captures, which means more radiation is used to create the final image, the Forever Smiles team uses low-level radiation which can reduce a patient’s exposure by as much as 80 percent! This means patients are exposed to only slightly more than they would otherwise be with 2D x-rays. This means better visual representation and fewer less-reliable individual images like with 2D. But here’s a little fact, did you know people every day are exposed to similar rays with as much radiation simply by going through airport security? That’s why, Dr. Razdolsky and other medical providers work to limit patient exposure by ensuring the appropriate radiation dosage for the patient’s age and stage of development.

Yes, 3D technology truly does benefit the team as they can capture images showing greater anatomical depth and spatial relationships within the framework of your jaw and gum tissue for a more reliable diagnostic, overall treatment plan and ultimately your beautiful Forever Smile. Better visuals mean quicker appliance fabrication, more precise control over outcome and in the end saves time and money during treatment. What’s more, radiographs show the position and development of teeth that have not yet erupted. This allows for earlier intervention and possibly less invasive treatment outcomes for patients down the road. To us, that’s seriously cool!

Are braces ruining your photos?

July 28th, 2021

While it’s normal to feel self-conscious, there is no reason to avoid photos just because you wear braces. Many people wear braces and you do not need to be embarrassed about them. There are also ways you can enjoy your photos without hiding your smile.

Make it Fun

Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our staff offer rubber bands for braces in a wide range of colors. Choose your favorite color and wear it with pride. You can mix and match your colors too. For Valentine’s Day, try alternating red and pink bands. For the Fourth of July, use red, white, and blue!

Bands are also available in neon colors and glow-in-the-dark designs. Your imagination is the only thing holding you back. You might want to avoid using dark green bands, though. It makes it look as though you have broccoli stuck in your teeth. Gross!

Make them Disappear

If your braces still really bother you in photos, technology can quickly solve the problem. A photo-editing program, or even a simple paint program, can easily erase your braces. Zoom in on your teeth, pick your natural tooth color with the dropper, and paint your braces away.

If you have a significant amount of metal in your braces, try to avoid close-ups with flash. The flash can reflect off the metal. The important thing to remember is how good your teeth will look and feel once your orthodontic work is complete. Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our staff can also show you options for braces that are not as visible as the traditional style.

Braces and Band? Play On!

July 21st, 2021

You’re in the band and you’re getting braces. Now what? If you are a member of the string or percussion sections, you can go back to rehearsal. You’re good to go. When your talents have seated you in the reed or brass sections, though, a little adjustment might be necessary to keep your instrument and your braces working in harmony.

If you play a wind instrument, you know the term embouchure—the way you position and use your lips, tongue, facial muscles, and teeth to produce the sound you want. Depending on the instrument you play, you might be completely unaffected when you get your braces, or you might need to develop a more comfortable embouchure to accommodate them.

Wires and Woodwinds?

If you play a wind instrument such as the flute or piccolo, you might find that your normal lip positioning or blowing angle is affected by your braces, but usually the adjustment time is fairly short. Reed instruments such as the saxophone, clarinet, oboe, and bassoon are considered some of the easiest to adjust to when you have braces, but even though the single and double reed mouthpieces don’t require as much pressure as brass instruments, there can still be an adjustment period. One thing you should look out for is more condensation in your mouthpiece or instrument—be sure to keep your instrument clean to keep your sound pure.

Brackets and Brass?

Brass instruments require mouthpiece pressure. This leaves your lips pressed between the mouthpiece and your braces. For this reason, many brass players have a more challenging adjustment when wearing braces. Smaller mouthpieces (trumpet, French horn) usually require more pressure than larger ones (tuba, trombone). It’s important to learn how to use technique to avoid cuts, irritation, and other injuries caused by the pressure of your braces against your lips. Learning to play with less pressure on the lips and more air control and breath support will help you to recover your tone and range of notes while protecting your lips and mouth.

How Can We Help?

Let Dr. Yan Razdolsky know if you play, or plan to play, a wind instrument. We might be able to offer some suggestions. For regular metal and ceramic braces, some musicians find extra wax is helpful in preventing lip and cheek injuries. There are brace guards available that can be applied over the braces to protect your lips and mouth if wax doesn’t do the trick.

There are also alternatives to regular bracket-and-wire braces, depending on your orthodontic needs, cost factors, and length of treatment. Invisalign® devices fit smoothly over your teeth and can even be removed when it is time to practice or play, as long as you get the necessary hours of wear in per day. In some cases, lingual braces, where the brackets and wires are placed behind the teeth, might be the best choice for you.

Finally, don’t forget to talk to your music instructor. Don’t be dismayed if you find the quality of your playing has been affected. Your teacher might have valuable suggestions for adjusting your embouchure, playing with less pressure on the lips, and developing better air and breath support. You might need to shorten your practice time at first, and there might be another period of adjustment after your braces come off.

Above all, take care of yourself! If something is poking your lip or cheek, call our Buffalo Grove office immediately before it causes injury. It might be difficult at first, but finding an embouchure that works for your comfort and technique is worth it. And remember, these temporary fine-tunings will lead to a wonderful coda: skilled musicianship and a beautiful, healthy smile. Bravo!


Brace Yourself…Straight, healthy teeth ARE affordable!

July 15th, 2021

If you’re considering getting braces, or your dentist has recommended them for you, it is likely you have looked into what to expect in terms of cost. Depending on treatment it can seem pricey, but in truth the cost for braces now could save you thousands in potential dental work later on. Patients with crowding or misaligned teeth can typically encounter cavities and possibly even gum disease at some point. These procedures could add up and by the time you have paid for them, you could have been enjoying a beautiful Forever Smile instead. In fact, when you actually crunch the numbers, orthodontic treatment can be quite affordable with a few cost-saving moves here and there. Take coffee to go from home instead of the trendy coffee shop. Rather than family entertainment out, try a game night at home. It’s a win-win!

So now that you have a little savings, let’s talk braces. It is important to keep in mind the type of braces you choose can be the biggest factor in cost. Just remember, those “smile by mail” style braces may by cheaper than full mouth comprehensive orthodontics, but isn’t your smile worth getting the right treatment? Seeing braces advertised for under $1,000 may indicate they are for aesthetic-specific tooth misalignment. This may not be accurate to your specific situation and need. Moving forward with this type of treatment could have dangerous repercussions down the road. Sadly, we see it every day.

However, it is worth noting that conventional metal braces are actually affordable. They are typically less expensive than clear aligners although some more advanced treatments do increase the overall cost. We also have other options including lingual braces (virtually unnoticeable, as they are hidden on the underside of your teeth), and even clear brackets for a more discreet look. At your initial Forever Smiles screening, Dr. Razdolsky will evaluate your unique orthodontic situation through a thorough oral examination with x-rays and develop a customized treatment plan exactly right for you. From there, our in-office team can then help you find a payment strategy that works for your expected program.

That’s right! At Forever Smiles, we don’t let finances get in the way of your treatment. We not only formulate the necessary course of orthodontic care, but we can also work with you and your budget to make having a beautiful smile easy and affordable. For your convenience, we offer flexible payment arrangements, accept cash, personal checks, and credit cards, as well as payments from private dental insurance carriers. We also offer an interest-free finance program for more extensive treatment plans. And don’t forget the health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA) you may have can let you set aside money on a pre-tax basis to help pay for orthodontic treatment not otherwise covered by a health insurance policy. Of course, you will need to talk with your HSA or FSA provider for specific details and questions.

So, good news! Getting braces is not only the right thing to do for a healthy beautiful smile, but it can also be affordable. Schedule an appointment for your complimentary consultation today and let’s get started on a orthodontic plan and payment option that’s just right for you and your Forever Smile.

Five Great Reasons to Visit Our Practice this Summer

July 7th, 2021

We’ve heard all the reasons why folks put off scheduling an orthodontic consultation: not quite ready to begin treatment, vacations, busy schedules, financial concerns, etc.

Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t delay another day to make an appointment for yourself or your child with Dr. Yan Razdolsky.

1. Growth – there is a window of opportunity during growth when an orthopedic appliance can change the direction of jaw growth and dramatically improve your child’s case. Once this time has passed, the correction becomes harder and may involve extraction of teeth or even worse, a surgical procedure to properly align the jaws.

2. Scheduling – Summertime is the perfect time to begin orthodontic treatment, because your child doesn’t have to miss school, especially for those longer appointments needed at the start of treatment.

3. Early Diagnosis – Many times, early interceptive treatment at Forever Smiles can dramatically improve the alignment of your child’s teeth and jaws. If baby teeth need to be extracted in order to allow the permanent teeth to erupt, timing is everything. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children receive an orthodontic consultation as early as age seven.

4. Financial Concerns – We offer several flexible payment plans which can be extended over your or your child’s treatment time.

5. A Lifetime of Smiles – Why wait when you can enjoy the many benefits of a beautiful and functional smile now. The sooner you get started the sooner you will be showing everyone your world-class smile.

Give us a call at our convenient Buffalo Grove office to book your initial consulation with Dr. Yan Razdolsky.

What’s so great about self-ligating braces?

June 23rd, 2021

Self-ligating braces have actually been around since the 1930’s, but recent improvements in technology have made them more popular than ever before. What makes them different? Let’s compare with traditional braces.


Traditional braces make use of bands around the brackets to hold the adjusting wire in place. “Self-ligating” means “self-binding” or “self-tying.” These braces also use brackets, but with a very different design. Self-ligating brackets have mechanisms such as “doors” or clips, which hold the wire to the bracket without the need for rubber bands or metal ligatures.


All braces types will straighten your teeth. Some orthodontic conditions, such as moderate crowding of the teeth, appear to respond more quickly to self-ligating braces. Talk to Dr. Yan Razdolsky about the difference in treatment time that you might expect with different types of braces.


Some users find self-ligating braces more comfortable because they reduce friction and pressure on the teeth.

Oral Hygiene

Self-ligating brackets are easier to clean than brackets with bands. Bands hold on to food particles and can be difficult to clean completely, leaving bacteria and plaque on the teeth even after brushing.


What most people notice first about braces are the colored bands or metal ligatures holding the wires in place. Without these ligatures, brackets are smaller and less noticeable. There are even clear brackets available for an almost invisible look. It you don’t want your braces to make a colorful statement, these might be the choice for you!

If you are interested in self-ligating braces as an option in your orthodontic care, give us a call at our Buffalo Grove office! We will be happy to explain the technology in greater detail, and to provide you with the best and most complete information you’ll need to make your choice of braces the right choice for you.

Super Cool Kids Club

June 16th, 2021

Most every kid naturally strives to find a way to fit in. It is a natural stage of development in social behavior that is an important part of shaping who they become. Parents should not discourage children from the pressure of fitting in. Instead, we should look to ways to support a child’s navigation and discovery of themselves and their role in their day-to-day interactions. Learning decision making and coping skills are a fundamental part of this developmental process, so cultivating these traits early is vital to your child’s ability to adapt to social environs in a positive and healthy way. At Forever Smiles, our Super Cool Kid’s Club program can do just that!

Developed for early orthodontic evaluation and observation of your child’s teeth for problematic issues that require monitoring, planning or perhaps early preventive treatment, the Super Cool Kid’s Club is designed for kids starting as early as age seven. Additionally, the program provides kids an opportunity to learn and become an active partner in their own health and wellbeing. Studies suggest physical and especially oral health play a leading role in a child’s developing mental health and a positive self-image. Further, experts agree that learning, understanding and ultimately being able to actively participate in one’s oral health treatment instills confidence and mindfulness in the relationship between oral health and a positive self-image. Win-win!

Dr. Yan Razdolsky, Buffalo Grove Orthodontist for Children and Adults reminds parents of the importance of having their child evaluated as early as age 7. “While most kids learn and begin to take better care of their teeth by the time their permanent teeth erupt, this is not always the case,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “Early observation with our Forever Smiles team helps patients understand what to do and look for in caring for their teeth. This often helps reduce pain and expense from unnecessary treatments that can otherwise be avoided through proper care and maintenance.”

Indeed. Through the Super Cool Kid’s Club, Dr. Razdolsky and the team will look for any concerning issues with your child’s bite, relationship between their upper and lower jaws, and how the teeth are spaced along the jaws. They will take X-rays and look for possible signs of habits or issues which need to be addressed or otherwise could develop into bigger problems down the road.

“The beauty of having the Super Cool Kid’s Club is that we discuss findings and possible treatment plans, if necessary, with the parents and the child,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “This makes the child an advocate in their own oral health and treatment. It’s amazing how many kids return to us as adults and share with us how much it meant to be a part, and in their eyes, in charge of their own treatment,” he added.
As a member of the Super Cool Kid’s Club, kids are seen twice a year for evaluation and their record updated with any changes. Upon completion of the appointment, club members get to spin the Kid’s Club wheel to win a prize and also get registered for a monthly grand prize drawing. Kids can also earn extra grand prize entries for losing a tooth, referring a friend, or even hosting a Forever Smiles teaching event at their school! So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get your kids signed up, super-psyched and in-charge for a healthier and happier them with the Forever Smiles Super Cool Kid’s Club.

How a High-Tech Office Helps Your Orthodontic Treatment

June 9th, 2021

Our office strives to bring you the latest and greatest in orthodontic techniques and technologies. Being on the cutting edge of the industry is important—it ensures you, as our patient, are getting the best orthodontic treatment you possibly can while keeping costs down!

The goal of a high-tech office is three fold: to have effective treatment, to have efficient treatment, and to make the whole process easy, painless, and cost-effective for you.

Here are some of the technologies being implemented by Dr. Yan Razdolsky to do just that:

3D oral scanners: If you've ever experienced getting impressions the traditional way, it isn't very fun! Having a gag reflex is common and it takes several minutes on both the top and bottom of the mouth to get a successful impression.

With 3D oral scanners, we create a perfect digital scan of your teeth without radiation. We then use the results of the scan to create accurate braces, retainers, and other appliances for your unique teeth and mouth.

Digital Imaging: New digital imaging provides us with accurate, panoramic, and cephalometric views of your teeth and their supporting structures. This lets us plan and implement treatment with the utmost precision.

Not only does this kind of imaging expose patients to far less radiation than traditional X-rays but it also gives us immediate access to the images, whereas X-rays had to be developed. This expedites treatment time and means fewer trips to our Buffalo Grove office for you.

New, high-tech braces options: There are so many more choices when it comes to braces these days! Advances in the industry like Invisalign®, self-ligating braces, and lingual braces, allow patients to not only get highly accurate and precise treatment, but do so discreetly without anyone else even knowing.

Digital scanning and imaging takes the guesswork out of braces. Instead of the orthodontist estimating tooth movement and treatment progression, these days it's all computer modeled with exacting detail. The result? Your braces do exactly what they're intended to do in less time with a picture-perfect outcome.

These are just some of the advances in the orthodontic industry. Needless to say, they all make the entire process that much easier and effective for you. If you have any questions or are interested in treatment, please don't hesitate to contact our Buffalo Grove office!

Closing the Gap

June 2nd, 2021

Did you know a gap between teeth is called a diastema? What’s more, they are common among many orthodontic patients and can be found between any teeth in the mouth. Diastemas can also be found in both children and adults and there are a variety of reasons why they may develop. Dr. Razdolsky sees new patients everyday with some form of diastema which can have several causes. The most recognized diastema, however, is between the two upper front teeth where it can cause a visible gap. The good news is it does have a straightforward treatment.

“Patients can develop diastema due to any number of factors - from bad habits such as thumb sucking, mismatched teeth and jaw size or malocclusion, or even involuntary issues such as incorrect swallowing reflexes otherwise known as tongue thrust,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “Early observation of patients as young as seven can help us to determine if diastema is present and its root cause, so we can develop a treatment protocol to coincide with orthodontics to close the gap.”

As mentioned, a common diagnosed diastema is caused by an oversized labial frenum - a piece of tissue that extends from the inside of the upper and lower lip to the gum between the upper and lower front teeth. Besides just causing a gap, this extended tissue left untreated can also cause a host of other oral health issues such as receding gums, mouth breathing and even snoring.

“Because diastema affects the entire mouth health and structure, a thorough examination in preparation of treatment is required to determine if there is any sign of gum disease,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “If so, periodontal treatment may be needed concurrently with orthodontic treatment to restore gum health before any orthodontic treatment can begin. If your diastema is due to an oversized labial frenum, your treatment may also include a frenectomy to help the gap close,” he added.

A frenectomy is a simple procedure performed by an oral surgeon, many times requiring laser treatment preferably. It just takes a few minutes, and kind of like a pizza burn, only causes minimal pain and perhaps a little discomfort for the few days following. Upon completion of these multi-disciplinary therapies, Dr. Razdolsky can perform orthodontic treatment for proper alignment to close the gap and get you on the road to your beautiful Forever Smile.

Memorial Day: Parades, remembrance, and the unofficial start of summer!

May 26th, 2021

“The purpose of all war is peace.” - Saint Augustine

Fire truck sirens, baton twirlers, marching bands covering patriotic tunes, colorful floats, costumes, and millions of red, white, and blue American flags being waved in the air on a beautiful day in late May, that is what Memorial Day is all about. It is a federal holiday celebrated with town parades, remembrance, and a sense of unity and community togetherness.

Our team at Forever Smiles wants to take this time to wish you and your family a happy Memorial Day, as well as pause for a moment to reflect on what this holiday means and how it has changed over time. No, this is not a history lesson, but just a couple of thoughts and observances for you to take with you on your way to the next barbecue.

On the last Monday in May, America observes Memorial Day as a time to remember and celebrate the men and women who have lost their lives while serving our country in the Armed Forces. The holiday originated after the Civil War; at that time it was known as Decoration Day. While holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter remain the same from year to year, Memorial Day has changed over time, and in the 21st century we observe a far different holiday than what Americans did after the Civil War, or even the World Wars.

While many people place flags at cemeteries and visit national memorials in order to honor those who have passed away serving the country, Memorial Day is also a time for family barbecues, pool parties, trips to the beach, blockbuster movies, long weekend getaways, and fireworks. In America, Memorial Day has come to represent the unofficial start of the summer – a long, sunny, warm weekend devoted to family togetherness, outdoor events, and community.

It is time to load up the potato salad and the apple pie and head over to the neighbor’s house for their annual barbecue. And yes, contrary to popular belief, we do eat sweets, especially homemade apple pie! Everything in moderation, of course.

So whether you’re in the Buffalo Grove area or beyond, Happy Memorial Day to you and yours from Dr. Yan Razdolsky!

Choosing the Right Binky for Baby

May 17th, 2021

As an orthodontist practice, the question that often comes up with new parents is, “Which pacifier is better”? Honestly, the answer is pretty simple. Only your baby knows for sure, as it really is whichever one soothes them best. So once your baby’s breastfeeding or bottling habits are firmly established you may choose to calm your infant with a pacifier, but which one do you choose?

The baby pacifier market was valued at nearly $400 million in 2019. While some infants only suckle during feedings, others may benefit from sucking at times of fussiness or irritability. Research and experts agree the benefits of pacifier use include analgesic effects and shorter hospital stays for pre-term infants. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) also recommend their use in comforting infants one month and older at the onset of sleep to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). So, we know that pacifiers work and that some infants benefit from them, but why are there so many to choose from?

There are three main types of pacifier nipple. The rounded or crown nipple is designed to function most like a bottle for bottle fed babies. A symmetrical pacifier is shaped most naturally like mom and mimics breast feeding. Lastly is the orthodontic pacifier with a flat tip. This pacifier is designed to support the shape of your baby’s developing palate and jaw. When sucking on an orthodontic pacifier, the nipple flattens to the palette to provide the most natural sucking action, reducing pressure on the gums and developing teeth. Studies suggest these pacifiers can reduce open bite and overbite issues typically seen with other pacifiers.

“Whichever you choose, be sure to avoid novelty pacifiers or anything with excess weight,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “These pacifiers place undue burden on baby’s developing palate and teeth. Further, the novelty ones may not be properly regulated, suitably sized, age appropriate or can even have parts that can break off.”

According to Dr. Razdolsky, equally as important in choosing the right pacifier to soothe your infant, is knowing when to work toward weening baby off the pacifier. “While choosing the right pacifier may seem important, it is what we do from there that really helps determine, or in some instances defines their orthodontic health as they develop,” said Dr. Razdolsky.

Both the AAP and AAFP recommend limiting or stopping pacifier use at 6 months. After 9 months children can develop an emotional attachment to their binky, so have a goal of having your child off the pacifier at no later than one year. As a parent of four grown children, Dr. Razdolsky understands that sometimes a pacifier is needed. However, the longer it takes to wean your child off the pacifier, the more difficult it can become and the more harmful it may be to their overall growth and development of their mouth, palate, and teeth. While it is said that an orthodontic pacifier may cause less open bite or overbite problems than traditional ones, Dr. Razdolsky says the best way to mitigate orthodontic development issues is by limiting pacifier time and taking the pacifier away after the first year.

Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen® Make You Smile

May 12th, 2021

Many adults and teens in our Buffalo Grove office would love to have their teeth straightened but are unwilling to go through the long and often embarrassing process of wearing traditional metal braces. Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen® clear aligners offer the perfect solution: They’re the most advanced clear aligner systems in the world!

If you’re considering getting braces, there are several reasons why you might want to consider Invisalign clear aligners. Here are some of them:

  • You can eat whatever food you like, without worrying about it catching in wires or breaking brackets.
  • People won’t likely be able to tell you’re wearing them!
  • The aligners can be removed at any time.
  • You can brush and floss as you normally would, which helps to maintain better overall oral health.
  • Invisalign aligners are made of a smooth BPA-free plastic and are more comfortable to wear than traditional braces. You’ll need to visit our Buffalo Grove office less often: only once every six weeks or so.
  • With Invisalign Teen, you’ll receive up to six replacements for lost or broken aligners.

Before starting treatment, you’ll have a consultation with Dr. Yan Razdolsky to see if Invisalign or Invisalign Teen treatment is right for you. After that, you’ll have X-rays, pictures, and impressions taken of your teeth.

That information will be used to make the 3D models of your teeth that let Dr. Yan Razdolsky see how they will move throughout the entire treatment and approximately how long it will take.

You’ll receive your aligners based on the treatment plan we recommend. You’ll get a new set of aligners every two weeks. All you need to do is wear your aligners 22 hours a day and you’ll be on your way to a straighter smile in no time!

Ask a member of our Buffalo Grove team for more information about Invisalign clear aligners today!

The Myth Behind Wisdom Teeth

May 3rd, 2021

As an orthodontist fascinated by the evolution and development of faces, jaws and teeth of both humans and animals, Dr. Razdolsky loves to share with patients the evolution of wisdom teeth.

“Just like the rest of your teeth, your wisdom teeth form inside the jawbone only to emerge much later than all your other teeth,” said Dr. Yan Razdolsky of Forever Smiles Orthodontics in Buffalo Grove. “In fact, second molars begin development around age three, while development of your wisdom teeth or third molars, can vary wildly - some starting as early as age five, and for others as late as age 15,” he added.

This means they can erupt from the gums anywhere between the ages of 17 to 24, if not even older! So why do wisdom teeth erupt so late, and we do we even have them?

According to Dr. Razdolsky, compared to modern humans our prehistoric ancestors had toothier mouths, larger molars, and thicker enamel. This has most largely been attributed to dietary changes. For example, early human diets consisted of course, hard-to-chew foods like roots, nuts, leaves and meats that required immense jaw strength and larger elongated jaws. With evolution and the shift to cooked foods, farming and a reliance on a softer food palette, our brains have become larger and jaws began shrinking over the course of millions of years to today where humans typically end up with smaller jaws with barely room for 32 teeth, including four wisdom teeth, by the time we are fully adult.


“This evolution has changed us so much that studies indicate that worldwide it is estimated that wisdom teeth become impacted in approximately 24 percent of people and about 22 percent of people do not even have them at all,” said Dr. Razdolsky.

For those that do have wisdom teeth that are impacted or not able to develop normally, extraction surgery may be necessary. For most, this procedure is best performed before you are 21 years of age, or before the roots grow deep enough to touch the nerve. Extraction too though can carry risk including damage to nearby teeth, surrounding jawbone, nerves, sinuses or possibly even infection. So while impacted wisdom teeth may need to come out, treatment for wisdom tooth problems is something that should be carefully weighed and evaluated before pursuing.

Luckily, Dr. Razdolsky and your Forever Smiles team make early observation a priority for safe and effective orthodontic treatment. By evaluating patients as early as age seven, they monitor development of teeth, as well as jaw growth to watch out for potential issues before they become a problem for patients.

“Interceptive treatment can increase a child chances of avoiding surgery, future extraction of permanent healthy teeth and even help correct oral habits that can cause a bad bite,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “In addition, we follow the patient history and development to keep a watchful eye on things like the wisdom teeth and can help anticipate the best treatment option unique for each patient.”

Even better, research shows that your wisdom teeth will not cause your other teeth to shift or become crooked. So while your wisdom teeth do not have any effect on your alignment or bite, it is in fact your jaw and position of other teeth that may cause your wisdom teeth to become impacted.

For comparison, let’s look at our closest cousin the ape. Apes rarely have impacted wisdom teeth. Studies suggest this is due to their diet. Same for humans who eat non-industrialized diets. Like our ancestors, our jaws still expect biomechanical stimulation from hard crunchy foods to fully develop. This stimulation increases jaw strength and length allowing ample room for our teeth to fully erupt. So if your still growing, start eating crunchier, chewier foods like raw vegetables and raw foods. While Dr. Razdolsky says there is no scientific evidence it will make any difference, it definitely won’t hurt.

“Some dental scientists suggest that increasing the crunchy hard foods on your plate could help with issues like misaligned teeth and underdeveloped jaws. So, what do you really have to lose”? asked Dr. Razdolsky. “Besides any benefit it could provide to jaw development, foods like those are simply good for your overall systemic health as well. So maybe it’s a win, win,” he added.

Why Damon® Smile?

April 28th, 2021

Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our dedicated team at Forever Smiles are pleased to offer Damon Smile for our patients. Damon braces allow your teeth to move more comfortably and easily than do traditional braces. Thanks to these innovative new braces, achieving your perfect smile will be faster and easier than you ever thought possible.

You're probably saying, “Okay, how are Damon braces an advantage over regular braces?”

Time Saving

Damon's innovative technology of self-ligating braces saves you time in orthodontic treatment at Forever Smiles. Damon Smile allows for fewer trips to our office, and faster movement of your teeth than do traditional braces. The light forces applied by Damon braces are “biologically compatible,” meaning that they work with your body for gentler and quicker tooth movement. Finally, Damon braces diminish the amount of food and moisture that can become trapped along the brackets, allowing for more efficient teeth cleaning.


Damon Smile braces have a unique slide mechanism that allows Dr. Yan Razdolsky to use lighter forces to move your teeth to their correct positions. That makes your treatment at Forever Smiles not only shorter, but also far more comfortable. Because of its unique sliding door, the Damon Smile bracket allows us to use high-tech, light-force wires to achieve tooth movement. That means less pressure on your teeth for more comfortable treatment.

To learn more about Damon Smile, or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Yan Razdolsky, please give us a call.

Every Day is Earth Day

April 21st, 2021

During the early days of the environmental awareness movement, those who demonstrated against pollution, toxic chemicals, and the general public health were known as hippies. The early 1970s were a time of change, and assertions that we needed to pay more attention to the Earth's atmosphere were generally dismissed. But within a couple decades, it had become clear that the previous generation was right; the citizens of the world needed to become more environmentally conscious.

Many people feel that they can't make a difference if they don't do something big. But caring for the environment doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing concept. In fact, the little things you do can add up to make a great impact, especially in our community. Here are a few ways you can help the environment on Earth Day, April 22nd and all year around.

Four Small Ways to be Environmentally Friendly

  • Recycle Your Textiles. Nearly 21 million tons of textiles are added to American landfills each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Donating your unwanted clothing to a secondhand store or an organization that repurposes fabric helps cut down on solid waste and conserves natural resources.
  • Reduce Usage of Disposables. Plastic bottles and bags, disposable diapers and other things we can use and toss out are convenient, but they're not necessary. Simply choosing to replace one of type of disposable with a reusable product can help you cut down on waste that has a large negative impact on our environment.
  • Conserve Water. If everyone in the United States turned off the water while brushing their teeth, more than 1.5 million gallons of water could be conserved. Turn the water on long enough to wet your toothbrush for brushing and rinsing, and then immediately turn the water off again.
  • Turn Off the Lights. Flip the light switch to "Off" if you're going to leave a particular room for 15 minutes or more. This will conserve energy on incandescent light bulbs and cut down on cooling costs.

It's not necessary to be an activist or install solar panels all over your home to help the environment. Although you can do these things, the little everyday measures make a big difference in helping to conserve energy and the environment, while reducing your carbon footprint. Our team at Forever Smiles wants to remind you to celebrate Earth Day and help the environment, knowing that it will benefit your and your children's generation.

Retainers for Life, Straight Teeth Forever

April 15th, 2021

The Journey to your Forever Smile

You’ve worked hard for your beautiful Forever Smile and the day has finally come. You are getting your braces off! But instead of looking at this as the long-awaited end to the expedition through braces… what’s that? A retainer! There’s more?

As a Forever Smiles patient you have likely heard us talk about retainers throughout our treatment and why they are so important after treatment. Think of it like settling in after a long trip. Your teeth aren’t the only things we move when you’re wearing braces. Your teeth are held in place by elastic ligaments that hold the root in the socket. During orthodontic treatment, the force of moving your teeth over time means new ligaments and sometimes bone are formed. These new connective tissues and bone need time to stabilize. Enter the retainer.

There are two types of retainers – fixed and removable. Fixed retainers are made of a very thin, but durable piece of wire that fits along the lingual (backside) surface of the teeth. Spanning across several teeth, the wire is affixed on each side with bond and in that way is most like braces. Also like braces, fixed retainers require greater care to keep clean.

Removable retainers are easy to wear, make it easier to clean your teeth, and are typically most preferred by patients and orthodontists alike. Similar in look to Invisalign, removable retainers are awesome because you can remove them to eat and brush your teeth. However, just like clear aligners they only work if you wear them. In the way that every patient has different requirements in orthodontic treatment, Dr. Razdolsky will prescribe the course of retainer therapy that best suits you. Just be sure to stick to it to ensure the long-term effects of your orthodontic treatment.

Most patients begin by wearing removable retainers more often, then gradually wean off them over time up to the age of 26 – the age where the typical biological response to force and movement decreases, and the long-awaited trip is over. Your teeth have settled in.

Because these types of retainers are removable, and the duration you will need them long, you will need to be careful with them. Removable retainers are easier to lose or become damaged, in which case there is a charge for replacement.

Remember, braces are only the first step in your journey towards a beautiful Forever Smile. Maintaining your new smile is every bit as important as creating it, so understanding the importance of retainers to the long-term success of treatment is a critical final step in what has been a “wander-fully” long trip.

Play it Safe this Spring

April 7th, 2021

It's springtime and it's again time to remind our patients at Forever Smiles to protect their faces and pearly whites while out on the field playing sports. According to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, children, high-school athletes and adults have more than 5,000,000 teeth knocked out in sporting events annually.

If you are planning on participating in spring sports, it’s imperative to have a proper-fitting mouthguard. Mouthguards can prevent chipped or broken teeth, lip and cheek injuries, jaw fractures, mouth lacerations and even concussions.

Having a mouthguard can make the difference between losing your teeth or not, and because many of our patients who play high school sports have jaws that are still growing, last year’s mouthguard may no longer fit as it should. Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our team at Forever Smiles can fit you for a new guard.

To learn more about mouthguards or for general questions about your treatment at our Buffalo Grove office, please give us a call!

A Case Study In The Importance Of Interdisciplinary Treatment

April 6th, 2021

Recently, Dr. Yan Razdolsky, along with colleagues Drs. Sergio Rubenstein, Barry P. Levin, Elizabeth Razdolsky Michalczyk and Toshiyuki Fujiki, RDT were published as part of their case study in two industry publications helping further stress the importance of interdisciplinary treatment.

The articles, first circulated in the January 2021 online issue of Compendium as a case study titled, “The Importance of Interdisciplinary Treatment in an Esthetically Challenging Case.” The second, published in Inside Dental Technology titled “Interdisciplinary Treatment in an esthetically challenging case” which additionally details fabricating a screw-retained PFM for an anterior implant following the complex orthodontic treatment and interdisciplinary course of treatment.

In both articles, our multidisciplinary dream team shares with readers their clinical case involving a 7-year-old patient with a congenitally missing maxillary left central incisor. Despite having undergone orthodontic treatment, the patient’s smile was unacceptable and in a compromised state for a long-term restorative/prosthetic outcome. Further, the poor course of treatment previously administered resulted in not only considerable expense, but loss of valuable treatment time during a key development period. These issues further led to psychological-social concerns as the patient became shy, introverted and was uncomfortable smiling.

Fortunately, through a referral to our interdisciplinary dream team, and a thorough anatomical evaluation of the adjacent teeth, hard and soft tissue it was finally discovered the missing tooth was associated with a deficient alveolar ridge. Bone grafting would be required and implant position for the replacement tooth taken into consideration in addition to orthodontic space closure. Additionally, flaring of the anterior teeth became a concern as the buccal bone was extremely thin after the previous eight years of failed orthodontic treatment. Using a cephalometric radiograph, the dream team developed and implemented retraction of the upper and lower incisors, occlusal considerations for long-term function of an implant and crown, and a second round of orthodontic treatment.

Upon completion, occlusion and esthetic tooth alignment were evaluated to assess the space allocation on the missing tooth. A radiograph was taken to ensure that the future implant would have adequate mesial-distal space and not be in close proximity to adjacent roots, and a final cephalometric radiograph was taken to evaluate the patient’s profile and proclination of the anterior teeth.

As we learn from these collaborative writings, framing an implant-supported restoration with healthy hard and soft tissue for long-term stability is critical. With a thick, resilient periodontal biotype, a restorative/prosthetic solution is often achievable. When the tissue has experienced recession and/or the surrounding biotype of the tooth/teeth is friable, a more collaborative, and in many instances a surgical, approach may be indicated.

In this case however, the tissue matured and in the final stages of the restoration process, so the laboratory technician could accurately fabricate a final crown unique to the clinical situation using a castable screw-retained prosthetic with 65% gold ceramic alloy and porcelain crown for better long-term management and hygiene.

As this case demonstrates, complex diagnoses require an interdisciplinary team. While treatment may stretch over a long period of time, and not necessarily require every dental specialist be involved throughout every step of the process, it is essential that the treatment team follow the patient’s progress together. As in this case, failure to achieve an ideal outcome with the first phase of orthodontic treatment demanded mid-treatment revision. By following this framework clinicians can help ensure that a successful outcome is achieved, and the patient is happy with the results.


To read these articles in their entirety, please visit Compendium’s website at and Inside Dental Technology at

When Does an Underbite Need Surgery?

March 24th, 2021

When does an underbite need surgery? The short answer is: when Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our team recommend surgery as the best way to give you a healthy, functional bite. But let’s take a longer look, and see just why your doctors might come to that conclusion.

  • First, what exactly is an underbite?

In a perfect bite, the upper and lower jaws align, well, perfectly. Upper teeth overlap lower teeth very slightly, upper and lower teeth meet comfortably, and jawbones and joints function smoothly. When the alignment is off, it causes a malocclusion, or “bad bite.”

When we talk about an underbite, or Class 3 malocclusion, it means that the lower jaw protrudes further than the upper jaw. This protrusion causes the bottom teeth and jaw to overlap the upper teeth and jaw.

  • What causes an underbite?

Sometimes an underbite is caused by childhood behaviors while the teeth and jaw are developing, including tongue thrusting or prolonged thumb-sucking and pacifier use. (Working to stop these behaviors before they affect tooth and jaw formation is one of the many good reasons children should have regular visits with their dentists and pediatricians.)

Most underbites are genetic, however, and tend to run in families. It’s estimated that from five to ten percent of the population has some form of underbite. The lower jawbone (mandible) might be overdeveloped, the upper jawbone (maxilla) might be underdeveloped, both bones could be affected, or, sometimes, tooth size and placement might cause an underbite. These irregularities in jaw shape and size and/or tooth crowding are not something that can be prevented, and require professional treatment.

  • Why? What’s the problem with an underbite?

Even a minor underbite can cause difficulties with biting and chewing. A more severe underbite can lead to speech problems, decay and loss of enamel where the teeth overlap, mouth breathing and sleep apnea, persistent jaw and temporomandibular joint pain, and self-confidence issues.

  • Can’t my dentist treat my underbite?

Most probably not. A very mild underbite can be camouflaged cosmetically with veneers, but this does not address the cause of the underbite, and will not work for moderate or severe underbites.

  • Can my orthodontist treat my underbite?

Dr. Yan Razdolsky will create an underbite treatment plan after a detailed study of each patient’s individual dental and skeletal structure. Treatment options will vary depending on the cause of the underbite, its severity, and even the patient’s age.

Early intervention is especially important for children who show signs of an underbite. That’s why we recommend that children visit our Buffalo Grove office by the age of seven.

If an underbite is caused by tooth misalignment or crowding, braces can reposition the lower teeth. Sometimes extractions are necessary to make room for proper alignment.

If the cause is due to jaw structure, children’s bones are still forming, so treatment can actually help correct bone development. Palatal expanders, headgear, and other appliances are various methods of encouraging and guiding bone development.

But braces and appliances aren’t effective for every patient with an underbite, and especially in patients (usually those in their late teens and older) when the jawbones are already fully formed. In this case, we might suggest coordinating treatment with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

  • What does an oral and maxillofacial surgeon do?

An oral surgeon has the training, experience, and skill to help correct an underbite by surgically reshaping and repositioning the jawbone. This corrective jaw surgery is called orthognathic surgery.

  • What will happen during orthognathic surgery?

Your treatment will be tailored to your specific needs. Two of the common surgical procedures for treating an underbite involve repositioning the upper jaw to lengthen it and/or reshaping the lower jaw to shorten it.

Bone is sometimes removed or added, small bone plates or screws are sometimes used to stabilize the bone after surgery—your surgeon will let you know exactly which procedures will give you a healthy, functional bite. The surgery itself is most often performed under general anesthesia and requires a brief stay in the hospital.

  • How will my orthodontist and oral surgeon coordinate my treatment?

Correcting a Class 3 malocclusion can take time. Your oral surgeon will work together with Dr. Yan Razdolsky to analyze the interrelationship of teeth, bones, and joints to determine dental and skeletal problems, and will develop the best treatment plan possible to create a healthy alignment.

  • So, when does an underbite need surgery?

Sometimes, a minor underbite can be corrected with braces and appliances alone. A serious underbite, however, will often require the specialized skills of both Dr. Yan Razdolsky and an oral surgeon.

And, while it’s not the primary purpose of surgery, corrective jaw surgery and orthodontics can also make you happier with your appearance and boost your self-confidence. Achieving a lifetime of beautiful, comfortable, and healthy smiles—that’s the answer to your question.

From Tooth Fairy to Forever Smiles

March 16th, 2021

As folklore would have it, the Tooth Fairy is a magical being with the important job of helping children cope with the confusion and shock of losing their baby teeth. For some, the idea of the Tooth Fairy conjures up images of a Tinker Bell like character, while for others something more like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Either way you envision the magical being, both sport wings and a wand and sneak into your child’s room to capture a tooth and leave behind a coin as payment. Awesome, right?!?

As your child matures however, they will eventually come to the realization that the Tooth Fairy cannot possibly exist. Try as you might, if they come to this conclusion on their own do not persist for the sake of their innocence, simply take this important opportunity to talk with them about traditions and the significance of folklore in pop culture. You can also take this opportunity to first introduce your child to Dr. Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team.

Now if your child is still young, learning there is no Tooth Fairy can be quite traumatic. Take your cues from them as to whether they still want to believe. If you child is age 7 though, this is the perfect time to schedule their first appointment with the Forever Smiles team.

“I recommend parents bring their child in as early as age 7 so that we can evaluate their jaw growth and see how their adult teeth are developing under the surface,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “This stage in their development is ideal as we can assess their mixed dentition and diagnose any orthodontic problems in the earliest stages.”

A motto of Forever Smiles is “Prevention is better than cure.” That said, if you suspect something is off and your child is younger than age 7, you should not wait to get a recommendation from your dentist to get an orthodontic screening. Just the same, even if your child is over 8 it does not mean it’s too late.

“An early orthodontic evaluation will help us determine if, and when it is best for your child to begin treatment. Because every child is different and can have differing issues, growth and development often plays a key role in treatment as we can use predictable stages of natural growth to our treatment advantage,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “For some children, early intervention can often ward off problems, reducing treatment time and overall expense.”

So whether the Tooth Fairy has come calling or hung up her wand, we look forward to seeing your child in our office. It’s never too early (or too late) to get them on the path to their beautiful forever smile!

How to Care for Your Invisalign® Aligners

March 10th, 2021

Is it possible to straighten the teeth without braces? Yes, it is. Welcome to the world of Invisalign aligners. Invisalign aligners are made from a clear, thermoplastic material that is custom made to fit your teeth. Unlike conventional braces, Invisalign aligners are removable. More importantly, the clear thermoplastic material makes the aligners invisible, which is ideal if the thought of metal braces and elastics make you self-conscious. For the best results, proper handling and care of your Invisalign aligners is important. Follow these steps to take care of your aligners:

1. Do not eat or drink hot beverages while wearing aligners. It's a good idea to get in the practice of removing the aligners before eating and drinking. Because the aligners are made of plastic resin, heat can distort and damage them. Also, eating while wearing the aligners will cause sugar and other food particles to stay on your teeth, which contributes to plaque and tooth decay.

2. Clean the aligner trays regularly. Invisalign aligners are exposed to the same bacteria and plaque that your mouth is, so you need to clean them as regularly as you clean your teeth. However, avoid cleaning the aligners with harsh chemicals. We recommend using a cleaning kit or some other type of specific solution. When it comes to cleaning Invisalign aligners, carefully follow the instructions given by Dr. Yan Razdolsky.

3. Store aligners in a cool, dry, safe place. When you’re not wearing the aligners, store them in the case provided by our office. If you don’t use the case, they can easily be lost. Keeping them out of reach of small children and pets is also a good idea. The last thing you want is for Fido to think your Invisalign aligners are chew toys.

4. Don’t chew gum while wearing aligners. There’s one thing that conventional braces and Invisalign aligners have in common: chewing gum damages both of them.

5. Don’t soak aligners in mouthwash. Many popular mouthwashes contain a color pigment. It’s possible that soaking Invisalign aligners in mouthwash will tint or stain them.

For more tips and tricks for a successful Invisalign experience, contact our Buffalo Grove office!

The Slop-Py Side Of Orthodontics

March 4th, 2021

Dr. and Anna Razdolsky are happy to share that their daughter, Dr. Elizabeth recently co-authored a continuing education article on a novel way to calculate the necessary force required for different archwires during orthodontic treatment. Published in Orthotown, the written course titled, “Slop-py Work – Calculating theoretical torque loss utilizing rectangular and square-shaped archwires” shares the team’s research and formula.

“Overall, because appliances such as braces have rectangular slots, they can utilize rectangular archwires to control torque expression. However, a higher degree of dimensional precision of brackets and archwires is required to take both torque expression and the wire/slot play into account,” the authors write. “Torque must be adjusted in a controlled manner, so the resulting force does not prevent any biological tooth movements; therefore, for desirable physiologic forces to be applied, it’s necessary to take into account a certain degree of slop between the wire and bracket interface. However, few effective formulas exist that provide information to assist with clinical decisions,” they continue.

Fixed orthodontic appliances are designed to apply force to teeth in three planes of space. The first order is lingual and rotational movements; second order is gingival and root tip; and third is the rotation along a mesial–distal axis, or torque. It is in this third order where fixed orthodontic appliances accommodate a rectangular archwire that controls third-order movements.

If rectangular wires are too snug to brackets the force may hinder biological tooth movement, therefore some play or “slop” between the wire/bracket interface is necessary allowing a reduced expression of torque to create a more physiological application of force during tooth movement.

“To select the ideal archwire for a given bracket system, it is beneficial to understand the relative degrees of slop between different archwire dimensions within a given bracket system. Although this can be calculated mathematically, it is important to note that calculated theoretical slop does not take into account archwire stiffness due to its material and geometrical properties and variation within the manufacturing process,” the authors write.

It is because this slop between varying archwire options is of critical clinical significance, the authors developed the continuing education study to inform readers of the simple formula to mathematically calculate it.

To read more on Elizabeth and her team’s continuing education course read Orthotown’s December 2020 issue at

No Wooden Teeth, Please! Why Oral Health is So Important

February 24th, 2021

Your teeth are precious. Once your permanent teeth come in, they need to last you a lifetime. Extensive tooth decay can lead to dental caries and the need for fillings, crowns, bridges, and dentures.

While these fixes can go a long way toward maintaining your quality of life, they cannot compare to your natural teeth. Getting braces is no excuse to let up on your thorough oral health routine: You need to take good care of your teeth before, during, and after braces to benefit completely from the gains you get from newly straightened teeth.

Why You Should Maintain Good Oral Health for Life

Begin a complete oral health regimen as early as possible in life, and maintain this routine throughout your life. Keeping your (or your child’s baby) teeth clean establishes a routine. It preserves healthy baby teeth whose function is to save space for the permanent teeth when they are ready to come in. Care of your permanent teeth helps preserve the enamel and prevent decay.

Take Special Care with Braces

It is important to pay attention to oral health when you have braces. If you do not take special care of your teeth during the months or years that you have braces, you risk irreversible damage to your teeth. Care is more difficult with braces because food can easily get stuck. In addition to brushing twice daily and flossing each day, Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our staff suggest avoiding sticky foods.

Team Dark Chocolate

February 10th, 2021

Valentine’s Day is the holiday to celebrate all the treasured relationships in your life. It’s a time to honor love in all shapes and forms with cards, social gatherings, and sometimes even binge eating of sweets.

It's hard to look the other way when grocery stores and pharmacies are invaded with goodies connected to the Valentine’s Day theme, and especially if you’re on the receiving end of some of these sweets. We get it. In fact, we’re all for it!

However, we also support a cavity-free smile. So in the interest of your dental and general health, and because we think it’s genuinely tasty, Dr. Yan Razdolsky recommends an alternative to the Valentine treats you may be accustomed to: dark chocolate. 

Yes, Healthy Chocolate Exists

Studies have shown that dark chocolate is high in flavonoids, an ingredient found in the cocoa beans used to make chocolate. Flavonoids can help protect the body against toxins, reduce blood pressure, and improve blood flow to the heart and brain.

By opting for dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate, you get to reap these benefits! Pretty sweet, right? Just make sure to stick to high-quality dark chocolates that have undergone minimal processing.

Dark Chocolate, AKA Protector of Teeth

Not only does dark chocolate provide some nice benefits for your overall health, it also helps protect your teeth against cavities! According to the Texas A&M Health Science Center, dark chocolate contains high amounts of tannins, another ingredient present in cocoa beans.

Tannins can actually help prevent cavities by interfering with the bacteria that causes them. Think of them as scarecrows for bacteria. They don’t always prevail, but isn’t it nice to have them there?

Smooth Never Sticky

Unlike many popular candies, dark chocolate is less likely to stick in the crevices of your teeth. Chewy, gooey sweets are more likely to hang around in your mouth for longer periods of time, which means they raise the odds of your harboring cavity-creating bacteria.

While some dark chocolates have additives like caramel or marshmallow, it’s best to opt for the plain varieties, which are just as delicious. If you’re feeling festive, though, a dark chocolate with caramel is still better than a milk chocolate with caramel, so that’s the way to go!

While dark chocolate has some pretty sweet benefits, the most important thing to remember (whether you go the dark chocolate route or not), is that moderation is key. That being said, we hope you have fun satisfying your sweet tooth and shopping for treats for your friends and loved ones. Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Forever Smiles!

Tips to Avoid Common Problems Associated with Braces

February 3rd, 2021

While braces play an important part in helping to create a healthy mouth and teeth, you might experience a few side effects while wearing them that are common and can be easily treated.

Even with the best of care, braces can cause soreness to your mouth. As your teeth begin to move, it is natural for your teeth to feel aches and your jaw to develop soreness.

If there are broken wires or loose bands on your braces, a sore tongue, mouth, or canker sore will occur. Canker sores are a common occurrence when braces rub inside the mouth. There are ointments available to reduce the pain and irritation associated with mouth sores. We urge those who experience a sore mouth or any of the following problems to call our office to schedule an appointment.

  • Loose brackets: Apply a small amount of orthodontic wax to the bracket temporarily. You might also apply a little between the braces and the soft tissue of your mouth.
  • Loose bands: These must be secured in place by your orthodontist. Try to save the band for repair.
  • Protruding or broken wires: The eraser end of a pencil can be used to move the wire carefully to a less painful spot. If you are unable to move it, apply orthodontic wax to the tip. If a mouth sore develops, rinse with warm salt water or antiseptic rinse.
  • Loose spacers: These will need to be repositioned and sometimes replaced.

Foods to Avoid

Some foods can also help or hurt you while you’re wearing braces. Remember to cut your food into small pieces that can be easily chewed. You will want to avoid hard and chewy foods that can break your hardware. Foods such as corn on the cob, nuts, carrots, apples, ice, and bubble gum should be avoided.

Braces, rubber bands, springs, and other mouth appliances associated with braces will normally attract food particles and plaque. Without the proper care, this could cause staining of your teeth.

Our staff at Forever Smiles recommends brushing after every meal or snack and carefully removing any food that might be lodged in the braces. A fluoride mouthwash might be helpful as well as flossing. At your next appointment, Dr. Yan Razdolsky can advise you how to floss with a brush specially designed for braces!

In-Ovation® Vs. Traditional Braces

January 27th, 2021

At our office, we say it's never too late to improve the beauty of your smile. We suggest to patients of all ages that braces can lead the way to a healthier, happier smile. Orthodontic technology has made many advancements over the past decade. Today, we compare In-Ovation braces to traditional braces to help you decide which is best for your smile needs.

Choosing In-Ovation or Traditional Braces

There are many significant differences between these two styles of braces that often make one more attractive than the other to patients. Overall, the In-Ovation treatment process is far shorter from start to finish than the traditional braces approach.

The In-Ovation treatment process has been gaining vast popularity among patients because it offers superior comfort over traditional braces. Unlike the traditional approach that can be painful and cause continued friction and irritation, In-Ovation braces operate on what is called a self-ligating system. This free-sliding system straightens teeth with gentle, low pressure.

Traditional braces exert their teeth-aligning effects with pressure. They are cemented to teeth, connected by rubber bands, and require much more of a time commitment than newer technology. For some, traditional braces are a more affordable approach and time is not a concern. It's also important to understand that a balanced diet is more important than ever when choosing any type of braces, but especially with traditional braces because of their size. Sugary foods can cause plaque to buildup on the tooth and should be kept minimal.

In-Ovation braces have been reported to shift teeth in a way that causes less irritation. Patients opt for this style because of its overall lower need for maintenance. You will spend far less time visiting our Buffalo Grove if you choose In-Ovation braces over traditional braces.

With fewer components and no elastic bands, there is less of a chance of food debris being left behind with In-Ovation braces. They are easier to clean and when a balanced diet is followed, and much less of a plaque buildup. In-Ovation even offers clear brackets for improved aesthetics.

Still have questions about which braces system is right for you or your child? We encourage you to ask Dr. Yan Razdolsky at your next appointment. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Cheers to Your Health in 2021!

December 18th, 2020


No matter what you call it, a smile, smirk, or grin there is no doubt about it, the feel-good facial expression of happiness and contentment truly offers some real-world health benefits. And there is no better time than the 2021 New Year to start off fresh with a healthy new outlook. Since the pandemic, we have all become a great deal more aware of our health. But can smiling really help? Absolutely!

“Social cues are more important now than ever,” said Dr. Razdolsky of Forever Smiles Orthodontics for Children and Adults in Buffalo Grove. “A beaming smile behind a mask lights up the eyes and communicates to others that everything is A-okay. It helps others to feel safe, secure, and happy. It is also important to smile often in online video communication as it too sends a message of encouragement and positivity to others that is contagious,” he added.

For example, have you ever been in a less than happy state and run into someone who’s smiling only to find yourself in a better mood? Maybe even with a smile all your own? It’s no secret smiling is contagious, and not only is it a great gift to give yourself and others, it has other great health benefits worth sharing as well! A smile doesn’t just offer a great mood boost, it also helps our body release dopamine, serotonin, cortisol and endorphins. These can reduce blood pressure, increase endurance, reduce pain, lessen stress, and even strengthen our immune system. Further, studies indicate people who smile more are more likeable, courteous, and competent.

“Research suggests children smile an astonishing 400 times per day. If you account for an average eight hours of sleep each night, that works out to a smile every 2.5 minutes,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “However, if you contrast that to an average adult who only smiles 20 times a day (40 to 50 if they are truly happy), then you can see why we could all use a little more cheer.”

Indeed, not only is there the chemical release to boost your health, smiling actually helps you stay positive. If you don’t believe it, just try this... smile and then try to think of something negative without losing the smile. It’s hard. Even when a smile is forced or fake it sends the brain a message that life is good. Now imagine sharing that smile (a genuine one of course) with the rest of the world.

So, what’s new in 2021? Practice smiling every day and see your happiness and wellbeing increase with the New Year. And what’s even better than that, is giving someone else a smile or two? It’s the healthy resolution that’s easy to keep.


Veneers vs. Orthodontics – It’s no Contest!

December 1st, 2020

In a world where time seems to move so quickly, it is no wonder that the idea of Instant Orthodontics might be appealing. After all, for many people straight teeth are the primary factor for when determining what is an attractive smile. And who doesn’t want a beautiful smile, now!?! While in most cases a slight imperfection in one’s smile is rarely a cause to run out and get braces, neither are veneers the guaranteed go-to answer for a straighter more beautiful Forever Smile. So, what is the score in the Veneers vs. Orthodontics matchup?

Any dental professional who practices a non-invasive or systemic approach to healthcare would have at least some reservations in recommending veneers for a straighter smile. The instant smile afforded through the application of veneers is superficial at its surface, and in some cases very invasive indeed. Tooth preparation in the manner of removing at least some or part of the healthy enamel needed to protect the teeth must be done to accommodate veneers. There are some no-prep or very minimal prep veneers, but make no mistake, there is still some prep that defaces the structure of your existing teeth. This prep can expose teeth to any number of other unforetold issues sometime later in the patient’s life. That translates to a lot of uncertainty and raises the question of when or if this option is ever really worth the risk?

So, what should you consider when exploring whether orthodontics or veneers are right for you?

Let’s talk position. Are your teeth out of alignment, or is your bite a little off? Some dentists might recommend veneers, but then a consultation with a board-certified orthodontist like Dr. Razdolsky could really be your first and best choice. Whether you see it or not, sometimes even the smallest imperfection can be a sign of movement just below the gum’s surface, which if left untreated may develop into a worsening issue down the road. Let’s take it a step further, do you experience headaches, jaw pain, troubles with chewing or biting, or maybe even sleeping? These can be symptoms of a greater underlying problem and even more reason to call on Dr. Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team to evaluate your smile. Perhaps you think the shape of your teeth are all wrong. They are too long, too short, too far apart. Yep, that too is your clue to meet with Dr. Razdolsky and the team. Issues such as these could also be signs of improper development or once again a bigger issue looming under the gum’s surface that may require correction through orthodontic treatment. No matter how you look at it, Dr. Razdolsky and the team are here to help you evaluate and ultimately come up with a plan for correcting these issues that’s just right for you!

Perhaps you are considering veneers because you are concerned about what you will look like with braces. Let’s look on the bright side, if the issue is minor, your stint in braces may be over before you know it! But, if it is a matter of aesthetics, or being self-conscious, there are still a number of treatment options available. Clear or tooth-colored brackets are a great option for patients who want a more subtle look, but the same effectiveness of traditional braces. For some patients there’s lingual braces where brackets and wires are mounted on the tongue-side of your teeth. But keep in mind, in the case of lingual, careful considerations must be made on a per patient and case basis. Lastly, there’s clear aligners, which in some cases may be an ideal solution but just take longer to achieve the desired result.

Indeed, with orthodontic treatment, there are so many different options to get the beautiful Forever Smile you’ve always wanted. So if your choice is to go veneers simply because you don’t like the idea of braces, consider these points before you take a leap into something that’s uncertain to get the results you truly deserve. Because when it comes to you and your Forever smile, it’s no contest!

Now’s the time to realize your Best Smile

November 4th, 2020

With all that is going on in the world we are hearing it from patients more and more, “Now is the best time to get braces”! Why? Well for some patients, they feel working and going to school from home is allowing them a greater opportunity to become adjusted. Indeed, we all have a little more flexibility without the rigors of running to and from class, busy meeting schedules and all the extracurricular activities bustling for attention in our daily lives. This affords us the extra time it takes to better care for our braces, brush and floss properly between meals and even have appointments with our favorite orthodontist, Dr. Razdolsky!

“Can you believe we have had a few new patients come in saying it’s the perfect time because of the mask?!?,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “We have patients come in all the time saying the stigma of braces is hard for them. So, wearing a mask has given some that little boost they need to overcome their apprehension and nervousness about what others will think when they see them wearing braces for the first time,” he added.

At Forever Smiles we think working to achieve your Forever Smile is a beautiful thing and if a mask is the catalyst that gets someone started on that path, we’re all in!

Dr. Razdolsky said he’s even had some new patients who have become more aware of little imperfections in their smile since they’ve been quarantined. Online meetings and classes have certainly put most of us, and our smiles, front and center with everyone we talk to everyday. So for many, the lure of making their smile something they’ve always wanted or dreamed of starts now. That’s why Dr. Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team always say it’s never too early, or too late to set off on the path to your best smile. By getting started with evaluation today, Dr. Razdolsky can help you strategize and develop a customized plan for treatment that’s just right for you.

“Whether you experience discomfort such as tooth pain, headaches, earaches, or pain in the jawline, which can be signs or symptoms of malalignment, or you just want that beautiful smile you’ve always dreamed of, now may just be the best time for you to get braces,” said Dr. Razdolsky.

Regardless of your motivation, you always want to be healthy and putting your best smile forward. One evaluation from Dr. Razdolsky can help determine whether braces are right in your unique situation. Remember, getting braces now can make all the difference in putting your best smile forward. Let’s get started!

Dental Distancing

September 17th, 2020

With all that we have learned and are learning about COVID-19, health and wellness, it is important to practice proper hygiene protocols to protect yourself and the ones you love from getting sick. Not everyone who is sick shows signs or symptoms right away, so to protect yourself and family members. Dr. Yan Razdolsky of Buffalo Grove’s Forever Smiles Orthodontics for Children and Adults has a few dental distancing tips to help keep your family healthy.

Wash your hands before brushing or flossing

Dr. Razdolsky reminds patients they should never touch their mouth, brush their teeth or floss before thoroughly washing their hands. His recommendation is to follow the CDC rule of 20 seconds with soap and water. And, if someone in your household is sick, he suggests adding a hand sanitizer made with 60% alcohol for added safety. Don’t forget to wash again after brushing and flossing to help prevent the spread of your germs to others.

Social distance your toothbrush

Whether you think you are sick or have been exposed to others of whom you are not sure, isolating your toothbrush is an easy way to protect family members.

“It is best to avoid side by side storage of your family’s toothbrushes to help protect others in your household,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “Social distance your toothbrush instead. Store it upright in a holder or cup, and place in a separate area away from others.”

Don’t contaminate the toothpaste

Dr. Razdolsky also reminds us to look beyond the toothbrush when protecting others. If your family shares a tube of toothpaste for example, be sure you don’t allow the tip to come in contact with your toothbrush.

“While we talk of social distancing and cleaning your toothbrush, touching the toothpaste tube to the bristles can unintentionally contaminate and share harmful germs,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “This is especially important if someone in your household is actually sick. In that case your family can take extra precautions to prevent contamination by applying the toothpaste to a clean cotton swab and then on the brush,” he added.

Clean your tools

“Many people do not realize that flu viruses can survive on toothbrushes and other surfaces for up to three days after first exposure,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “That is why we suggest patients clean brush handles, orthodontic instruments and wipe down counter areas after they brush. This is an easy way to help protect themselves and other family members from spreading germs, by simply using a household disinfectant, 70% alcohol or diluted bleach solution,” he added.

Do a toothbrush check when you’ve been sick

Although Dr. Razdolsky shared with us that flu viruses can survive on toothbrushes some time, you are not likely at risk of getting sick again if you use the same toothbrush. Especially since they are your own germs. But you should be sure to keep your dental distance from others in your family to keep them safe. Now with that said… evaluating replacing your toothbrush (or the head if you use an electric one) when you’ve been sick is still a good practice.

The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months (sooner if the bristles look worn out). Although you will not make yourself sick again, you can use this time as an opportunity to do a toothbrush check and replace your brush if it looks like it might be time.

Hydrate and brush to get and stay healthy

When you are sick, you need plenty of fluids and nothing beats water. Medications, such as decongestants, antihistamines and pain relievers can make you dehydrated. Water prevents dry mouth which can put you at higher risk for cavities. So, drink plenty of water and use sugarless cough drops, throat lozenges to keep you mouth from getting dry.

“One of the best feelings when I am sick is simply brushing my teeth,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “A clean mouth and fresh breath give me a sense of wellbeing and I actually start to feel better. It is always important to take care of your Forever Smile, especially when you are sick.”

Oral Systemic Health & COVID-19

August 25th, 2020

With all that has been and is being learned about SARS-Cov2 during the pandemic, there is a marked shift in what we think and do in taking charge of our health. Dr. Razdolsky has always advocated for the study and support of oral health to overall systemic health, and with the latest interest in how nutrition impacts related underlying health condition risk to COVID-19 case severity, could there be a correlation to oral health as well? Recent research suggests, yes. There could be a link between gum disease and COVID-19.

While not everyone with gum disease has heart disease or vice versa, historically there does seem to be a correlation. Although research is not clear whether gum disease is a direct risk factor for heart disease, it has been suggested there is link between the two. Some believe pathogens can cause cascading damage to other tissues and organs, or even the bacteria in the gums may itself enter the blood supply where it can further cause inflammation and damage. In fact, one study published earlier this month suggests a link between gum disease and respiratory failure in COVID-19 patients! With such tragic consequences, it is theories like these that have compelled researchers to further study how diet, oral health and systemic health can provide insight not only into COVID-19, but other diseases as well. Imagine what we can learn about not only this virus, but how we as human beings may react to future unknown threats.

“We already know that good oral hygiene along with eating a diet of nutrient rich foods promotes healthy teeth and gums, as well as provides our bodies with the right fuel to stay healthy and strong,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “It has become increasingly apparent how important it is for us to look at these same factors in relationship to how they keep us healthy and fight disease for life.”

It is estimated that obesity attributed to bad nutrition affects about 35% of U.S. adults, with a disproportionate number of those at the bottom of the socio-economic scale. This becomes increasingly evident as cases of the COVID-19 virus are recorded in population groups with these related demographics and underlying health conditions. Studies have indicated Americans are among the least healthy population in the developed world. According to the 2019 Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index published February 2019, the United States ranked 35th out of 169 economies in factors that contribute to overall health. Most can agree we choose processed food over farm-fresh, and packaged or prepared food over cooking it ourselves. It is almost assured a shift to healthier, more balanced meals with fresh ingredients, vegetables and fruit would benefit our society by helping to lower obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes which has become an ever-growing trend.

Sadly, many of us have picked up more than one bad habit during COVID-19. Stress eating, a change to comfort foods rather than nutritious balanced meal planning, increased junk food consumption or even boredom eating. We are all a little guilty, right? Working toward healthier eating has always been a challenge, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are looking scientifically and introspectively at our at-risk populations with high levels of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.

“Smart snacking is a great way to keep your oral health on track, so you should choose wisely. Forgo the sweet sugary snacks, especially hard or sticky candy if you wear braces.” said Dr. Razdolsky.

Dr. Razdolsky suggests that instead of junk snacking we should opt for nutritious choices like fresh vegetables, yogurt, and if you have a sweet tooth, some fresh fruit. This benefits not only your oral health but is a much better option for your overall health.

“Let me also remind everyone it is important to brush after snacking to protect your smile,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “This protects your teeth and gums from plaque which can lead to gum disease impacting your long-term oral health. If you can’t brush at minimum rinse your mouth and between your teeth to remove food particles until you can get to brush,” he added.

Maybe in this post-COVID society, our wellness habits will change for the better. Perhaps we will finally begin to recognize how we must educate ourselves and our children to address the necessary changes that positively impact the health and well-being of our society in the long run. All of these things are tied together. A smile, is not just a smile and our health is not something we should take for granted. COVID-19 was not something any of us expected, but we must learn and adapt. You know… just in case.

Safeguarding Your Family & Your Smile

July 16th, 2020

First and foremost, if we’re open it is because we feel it’s safe for you to come in. So here are five important things to keep in mind as we approach the upcoming school year.

  1. Your oral health is representative of your overall systemic health. Now isn’t a time for compromise as it impacts your long-term health. Dr. Razdolsky routinely places appliances such as springs, coils and memory wires that apply continuous force to the teeth and jaws. For this reason, it is important for us to physically monitor your progress regularly to make necessary adjustments.

What’s more, leaving misaligned teeth untreated may lead to other dental problems. To help avoid tooth decay, gum disease, abnormal wearing of tooth enamel and difficulty chewing, it is important to keep up with regularly scheduled appointments.

  1. Your Forever Smiles team is taking more precautions than ever to ensure your safety and that of our fellow team members.

In addition to wearing the proper PPE, practicing physical distancing, cleaning and disinfecting more than ever before, we are also asking screening and triage questions, as well as checking temperatures.

  1. Forever Smiles’ #1 priority is our patients’ health. If we are open, it is because we feel it’s safe for you to come in.

Our mission is to keep everyone safe, patients and team members, while continuing to provide quality orthodontic care. If we are open, rest assured that we have infection control precautions and changes in place that are designed for your protection and that of our team members.

  1. Dentists and orthodontic specialists like Dr. Razdolsky have always been leaders in infection control and preventing the spread of diseases.

As oral health professionals, we must stay at the forefront in safely practicing with blood borne pathogens and respiratory pathogens. We are taking all the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations and implementing them in our offices.

  1. As oral health professionals, your Forever Smiles team always stays on top of the latest safety protocols.

Through our participation in continuing education programs we educate ourselves on the latest safety and infection control protocols to ensure they align with the CDC and any other state and local guidelines. After all, our number one priority is to deliver orthodontic care in a safe environment for all our patients and their families.

Be vigilant, be safe

July 1st, 2020

With the scare that is Covid-19, people all over the world are looking for ways to protect themselves and their families from undue harm. From here forward, most if not all of us will likely question the safety of where our products come from and the services that we receive. No one person, no business is immune to the reverberating effects of what this Pandemic has created in the public trust.

With this forage into the unknown we are left with opportunity -- the prospect for development of new technologies and advancements to the betterment of the health and well-being of our society. There are also opportunities on which others will capitalize for only their own gain. However you view this uncertainty, the outcome is that some whether uninformed or out of fear, may make choices which do not serve their best interests.

We have often shared with you the importance of only seeking treatment with a qualified and licensed orthodontist. The correlation of clinical and histologic observation of tooth movement to the adjustment and tweaking of patient treatment protocols is simply something that cannot be established through clear aligners options offered online or by mail. It is something that can only be ensured through the ongoing treatment and observational care of a licensed orthodontist. Furthermore, there are more assurances than ever that you can continue to receive safe, effective in-office orthodontic treatment.

In January, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) announced that nine members of the U. S. House of Representatives authored a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to express their concerns regarding a certain “smile by mail” enterprise. Their intent, to ensure the group was not misleading consumers or putting them in harm’s way.

What’s the concern? In a July 2, 2019 statement the AAO said this in regard to direct-to-consumer orthodontics. “…orthodontic aligners are meant to move teeth, which if not done correctly can lead to potentially irreversible and expensive damage such as tooth and gum loss, changed bites, and other issues – some of which may not arise immediately.”

So if someone you know is looking into orthodontics and considering treatment by mail as a safe option to guard against Covid-19... tell them no way! As we’ve been saying, the health and well-being of our patients, family and friends is always our first priority. We are at the forefront. Through the introduction of technologies, new policies and continuing education we are always looking for new opportunities to bring you only the safest and best in care for a beautiful Forever Smile!

Well, Hello Again!

June 17th, 2020

Boy have we missed our patients, missed each other and missed what we were wired to do. It is so nice to be back in a full swing again and feeling great!

Like all of you, we look back on the last few months and are like…. WOW! Who would have thought something like this would come out of left field and have such a tremendous impact on our communities, families and way of life. Overnight our routines changed, and we began to question everything we’ve ever done and how we’ve done it -- running a business, going to work, school, being with friends and even straightening our teeth.

Like most people in our industry, your Forever Smiles family had to hunker down and weather the storm all the while knowing that the health of our patients comes first and their treatment and progress must take a back seat. It was hard. But instead of what some called “downtime,” we chose to use our time proactively, to get prepared. We organized our office, cleaned, finished up some long overdue projects, cleaned, attended webinars, collaborated with our peers to establish guidelines for reopening, then cleaned again. All this preparedness really put into perspective the importance we have always and will always place in the safety and well-being of our patients. Indeed, when our City and State leaders gave us the green light to reopen, we were prepared and ready.

We have always been proud that we go above and beyond when it comes to the treatment and care of our patients, and because it’s important, we would like to re-visit just a few of the protocols we have implemented.

  • New hygiene protocols including hand disinfecting, additional PPE, as well as internal cleaning and sterilization of team uniforms.
  • Added autoclave to double sterilization efforts for tools and instruments used.
  • Partitioning our open-bay clinic with plastic walls as a protective barrier, as well as ventilating all rooms with an iWave-R Ionizing Air Purifier and Novareus Plasma Technology air purifiers throughout the office.
  • In addition to cleaning and sterilization of rooms after each patient visit, we are fogging the office twice daily with HOCl, a hospital-grade disinfectant comprised of electrolyzed salt, water and vinegar that kills 99.9% germs, yet is non-toxic and 100% safe.
  • Implementation of new office procedures including check in, restrictions on the number of office occupants, as well as screening to limit patient’s exposure to Covid-19.

For a comprehensive breakdown of all the notable procedures and policies we put into practice here at Forever Smiles, please visit our website at In addition, Dr. Razdolsky created several short videos showcasing some remarkable advancements borne out of Covid-19, such as the Novel suction attachment we are using which helps vacuum aerosols during treatment to protect our environment and keep patients safe. You can find these videos posted to our YouTube channel at

While we will continue to look to our governing bodies including the federal government, public health agencies, dental and orthodontic associations for guidance, we plan to strictly adhere to our own current protocols and procedures for the foreseeable future. The truth is, what seems “the New Normal” today will invariably not be what it will be next month, which will in turn be different in the next 6 months, or even next year. No one really knows what to expect with Covid-19, or any health-related issue going forward. We all see things differently now. But whatever the future brings, rest assured we will always do everything we can to still provide the best care and patient experience in a safe, healthy environment.

On a personal note, your family here at Forever Smiles would like to thank all of you for your understanding and patience over recent months and with all of the changes we’ve implemented moving forward. With all of us doing our part, the path into our future can be considerate of what serves everyone in our community best. We welcome your input and invite you to be a part of the solution. Without all of you, there wouldn’t be a Forever Smiles, and it is because of you we will be forever grateful. Let’s all be well and have a fantastic summer!

Office Visit Procedure Update

May 22nd, 2020

Hygiene Protocol Update

May 20th, 2020

A letter from Dr. Razdolsky

May 18th, 2020

Virtual Career Day

April 28th, 2020

With Covid-19 having impacted us all so much, it is with great effort that our teachers work to apply a sense of balance to the lives of students. Such was the case when Diane Willock, Career Exploration Program Manager at Stevenson High School hosted a Virtual Career Exploration featuring our own Dr. Razdolsky and daughter Elizabeth.
In this educational online forum presented through Zoom, Dr. Razdolsky introduced students to the wide scope of orthodontic services, including the tools, instruments and emerging technologies used in treatment, as well as general career advice and resources for students interested in a career in orthodontics. The teleprogram also included a Q&A where Dr. Elizabeth talked with students about her PhD research and how students can make their academic applications stronger.
“Our goal was to overview for students the art, science and educational requirements behind this fascinating and challenging field,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “We have offered similar programs to students previously, but none have ever felt quite so profound as was one offered given our current circumstances.”
With all of Illinois under quarantine, the delivery format of programs such as this have certainly presented a whole new perspective. As Governor Pritzker has issued a ‘Shelter in Place’ order the office has suspended all but emergency cases.
“Our number one priority is for everyone to stay safe as we face the COVID-19 pandemic together,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “But we believe it is still important to remind our students, patients and families that their treatment and oral health are still vital to their overall health even in times like these.”
It is the mission of Forever Smiles to Inspire, Innovate, Create, Restore, and to make a difference in the communities they serve. For Dr. Razdolsky and Elizabeth, helping teachers and students through online education is a natural course of action in times like these.
Career Exploration Program Manager, Whitlock agrees. “I wanted to take a moment to send you a big THANK YOU for participating in our remote career exploration experiences last week! I was very pleased with how smooth everything went and how much great information was shared with our students,” said Whitlock. “This truly was such an invaluable resource that you provided for them. It has been a challenging time for all of us and I felt like these sessions helped create some normalcy in our high school student’s lives.” She added.

Dream Team Treatment for a Healthy Forever Smile

April 14th, 2020

In a recent case study published by, The Journal of Implant & Advanced Clinical Dentistry (JIACD), Dr. Razdolsky, his daughter Elizabeth R. Michalczyk along with their colleagues, Sergio Rubinstein, DDS and Barry P. Levin, DMD show us that a collaborative approach to treatment of an esthetic challenging case, which includes oral surgery, orthodontics and prosthodontics is often the only way to provide the most efficient standard of care. This in-depth study involved a seven-year-old patient with a congenitally missing (missing since birth) upper left central incisor. Although the patient had received orthodontic treatment for 6 years with another orthodontist, his parents were unhappy with the results and the long-term impact of his smile on his welfare was in serious jeopardy. You see, the patient’s previous course of treatment resulted in loss of time and proper treatment during critical stages of growth and development. Making matters more challenging, other disciplines had been excluded from the onset of treatment planning and care, leaving the patient in a distressed situation and further amplifying the patient’s unsatisfactory progress.

In search for a better outcome, an interdisciplinary dream team was created. With the guide of Prosthodontist, Dr. Rubenstein, the patient’s parents were presented with the new treatment plan. The goal? To reposition the patient’s teeth in their proper location, allowing for the missing central incisor to be replaced with an implant and implant supported crown. Consequently, leading to the initially expected esthetic, as well as a healthy and long-lasting result. You see, a single missing tooth is a common occurrence which has a not only an impact on the esthetics, but on the long-term health of the compromised bone, gum tissue, as well as potential for implant and final prosthesis. Time here, was of the essence.
With an interdisciplinary approach, our collaborative team evaluated the patient’s bite and esthetics in the case and determined that to treat the problem area in this patient, an implant crown on the upper left central incisor and direct bonding on the upper right central incisor were the best course of treatment.
To start, orthodontic treatment will position the teeth in the most esthetic, functionally optimal position, revealing not only a noticeably straighter smile, but also creating the necessary spatial distance between adjacent teeth to accommodate the future implant. Framing an implant-supported restoration with healthy hard and soft tissue for long-term stability is critical. Therefore, team collaboration throughout treatment necessary to ensure implant success.
In cases where teeth are congenitally missing as with our patient, there is typically an inadequate ridge, or surface area thickness to receive an implant without additional staging. Adequate bone thickness must be achieved to sustain the implant and achieve a healthy, esthetic success. Therefore, adequate tissue dimensions must also be created through surgical augmentation and provisional restorative therapy.

Here, three-dimensional CBCT scans are of paramount importance to our team for communicating and planning the proper implant location, proximity to adjacent teeth and evaluating the foundation to receive the implant. Any concerns must be addressed throughout treatment to avoid any potential miscommunication with the final implant position and design for the final restoration.
A person’s smile is more than a first impression or a way to communicate, it is a personal trademark that often determines an individual’s confidence and it plays an integral role in psychological­ social wellbeing and emotional health. This case study demonstrates how an example of poor planning and execution, can be converted by a new esthetic-prosthetic management to create a best-case-possible healthy result and optimal smile. With challenging cases such as these, an inter­disciplinary approach from the onset of treatment can provide patients with the best, and often most efficient standard of care.

A Lesson in the Art of a Smile

March 19th, 2020

Dr. Yan Razdolsky and Forever Smiles team just love hosting educational field trips, especially when it’s the talented artists from their favorite Art Studio Artishock!

At this year’s field trip our budding artists saw firsthand how art and dental science come together to help Dr. Razdolsky and his team create beautiful Forever Smiles! The kids even watched how Dr. Razdolsky uses the technology of Suresmile to bend archwires for greater precision in treatment. The team educated the kids with a little chemistry lesson as they made their own “Smile Like A Pro” lip balm, Anna educated the children on the importance of oral health with a reading of her book, “The Smiling Brightleys,” and every child got their very own copy to take home and share with their family and friends.

“This field trip is something we look forward to every year,” said Anna Razdolsky. “We are so grateful to all the parents who also attend, and to CEO/Teacher Talia Prilutsky. Events like this expose so many kids to orthodontics early, allowing them to feel comfortable and be better prepared if and when they have their first orthodontic appointment,” she added.

Yes, Dr. Razdolsky, Anna and the team really love educating kids and teaching them the fundamentals of good oral care and how it leads to a lifetime of beautiful Forever Smiles!

Slip of the Tongue

February 28th, 2020

The proverb states, “The tongue can be your biggest enemy.” That is to say, you said something you did not mean. But literally speaking, the tongue does cause us a lot of problems. That’s what Dr. Razdolsky and Elizabeth were reminded of at the American Association of Orthodontics Midwinter meeting on treatment of open bite cases held in Austin, Texas earlier this month.

The tongue is a very powerful muscle – one that’s strong enough to push teeth out of their natural position. So, together with hundreds of other orthodontists from all over the world Yan and Elizabeth learned to identify the etiological factors for anterior open bites through analyzing different tongue positions at rest. The program titled, All About Open Bites, further focused on the diagnosis and treatment options for today’s orthodontist.

“The tongue applies nearly four pounds of pressure every time we swallow. This pressure, when accompanied by a bad swallowing habit can be disastrous to tooth alignment,” said Dr. Yan Razdolsky. “To make matters worse, the average person swallows nearly 2,000 times per day! This makes tongue thrust a big factor in the treatment and re-treatment of open bite or malocclusion,” he added.

Tongue thrust is described as the habit of pushing the tongue forward between the upper and lower teeth when swallowing, rather than the proper position against the gum and above the upper front teeth. Over time, tongue thrusting can lead to an open bite where only the back teeth will come together during a bite – the front teeth don’t actually touch. A lateral open bite is when teeth do not meet on the sides. It is the anterior open bite, however, that is considered one of the malocclusions most difficult to correct.

So, what is the treatment for tongue thrust? Treatment can include therapeutic exercises to re-train the tongue, kind of like physical therapy. In some cases, Dr. Razdolsky may also prescribe a dental appliance to aid in correction.

“Other various oral habits such as thumb or finger sucking, finger biting, lip biting or sucking, bruxism and even mouth breathing can further produce destructive effects on the dentoalveolar structures,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “All these habits will affect muscle and skeletal growth and can lead to permanent orthodontic issues in adulthood if they are not detected and treated before the completion of facial growth and development.”

Not to worry though… through conferences like the one discussed here, Dr. Razdolsky, Elizabeth and the entire Forever Smiles team stay up to date on the latest treatment options so when your braces do come off, your teeth will stay in alignment.


January 28th, 2020

We’re all about having fun and keeping it real, but when it comes to taking care of your teeth, we at Forever Smiles don’t mess around. Dr. Razdolsky, Anna and the team travel all over the area (and the world) advocating for the importance of healthy smiles. And to help you keep yours, we’re going to share with you six, super-easy oral care tips for braces.

  1. Always brush gently at a 45-degree angle toward the gumline and around the top and bottom of the braces. Move the toothbrush in a small circular motion across all surfaces of the teeth to remove bacteria, as well as any trapped food particles.

  1. Brush at least three times a day - after breakfast, when you get home from school or in the afternoon and again after dinner.
  2. Replace your toothbrush or brush head every 3-4 months - sooner if it shows signs of wear or if you get sick.
  3. Make a point to inspect your braces to see they are clean and shiny. Make note that bracket edges should be clearly visible, not fuzzy or dull looking. This can indicate poor brushing and you should have another go at it.

  1. Floss at least once per day to remove bacteria and any food that has accumulated. You can also take advantage of tools like floss threaders, water flossers and interdental brushes to help you reach the backs and interproximal areas of your teeth and tighter spaces around or between teeth, brackets and wires.

  1. .. always, always use an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste and toothbrush with soft, rounded bristles, and remember to add antimicrobial and fluoride rinses to your shopping list. They can really aid in helping keep your mouth clean and breath minty-fresh for loads more Forever Smiles.

When it comes to clean... do you MANUAL OR Electric?

January 21st, 2020

We often hear from patients how oral hygiene can be challenging because the brackets, archwires, and appliances are an obstruction to brushing. In fact, one question we hear quite often from patients and their parents is which is better: a manual or electric toothbrush?

The team here at Forever Smiles wants to see every patient achieve success with their orthodontic treatment, and many of our patients clean their teeth perfectly well with a manual toothbrush. However, we would be remiss if we didn’t suggest some patients just do better with a little extra help. Let’s check out the facts.

Fact. Electric toothbrushes are cool. But more importantly some studies by the American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics (AJO-DO) find there is significantly greater plaque removal with an electric brush over manual brushing. Perhaps the secret is in that electric toothbrushes seem to make it easier to manage brushing with automated timers and settings to control intensity. As with regular toothbrushes, electric toothbrushes work on metal, ceramic and lingual braces, but they do seem to have a definite advantage over manual brushes if they have a timer setting. Studies do suggest that manual toothbrush users tend to brush for shorter than the recommended 2 minutes because they simply lose track of time. This alone is a solid reason to invest in an egg timer if you use a manual brush.

Taking this a step further, in a study on the Efficacy of 3 toothbrush treatments on plaque removal in orthodontic patients assessed with digital plaque imaging: A randomized controlled trial researchers explored the use of two different electrically operated toothbrush heads - one a specialty oscillating-rotating orthodontic brush head (A) and one a regular electric head (B) along with a manual toothbrush (C). They concluded an electric toothbrush with either brush head A or B demonstrated significantly greater plaque removal over the manual toothbrush, and the orthodontic brush head (A) was in fact superior to the regular electric head.


“Removing plaque around brackets and archwires is challenging for patients which makes the results of this study particularly interesting,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “When you compare the regular electric toothbrush head to that of an orthodontic one you can see the ortho one is smaller and uniquely contoured to work around the fixed appliances and better reach the tooth surface. To put it simply, orthodontic brackets and wires create nooks and crevices that are hard to reach, and these brushes are often able to get to all of them,” he added.

What’s more, electric toothbrushes are designed to propel fluids between teeth, wires and around brackets, providing the most efficient and effective cleaning possible,” said Dr Razdolsky. “Most electric toothbrush models produce thousands of movements per minute. This is impossible to achieve with any manual toothbrush.”

Indeed, just take one look on the toothpaste aisle and you are affronted with a huge variety of toothbrushes, both manual and electric to choose from. Don’t even get us started on the different heads! But with this growth, researchers are studying more and different types of electric, sonic and manual toothbrush options on orthodontic patients to help us understand what may or may not work best - sometimes with mixed results.

That’s why Dr. Razdolsky reminds us that regardless of whether you invest in an electric toothbrush or stick with a traditional manual one, you can achieve good oral health and brushing habits if you follow the few simple tips we’ve included along in this issue of Bracket Chatter.

So, what do we know? Daily brushing and flossing help to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath— whether it is done with a manual toothbrush or an electric one. There are quite a few ways using an electric toothbrush can help you get a little extra out of your oral hygiene routine, even though in many ways, brushing your teeth with an electric toothbrush is very similar to brushing with a manual one. Most importantly, we’ve learned that while maintaining good oral hygiene when you have braces may seem a little more difficult to achieve, looking to find the right toothbrush to help is not impossible. Dr. Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team are here to help. Just ask us at your next appointment.

Just Your Average Day Doing Superhero Stuff

December 19th, 2019

Oh, what an exciting and fun filled way to take a break from the cold weather than to visit sunny Orlando, Florida. Dr. Razdolsky and Anna along with their daughter, Elizabeth did just that when they attended the Southern Association of Orthodontists (SAO) and Southwestern Society of Orthodontists (SWSO) joint annual conference, November 14 through 16. At this feature-packed conference our travelling superhero smile makers experienced a weekend full of education, inspiration and just a little bit of fun.

Presentations offered through the three-day conference included educational program tracks ranging from evidence-based orthodontics to practice management. In all, there were more than 37 programs offered throughout the conference. Indeed, it takes a superhero speed to see all that!

“I was particularly interested in the 3D facial analysis and surgical program,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “The idea of building a three-dimensional frame of reference for the face even when the face is asymmetric is fascinating. This is huge in the optimal planning sequence for orthognathic surgery.”

Another exciting program presented by our superhero colleague, research scientist and professor from the University of Michigan, Dr. James McNamara showcased a new appliance which we are adding to our own Forever Smiles super lineup, the Carriere Motion Appliance. This patient-friendly appliance is used at the beginning of treatment, prior to braces or aligners, and delivers rapid Anterior-Posterior correction to help reduce overall treatment times by several months!

“We are excited to bring the motion corrector to Forever Smiles,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “Dr. McNamara has just completed extensive research on its efficacy, and Elizabeth and I were excited to see its premier at the SAO conference.”

Patients may remember from our previous newsletters that Elizabeth, a DMD, PhD, is doing her orthodontic residency at the Georgia School of Orthodontics, research at Emory University and is looking to join the Forever Smiles team in a few years.

So, let’s offer up cheer for our orthodontic superheroes looking to make our world stronger, better and brighter one smile at a time.

The Pain of Missing Out

November 22nd, 2019

Recently we posted on our Facebook page that 2.26 million school days are missed yearly due to a dental-related illness and that got us thinking… Besides the obvious issue of being out of school, what are the repercussions of dental and orthodontic health on school and work? What we discovered surprised us.

Did you know that one in seven children aged 6 to 12 suffered from toothache pain within the last six months? This correlates roughly to an astounding 51 million hours of missed hours of school because of dental issues! This pain is not only distracting for students on the days they miss, but one study found that children on average experience 17.7 days of pain before they are even seen by the dentist or taken in for an emergency visit. That is certainly a recipe for poor school performance.

Let’s take that a step further and consider that parents have to miss work to support these appointments, or in fact have dental emergencies themselves. One study puts us at an astonishing 350.8 million work hours or school hours lost annually for dental care in the United States, of which 92.4 million were for unplanned emergency, 159.8 million for routine or orthodontic and 68.6 for dental cosmetic. The conclusion? Dental problems not only result in loss of work or school, but also can adversely affect performance and productivity at work and in school.

So, what can you do? As an adult, proper hygiene, scheduling and keeping your regular dental checkups is crucial. As a parent you are encouraged to do the same, as well as provide the same guidance for the children in your family. It is paramount that families practice and support each other in the effort to take charge of their dental health.

At Forever Smiles we always educate patients and families on how orthodontics improves one’s overall health, but just how exactly? In simplest terms, straight teeth are easier to floss, brush and clean properly. This helps lower you risk for cavities, gum disease and other dental health issues. Plus, straight teeth are less prone to damage such as chipping or breaking, resulting in fewer dental emergencies in the long run. Equally important to note, orthodontic treatment corrects bite problems and jaw strain that can relieve pain and resolve issues like grinding of the teeth, some breathing irregularities and even digestive problems that can be caused by improper chewing. These types of issues are equally distracting and problematic in allowing for focus in studies and work.

It is important to note, that Dr. Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team is here to guide you through your orthodontic treatments. The directions and guidance they provide to help care for your braces are specifically intended to limit the instances of orthodontic emergencies, but they can arise. If you experience swollen or infected gums, severe or unmanageable pain in the mouth or face, or worse, trauma to the mouth, teeth or face, contact our office immediately. Other, somewhat minor orthodontic emergencies such as loose brackets and bent wires should also be addressed right away to ensure your treatment stays on track. And always remember, as your braces move your teeth you may experience some discomfort and soreness. This is normal, and in fact indicates your braces are doing their job. Most discomfort should be fairly mild and fade within a few days. For help in managing the discomfort, try a warm saltwater rinse or over-the-counter pain reliever. If the pain is unmanageable or worsens, please call our office right away. Dr. Razdoslky and the team will be able to provide additional options for making treatment more comfortable.

So, while there may be some school days or work schedules that must be missed for regularly scheduled checkups and orthodontic appointments, the payoff in the long run is a healthier smile with fewer surprises that can derail your future success. That is something to Forever Smile about!


Beware the “Smile Peddlers”

October 15th, 2019

If your mouth is healthy, your teeth are snuggled safely within your gums, with the space between your gum tissue and the tooth only one to three millimeters in depth. But as bacteria in your mouth continually form, a sticky film of plaque on your teeth, particularly around the gum line, this plaque begins to harden into tartar -- only removable by a dentist or hygienist during a professional cleaning. Left unchecked however, this tartar can lead to gum disease.

Such was the case of a 29-year-old male patient who just completed treatment through Smile By Mail. Results weren’t too bad and in fact, his smile looked okay. However, the patient came to Dr. Razdolsky wanting a lower fixed retainer as one tooth would rotate back as soon as the aligner was taken off.

After a full comprehensive exam, Dr. Razdolsky discovered 6-9mm periodontal pockets. You see, inflammation and swelling due to plaque and tartar buildup can result in pocket formation between the gums and the teeth.

“As your gums pull away from your teeth, this inflamed tissue is now the perfect place for more plaque and tartar to hide,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “This deepens the pocket further and over time threatens the bone around your teeth putting your whole mouth at risk.”

Sadly, according to Dr. Razdolsky’s patient he only had an intraoral picture scan done through Smile By Mail without any x-rays or examination by a doctor. Thank goodness he sought out Forever Smiles! His story serves as a very serious warning to others -- if only you treat one thing without full benefit of a licensed medical provider, you can risk losing your teeth in the future!

Making matters worse, these Smile by Mail providers are taking to the streets and offering patients a smile by mobile truck or bus. Even on their own website there’s no assurances these services are supported by ongoing medical supervision of a licensed dentist or orthodontist, further endangering patients through this potentially neglectful treatment. But hey, they do offer to send you home with teeth whitening strips!

What a scary concept this Smile By Mail is to the future of orthodontics. It pains us to see it happen. When it comes to your health and well-being, you should always seek the advice of a licensed medical provider.

Visiting Portugal - Travelling Orthodontist

October 1st, 2019

On a recent trip to Portugal, the Razdolsky’s discovered the beauty of the culture and the people. Just bordering Spain on the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and several other cooperative and developmental agencies including the European Union.

Hailed as enjoying its highest economic growth in nearly 20 years, the country enjoys millions of international and domestic tourists to is beautiful beaches and historic landmarks, some which date as far back as 1500s! Fascinated in not only partaking of the beautiful vistas and seeing first-hand the country’s emerging growth, Anna notes as she visits the sites and interacts with locals how many of them are wearing braces.

Surprisingly, a study released July 24 by OralMed Medicina Dentaria suggests that half of the Portuguese population have never heard of Orthodontics or have an incorrect perception of what this clinical area entails. In fact, one in 10 respondents confuses “dental braces” with “removable prothesis” or a denture like brace to replace missing teeth.

“It is astonishing that half the population does not know what orthodontics is,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “Even shocking is that those that do, do not have enough understanding of what it is about and the benefits it affords.”

The emergence of orthodontics as a specialty is only beginning to take hold in Portugal and at the cornerstone of its development is communicating and education through more effective visual and verbal means to the patient.

“This is such an exciting time for the people here,” said. Dr. Razdolsky. “I am like a kid in a candy store talking with people about the importance of orthodontics and the value it brings to the patient and their overall health.”

Despite this misunderstanding however, orthodontics and braces do not carry a negative stigma in the country. In fact, as part of its addition to the European Union, Portuguese citizens can often receive subsidized orthodontic care up to the age of 18 when referred by their dentist. Perhaps that’s why there are so many people now sporting braces in Portugal.

FRUIT JUICE... Not as ‘healthy’ as you may think.

September 17th, 2019

We all want what’s best for our children, and their health is of particular concern and focus. Often, we see articles and news reports that advocate eating certain foods over others or warning us to watch out for hidden sugars in snacks. Recently another warning has been issued, this time directed at the hidden dental health risks for infants and children triggered by fruit juice. If your infant is at the stage where they are developing teeth, they are old enough to have tooth decay. That’s right. For toddlers and even infants, the biggest threat to dental health is tooth decay and it’s often exacerbated by surgery fruit juice and fruit juice drinks.

In a 2017 study published by American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), fruit juice and juice drink sales have declined. Likely this is due to competing beverage options, as well as increasing public awareness of healthier options like consumption of whole foods and fruits, rather than sugary substitutes. However, the study does suggest that children and adolescents continue to be the highest consumers of juice and juice drinks. In fact, their data suggests that children 2 to 18 consume nearly half of their daily fruit intake as juice which lacks dietary fiber. Taking that a step further, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no fruit juice for children under one year as it affords no nutritional benefit.

So why is fruit juice bad? Most parents simply do not monitor their child’s dietary intake to ensure proper consumption and often turn to fruit juice and juice drinks as a go-to solution to pacify a thirsty child thinking it is better than soda. In fact, most fruit juice drinks can have as much sugar as a soda.

So, what is the proper guideline? The AAP recommends that human milk or prepared infant formula be the only nutrient fed to infants until about 6 months of age. They also suggest to completely avoid the introduction of juice for an infant before the age of 1 unless otherwise medically indicated. If then, the recommendation is to only give the juice in a cup, not a bottle to help protect the infant from baby bottle tooth decay.

Just about everything young children drink, from milk or formula to apple juice contains sugar. Most often, when a child drinks from a cup, the sugar in these drinks moves quickly through the mouth, past the teeth and causes little harm. However, when a child consumes these beverages by sucking them from a bottle, the sugars linger in the mouth and quickly form into harmful bacteria. Over time, these bacteria develop into acid which eats away at tooth enamel. This can be particularly damaging to newly emerging baby teeth.

If you must put baby down at night or for a nap with a bottle, the recommendation is plain water. To help protect teeth, parents can should also wipe baby’s teeth and gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth after having milk. When a child’s first tooth comes in, they should gently brush with a child-size toothbrush and non-fluoride toothpaste and schedule their first pediatric dentist or at least by age 1.

The AAP also suggests that fruit juice and fruit drinks are over consumed in toddlers and young children aged 1 to 6 because it is assumed these drinks are nutritious, they are convenient and they “taste good.” In most instances however, children should be encouraged to consume better options. The introduction of proper dental hygiene habits, and regular dental checkups are crucial to good oral health and parents should schedule their child’s first visit to the orthodontist by age 7.

What about older kids, age 7 to 18? Juice consumption presents fewer nutritional issues for older children because they typically consume less of these beverages. Nevertheless, intake of juice should be limited to 8 ounces a day, or half of the recommended daily fruit servings. Kids should be reminded to brush their teeth twice daily (especially if they have braces) and always, encouraged to drink lots of water.

Using 3D Cone beam To Discover New Pathologies

September 3rd, 2019


In our Harmony in Orthodontics article at right, Dr. Razdolsky talked of how 3D cone beam improves diagnostic and treatment in orthodontics, but did you know this type of dental imaging can also save lives? That’s right… 3D CBCT imaging when combined with computer aided diagnostics or (CAD) systems-based technologies can not only help dental radiologists see and diagnose various oral pathogens from dental caries (tooth decay) to cancer, they can also help prevent a stroke or hip fracture. Through expanding the scope of panoramic exams, 3D CBCT becomes a relevant screening method for osteoporosis, other cancers and even Carotid artery calcification!

Dr. Razdolsky uses CBCT in orthodontics for evaluation of bone structure and tooth orientation, as well as surgical planning for impacted teeth and even diagnosing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). But it is in locating new regions of interest (ROI), or spotting suspicious signs and classifying the findings, especially when we widen the image scope to include the head and neck, we can see even greater benefit. It is then that we can allow for detection of more pathologies in one image, thereby increasing the advantage for dentists and patients.

“It’s true that we can see more than ever before, especially someone who is trained to look for such findings,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “For example, maxillary sinusitis is often caused by a dental pathology when effected roots are too close to the maxillary sinus. An experienced dentist or orthodontist will look for this and can adjust treatment or call in other specialists as needed.”

In one case, Dr. Razdolsky discovered a patient with multiple compound odontomas, or tumors. Although composed of normal dental tissue, these developmental anomalies grow in an irregular way and other than causing orthodontic pathologies, have also been linked to Gardner’s syndrome. Testing to rule out this syndrome is highly recommended as these patients can develop colorectal polyps and have an increased risk of developing colon cancer.

Another medical condition which can be evident to the trained eye is osteoporosis, a medical condition characterized by the loss of bone mineral density which increases bone fragility. This is particularly interesting as the tests to diagnose osteoporosis require special equipment and that can limit the availability of tests for the majority of patients. Since it has been proven that measuring bone mineral density in the area of the mandible can also provide accurate results in detection, panoramic dental x-rays are a much more reasonable options for screening.

“While measuring bone mineral density may not be easy for dental radiologists, the automation of CAD systems does help a lot,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “This puts dentists in a unique position to help older patients through screening and sharing that information back to the primary care physician for follow up.”

Dr. Razdolsky said the same CAD systems can be programmed to look for carotid artery calcification screening which can be spotted in dental panoramic x-ray images.

“Carotid artery calcification is a symptomless disease with potentially devastating consequences,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “A simple modification to an otherwise routine scan could save a life and just another example of how oral health can be tied to overall systemic health. As physicians, we are all in this together.”

Harmony in Orthodontics

August 20th, 2019

Doctor and Anna Razdolsky attended the College Council – ABO Board Joint Meeting in Nashville, July 12 through the 15. The four-day symposium afforded board-certified orthodontists like Dr. Razdolsky the opportunity to hear lectures on a number of fascinating topics.

Titled, Harmony in Orthodontics the event focused on the art of creating an esthetic combination of facial structures similar to the way musical harmony involves an esthetic blend of tones. Nashville seemed the ideal venue to discuss harmony as the city is surrounded by music. In all, this was a fully packed program with a lot to offer the analytical mind of Dr. Razdolsky.

In one presentation Dr. Razdolsky and guests were reminded how 3D imaging produces the most accurate representation possible to a patient’s anatomy and the anatomical pathway in how to best treat that unique patient through the use of “markers.”

“Cone beam imaging significantly improves the diagnostic value and treatment of orthodontic patients,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “These technologies have vastly improved our ability to develop treatment options, monitor changes over time and better predict outcomes. We have detailed images with anatomical landmarks which provide the most accurate representation possible of not only where the patient is in development, but what and how we need to provide treatment to get them where they should be,” he added.

In another program, Dr. Razdolsky said the lecturer discussed with attendees how patient scheduling and managing wire sequencing can help accelerate treatment. He said the sharing and discussion of these types of techniques and the accessibility of interaction with world-class lecturers along with fellowship with other orthodontists make events like this onto somewhat of an international study club. It is this association, with the finest orthodontists in the world that ensures that together they are all upping their game.

“Often parents do not understand something as simple as why we schedule patients earlier, later and often at different intervals than perhaps their siblings or their children’s friends,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “We have learned through the sharing of case studies like this that depending on patient and course of treatment, sometimes something such as switching out the wires used in orthodontic treatment through a different prescribed way can help cause movement more rapidly and aid in better or faster outcome.“

Indeed, programs like this can not only improve results, but can significantly elevate comfort for the patient. These seminars do truly afford our Forever Smiles patients benefits from a consortium of world-renown and board-certified experts in the business of creating beautiful smiles.

July 16th, 2019

The Birth of Modern Healthcare
A Historical Look at the Interdisciplinary Approach to Patient Treatment

Always in search of an educational adventure, Anna and Dr. Razdolsky took a recent trip and toured Mayo Clinic of Rochester, Minnesota. They were fascinated as they discovered and learned the history of Dr. William Worrall Mayo and his sons, William and Charles. Similar in many ways to Dr. Razdolsky’s own philosophy of a wholistic approach to patient treatment, the Mayo family founded the St. Mary’s Hospital with sisters of the Franciscan Church, circa 1889. The plan? The sisters would build the hospital, if the Mayo brothers would staff it. The result, the Mayos helped shape modern medicine by establishing an institution where collaborative teams of specialists and professional colleagues worked together to place the needs of the patient first. Their mission, like Dr. Razdolsky’s, “To inspire hope, and contribute to health and well-being by providing the best care to every patient through integrated clinical practice, education and research.”

Impressive! With 60 locations and more than 1,000 health care providers and 56,000 employees, the now Mayo Clinic Health System is a finely-tuned network of professionals who work together with the sole endeavor to put the patient’s health first. Through research studies and collaborative programs, the Mayo Clinic is forging new and innovative paths to medical treatment, finding cures and caring for patients. What makes this even more interesting is that the Mayo network allows them to pull in the right specialist at the right time to help with diagnosis and proper treatment.

“I have been using this collaborative approach to orthodontic treatment for years,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “Through my network of highly-qualified professional peers, researchers, educators and device manufacturers, we have treated thousands of challenging cases that many thought were untreatable. It is surprising to me that it has taken this long for a vision like the Mayo brothers to become more mainstream in clinical application.”

You may have read in previous Bracket Chatters how Dr. Razdolsky has been organizing and presenting his annual orthodontic update and seminar for more than nine years. This continuing education program has afforded attendees the opportunity to learn about the multi-disciplinary approach to treat complex oral cases that on the surface may simply appear to be crooked teeth. While these issues may present themselves as simple, a deeper look by a specialist team can often discover a root problem which if left untreated will develop into much larger and more troublesome issues for the patient over time.

“I am very fortunate to have been able to work with some of the finest doctors to help treat patients with obstructive sleep apnea, temporomandibular joint disorder and more,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “These issues which are already bad on their own, can worsen into chronic pain, eating disorders, breathing problems, circulatory concerns and even heart problems.”

Indeed, it would seem the big driving factor in the integrated approach to dental health is the greater understanding of its impact on overall systemic health.

“For years, people, patients and even some doctors simply did not make the connection,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “With large research facilities and universities helping to define the correlation by studying the effects of genetics, environment, chemistry, food intake, and even bacteria on one’s health, science is pinpointing personalized medicine. This treatment of one issue as a form of preventive care for issues yet to come is fascinating.”

This evolution in care is increasingly evident as Mayo is now setting its sights to interdisciplinary dental service specialties, including dental sleep medicine, maxillofacial prosthetics, oncology, pain/TMD, dentofacial orthopedics, orthodontics, periodontics and prosthodontics. Similar to the Mayo brothers wholistic approach to medicine, this interdisciplinary methodology could mean even greater advancements in research and study with the backing and support of Mayo.

“It’s interesting to learn that this highly-respected medical institution is migrating into the dental field,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “While it is exciting to be on the precipice of greater understanding, it is something which I have been looking to for years. I am hopeful that this will continue to further unite our medical community and create greater opportunity for advancement in treatment for all of us.”

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WOO HOO - It’s National Ice Cream Month!

Warmer weather is here and so is July! Or as we like to call it here at Forever Smiles – National Ice Cream Month. And we’re celebrating with you!

Patients who get braces or expanders during July are in for an extra special treat. We’re giving them Dipping Dots! We understand new braces and appliances can cause discomfort, but we’ve found ice cream is a deliciously-great way to ward off pain.

Keep in mind… while it is normal for braces to cause some minor tooth sensitivity, they should not result in extreme or ongoing discomfort. If your teeth continue to feel particularly sensitive while wearing braces over time, it is more likely to be caused by over brushing, abrasive toothpaste, teeth whitening products, acidic foods, or even grinding of teeth. Let your Forever Smiles family know how you’re doing. We’re here to help!

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Continued Education for a Lifetime of Forever Smiles

June 3rd, 2019

Dr. Razdolsky’s 2019 Annual Orthodontic Update and Seminar held on May 8 at Maggiano’s Little Italy was another huge success! With a packed house of dental professionals in attendance, Dr. Razdolsky and colleagues presented an outstanding program and learning opportunity which afforded area specialists and hygienists the chance to earn continuing education credits in their field.

Making another return visit to the program were this years’ featured speakers noted area Prosthodontist, Dr. Sergio Rubinstein and Oral Surgeon, Dr. Peter Chemello. An excellent panel, these two amazing speakers helped attendees to learn the proper diagnosis and treatment for difficult cases and the more recent surgical techniques for treating sleep apnea. And of course, Dr. Razdolsky enlighted attendees with the most recent update in proper diagnosis and treatment for specific and unique Orthodontics cases which greatly impact the lives of children.

“I feel strongly about sharing the most current research and findings in orthodontics because it helps dentists and hygienists understand the importance for early treatment,” Dr. Razdolsky said. “While often orthodontic developments are published in journals, general dentists and hygienists may not see the latest research and advancements. This seminar puts that information center stage so we can better help patients for a lifetime of healthy Forever Smiles.”

The Travelling Orthodontist - 100 Years of History & Smiles

May 21st, 2019

Recently Dr. Razdolsky and Anna took an incredible and educational trip to Tokyo, Japan. The height of blooming season for Japan’s national flower, there are more than 200 varieties of cherry blossom which both Anna and Dr. Razdolsky took in along with all the local flavors, culture and heritage.

As a world leader in chemistry, robotics, sushi and skyscraper technology among other things, the Japanese have also been long celebrated as cherry blossom aficionados. As early as the eighth century, the Japanese people have cultivated and admired the delicate pink cherry blossoms known as sakura while indulging in picnics and poetry sessions beneath the blooms.

While the Razdolsky’s took in the history and beauty of Tokyo with its incredible mountain scenery and delicious cuisine with authentic sushi offered everywhere you turn, they also strived to discover more about the city’s ties to their own personal history. You see, one of their own orthodontic adhesive manufacturers has its origins in Tokyo. In fact, this is where three young Japanese chemists laid the foundation in 1921 for what is one of the world’s largest and most successful suppliers of dental products today, GC Corporation.

GC develops high-quality, products, such as the adhesives Dr. Razdolsky uses to chemically bond the brackets to your teeth in orthodontics. The reason this particular company is so important to Forever Smiles, and you, is that the product affords easy cleanup after bracket removal. This means little to no staining and a lot less scraping is required once you have your braces removed! The secret is in the addition of a continuous fluoride release which protects enamel with gel conditioners. This prevents demineralization or build-up of white-spot formations that damage enamel like other bonding agents. It’s important to note however, that if a patient’s hygiene is not up to par the decalcifications are still possible even with this cement.

“It is exciting to know the products we have been using for years are developed from such extensive research and over so long a time,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “This manufacturer has been producing products like this one for almost 100 years!”

That’s right, GC is steeped in research and tradition, and has been setting benchmarks in dentistry by focusing not only on developing quality products and the latest scientific knowledge but also in respecting and honoring their humble beginnings.

As a dental product manufacturer of global standing, GC constantly seeks to produce original products that are not only patient friendly, but environmentally friendly as well. Their story began in the heart of a little neighborhood of central Japan, where now stands the GC Prostho Museum Research Centre. Initially the home to their first factory and research facility, GC converted the building to a museum which showcases the history of dentistry and reimagined the architecture as inspired by cidori, an old Japanese toy made of wooden sticks.

More than six thousand pieces of cypress wood make up the elegant three-dimensional lattice work which is both beautiful and functional. At nine meters high, the lumber is sculpted into shape without requiring the use of bolts, glue or nails for the joints. Hence the building, which emphasizes a handmade, local approach, looks like thousands of small cidori toys connected in a giant grid.

“It is almost like looking at the intricate design of orthodontics in its functionality and scientific engineering,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “Seeing how it works from the inside and shapes the outside, as well as balances the light and airiness reminds me of how a patient’s smile is often transformed from the inside out.”

It’s a Leaf Expansion Revolution!

April 17th, 2019

Last month we shared with you the necessity for some patients to receive treatment with palatal expansion for proper spatial development of the palate and in some instances to allow for successful orthodontic treatment. The importance of expansion to correct for maxillary constriction or crossbite is not only important to allow ample spacing for incoming teeth, studies find that this constriction can also be a factor in airway restriction in children resulting in decreased nasal airways and impaired respiratory function.

Further studies show that treatment of palatal developmental problems become more complex with age. Therefore, younger patients are more responsive to early orthodontic intervention with expansion as less pressure is required to achieve the desired result. However, in the past, orthodontic treatment with a palatal expander relied heavily upon the patient and at a great cost.

A Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE) is a device bonded into place using the patient’s teeth as anchors. It can markedly increase the width of the upper jaw allowing upper and lower teeth to fit together. For some patients, this additional room may prevent the need for extraction as more space is created for the permanent teeth to come in. The device is connected by a screw in the middle which joins the two sides. Over time, and at doctor prescribed intervals, the patient or their parent uses a “key” to turn the screw - expanding the palate and therefore creating the necessary space for proper dentition. As the jaw expands, new bone fills in between the two halves of the palate in a process called distraction osteogenesis.

Following the prescribed treatment is critical to success with palatal expansion,” said Dr. Yan Razdolsky of Forever Smiles. “The learning curve is often too great, and the burden placed upon the patient and parent is often too much.”

RPE treatment often requires several appointments and expansion can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Treatment includes impressions, followed by the seating of the appliance and follow up visits for progress checks. Compound that schedule with extra visits due to the inability of patients or parents to perform proper home treatment… then patients can expect more visits. Indeed, that can be a challenge to treatment!

However, Dr. Razdolsky has discovered a great treatment alternative for Forever Smiles patients in the self-activating, leaf-spring expander.

“Once in a while, an invention appears which fundamentally changes the whole game. Leaf is a game changer,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “Once we started using it, we quickly realized the benefit both to treatment and the patients.”

The Leaf Self Expander is a product of Leone Orthodontics of Florence, Italy, a company with which Dr. Razdolsky has held a close professional relationship with the head engineer Gabrielle Scommegna since the late ’90s. The design of the Leaf Self Expander is similar to that of a conventional rapid palatal expander, but instead of a midline jackscrew it uses double nickel titanium leaf-shaped springs (see Fig. 1). When placed, the springs are compressed with an applied force so that as the spring recovers or returns to its original curve-like shape during deactivation which results in a strategically calibrated expansion of the upper arch (see Fig. 2-5). What’s better is that according to the manufacturer, the Leaf Self Expander requires no effort on behalf of the patient and perhaps only minor clinical observation throughout treatment to confirm results are on track!

Pre-loaded to the patient’s unique needs each spring’s super-elastic and flexible properties release predetermined, controlled, and continuous forces throughout treatment as they decompress. Therefore, expansion therapy with this self-activated device relies solely on a pre-defined course of treatment.

“We see a number of patients every day. With the Leaf Expander we can cut down on unnecessary appointments and save our patients extra trips and aggravation,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “This also results in improved clinical efficiency. With the Leaf Expander, we only have to see a patient every 6-8 weeks. It just makes the whole experience so much better.”

“We like to think our patients love us, but maybe now they can love us even more,” he added. “Fewer appointments and less time in the chair is a win, win for everyone.”

“Plus, parents do not have to activate the RPE expander on a daily basis and no further action on part of the patient or the doctor is necessary once the appliance is activated,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “That is revolutionary.”

March 15th, 2019

Make Room for Forever Smiles!

While all our patients know Dr. Razdolsky is the best Orthodontist for Children and Adults, but what many of you may not realize is that Dr. Razdolsky also works very closely and collaboratively with other interdisciplinary specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of dentofacial

orthopedic abnormalities. Sounds pretty complicated, and it is! But dentofacial abnormalities are not always so easy to spot and, in some instances, patients and their families do not even see or recognize there is a problem.

While there are many orthodontic appliances available to correct problems like crooked or misaligned teeth, sometimes these appliances need a more solid foundation in order to be truly effective. The palatal area at the roof of the mouth, for example, must be also be considered. The palate, jaw and the available space required to properly align teeth is often an issue which must be addressed long before a patient can even have braces. This is why Dr. Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team advocate early diagnosis and treatment because, in the case of dentofacial orthopedics, pre-adolescent treatment is more often the least invasive and offers the greatest opportunity for successful orthodontic treatment when the time comes.

We have shared with you the negative consequences of a small upper palate; however, growing evidence suggests that maxillary constriction left untreated can also be a factor in airway restriction starting in childhood and continuing through adulthood. It is even suggested that the effects of a maxillary or palatal expansion through treatment with a rapid palatal expander (RPE) can help increase nasal airway and improve overall respiratory function including air intake, better sleep, and even long-term health.

“We place great emphasis on early detection and prevention,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “I have been in practice for 32 years and would estimate we have treated more than 40,000 RPE cases to date.”

In its earliest development, the palatal area at the roof of the mouth of a pre-adolescent is still adaptable with hardening into bone only beginning and continuing throughout the teens. Therefore, the roof palate of younger patients is much more responsive to the orthopedic treatment with an appliance and less pressure is needed to achieve the desired result. When less pressure is used, we reduce the risk of negative consequences.

For example, use of an expander while a patient still has some baby, or primary teeth along with permanent teeth, allows the use of the baby teeth to serve as anchors for the expansion appliance. You see, expansion appliances use the strength of the roots and surrounding bone of the teeth to which they are attached. It is those teeth and supporting bone that carries the lateral pressure of the expansion as the palate opens. When baby teeth are used to support the expander, the newly-erupting adult teeth do not bear any of the expansion pressure and instead receive benefit from the additional space.

In most cases, the reason for expansion is because of a crowded upper roof palate resulting in crooked or protruding teeth, jaw misalignment or crossbite. New and permanent teeth that come into the mouth with adequate bone and soft tissue support benefit from the ideal scenario for long-term stability and more sound periodontal health. For patients with a crowded, developing mouth, the plan is to create space for the teeth to come in straight without the risk of future gum-related issues or tooth damage. In treated patients, an expansion appliance is placed into the roof of the mouth as high as possible without negatively affecting palatal tissues. As a result, patients sometimes experience temporary difficulties with speech and swallowing, similar to that caused by a retainer. This inconvenience usually passes quickly as patients grow accustomed to the device.

“This is an exciting time,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “My colleagues and I are discovering many new treatment options for what in the past had been deemed too challenging or even hopeless cases. We have attended several conferences and poured over hundreds of clinical studies. The interdisciplinary approach to oral treatment and study means so much more is being explored.”

“In fact, I have some very significant findings I am to present to my colleagues at a seminar in May regarding this very topic,” Dr. Razdolsky added. “I look forward to sharing it with my patients as well, so keep an eye out for that!”

The result of all this collaborative effort said Dr. Razdolsky, is a more successful treatment and better long-term results for a lifetime of beautiful Forever Smiles.

Decades of Forever Smiles

March 7th, 2019

Dr. Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team are honored and proud to be celebrating their 30th anniversary at the Buffalo Grove location. That’s 360 months and more than ten thousand days creating beautiful Forever Smiles for patients both past and present.

“Working with patients of all ages over the past 30 years has been an amazing experience,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “Through the years, we have not only gotten to know our patients, they have become a part of our own family. We’ve been able to help hundreds of children achieve beautiful Forever smiles, and then subsequently their own children come to us as well,” he continued.

Plenty has changed at Forever Smiles over the past thirty years, including hairstyles, clothing fads, interior finishes, furnishings, and even the technology. But what the team at Forever Smiles is most proud of is their on-going commitment to stay up to date with the latest in Orthodontic advancements. Indeed, there have been big changes in technology which has vastly improved the field of orthodontics. Dr. Razdolsky regularly shares with us how orthodontics is continually evolving, and how he propels his practice to keep pace.

“We now use 3D digital x-rays and photography to reduce radiation, as well as digital impressions and virtual planning tools in developing treatment options for better patient care,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “Even more exciting is how orthodontics has increased use of peer-reviewed, evidence-based techniques to help improve planning decisions. Technology has really helped the professional orthodontic community to come together in making these ever-important connections.”

For instance, Forever Smiles recently joined the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network. This is a great organization which Dr. Razdolsky thinks will be pivotal to research and new opportunities for treatment in the field. It also provides Forever Smiles a tremendous platform to share ideas with other talented dental professionals which in-turn benefits patients with better diagnosis and treatment outcomes.

Yes, the office has experienced cosmetic and technological changes over the past 30 years, but what has not changed? The Forever Smiles commitment to providing patients the best level of care in a professional and inviting environment.

During their years at the Buffalo Grove location, Dr. and Anna Razdolsky have raised their four wonderful children and recently celebrated the birth of their second grandchild.

“While the Forever Smiles family has grown over that time, so has our own,” says Anna. “We are so lucky to have our Forever Smiles family and team to share our lives with. It makes the journey so much more fun and fulfilling.”

And while reminiscing about the past is great, what the future holds is very exciting. The Forever Smiles team looks forward to building strong relationships with our current and future patients while creating Forever Smiles that will last a lifetime!

AAO Winter Conference

February 21st, 2019

Sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, have become a significant health issue in the United States with an estimated 22 million Americans suffering from sleep apnea. Nearly 80 percent of those cases are diagnosed with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) caused by a blockage of the airway. It is found that orthodontists are uniquely suited to treat sleep apnea, as the same examination for orthodontic therapy can be used to screen for potential sleep apnea patients. Moreover, the oral devices for managing OSA are often repurposed orthodontic appliances. Therefore, further study of how orthodontic therapy for children and adolescents can, for many patients, help cure sleep apnea is of pressing importance.

This years’ American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) 2019 Winter Conference was a leadership forum for this increasingly important topic. Titled, Sleep Apnea and Orthodontics: Consensus and Guidance, the conference held January 25-27, in Marco Island, Florida included more than 20 lectures covering a wide range of perspectives. Discussion and lectures offered an intensive examination of obstructive sleep apnea presented by dental and noted medical specialists and experts in the field.

In fact, the relevant ties of sleep apnea to the field of orthodontics is so significant the AAO has established a task force for consensus review. Attendees at the conference were the first to get an early look at the committee’s report and were able to engage in in-depth discussions to further share first-hand experiences with other professional peers.

“This conference is significant as sleep apnea is a major contributor to health-related problems and safety issues that have great social and economic consequences,” said Dr. Yan Razdolsky. “As orthodontists, we see younger patients and are in a better position to diagnose and treat early OSA in a less-invasive manner and for better long-term results.”

Dr. Razdolsky went on to say, “We have seen a significant number of patients who exhibit early indicators that can point to OSA later in life. As studies and research on the issue become more prevalent, we can learn to not only help reduce the number of those afflicted, we can also use orthodontics to address issues in adults using the same techniques. Just another added benefit to more adults having braces,” he added.

Thankfully the conference wasn’t all lectures halls. Dr. Razdolsky did make time to enjoy some of the activities available around Marco Island.


The Mighty Little TADs

January 28th, 2019


The science behind successful orthodontic treatment requires a thorough understanding of biology and physics. For example, Newton’s Third Law. “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction,” describes the literal force necessary for tooth movement, realignment and bite correction. Therefore, Orthodontics uses physics, including the understanding of torque, pressure, pulling, pushing and the appropriate counteraction to straighten teeth.

According to Newton, forces always come in pairs -- equal and opposite. But what about those unusual cases where a simple back or forth isn’t going to correct an orthodontic problem? Sometimes equal and opposite means that in order to move a tooth the desired way, you must work up, down, in and even outside the mouth. For some patients, this means successful treatment may require headgear be worn for up to 12 hours or more per day. Ugh!

But for others, there can be great news in the form of a little titanium screw called a temporary anchorage device or TADs. These mini biocompatible screws are implanted into the jawbone to serve as anchors to aid in realignment. As the name implies, these mini implants are used temporarily then later removed after treatment. In some cases, Dr. Razdolsky can employ TADs as an alternative to headgear allowing for greater results in a less invasive way. TADs devices deliver more predictable results, can reduce treatment time, help avoid the removal of teeth, circumvent surgery and can even help patients avoid headgear altogether.

Take for example the case of a gummy smile. Truly there is not a set definition of what makes a smile gummy, but you’ll likely know one when you see it. Often patients who are considered gummy have an excessive gingival display of about 3mm or more. It is interesting that the condition is more common in women than men. Additionally, there can be a number of causes, and therefore treatments available – including in some instances TADs.

Take, for instance, the patient in example one (left) has extended maxillary central incisors. Through the use of TADs, Dr. Razdolsky and the team were able to apply the proper force to vertically align the patient’s teeth for a straighter smile. Similarly, the patient in example two (right) had both bicuspids lifted into alignment for a nice even aesthetic.

But what makes TADs even more impressive is when they are employed in more complex cases. Just take a look at the study diagrams below and see how Dr. Razdolsky uses TADs along with a lingual arch to shift the second maxillary molars and completely realign this patient’s anterior open bite. Pretty cool when you think about it. All this from a tiny, but very mighty little screw. The force is strong with this one.

TADs A Cause for Celebration

December 17th, 2018

Dr. Yan Razdolsky and his daughter, Dr. Elizabeth Razdolsky-Michalczyk celebrated her birthday in style at an education conference in November. No kidding! There’s nothing that says party like sitting in a lecture. However, the program did feature orthodontic mini implants and temporary anchorage devices or TADs which are affixed to the patient’s bone to enable simpler, more effective treatment. In some instances, these advanced orthodontic devices can even replace headgear altogether. This is news worthy of celebrating for many patients, and a significant advancement in helping to treat a patient who otherwise might require surgery.

“Treating complicated orthodontic cases in uncomplicated ways, both non-surgically and even conserving teeth by avoiding extractions is a goal for us at Forever Smiles, said Dr. Razdolsky.

“We would always prefer to offer patients the least invasive treatments whenever possible,” he added.

At the two-day conference Dr. Razdolsky and Elizabeth participated in a hands-on workshop and open panel discussion where they learned the latest techniques for mastering effective TADs placement, mechanics and how to address more complex orthodontic cases using TADs.

And, although they did spend Elizabeth’s birthday at the conference there was still time for celebration. All the family gathered together in the evening, and yes… there was cake!

The Forever Smiles Holiday Movie Event

December 17th, 2018

Wow! So many thanks to our amazing patients, friends and families who joined us in our Forever Smiles annual holiday movie tradition. This event is one that the team looks forward to all year and has garnered quite a turnout with patients, family and friends. Past movie events have even been featured in the Chicago Tribune! Dr. Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team had such a wonderful time at this year’s private movie event held Saturday, November 17 at the Buffalo Groves Theaters. This year we witnessed the magic of Fantastic Beasts - The Crimes of Grindlewald. We won’t spoil the ending, but surely this was one of our most magical movie events ever! We had so many guests in attendance we couldn’t even count.

“This is our way of saying thank you to our amazing patients and friends,” said Anna Razdolsky. “The holidays are a time of giving and sharing, and we want to remind our patients their smile is the most important gift of all!”

The Forever Smiles bright orange sweatshirt give-away this year nearly outshone the smiles on our faces (almost). There was lots of laughter and good times all around, along with mouth-watering popcorn, treats, and most importantly, lots of Forever Smiles!

As always, the Forever Smiles team really enjoys celebrating the Holidays with their patients and friends. See you next year!

We're Really Into Research

November 30th, 2018

Forever Smiles is proud to announce that we are part of the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network. This consortium of participating practices and dental organizations is committed to advancing knowledge of dental practice through research-based studies to improve clinical decision making. This new partnership will allow our office to offer our patients the latest technological advances in treatment materials and techniques, as well as participate in upcoming clinical trials to improve patient care nation-wide.

What makes this so important for you, our patient? Through affiliation with other dental health care providers and academic centers, Forever Smiles can research new opportunities for treatment and share expertise within our community. There's strength in numbers. This highly-successful network amasses topics and ongoing discussions regarding issues that directly impact patient treatment in daily practice by improving outcomes, satisfaction, and efficacy of treatment. Through his leadership and involvement in this network, Dr. Razdolsky will help develop and share clinical research advances and engage in discussion with other PBRN members about scientific approaches.

Dr. Razdolsky has a passion for education, and at Forever Smiles we welcome any questions related to the science behind dental and orthodontic treatment.


Probiotics in Orthodontics

November 15th, 2018

It has long been understood that fixed brackets, bands, and wires used in orthodontic treatment are convenient areas for the retention of food. In fact, one of the most troubling side effects of orthodontic treatment are white spot lesions left behind after treatment has ended. Since oral hygiene becomes more difficult while undergoing treatment, appliances become a perfect ecosystem for the growth of microorganisms which can cause tooth decay and white spot lesions.

Although fluoride varnishes, toothpastes, and sealants are used to mitigate the damage caused by these microorganisms, it is often found that their effectiveness can only be observed when they are regularly used. This disadvantage led researchers to explore probiotics as an alternative.

“Probiotics have been associated with gut health for a while now,” said Dr. Yan Razdolsky. “And while most clinical interest has focused on the prevention or treatment of gastrointestinal infections and diseases, an increasing number of suggested health effects of probiotic bacteria have been reported in the last decade. These include enhancement of the adaptive immune response, treatment or prevention of urogenital and respiratory tract infections, and prevention or alleviation of allergies. And, now that research suggests probiotics may play a significant role in our oral health, the implications of this are very interesting.”

Bacterial therapy or replacement treatment is an alternative way of fighting infections by using harmless bacteria instead of pathogenic microorganisms such as antibiotics. In fact, the benefits of probiotics in the prevention of tooth decay, halitosis, and periodontal disease have been accepted, and more health practitioners are using probiotic treatment for these issues due to the spread of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Because of this and other perceived health benefits, probiotics can be found in an increasing number of dairy foods including milk, cheese and even ice cream! Research even indicates that probiotics added to a regular daily diet may benefit orthodontic patients as well.

Although the mouth is colonized by 200 to 300 bacterial species, the two main microorganisms that cause tooth decay are Streptococcus mutans (S mutans), responsible for initial tooth decay, and Lactobacillus, which plays a role in those white spot lesions we talked about earlier. Recent studies even suggest the use of probiotic products in orthodontic patients may reduce salivary S mutans and Lactobacillus levels in patients. And while the studies demonstrating the effect of probiotic products and probiotic delivery methods are limited, the good news is researchers did find a decrease in salivary microbial colonizations in orthodontic patients who consumed probiotics daily.

For example, in one study researchers explored daily ingestion of probiotics and the application of a topical probiotic toothpaste and their impact on salivary microbial colonizations in orthodontic patients. While the group who used the probiotic toothpaste did see some reduction in harmful bacterial growth, the group who consumed kefir, a bacterial fermented milk, appeared to experience greater decrease in salivary microbial colonizations.

While the outcome of this study is promising, more studies are needed to compare the relevant probiotic systems and to evaluate the effect of different probiotic products in the fight against tooth decay in orthodontic patients. In the meantime, consumption of daily probiotics with your doctor’s approval may just help protect your smile and minimize your chances for white spot lesions.

“We now understand that at least some probiotic bacteria used in various products may colonize the oral cavity during the time they are in use and therefore are important to understand,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “The extent to how probiotics influence damaging microorganisms is difficult to predict, so this research is important as it may provide new means of preventing or treating oral diseases.”

Traveling Orthodontist

October 15th, 2018

In most countries, the cost of braces will depend on the position of your teeth and the going rate in the area. Exceptions are made if you have a challenging case, jaw or health-related issues, or are seeking treatment from a specialist who provides cosmetic orthodontics.

But did you know that, in some countries, braces are set at a fixed cost or even covered by universal healthcare? Sometimes, this changes the entire course of treatment. For example, some practitioners select appliance and materials that are based solely on keeping patients in treatment longer! Can you believe?

Thankfully, Dr. Razdolsky and his wife Anna didn't meet such orthodontists on their most recent trip to Spain. However, they did take the time to visit several colleagues overseas to learn about the good standards of practice from international leaders in their field. Just another example of how Dr. Razdolsky explores ways to improve patient care at Forever Smiles.

H2O So Good

October 2nd, 2018

Excessive consumption of sweets can have significant impact on your overall health. But for your oral health, one of the worst things you can do is consume lots of sugar. Why? Bacteria and sugar mix to create toxic acid which gets trapped in leftover food debris or dental appliances in the mouth. This acid can wear away the enamel of your teeth and lead to tooth decay. Even the chemical substances found in diet or sugar-free soft drinks alone can harm your teeth over time.

While brushing your teeth after consuming sugary foods or drinks can help, it’s equally as easy to prevent cavities and tooth decay if you just avoid soda, energy or sports drinks and switch to water. Just how much sugar can you avoid in one 16-ounce drink? Let’s look at the numbers...


Coca-Cola          52g Sugar (13tsp)

Sprite                  41g Sugar (10.25tsp)

Fanta                   59g Sugar (14.75tsp)


Red Bull              49g Sugar (2.25tsp)

Gatorade           36g Sugar (9tsp)

Powerade         29g Sugar (7.25tsp)

If you really want to make the best decision for your overall health, drink lots of water! Plus, tap water is infused with fluoride which helps strengthen your tooth enamel while you stay hydrated. So, next time you’re reaching for that soft drink, think about how much sugar is in it and consider having some healthy H2O instead.

Understanding How Long You’ll Wear Braces

September 18th, 2018

So, your family dentist just referred you to Dr. Razdolsky for braces. Now what? How long will it take for braces to straighten your teeth? From gaps to overbites, to teeth or jaw alignment there are many factors that can affect the duration a patient will need to wear braces. Read on to learn what you can expect.

The short answer? It depends.

There are many factors that determine the amount of time a person must wear braces including age, type of treatment and individual needs or issues that should be addressed. The latter factors have the greatest impact on duration, as a patient’s issues could be as simple as minor adjustment, or as major as jaw realignment.

While the time it takes for braces to do their thing varies greatly by patient, after an initial evaluation and consultation, Dr. Razdolsky can help you better understand the amount of time that may be required for your unique case. So, when your dentist says it’s time to begin treatment, Dr. Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team will schedule your initial exam and you can have a better idea of what to expect.

Now that you know the short answer, let’s discuss the details…

At your initial appointment, Dr. Razdolsky will do a thorough oral and facial new patient examination to assess overall oral health and your unique orthodontic needs. Depending on this assessment a CBCT scan, facial photographs, digital impressions and/or x-rays may also be taken. Review and recommendation for your patient treatment program is provided upon a second appointment. This ensures Dr. Razdolsky and his team have had ample opportunity to evaluate all the data collected. It is at this treatment conference Dr. Razdolsky will review your orthodontic records, and show you examples of braces, clear aligners or any appliances that may be involved in your prescribed course of treatment. Also at that appointment, Dr. Razdolsky can answer questions specific to your case, as well as talk about the anticipated duration of your treatment.

On average, how long do braces take to work?

The average orthodontic treatment falls somewhere between 16-18 months, but can sometimes take as long as 24 months, or even more. Be wary of promises from anyone who says you can have a straight smile in only six months. While some patients may think they only need to close a gap, treatment in less than six months is fairly rare. What some patients may not see or know is whether their bite is appropriately aligned, the airway is properly open or is the palate formed correctly. These are the hidden maladies that can impact long term oral and systemic health. Only a qualified orthodontist like Dr. Razdolsky has the experience necessary to ensure you have the best results.

In cases of adult braces, the average length of treatment can be a bit longer than for children. Again, the actual time depends on the patient’s specific needs but since adult teeth have stopped growing and are set, they require more pressure to move. This means many adult patients can look to have braces anywhere from 18 months to about three years.

I hear some kids have to wear braces even longer!

Could be. In some cases, a younger patient may have a major alignment problem, such as a tooth coming in in the wrong place. In that case it could require tooth extraction and waiting for others to come in. Depending on the wait for remaining adult teeth, this process could take considerably longer. The Forever Smiles team can advise you of what to expect in your case.

Can I shorten the time for braces treatment?

Maybe. A patient who carefully follows treatment instructions can increase the likelihood they get their braces off sooner. This can be something as simple as maintaining proper oral hygiene or, in the case of aligners or removable appliances such as bands, wearing them for the full prescribed treatment time every day.

Patients should also practice proper eating habits while wearing braces. This includes avoiding sticky or hard food like gum, corn, popcorn, hard pretzels or chips and most candy, as this can improve the treatment time. Broken or missing brackets can stretch out the time required for treatment.

Finally, not everyone realizes how much more challenging it is to brush your teeth with braces, but doing it properly is very important. The good news is there are techniques for proper brushing that can also help to ensure your treatment plan stays on track. Dr. Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team have some information which can help you understand the best way to take care of your braces at home and at school or work.

It is important to note, regardless of how long your treatment is scheduled to last, the time a patient is required to wear braces does not include the post-treatment retainer that’s necessary to ensure your Forever Smile lasts a lifetime.

Dispelling the Myths of Ortho

August 16th, 2018

At Forever Smiles, we love what we do- from helping our patients gain confidence through the smile they’ve always wanted, to treating them for issues like sleep disorders and difficulties in breathing. Improving the quality of our patient’s lives is ingrained in all that we do, as is our purpose to “inspire, innovate, create, restore.” What’s more, we like learning and even teaching others about the benefits of good oral health and he role of orthodontics to long-lasting overall health. That’s why we think back to school is the perfect time for Dr. Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team to set the record straight on six common misconceptions about orthodontic treatment and braces.

#1. Isn’t anyone who provides braces or aligners is an orthodontist?

While some general dentists or online companies offer braces or aligners, only an orthodontist like Dr. Razdolsky who the additional years of advanced training can call themselves an orthodontic specialist. It’s not worth the risk of permanent damage to your face and smile to allow anyone who isn’t an orthodontist to attempt to move your teeth. At Forever Smiles, you’re getting a team of specialists with the skills and experience necessary to ensure your best smile.

#2. Why does it seem that braces are so expensive?

Braces from Forever Smiles means you are getting a unique and fully-customized treatment plan designed to safely straighten your teeth and closely monitor your progress to ensure that your bite is the best that it can be. As a result, the cost can vary from patient to patient and should reflect the complexity of your unique case. From simple cases which only take months to treat, to very difficult ones which may take a couple of years, the benefits of having our team provide your orthodontic care will be well worth it. From our free initial consultation to flexible payment plans, we work with each patient individually to help them achieve a beautiful Forever Smile.

#3. Online companies promise straight teeth with little or no office visit. Does this work?

Heck, no! No visit means no monitoring. How can you be sure treatment is effective if you are not checking in? The reality is that the health of your gums, teeth and jaws cannot be monitored during treatment if you don’t come in regularly. Even the most carefully planned treatments need to be closely monitored to ensure that your treatment stays on course. Dr. Razdolsky and the team check each and every patient to ensure treatment is on schedule. And should a problem arise, they can develop a mid-course treatment correction as needed.

#4. On the internet I read I can have straighter teeth with clear aligners in just 20 months. Is this true?

Orthodontic treatment requires careful, controlled movements of the teeth to ensure they are moving into proper position. What’s more the type of appliance, whether brackets and wires or clear aligners also makes a difference in treatment. From simple cases which may only take a few months, to the more complex which may take longer, Dr. Razdolsky has the expertise to deliver great results in the least amount of time required for your unique case. What’s more, he stays up on the latest developments in the industry so he’s able to develop treatment using all matter of appliances to ensure the best possible care of your Forever Smile. It’s not worth the risk to have someone who is not a qualified orthodontist offer you treatment because of the possible irreversible damage that could occur.

#5. My teeth don’t look so bad. I don’t need braces.

There’s so much more to orthodontic treatment than meets the eye. Improved appearance is the most obvious result, but when teeth and jaws are aligned the function of biting, chewing and speaking are also better. So, a beautiful Forever Smile is not just the visible sign of good oral health, it sets the stage for overall well-being. Orthodontic treatment from Dr. Razdolsky actually plays a larger role in a patient’s healthcare than most people realize.

#6. I read before that orthodontic evaluation should be as early as the age of seven. It must be too late for me.

That’s not true! You are never too old to benefit from orthodontic treatment. We see patients young and old and believe age should never be a factor when it comes to getting a healthy, beautiful Forever Smile. It is important to note however, that adult cases may be a bit more complicated and it may sometimes take a little more time and patience. That’s why it is critical that adult patients only seek treatment from a qualified orthodontist like Dr. Razdolsky. Through his extensive training, expertise and experience he can develop a treatment plan tailored to each patient’s unique situation or needs, and ultimately deliver the best overall result.

Taking a Bite Out of Crime

July 10th, 2018

The science behind the various fields and specialties of dentistry are captivating. Take for example the role forensic dentistry in mainstream television and books with shows such as Bones and CSI Las Vegas, or even the gripping tales of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.

Although Sherlock Holmes was a fictional character, to some, the way Doyle vastly contributed to the field of forensics is unquestionable. One of the biggest impacts being the “exchange principle” wherein two things come into contact with one another and one leaves a trace--the ramifications of which is enormous as evidence can last for years, decades and even centuries.

While forensic dentistry, or odontology is a growing area of forensic medicine, it has in fact been part of forensic science for more than 100 years. Its primary function is as the branch of forensic medicine which deals with the proper handling and examination of dental evidence and proper evaluation and presentation of dental findings in the interest of justice.

Let’s observe the case of notorious serial killer Ted Bundy. During an exhaustive man hunt after his escape from jailors in January 1978, Bundy committed his final and most heinous crime. He was recaptured and eventually went on trial for his crimes and the only piece of evidence was a bite mark he left on one of the victims. Having taken casts of his teeth, investigators were able to show that Bundy’s teeth were unevenly aligned and several of them were chipped. Bite marks, like fingerprints are unique and it was through the casts of his teeth, and photographs of the bite marks on the victim, that a forensic odontologist was able to present key evidence instrumental in Bundy’s conviction.

Missing teeth, fractures or malformed teeth, as well as position and angle of the incisors all display unique characteristics which act like the distinct lines of a fingerprint. Whether a visual impression taken from the victim, or physical one found at the crime scene, the science of forensic odontology can be combined with known historical factors when teeth or bite marks are present.

John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln April 14, 1865 and escaped to Virginia where he was surrounded by the US Calvary and shot dead on the spot. For years however, rumors spread that he escaped and was still alive. To disprove naysayers, his body was disinterred in 1893 and reexamined. Booth’s body was positively identified by the family dentist by the peculiar formation of his jaw noted on dental records.

It can be said then that the role of dentistry in revealing evidence which may otherwise go unidentified can be paramount to justice when forensic techniques are employed. In the words of Sherlock Holmes, “There is nothing like first-hand evidence.” Indeed, Mr. Holmes. Indeed.

Beware the perils of Smile Shopping

June 15th, 2018

More and more, you see marketing and advertising for clear aligners with television commercials for straighter smiles by direct mail. And now, some makers are even opening storefronts in shopping centers with promises of an easier, more convenient way to a more beautiful smile. Like shopping for jeans, these purveyors suggest that a new smile is as simple as a trip to the mall. And while technological advancements in treatment with plastics and attachments have made them somewhat more viable in select cases, most industry professionals agree that for superior results, a qualified orthodontic specialist using the right tools and technologies are best.

What these offers fail to make clear is that these types of aligners are not effective in cases where acute tooth movement is needed. In these situations, traditional braces are not only more suitable, but most often the required course of treatment – especially for patients with molar/bite issues and where rotation or vertical movement of canines or premolars is necessary. Additionally, only an orthodontist has the specialized education beyond regular dental school that allows for the proper diagnosis and treatment in the alignment of jaws, facial irregularities and developmental anomalies in the airway that can lead to other health issues. These diagnoses are part and parcel of orthodontic treatment and may be overlooked completely if patients simply look to the quick-fix of online or shopping center teeth aligners. Sadly, in some instances direct-to-consumer companies do not involve an evaluation or supervising treatment by an orthodontic professional.

When determining a course of treatment for patients, Dr. Razdolsky stresses the importance of how addressing each patient as a unique case is paramount to success and a true Forever Smile. A thorough oral and facial examination, photographs, dental molds and/or x-rays, and possibly even CBCT scans are necessary to the assessment and proper recommendation for a patient treatment program. Dr. Razdolsky’s specialized training and first-hand experience with new and emerging technologies allows him to evaluate the collected data and develop the right course of treatment for the patients’ needs, rather than form-fitting a patient to a one-size-fits-all approach. Dr. Razdolsky said he has even had patients come in and seek re-treatment because the aligners prescribed by their dentist were not effective. More often this is a case of improper evaluation, planning or the wrong tool being prescribed for treatment.

“We see our patients as partners throughout the course of treatment,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “Success is critically dependent on our continued evaluation and their active role in proper daily maintenance and care of their braces, retainers or appliances. Although we always strive to provide for the happiness and wellbeing of all our patients, sometimes their preferred course treatment alone is not best.”

With traditional braces, you wear them all the time which allows for a more consistent, controlled and successful treatment. Treatment with clear aligners can often take much longer because changes are much more subtle and the trays are removable. This means patients have a tendency to wear them less, or forget to wear them at all at times, and therefore treatment gets drawn out. Without proper and ongoing observation by a qualified professional, these treatments become ineffective and can sometimes prolong issues.

“There are many factors in determining the best course of treatment,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “We work with the patient and the family to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ by the least obstructive and most efficient means available to us. Whether traditional brackets and wires or clear aligners, as an Orthodontist I look at all the latest options, tools and technologies accessible to get us where we need to go. That’s the difference between Orthodontics and online or in-store aligners – there’s usually no one, clear answer or quick fix to a beautiful Forever Smile.”

2018 Artishock Contest

May 17th, 2018

Dr. Yan Razdolsky, Anna and the entire Forever Smiles team are proud to present… the 2018 Artishock Art Contest entries! Showcased in our waiting area, these works of art are the students of Artishock Art Studio’s depiction of this years’ theme, “Smile around the world.” The goal of this awesome contest is to encourage students to reflect on the happy things in life and through the use of creative expression and self-awareness, create an entry that expresses their feelings about the things that make them smile.

Forever Smiles sponsors this annual competition to provide exposure to the talented kids of Artishock. Students ages seven and up submitted their drawings and paintings that describe their understanding of the world, what they think, their dreams, environment, family and friends, and things of importance to their lives. Like the Artishock philosophy, this contest fosters a lively discourse stimulating children’s natural wonder and curiosity in the more formal foundations of color, shape, line, texture, space and composition.

Similarly, Forever Smiles believes it is critical to develop a fun and nurturing environment for our patients - helping them to learn, grow and share ideas that make them a part of their community. This Artishock contest is great because it puts kids and their observations of the world around them front and center, as well as introduces them to concepts and elements of art in the environment.

Honored to host this contest for six years, Forever Smiles has awarded several scholarships and art supplies prizes to winning students. In addition to showcasing the more than 125 original works from Artishock students, we also sponsor the annual Artishock Art Show where these prizes are awarded.

Entries are judged by you and we need your vote! The top two pieces with the most votes in each category win art scholarships and supplies. Voting is going on now in our reception area and on our Facebook page at Vote today!

National Facial Protection Month: Are you saving face?

April 16th, 2018

You’ve heard it all before. Your family here at Forever Smiles has told you - time and again. Wear your mouth guard! And in honor of April as National Facial Protection Month, we’ re going to say it again.

Sponsored annually by the American Association of Orthodontists, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Academy for Sports Dentistry and the American Dental Association (yes, that’s a lot of people who really care about your face), National Facial Protection Month is that time of year when we remind parents, coaches and athletes to gear up before they game on.

Dr. Yan Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team has always advocated the importance of playing it safe by wearing a mouthguard at every practice and every game. So, to help you remember when the right time is to wear a mouthguard, we have put together these little graphics, so you can you play smart when you strive to bring home the prize!

Did you know that 27 percent of parents surveyed said their child has sustained an injury during an organized sport that resulted in a trip to the emergency room? That’s right! Nearly 67 percent of parents surveyed by the American Association of Orthodontists said their child does not wear a mouth guard, yet 70 percent said their biggest fear is their child will get hurt when playing organized sports. That’s why Forever Smiles thinks it’s so important!

In fact, according to the December 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, single traumatic injury to the teeth may never heal completely. What’s more it can create a lifetime of expensive and long-term problems for the affected individual.

If you play baseball, soccer, basketball or football you probably already know those sports account for a lot of mouth injuries, but in fact it’s about 80 percent of all sports-related emergency room visits for children between the ages of 5 and 14.

So, what do you do? Wear your mouth guard of course! But, you should also keep your mouth guard clean by rinsing it before and after each use. You should also store in a perforated container to let your mouth guard dry out. And always avoid chewing on the mouth guard. Doing that breaks it down making it much less effective at protecting your teeth and gums. Oh, and if you have removable retainers, never ever wear them with your mouth guard. Doing that can not only cause damage to your teeth and gums but can bend wires making them less effective at doing their job. Lastly, replace your mouth guard when it shows signs of wear.

Not all mouth guards are the same either. So when you are ready, set, go to play a sport... ask us what’s right for you. Doing all these things will ensure your mouth guard is providing you the best protection for you, your face and your beautiful Forever Smile!

2018 Artishock Orth Field Trip

April 3rd, 2018

Dr. Yan Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team once again made welcome 23 Artishock Art Studio students for their annual field trip to our orthodontic office in Buffalo Grove. As part of this years’ education program, Dr. Razdolsky and the team showed the children aged 6 to 12, the science behind maintaining beautiful healthy teeth and protecting them from foods that can stain or hurt their enamel. Students also learned how Dr. Razdolsky develops treatment plans for patients and took part in using digital imagery to help Dr. Razdolsky show everyone how we create beautiful forever smiles.

“The Artishock visit is a favorite community and oral heath outreach program for our Forever Smiles team,” said Anna Razdolsky. “The children tour our office to learn all about proper oral health and the fascinating world of Orthodontics.”

Each year, Artishock students also receive a fun art project they illustrate for exhibition in the Forever Smiles offices. This years’ assignment, Smiles Around the World.

Another Doctor in the Family

March 19th, 2018

 Meet Dr. Elizabeth Razdolsky Michalczyk

Some resounding congratulations to Dr. an Razdolsky and Anna as their daughter, Elizabeth defended her thesis in February at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Dentistry. Funded by the National Institute of Heath, National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), her dissertation defense for PhD in Oral Sciences focused on Regulation of Angiogenesis in Healing Wounds. A culmination of her collaborative work under mentor Luisa A. DiPietro, DDS, professor of Periodontics, Director of the Center for Wound Healing and Tissue Regeneration, and an Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at UIC, Elizabeth’s studies afforded her an opportunity for interdisciplinary partnership between numerous clinical and academic departments for the study of injury, wound healing and regeneration of tissues to better understand and help develop therapeutic strategies.

“As wounds heal, certain factors ensure a balanced resolution to the repair process by controlling the number of blood vessels formed as well as connective tissue remodeling,” said Elizabeth Razdolsky Michalczyk in her thesis. “One such factor is Pigment Epithelium-Derived Factor (PEDF), and this study aims to explore the mechanisms by which PEDF influences wound vasculature and scar formation.”

In Elizabeth’s NIDCR Individual Predoctoral Dental Scientist Fellowship she states that although the hemostatic, inflammatory, and to some extent the proliferative phases of wound healing have been well studied, the regulation of the remodeling phase has received less attention. She believes that understanding PEDF’s function in healing wounds will help shed light on therapeutic options to decrease scarring and promote regeneration. Moreover, these and further studies will spur advances in regenerative medicine and more effective therapies against the effects of fibrosis and tumorigenesis in healing wounds.

Similar in the way Dr. Razdolsky is always looking to improve the treatment and outcomes for his patients, Elizabeth’s passion for helping to discover new therapies in wound regeneration is her contribution to the quality of care for future patients. We are so very proud of her. Way to go Elizabeth!

The Dangers of DIY Orthodontics

March 7th, 2018

The American Association of Orthodontists has issued a warning urging consumers to beware of Internet videos and websites which urge them to try and straighten their own teeth. We encourage you to share with others, that moving teeth is a medical procedure which requires direct supervision by a licensed orthodontic specialist like Dr. Razdolsky.

“Everyone should be wary of any suggestion to move their teeth with rubber bands, dental floss, or any other objects ordered off the internet,” said Anna Razdolsky. “Moving teeth without a thorough examination of the overall health of the teeth and gums could have grave results.”

As we learned from Dr. Razdolsky’s most recent conference and the discussion on impacted canines, more often we do not see the underlying issues below the gum line that may be the root cause to misalignment of the teeth. What’s more, without comprehensive evaluation by an AAO Orthodontist we cannot know what impacts the movement of teeth may have on surrounding teeth, the bite and even the roof of the mouth. Realignment of the teeth can impact jaw structure, facial shape and more importantly the airways. Improper treatment could result in expensive and lifelong dental problems with breathing and overall health due to tooth decay, gum disease and in severe cases, permanent tooth loss.

Did you know… all orthodontists are dentists, but only six percent of dentists are orthodontists? Orthodontists receive two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school and are specialists in straightening teeth and aligning the bite. In addition, Dr. Razdolsky’s continuing study and education allow him to stay up on the latest treatments which will improve the quality of your oral health for a lifetime. He understands that each patient is unique and requires a special treatment plan specific to their needs in effort to achieve the best long-term result.

Everyone wants a great smile and we want you (and everyone you know) to be confident in showcasing yours. If you see something, say something. Warn your friends of the perils of do-it-yourself braces and teeth aligners. Dr. Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team are here to ensure you, and they... not only look good, but have a healthy smile that will last forever!

Lessons Learned - An AAO Winter Conference Wrap Up

February 21st, 2018

Dr. Yan Razdolsky attended the 2018 AAO/AAPD Joint Winter Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona last week. The three-day conference focused on early orthodontic treatment and how dental professionals can work together to produce excellent results. There were many topics for discussion including evidence-based treatments to assist in the diagnosis and management of dental trauma in both orthodontic and pediatric perspectives. But what was of great interest to Dr. Razdolsky at the conference was the discussion on Incipient Impaction and whether there is a foolproof preventative strategy.

Incipient Impaction, or early observation of impaction of the adult canines, is a frequently encountered problem affecting as many as 3 percent of the population. It is also one that often requires a treatment approach involving various dental professionals - the pediatric dentist or family dentist, orthodontist and sometimes a dental surgeon. However, surgical exposure of the impacted tooth and the complex orthodontic mechanisms that are required to then align the tooth into the arch can sometimes lead to damage to the tooth structures. So, it is worthwhile to explore early diagnosis and interceptive treatment for patients who have impacted canines. At the conference, speakers discussed the various ways to identify and treat patients with impacted canines starting with early detection.

“The importance of early treatment, as early as the age of 7, is crucial for the diagnosis of orthodontic issues such as impacted canines,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “An appropriate diagnosis and treatment can help prevent the impacted canines from complications like displacement of the surrounding teeth.”

Sometimes treatment is as simple as extraction of the deciduous canines, or “baby” canines as early as age 8 or 9. If there is enough space for the incoming canine to erupt or come out, then the orthodontist can help guide the permeant canine into place.

“The point here is that through early collaborative diagnosis and timely treatment by a patient’s dental team, we can sometimes see these teeth erupt more naturally,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “This may mean less-invasive surgical treatments and we simply help guide them to their correct position in the arch of the mouth.”

By delaying diagnosis and treatment however, or in more severe cases, the impacted canine can cause complications that include displacement of the surrounding teeth, recurring infections, pain, damage to the neighboring teeth, or even a combination of these.

“This program really provided a very practical overview of the clinical and radiological clues dentists and orthodontists can look for,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “By using an evidence-based approach to find treatment options we can avoid costly or invasive procedures that can have a negative long-term impact on the patient.”

Dr. Razdolsky believes this particular conference, as a whole, offered valuable insights to dental professionals not only on treatment options for impacted teeth, but how to identify and treat some of the most severe orthodontic cases including trauma.

“Programs like this help me better serve my patients,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “Through continuing education and then sharing of the information with my professional peers, we are able to collaborate better and produce more beautiful Forever Smiles for our patients.”

Bracket Chatter: Smile More in 2018

January 30th, 2018

People make a lot of resolutions only to fall off the wagon just a few short weeks into the New Year. But here is a 2018 resolution that’s super easy to keep, and five great reasons to do it too. Resolve to smile!
1. Studies prove that smiling improves your mood by releasing endorphins and serotonin that automatically lift your spirits. Even if you smile through tough times or moments of sadness, activating these neural messages can relieve stress and improve disposition.
2. A smile makes a great first impression by making you appear more confident, competent, courteous and even, likeable. When you smile at someone, the sensory reward center of their brain is activated, so they feel rewarded by your smile and have a more favorable first impression of you.
3. A smile is contagious. Studies show that when you smile at someone, their brain is hard-wired to return the smile, so you both get a shot of those feel-good endorphins.
4. To some, a smile shows that you’re healthy, take good care of yourself and can help you be perceived as more attractive. According to a 2016 study by the American Academy for Cosmetic Dentistry, a smile is the secret to attractiveness at any age. In fact, 96 percent of people surveyed by the AACD thought that a smile made people more attractive.
5. The more you smile, the more positive you become. So, even if you’re feeling a little blue… fake it, the rewards of a smile are still the same. Your brain tracks your smiles, so the more you do it the more you rewire your brain to think more positively.

So remember, a smile has benefits which impact your personal life, health and even those around you. Share a smile today and resolve to be a better and happier you in 2018!

Did you as little as 30 minutes after drinking soda the acids begin wearing at your tooth enamel? Imagine that trapped in your braces!
Limit sugary drinks • drink more water
(And, if you drink soda, be sure to brush right away.) Your Forever Smile will thank you.

Bracket Chatter: Habits That Can Hurt

January 16th, 2018

The perils of tongue thrust to successful orthodontic treatment and a beautiful Forever Smile.

We see many challenging orthodontic cases at Forever Smiles, but no case is more disheartening than meeting a new patient whose previous orthodontic treatment did not result in long-term success.

One such factor in the treatment and re-treatment of open bite or malocclusion has at its cause, tongue thrust. Tongue thrust naturally occurs from early infancy to about six months of age, but has been found to exist as a habit in children as old as 5 to 8. It is described as pushing the tongue forward between the upper and lower teeth when swallowing, rather than the proper position against the gum above the upper front teeth. Over time, this tongue thrust can cause an open bite. Left untreated, this can even cause relapse in a once-successful ortho patient and require re-treatment. Other variations of tongue thrust occur when the tongue pushes on one or even both sides of the mouth pushing teeth outward.

“The tongue is a powerful muscle, applying nearly four pounds of pressure every time we swallow. This pressure, when accompanied by a bad swallowing habit is enough to push teeth out of their natural position,” said Dr. Yan Razdolsky. “Even worse, imagine this happening nearly 2,000 times per day!”

Factors that can contribute to tongue thrusting include prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier use, upper airway obstructions such as allergies or nasal congestion which cause the tongue to lie low in the mouth and lead to mouth breathing, and even hereditary factors such as facial structure, large tonsils and macroglossia, or enlarged tongue. What’s more, these habits left untreated can continue through the teens and into adulthood causing relapse in orthodontic treatment.

“There are many telltale signs of tongue thrust that we look for when first diagnosing a patient for orthodontic treatment,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “However, the most important factor in diagnosis and treatment of any patient is getting to know them and helping them to become a part of their own smile treatment.”

So, what do we do? Treatment for tongue thrust can include therapeutic exercises which re-educate the tongue muscles, kind of like physical therapy for the tongue. In some cases, patients may be also prescribed a dental appliance to aid in correction. Either way, Dr. Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team are here to work with you. Through treatment, when your braces do come off, your teeth will stay in alignment.

Bracket Chatter: Holiday Movie Wrap Up

December 27th, 2017

So many thanks to our wonderful Forever Smiles patients who joined us in Leaguing Up on Saturday, November 18 for the Justice League movie at Buffalo Grove Theaters. More than 500 guests joined us for our annual, holiday movie celebration. A lot of smiles all around, and a few extras to spare with the adorable selfie smiles on a stick which the Forever Smiles team had a blast posing with!

Guests, friends and family of the red-carpet, premiere movie experience also received Forever Smiles sweatshirts, popcorn and (spoiler alert) awesome movie treats!

“This annual event is something we really look forward to,” said Anna Razdolsky. “The months and weeks leading up to it hold a lot of excitement for the team as we anxiously wait to see what the next big movie coming out of Hollywood for the Holidays will be.”

“It’s nice that there are always great movies this time of year that create enthusiasm and smiles for our patients and friends. It really boosts the spirit of the season,” she added.

The Forever Smiles team really enjoyed celebrating the Holidays with all who came. See you next year!

Bracket Chatter: Consortium of Specialists

December 19th, 2017

Dr. Razdolsky’s Annual Orthodontic Update Seminar

Dentistry is a field of specialists. You have the Dentist who makes sure your teeth and gums are healthy.  Dental Hygienists who specialize in cleaning your teeth and gums, Oral Surgeons who specialize in extractions and surgeries, Endodontists who focus on root canals, Pediatric Dentists who specialize in children’s dental needs, and Periodontist who deal with gum disease. Then you have Orthodontists, like Dr. Yan Razdolsky of Forever Smiles in Buffalo Grove who focus on straightening your teeth and bite. Simply put, it takes an entire team to care for your teeth and gums from childhood through adulthood. A team who must work collaboratively to ensure your absolute best overall oral health.

Orthodontics itself is a science. As with any science, information and studies emerge which shed new light on approaches and technology which can better serve patients’ needs. Due to these changes, the necessity of continuing education is critical and the sharing of that information across disciplines are particularly imperative for Dr. Razdolsky.

In answer to that calling, each year Dr. Razdolsky hosts a continuing education seminar for area dental practitioners. He had counted among his speakers, noted specialists from a variety of dental specialties around the world who share case studies and patient experiences to help improve the quality of treatment for all patients in our area and around the country. Programs like this are critical to improving patient outcomes, as through this collaborative approach, Dr. Razdolsky and other area dental health professionals can resolve some of the most challenging dental cases, offer the highest quality care and help patients achieve a healthy, beautiful Forever Smile.

This year’s program, held on October 11 hosted nearly 150 area dental professionals and featured Dr. Victoria Ursitti and Dr. Konstantin Gromov. Dr. Ursitti, an area Pediatric Dentist is committed to providing educational programs and volunteers services to underserved children of our community. An area Periodontist, Dr. Gromov holds degrees in both Periodontics and Fixed Prosthodontics, and like Dr. Razdolsky, he believes in an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to a beautiful, healthy smile. Together with Dr. Razdolsky, the speakers discussed the latest trends in dentistry, orthodontics and the difficult decisions in treatment planning.

Like all sciences, Orthodontics changes as research developments bring new information to light. This is one reason Dr. Razdolsky loves what he does so much. The ever-evolving nature of Orthodontics is fascinating. There is always more to learn and teach, which is why it is so important for all practicing dental health professionals to continue their education and stay abreast of the latest developments. In addition to theory, there are techniques, tools, and technologies all of which change. This means that old treatments can be obsolete within just a few short years as newer ideas and technologies emerge. Therefore, by hosting seminars and sharing of this valuable information, Dr. Razdolsky can help other professionals put into practice cutting edge new treatments. We cannot wait to see what Dr. Razdolsky’s program will teach us next year.

Bracket Chatter: The Right Time For Orthodontic Evaluation

October 18th, 2017


While some orthodontists and parents may have differing opinions as to the right time for orthodontic treatment, when it comes to adjusting imbalances in bone structure of the face and jaw, many agree early intervention is key. With dentofacial orthopedics, the signs of issues are often seen as early as seven years of age and can include misalignment of bite, cross bite, crowding of the teeth, nose and respiratory ailments, impacted canines and cleft lip or palate. That’s why studies suggest preliminary treatment to enlarge the dental arch and palate with rapid palatal expansion is beneficial for both anatomical and dental development. Here are five key reasons to help you better understand the benefits for application of early expansion.

  1. Anatomy studies are clear. The palatal area at the roof of the mouth is still adaptable with hardening into bone beginning for most in pre-adolescence through the teens. However, the roof palate of younger patients is much more responsive to the orthopedic treatment with an expander and less pressure is needed to achieve the desired result. When less pressure is used, we reduce the risk for negative consequences. As a patient grows there is greater risk of tipping the teeth out of alignment, creating a less stable orthodontic shift rather than orthopedic expansion.
  2. Use of an expander while a patient still has some baby, or primary teeth along with permanent teeth, allows the use of the baby teeth to serve as anchors for the expansion appliance. This is important in helping to eliminate the negative effects that can be caused by the necessary force being applied to permanent teeth, therefore protecting them. Expansion appliances use the strength of the roots and surrounding bone of the teeth to which they are attached. It is those teeth and supporting bone that carry the lateral pressure of the expansion as the palate opens. When primary teeth are used to support the expander, the newly-erupting adult teeth do not bear any of the expansion pressure and instead receive benefit from the additional space. Expander devices are specifically created to affix exclusively to each patient’s baby teeth, and have the added benefit of distributing the work over several teeth on each side. Studies report the use of a banded hyrax appliance attached to primary molars and canines or a Haas expansion appliance attached to the second primary molars and primary canines are both successful and stable.
  3. In most cases the reason for expansion is because of a crowded upper roof palate resulting in crooked or protruding teeth, jaw misalignment or crossbite. In treated patients, an expansion appliance is placed into the roof of the mouth as high as possible without negatively affecting palatal tissues. As a result, patients sometimes experience temporary difficulties with speech and swallowing, similar to that caused by a retainer. This inconvenience usually passes quickly as patients grow accustomed to the device.
  4. New and permanent teeth that come into mouth with adequate bone and soft tissue support benefit from the ideal scenario for long-term stability and more sound periodontal health. For patients with a crowded, developing mouth, the plan is to create space for the teeth to come in straight without the risk of future gum-related issues or tooth damage.
  5. The effects of a small upper palate goes well beyond adolescence. Growing evidence suggests that maxillary constriction left untreated can be a factor in airway restriction starting in children and continuing through adulthood. The effects of a rapid maxillary expander can help increase nasal airway and improve overall respiratory function. As further airway evaluation becomes part of early dental exams, the benefit of early expansion can include improved air intake and even better sleep.

Did someone say field trip?

September 26th, 2017

October is National Orthodontics Health Month. At Forever Smiles, we love taking this time to educate school-aged children and groups aged 7 to 13 about the fascinating field of Orthodontics. That’s why we offer fun and educational field trips to our office to help teach our young community about orthodontics while simultaneously helping local schools, clubs and organizations in making a positive impact in our area.

As part of a scheduled field trip participants get a “behind the scenes” tour of our offices, meet our friendly dental and orthodontic professionals and discover how we align teeth using science and modern technology. In this fun and interactive program, we discuss our techniques and explain the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene. In addition, we serve delicious and smile-friendly snacks and participants even receive goodie bags with toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss and an age-appropriate gift.

If you know a group or organization who would benefit from an educational field trip, please reach out to Anna at Perhaps together, we can inspire a future Orthodontist!







Obstructive Sleep Apnea

September 12th, 2017

Last month we published an article on Peak Performance & Breathing. As part of a continuing dialog on the impact and importance of Orthodontics on breathing, we present this discussion on Obstructive Sleep Apnea. At Forever Smiles we encourage patients to learn more about oral systemic health and how we improve their wellbeing and standard of care through orthodontics.

Do you or someone you know suffer from daytime sleepiness, have difficulty concentrating in school or sometimes feel cranky? You might think it’s time for a Snickers (which are terrible on braces btw), but maybe not. Sleep disorders impact as many as 30 percent of teens and pre-adolescents and it is estimated that as many as 10 percent can suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the tissue at the back of the throat collapses during sleep keeping air from getting to the lungs. It can happen a few times per hour, or as many as several hundred times per night! Imagine, these pauses in breathing waking you up every time, disturbing your sleep. While you may be thinking you’re sleeping a lot, in fact, this disturbed sleep amounts to only a few hours of fit sleep per night.

Dr. Yan Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team see a lot of patients with airway problems. They study facial growth, development and airway passages, so they are eminently qualified to help screen patients for OSA issues and strongly recommend early orthodontic screenings as early as age 7. The causes of OSA are varied, and can range from a soft tissue obstruction to palatal development or even jaw alignment. It has even been discovered that as many as 50 percent of OSA cases involve the bony structure that surrounds the airway. Through upper arch expansion and by advancing the mandible, or jaw bone, an orthodontist can sometimes address the underlying cause of OSA. The earlier the treatment plan, the better the potential outcome for the patient.

“Using the latest digital imaging technology and orthodontic tools we can identify, treat and potentially prevent sleep-related breathing disorders in children,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “We may even be able to reverse the condition in adolescents and adults.”

Getting 8.5 to 11 hours of quality sleep, depending on age, is essential to healthy growth, development and function. Not getting enough sleep can impact focus, cause sluggishness and irritability. Sleep deprivation can also affect overall health, weight and even your complexion. Although there are a lot of studies and literature on sleep related issues, it is often surprising how little of it is directed to the child or teen. These patients know first-hand what the symptoms may feel like and are often the first at recognizing their own issues. So, if you find that you or someone you know is suffering from symptoms mentioned here on a regular basis, and a Snickers just doesn’t seem to satisfy… talk to Dr. Razdolsky or a Forever Smiles member. A good night’s sleep is a beautiful thing.

Peak Performance & Breathing

August 21st, 2017

For some, back to school means back to sports. For student athletes returning to the court or field this fall, it also means training, and sports conditioning.

But did you know there is an increased correlation between breathing through your nose and enhanced sports performance? What’s more, breathing through your nose as opposed to your mouth has many benefits which are well documented.

Those who breathe through their mouth are more prone to using their upper chest and shoulders rather than their diaphragm. This can yield a shallower intake of air and result in a lower distribution of oxygen to the blood, reduced energy and even decreased stamina or endurance. Furthermore, mouth breathing as a norm in day-to-day activities can lead to other health issues, moodiness and even affect concentration.

Nasal breathing is not only important for improved sports performance, but also overall general health and preventing potential illness. When we breathe through the nose, we warm and humidify the air intake ensuring once it reaches the lungs it is at body temperature. Moreover, germs, bacteria and microbes are filtered out which can help in preventing potential illness.

So, what’s the correlation between mouth breathing and orthodontics?

“While proper breathing techniques are something that can be learned, there are instances where poor airway development in adolescence can hinder efforts,” said Buffalo Grove Orthodontist Dr. Yan Razdolsky. “Craniofacial development or malformation, malocclusion and jaw deformation can lead to airway obstruction and development of other health issues as well.”

There is considerable evidence to support good facial and jaw development to nasal breathing. Studies show a correlation between mouth breathing and development of a narrow jaw, distended nasal cavity, misaligned cheekbones and even crooked teeth. These developmental problems can be treated more effectively if diagnosed early by your Forever Smiles team.

What sport or activity are you training for? Share your story on our Facebook page at

You worked hard for your beautiful Forever Smile, then this happens…

July 18th, 2017

Your wisdom teeth have come in. Don’t panic.

Wisdom teeth, or third molars are located on each side of the jaw in the very back and the last teeth to erupt – typically emerging between the ages of 17 and 25. In some cases they may come in painlessly, with little or no impact on the surrounding teeth. In fact, some people are fortunate enough to have plenty of room in their mouths for additional teeth. However, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxiofacial Surgeons, nine out of 10 patients will likely experience issues with at least one wisdom tooth.

So how do you protect your Forever Smile? If your orthodontic work is complete prior to your wisdom teeth coming in, Dr. Razdolsky will do a thorough examination prior to removal of your braces to check on the progress of your wisdom teeth and determine whether there is sufficient space for them to emerge successfully. Continued follow-up visits with the Forever Smiles team will also ensure we are able to track your progress.

Additionally, as you continue to visit your regular dentist for check-us, you will likely know exactly when your wisdom teeth come in and whether they are impacted (meaning they

haven’t broken the gums yet). During your regular check-up, your dentist will take x-rays to track wisdom tooth development. You can also help by telling Dr. Razdolsky and your dentist if you are having trouble or experience pain when opening your jaw, pain when you bite or chew, have swollen gums in the back of your mouth or side of your jaw. Simply being aware of when your wisdom teeth are coming in will help safeguard your smile investment.

Of course, the best determination for treatment of wisdom teeth will need to be made after a thorough evaluation by your personal dental care team. Given the probability that wisdom teeth can be problematic may require extraction to protect the smile you’ve worked so long for. If wisdom tooth extraction is the recommended course of treatment, earlier is better. Wisdom tooth removal before the roots have become firmly anchored can make the procedure easier and the recovery more comfortable.

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Back to School Survival Kit

The commercials and ads have already started and we are closing in on that time of year. Back to School shopping! At Forever Smiles we think no back to school shopping season is complete without the right supplies. Not paper, binders and pencils, but your back to school survival kit!

Your braces care survival kit is an emergency preparedness care pack to help you manage most dental issues that may arise. You can keep it in your backpack, purse or locker to make sure you’re always ready to care for your smile. What do you pack in a braces survival kit? Let’s shop supplies… Here are some of our favorite suggestions for your survival kit.

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Reaching out in support of forever family

June 28th, 2017

Once a member of the Forever Smiles family, you are always a part of us. This is not only true for patients, but for team members as well. We follow our forever family’s lives beyond their time with us -- sharing in their joys, experiences and even reach out in support when they are in need.

For those of you who do not know him, we would like to introduce you to Dr. Kapil Vij. Dr. Vij was a part of our Forever Smiles Grayslake family from 2007 to 2010. Dr. Vij was diagnosed earlier this year with myelofibrosis, a rare form of blood cancer. His bone marrow is unable to produce red blood cells, so he requires a blood transfusion every two to three weeks. With his condition deteriorating very quickly his only chance of beating this disease is to have a stem cell transplant. His siblings tested in hopes of being a match and giving him a second chance at life, but neither were close enough to be his donor.

“Dr. Vij is a wonderful doctor, and has an incredible rapport with patients,” said Dr. Yan Razdolsky. “As part of our team, he was a vigilant partner in assuring our patients were treated with the upmost care and compassion. This is why it is so important that he finds a donor to help save his life. He is a big part of our family,” he added.

Today, Dr. Vij practices pediatric dentistry in Mount Prospect. He lives with his amazing wife Neeru, their two beautiful children and a third on the way. Although he is no longer with Forever Smiles, we have continued to follow his career and more recently have learned of this plea to help save his life.

“We understand this has become quite urgent as his hemoglobin is dropping pretty fast despite blood transfusions,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “The entire dental community is reaching out to increase awareness of his plight, and we too want to do our part.”

According to Be The Match Registry posts, Dr. Vij is of South Asian (Indian) descent, and the pool of people from that ethnicity are underrepresented in the national bone marrow registry, making the need for others to join the registry vital.

The process of bone marrow donation has changed in recent years and in some cases only requires a partial blood donation from which stem cells can be collected. While this may sound scary, it’s very safe and truly a gift of life.

Qualified potential donors, ages 18-44, can learn more and register for the national marrow donor program online by visiting For anyone over the age of 45 and still wants to be a donor, we should let them know they can register with DKMS at Kits will be sent to their home, where they can swab and mail back. There are also several upcoming Be The Match registration drives in the Chicago area. Visit for more information.

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Frozen in time... A Historic Lesson in Early Detection

May 16th, 2017

During their recent travels, Doctor and Anna Razdolsky spent some time in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology where they learned about Otzi, the Ice Man. Otzi is a well-preserved mummy of a 46-year-old man who lived around 3300 BC. That’s 500 years older than King Tut!

Otzi became a global scientific sensation on September 19, 1991 when two hikers from Germany found his body in the Otz Alps, a mountain range between Italy and Austria. The Ice Man had suffered from hypothermia and internal bleeding caused by an arrow in his left shoulder. Archeologists believe he may have been hunting and killed in a skirmish with a rival tribe.

However, what makes Otzi’s discovery so significant is what he teaches us. For the first time in the history of medicine and archaeology, scientists are able to examine a 5,300-year-old mummy using the most advanced diagnostic methods making him the most closely examined patient of all time.

“What makes Otzi so intriguing to us are his dental records,” said Dr. Yan Razdolsky. “Through these findings, scientists were able to discover where Otzi spent his childhood by analyzing his tooth enamel.”

Like the rings of a tree, during the first months of a human life the minerals typical of the landscape where he or she grows up are permanently stored in the teeth. By using 3D computer tomography researchers were also able to reconstruct his oral cavity, providing insight into dental issues of the period, as well as significant findings of how the Ice Man lived.

“A study like this is similar to how we practice early detection today,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “At Forever Smiles we use 3D imaging to look at bone development, tooth structure and soft tissue which helps us assess any issues we may need to address before they become a problem. Otzi sure could have used early detection and treatment,” he added.

Indeed, the Ice Man showed severe tooth enamel wear, had several cavities and gum disease. This supports research claims he had a diet rich in carbohydrates and stoneground flour, which must have contained grit from the milling process, and common in other findings of early man switching from hunter-gatherer to agriculture. It’s likely he didn’t brush his teeth, so any cleaning could only be attributed to these harsh grains. This is not enough to avoid tooth decay and cavities, and compounded with periodontal disease, it is likely Otzi suffered from pain when eating hot or harsh foods.

Also interesting is the link between periodontitis and cardiovascular disease. The discovery of Otzi confirms more current research regarding the link between oral systemic health and overall health in patients. An autopsy of the Ice Man revealed that he had arteriosclerosis, osteoporosis, and many other issues common today -- some of which also have a direct relationship with oral and dental health.

Dr. Razdolsky also noted the Iceman has a wide gap between the upper front teeth.

“The Ice Man had diastema, or a space separating his central incisors,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “This is a very common issue, even now, for some of our Forever Smiles patients. If he could have come in to see us, we could have fixed that,” he joked.

Oh, how little and yet how much has changed in 5300 years!

2017 Artishock Art Contest

April 19th, 2017

Presenting… the 2017 Artishock Art Contest entries! These visionary works of art from students of Artishock Art Studio are the answer to this years’ theme question, “What makes you Smile”? Our purpose... to promote creative expression and self-awareness. Entrants are encouraged to express their feelings about the things that make them smile with the goal of reflecting on and showcasing the positive and happy things in their lives.

Forever Smiles sponsors this annual competition to provide exposure to the talented kids of Artishock. Students ages five and up submit their drawings and paintings that describe their understanding of the world, what they think, their dreams, environment, family and friends, and things of importance to their lives. In addition to our mission to provide the most efficient and effective orthodontic treatment, Forever Smiles believes it is critical to develop a fun and nurturing environment for our patients - helping them to learn, grow and share ideas that make them a part of their community. This Artishock contest is great because it puts kids and their observations of the world around them front and center.

In our fifth year sponsoring the Artishock contest, Forever Smiles has shared more 100 original works from Artishock students. The Artishock Art Studio provides classes to children and adults, with lessons designed to introduce underlying visual art concepts and elements of art in the environment. Like the Forever Smiles mission, a person’s perception of environment regarding personal development is a key for growth.

“The goal of Artishock is similar to how I approach orthodontics,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “A person’s smile acts as a unique expression of their personality, mood and feelings. I look at the distinct characteristics of each patient and together we discover the beauty that is their Forever Smile.”

Entries are judged by you and we need your vote! The top two pieces with the most votes in each category win art scholarships and supplies. Voting is through May 12 on our Facebook page at or in our reception area. Vote today!

Orthodontics & Systemic Health

March 16th, 2017

In recent studies, medical researchers have drawn a positive correlation between oral systemic health and overall health. But is there any correlation between orthodontic treatment and overall heath?

Curious… we decided to do a little research ourselves so we could share with you our findings. So in honor of World Oral Health Day, March 20 here’s what we’ve learned regarding the relationship between orthodontic treatment and overall health.

In one study, The Impact of Malocclusion/Orthodontic Treatment Need on the Quality of Life - A Systematic Review, researchers analyzed existing evidence between orthodontic treatment and health-related quality of life. While they did conclude there is only a “modest association,” they did suggest that future studies should employ standardized assessment methods so outcomes will be more consistent for further analysis.

In the meantime, there is evidence linking Phase I orthodontic treatment with a palatal expander or Herbst Class II corrector to an improved airway development in children. Additionally, there have been significant findings which indicate some patients which undergo treatment for conditions of the jaw and face related to structure, growth, sleep apnea and joint disorders receive tremendous benefit to their health-related quality of life. However, many of these orthodontic cases are associated with skeletal problems that may not be treated with braces alone.

So, what does all this mean? While crooked or misalignment of teeth alone are not a disease or life-threatening condition, the physical, social and psychological consequences of it and its influence on your quality of life can have an impact on your overall health. A beautiful Forever Smile does make you more confident, which means you smile more and can lead to more positive daily interactions. While additional studies with an emphasis on the impact of orthodontic treatment will help us understand more about the positive impact braces can make on your long-term health, evidence does suggest patients do perceive a positive self-image, a sense of well-being and some overall health benefit.

Love Your Retainer

February 22nd, 2017

You’ve waited for what seems a long time to achieve your Forever Smile and you cannot stop showing it off. So, what now? Let’s keep it in top form with a new retainer or two.

What can you expect from your new retainer? At first your mouth will water a little morethan usual. This is normal, as at first your mouth doesn’t realize your retainer isn’t food. The sensation will go away after a few days. You may also experience a little slurred speech for a while. Talk a little slower and practice reading out loud. This will help you get back to normal more quickly.

You should always wear your retainer as prescribed by Dr. Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team. For many of you this can mean 24-hours-a-day to start. The only exception is when you are eating, cleaning them or maybe participating in contact sports. Always bring your protective case for storing your retainer when not wearing it. This will protect its shape. Never, ever wrap your retainer in a napkin or paper towel! We cannot tell you how many patients did it “just once,” and accidentally threw it out in the lunch line. Plus, paper fibers can stick to your appliance making it difficult to clean and harbor yucky bacteria.

You should always be careful when inserting and removing your retainer (and when it is simply in your mouth). Some people like to play with their retainer with their tongue. This is an easy way to break it or bend the wires causing an improper fit. Retainers should feel snug if you are wearing them properly. They don’t change in size, but they can become distorted if you play with them. They can also become misaligned if you are hard on them in placement or removal.

Another reason a retainer can become misaligned is if your teeth shift. This is generally a result of not wearing your retainer as prescribed. You should always wear your retainer as prescribed by Dr. Razdolsky to prevent shifting. Regular follow-up visits with the Forever Smiles team will help with maintenance, fitting and realignment of your retainer if necessary. Remember, the longer you have been out of braces, the less often you will be required to wear your retainer, so in time it does become easier.

Retainers are exposed to the same bacteria and plaque as the rest of your mouth. If notcared for, they can become a haven for germs and develop an unpleasant odor. Much like your teeth, retainers should be cleaned and/or rinsed after every meal to keep them fresh. Clean them as you would your teeth, with a soft brush. Some retainers can be cleaned with a gentle toothpaste, but some cannot. When the time comes, you will be given instructions specific to the proper care of your appliance. However, when in doubt… please ask.

Lastly, don’t forget. Exposure to heat is bad for your appliance. Avoid hot water when cleaning your retainer and never leave it in a hot car or exposed to direct sun. Heat and sunlight can distort your retainer or make the plastic material brittle and more susceptible to breakage.

New Smile Habits for the New Year

January 17th, 2017

The New Year is a great time to start things fresh. To resolve new lifestyle changes that improve areas of our lives where we may have fallen slack. Some stick, some don’t. The following are a five easy lifestyle hacks that we think should consider to help you on your way to a healthier and more beautiful Forever Smile!

1. Eat more fruits & veggies

Did you know strawberries, oranges and pineapple are great for whitening teeth? And they are delicious, healthy and braces safe too! What’s not? Surgary foods, tea and sodas. These foods stain and can damage tooth enamel, so enjoy them sparingly in the New Year for a healthier brighter smile and always brush up right after.

2. Brush & floss

If you have not been a big brusher in the past, resolve to be better! Not only will your friends appreciate it, so will Dr. Razdolsky! Orthodontic appliances are a good place for bacteria to hide which can result in plaque build-up which can cause stains and other dental issues. Good oral hygiene helps is important in protecting your teeth, gums and ensuring the overall success of your orthodontic treatment.

3. Stick to the plan

Maintain your orthodontic adjustments on schedule. Treatments are spaced in six—to eight-week appointments in order to have the greatest impact on tooth re-alignment. So for us to stick to the plan and reach the goal of your most beautiful Forever Smile on time, keep your scheduled appointments.

4. Wear your elastic bands as prescribed

You have invested a lot of time into your new braces and are well on your way to improving your smile. But remember, changing the elastics a few times each day means that you maintain a reasonably even, low and light force that helps your teeth move according to your prescribed treatment plan.

5. Drink lots of water

Did you know that as many as 75% of Americans may suffer from Chronic Dehydration? And, if your body is dehydrated, your mouth is too. This is a haven for bad bacteria. In addition to drinking plenty of water throughout the day, you should drink even more if you play after-school sports or participate in other extracurricular activities. Plus, when you’re properly hydrated, the lips, cheeks and gums are not as easily irritated by your braces! That’s even more reason to smile.

Are invisible aligners the “clear” choice for straighter teeth?

November 16th, 2016

Next time someone asks you about traditional braces versus clear aligners, know the facts. At Forever Smiles we get first-time and adult patients who are self-conscious getting braces. The common question they have is whether they can have clear aligners to straighten their teeth. However, when it comes to orthodontics, not all options are equal.

For example, traditional braces are often required for patients with molar/bite issues, to rotate canines or premolars or move teeth vertically. Clear aligners are not effective in cases where dramatic tooth movement is needed. Moreover in cases where smaller teeth need to be adjusted, clear aligners may not be suitable as there is not enough surface area for the tray to properly grip the tooth as necessary for proper treatment.

Treatment with clear aligners can sometimes take longer. One, because the realignment can be more subtle, and two, because the trays are removable, it’s easy to ”forget” to wear them. (Or worse, to lose them.) This can drastically draw out the schedule for successful treatment. With traditional braces you wear them all the time. This allows for a more consistent, controlled and successful treatment program for some patients.

If it is a matter of aesthetics, or being self-conscious, there are a number of treatment options that are available - again, this depends on the individual patients needs. Clear or tooth-colored brackets are a great option for patients who want a more subtle look, but the same effectiveness of traditional braces. Lingual braces (brackets and wires are mounted on the tongue-side of your teeth) are also an option for some patients, but careful considerations are still made on a patient and case basis.

When determining a course of treatment for all our patients, we like to think of it as a team approach. Dr. Razdolsky follows a strict new patient procedure that includes a thorough oral and facial patient examination to determine their overall oral health. Depending on the patient a CBCT scan, facial photographs, dental molds and/or x-rays may also be taken. Assessment and recommendation for a patient treatment program is provided upon a second appointment ensuring Dr. Razdolsky and his team have had ample opportunity to evaluate all the collected data. Together at that appointment, we encourage an open discussion in formulating a plan that will provide the most successful outcome for the patient.

Although we strive to always provide for happiness and well being of all our patients, sometimes a preferred course treatment is not in the patient’s best interest. However, as part of your smile team we will always work to find the right path to your Forever Smile.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Private Screening

October 4th, 2016

We hope you will plan to join Dr. Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles Team on Saturday, November 19 for a private screening of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"!

Bracket Chatter - September 2016

September 20th, 2016

Tips, Tricks & Reminders

Those of you learning to incorporate new routines and responsibilities into your daily life can find braces challenging at first. And those of you that have had braces for a while may think these tips and tricks are old news. Either way, we think everyone should find a formula that works for them and these tips, tricks and reminders can really help you on your path to a beautiful Forever Smile.

#1. Careful HOW you eat

There is a whole list of things you shouldn’t eat when you have braces. But did you know sometimes it’s just how you eat? Take your time and chew slowly. Lots of bent wires and popped brackets can be avoided if you do.

#2. Brush up after lunch

Besides just brushing in the morning and at night, you really should brush up after lunch. This helps keep food from being trapped in your braces and between teeth, which over time causes tooth decay. Lots of kids don’t brush after lunch... either there’s no time, or they just forget. A good tip... brush when you get home from school and before doing your homework. In between brushings, flosser sticks are great for dislodging trapped food which can make your braces look yuck.

#3. Be mindful when having sweets

Sweets and sugars can get stuck on teeth and over time cause yellowing or worse, toothdecay. Get in the practice of brushing up after sweets. Bonus... it will help freshen your breath which can be really great for your social life.

#4. Wear your bands

If you have hooks, wear your rubber bands all the time (except for when eating or brushing your teeth). Bands may hurt sometimes, but wearing them can stop the hooks from digging into or getting caught on your cheeks, as well as help your treatment move along as quickly as possible.

#5. Wear a mouthguard when playing sports

When you wear braces on the field, court or ice, you want to be sure to keep your teeth and gums protected from painful, unintentional contact. And at the same time you just want to play and be comfortable.

Much like the differences between generic boil-and-bite mouthguards and custom mouth guards, not all braces mouthguards are the same. Ask Dr. Razdolsky about mouthguards designed specifically for athletes with braces. He can advise best how to protect your beautiful Forever Smile.

#6. Have Fun!

Picking fun colors is a great way to express your personality and have fun.

Multi-colored bands can be matched up to lots of wardrobe choices, or you can even show your school spirit. Bright colors can be cheerful and radiant, while darker colors, such as dark purple and navy blue can make your teeth look whiter. But remember, color doesn’t really matter if you keep your braces clean.

#7. Keep your appointment and be on time!

Every month we pick a patient for our “On-Time” winner. To enter, just come on time,  have the front desk sign your appointment card and  drop it in the box. This month’s winner is Karen P. Congratulations!

What really cool tip have you learned since you started wearing braces? Share it with us at or on and maybe you’ll make out next list of Tips, Tricks and Reminders!

Dr. Yan Razdolsky Expands Expertise on 3D Cone Beam Technology at National Conference

July 21st, 2016

In order to better serve his patients, Dr. Yan Razdolsky is committed to continued education, seminars and conferences at the forefront of technology and techniques in orthodontia.

In this endeavor, Dr. and Mrs. Razdolsky recently attended a Visualization Systems and 3D Cone Beam Technologies conference in San Francisco. This conference afforded the Razdolsky’s the opportunity to learn, engage and participate in hands-on training with the latest in Cone Beam 3D Technology and medical imaging software.

At the forefront in simulation of data for analysis are visualization systems such as 3D Cone Beam, which are being adopted by many of the world’s leading medical institutions and dental service providers to study cranio-maxillofacial anatomy. Research studies on the use of 3D Cone Beam are also featured in numerous industry journals and praised by the medical community for their innovative approach to patient diagnosis and treatment. Through these systems and companion software applications, doctors can develop and implement comprehensive treatment plans for patients using digitally aided diagnostics.

“Visualization systems offer a diagnostic and treatment solution for orthodontists by rendering a patient’s CBCT scans into 2D and 3D models with more detail and precision for diagnosis of orthodontic issues,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “Doctors can analyze, generate measurements and develop treatments quickly and more accurately.”

Through impression-free, 3D Cephalometric X-rays and Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT), orthodontists capture a complete scanned image of the side of the face including the nasal and sinus passages. This type of imaging is more comfortable for the patient as it means that no plates or film are inserted inside the mouth. It can also reveal hidden anatomy and anatomic variations that cannot be seen on traditional 2D images. Failure to recognize these key anatomic features can lead to less than optimal diagnosis and overall results from treatment.

As an added benefit of visualization systems, orthodontists can isolate areas, simulate movements and even determine the minimum area and total volume of a patient's airway making this is a fantastic tool in treating sleep apnea and other maxillofacial respiratory issues.

“Visualization systems are also very helpful in patient consultation because doctors can develop custom annotations, capture videos and create digital models from patient scans for a clearer explanation of treatments,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “I really enjoy this type of technology as it is very cutting edge in orthodontics, helps me to better connect with the patient and it is also really cool.”

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Forever Smiles Supports Local Schools and Healthy Lifestyles

June 15th, 2016

Dr. Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles family loves kids and it doesn’t get any better than supporting healthy lifestyles and the local community. In fact, our commitment to promoting and supporting school programs that enrich the lives andD103-02 health of our kids is what our mission is all about!

Saturday, May 21 the Forever Smiles team gathered at Lincolnshire-Prairie View School to support the 2016 Run for D103. The 5k Run/Walk and community-school district event is a fundraiser to finance outdoor recreational needs in District 103. Over the past four years, they have funded approximately $100,000 to district schools for playgrounds, recreational fields, programs and equipment that serve to promote healthy activities for children.

Last years’ event drew more than 800 participants and annual Run for D103 events are instrumental in offering opportunities for the students to engage in fitness activities during gym, recess, after-school activities, and other sporting events. That’s healthy and fun!

In addition to sponsorship of the event, Forever Smiles team members participated in the run/walk, as well as hosted a tent and awarded prize drawings of Anna Razdolsky’s new book “The Smile Team” to participants.

“At Forever Smiles, we stress the importance of early detection of oral health issues and education for a child’s wellbeing,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “That’s why we support school programs that provide children the resources and education that promote healthy lifestyle habits that can last a lifetime.”

“Anna’s book is the perfect way to help spread the word to kids and their families about the benefits of good oral health and how it helps maintain a beautiful smile,” Dr. Razdolsky added.

Similar events and programs are a common occurrence for Dr. Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles Team. Throughout the year, the team can be found participating, hosting and supporting local and area events in effort to foster programs that can benefit a healthier way of living and growing. Events like the Oral Cancer Foundation’s Walk/Run for Awareness in May, and the Art Studio Artishock art contest earlier this month are great opportunities to reach out to the community in this endeavor.

“We are always looking for a way to reach out to our community and share in healthy activities,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “Clearly those who participate in run/walk events already understand the benefits of doing healthy things. Our participation just reminds them of one of the most important things they can and should do.”

Oral health is one of the most under-appreciated aspects of overall health and is really more important than just brushing your teeth. According to Mayo Clinic, in addition to oral infections such as gum disease and tooth decay, oral health can be linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even premature birth and low birth weight in pregnant women.

“We strive to make a difference in the communities we serve,” said Dr. Razdolsky. Education and awareness about good oral health is not just our business, we’ve made it our mission.”

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Meeting review: 2016 AAO Annual Session

May 26th, 2016

As many of his colleagues, patients and friends know, Dr. Yan Razdolsky is a big proponent of continued education and study for the advancement of orthodontic treatment. He hosts, attends and lectures at programs and conferences throughout the year in order to share techniques and innovative ideas to help better serve his patients and others all over the world.

As part of this continued effort, Dr. and Mrs. Razdolsky attended 2016 Annual Session of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Packed with lectures, educational programs, world-renown speakers, and yes… a little fun, the conference held April 30 through May 3, offered attendees the opportunity to mix it up and learn in “The City Beautiful” known worldwide for its theme parks and entertainment.

This years’ theme, Bringing Us Together drew in some of the most influential in the field. It spoke to uniting both practitioner and orthodontic team through programs, features, exhibits and technologies geared toward letting them see, touch and experience the newest products and developments in orthodontics.

AAO Conference programs featured scientific lectures and oral research presentations on early treatment, new developments in sleep apnea, orthodontic considerations, as well as Class II and Class III orthodontic treatments. In addition to orthodontic programs, attendees participated in numerous workshops and educational programs geared toward new patient treatments, as well as technological advances in the field.

“At the tradeshow there were exhibitors who brought in experts to share their knowledge,” said Anna Razdolsky. “There were people showcasing digital imaging, bracket appliances and more. It was very exciting.”

“Even professional surfer Bethany Hamilton was there. She has teamed up with a leading bracket manufacturer to develop braces emojis! Our patients will love them,” she added.

Of course, with this much work there’s time to relax, have fun and network with other dental professionals at events hosted at some of Orlando’s most notable attractions. In addition to a host of activities, booths and exhibits at the Orange County Convention Center, awesome events at the AAO included an opening ceremonies at Sea World, the AAO Gala at Universal Studios Florida, a 5K Fun Run/Walk and the Excellence in Orthodontics Awards Ceremony featuring guest speaker, 2012 Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney.

A whirlwind of activity, this annual event is a favorite of Dr. Razdolsky’s in what it means for his patients.

“There is such a wealth of knowledge and expertise at the AAO Annual Session,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “The quality of the programs and expertise of the presenters provides such great opportunity for growth in orthodontia. I am honored to be a part of this profession and appreciate that I am able to bring this information and experience back here to share with our patients.”

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AAO Orlando-01 [FeaturePic]

Dr. Razdolsky Applauds Operation Smile Event’s Success

April 7th, 2016

Even while on Spring Break, Dr. Yan Razdolsky and two of his children who are in dental school can’t escape the importance of healthy smiles.

Dr. Razdolsky, his wife Anna, and their children Elizabeth and Ricky recently traveled to Park City, Utah. While there, Operation Smile held its annual Park City Celebrity Ski & Smile Challenge.

This star-packed event included Taylor Kinney and his fiancé Lady Gaga, Julianne Hough, Evan Ross, Brooke Burke-Charvet, Julie Bowen and Kate Walsh, among others. It was the celebs against Olympic skiers on the slopes at Utah Olympic Park in several dual ski races to support Operation Smile.

Operation Smile is a nonprofit organization that provides surgical correction of cleft lip and cleft palate to children in middle- to low-income countries. Founded in 1982 by Dr. Bill Magee Jr., a plastic surgeon, and his wife Kathy, a nurse and clinical social worker, this international medical charity has developed a network of thousands of credentialed medical volunteers from more than 80 countries. They have performed more than 220,000 free surgical procedures for children and young adults from more than 60 countries who were born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities.

In addition to providing surgeries, Operation Smile also donates medical equipment and supplies, and provides year-round medical treatments through its worldwide centers.

Operation Smile’s mission is an important one to Dr. Razdolsky. Each year in the United States, 2,650 babies are born with a cleft palate and 4,440 babies are born with a cleft lip with or without a cleft palate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Throughout his career, Dr. Razdolsky has provided orthodontic treatment to hundreds of children who required it after surgical correction of cleft lip and/or palate.

“These surgeries and subsequent orthodontic treatment mean the world to affected children and their families,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “Kids don’t want to be treated differently because of the way they look. It is rewarding to watch their self-esteem improve as we improve their smiles.”

Dr. Razdolsky and Anna were elated to learn that the Park City Celebrity Ski & Smile Challenge helped raise awareness and funds to continue the organization’s mission.

As you may recall, Anna is doing her part to raise awareness about the importance of oral health by publishing her first children’s book earlier this year. She also is working on a second book.

We invite you to learn more about Operation Smile by visiting the organization’s website. If you would like to get a copy of Anna’s book, “The Smile Team,” click here. A portion of proceeds from the book sales will benefit organizations that promote beautiful and healthy smiles for

Forever Smiles Sponsors International Women’s Day Event

March 30th, 2016

 Women around the world contribute to social, economic, cultural and political achievement, but there still is much progress to be made when it comes to equality.

Gender parity was the campaign theme for International Women’s Day March 8, and we here at Forever Smiles were proud to sponsor a Chicago event in honor of the holiday.

The Moscow Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International hosted Women in Leadership on March 10, in celebration of International Women’s Day. The event featured a reception, dinner and speaker presentations moderated by Aleksandra Efimova, who co-chairs the Moscow Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International and also is the founder of Russian Pointe, a dance apparel company.

Speakers included four women who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields, locally and even internationally in some cases:

  • Elena Mossina, partner-in-charge at Sikich, an international tax services company
  • Mridu Sekhar, Ph.D, founder of Sidvim, Inc., Chicago Center for Advanced Dentistry
  • Natalia Sklyarova-Yurchenko, All Around Gold Medalist at the 1983 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, and owner and founder of C.I.T.Y. Club Gymnastics Academy
  • Natalya Pavchinskaya, IT director at Abbott Laboratories, Cybersecurity Portfolio Management (born in Odessa, Ukraine).

Anna with International women days speakers2016

“It was our honor to sponsor and support Aleksandra's very important event,” says Anna Razdolsky, operations manager at Forever Smiles. “We enjoyed meeting very inspiring, motivated speakers and interesting guests.”

Anna felt a level of kinship with many of the speakers, as most of them were born and raised in the former Soviet Union and immigrated to the United States as young adults, just as Anna did when she left her native Ukraine in the 1980s.

“Many of these women came to America right after high school, and what they have achieved since then is amazing,” she says.

Not all of the speakers were strangers to Anna. Natalia Pavchinskaya once was a Forever Smiles patient, and her three sons are part of our patient family today.

About International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. The World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. Then in 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn't close entirely until 2133, according to the International Women’s Day website.

This year’s celebration focused on “Pledging for Parity.” Men and women can pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly, according to the organization’s website, “whether to help women and girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect and value difference, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures or root out workplace bias. Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence and commit to take pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity,” the website states.

Forever Smiles Debuts Book for National Children’s Dental Health Month

March 14th, 2016

The Smile Team book cover

Anna Razdolsky recently fulfilled a dream she has nurtured for years: she published her first book.

Because the book, called “The Smile Team,” is about oral health and improving self-esteem in children and adults, it’s only fitting that it be released in February, which is National Children’s Dental Health Month.

The book is about a young girl who wants to perform with her mom during a surprise party she’s throwing for her older brother. Mom doesn’t want to do the performance because she doesn’t like her smile and doesn’t like to do anything that draws attention to it.

After a trip to the dentist, Mom has a choice to make: Will she take a fast approach to a more beautiful smile, or will she opt for a solution that will take a little longer, but will keep her teeth and gums healthy for years to come?

“The Smile Team” shows how teamwork is the best solution for solving a variety of problems. It also promotes the idea that sometimes the best results take thought, research and a team approach.

This book goes beyond Mom’s quest for a pretty smile and explores how children at a young age can learn organizational and leadership skills, too.

Anna wrote the book for a couple of reasons. She has a genuine love and appreciation for books because they weren’t always easily accessible to her. As a child growing up in Donetsk, Ukraine (former Soviet Union), not all books could be purchased effortlessly. Instead, you had to collect 100 kilos of scrap paper and turn it in for recycling. Then you would be given a coupon that was used to get a book. As children, she and several of her friends would pool their scrap paper so they could get a book to share.

Her other reason for writing the book is because during her 30 years of working with children and raising four children of her own, she has witnessed first-hand the effects of good and bad oral health on self-esteem and self-confidence. She wanted to convey that connection through a story that children and adults might relate to.

The mom in “The Smile Team” doesn’t initially realize how her personal insecurities affect her children.

Members of the Forever Smiles team routinely teach children about the importance of caring for their teeth when they’re in our office for appointments or fieldtrips, or while we’re speaking to students at schools. Sometimes it’s more difficult to teach those lessons to adults.

“My hope is that as parents read my book to their children, they’ll learn more about the benefits of keeping their smiles healthy,” Anna says.

The book’s inspiration came from dozens of conversations Anna has had with adult patients, parents and friends through the years.

“When I see a mom in her thirties or forties and she says she needs implants or veneers, my immediate response is to explain that she needs a plan first,” Anna says. “All these years of working alongside Dr. Razdolsky and seeing the variety of cases we have treated inspired me to write this book.”

Although “The Smile Team” is Anna’s first book, it won’t be her last. She has founded Forever Smiles Publishing to help children and their parents understand the value of oral care and orthodontic treatment through storytelling.

We’re excited to make “The Smile Team” available to students we speak with at local schools, libraries, clubs and children’s groups that visit our office during fieldtrips. The book will be available online this spring at

Folic Acid Fights Gingivitis

January 15th, 2016

The country recently celebrated National Folic Acid Awareness Week, which is observed the second week of January annually.21872038211_6067a1d6cd_z

What the heck does folic acid have to do with orthodontics? A lot. Read on!

Patients undergoing orthodontic treatment are more likely to get gingivitis if they don’t practice good oral hygiene. Navigating around brackets and arch wires can take some getting used to, and your gums will become red, swollen and tender if you don’t brush and floss well.

Luckily for you, we provide each of our patients with all the tools needed to maintain good oral hygiene throughout treatment. We give patients oral care kits that include items such as soft picks, proxy brushes and dental floss threaders.

In addition to using these helpful tools, incorporating folic acid into your diet can help prevent gingivitis, the first stage of periodontal disease, because folic acid fights gingivitis. But first, you should clear it with your family physician before taking this or any supplement.

The health of your teeth and gums depends heavily on good nutrition. The right diet can prevent gum disease from developing, and some nutritional supplements can stop it in its tracks. That’s where folic acid comes in.

“Double blind studies have shown that folic acid can significantly reduce gum inflammation,” according to the Institute for Optimum Nutrition. This supplement is particularly important for pregnant women, as well as those who take contraceptive pills.

Other studies have identified Co Q10, folic acid and zinc as beneficial to fighting gum disease when applied topically. Folic acid can reduce gum inflammation and help them become more resilient to dental plaque and anaerobic bacteria, two of the primary culprits responsible for tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath. Folic acid helps to reduce gum bleeding, which is one of the most common signs of gum disease.

Obviously, it takes more than folic acid to keep gingivitis at bay. Generally speaking, the same diet that promotes healthy gums also promotes whole-body health, according to the Institute for Optimum Nutrition. Focus on nutrient-rich and fresh, natural foods, whole grains, vegetables, fruit, fish, beans and seeds.

Limit the amount of sugar, refined carbohydrates, salt and alcohol. Look for foods that are high in bioflavonoids, such as blue-black fruits, onions, citrus pith and hawthorn berries, because these compounds help maintain healthy collagen structure. A high-fiber diet also may protect against gum disease by promoting saliva production, which washes away harmful bacteria.

Feel free to ask us if you would like more information on how to keep your gums and teeth healthy by eating a healthy diet. We want to help you do all you can to keep your smile beautiful!


Considerations for Adults Who Want Braces

December 22nd, 2015

We’ve always said you’re never too old to achieve the beautiful smile you’ve always dreamed of, and thousands of adults have taken that to heart by becoming our orthodontic patients through the years.5355717000_a380852a0a_b

With the holiday season upon us, and New Year’s resolutions right around the corner, we realize that smile improvements might be on your wish lists this month, and among your goals for 2016.

When you have a consultation with Dr. Yan Razdolsky, there are some considerations he must account for that often are unique to adult patients when he develops a treatment plan.

Dental Work

Adults often have crowns, fillings and have undergone root canals at some point, and this sort of dental work must be taken into consideration when developing a treatment plan, Dr. Razdolsky says.  Sometimes dental work can make achieving the desired result more challenging.


Orthodontic treatment in children typically takes their growing dentofacial features into consideration. Growth is complete in adult patients, so fixing severe overbite, underbite and crossbite may require surgery in addition to orthodontic treatment.

Periodontal Disease

According to recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of Americans ages 30 and older have periodontitis, the more advanced form of periodontal (gum) disease, the American Academy of Periodontology reports.

Periodontal disease destroys gum tissue and bone, and orthodontic treatment can make the problem worse. In cases where a patient has gum disease, we work jointly with their family dentist or periodontist to coordinate treatment once the disease is under control and properly managed.

Adult orthodontic treatment by the numbers

A Wall Street Journal article noted recently that more than 1.2 million adults in the U.S. received orthodontic treatment in 2012, the most recent numbers available from the American Association of Orthodontists. That is a 39 percent increase since 1996. By comparison, about 4.65 million orthodontic procedures were performed for patients age 17 and younger in 2012, up 32 percent in the same period.

Why bother with orthodontic treatment?

Dental treatment and care is better than it’s ever been. Dentists offer more conservative treatments, which preserve more natural tooth structure.

Studies are mixed about whether orthodontic treatment improves oral health, but we know this: Adults who go through Invisalign or other treatment are proud of their smiles once treatment is complete, and that likely entices them to practice good oral hygiene. That promotes healthier teeth and gums.

“There was a time when it was almost expected to end up wearing dentures in your old age,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “That’s no longer the case. These days, people can reasonably expect to keep most or all of their natural teeth for a lifetime with proper dental care.”

So if they’re going to last you forever, don’t you want your teeth to look their best? Feel free to call our office today if you’re an adult who’s been considering orthodontic treatment. We can perform a comprehensive examination and offer treatment recommendations.

Evaluation by Age 7

December 9th, 2015

Just as the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children see a pediatric dentist no later than their first birthday in an effort to prevent dental problems, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends every child 6886395944_0b80b79494_zsee an orthodontist at age 7 to prevent orthodontic difficulties.

Evaluation at age 7 doesn’t always mean treatment is needed at this stage. But in cases where it is recommended, interceptive treatment increases a child’s chances of avoiding surgeries, extraction of permanent healthy teeth in the future, and preventing or correcting habits that cause a bad bite.

For patients who do not require treatment, Dr. Razdolsky places them in our complimentary growth and development program. These patients visit us about every six months so we can monitor the eruption of their permanent teeth.

When the time is right for the child, Dr. Razdolsky will recommend treatment. Every child is different and everyone develops differently, so every child’s ideal time to begin treatment is different.

Please tell your friends and family members about the importance of evaluation by age 7.

You’re Invited to the Final Installment of The Hunger Games

November 10th, 2015

Are you getting as excited as we are to gather for our annual holiday movie date?

This year, we get to march together into the AMC Showplace Vernon Hills 8 to witness the fight for Peeta’s soul, and to see President Snow pay for what he’s done. That’s right – it’s time for our annual patient appreciation event and the final installment of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.

You, your siblings and your friends are invited to join us Nov. 21 at the theater. Be sure to get there early, because the first 500 people will receive a free Forever Smiles hoodie. The doors will open at 10:30 a.m., and the movie starts at 11:30 a.m.

Why are we doing this?

“We appreciate our patients and their families,” Dr. Yan Razdolsky says. “We are getting to that time of year when there are lots of holiday parties and family gatherings, and this is our way of having one huge party for our patients to show them how much they mean to us.”

This will be the third year Forever Smiles has held this party, and each year a record number of people attend. Many patients tell us that they look forward to this event.

We’ve always seen a Hunger Games movie in the past, but now that the franchise is about to end, don’t fret. We’re sure we will find another awesome movie to treat you to next year.

If you haven’t RSVP’d yet, there is still time to do so by calling (847) 215-7554, or emailing Jay Part 2

The theatre is located at 555 Lakeview Parkway in Vernon Hills.

Happy Holidays, from Forever Smiles!

Congratulations, Olympians! Forever Smiles Gymnasts Headed to Rio de Janeiro

October 1st, 2015

We are incredibly excited to announce that rhythmic gymnasts Monica and Jenny Rokhman, former patients of Forever Smiles and relatives of Dr. Yan Razdolsky, are going to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro!

These 18-year-olds graduated from high school earlier this year and competed in September in front of more than 10,000 spectators at the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. Team USA was one of 10 countries to secure a spot.

In addition to the Rokhmans, members of Team USA are: Kiana Eide, Alisa Kano, Natalie McGiffert and Kristen Shaldybin.

This is only the second time in history that an American rhythmic gymnastics team has made it into the Olympics. The last time the U.S. competed in group rhythmic gymnastics at the Olympics was at the Atlanta Games in 1996, which is the year the event debuted as an Olympic sport. There, the team earned an automatic host country spot and finished dead last. The fact that Team USA earned its spot in the 2016 games gives everyone hope they will finish better in the 2016 Games.

The team has been on a winning streak this year. It competed at the Pan American Games in Toronto in July and won Team USA’s first Pan Ams gold in group rhythmic competition, winning the six clubs/two hoops final. The group also earned silver in the all-around and five ribbons finals.

Here’s another Forever Smiles connection to the talented Team USA: Their coach, Natalia Klimour, owner of North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Centeris good friends with Anna Razdolsky. The Razdolsky family’s youngest daughter, Marjey, attended this gym for about eight years. Natalia’s son also is a member of our Buffalo Grove orthodontics family, as he is a patient.

“We send heartfelt congratulations to these two talented athletes and their teammates,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “I know they will represent their community and our country well in 2016.”

We hope you’ll join us is wishing Team USA the best of luck as they continue to train for their appearance on the world stage next year. Go USA!

Jennifer and Monika Rokhman


5 Ways to Ensure Orthodontic Treatment Goes Smoothly & Quickly

September 11th, 2015

It’s back to school season, and although they may love school, we know it won’t be long before students start looking forward to the day they get out for their first holiday break.

We see similar anticipation here in our office when it comes to braces. If you were to ask Dr. Yan Razdolsky the most frequently asked question when patients begin treatment, he would say it’s this: “When do I get my braces off?”

Treatment length varies according to your specific teeth alignment and bite issues. As you anticipate the day your braces come off and your improved smile is revealed in all its glory, here are five things you can do regardless of your treatment needs that will help ensure treatment goes as smoothly and wraps up as quickly as possible.

1. Floss your teeth.

Besides removing bits of food that get lodged between teeth and appliances, flossing reduces gum inflammation. Additionally, it removes bacteria that live beneath the gums and interfere with the bone reformation process.

“If those toxins are in the midst of the bony system, they disrupt the bone remodeling process,” says Buffalo Grove orthodontist Dr. Razdolsky.

Successful orthodontic movement hinges on the bone remodeling process.

2. Brush your teeth.

Brushing after meals stimulates blood flow to carry away the byproducts of developing cells and to bring in new nutrients. This promotes overall oral health.

3. Maintain orthodontic adjustments at regular intervals.

In modern orthodontics, we try to use the lightest force we possibly can because the body responds better to lighter forces. People often think the greater the force applied in treatment, the faster the move. It’s just the opposite, Dr. Razdolsky says. You can’t deliver a small enough force to ensure the fastest movement. We use light nickel titanium arch wires for long-acting, low grade force that helps the bones and the ligaments remodel better as your teeth are shifted into proper alignment.

We schedule adjustments in six- to eight-week intervals so we can have the greatest amount of force and time to exert the most positive influence. Want your braces off on time? Keep your appointments.

4. Wear your elastic bands as prescribed.

If you consider the arch wires to be a track and the braces to be a train car, the elastics add extra force so we can move teeth along the track in a way that can improve the bite. Changing elastics a few times each day means that you maintain a reasonably even, low and light force so your teeth can move the way we want.

5. Drink water.

People often become dehydrated whether they realize it or not. If your body is dehydrated, your mouth is dehydrated. This promotes the overgrowth of bad bacteria, and that takes us back to our first tip about flossing regularly.

Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and realize you’ll need to drink even more if you play after-school sports or participate in other extracurricular activities.

When you’re properly hydrated, the lips and cheeks are properly lubricated by your saliva so they’re not irritated by your braces.

We hope you have found these tips helpful. We raise our glass (of water) to your speedy, successful orthodontic treatment!13856880774_bf79f57ecc_z

Braces Could be the Bullying Antidote for Your Child

August 17th, 2015

dreamstime_m_7941752Kids are heading back to school soon, and that means those babies are leaving their parents’ protective nests for several hours each day.

For parents who have fears of their children being bullied, take comfort in this: orthodontic treatment might remove the target from your child’s back at school.

Teeth are the most targeted physical feature to increase a child’s chance of being bullied, according to a study published in December in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. A child’s strength and weight ranked second and third, respectively.

According to the study, the top four dental-oriented facial features targeted by bullies are:

  • Gaps between the teeth (diastema)
  • Missing teeth (this could be congenitally, or due to decay or trauma)
  • Tooth shape or color
  • Prominent upper front teeth

Almost half of the nearly 900 students who were part of the study reported being bullied. Half of the children who were targeted by bullies said they knew their teeth were the cause of the bullying. The study found no significant gender difference on this point, according to an American Association of Orthodontists press release.

“We often talk about how your smile is the first physical feature many people notice, so it stands to reason that a child’s teeth could make him or her an easy target for bullies,” says Buffalo Grove orthodontist Dr. Yan Razdolsky. “Luckily, this is a physical feature that can be improved.”

While researchers used Jordanian children for this study, a panel of orthodontists in the U.S. concurred with the findings. They believe the findings would be similar among American children, according to the AAO.

“We’ve all had young patients who have told us they get picked on because of their teeth,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “It is incredibly rewarding to treat these children and watch their confidence increase as we gradually correct the parts of their smiles that have made them self-conscious. To see a bolder personality, a child more willing to smile broadly, that is an honor.”

We recommend that children be evaluated by an orthodontist by age 7. Frequently no treatment is necessary at this time, and we will place your child in our monitoring program. We will schedule periodic check-ups to continue monitoring your child’s growth and identify when and if it is appropriate to begin treatment.

The purpose of this initial evaluation is to assess you child’s bite, and to determine if serious issues exist that would benefit from interceptive treatment. Sometimes addressing issues such as underbite and overjet early means we can correct the problem before your child reaches adolescence, which tends to be the age when bullying begins.

Please call our office to schedule a complimentary evaluation if your child hasn’t had an initial orthodontic evaluation, or is being bullied because of his or her teeth.

Prevent Summer Slide by Reading Books

July 14th, 2015

“Summer slide” may give you visions of flumes in water parks or slides at playgrounds, but it has a serious meaning, too. This is the term used to describe the loss of learning during the summer when children don’t read.3784767665_48e2a8082d_z

We’re serious about doing our part to help prevent summer slide. We started a Summer Reading Program this year, and we hope you’ll encourage your children to participate.

Doing so is easy: have them visit our bookshelf at their next appointment so they can choose a book to read. If your child loves the book, keep it. Otherwise, bring it back and select another.

We’re so interested in helping your children maintain their reading skills through the summer, we’re willing to reward them for their efforts. We will award three tokens for every book read. Our patients can collect tokens all summer long and cash them in for fun gifts, such as movie passes, dippin’ dots and other great items.

“Our hope is that by the end of the summer, we will have awarded lots of tokens and our bookshelf will be empty because all of our patients found books that they enjoyed so much, they wanted to keep,” says Buffalo Grove orthodontist Dr. Yan Razdolsky.

Why is reading through the summer so important? Here are some interesting facts from the National Summer Learning Association and Scholastic:

  • All students experience learning losses when they don’t take part in educational activities during the summer. Research shows students tend to score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer.
  • Low-income students lose more than two months in reading achievement while school is out for the summer.
  • More than half of the achievement gap between low income and high income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities.
  • The more children read, the better their fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

The best predictor of whether children experience summer slide or summer gain is whether they read during the summer, according to the Scholastic website, “and the best predictor of whether a child reads is whether or not he or she owns books.”

We look forward to seeing your children in our office this summer, and encouraging them to grab a book to keep for their own personal library.

Author Garrison Keillor once said: “A book is a gift you can open again and again.” We’re excited to get many, many of these gifts into kids’ hands this summer!


We Bring the Fun to Orthodontic Treatment

June 11th, 2015

What do dippin’ dots, freshly baked cookies and free books have in common? You can get them all at our office this summer!

Read on to see how we connect the dots (see what we did there?):

If you’ve been a patient of ours for a while, you’ve smelled the scent of chocolate chip cookies wafting through the office at least a time or two. We offer these ooey, gooey treats to patients at their appointments because they are a soft, braces-safe food you can eat even if your mouth feels a bit tender from having your braces bonded to your teeth or your arch wires adjusted.

Now we’ve added dippin’ dots to our offerings for the same reason. Not only are these little frozen, flavored ice cream beads a cool treat in hot weather, the coldness probably will feel soothing to your teeth if you’ve just had your braces put on. Dippin’ dots also are a great summertime reward when you complete your treatment and those braces or other appliances come off.

Speaking of summertime, it’s almost here, and we’re sure you’re excited. We’re excited too, because we recently announced our Summer Reading Program. Reading is important, and we want to make sure you continue to read this summer. We’ve filled a bookshelf in our office with books, and we want you to choose a book and read it. If you love the book, keep it. Otherwise, bring it back and select another. We will give you three tokens for every book you read. You can collect tokens all summer long and cash them in for fun gifts, such as movie passes.

Why do we incorporate these fun elements into your orthodontic visits?

“Orthodontic treatment is necessary for our patients, but it also should be fun,” says Dr. Yan Razdolsky. “We’ve seen through the years that patients who look forward to coming to our office for their recheck appointments tend to follow their orthodontic instructions, and their treatment goes faster.”

The day you first get your braces is an exciting day, but we know the next milestone you look forward to is the day those braces come off and a beautiful smile is revealed. Incorporating tasty treats and fun contests and programs you can participate in as you progress through treatment are tools designed to make you feel like you’re part of our office family, and to keep you motivated about your treatment.

“An ideal orthodontic result is what our patients seek, but our patients also remember the little things we do along the way,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “They seem to truly appreciate those little things, and we’re happy to provide them.”

If you’re looking for a Buffalo Grove orthodontics provider for yourself or your children and you want to ensure the treatment experience is fun as well as effective, please call our office for a consultation. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Orthodontic Treatment for OSA Helps You Breathe Easy

May 8th, 2015

When it comes to identifying the causes of sleep apnea, medical professionals and scientists have pointed an accusatory finger at lots of things through the years.

Many of those risk factors – smoking, excessive weight, use of alcohol and sedatives – can be controlled. But what about improper jaw growth and facial development during childhood, which has been identified as the root cause of obstructive sleep apnea?

“That can be controlled, too,” says Buffalo Grove orthodontist Dr. Yan Razdolsky. “We’re using orthodontic treatment to guide dento-skeletal development in a way that allows for proper airway function.”

The treatment of dental problems may eventually cure a child of a sleep disorder, according to the Sleep & Behavior Medicine Institute in Chicago. Treating sleep disorders at an early age may also prevent the onset of some dental problems.

Symptoms of sleep disorders that frequently are associated with dental problems include:

  • Mouth breathing while sleeping
  • Episodes where breathing stops, or the person gasps for air
  • Snoring
  • Teeth grinding
  • Multiple awakenings during the night
  • Night terrors or bad dreams
  • Sleep walking, talking or screaming
  • Bed-wetting more than once a week
  • Nocturnal asthma
  • Difficulty waking up in the morning
  • Headaches
  • Excessive daytime weariness, fatigue, sleepiness or daydreaming
  • Hyperactivity and learning problems

Children who exhibit these symptoms should be evaluated and treated before or after orthodontic treatment, according information provided by the Sleep & Behavior Medicine Institute. The institute routinely works with Dr. Razdolsky to treat sleep problems in children, adolescents and adults.

We have focused a great deal of attention 7741513770_95a3c1d9cb_kthis year on sleep apnea. In January, we wrote about how orthodontics can be used to treat sleep apnea. In April, Dr. Razdolsky spoke on this topic at his annual seminar for area dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants.

“We need to keep educating dental professionals on our ability to diagnose and treat sleep apnea,” he says. “Patients tend to see their family dentist and orthodontist more frequently than their family doctor, so we are on the front line when it comes to being positioned to identify obstructive sleep apnea. This is important because OSA can cause many other health complications.”

Those complications include childhood obesity, juvenile diabetes, and behavior disorders such as attention deficit disorder and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

An article published in Frontiers in Neurology in 2013 concluded that pediatric OSA in children who are not obese can becaused by an oral-facial growth disorder.

Improper dento-skeletal development can be a contributing factorto improper airway function and improper overall individual development, according to a March 2015 Dental Economics article. Having a deep overbite that forces the lower jaw into a retruded position also can affect a child’s airway. A narrow upper jaw can lead to less space for the tongue and less airway space. However, widening the upper palate with a palatal expander can reduce nasal obstruction, raise tongue posture and enlarge the pharyngeal airway.

A study found that this treatment could increase the nasal passage by more than 11 percent on average, which resulted in increased nasal permeability and helped establish a predominant nasal breathing pattern, as opposed to mouth breathing, according to an article published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

An improper airway affects the way a child grows because the muscles adapt to obstructions in an effort to clear the airway. Those muscle adaptations impact dento-skeletal development.

Identifying OSA and treating it through orthodontic methods in childhood has the potential to eliminate the problem. But it’s important to diagnose and treat the growing child. By age 9, the upper jaw width is practically complete, but jaws continue to grow in females until about age 15, and in males until about age 20. It’s also important to diagnose the airways using 3D imaging, and to have a sleep study performed at a qualified medical (not dental) sleep center. A multi-disciplinary approach to care leads to the best results.

We continue to educate the public on the importance of having children evaluated by an orthodontist by age 7 because research continues to identify conditions that, if they exist at this early age, are highly treatable.

Mail-Order Braces are No Substitute for Face-to-Face Treatment

April 7th, 2015

That beautiful smile earned through years of orthodontic treatment isn’t what it used to be since you lost those retainers, but companies have emerged that offer to help inexpensively return your smile to aligned perfection.

What’s the catch? You may never see an orthodontist in person, and you’ll be expected to handle much of the diagnostic work like taking impressions of your teeth yourself.

Two major players have emerged in this mail-order orthodontic treatment model. Both say they are targeting adult patients who underwent conventional orthodontic treatment in childhood and have experienced relapse. However, one company claims to take patients as young as age 15.

Technology has advanced orthodontic treatment over the years, but has this latest advancement gone too far?

“It definitely raises concerns for me as an orthodontist,” says Dr. Yan Razdolsky, a Buffalo Grove Invisalign provider. “These mail-order systems resemble Invisalign treatment, without the same level of face-to-face interaction with your orthodontist.”

Orthodontics is not a commodity, not a product on a shelf, Dr. Razdolsky says. It is an exact science based on solid knowledge of biology of tooth movement, growth and development. Unsupervised tooth movement can lead to tooth loss

and jaw problems.

While the hype from coverage in the New York Times and Today Show has focused on the mail-order aspect of this treatment, that’s not an entirely accurate picture. Reading through the Dental Provider section of one company’s website reveals what we already know to be true: there’s no substitute for face-to-face interaction when it comes to orthodontic treatment. Some of the plans outlined involve “one or two visits” between the patient and an orthodontist, and advanced cases deemed not appropriate for this treatment method can be referred to orthodontists who are “endorsed local providers.”

That company seeks orthodontists interested in becoming endorsed local providers, but Dr. Razdolsky sees potential drawbacks for orthodontists who are involved in this type of treatment, including possible liability. Lack of ethics is even more of a concern, he says.8704200665_e2a9169e91_o

From what we’ve read in our research of this mail-order treatment model, the key diagnostic tool that appears to be missing from treatment is digital X-rays.

“We do not start a single patient in our office without 3D X-rays,” Dr. Razdolsky says.

Dr. Razdolsky has mentioned in previous blog posts how valuable our office’s i-CAT 3-D cone beam digital imaging system has been in treatment.

“I’ve even compared orthodontic treatment prior to the i-CAT to practicing blind,” he says. “The 3-D images provide such clarity and quality that I’ve identified countless long-term health risks in patients that not only weren’t visible with the naked eye, they wouldn’t have appeared in traditional X-ray images, either.”

Those health risks have included degenerative joint disease, bone cysts, and undiagnosed damage caused by periodontal disease, among other conditions. All of these conditions would have created negative consequences for orthodontic treatment if they hadn’t been diagnosed and addressed prior to treatment. The potential for these conditions going unnoticed via this mail-order braces treatment is a real concern.

One mail-order company’s founder stated in a Nashville Business Journal article that due to recent trends in “telehealth” and “teledentistry,” he thought his new company could borrow from those practices.

Is this company latching on to one element of advanced technology, while dismissing another, infinitely more important, piece of diagnostic technology by not incorporating X-rays into treatment planning? Critics of these mail-order orthodontic systems warn against trusting your orthodontic treatment to a voice over the phone and not an orthodontist who sees your teeth every four to six weeks to visibly confirm that treatment is going according to plan.

Excellent treatment methods are available for patients who want to minimize their time in braces and in an orthodontist’s treatment chair, Dr. Razdolsky says.

Systems such as Invisalign typically give you three sets of aligners at each appointment, each of which is worn for two weeks. That enables you to schedule appointments every six weeks, and total treatment time averages nine to 15 months.

SureSmile boasts treatment times that are 30 percent faster with far greater precision than traditional braces and require fewer office visits.

If you’re considering orthodontic treatment and you want to achieve ideal results, please call our office today to schedule a consultation. We believe there is no substitute for face-to-face treatment.

Suresmile® Offers High-Tech Treatment in Record Time

March 10th, 2015

Patients and orthodontists sometimes have different goals when it comes to orthodontic treatment.

While they both share the same desire of improved smiles, patients often are most concerned with how quickly those improvements will come. Dr. Yan Razdolsky and the staff here at Forever Smiles tend to be most concerned with using the best technology to achieve the most desirable results.

Luckily for both parties involved, everyone’s goals can be achieved with one product: Suresmile®.

Suresmile® is a type of technology that involves 3D imaging and robotically bent arch wires. The technology eliminates the need for taking goopy, messy impressions of your teeth. Instead, we take a digital scan of your teeth and determine an optimal treatment plan using 3D virtual simulations, says Dr. Razdolsky, a Buffalo Grove suresmile® provider. Then, rather than bending the arch wires by hand to achieve desired tooth movements – which involves a bit of guesswork – we have customized wires created just for you that are bent by a robot. This enables us to create precise tooth movement in record time.8117142757_63b72f10a8_z

Other benefits include fewer office visits and less discomfort.

“The part that patients seem to like most is when we tell them they can complete their treatment about 40 percent faster than with conventional braces,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “The part I like is that we do this without compromising treatment quality.”

Out of more than 20,000 orthodontists in the U.S. and Canada, there are only about 350 who have integrated suresmile® into their practices so far. We can use this technology with traditional brackets, or with a lingual orthodontic system. Lingual brackets are those that are placed on the tongue-side of your teeth and aren’t noticeable to others.

Other suresmile® Benefits:

Another benefit to using the suresmile® treatment system may not mean much to patients, but it makes a huge difference for orthodontists. It involves show how teeth roots move in bone.

Suresmile® is the first tool that makes it possible for Dr. Razdolsky to plan orthodontic care using information gathered about root position within your supporting bone structure.

“Having a clear picture of how the teeth roots move in the bone is at the heart of orthodontic treatment,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “This has changed the way I diagnose patients for the better.”

Buffalo Grove Orthodontist Hosts Artishock Students, Exhibit

February 24th, 2015

What makes you smile, Crocodile?

That’s the question we asked students from Art Studio “Artishock” earlier this month when they came to our office for a fieldtrip.

This was the third year the group made this educational fieldtrip to our office in Buffalo Grove. Orthodontist Dr. Yan Razdolsky explained the artistry involved in orthodontic treatment.

Students also learned about the human growth and development process as it relates to the teeth, and they were shown how orthodontic treatment affects oral hygiene, life of the teeth, and improves facial aesthetics and life quality. They also got to see our newest addition to our display of animal skulls -the Nile crocodile – which has joined our alligator skull and giant tooth-filled shark jaw. We use these visual aids to teach visitors about overbite, underbite and other types of malocclusion.

Now the students have returned to their studio to create art based on their interpretation of what makes them smile, Dr. Razdolsky says.

Next month, all of our patients and office visitors will be treated to the artists’ renderings, as we debut an exhibit of their work in our office. The art will be on display March 16 through April 30.

During that time, we will invite patients and guests to vote for their favorite work of art. You can do so by voting in person at our office, or you can vote via our Facebook page or our Instagram: foreversmilesbg. On Instagram, we will tag all photos with #ArtishockExhibit. Simply “like” your favorite.

Votes will be counted and winners will be announced in May. The artists whose work earns the most votes will win one of the following prizes:

  • First place- a scholarship to cover one semester of classes at Artishock, and art supplies
  • Second place- a scholarship for one semester of classes
  • Third place- art supplies

Good luck to our artists. We can’t wait to see what you create. Until then, see you later, Alligator!artishockcrocodile

Buffalo Grove Orthodontics Expert Discusses OSA Treatment

January 28th, 2015

How Orthodontics Can Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

We often associate severe snoring with adults, and let’s face it: men get most of the blame for being loud snorers.

But some children snore, too, and that snoring could be a sign of sleep-disordered breathing such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea – a condition in which a person’s upper airway gets blocked repeatedly while sleeping.

The diaphragm and chest muscles work harder to open the obstructed airway and pull air into the lungs during OSA episodes, and breathing typically begins again with an audible gasp, snort or body jerk. The long-term effects of these episodes can be serious because they interfere with sound sleep. They can reduce oxygen flow to vital organs and cause irregular heart rhythms.

"These health risks are one reason why sleep apnea in children is starting to get talked about more often,” says Buffalo Grove orthodontics expert Dr. Yan Razdolsky. “We need to bring more attention to this issue because some studies show that about 80 percent of sleep-disordered breathing cases aren’t reported to family doctors or pediatricians. I don’t think enough parents know that snoring is worth mentioning to their child’s dentist or orthodontist, either.”

Dr. Razdolsky says sleep-disordered breathing is another condition that could be diagnosed first by a dentist or orthodontist, since so many signs appear in the oral cavity.

Children at high risk for sleep-disordered breathing such as OSA often exhibit one or more of these characteristics:

  • reduced quality of life
  • smaller air passageways
  • narrow upper arches
  • higher palatal vaults
  • crossbite
  • underbite
  • smaller teeth
  • longer faces

Undiagnosed or untreated OSA can have a negative impact not just on your child’s smile, but on his quality of life,behavior, mental function, the cardiovascular system and lipid regulation.Children with sleep-disordered breathing are more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to a study published in the December 2013 issue of the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics.

Orthodontists are experts at evaluating jaw position, tooth movement and the use of functional appliances to correct a host of bite and alignment issues. That’s why more attention is focusing on taking an orthodontic approach to treat children with milder forms of this condition. One popular treatment method is rapid maxillary expansion.

Expanding the palate can help correct crossbite and create more room to reduce underbite, while also helping to open airways slightly.

Removable oral appliances also can help keep airways open while your child sleeps. More severe cases of sleep-disordered breathing may require other types of treatment.

It is important to note that in many cases, children need to have a sleep study performed and a proper diagnosis given before orthodontic treatment recommendations are made, Dr. Razdolsky says. After that, Razdolsky may work together with a qualified sleep apnea physician to map out a treatment plan.

Children and adults with more severe cases of sleep-disordered breathing may not benefit from orthodontic treatment and use of oral appliances. Some patients must be treated with a machine that provides continuous positive airway pressure – commonly referred to as CPAP. This machine includes a nose piece or mask that applies continuous air pressure to prevent the airway from collapsing when breathing during sleep.

Surgery also may be called for in severe cases.

If your child snores while sleeping, you should mention this to your dentist or orthodontist so an evaluation and be performed to determine if he would benefit from oral appliances, orthodontics or other forms of treatment.

Please call our office today if you have questions about this important topic, or wish to schedule a consultation with Dr. Razdolsky.

Buffalo Grove Orthodontist Explains Orthodontic Benefits

January 21st, 2015

Should I Turn to Cosmetic Dentistry to Fix My Teeth?

Qucik Fix Cosmetic
While concerns over appearance are most frequently what prompt patients or parents to call our office for an initial consultation, the benefits of orthodontic treatment go much deeper.

That’s why if you’re considering cosmetic dental treatments for instant improvements to your smile, you might want to consult an orthodontist first to make sure there are no underlying issues that should be treated in addition to the cosmetic improvements you seek.

Besides creating a smile that can leave you feeling self-conscious, an improper bite can cause premature tooth wear, headaches that can feel like migraines, and muscle fatigue in the head, neck and shoulders.

Cosmetic dental treatments can offer the promise of a nearly immediate fix to crowded, crooked teeth, but it’s important to understand that unless you treat the root issue of the problem, those aches and pains are unlikely to disappear with the addition of a porcelain crown here or a few veneers there.

Orthodontic treatment’s primary goal is to address bone development discrepancies, poor tooth alignment and unhealthy bite issues that can detract from your smile and your oral health. The beautiful smile and the self-esteem improvements we achieve in the process are an added bonus, says Buffalo Grove orthodontist Dr. Yan Razdolsky.

You might ask yourself how a bad bite could cause all the problems we identified above. It’s because like many other ailments, one seemingly minor symptom can be a sign of a larger issue, and small problems that aren’t treated can lead to more significant problems.

Let’s use headaches as an example. Headaches are the leading pain problem in the U.S., according to the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain. About 40 percent of healthy Americans experience chronic headaches. Dental problems can cause tension headaches, because tension headaches are caused by muscle strain.

An improper bite such as underbite or crossbite can cause certain muscles to work harder than others, which can lead to muscle strain. Strained muscles that control your jaw movements continue to compensate for the muscles that should be used but aren’t because of the improper bite. When this goes on long enough, the muscle strain can reach other areas of the face, head and neck.

That same underbite or crossbite also can cause abnormal wear on your teeth because the bad bite forces unnatural contact among your teeth.

“You might think you can simply fix a prematurely worn tooth with a veneer or a porcelain crown, but until you correct the problem causing your teeth to wear, you’ll just be adding additional forces to your restoration, which could prevent it from lasting as long as it should,” Dr. Razdolsky says.

There are two pieces of information we hope you will take away from this article:

  1. It’s never too late to correct bite issues with orthodontic treatment. Even as an adult, orthodontic treatment can help correct bite issues that are causing you other problems.
  2. Cosmetic dentistry can drastically improve your smile, but make sure the areas you want to improve are purely cosmetic and not signs of a bigger problem.

“The standard of care is to perform all periodontal and orthodontic procedures prior to final (crown) restorations,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “There are dentists out there who will place implants and crowns and then either neglect to inform a patient about the benefits of orthodontic treatment, or expect an orthodontist to move the teeth around the final restorations. This is not ethical, and can be very expensive.”

If you would like to learn more about how orthodontic treatment might help address your oral health issues, please contact our office for an appointment.

Our Movie Outing Drew a Record Crowd!

December 24th, 2014


There are two things we know to be certain: we love our patients, and our patients love The Hunger Games movies!

Our private showing of Mockingjay Part 1 in November drew more than 600 people who got to hear Katniss utter her epic line to President Snow: “If we burn, you burn with us!”

Lines had formed outside the movie theater well before the doors opened, and we gave hundreds of Forever Smiles hoodies to those in attendance.

Did you enjoy your time at the movies as much as we did? If so, please tell us on our Facebook page. Be sure to let us know if you want to be part of our movie date next year, too. While you’re at it, post to our Facebook page any photos you took at the movie theater last month. If you post your pictures to Instagram, please tag us: @ForeverSmilesBG.

Happy holidays from the entire Forever Smiles team!


3D Images Reveal Tooth-Filled Tumor in Patient

December 4th, 2014

You might not think about how the cone beam technology used at your orthodontist’s office could help establish a proper diagnosis, but if you’re our patient, you should.

In the 16 months that we’ve used the iCAT FLX 3D cone beam technology in our practice, the useful information we’ve been able to pass along to you, your family dentist, and your physician has been eye-opening for everyone involved.

The iCAT system helps us evaluate our patients for malocclusions such as crossbite, overbite and underbite. But the information revealed in the images it gathers goes well beyond your orthodontic treatment.

We recently evaluated a 10-year-old patient after her family dentist referred her to us because her adult teeth weren’t erupting.

Dr. Yan Razdolsky gathered the information via the iCAT system. He found that instead of teeth in three areas, the patient had what are known as compound odontomas. A large compound odontoma was identified in the area of one upper canine tooth. Two other compound odontomas were found in her lower jaw. Inside these compound odontomas, she had between four and 10 miniature teeth. Multiple compound odontomas and osteomas have been linked to Gardner’s syndrome. This is an autosomal dominant syndrome, so it is possible that one of the patient’s parents has this. Testing to rule out this syndrome was recommended, because it is associated with high incidence of colorectal cancer.

“The iCAT enabled us to identify what the patient’s general dentist was unable to see in traditional X-ray images,” says Dr. Razdolsky, the only Buffalo Grove orthodontist with an iCAT FLX. “Once we have a diagnosis, we know what we’re dealing with. Now her general dentist, an oral surgeon, and I can work together to devise a treatment plan.”

This latest discovery is added to a growing list of Dr. Razdolsky’s findings, thanks to iCAT. He once found a stent in someone’s brain that had been placed there to treat seizures, but the patient failed to report it in a medical history. He also has identified degenerative joint disease, bone cysts, and undiagnosed damage caused by periodontal disease.

Each new finding thanks to the iCAT FLX further proves this technology is a powerful tool capable of so much more than identifying orthodontic issues and helping Dr. Razdolsky develop orthodontic treatment plans for patients. The iCAT is identifying other health issues, too. It goes to show how everything is interconnected in our bodies!

Currently iCAT FLX Cone Beam Technology is ‘State of the Art’ but eventually it will become the standard of care, Dr. Razdolsky says. “The better we are at identifying potential issues early, the more successfully we can plan treatment.”


Injury Prevention is a Year-Round Duty

December 4th, 2014

Medical, dental and orthodontic practices all over the country observed Childhood Injury Prevention Week Sept. 1-7, but we want to remind parents and patients that injury prevention is a year-round task.

Dr. Yan Razdolsky is a Buffalo Grove orthodontist who has seen a variety of dentofacial injuries during the 27 years he has been an orthodontist.

The most common injury in the United States for children who have severe overjet or overbite is fractured upper front teeth caused by trauma or sports-related injuries. A study published in the publication Dental Traumatology in 2008 found that traumatic dental injury remains a problem today primarily due to four reasons:

  1. Trauma to the oral region happens often, and comprises five percent of all injuries for which people seek treatment in all dental clinics and hospitals.
  2. Traumatic dental injuries are common among children who are still growing. It is estimated that as much as 18 percent of all injuries in preschool-age children are traumatic dental injuries.
  3.  Treating traumatic dental injuries can be complicated and expensive, because it often necessitates the involvement of specialists from multiple disciplines.
  4. In contrast to many other traumatic injuries, traumatic dental injuries mostly are irreversible. Treatment likely must continue periodically for the rest of the patient’s life.

While this information paints a rather bleak picture, there is a ray of light. Overjet (the upper front teeth protrude outwardly and in front of the lower front teeth) and overbite (the upper front teeth come down too far over the lower front teeth), which typically are present when a child receives a traumatic dental injury, can be effectively corrected with orthodontic treatment.

Teeth that jut outward or downward farther than they are supposed to are more susceptible to blunt forces to the face and jaw. Correcting these types of malocclusions not only improves bite and alignment issues, but it reduces the likelihood of serious damage being caused if a child receives a blow to the face while playing organized sports or participating in other activities.

“It’s encouraging for many parents to learn that these two conditions, which can potentially lead to significant, permanent damage, can be successfully addressed with orthodontic treatment,” says Dr. Razdolsky.

Dr. Razdolsky corrects overjet and overbite by using a child’s growth to his benefit, along with orthopedic appliances such as a Forsus or a Herbst to help stimulate lower jaw growth.

One key to treating these types of malocclusion is identifying the best time to begin treatment. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children be evaluated by an orthodontist at age 7. Your child’s bite is established at this age, and he has a mix of baby and adult teeth. Dr. Razdolsky can conduct a thorough assessment and determine if interceptive treatment would be beneficial in your child’s case. If no treatment is recommended, your child simply will be monitored periodically to determine the optimum time to begin treatment.


Mouth Guards

Another important part of life for children who participate in a variety of sports – before, during and after orthodontic treatment- is the use of a properly fitting mouth guard. Custom-made mouth guards protect the teeth and jaws from blunt forces, and can even help prevent concussions.

We are happy that there is a week devoted each year to raising awareness regarding the importance of preventing childhood injuries. As orthodontic professionals, we work all year long to protect our patients’ dental and oral health, and we know parents do, too. Please protect your children from traumatic dental injuries by having them evaluated for orthodontic treatment. This simple step can protect your children’s teeth for a lifetime.

mouthguard 5

Are You Ready for Mockingjay?

October 21st, 2014

Our big patient appreciation event is getting closer, and you should have received your invitation by now. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 will be released Nov. 21, and we want to take you to the movies on Nov. 22 at 11:30 a.m.! It’s our way of saying thank you to our incredible patients, while also celebrating the upcoming holiday season. If you were part of the fun last year when we saw The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, you know what a great time we had.

We invite you, your family and your friends to come see Mockingjay Part 1 with us. All the action takes place at AMC Showplace Theatre, 555 Lakeview Parkway in Vernon Hills. The doors open at 10:30 a.m. Seating is limited, and you’ll want to be one of the first 500 people at the door to receive a free Forever Smiles hoodie, so come early!

Please RSVP today by phone: (847) 215-7554, or email: For more information, please visit us as, or on Facebook: We also have a Facebook event posted for you to RSVP and see which of your friends are going!

Razdolsky-invite5x7 FNL 091614 - Mockingjay part 1_Page_1

Razdolsky-invite5x7 FNL 091614 - Mockingjay part 1_Page_2



We’re Getting Serious about Oral Cancer Awareness

October 16th, 2014

Dr. Razdolsky, an orthodontist in Buffalo Grove, and staff members walked in a recent oral cancer awareness walk.

Razdolsky Team Photo at OCA walk

Oral and pharyngeal cancer are serious illnesses that affect tens of thousands of Americans annually, and the team at Forever Smiles is working to raise awareness of this deadly disease.

Eight members of our staff participated in the Oral Cancer Foundation’s Walk/Run for Awareness in Bensenville Oct. 5, thanks to Lisa Schmidt, a hygienist who is our patient and organized it.

Oral cancer is not in the top 10 deadliest of cancers. More than 43,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer every year, and more than 8,000 people die from it, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. So why are we focusing on it? There are a couple of reasons.


1. Dentists and orthodontists can be the first ones to identify oral cancer.

Orthodontists and dentists often are the first medical professionals to detect signs of oral cancer, and that makes sense. You see your general dentist at least twice a year for routine cleanings and professional checkups. Those who are in orthodontic treatment tend to see their orthodontist every four to six weeks.

“Those of us in the dental and orthodontic communities are on the front lines of this battle,” says Dr. Yan Razdolsky an orthodontist in Buffalo Grove.

Approximately 60 percent of the U.S. population sees a dentist every year, but published studies report that fewer than 25 percent of those who go to the dentist say they received an oral cancer screening.

Patient compliance should be easy if more screenings were offered because they don’t involve invasive techniques, and they don’t result in discomfort or pain. It’s also inexpensive to have your mouth examined for the early signs of disease, according to the OCF.


2. Survival rates haven’t significantly improved over the years.

Even though oral cancer isn’t among the deadliest cancers, nearly half of all people diagnosed with it do not live beyond five years following their diagnosis. This is because by the time they usually are identified, the cancer has reached an advanced stage.

Some oral cancers respond better to treatments available today and that has resulted in a slight improvement in the survival rate over the past decade.

“This is good, but we want to see more oral cancers discovered and treated early,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “This will be a sign that we’re increasing awareness.”

The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which many of us often hear about, including cervical cancer, Hodgkin's lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, testicular cancer thyroid cancer, or skin cancer, according to the OCF website.


Lingual Braces Take Treatment behind the Scenes

September 9th, 2014

Let’s be honest: while braces can align teeth and improve your bite at any age, we all know there are ages in which braces tend to be more of a rite of passage.

It is common for tweens and teens to sport a mouth full of metal or ceramic brackets and arch wires. But adults aren’t always so eager to don that look, even if it means a brighter smile awaits at the end of treatment.

Scientists understand and have responded to the demand for more aesthetic orthodontic treatment options that get the job done in record time without the need for traditional braces. One such solution is lingual braces.

Lingual braces are a popular request among:

  • Adult professionals
  • People of all ages who are concerned about wearing braces that show
  • Musicians who play wind instruments
  • Adults and teens who participate in contact sports

iBraces is a brand of lingual braces, which are bonded to the back of the teeth instead of the front. No one you come in contact with will even notice you’re in orthodontic treatment. Dr. Yan Razdolsky has offered this type of treatment for years at his office in Buffalo Grove. Lingual braces by iBraces are entirely customized for each patient according to the shape of their teeth.

This system moves teeth efficiently and effectively, thanks to intelligent wires and brackets engineered to deliver the targeted results identified by Dr. Razdolsky. No matter how crowded, crooked and out of whack your teeth are, Dr. Razdolsky can guide them into their proper position using this system.

Dr. Razdolsky often takes this aesthetic form of treatment a step further by combining lingual braces and SureSmile technology to not only provide treatment that isn’t visible to others, but treatment that is completed in record time.

“By using lingual braces in combination with SureSmile, we can accomplish the most precise movements in the least amount of time,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “All of our lingual cases so far were for adults who were choosing treatment options based on either professional or aesthetic considerations. This treatment approach has given them the smile they wanted in a shorter time-frame, which has made them exceedingly happy.”

SureSmile makes it possible for Dr. Razdolsky to move each tooth to its targeted position in a more direct path than can be achieved with traditional braces.

SureSmile calculates all of the customization needed to deliver Dr. Razdolsky’s treatment plan. This customization is accomplished by using robotically-bent arch wires created to our specifications. These precise arch wires cut treatment time by 30 percent.

As with all forms of orthodontic treatment that are available, you must be evaluated to determine if this particular type of treatment is a good choice to correct your specific orthodontic issues. We invite you to contact our office today to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Razdolsky. We will take a full set of digital X-rays and photographs. Then Dr. Razdolsky will conduct a thorough assessment of your teeth. From there, we will compile this information and offer a treatment recommendation that will most effectively address your orthodontic needs.

Lingual Braces

Welcome Our New Team Member!

September 2nd, 2014

We are excited to introduce you to Nancy, who joined our team in May 2014. Nancy graduated from the Illinois School of Health Careers Registered Dental Assisting program, because she always knew she wanted a job in the health care field. She says she’s happy to have found orthodontics. We can assure you we are happy to have her! Nancy says she loves seeing the high quality Dr. Razdolsky applies to every aspect of our practice. She enjoys learning how the techniques Dr. Razdolsky uses work and produce results. Working at Forever Smiles is great because it provides opportunities for Nancy to interact with patients, as well as help to create beautiful smiles. In her free time, she likes to read, listen to music, dance, work out and spend time with loved ones. We hope you’ll say hi to Nancy and introduce yourself the next time you’re in the office!

Nancy H.

Send Us Your Sweet Summer Snapshots

September 2nd, 2014

As summer draws to an end and we prepare to head back to school, let’s take a moment to reminisce on all those great vacation spots you visited and adventures you experienced this summer. We want to see your favorite summer moments in pictures.

Send us a photo and write a description that we can include with it by September 25  so we can post them to our Facebook page. We’ll create an album and invite everyone to “like” their favorite photo. We will tally the votes on October. 15, and one lucky winner will win a pair of movie tickets.

You don’t have to earn the most likes to win something, though. Everyone who submits a photo will receive five Forever Smiles tokens. Need some food for thought? Here is Dr. Razdolsky’s summer snapshot. Good luck! (send your photo to

Closing the Case on Open Bite Title: Buffalo Grove Orthodontist Explains Open Bite Correction

July 23rd, 2014

Dr. Yan Razdolsky is a Buffalo Grove orthodontist who corrects all types of malocclusion. Here, he discusses how he corrects open bite.

open bite

In the legal world, a case or problem that is “open and shut” is a case where the facts are clear and it’s easy to make a decision or find a solution.

Luckily for our patients, most orthodontic cases are open and shut for Buffalo Grove orthodontist Dr. Yan Razdolsky, including cases of open bite.

What’s that? We’re glad you asked. Open bite is the term used to describe a bite where the front upper teeth don’t overlap the lower teeth when your jaws are closed. The upper and lower teeth also are pushed outward.

Sometimes open bite has genetic causes, such as abnormal craniofacial development. Another cause is temporomandibular joint disorder, where the patient suffers from persistent jaw pain and pushes the teeth apart with the tongue to create a more comfortable position for the jaw.

Most frequently, the cause of open bite is attributed to poor oral habits, such as thumb sucking and tongue thrust. Tongue thrust occurs when your child pushes the tongue into the space between the upper and lower teeth to create a seal when swallowing food and liquids. Doing this repeatedly worsens the open bite by driving the teeth farther apart.

These habits create abnormal muscle forces that have the power over the course of time to cause enough imbalance in your child’s normal growth and create a malocclusion or even facial asymmetry. It is common for permanent correction of open bite to include not only orthodontic treatment, but speech therapy as well. That’s because when this problem is created by poor oral habits, those habits must be corrected for the orthodontic treatment to provide a permanent repair of the malocclusion.

There isn't always a cause for alarm when your child has open bite, however. Not every case of open bite will require orthodontic correction. Almost all children go through a period of open bite at some point between the ages of 7 and 12, while they are in the process of losing baby teeth and gaining permanent teeth.

But how do you know if you should let the condition ride or be concerned about your child’s open bite? By scheduling your child for an orthodontic evaluation. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that you schedule this initial evaluation when your child reaches age 7. At this stage of growth, your child has a mixture of baby and adult teeth, and the bite is established. Dr. Razdolsky can take X-rays and perform a thorough assessment of the teeth, bite and jaws to determine what treatment – if any – is necessary.

If your child’s open bite needs orthodontic correction, rest assured you both are in good hands with Dr. Razdolsky. He has been an orthodontist since 1987, and he is a Diplomat of the American Board of Orthodontics. Under his care, you can rest easy knowing your child will end treatment with a beautiful smile.

Artishock Art Exhibit Winners Announced

June 24th, 2014

artishockWe recently tallied the votes and announced the winners of this year’s art exhibit presented by students from Art Studio “Artishock”. The award ceremony for Artishock was held at the Indian Trails Library in Wheeling on May 15. First place went to Faina, who took home a scholarship to cover one semester of classes at Artishock, as well as art supplies. Victoria won second place, and received a scholarship for one semester of Artishock classes, while Talia won third place and received art supplies.Congratulations to all students who participated. We look forward to having this exhibit again next year.

The Razdolskys Celebrate Awards and Graduations

June 19th, 2014

Dr. Razdolsky and Anna were proud parents when they learned their daughter Elizabeth received the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award for Individual Predoctoral MD/PhD and Other Dual Doctoral Degree Fellows (F30) from the National Institute of Health. Elizabeth will receive more than $48,000 to study a protein called pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), which may regulate blood vessel formation and scar formation in wounds. These studies may suggest future therapeutic options for tissue regeneration, fibrosis and cancer. Elizabeth earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Michigan- Ann Arbor, and is in her fourth year at the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Dentistry. The Razdolskys’ youngest son Ricky recently graduated from University of Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in integrated physiology. He will start dental school at New York University in the fall. Youngest daughter Marjey also recently graduated from Stevenson High School. Dr. Razdolsky and Anna cheered on lots of graduates in addition to Marjey during the ceremony, because many of them are previous patients of Forever Smiles. Marjey will head off to college in the fall. We congratulate all of our graduates and wish them the best of luck as they enter this exciting new chapter in their lives.




4 Reasons Why Summer is a Great Time to Get Braces

June 17th, 2014

You’ve gotten all of those cupcakes made for your kids’ end-of-year parties, the final exams have been taken, and the goodbyes have been said. Summer is here!

This is a great time of year to get your child evaluated for orthodontic treatment and to begin treatment if necessary.

The American Association of Orthodontists and Dr. Yan Razdolsky recommends bringing your children in for an initial evaluation at age 7. Some of the adult teeth have erupted by this age, and the bite is established. That makes it a great time for us to look at your child’s teeth, jaws and overall alignment. Frequently, no treatment is needed at this age; we simply will want to monitor the growth process periodically and wait until the time is right to begin treatment.

Now let’s say the time is right for treatment, physiologically speaking. Why would you want to begin orthodontic treatment in the summer, you ask? Here are four reasons why it’s a good idea:

  1. School is out!

In addition to school being over, there likely are fewer extracurricular activities, such as sports events and academic competitions. A more open schedule means it will be less challenging to schedule appointments. The first appointments where brackets and arch wires are placed take longer than subsequent checkups, so getting those time-consuming appointments out of the way during the summer paves the way to speedier checkups by the time school is back in session.

  1. Summer growth spurts can be helpful

You’ve heard the comments with your children before: “She’s growing so fast!” You also see the difference when it’s time to buy next year’s school clothes. Those clothing and shoe sizes seem to change in the blink of an eye. One reason why having your children evaluated for treatment while they’re young and growing fast is because Dr. Yan Razdolsky is an expert at using that growth to his greatest benefit in treatment. He can guide growing jaws and erupting teeth into position at precisely the right time to create optimum alignment and facial symmetry.

  1. Make the most of your time

Having a child in orthodontic treatment means you have an ongoing commitment to follow-up appointments until treatment is complete. Starting treatment in the summer gives you a chance to get several appointments out of the way without interfering with your child’s school schedule. We will work with you once school is back in session to try whenever possible to schedule your child’s appointments before or after school.

  1. Get the uncomfortable stage out of the way before school starts

Any discomfort related to getting braces is minimized these days, thanks to the technology and the types of appliances we use during treatment. Still, teeth may feel a bit tender when braces are applied initially. Why not get your child through that brief uncomfortable period during the summer, while she’s home from school and can easily choose softer foods to eat or take a Tylenol if necessary?

We here at Forever Smiles pride ourselves in making orthodontic treatment achievable and enjoyable for our patients and their parents. Contact us today at (847) 215-7554to schedule a complimentary orthodontic evaluation. We’re eager to get you or your child on the way toward a beautiful, healthy smile.

Student awarded prestigious NIH Fellowship

June 5th, 2014

Dr. Razdolsky has awesome new about his daughter that he would like to share with everyone! The following was published on the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Dentistry website:

F award Pic"COD student Elizabeth Razdolsky is the recipient of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral MD/PhD and Other Dual Doctoral Degree Fellows (F30) from the National Institute of Health (NIH). Razdolsky, has a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and is currently a 4th year in the COD’s DMD/PhD Program. She will receive $48,467 a year to study a protein called pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), which may regulate blood vessel formation and scar formation in wounds. These studies may suggest future therapeutic options for tissue regeneration, fibrosis and cancer.

The Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral MD/PhD and Other Dual Doctoral Degree Fellows (F30) provides a maximum of six years support to students pursuing both DDS/DMD and PhD degrees. In addition to the annual stipend and partial tuition provided, funds are available for other training-related expenses. Applicants must be enrolled in a DDS/DMD program at an accredited U.S. dental school and accepted in a related scientific PhD (or equivalent degree) program. Students attending any accredited U.S. dental school may apply. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, or permanent residents at the time of award. More information on the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards can be found here."

Lisker Music Foundation Presents "Age of Romantics"

May 29th, 2014

"Age of Romantics" is proud to invite you to an extraordinary event where you will have the unique opportunity to see an exhibit of paintings and sculptures by some of today's finest artists, followed by a brilliant classical concert featuring 5 world renowned musicians.  We have teamed up with the Lisker Music Foundation to bring the worlds of art and music together in one breathtaking event titled "Age of Romantics".

The concert will celebrate some of the most beloved works of early romanticism including Mendelssohn's A minor String Quartet, Schumann's Piano Quintet, and a WORLD PREMIERE of Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata for String Quartet (arranged specifically for this concert by New York based composer, Clint Edwards).  Take advantage of this incredible opportunity to see, hear, and be inspired by some of today's most gifted artists, all under one roof in an event that is not to be missed!

If our patients love  to attend, then Dr. Razdolsky will pay $10 toward the purchase of each ticket. Please notify us on how many people will be at the concert at 847-215-7554, and Call 847-272-7003 to reserve your tickets. You can pick them up at the door, and notify them that you are part of  Dr. Razdolsky’s group. Enjoy!


Data with More Details and Less Radiation

April 25th, 2014


No one wants to practice dentistry in the dark. Cone beam 3D imaging sheds the necessary light on a patient’s craniofacial anatomy and offers precise details that allow me to produce diagnostic records that illustrate the images of the teeth, along with the supporting bones, jaws, jaw joints and other bony structures so that I can truly practice evidence- based orthodontics. I realized how important 3D CBCT was to me first hand, when I sold one of my offices about two years ago, and along with the office, the new owner also bought my i-CAT Next Generation. My original office in Buffalo Grove did not have CBCT imaging capabilities, but it soon became very apparent that I was not equipped with the necessary information I needed to practice orthodontics as more than just a “wire bender.” Fortunately for me, at that time, the i-CAT FLX became available. This cone beam 3D imaging system gave me the details that I needed for more exact diagnosis, but also at a significantly lower radiation dose.

An example of a case where 3D imaging greatly affected my treatment plan and outcome was when a 10-year-old boy came to me for an orthodontic evaluation. I took a scan as part of my orthodontic protocol and sent it to a maxillofacial radiologist for evaluation. The scan volume showed an aneurysmal bone cyst in the anterior mandible. While these types of cysts can sometimes be resolved on their own in children, it was better not to procrastinate and to send this child to an oral surgeon.


Besides the aneurysmal cyst, the child also had a supernumerary tooth—mesiodens behind the central incisor, directly posterior to tooth #9. As an orthodontist, this information was extremely valuable. We can’t just start moving teeth without knowing what potential problems lie hidden within the anatomy. If I had treated the patient without sending him for treatment of the cyst, the orthodontic treatment could have been stalled, and there would be risk of a jaw fracture. The supernumerary tooth could have caused root resorption. If I had retracted the incisor, I would have been right up against the supernumerary tooth. Instead of being surprised by these complications during orthodontic treatment, the oral surgeon could remove the cyst beforehand so that the bone could calcify again. And, he can also remove the supernumerary tooth. An aneurysmal cyst needs six months to heal properly, and then the child could be evaluated for proper orthodontic treatment.


Having 3D data for this patient allowed me to educate the patient’s parents about the details of his dental condition, and to communicate the need for treatment by the oral surgeon. Seeing the dental anatomy in three dimensions facilitated understanding and built trust. It showed I cared about the patient as a whole person.
Regarding the lower dose radiation of the i-CAT FLX, a recent study released at the end of 2013 by Drs. John Ludlow and Cameron Walker addressed concerns regarding CBCT use in orthodontics. The study noted, “The increasing use of cone-beam computed tomography in orthodontics has been coupled with heightened concern about the long-term risks of X-ray exposure in orthodontic populations. An industry response to this has been to offer low-exposure alternative scanning options in newer cone-beam computed tomography models.” The industry response from Imaging Sciences International resulted in the development of the i-CAT FLX. Ludlow’s study found that “QuickScan+ effective doses are comparable with conventional panoramic examinations.” It continued, “We have shown that the QuickScan+ protocol provided a substantial 87 percent reduction in dose compared with the standard exposure protocols in both child and adult phantoms. Thus, when QuickScan+ protocols can be used, they will provide a clinically meaningful reduction in dose.” i-CAT FLX has many exposure protocols, and with a slightly greater exposure setting the resolution of 3D image can be increased substantially. Various areas of the cranio-facial region can be selected, further reducing the radiation exposure.

With less radiation exposure I can obtain much more clinical information to light my way to a successful outcome of my treatment plan. Informed patients are more compliant patients, and an informed orthodontist has the data needed to move teeth responsibly and efficiently. This capability for more precise diagnosis and treatment planning enables me to produce the healthiest relationship between the jaw joints and the teeth, while producing the most harmonious smile at the same time.


Author's Bio:

Dr. Yan Razdolsky is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics. His professional affiliations include the American Association of Orthodontists, World Federation of Orthodontists, the Midwestern and Illinois State Societies of Orthodontists, the American Dental Association, the Illinois and Chicago Dental Societies, Academy of General Dentistry, and the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity.

See more at:

"Artishock" Art Studio Drawing Contest!

April 15th, 2014

C2-5Prepare to be shocked and amazed when you visit our office or our Facebook page throughout the next few weeks.

Our office is hosting an art exhibit with the Tooth Fairy as the central theme, and whether you are a patient, parent or visitor, you are invited to cast your vote on your favorite work of art through May 9.

This is our second year hosting this exhibit created with students from Art Studio “Artishock.” Students from the studio visited our office in March to gather information and inspiration for their artwork. They learned about the human growth and development process as it relates to the teeth. They also gained insight regarding how orthodontic care affects oral hygiene, life of the teeth, and improves your looks and life quality. Then they went back to the studio and created art based on what they learned, and incorporated their interpretation of the Tooth Fairy into their work.


Art instructor and “Artishock” founder Talia Prilutsky says the end result is a collection of artwork that will surprise the audience.

Your votes are important, because they’ll determine which art students win some incredible prizes. Winners will be announced May 18 and will receive a scholarship to cover one semester of classes at Artishock, as well as art supplies. The award for second place is a scholarship for one semester of classes, while the third place winner will receive art supplies.


You can vote two ways: by visiting our office, or by “liking” your favorite art on our Facebook page, where we have posted photos. Happy voting!

St. Alphonsus Catholic School and Tiger Scouts Pack 119 Field Trip

April 2nd, 2014

DSC_4512Children from the St. Alphonsus Catholic School and Tiger Scouts Pack 119 recently had the opportunity to experience an educational fieldtrip at Forever Smiles, the Buffalo Grove orthodontic practice of Dr. Yan Razdolsky.

Our young scholars were introduced to the dental and orthodontic


professions, and learned about tooth straightening techniques, the importance of oral hygiene, and how their education and modern technology are integrated into the dental and medical fields.


The students were particularly impressed with Forever Smiles’ newest piece of equipment: the i-CAT FLX. Dr. Yan Razdolsky explained how this 3-D dental imaging device has helped identify undiagnosed decay, disease and even a brain stent in his patients. He then gave the students a sneak peek into the world of a dentist by showing them 3-D images of teeth, gums and facial bones, similar to those he sees every day. It was almost like having a front row seat to a 3-D movie.


After all of the excitement, students received snacks, as well as gift bags filled with toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and toys. Forever Smiles also kindly made a contribution to the Cub Scout Troops to assist continued efforts to provide the best possible education for children.

A note from Dr. Yan Razdolsky and his staff: “We are grateful to teachers and parents for allowing their students to experience learning outside the classroom and acquire more knowledge about the field of orthodontics.”


Beauty is Skin Deep. Good Health Permeates the Whole Body

March 7th, 2014

Remember the saying, “The eyes are the window to the soul?” We’re hijacking that old phrase and giving it a new spin: Your oral health is the window to your overall health.

We know that may sound strange, but stick with us while we explain.

A growing body of evidence continues to prove a connection exists between your oral health and your systemic health. That means what’s going on in your mouth can be an indicator of problems elsewhere in your body.

Let’s say you have a bad bite, such as deep bite or cross bite, and that causes some of your teeth to routinely rub against your gum line. Over time, your teeth will cause your gums in that area to recede if you don’t have the problem corrected. This paves the way to periodontal - or gum – disease. Periodontal disease attacks the gums and bone that surround your teeth.

Untreated periodontal disease can lead to a whole host of systemic problems. Numerous studies have shown a connection exists between periodontal disease and heart disease, according to the American Academy of Periodontology. It also can worsen existing heart conditions. Other studies draw a connection between periodontal disease and stroke.

What happens in the mouth also affects diabetics. Research has suggested a connection exists between diabetes and periodontal disease, and that the connection goes both ways. Diabetics who also have gum disease may have more difficulty controlling blood sugar.

So what does all of this have to do with orthodontics? A lot, says Buffalo Grove orthodontist Dr. Yan Razdolsky. Teeth that are crowded and crooked pose a greater challenge when it comes to keeping them clean. They provide more crevices in which food particles can hide and plaque can develop. Plaque can lead to periodontal disease. And as we’ve just outlined above, periodontal disease can lead to heart disease, stroke and other systemic illnesses.

Let’s say you practice excellent oral hygiene, but you have a deep bite or a cross bite and it has caused gum recession. You might blame yourself and erroneously believe you weren’t taking good enough care of your teeth, when the truth is you have a condition that no amount of brushing and flossing would have prevented. Instead, orthodontic treatment is needed to correct the problem.

It’s easy to look at orthodontics as being a cosmetic procedure. Many of us tend to fixate on the cosmetic improvements, and how a pretty smile can boost self-confidence and self-esteem.

But beneath the beauty of an improved smile lies myriad health reasons for orthodontic treatment. Let’s not forget those. Having a beautiful smile is good. Having a beautiful smile that also happens to keep you healthier is better.

3-D Imaging Sheds Fresh Light on Undiagnosed Oral Problems

February 17th, 2014

When Dr. Yan Razdolsky looks back on his career as an orthodontist, he feels in some respects as though a whole new world was opened to him last summer.

3d-imagingJuly 2013 is when we added the i-CAT FLX, a cone beam 3D dental imaging device, to our practice. Since then, Dr. Razdolsky has identified a wide variety of undiagnosed oral health issues in some of our patients.

The i-CAT FLX provides highly detailed images of teeth, gums and facial bones, and provides increased flexibility in scanning, planning and treatment, as well as a range of innovative features that deliver increased clarity, ease of use and control. It gives Dr. Razdolsky a crystal-clear picture of what he is dealing with as he formulates your child’s treatment plan.

You might ask yourself, “Just what is an i-CAT FLX, anyway?” Think of an X-ray machine on steroids. Just take a look at the details in this image. You can’t get that level of quality and detail from a traditional X-ray.

In addition to helping us create more thorough treatment plans, Dr. Razdolsky is amazed by the things he has found in some of these images. On one occasion, he found a stent in someone’s brain. Yes, you read that correctly. The patient suffered from seizures, and a surgeon placed the intracranial surgical stent some years earlier. The patient neglected to inform us of this, so imagine Dr. Razdolsky’s surprise after capturing these images for orthodontic treatment!

This may be our most shocking discovery to date, but there have been many other discoveries that we’re so thankful for finding because they posed long-term health risks to our patients. Dr. Razdolsky has identified degenerative joint disease, bone cysts, and undiagnosed damage caused by periodontal disease, just to name a few examples.

Besides being a superior detection device, the i-CAT FLX is safe, in terms of offering the lowest dose of radiation available. Look at these levels of radiation you’re exposed to in the following situations:

  • 2,920 uSv – the normal annual background radiation from living on Earth
  • 10,000-15,000 uSv – the normal annual background radiation if you live in Colorado
  • 4.7-14.9 uSv – digital panoramic X-ray
  • 150 uSv – Full mouth series
  • 1,200-3,300 uSv – Medical CT scan

Our i-CAT FLX emits between 8-20 uSv. The actual exposure time is about 2.4 seconds for an 8.9-second scan.

We hope this information makes you feel even more confident about selecting Forever Smiles to oversee your child’s orthodontic treatment. You can rest assured that we are always on the lookout for new ways to provide the most advanced, effective treatment options available today. Your child’s orthodontic improvements give us a reason to smile every day.

We Show Students the Art Behind the Science of Orthodontics

January 21st, 2014

The Tooth Fairy is a rite of passage for children throughout the world and in a sense, it’s a rite of passage into orthodontic treatment.

Think about it: you have to lose your baby teeth before you get braces in most cases. And when you lose those baby teeth, you usually earn yourself a visit from the Tooth Fairy.

The Tooth Fairy will be the central theme on March 16, 2014 when students from Art Studio “Artishock” visit Dr. Yan Razdolsky’s office for an educational fieldtrip. They will learn about the human growth and development process as it relates to the teeth. They’ll also gain insight regarding how orthodontic care affects oral hygiene, life of the teeth, and improves your looks and life quality. Then they’ll return to their studio and create art based on what they’ve learned and their interpretation of the Tooth Fairy.

Art instructor and “Artishock” founder Talia Prilutsky has instructed her students to create art based on their belief on whether or not the Tooth Fairy exists. She believes the end result will be a collection of artwork that will perhaps surprise the audience and maybe the artists, as well.

Everyone who visits our office will benefit from this art project, because all of the artwork will be on exhibit beginning April 5, 2014.

This is our second year of hosting an “Artishock” exhibit, and we’ll hold a contest once again this year, where patients, parents and visitors will be invited to cast their votes on their favorite work of art through May 9, 2014.

“Last year was a tremendous success,” says Anna Razdolsky, our operations manager. “Our office looked so beautiful with all of this incredible art on the walls, and everyone who visited our office was eager to point out their favorite.”

We want more of the same this year. Your votes are important, because they’ll determine which art students win some incredible prizes. The artist behind the winning artwork will be announced May 18 and will receive a scholarship to cover one semester of classes at Artishock, as well as art supplies. The award for second place is a scholarship for one semester of classes, while the third place winner will receive art supplies.

You can vote two ways: by visiting our office, or by “liking” your favorite art on our Facebook page, where we have posted photos. Happy voting!

New Software Eliminates the Need for Messy Impressions

December 17th, 2013

BUFFALO GROVE, ILLINOIS – It’s no secret that Dr. Yan Razdolsky loves technology, so it shouldn’t be a big surprise to learn that our practice is one of only two in the state that has Anatomage Invivo5 anatomy imaging software.

We realize the mere name of the software may not be impressive to you, but here’s something most of our patients enjoy immensely: this software means gone are the days of our assistants having to take messy, goopy impressions of your teeth.

“This has completely transformed the way we collect information about our patients’ teeth alignment and bite,” Buffalo Grove orthodontist Dr. Razdolsky says.

Instead of the traditional method of taking impressions, Dr. Razdolsky collects digital 3-D data using this advanced, intuitive software. To fully appreciate this new software’s dynamic capabilities, you should know how orthodontists used to approach treatment.

Prior to 3-D capabilities, your orthodontist would take conventional 2-D X-rays of your teeth, along with those goopy impressions. This information, while useful, is limited in comparison to the information available with this new anatomy imaging software. Anatomage scans contain more than just the images of the crowns orthodontists collected by taking impressions. They also capture the roots, developing teeth, impacted teeth and alveolar bone.

You can view your own images and impressions as we display them on a computer screen. With the simple click of a button, we can show you images of your hard tissue, bone profile, airway and skin profile. You’ll probably never see such detailed renderings of your dental, skeletal, soft tissue, airway and sinus anatomy anywhere else! And perhaps you may not want to. But understand this: the information this software enables us to capture means that we are better equipped than ever to provide each and every patient with the absolute best orthodontic treatment possible. Now THAT should mean something to you.

Our iCAT FLX X-ray machine also is healthier for patients in terms of radiation exposure. One iCAT FLX 3-D volume/image is equal to one to two digital panoramic X-rays, or one to two days of background radiation simply from just being outside in Chicago.

This software is beneficial from an environmental standpoint, too. Being able to collect images digitally means we no longer have to develop X-ray film that requires the use of chemicals, which must be disposed of properly to prevent environmental hazards.

“No matter how you look at it, using this type of technology is just simply the best way to go,” Dr. Razdolsky says.

We added this software to our office in July after Dr. Razdolsky attended a seminar in Boston to learn how to use it to the fullest extent. So far, we’ve been happy with the information it has provided, and our patients are happy because we’re providing excellent treatment as a result.

This software also is healthier for patients in terms of radiation exposure. Exposure from one digital panoramic X-ray is less than the natural radiation exposure of simply being alive for one day...

The above paragraph refers to iCAT FLX x-ray machine itself not the software. One iCAT FLX 3D volume/image is equal to 1-2 digital panoramic x-rays or 1-2 days of background radiation of just being outside in Chicago.

Forever Smiles Invites Patients To Free Showing Of “Catching Fire”

November 15th, 2013

hunger-games-buffalo-grove-ilForever Smiles considers it a pleasure to create beautiful smiles for our incredible patients. In fact, we believe the odds of patients completing treatment with a smile they are proud to show off are ever in our favor.

As a show of our appreciation, and to celebrate the holiday season a bit early, Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our entire team here at Forever Smiles invites patients and their guests to join us at the movies for a private screening of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Nov. 23 at AMC Showplace Theatre. The doors open at 10:30 a.m. and the show starts at 11:30 a.m.

The first 500 attendees will receive a free Forever Smiles hoodie.

The second installment of the Hunger Games trilogy, which features Katniss participating in an “all-star” version of the Hunger Games, promises to leave audiences satisfied.

Renting out an auditorium at AMC is something we are excited to do for our loyal patients. Soon you will receive a holiday card/invitation in the mail, which will serve as your ticket to the movies.

“We love the patient interaction we have here at our office on a daily basis,” says Buffalo Grove orthodontist Dr. Razdolsky. “Having the opportunity for our staff to spend time with patients and their friends outside the office and get to know them better is something we’re looking forward to.”

We also look forward to watching Katniss compete in another Hunger Games. We are excited to step out of the office and into “District 12” with our awesome patients.

The AMC is located at 555 Lakeview Parkway in Vernon Hills. Please RSVP by Nov. 5 to let us know if you can attend, and if you’re bringing a guest. There are several ways in which to RSVP: you can do it via the evite we will email to everyone; you can email your RSVP to, or you can call our office: (847) 215-7554.

We thank you for entrusting Forever Smiles with your orthodontic health, and for referring your friends and family members to our practice. We appreciate you!

Forever Smiles is on The U

We recently shared information about a new monthly series that began airing on WCIU Oct. 21. Now we invite you to watch the segment, and please share this with your friends. Also, stayed tuned to WCIU, as our November segment will air soon.

Dr. Razdolsky Offers Candy Buy Back Program For Scary Halloween Treats

October 30th, 2013

BUFFALO GROVE, ILLINOIS-  It’s a scary time to have braces. Frighteningly sticky, crunchy and ooey-gooey Halloween candies are soon to invade the trick-or-treat bags of children (and a few adults) across America.

In response to the impending attack of ghastly sweets, Buffalo Grove orthodontics provider Dr. Yan Razdolsky is offering to buy back candies that pose a threat to the stability of orthodontic appliances.

“A small piece of sticky candy may not seem like a huge risk to braces, but such treats can cause serious damage to brackets and wires,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “We want to reward patients who are mindful of their orthodontic health.”

Troublesome treats that are eligible for the candy buy back program include taffies, sugary gums and chocolates with chewy fillings, such as caramel. Candy corn, jellybeans, gummies and small, hard candies like Nerds should also be avoided. These sweets can easily become entangled in brackets and wires, often causing them to break or bend.

“If it’s sticky, crunchy or takes more than a few seconds to chew and swallow, it’s just not safe for braces,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “Instead of taking a chance, donate it to us.”

One pound of nightmarish candy will be exchanged for five tokens. These tokens can be redeemed for awesome prizes from our braces-friendly treasure chest.

Perhaps you’re thinking we are going to bury these dangerous goodies in a candy coffin. Instead of letting pounds of delicious sweets go to waste, we will ship these treats to our members of the armed forces serving overseas. If you know a member of the military who is stationed abroad, please let us know. We will try to send a special care package to your loved one.

Despite our warning against dangerous candies, we don’t aim for our patients to live on a depressing diet of applesauce and soup. We want you to enjoy the festivities of the season, including trick-or-treating. Soft chocolates without chewy fillings are perfectly safe to enjoy. Freshly baked cookies and ice cream treats are also great alternatives to frighteningly sticky candies.

Please send us your scary treats prior to our candy buy back deadline of Nov. 15. If you have any questions, please call our office.

Forever Smiles is on The U

We told you recently about our monthly series that began airing on WCIU Oct. 21. Now we invite you to watch the segment, and please share this with your friends!

Dr. Razdolsky and Forever Smiles Spotlighted On “The U”

October 15th, 2013

Our typical visitors are braces-clad children and their parents, but we recently welcomed guests of a different sort. Camera crews from WCIU “The U” stopped by our office recently to spotlight Dr. Yan Razdolsky’s incredible smile services and kid-friendly approach to treatment.

Word of our cutting edge technologies and commitment to community reached the ears of WCIU. They are set to feature Dr. Razdolsky and the exciting happenings at Forever Smiles in a monthly series for the next year on “You & Me This Morning.”  This upbeat show kicks off mornings by highlighting intriguing and positive topics in the community.

"We are thrilled to have this incredible platform to offer insight on the orthodontics industry,” says Buffalo Grove orthodontics provider Dr. Razdolsky. “The benefits of orthodontics are life changing, and we hope to communicate that.”

The first feature will focus on the daily operations at Forever Smiles and Dr. Razdolsky’s impressive background in orthodontics. Dr. Razdolsky has steadily left his mark in the field since the late 1980s by identifying innovative treatments, establishing a series of patents and giving hundreds of instructional lectures to fellow orthodontists from around the world.

The Forever Smiles team is excited to share what makes our practice unique with viewers across the Chicago area. We cater to the needs of young patients who may feel uneasy about braces by breaking down the treatment process into terms they can understand. Our use of advanced technologies reduces discomfort and helps to accelerate treatment.

“We hope these features can be a catalyst for pediatric orthodontic treatment in the area,” says Dr. Razdolsky. “A properly aligned smile can bring about so much confidence, and it provides dental health benefits.”

Our ability to create scenarios for ideal oral health is heightened when parents follow the American Association of Orthodontists’ recommendation of having their children evaluated by age 7. This is another piece of important information we hope to convey during our partnership with WCIU.

Dr. Razdolsky’s feature debuts Oct. 21.  “You & Me This Morning” airs Monday through Friday, 6-8 a.m. Central time.

NOHM is Perfect Time to Schedule Forever Smiles Field Trips

September 12th, 2013

October is National Orthodontic Health Month, and that is a great time for schools and organizations to tour our office, or to at least get a tour scheduled.

At Forever Smiles, we have fun using science and technology to treat our patients and create gorgeous smiles. Now we want to share our enjoyment with the community.

Forever Smiles loves benefiting outstanding groups in the area through our Sponsorship Program, so we’re returning the favor by offering fun and educational field trips to our Buffalo Grove office. Help us celebrate National Orthodontic Health Month by registering your Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, public and private schools, clubs and organizations to experience a “behind the scenes” look at orthodontic treatment and dental health. These trips are ideal for children ages 7 to 13.

Field trip participants will meet our friendly dental and orthodontic professionals and discover how we align teeth through modern technology. We’ll discuss our techniques and explain the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene. At the conclusion of the tour, delicious and smile-friendly snacks will be served, and goodie bags filled with toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss and age-appropriate toys will be distributed. To further show our support, we will present a check to the organization’s leader.

We don’t stop there. Forever Smiles will donate additional funds to the organization if a member or a member’s immediate family schedules an orthodontic evaluation and begins treatment with Dr. Yan Razdolsky.

We consider it an honor to educate the community about orthodontics while simultaneously helping local schools, clubs and organizations flourish. At Forever Smiles, we aim to provide more than great orthodontics in Buffalo Grove. We seek to make a positive impact through community involvement, financial support and education.

If you would like to apply for an advertisement or donation through our Sponsorship Program, please inform us at least six weeks before your deadline and schedule your group for a Forever Smiles office tour. Requests can be sent to

Dr. Razdolsky Attends American Board of Orthodontics Meeting In Bermuda

August 20th, 2013

FairmontSouthamptonBuffalo Grove orthodontist Dr. Yan Razdolsky recently traveled to sunny Bermuda, but the purpose of the trip was not to work on his tan. Instead, he joined fellow Diplomats in attending the American Board of Orthodontics’ 35th annual summer meeting.

This year’s ABO meeting was held July 21-25 in Bermuda. Board certified attendants from across the country examined how best to integrate industry technology into daily operations at their practices. Thought-provoking speeches addressing topics such as 3-D airway measurements, biology’s role in orthodontia, and the impact of technology in soft tissue treatment were given by select Diplomats.

The ABO grants Diplomat status exclusively to outstanding practitioners who excel in orthodontic treatment. As the oldest specialty board in dentistry, they encourage excellence in clinical practice and a proficiency in advanced orthodontics. Certification with the ABO is highly sought after. Years of administering exceptional orthodontic treatment and the completion of a stringent written examination are required to receive ABO certification.

All orthodontists undergo years of rigorous education and training. However, roughly one half of American orthodontists are board certified. Dr. Razdolsky is among these exceptional professionals dedicated to advancing the practice of orthodontics through advanced treatments and a passion for creating beautiful, healthy smiles.

Dr. Razdolsky’s prestigious status as an ABO Diplomat is not the only reason patients can trust Forever Smiles with their orthodontic health. He is also affiliated with the American and European Associations of Orthodontists, the American Dental Society, the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity and the World Federation of Orthodontists, among others.

Are you looking for a reliable and accomplished orthodontic professional in the Buffalo Grove area? Patients can be assured they’ll receive unsurpassed care in a caring and friendly environment with Dr. Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team. Contact Forever Smiles today to schedule a consultation and move one step closer to achieving the beautiful smile you deserve.

Ortho Prep And Precautions For Teens Away at College

July 15th, 2013

Buffalo Grove OrthodontistHopefully while you and your college student took time this summer to prepare for a successful college experience, you didn’t forget that preparations must also be made to ensure their teeth remain as healthy as their grades.

As a scholar, Buffalo Grove orthodontist Dr. Yan Razdolsky knows firsthand how time flies during summer and quickly becomes a scarce resource once college classes commence.

“A wise man by the name of Benjamin Franklin once said, ‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,’” says Dr. Razdolsky. “It’s in the best interest of parents and students to take advantage of their free time by preparing for oral and collegiate success this summer.”

With that said, we would like to share the following pointers to help you prepare for and avoid circumstances that could jeopardize your oral health or orthodontic treatment.

Make the most of each summer with checkups

To make the most of your orthodontic checkups, schedule them during the summer, and try to squeeze in a last one right before you leave for the fall semester. This will help tide you over while you’re away at college.

Be proactive

Even if you have strategically scheduled your six-month dental checkups, it is a good idea to have any appliances or dental work such as fixed retainers, caps or sealants checked before heading off to school.

“Just as you would take your car to a mechanic for a checkup to prevent complications during a cross-country trip, you should allow your dentist and orthodontist to check the soundness of your dental work or appliances,” says Dr. Razdolsky. “Sealants especially can cause damage if they are old, and only a dentist would be able to detect whether they need to be reapplied.”

Book ahead for appointments during breaks

Don’t wait until you come home for a holiday or break to schedule a checkup, as we may be unable to squeeze you in with short notice. Instead, take advantage of your school’s calendar and book an appointment that conveniently coincides with your trips home.

Maintain a healthy/safe college diet

College students are notorious for developing poor eating habits. After all, the “freshman 15” isn’t exactly a goal one sets out to achieve. Make sure you still care properly for your teeth with regular brushing and flossing, and avoid hard and crunchy foods if you’re still under orthodontic treatment – you’d be surprised how fast a cavity can develop or how easily an arch wire or bracket can get damaged.

Call us today to map out an oral curriculum that will keep you on track to a healthy smile. We hope you continue to enjoy the summer and wish you the best in your studies.

Athletes Can Receive Free Mouthguards for Summer Sports

June 19th, 2013

mouthguards-buffalo-grove-ilThis summer, Buffalo Grove orthodontist Dr. Razdolsky is providing free, custom mouthguards for athletes ages 7-13 to ensure their smiles remain protected while frolicking on the field.

Dr. Razdolsky’s concern doesn’t lie simply in dislodged brackets and busted hardware.

“Serious lacerations and tooth damage can be caused by a blow to the face – even when the child isn’t wearing orthodontic appliances,” says Dr. Razdolsky. “We are offering these mouthguards to help prevent such damage.”

Damage prevented by mouthguards doesn’t stop with lacerations, chipped teeth and dislodged brackets. Wearing a properly fitted mouthguard also thwarts jaw fractures and possibly concussions.

Councils for the American Dental Association recommend that people of all ages wear properly fitted mouthguards during any sporting or recreational activity that has risk for injury.

Even sports that aren’t considered “contact sports” have risk for injury. Take the following circumstances for instance:

  • Wild pitch in the batter’s box
  • An aggressive spike at the volleyball net
  • A cleat to the face during a soccer goal attempt
  • An elbow to the jaw while blocking a lay-up

And while there are several types of mouthguards, including boil and bite and ready to wear stock types, custom-fitted mouthguards remain the gold standard when it comes to protection.

“We prefer custom mouthguards because of their excellent coverage and snug fit,” says Dr. Razdolsky. “With that said, any mouthguard is better than no mouthguard. We are happy to inspect your current guard with a ‘fit-check’ to ensure it is providing adequate protection and your child hasn’t outgrown it, which is another common issue.”

Mouthguards don’t last forever. Because children are constantly growing and the teeth of those with braces constantly moving, it’s important to make sure their guards continue to fit properly.

“A guard is like a seatbelt,” says Dr. Razdolsky. “It only protects when it fits and is worn properly.”

If you’re a parent who is interested in a free mouthguard or “fit-check” of your child’s current guard, call us to schedule an appointment.

Have a fun summer; play hard, but safe!

Forever Smiles Staff Talk Teeth at Local Daycare

May 15th, 2013

montessoriMembers of our staff visited the Montessori & Music daycare center last month to spread the word about the importance of taking care of your teeth so you can keep them for a lifetime.

We had a great time sharing information with approximately 75 children who were between 2 and 6 years of age.

We have lots of fun visual aids that kids these ages enjoy, including books about going to the dentist, coloring sheets, and a big stuffed alligator with braces and a giant toothbrush. Children can use the toothbrush to demonstrate their brushing skills on the alligator.

Group learning experiences such as these are a great way to get children accustomed to what can be expected when they visit their dentist’s or orthodontist’s office for the first time. They help alleviate fears children often have with going to the doctor.

“Sometimes when we get young patients in the office, they act scared because they don’t know what to expect,” says Dr. Yan Razdolsky, a Buffalo Grove orthodontist. “Reaching out to children when they’re young is something we like to do so they understand what they can do to keep their teeth healthy and their visits to the dentist or orthodontist positive experiences.”

You might be wondering why young children would need to be seen by an orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children receive an orthodontic evaluation by their 7th birthday – and even earlier, if a parent notices something is wrong with the child’s teeth or bite.

By age 7, a child’s bite is established and we can determine whether any problems exist that should be treated early, such as underbite or crossbite. When we provide underbite treatment for children, we like to start as early as possible because we can use the child’s growth to our benefit and guide jaw growth to help correct the problem. Waiting until the child is older and jaw growth is complete often leaves no other treatment alternative than orthognathic surgery.

If the child has unhealthy oral habits such as sucking thumbs or fingers, there are appliances we can install that take away the pleasant sensation derived from thumb- and finger-sucking.

Several children’s parents were in attendance during our recent visit to Montessori & Music, so this created a great opportunity for us to educate them on these topics.

We’re always eager to visit schools and community groups, or to host fieldtrips to our office to share information about orthodontics and dental health. If your school or group is interested in learning more about our educational presentations and fieldtrips, please call Anna Razdolsky for more information:

Dr. Razdolsky Offers Free Training to Navy Dental Hygienists

April 10th, 2013

Several dental hygienists from Naval Station Great Lakes will attend Dr. Yan Razdolsky’s annual seminar at Maggiano’s in Little Italy April 17.

logo_mainThis educational seminar is for dental professionals, and it gives attendees an opportunity to earn six continuing education credits.

“We like to invite the dental professionals at the Naval Station because we view it as a way of giving back to our military service members who dedicate themselves to service to our country,” says Buffalo Grove orthodontist Dr. Razdolsky.

Landy Chase - the Sales Revolutionist™ who is a nationally active author, selling expert and thought leader - will speak at this year’s seminar. He will share information on the business aspects of the dentistry field, such as how and why some dental practices grow much more rapidly and successfully than others.

Afterward, Dr. Razdolsky will share his annual orthodontic update.

“I feel strongly about sharing the latest findings in orthodontics because so many dentists offer Invisalign these days, or refer patients to orthodontists for treatment,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “Orthodontic technological developments get published in orthodontic journals, which general dentists and hygienists typically don’t have access to. This seminar is a great way to get that information into their hands.”

The seminar is designed to expose dentists and dental hygienists to the new technology and treatment methods that are available. His goal is to provide a learning opportunity that better prepares the dentists who offer orthodontic treatment such as Invisalign in their offices to understand when their patients need more than a few aligners and should be referred to a specialist, he says.

This educational experience has gained considerable popularity through the years, with more than 200 dentists and hygienists attending the meeting. Dental professionals must complete 32 hours of continuing education every two years, and this helps satisfy part of that requirement.

Patient Survey: Exceeded My Expectations

March 26th, 2013

Thank You_five-star-front1. Overall, how would you rate your experience at our office?
Exceeded my expectations

2. Overall, how would you rate your experience at our office?
Comments: Appointments are always on time and the staff is friendly and courteous.

3. Based on your experience, would you recommend us to a family member or friend?
Definitely yes

4. Based on your experience, would you recommend us to a family member or friend?
Comments: I already have!

5. How would you rate how you were treated on the phone?
Exceeded my expectations

6. How would you rate how you were treated on the phone?
Comments: I had to reschedule an appointment, and the receiving end was nothing but patient and understanding. Great customer service!

7. How would you rate how you were treated when you arrived/checked in?
Exceeded my expectations

8. How would you rate how you were treated when you arrived/checked in?
Comments: Every time I went in, the staff greeted me and asked about wedding. They are all very friendly.

9. Did we see you within a reasonable proximity of your appointment time?

10. Please rate how well we explained your current condition and any recommended treatment.
Exceeded my expectations

11. Did we answer your questions satisfactorily?

12. Please rate how well we explained proposed treatment costs and financial options.
Exceeded my expectations

13. If treatment was recommended, do you plan on scheduling it with us in the next 30 days?

14. Have you scheduled your next appointment?

15. If not, may we call you to schedule?

16. Is there anyone you would like to recognize for outstanding or less-than-outstanding service?
I would like to thank Brenda W. for helping me come up with a reasonable payment plan. I am a student with limited income, but we were able to work something out so that I could have the perfect smile for my wedding day. Also, other Brenda is great!

17. Do you have suggestions to help us improve our service?
The only thing that was a bit hard was to schedule appointments that were not during working hours, but I understand that many people book those up because they can only do evenings.

Anna Razdolsky Interviewed by New Life Radio 1330 AM Chicago

March 20th, 2013

Anna Razdolsky from Forever Smiles Dr. Yan Razdolsky D.D.S, L.T.D was interviewed twice by New Life Radio 1330AM Chicago! Listen and share this video with your friends! Topics include:

December 2012: What is an orthodontist? When is the best time to see him?

January 2013: Who is the best orthodontist for your family?

Patients To Choose The Winner of Art Contest

March 13th, 2013

BUFFALO GROVE, ILLINOIS- Forever Smiles has the most colorful office around these days, and we couldn’t be happier.

We invited some local art students here for a field trip last month and they went back to their drawing boards to create dental-inspired artwork for our Buffalo Grove orthodontics office. The talented bunch from Art Studio “Artishock” has created an exhibit their instructor, Artishock founder Mrs. Talia Prilutsky, has named “What Makes You Smile.”

As a result, our lobby is adorned with beautiful works of art fashioned with orthodontics as their muse.

Now it’s time to vote! We’re asking our patients and guests to tell us their favorite painting. You can do so by visiting our office, and checking out the photos on Facebook and “liking” your favorites. The winner will be announced May 6, and will receive a scholarship to cover one semester of classes at Artishock, as well as art supplies. The award for second place is a scholarship for one semester of classes. The third place winner will receive art supplies.

The What Makes You Smile exhibit was sparked when Dr. Yan Razdolsky decided to connect with his inner Picasso. Last month, he invited students from Artishock to our office to observe how crafting a beautifully balanced smile for patients incorporates a unique sense of artistry and understanding of science.

“I’ve always enjoyed dissecting subjects, such as orthodontics, down to their most primitive form, and seeing how art and science helps mold and define what I practice,” says Dr. Razdolsky, who treats children and also offers Invisalign for adults. “It’s important for me to give students that insight.”

Prilutsky has christened our office as an ideal place to display her students’ work. It’s large, child-friendly and several Artishock students are even patients of Dr. Razdolsky.

Between now and the end of April, we invite you to get involved at our office and on Facebook by showing these talented young artists how much you enjoy their creations. Cast your vote and help one lucky artist become the proud recipient of an Apple Store gift card, and another claim that awesome gift basket.

We’re Sharing the Art & Science Connection With Artistic Youth

February 8th, 2013

BUFFALO GROVE, ILLINOIS- February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and some students from a local art studio will celebrate it in style Feb. 17 when they come to our office for a field trip.

Students from Art Studio “Artishock” are coming to our Buffalo Grove orthodontics office to learn how Dr. Yan Razdolsky combines art and science during orthodontic treatment to create beautifully balanced smiles for his patients.

“I’ve always enjoyed the pairing of art and science to correct bite, jaw and alignment discrepancies, and it will be rewarding to show art students how art transcends oil and canvas,” says Dr. Razdolsky, who also is an Invisalign Teen provider.

Mrs. Talia Prilutsky, founder of Art Studio “Artishock” and an art teacher, learned of our fieldtrip opportunities while bringing her daughter here for orthodontic treatment. The studio teaches about 60 students who range in age from 4 to 15.

“Teaching art is not just about studio work,” Mrs. Prilutsky says. “There needs to be a combination of many experiences so the students have broader experiences to pull from when I give them a project. Fieldtrips are really helpful with that.”

Mrs. Prilutsky is excited that the students will learn about the features of the skull and the jaws, as well as the tools Dr. Razdolsky and his staff work with each day.

In addition to learning helpful information that will enable the students to draw the human form, the fieldtrip is a good experience that provides exposure to the medical field.

Following the field trip, Mrs. Prilutsky intends to assign the project “Smiley Faces,” which is related to what the students learn from Dr. Razdolsky. Our office will display the students’ artwork upon completion.

Mrs. Prilutsky says our office is a great exhibition space because it’s very kid-friendly. Also, several of the students at the studio are patients of Dr. Razdolsky.

“Having a public place and the opportunity to exhibit their work is very important for the students,” she says. “It builds self-esteem, develops confidence in self-expression, and creates a sense of pride and achievement.”

Art contests can also show children that taking part in competitions is an enjoyable and unforgettable experience, Mrs. Prilutsky says. Also, students get to see how their work impacts those who see it.

As for us, we can’t wait to see the artwork the students create based on inspiration they gain from the fieldtrip. Stay tuned, because we’ll host a contest in the coming weeks, where we’ll ask patients to cast their votes on their favorite piece of art. We will award a prize to the winning artist.

It’s Not the Braces, It’s the Orthodontist

January 21st, 2013

When it comes to orthodontic treatment, all providers are not created equal.

The fact is- just like in any field- some orthodontists are better than others. Fortunately, there are some questions you can ask a potential provider to help you make an informed decision about who is the best orthodontist to provide your treatment.

Remember when you get ready to choose a provider that experience, training, technique and creativity are factors that differentiate some orthodontists from others.

Take Dr. Yan Razdolsky, for example. He has worked for years to create innovative treatments for patients of all ages. He has given lectures to orthodontists from throughout the world since he became an orthodontist in the late 1980s. Each year, he hosts a sold out seminar for dentists and dental professionals to share information on the latest orthodontic techniques and trends. In the 1990s, he held five patents on orthodontic techniques.

Today, he is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics and he belongs to a variety of local and international professional dental and orthodontic organizations.

As a patient of Dr. Razdolsky, you are in good hands. But you should never feel bashful about asking him- or any orthodontist you see- about his credentials. This is part of how you make an informed decision regarding your treatment, because it helps instill confidence that you’ve selected the best provider to give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

“Our website is a good marketing tool for us, and I share information about my education and training on the site because I know it’s helpful to parents when they’re seeking an orthodontist to treat their children,” says Dr. Razdolsky, a Buffalo Grove SureSmile specialist. “We also include information about our team, because these are people with whom you’ll have a relationship over the next couple of years as your treatment plan is implemented.”

We’re often asked by people in the community how to choose an orthodontist. Following are a few suggestions:

  • Ask about their credentials, training, whether they are board certified, etc. All of these factors speak to the orthodontist’s expertise.
  • Ask to see before and after photos of patients with malocclusions similar to what you’ve been diagnosed with so you can see the orthodontist’s results.
  • Ask yourself if you like the orthodontist and his/her staff. This might seem silly or shallow, but it’s not, Dr. Razdolsky says. Your treatment will last a couple of years, on average. You’re going to be seeing a lot of these people, so you need to feel as though you have a good rapport with them.
  • Don’t be married to one form of treatment. Just because you hear a lot about Invisalign, for example, doesn’t mean that’s the best treatment option for your particular needs. When you’re at a consultation and the orthodontist recommends a specific treatment path, ask for the reasoning behind that choice.

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember when it comes to quality orthodontic treatment, it’s not the braces; it’s the orthodontist.

The appliances will only get you so far, says Dr. Razdolsky, who offers orthodontic treatment for adults and children. You must have a qualified, creative professional using those appliances properly to achieve the ideal tooth movements necessary to create a proper alignment and bite relationship.

“That is how you will get the smile you can be proud of,” he says.

Do germs really live on my toothbrush?

January 11th, 2013

The dreaded cold and flu season is here again! After recovering from your cold, one of the most important steps you can take to avoid becoming reinfected is replacing your toothbrush!

Germs can linger on the bristles, and you risk prolonging your sickness by continuing to use the same toothbrush. Be smart - keep a spare, just in case! To protect your toothbrush from bacteria all year long, consider the following tips:

• Wash your hands before and after brushing
• Allow the brush to air dry after each use, harmful bacteria dies after being exposed to oxygen
• Store the toothbrush in an upright position to allow water to drain and dry faster
• Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Worn bristles are less effective in properly cleaning your teeth, and can actually be damaging to teeth if used too long!

We hope these tips help! Feel free to give us a call or ask us on Facebook if you have any questions!

Season's Greetings!

December 20th, 2012

In this season given to tidings of comfort and joy, and as we reflect on the year that was, we’d like to ask you, our wonderful patients: What do you love about the holidays this year? Being with your loved ones? Hitting the slopes? A clean slate for 2013? Opening presents by the fireplace? All the delicious food?

Also, what gift are you most looking forward to getting this year? We’d love if you shared with us all the things you love about the holidays. Stay warm, and don’t forget to limit the amount of sweets you eat!

Happy holidays from our family to yours!

What are your 2013 goals? How about a healthier, more beautiful smile?

December 14th, 2012

2013 is almost here, and it's a great time of year to get started on a lifetime of straight, dazzling and confident smiles. We are proud to offer some of today's most innovative orthodontic technologies that can straighten your smile in less time than you ever imagined. Not only do today’s braces and other orthodontic treatments straighten your teeth quicker, they also offer greater comfort for you, and require fewer visits to our office.

So if obtaining a healthy, beautiful smile is one of your New Year’s resolutions, we invite you to give us a call to schedule an initial orthodontic consultation. Happy holidays!

Buffalo Grove Orthodontist Recommends Braces For Adults

December 8th, 2012

BUFFALO GROVE, ILLINOIS ­­– Many adults are insecure about braces and often try to avoid orthodontic treatment, but country singer Faith Hill recently showed that there’s no reason to be embarrassed.

Adult BracesHill wore clear braces along with a black dress at the Country Music Association Awards in November. The country singer revealed she had to get braces because she didn’t wear her retainer regularly after completing orthodontic treatment as a teenager, and she is now a good role model for two of her daughters who have braces.

Hill isn’t the first celebrity to show her braces out in public. Tom Cruise wore braces at the age of 39, and Katherine Heigl wore Invisalign retainers at 28.

Since braces are associated with teens, adults often reject the idea of metal braces. But what they may not know is that straight teeth don’t just look better, they can actually improve overall oral health.

Braces are used to treat bad bites. Even if the teeth are straight, the upper or lower jaws may not be aligned properly. Orthodontic treatment can correct the bite and prevent future problems including tooth decay and jaw problems.

“It’s never too late for orthodontic treatment,” said Dr. Yan Razdolsky, a Buffalo Grove orthodontist. “Some people may have orthodontic problems that were not treated during their childhood, while others may need further treatment. It’s refreshing to see a high-profile celebrity such as Faith Hill sporting braces, because perhaps this helps eliminate the stigma many adults associate with adult orthodontic treatment.”

Adults need to know that there are many options for more comfortable braces that aren’t as noticeable as they used to be, Dr. Razdolsky added.

Today, patients can choose from a variety of braces that provide different levels of comfort and visibility. Traditional metal braces are the most common type, and they are now more comfortable than ever. Lingual braces are hidden behind the teeth. Ceramic braces are made of clear materials, but require extra care. Another option is Invisalign, which are clear aligners that can be removed to eat and practice oral hygiene.

If you’re an adult seeking orthodontic treatment, don’t let your self-consciousness about braces prevent you from getting a beautiful smile. Dr. Razdolsky has treated a considerable number of adults along with kids for braces. Contact our clinic today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Katy Perry is Cool- Headgear is Not

November 13th, 2012

BUFFALO GROVE, ILLINOIS— If you’re a teenager or the parent of one, you’ve most likely seen Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night” music video, where she portrays a nerdy girl turned party animal.

But as knock-out hot as she looks after a quick makeover by Rebecca Black, it’s difficult to erase the image of that god awful headgear she’s wearing before her transformation.

Luckily for patients of Dr. Yan Razdolsky, they won’t ever have to experience the humiliation of wearing such a device in public because Dr. Razdolsky is the leading Forsus Fatigue Resistance Device provider in Illinois.

What is Forsus, you ask? 

Forsus, a product of Unitek 3M, is a revolutionary device that corrects Class II malocclusions – or overbites- that occur when the upper jaw and teeth protrude past the bottom jaw and teeth.

In the past, fixed intraoral devices used to correct such discrepancies came with breakage concerns, extended treatment times and the unsightly appearance and inconvenience of wearing headgear.

“Young patients are particularly excited to learn that overbite treatment using the Forsus doesn’t require them to wear headgear,” says Dr. Razdolsky. “Headgear makes them look and feel different and even though the patient wears headgear at home only, it’s still a hassle if they have a sleepover. It has the potential to lead to teasing and insecurity.”

How does it work?

The Forsus device uses a unique coaxial spring design, which is attached to the patient’s upper and lower orthodontic appliance. The consistent resistance urges the upper jaw and teeth to shift backward while pulling the lower jaw and teeth forward.

Why is Forsus better? Its coaxial spring technology avoids stress-related fractures that are common in spring-powered devices.

The constituent parts of Herbst and many other interarch appliances used to correct Class II malocclusions are prone to breakage, according to a case report published by the People’s Journal of Scientific Research.

“The Forsus is an effective and comfortable fixed functional appliance which is very effective in repositioning the mandible in a forward position for the treatment of skeletal mandibular retrognathism,” the report states.

The consistent force applied by the Forsus also leads to shorter treatment times.

“Headgear doesn’t work when the patient doesn’t wear it,” says Dr. Razdolsky, who also uses SureSmile and Invisalign technology to straighten smiles. “Forsus doesn’t rely on patient compliance because it’s a device we install in their mouths. It does its job 24 hours per day.

Forsus is nearly invisible due to its placement, which means no one has to know your child is wearing it.

Forsus allows parents to give their children the gift of a beautiful smile.

There's Still Time for Our Candy Buy Back Program!

October 26th, 2012

We’re not saying that you can’t enjoy the fruits of your trick or treating labor. Eat those milk chocolates or fresh-baked cookies and brownies you may be enchanted by at Halloween parties. Just remember to brush afterward to help prevent cavities. But leave the off-limits candies with us to rest in peace. All of your dreadful donations will be shipped- along with toothbrushes and toothpaste that we will donate- to U.S. troops serving overseas.

If you have a loved one serving overseas, please let us know. Perhaps we can ship these care packages to them!

It’s important to remember that every bent or broken wire or other orthodontic appliance can mean an extra trip to the orthodontist, and it can lengthen your treatment duration, says Dr. Razdolsky. Staying away from the foods that can damage your braces helps ensure you complete your treatment on time. Think about how proud your mummy and daddy will be if you finish your treatment on schedule!

“This is a great way to remove the temptation of candies that are on our hit list while supporting a great cause and earning some valuable tokens,” says Dr. Razdolsky.

If you’re an Invisalign patient, you’re well aware that no food is off limits to you, since you can remove your aligners to eat. While you may be the envy of patients who are in SureSmile and other treatment that involves braces, remember that Invisalign doesn’t create a force field against cavities. So remember to brush after eating candy.

We’re excited about this contest, and hope that you are, too. Please bring your candy donations to our office between now and Nov. 15. We will share the total donated amount in an upcoming blog post. For more information, call our office.

Dr. Razdolsky Offers Candy Buy Back Program

October 22nd, 2012

BUFFALO GROVE, ILLINOIS – A broken orthodontic appliance can be quite a fright.

This year, we’re making it easy for all of you guys and ghouls to avoid the temptation of eating candies that may damage your braces. Take part in our candy buy back program- it promises to be a scream!

“We’re approaching the time of year when we see more patients with broken appliances or bent wires caused by eating candies that aren’t compatible with braces,” says Buffalo Grove orthodontist Dr. Yan Razdolsky. “We hope our candy buy back program will help some patients avoid the temptation by donating the candies that are unsafe for braces.”

Bring us your creepy caramels, terrifying taffies, and other chilling chewy candies. We’re also lurking for bubblegum, jellybeans, candy corn and licorice. All of these can be a nightmare for your braces. For every pound of these ghostly goodies you bring us, we’ll give you five tokens. Those tokens can be redeemed for great prizes that await you in our coffin…err…treasure chest.

Enter the Great Pumpkin Contest at Forever Smiles!

October 2nd, 2012

We are excited to share with our patients that our Great Pumpkin Contest to guess the weight of a giant pumpkin which begins on October 1 until November 21, and we hope you’ll join us in the fun. Each year, we bring a giant pumpkin in and ask our patients and other office visitors to guess how much it weighs. This year, the person whose guess is closest to the actual weight will win a $50 gift card to the Apple Store.

You can cast your vote via a paper ballot at our office, or you can vote online via our Facebook page:

Are you curious about just how big we’re talking when we say “giant pumpkin?” Last year’s pumpkin weighed in at a whopping 217 pounds!

Dr. Razdolsky Offers Candy Buy Back Program

September 30th, 2012

BUFFALO GROVE, ILLINOIS – A broken orthodontic appliance can be quite a fright.

This year, we’re making it easy for all of you guys and ghouls to avoid the temptation of eating candies that may damage your braces. Take part in our candy buy back program- it promises to be a scream!

“We’re approaching the time of year when we see more patients with broken appliances or bent wires caused by eating candies that aren’t compatible with braces,” says Buffalo Grove orthodontist Dr. Yan Razdolsky. “We hope our candy buy back program will help some patients avoid the temptation by donating the candies that are unsafe for braces.”

Bring us your creepy caramels, terrifying taffies, and other chilling chewy candies. We’re also lurking for bubblegum, jellybeans, candy corn and licorice. All of these can be a nightmare for your braces. For every pound of these ghostly goodies you bring us, we’ll give you five tokens. Those tokens can be redeemed for great prizes that await you in our coffin…err…treasure chest.

We’re not saying that you can’t enjoy the fruits of your trick or treating labor. Eat those milk chocolates or fresh-baked cookies and brownies you may be enchanted by at Halloween parties. Just remember to brush afterward to help prevent cavities. But leave the off-limits candies with us to rest in peace. All of your dreadful donations will be shipped- along with toothbrushes and toothpaste that we will donate- to U.S. troops serving overseas.

If you have a loved one serving overseas, please let us know. Perhaps we can ship these care packages to them!

It’s important to remember that every bent or broken wire or other orthodontic appliance can mean an extra trip to the orthodontist, and it can lengthen your treatment duration, says Dr. Razdolsky. Staying away from the foods that can damage your braces helps ensure you complete your treatment on time. Think about how proud your mummy and daddy will be if you finish your treatment on schedule!

“This is a great way to remove the temptation of candies that are on our hit list while supporting a great cause and earning some valuable tokens,” says Dr. Razdolsky.

If you’re an Invisalign patient, you’re well aware that no food is off limits to you, since you can remove your aligners to eat. While you may be the envy of patients who are in SureSmile and other treatment that involves braces, remember that Invisalign doesn’t create a force field against cavities. So remember to brush after eating candy.

We’re excited about this contest, and hope that you are, too. Please bring your candy donations to our office between now and Nov. 15. We will share the total donated amount in an upcoming blog post. For more information, call our office.

Foods That are Safe for Braces

September 28th, 2012

Orthodontic braces are used to straighten the 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, bacon, 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 baked tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole, or try 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, our office will periodically tighten them to continue the alignment process. After tightening occurs, 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.

You're Never Too Old to Treat Yourself to a New Smile!

September 20th, 2012

Did you know one in every five orthodontic patients is an adult? We’re living longer and technology is improving, making orthodontic treatment an appealing and safe option for patients of all ages. As the trend toward treatment later in life grows, we’re seeing braces on parents as well as children – and even adult celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Gwen Stefani and Nicholas Cage have shown off their braces. It’s never too late to look and feel your best!

Can Braces Work for Adults?

People of all ages can benefit from orthodontic treatment. The physical process for moving teeth is the same, young or old, which means it’s never too late to address issues such as an overbite or underbite, crooked or crowded teeth, or jaw disorders.

How Do I Get Started?

If you’re considering orthodontic treatment, we’ll make a consultation appointment with you. During this meeting we will perform a general assessment of your oral health, discuss options for treatment, and answer any questions you may have. We will also discuss matters of cost and insurance. The next step is an orthodontic records appointment in which we take x-rays, photos, and an impression of your teeth. This information drives your unique treatment plan.

What Are the Benefits?

Straightening your teeth can improve your smile, your self-esteem, and your dental health. Technologically advanced new treatments make it easier to identify the option that best fits your lifestyle. Modern techniques and materials have made braces and aligners more effective, comfortable and unobtrusive than ever.

If you think you might benefit from orthodontic treatment, give our team a call, so we may set up a consultation to determine what type of treatment best meets your needs.

Invisalign or Veneers- Which is Best?

September 14th, 2012

BUFFALO GROVE, ILLINOIS-- People can be impatient when it comes to seeking cosmetic improvements. Sometimes adult patients ask whether getting porcelain veneers is a better option than undergoing orthodontic treatment because it generates quicker results.

After all, a patient can get porcelain veneers in just two dental appointments, while orthodontic treatment can take 18 months or more. An important point to remember is that faster is not always better, says Dr. Yan Razdolsky, a Buffalo Grove orthodontist.

“We’ve had patients in their early twenties say they would rather just get veneers instead of going through orthodontic treatment,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “But why would you want to remove healthy tooth structure to get veneers, if you could undergo orthodontic treatment and have the smile you want in a year or so?”

Veneers are thin sheets of porcelain that can be bonded to the fronts of teeth to correct a variety of imperfections, including minor crowding, discoloration, chips and cracks in teeth. The process requires a dentist to reduce the size of your teeth by removing part of the healthy tooth structure to make room for the veneers. Doing so keeps the veneers from creating a bulky look to your teeth. Once this is done, your veneers are created in a dental lab and a second appointment is necessary to bond them to your teeth.

When determining whether to get veneers or undergo orthodontic treatment, patients interested in fast cosmetic improvements tend to narrow down their options to veneers or Invisalign. The makers of Invisalign have done a remarkable job of marketing their product, so many patients ask for this treatment- which involves a series of clear aligners that gradually shift teeth into alignment- by name.

Because of the growing number of cosmetic and general dentists who offer Invisalign treatment, there are dentistry practices today that can offer either option in-house.

The practice of San Francisco cosmetic dentist Dr. Greg Larson is one that offers veneers and Invisalign.

“Our desire always is to provide the most effective, least invasive treatment possible,” Dr. Larson says. “We present our patients with their options and let them choose the treatment that best meets their needs. At the end of the day, it’s their decision to make.”

Dr. Razdolsky, who also offers Invisalign treatment, recommends patients choose treatment that doesn’t interfere with healthy tooth structure, as long as alignment is the only issue that must be addressed.

“If we’re talking about an adult patient who also has severely stained, chipped or cracked teeth, it will take more than orthodontic treatment to perfect that smile,” he says. “In those cases, veneers might actually be a better option, or even a combination of orthodontic treatment and veneers.”

But in the overwhelming majority of restorative cases, braces are still the king. Although this may sound surprising coming from an orthodontist who offers the treatment, Dr. Razdolsky says it is worth mentioning that Invisalign isn’t always an ideal option for aligning teeth. In fact, a study has found that the mean accuracy of tooth movement via Invisalign was 41 percent.

“The best advice we can offer if you’re truly on the fence about whether to get veneers or undergo treatment is to consult with an orthodontist and a cosmetic dentist,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “This way, you can gather all of the facts and make an informed decision based on the information these specialists have shared with you.”

A Forever Smiles Patient Wins Big at Performing Arts Competition

September 11th, 2012

It is with great excitement that we share the news that one of our patients, 13-year-old Elina Nikerina, has won gold at the World Championship of Performing Arts in Los Angeles.

She credits her beautiful smile achieved through orthodontic treatment with helping to give her the confidence she needed to perform her best during the competition July 6-15.

Elina won three gold medals and one silver medal in several dance categories.

As a result of her accomplishments at the competition, Elina has signed two contracts with agencies that will represent her interests in Hollywood.

The World Championship of Performing Arts is the only Olympics for performing arts for talented youth. Many famous directors and producers attend this competition annually to look for creative, young talent.

We invite you to join us in congratulating Elina, her family, her coaches, and everyone else who contributed to helping her succeed. We know that many of you are very talented. Please share your accomplishments with us so we can congratulate you in the future via our blog, newsletters or on our Facebook page.

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

August 27th, 2012

Orthodontic treatments are used to correct malocclusion, a condition more commonly known as a bad bite. The length of treatment time varies depending on the severity of the bite problem.

What is a "bad bite"?
A bad bite occurs when spacing or alignment problems are present. This often includes teeth that are protruding, crowded, or crooked. Sometimes teeth appear straight, but have an uneven bite because the upper and lower jaws do not align properly. Teeth that are irregularly spaced - either too far apart or too close together - can also cause bite problems.

Frequent causes of bite problems:

  • Heredity
  • Thumb-sucking
  • Premature tooth loss
  • Accidents

Benefits of orthodontic treatment:

Appearance -
Correcting a bad bite often creates a more attractive smile, which frequently raises the patient's self esteem.

Preventing Decay -
It also results in a healthier mouth. It is much more difficult to thoroughly clean teeth that are crooked, protruding, overlapped, or crowed. This may allow plaque to build up, which can lead to gum disease, tooth decay and even tooth loss. Orthodontic treatment corrects these conditions, so cleaning can be more efficient.

Avoiding Alignment Issues -
An uneven bite can interfere with the motions of chewing and speaking. This can cause abnormal wear to tooth enamel, which may require pricey cosmetic restorative treatments, such as crowns or veneers, to correct. It can also lead to problems with the jaws. Orthodontic treatment lessens the likelihood of those issues, as well.


Types of orthodontic treatment:

- Braces: Metal or ceramic brackets are bonded to the front of teeth. Wires and elastics are attached to the brackets to straighten teeth.

- Invisalign®: Advanced 3D computer images of the patients' mouth are used to create clear, custom aligners that slowly move teeth. They are nearly invisible and are more comfortable than traditional braces. They are also removable, which makes it possible to continue with normal brushing and flossing.

- Retainers: A retainer is a removable piece worn inside the mouth that uses pressure to force teeth to move into proper alignment. They are used after braces are removed.


Length of orthodontic treatment:
Treatment typically ranges from 12 - 36 months. Factors include the age, cooperation level, and growth occurrence of the patient. The complexity of the case also impacts the treatment time.



Preventing Decay While Wearing Braces

August 24th, 2012

Having braces can present some new challenges when it comes to oral hygiene. Preventing tooth decay can be a big challenge simply because of the tendency for braces to trap food under the wires and between the teeth and the brackets. Here are a few tips to keep your teeth healthy while wearing your braces:

1. Eat Braces-Safe Foods
Keeping your teeth from decay starts with a proper diet. Foods that are high in sugar or starch can cause more plaque which is difficult to remove during your brushing. There are certain foods that should be avoided while wearing your braces. First, sticky foods like caramel or gum can get stuck in your braces and be difficult to remove during brushing. Next, hard foods such as nuts and candy could bend wires or even break a bracket. Foods that are firm or hard to bite into like apples, carrots, or corn on the cob should be avoided. As much as we like to snack on them, those crunchy treats can harm your braces. Things like chips, ice, popcorn can also bend or break your braces.
On the other hand, bananas, mangoes, milk, water, poultry, and pasta all tend to be low in enamel-busting acids.

2. Proper Brushing
You want to place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums in order to clean the whole tooth, and brush gently in the area between the wiring and the teeth. Use a softer toothbrush with fluoride paste for best results. Rinsing every day will help, too. Rinsing is important regardless, but especially important when you have braces as you need to disinfect the entire mouth, including those spots under the braces where your brush can't always reach.

3. Ask About Special Cleaning Tools
There are also special brushes, or other tools, to get under and clean your braces. You can also find many of these items at your local pharmacy.

4. Regular Teeth Cleaning
It's important to keep your routine appointments with your dentist and dental hygienist for a thorough cleaning twice a year or as directed. The exact frequency of these visits will be up to your dentist as some types of braces are more demanding of a regular cleaning than others.
As long as you practice good oral hygiene and follow these basic tips, you should have no problem keeping your teeth from decaying while you wear braces.

When Should I Schedule an Orthodontic Evaluation for My Child?

August 15th, 2012

Most parents know that routine dental care should begin during the toddler years. But many are unaware of when orthodontic treatment should begin. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, the ideal age for an orthodontic evaluation is age seven or before, when children usually have a mixture of adult and baby teeth. Although treatment usually will not begin until one to five years after the initial evaluation, the evaluation is helpful in determining whether your child has any problems with emerging teeth -- regardless of how subtle.

Children have more formidable bone structures than teenagers and adults, and as they grow, orthodontic appliances can help guide jaw growth, which may prevent the development of an overbite or under-bite, as well as tooth crowding due to space limitations. Orthodontic treatment is also helpful for guiding newly emerging adult teeth into a proper alignment, which is not only aesthetically advantageous, but also helpful in preventing tooth decay.

Why Early Evaluation?
Taking your child to the orthodontist for an evaluation means that you may be able to identify problems with the jaw and teeth early when they are still easy to treat. Early treatment often equals a more simplified treatment plan, which is beneficial to both children and their parents. Often, earlier treatment can cost less to correct a problem than delayed treatment.
If a problem is detected, our team will discuss corrective options and provide a recommended treatment schedule. Depending on your child's orthodontic needs, he or she may benefit from:

• Palatial Spacers - Helpful for correcting a crossbite by expanding the width of the upper jaw.
• Fixed Functional Appliance - Helpful for correcting severe upper tooth protrusion.
• Headgear - Helpful for guiding healthy growth of new teeth and the jaw. Headgear is removable, but usually must be worn at least 10 hours per day.

If your child is approaching the age of seven, or has already surpassed his or her seventh birthday, it is time to schedule an appointment for an initial examination.

How Getting Braces Early Can Save Time, Money Later

August 14th, 2012

BUFFALO GROVE, ILLINOIS—In the past, getting braces was a rite of passage reserved for teenagers, but it is not uncommon these days to see kids in elementary school sporting the wires and brackets.

When braces are done this early, it is usually part of a two-phase treatment plan for children being treated by an orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics specialist, who is a dentist with two to three years of additional study on tooth movement and facial growth and development.

“The reason orthodontics are being used on younger children is because there are certain orthodontic issues that are much easier to address while the bones in the face and jaw are still developing,” says Dr. Yan Razdolsky, a Buffalo Grove orthodontist .

Some malocclusions are just crooked or crowded teeth that can be fixed with orthodontia at any point in life without much problem, but other malocclusions are much easier and faster to treat when the patient is young. The two most common malocclusions that can be helped by this two-phase treatment plan are an underbite and a crossbite.

Left untreated, these malocclusions can cause uneven jaw growth, speech development problems, headaches, chewing problems, altered facial structure or misaligned teeth. Extremely crowded teeth can cause the bone and gums over the roots to thin and recede, which can have an impact on permanent teeth. This is why the American Association of Orthodontists recommends parents and guardians have their children screened no later than age 7, which is when permanent teeth typically start to erupt and orthodontic problems become more obvious.

“After the permanent teeth have come in and facial development is complete, it can be much more challenging to correct these types of orthodontic issues,” says Dr. Pedro Alquizar, a Miami orthodontist who specializes in two-phase treatment.

The first phase of treatment is focused on guiding the developing bone structure to line up the upper and lower jaws and allow permanent teeth to erupt properly. This can be done using a variety of specialized appliances and techniques to align the jaw and correct facial abnormalities. The second phase of treatment usually happens when the patient is a teenager, and it is designed to bring teeth into alignment. The latter phase of treatment is typically much faster, easier and more successful than it would have been otherwise. Early correction can also prevent the need for extractions of permanent teeth or jaw surgery.

“Children can benefit enormously from early correction and two phases of orthodontic treatment, but the only way to know if they need it is to have them evaluated by an orthodontics expert,” says Dr. Razdolsky.

What are the Early Signs of Orthodontic Problems?

August 10th, 2012

Visibly crooked teeth are not the only reason to take your child into the orthodontist. There are some subtle things to look for as well, which may indicate the onset of more serious orthodontic issues. Many orthodontic issues are much easier to address if treated and corrected during a child's development.

Waiting until facial development is complete or until the permanent teeth have come in can make correction of many orthodontic issues more challenging. Both children and adults can benefit from orthodontic care at any age, but addressing issues early is almost always the ideal choice.

If you're wondering if you or your child might have need for orthodontic care, there are some things you can be on the lookout for. Here are some of the most common warning signs of orthodontic issues:

• Difficulty when chewing or biting
• Chronic mouth-breathing
• Sucking the thumb, the fingers, or any other oral sucking habits that continue after the age of six
• Overbite - when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth by more than 5mm
• Top front teeth that cover more than 25% of the bottom teeth while biting
• Underbite - when the top front teeth go behind the bottom row of teeth when biting
• Crowded, crooked, overlapped, misshapen, misplaced teeth or extra teeth of any size
• Crossbite - when one or more teeth tilt toward the cheek or toward the tongue causing excessive stress on the jawbone
• The center of the top and bottom teeth don't line up
• Uneven teeth-wearing
• Baby teeth coming out too early for the child's age
• Pain in jaws
• Clicking in the jaw joints
• The jaw shifts off-center while chewing or biting
• A jaw that protrudes, or recedes, too much
• Difficulty speaking or enunciating clearly
• Chronic biting of the inner cheek or roof of the mouth
• Asymmetrical facial structure
• Grinding or clenching of the teeth

If you notice that either you or your child has one or more of these conditions, they could be signs that there is a risk of orthodontic or health problems. The sooner these problems are addressed, the wider and brighter you will be able to smile going forward!

Braces without Embarrassment

August 1st, 2012

Adults who need orthodontic care often share the misconception that they are too old for braces and would rather not deal with the embarrassment. You are probably familiar with horror stories about rubber bands snapping, mishaps with kissing, and unsightly food sticking in metal braces. Many adults believe that braces are just for children, but they are neglecting all the benefits of correcting misaligned teeth. Braces may cause you to feel self-conscious, but they are temporary. Along with straightening your teeth, braces also provide the following benefits:

  • Better oral hygiene
  • Easier to clean aligned teeth
  • Less complicated dental procedures
  • Eliminate the embarrassment of crooked teeth

One common reason for not correcting misaligned teeth is the appearance of metal braces. Adults do not want to face co-workers and friends with colored rubber bands and metal laced throughout their mouths. The expert healthcare professionals at SingHealth suggest several alternatives that are just as effective as metal braces. You have three options for correcting your misaligned teeth without the embarrassment, and they include:

  • Ceramic braces
  • Lingual braces
  • Invisalign®

Ceramic braces are like metal ones except that they match the natural color of your teeth. This option is less noticeable and will usually not show up in photographs. Lingual braces are attached to your back teeth only, so no one will know that you have a corrective device. Invisalign consists of clear plastic coverings that you can remove for eating and teeth brushing. All of these options lead to a more attractive smile that you do not have to feel embarrassed about.

If you do choose metal braces to correct your teeth, you should consider the following suggestions for limiting embarrassing moments. The rubber bands holding the brackets in place come in silver, which will draw less attention to your mouth. Changing the removable rubber bands on a regular basis will help prevent the material from wearing down and snapping. If you chew with your back molars and cut your food into manageable bites, you are less likely to get particles stuck in your braces. Following our treatment advice and instructions will limit the time you have to wear corrective devices. Focus on the end result of straighter teeth whenever you feel particularly self-conscious about your braces.

Elements of Braces

July 26th, 2012

When coming to our office to have braces put on, you may find yourself feeling a bit intimated and nervous about the experience. We hope to help you feel more at ease by explaining exactly what the different parts of braces are, and what they do.

Parts of Braces

  • Elastic Tie — This is a very small rubber band, and it holds the archwire in place.
  • Archwire — This is the main part of the braces. It is a wire guide that tracks the teeth. The wire may be moved from time to time during treatment to continue straightening a patient's teeth.
  • Loop in Archwire — This is not in all braces. If it is used, it is to close a gap left from a tooth extraction.
  • Bracket — This piece of equipment holds the archwire in place. Formerly, many patients used colored rubber bands to keep the brackets in place, but now since most brackets are cemented on, this is no longer necessary.
  • Headgear Tube — This is a hollow area near the back bands, which allows the headgear to fit into the braces. This is only used on patients who require headgear.
  • Coil Spring — If needed, this would fit between a bracket and the main archwire. Its purpose is to open up the space between the teeth. This is not necessarily used on all patients.
  • Tie Wire — This is another piece of equipment that is used to keep the archwire in place. It is a thin wire that wraps around the bracket.
  • Band — This is a metal band that fits completely around a tooth. It is used to help adhere brackets to the tooth.
  • Hook — This is the piece of equipment that is used to attach the elastics, also known as rubber bands, around the bracket.
  • Elastic — These elastics are used to connect one point of the appliance to another. The purpose is to apply pressure, and encourage the teeth to move into the proper positioning.

By defining each appliance we hope you or your child will be less apprehensive about getting braces put on. At the end of your treatment, you will have a bright, straight smile to show off to all of your friends.

Don’t Ruin Your Orthodontic Achievements By Getting Facial Piercings

July 25th, 2012

There’s a popular, humorous definition for insanity: doing the same thing and expecting different results.

Here at Forever Smiles, we’ve created a new tongue-in-cheek definition for the word: spending hard-earned money on orthodontic treatment and then getting an oral piercing.

Everywhere we go, we see more young people piercing their lips, cheeks or tongue.

“While it may be trendy, it's such a bad idea,” says Dr. Yan Razdolsky, a Buffalo Grove SureSmile and Invisalign provider. “It’s particularly unwise if you've had braces. Why would you spend all that money to get your teeth properly aligned, and then do something that can cause permanent damage to your new, beautiful smile?”

There’s something you need to know about oral piercings. No matter what kind of cute, trendy name they call the type of piercing- Monroe, Madonna or Medusa- they all can spell disaster for your teeth and gums.

It is common for people who place rings in their lips to wear a groove in the neighboring tooth or teeth. Studs have been known to push teeth out of alignment, due to the constant pressure they can apply to the teeth. Tongue piercings can chip your teeth while you’re eating or if you play with the piercing by running it along your teeth. Piercings also can wear away your gum tissue and usher in periodontal disease.

Other piercing-related problems include:

  • Damage to fillings
  • Nerve damage
  • Scar tissue buildup
  • Increased saliva flow, and even drooling
  • Increase in metal sensitivity
  • Allergic reactions

And here’s some really sobering news: the mouth’s moist environment breeds massive levels of bacteria, which can open the door to infection, according to the American Dental Association.

“This can be incredibly dangerous, because an oral infection can become deadly if not treated soon enough,” says Dr. Razdolsky, who specializes in braces for children and adults. “If bacteria enters the bloodstream through the piercing site in the mouth it could potentially travel to the heart can even colonize on heart abnormalities.”

This is a risk people with heart conditions face.

So before you get serious about getting a piercing, consider these potential pitfalls and consult your dentist or orthodontist. Talk to us if you would like more information.

Learn More

For more information about Forever Smiles or to schedule a consultation, call (847) 215-7554.

About Dr. Yan Razdolsky

Dr. Yan Razdolsky has steadily left his mark on the orthodontics field through innovative treatment, a series of patents and hundreds of instructional lectures to fellow orthodontists from around the world since he began his career in 1987.

He graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry in 1985 and earned a graduate degree in orthodontics. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics.

What's a palatal expander and why would I need one?

July 19th, 2012

A palatal expander "expands" (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars and is used to make the bottom and upper teeth fit together better. It also makes more room for teeth and helps to promote a broader, more aesthetic smile.

Palatal expansion is usually not painful, but you may feel some minor discomfort. It’ll take a little time for you to get used to your appliance, so you may experience difficulty speaking and swallowing for the first day or two.

Adjusting your appliance as directed will ensure you keep on schedule with the rest of your orthodontic treatment plan. It takes about a few weeks to achieve the desired amount of expansion, after which you’ll keep wearing your expander for about six months, giving time for the new bone to form and stabilize. Our team at will give you detailed instructions about how to adjust your appliance and can answer any questions you may have about your palatal expander.

Top ten tips for keeping your BRACES sparklin’ clean!

July 13th, 2012

Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever when you have braces! Food bits have more spots than usual to hide in your mouth, so you must be diligent in order to avoid bad breath, swollen gums, discolored teeth and cavities. If you remove plaque regularly during treatment, you'll experience better results and shorter treatment time. Keep plaque at bay with these top ten tips:

1. One tooth at a time. When you brush, take time with each individual tooth – at least 10 seconds each – and pay careful attention to the spots where your teeth touch your braces.

2. It’s all about the angles. Brush the tops of your teeth and braces with your brush angled down toward where they meet. Brush the bottoms of your teeth and braces with your brush angled up.

3. The tooth, the whole tooth, nothing but the tooth. While the front surface of your teeth may seem like the most logical to clean, it’s equally important to clean the inner surface of your teeth (tongue side) as well as the chewing surface. And be sure to clean along your gum line – a key spot for plaque buildup.

4. Step 1: eat, step 2: clean. While you’re in treatment, it’s important to brush after every meal. Bits of food can easily get caught between braces and teeth, and these food bits interact with bacteria in your mouth to cause decay. The longer food is in contact with your teeth, the greater opportunity for plaque to form. If you are eating somewhere that you can’t brush, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.

5. Like a Boy Scout, always be prepared. The easiest way to be sure you can brush after every meal is to get in the habit of taking a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss with you wherever you go. Designate a special container just for your teeth-cleaning tools and keep it in your purse, backpack, or laptop case.

6. Remove the moving parts. If you have elastic bands or headgear, remove these parts before you brush or floss.

7. Fluoride is your friend. Fluoride helps prevent cavities. Be sure to brush with fluoride toothpaste, and rinse with fluoride mouthwash.

8. Pointy brushes reach tiny places. Interproximal brushes (sometimes called proxa brushes or interdental brushes) are cone-shaped and come in very handy for reaching spots around your braces that standard brushes can’t.

9. Find the floss for you. Regular floss works for some patients, but others find it easier to work with a floss threader, which helps you get the floss into tight places. Other patients like an all-in-one product called Superfloss, which comes with a stiff end for easy threading, a spongy section for cleaning wide spaces, and regular floss for narrow spaces.

10. Make time for the pros. It’s your job to take care of the everyday cleaning. But make sure to visit your dentist regularly while in treatment, to get the deep, thorough cleaning that only a professional can provide. If you need help finding the right Dentist for you, feel free to contact our office - we’d love to help!

We hope this helps, and remember to give our team a call if you ever have any questions!

Independence Day Facts, Tips, and Party invitations!

July 4th, 2012

It’s hard to believe, but July is already here and half of 2012 has already passed! As July 4th approaches, our team thought it would be fun to share some facts and safety tips for celebrating our country’s independence day.

Fun Facts:
• Betsy Ross, according to legend, sewed the first American flag in May or June 1776, as commissioned by the Congressional Committee.
• The major objection to being ruled by Britain was taxation without representation. The colonists had no say in the decisions of English Parliament.
• The word ‘patriotism’ comes from the Latin patria, which means ‘homeland’ or ‘fatherland.’
• The first public Fourth of July event at the White House occurred in 1804.
• And what could be more fitting than spending the day in a place called “America”? There are five such places in the country, with the most populous being American Fork, Utah, with 21,941 residents. Check out American Fact Finder.

Safety Tips:
• Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
• Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
• Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
• To prevent a trash fire, be sure to douse the spent fireworks with plenty of water from a bucket or hose after fireworks complete their burning and before discarding them.
• Make sure fireworks are legal before buying or using them.

What are your plans this 4th of July? Share them with us! We’d love to hear what you and the rest of the community will be doing to celebrate! (Don’t forget to make sure there are no restrictions on fireworks! Check out this link to see if fireworks might be an issue for you this year.)

Also, check out these 4th of July party invitations, eGreeting cards, and delicious recipes!

July 4th eCard invitations!

Happy Independence Day eCards

Independence Day Recipes

Photo by shawnajean
Photo by shawnajean

Stay Cool with a Braces-Friendly Summer Treat!

June 29th, 2012

Summer is here! Kids and adults alike will now be spending more time outside being active and enjoying the hotter temperatures. What’s better on a hot summer day than a delicious treat that will cool you down after doing something active in the summer sun? Luckily, our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) have just the thing, Watermelon Sorbet! You can find the complete recipe below:

Watermelon Sorbet

• ¾ cup water
• ¼ cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon lime juice
• 2 to 3 cups watermelon, diced, no seeds or rind
In a small saucepan, heat the water, sugar, and lime juice on medium high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Chill this “syrup” at least 20 minutes. In the meantime, place the watermelon chunks in a food processor or blender and liquefy them. Add the chilled syrup to the watermelon puree and blend. Freeze sorbet in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately.

Happy Summer!

Orthodontic Emergency? We can help!

June 21st, 2012

True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can't take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment with our office.

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you get in to see us…

The following solutions may help you relieve your discomfort:

Poking Wire: Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.
Loose Bracket or Band: If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. If the wire comes out entirely, wrap the bracket with a tissue.
Loose Wire: Using a tweezers, try to place your wire back into place. If doing this and using wax does not help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If your discomfort continues, place wax on it.
Loose Appliance: If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part of your appliance.
Headgear Does Not Fit: Sometimes headgear discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by your orthodontist. If the facebow is bent, please call our office for assistance. Surprisingly, headgear becomes more comfortable the more it's worn, so be sure you’re getting in the prescribed hours.
General Soreness: When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.
Remember, after alleviating your discomfort, it is still very important that you call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem.

Making Your Life Better with Orthodontics

June 14th, 2012

The number one goal of orthodontic treatment is to give you or your child a good bite, meaning straight teeth that work well with the teeth in the opposite jaw. A good bite makes it easier for you to eat, chew and speak. It can enhance your dental health and your overall health, and may well improve your self-esteem. As a part of your comprehensive dental health care plan, orthodontic treatment can help you retain your teeth—and your smile—for a lifetime.

Let your smile express yourself! Nothing can show the world how happy you are quite like a beautiful smile. In fact, it’s one of the first things others notice about you, too. With orthodontics, you can be proud to flash your smile, because you’ll know that your smile truly represents your positive attitude.

Make your mouth healthy! Straight teeth aren’t just pretty, they’re healthy as well. Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to clean, reducing the amount of plaque buildup and risk for gingivitis. The cleaner you keep your teeth, the longer they’ll last!

Feel free to live your life! Orthodontics is easier today than ever before, with treatment options that fit your lifestyle and schedule. We can personalize your treatment to suit all of your needs!

Dr. Razdolsky Helps Chicago Sisters Get Smiles of Their Dreams

June 8th, 2012

BUFFALO GROVE, ILLINOIS – In these tough economic times, access to orthodontic care can be a challenge. But Buffalo Grove orthodontist Dr. Yan Razdolsky is working to remove that obstacle for some families.

Through his participation in the American Association of Orthodontists Donated Orthodontic Services program, Dr. Razdolsky is changing the lives of two young sisters from Chicago.

The AAO Donated Orthodontic Services program enables orthodontists to reach out to patients who desperately need orthodontic care that they cannot afford. The program began in 2009 to serve children without coverage, or those who don’t qualify for other forms of assistance. Five states are participating in a pilot program: Illinois, Kansas, Indiana, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

Dr. Razdolsky, a member of the Illinois DOS program, is happy to announce that he will be taking on not one, but two children in need.

Allison, 14 and Molly, 12, are sisters from Chicago whose family has been through a lot these past few years. The girls’ mom is unemployed and going to school to become a nurse. Due to their current economic situation, the family lives in the basement of their grandparents’ house.

Allison is a very active girl who enjoys playing soccer, painting and spending time with her family. She is a straight A student who wants to study law when she grows up. Her motivation for wanting braces is simple: she wants to fix her teeth. Though she is young, she understands that with braces comes responsibility, which she is 100 percent committed to. She has even said that she would take care of her braces and make sure they were cleaned every day.

Allison’s sister Molly enjoys horseback riding and has a big dream --to one day become a pediatrician. As the youngest in her family, she feels picked on because of her teeth and has even said her self-esteem is very low as a result. While a happy young girl, Molly doesn’t like to smile. Like her sister, Molly understands that braces require a personal commitment, but when she makes a promise, she is very dedicated to keeping it, Molly has said.

“When you look at these sisters, you can see a bright future ahead of them because they are so motivated, especially in school,” said Dr. Razdolsky, a traditional braces and Invisalign provider. “But when I read their submission letters, you could tell their smiles were holding them back from truly being happy.

“I believe orthodontic treatment should be available to everyone, which is why I became a volunteer orthodontist for the program,” the orthodontist said. “I know these girls would not have gotten this chance if it weren’t for the program and it’s such a wonderful feeling to give them a new outlook on life.”

Each state sets its own criteria for acceptance. The Illinois DOS program requires the following:

  • Patients must be a resident of Illinois.
  • Patients must be between the ages of 8 and 18; adults will be considered under special circumstances only.
  • Patients cannot already be in braces or in between phases of orthodontic treatment.
  • A parent or guardian must submit their most recent federal (and state, if applicable) tax returns with their application.
  • Patients must be ineligible for orthodontic treatment through insurance or public aid.

The Illinois DOS program provides care at a nominal fee of $200 to children whose family cannot afford treatment. This fee covers processing applications and coordinating of care. It does not go to the orthodontists, as they are volunteers. The Illinois DOS has 99 volunteer orthodontists.

For more information about the Illinois Donated Orthodontic Services program, please visit their website at

Getting social with Dr. Yan Razdolsky

June 1st, 2012

At our practice, we embrace technology, whether it’s through the innovative treatments we offer, our high-tech web site or our Facebook fan page.

As you can probably tell, we love connecting with our patients online, whether it’s by sharing news on our blog or communicating ideas on our fan page. For social media to work, we understand that conversation is vital, and that’s why we invite you to join in and tell us what’s on your mind. Although social networks are hugely popular these days, we know they’re unpredictable and ever-changing.

While our team takes the time to research how to best use social media, we thought we’d ask you, our loyal patients: How would you like us to use our social networks? What would you like us to share on our blog? Please post your thoughts or give us a call!

Closing the Gap- Something to Smile About

May 23rd, 2012

BUFFALO GROVE, ILLINOIS-- We’re noticing the gap-toothed smile gaining steam on runways and in Hollywood these days.

[caption id="attachment_8435" align="alignright" width="217" caption="Vanessa Paradis"][/caption]

From models of yesteryear such as Lauren Hutton to more popular faces of today including Ruth Crilly, Lara Stone and Georgia May Jagger, trend-makers seem to be trying to make midline diastema- as it’s known in the orthodontic field- a desirable physical characteristic.

When we saw Vanessa Paradis on the cover of a Chanel catalog recently, we decided enough is enough- it’s time to talk about this type of malocclusion and make sure that our patients understand it can be corrected if desired.

Let’s make one thing very clear: if you are a confident man or woman who has a midline diastema and you love your smile, you shouldn’t do a thing to change it. But if a midline diastema has you feeling self-conscious and prevents you from wanting to show your teeth when smiling, there is a remedy for that.

Causes of Teeth Spacing

Although the models and actresses we mentioned above all have midline diastema, spaces can occur between any of the teeth. They also have a variety of causes:

  • Disparity between jaw bone size and teeth size
  • Missing teeth, either congenitally or due to decay or trauma
  • An enlarged labial frenum (that piece of tissue extending from inside the upper lip to the gum, just above the front teeth)
  • Poor oral habits such as thumb sucking
  • Incorrect swallowing patterns in which the tongue thrusts against the front teeth when swallowing
  • Periodontal disease

Treatment Options

We have treated hundreds of patients with diastema through the years at our Buffalo Grove orthodontics practice, and braces are an effective, noninvasive method of correcting the malocclusion.

Braces apply proper force to move the teeth together. For patients with congenitally missing teeth or teeth that are missing because of trauma or decay, a dental implant may be needed to fill the space. When this treatment path is chosen for children, the implant cannot be placed until the child has stopped growing. However, we can work closely with your dentist, who can fit you with an appliance called a Maryland Bridge, which will hold the space until it is time for the implant.

In some cases, a surgical procedure is necessary prior to orthodontic treatment. Gaps caused by a larger-than-normal labial frenum require the frenum to be reduced. When this procedure- called a frenectomy- is performed on a child, midline diastema sometimes will close on its own afterward. Braces may be needed following the procedure in older children and adults.

Other methods of correcting a space between teeth fall into the cosmetic dentistry realm and include the use of porcelain crowns or veneers to widen the teeth and fill the space. We don’t recommend this for children.

If you’re an adult and you can be patient, orthodontic methods will correct the problem without altering the structure of your teeth. We don’t like to see patients voluntarily reduce healthy tooth structure just for the sake of a cosmetic improvement when other, noninvasive methods are available.

Some adults ask about veneers when they fear they will have to wear conventional metal “train track” braces, but we have lots of aesthetic orthodontic options available including ceramic brackets and Invisalign.

Call us today if you want to learn available options for improving your smile with orthodontic treatment.

“Am I Too Old for Braces?”

May 17th, 2012

Absolutely not! Orthodontic treatment for adults is becoming more and more common. In fact, the number of adults getting braces has actually climbed 24 percent since 1996! More adults than ever are realizing that orthodontic treatment is not just for kids, and can help improve the aesthetics and health of a smile of any age! In a society where appearance matters and can help make the difference between getting a job or a promotion, adults are choosing wisely to invest in orthodontic treatment.

Some of the most common reasons our adult patients come to us considering orthodontic treatment include:

  • Teeth that are crowded or spaced apart, sometimes as a result of tooth decay or gum disease
  • Pain or pressure from crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw
  • A bad bite or malocclusion, causing teeth to fit together incorrectly

Most of all though, adult patients come to our office seeking a healthier mouth and a more confident smile! Orthodontic treatment at our office can be successful at any age, and adults especially can appreciate the benefits of a beautiful smile.

As an adult patient, we recognize that you have different needs than our younger patients, and we will work with you to ensure you receive the most appropriate treatment and that your needs are met with understanding and respect from us.

If you’ve been thinking about getting that perfect smile, we would love to have you visit for a consultation. We understand you have a busy schedule, and will work with you to find a time that is convenient for you. Please visit our website or give our office a call to schedule your appointment today!

Ask Dr. Razdolsky: What should I expect during my initial consultation

May 10th, 2012

Great question! When you first come in for your initial consultation, the Doctor will conduct a comprehensive examination to assess your oral health. This will better enable us to determine the best treatment method for you.

Your orthodontic evaluation will consist of an oral and facial examination to assess your oral health. We will have you take intraoral and facial photographs as well as panoramic and cephalometric X-rays to help determine the proper orthodontic treatment method. Then, an impression of your teeth and bite will be taken to construct a model of your mouth. (This will help us when examining your diagnostic records).

At your second appointment, the Doctor will discuss your options with you. Our team feels it’s important to take the time to carefully examine your diagnostic records after your consultation so that we can more thoroughly prepare for your treatment. This additional preparation will ensure that you receive the best orthodontic care possible. At this time, we encourage you to ask us any questions you may have about your treatment.

If you are seeking orthodontic treatment for your child, our staff asks that both you and your child attend the initial consultation. We feel it is important that both you and your child completely understand the doctor’s recommendations before we proceed with treatment.

Give us a call today and schedule a consultation! We look forward to hearing from you!

Kidzpace Gaming Systems Added to Buffalo Grove Orthodontist Practice

April 30th, 2012

BUFFALO GROVE, ILLINOIS – At Forever Smiles, the practice of Buffalo Grove Orthodontist Dr. Yan Razdolsky, we strive to offer our patients a comfortable experience in a friendly, informative and amusing environment.

Aside from offering state-of-the-art technology for treatments, we also present the very best in entertainment for kids, as well as the young at heart in our reception area.

We recently added two new Kidzpace interactive gaming systems to our game area, which means there are now five systems available for play. In addition to our PS2, Xbox and old touch screen gaming systems, the area now has two new designer touch2play systems, each pre-loaded with more than 70 games. All of these games are complimentary for our patients and those who accompany them to their appointments.

Kids of all ages can stay entertained with games that range from strategy and puzzle challenges, to quiz and word games and much more. Players simply select the type of activity they are interested in and a variety of parent-approved games are available at their fingertips.

“We take great pride in the relationships we build with our patients and their families,” said Dr. Razdolsky, who also is an Invisalign provider. “We have found the game room to be a welcome respite for parents with multiple kids, so we added the supplementary systems to make it possible for more kids to play at one time.

This means that if you’re a parent with more than one child, you can rest assured that you will be able to focus on your children in treatment without worrying about what your other children are doing. They will be happily occupied in our gaming area.

The games offer more than just a fun activity for our patients. They actually enable us to stay on time with our patient appointments, especially since one sibling’s interference could offset our entire schedule, Dr. Razdolsky said. Reception areas can be a challenge to even the best natured child, and these computer games give them something positive to keep their minds busy before they are seen by their orthodontist.

Doing Our Part to Help the Planet!

April 27th, 2012

We are living in an age with a renewed commitment to conservation, and are frequently reminded to recycle, reduce and reuse. Last Sunday marked Earth Day, so today we thought we would discuss some of the things we do to conserve our natural resources and the environment.

Our office is digitalized, which means we can operate without the use of large amounts of paper and printing materials. The information in our office can be sent and processed digitally, which is also more efficient. We take all of the steps possible to be a 'green' office, making us better for the planet and more convenient for our patients.

We would love to hear how you minimize your impact on the environment. Leave us a comment below or post on our Facebook page!

Importance of Second Opinions for Orthodontic Treatment

April 23rd, 2012

BUFFALO GROVE, ILLINOIS – We often don’t think twice about seeking estimates from multiple contractors when doing a home renovation, or from several printers when having a brochure printed.

We encourage patients to view orthodontic treatment recommendations with the same scrutinizing eye, particularly when those recommendations have not come from an orthodontist.

Why? Because while all orthodontists are dentists, not all dentists are orthodontists. An orthodontist completes an additional two to three years of education after graduating from dental school, according to the American Association of Orthodontists. This training is geared specifically toward addressing the growth and development of the maxillofacial complex, alignment, and bite issues. It is done through an accredited orthodontic residency program.

“You trust your heart to a cardiologist and your skin to a dermatologist,” the AAO site states. “Like these specialists who study their specialties after their general medical education, orthodontists devote additional years to orthodontic study. Like their medical counterparts, orthodontists limit their practices to their area or specialty. Orthodontists have extensive experience in orthodontic care. They use their knowledge and skills to help you get the best results possible.”

Dr. Yan Razdolsky, a Buffalo Grove Invisalign and SureSmile provider, offers continuing education courses about orthodontics to area dentists and staff at dentistry practices from throughout Illinois.

“Many dentists are quite good at offering Invisalign treatment to patients with minor alignment issues,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “But for more serious issues, it typically makes sense to consult with a specialist.”

Our office occasionally gets calls from new patients who have been told by their dentist or another orthodontist that they will need multiple tooth extractions or jaw surgery for their orthodontic treatment.

“People don’t like to hear about having healthy teeth removed or undergoing extensive surgery that will result in time away from work and extensive hospital bills, so it makes sense that they would seek a second opinion,” Dr. Razdolsky says.

A patient recently came to us for a second opinion after her dentist recommended veneers instead of orthodontics.

“While orthodontics will take longer than veneers to achieve the desired results, it is a much more conservative approach,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “With some patience, you can have beautifully aligned teeth naturally through orthodontic treatment without removing portions of healthy tooth surfaces to make room for porcelain veneers.”

We offer free orthodontic evaluations at our office that include a complete work-up, X-rays and a treatment plan recommendation for you or your child based on medical necessity and what is best in terms of treatment

“You’re never wrong in seeking a second opinion,” he says, adding, “Parents should never feel pressured to begin treatment if they have reservations.”

We are happy to answer questions or concerns, and if one provider recommended something that we did not find necessary, we will take the time to explain our reasoning. We want patients to be happy and confident, whether it’s their second or fourth opinion.

There is no hard and fast rule about which treatment plans or procedures shouldn’t be done without a second opinion. But these are some guidelines that might help you:

When to get a second opinion

  • It has been recommended that you have multiple teeth extracted before beginning orthodontic treatment
  • You have been told a smile makeover that includes veneers or dental implants would treat your condition better than orthodontics
  • You are unsure if the treatment recommended is necessary
  • You are concerned about cost
  • You feel your dentist or orthodontist is not qualified to treat your problem
  • It has been recommended that you have jaw surgery

When you go in for a second opinion, speak with the orthodontist about your concerns and find out if he or she sees the same problems the first dental professional saw. Have the doctor outline the treatment plan as well as the cost and go from there.

“Weighing your options can help ensure you make an educated decision,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “It’s important to remember this is about your dental health, and that’s not something to take lightly.”

Case study:

Patient came in to our office with a chief concern of upper and lower protrusion of the front teeth and mobile lower incisors. Her family dentist, instead of recommending orthodontic consultation prior to dental work have performed root canal therapy and a crown on upper right second bicuspid. Now the tooth with a root canal and a crown needs to be extracted for orthodontic reasons since we need the space to retract the front teeth and to reduce their protrusion.

Making Your Life Better with Orthodontics

April 19th, 2012

The number one goal of orthodontic treatment is to give you or your child a good bite, meaning straight teeth that work well with the teeth in the opposite jaw. A good bite makes it easier for you to eat, chew, and speak. It can enhance your dental health and your overall health, and may well improve your self-esteem. As a part of your comprehensive dental health care plan, orthodontic treatment can help you retain you teeth—and your smile—for a lifetime.

Let your smile express yourself! Nothing can show the world how happy you are quite like a beautiful smile. In fact, it’s one of the first things others notice about you, too. With orthodontics, you can be proud to flash your smile, because you’ll know that your smile truly represents your positive attitude.

Make your mouth healthy! Straight teeth aren’t just pretty, they’re healthy as well. Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to clean, reducing the amount of plaque buildup and risk for gingivitis. The cleaner you keep your teeth, the longer they’ll last!

Feel free to live your life! Orthodontics is easier today than ever before, with treatment options that fit your lifestyle and schedule. From clear braces to removable aligners and totally invisible lingual (behind the teeth) braces, we can personalize your treatment to suit all your needs.

SureSmile Uses CBCT to Reduce Exposure to Radiation and Improve Treatment

April 9th, 2012

BUFFALO GROVE, ILLINOIS— Technology continues to improve the way in which we provide orthodontic treatment, and one area where that is particularly true is X-rays.

As an orthodontic patient, the i-CAT cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) system exposes you to less radiation than a medical CT scan, while providing more detailed information to assist us in creating the ideal treatment plan for you.

“CBCT scans can identify many types of risks and problems,” says Buffalo Grove orthodontist Dr. Yan Razdolsky.

Using the CBCT scanner’s high resolution images, dentists and orthodontists obtain highly accurate and detailed 3-D views of all anatomies such as bone, teeth, tooth orientation, tooth and nerve relation, airways and sinuses, according to CBCT scans also produce faster and more cost-efficient results.

SureSmile and CBCT
CBCT has gone beyond just serving as a tool for diagnosis and treatment, and has become an active element of many of our patients’ treatment, thanks to SureSmile.

SureSmile, one of the treatment options our Buffalo Grove Orthodontics office offers, uses CBCT to enable us to visually define the desired position of your teeth. It also calculates all of the customization needed to deliver Dr. Razdolsky’s plan.

This customization is then precisely translated to your archwires by SureSmile robots, which cuts treatment time by about one-third while also improving the quality of treatment results, according to the SureSmile website.

Here’s how the process works: first, the brackets are bonded to your teeth. Then the teeth and brackets are scanned with SureSmile’s proprietary software, which makes it possible for Dr. Razdolsky to reset your teeth to create ideal alignment. The SureSmile system then robotically bends your archwire to help guide your teeth into alignment.

“What the robot does for us is far more accurate and precise than what I am able to do by hand,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “Thanks to this precision and accuracy, the patient’s teeth are moved into proper alignment more quickly, which reduces overall treatment time.”

The combination of clear, 3-D X-rays that paint the most accurate of pictures and the precision of SureSmile’s robot enable us to better identify, diagnose and treat myriad orthodontic problems.

Patient of the Month: Team USA Competitor Natalie

April 9th, 2012

We're pleased to share that Natalie will be competing for Team USA this weekend! Please join us in wishing her the best of luck!

Natalie is currently representing the United States in an international competition in Slovenia. She is 11 years-old and trains 20 hours a week (she is in level 9 at North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center). This year, she placed 1st in Chicagoland Competition with girls competing around the Midwest. She also recently competed in Colorado Invitational with girls from all over the U.S. and won 4th place - the youngest competitor in her group. During the past 4 years, Natalie has been a member of the Future Stars National Team and the Pre-Youth Elite Squad training camps held in the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York. She was also invited to participate in the Bolshoi Ballet Summer Intensive Camp in Connecticut last summer.

All of us at Forever Smiles are extremely proud of Natalie! We wish her many more successful competitions, and a very happy birthday!

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April 6th, 2012

Visiting your dentist during your orthodontic treatment will not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy while you have braces, but will also help keep the rest of your body healthy. The fact is, every hour of every day in the U.S., someone dies of oral cancer, which is the sixth-most common diagnosed form of the disease. The five-year survival rate is only 50 percent, and oral cancer is one of the few cancers whose survival rate has not improved. Since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, we would like to take this opportunity to remind all of our patients about the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene while you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Your dentist is specifically trained to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health problems. Please let us now if you have any questions about your oral health during your next adjustment appointment. Take care of your teeth!

Forever Smiles Begins Sponsorship Program - Buffalo Grove Orthodontist Gives Back to the Community

March 27th, 2012

BUFFALO GROVE, ILLINOIS – The Forever Smiles team and Dr. Yan Razdolsky, a Buffalo Grove orthodontist and SureSmile provider, have created a sponsorship program to offer financial support to a number of charitable organizations each year.

The Sponsorship Program will serve as an opportunity for our Buffalo Grove Orthodontics office to learn more about local civic organizations, such as Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, public and private schools, religious groups and other community groups, while sharing our educational program to better children’s smiles.

“Community involvement is an important part of my practice,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “The sponsorship program is a means of giving to organizations that are investing in the lives of citizens on a daily basis.”

To apply for a donation or advertisement, please inform us of your event/cause in writing at least six weeks prior to your deadline. All requests should be sent to Anna Razdolsky at

Along with your request, please schedule a date to bring your group for an office tour. We know that many community groups provide field trips for their members, and Dr. Razdolsky and his staff are happy to serve as an educational adventure for children and young teens.

Our staff will teach your group about oral hygiene, tooth straightening techniques, and dental and orthodontic technology. At the end of the tour, participants will receive healthy snacks and gift bags filled with toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and age-appropriate toys. At that time, a check will be presented to your organization’s leader.

Forever Smiles will donate additional funds when any member of your group or their immediate family member schedules an evaluation and begins orthodontic treatment with Dr. Razdolsky.

What do rubber bands do?

March 22nd, 2012

Rubber bands, or elastics, can be an integral aspect of orthodontic care, so if Dr. Razdolsky has prescribed elastics as a part of your treatment, it’s important to follow the directions fully. Elastics help to align your bite or cause teeth to move in different directions and straighten more quickly. We will instruct you how to hook one end to an upper bracket and the other end to a lower bracket so the rubber band goes vertically or diagonally from one bracket to another. The tension of the rubber band produces pressure on the bracket, which causes the teeth to move and straighten. This tension is also sufficient to correct an overbite or an under bite in the jaw.

If rubber bands are a part of your treatment plan, there are a few things to keep in mind. With rubber bands, you won’t be able to open your mouth fully, so they will have to be removed when you eat and reapplied after meal time. Many times, rubber bands are only needed at night, so you won’t need to worry about eating with them. Also, if you try to open your mouth too wide, your rubber bands might snap – so be careful!

Failure to wear your elastics full time or as instructed can lengthen your treatment time and may make it more difficult to achieve an optimal result. But don’t worry; your time in elastics will be well worth it when you see your beautiful, new smile.

Congratulations to our iPad 2 winner Sam!

March 13th, 2012

Congratulations to Sam N. who was the winner of our iPad 2 Google Review Contest! Keep those reviews coming and watch out for more exciting contests and events at Forever Smiles!

If you have any questions about our practice or your orthodontic treatment, give us a call or ask us on Facebook!

Which questions should I ask during my orthodontic consultation?

March 9th, 2012

When you visit Forever Smiles for your orthodontic consultation, you’ll probably have a lot of questions. We want you to be prepared for your appointment and feel in charge of your orthodontic treatment decisions, so keep these questions in mind to ask when you come in for your appointment:

• How long will I have to wear braces?
• Will getting braces hurt?
• Will I have to wear additional appliances to correct jaw problems while I have braces?
• What can I eat when I have braces?
• Are there certain things, like playing sports or playing an instrument, which I won’t be able to do?
• How can I make sure my teeth stay clean and healthy while I have braces?
• How often will I need to come in for appointments?
• How much will my orthodontic treatment cost?

The team at Forever Smiles is here to answer all your questions and concerns, and we’re happy to explain all aspects of your treatment plan and expected outcome. Your orthodontic experience should be comfortable, hassle-free, and most importantly, leave you smiling!

The Clear Benefits of Invisalign

March 2nd, 2012

Invisalign clear aligners can be a great option for improving the look of your smile. Dr. Yan Razdolsky has lots of experience using this technology to give our patients the straight, beautiful smile they’ve always wanted. Plus, because it’s so convenient, Invisalign won’t interfere with your daily life.

• Invisalign aligners are clear, discrete and effective at moving your teeth into their ideal positions.
• You don’t need to change your eating habits, because your aligners can be easily removed.
• Invisalign aligners are made of comfortable, smooth plastic, so you don’t have to worry about taking care of metal brackets.
• Invisalign aligners make daily oral hygiene easier, reducing the risk of possible problems.
• Invisalign treatment is covered by most insurance providers, just like traditional braces.

A straight smile makes you look great, but it also can help you keep the rest of your mouth healthy. Correctly aligned teeth can decrease health issues that can be caused by an improper bite, speech or chewing difficulties, jaw problems, and increased wear on the tooth enamel.

Give us a call to schedule your consultation!

Dr. Razdolsky attends the AAO-AAPD Conference

February 22nd, 2012

On January 27th - 29th, Dr. Yan Razdolsky joined hundreds of colleagues in Marco Island, FL at the Mid-Winter Meeting of the American Association of Orthodontists and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. The topic of discussion for the conference was "Age-Appropriate Treatment of the Developing Occlusion: Common Problems-Consensus Solutions." Dr. Razdolsky had a great time, and learned a lot too!

The doctor brought back lectures for the entire staff to hear, as part of our ongoing effort to stay up-to-date on the latest in orthodontics. We strive to provide only the best in orthodontic care for our patients, and these continuing education efforts allow for us to learn and grow.

If you have any questions about the AAO-AAPD Conference, or about your orthodontic care, don't hesitate to ask us at the office or on Facebook!

Patient Question: How long does orthodontic treatment take?

February 16th, 2012

Your smile is totally unique, so the time you’ll need to spend undergoing orthodontic treatment will also be unique. Generally, orthodontic treatment will take about two years, and this is for good reason. During this time, your teeth will slowly move into their desired positions, leaving you with a great smile with as little discomfort as possible. Rushing treatment can result in a less than perfect smile with a greater chance of tooth movement after your treatment is complete. At Forever Smiles, we don’t want to waste your time with treatment that won’t retain your smile for the rest of your life.

Of course, treatment time will vary depending on your specific situation. Very minor tooth movement may only take a few months to correct, while serious malocclusion (poor bite) may need more than two years to correct. Only the orthodontist will be able to accurately estimate the time your treatment will take. But trust us—it’ll all be worth it in the end!

Has your child or teen visited Forever Smiles for a consultation? If not, please give us a call and let us help him or her begin the journey to a gorgeous smile!

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, from Forever Smiles

February 9th, 2012

Each February for the past 62 years, the American Dental Association (ADA) has sponsored National Children's Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

For kids wearing braces, brushing and flossing can become more difficult, requiring extra time and vigilance to remove food particles that accumulate on and between the teeth and in braces. New options for braces such as Invisalign Teen, which is removable, make it easier for kids to maintain good oral health during orthodontic treatment.

If the health of your teeth is ignored during treatment with braces, the results can be significantly compromised. Our team at Forever Smiles is available and happy to explain why effective brushing and flossing is one of the most critical actions needed from patients during orthodontic treatment. Have you visited us lately? Give us a call and schedule an appointment!

Ask Forever Smiles: What's the deal with mouthwash?

February 2nd, 2012

While mouthwash is not an alternative to regular brushing and flossing, it can help keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. There are several different types of mouthwashes available, and all of them will help do different things for your smile. The most common types of mouthwashes are:

Fluoride – fluoride is the most used type of mouthwash available, and is used to strengthen the enamel of the teeth while preventing cavities and tooth decay.
Antiseptic – an antiseptic mouthwash is used to kill bacteria and germs in the mouth. Most commonly used before and after a dental surgery, antiseptic mouthwashes can also help to fight gum disease, and halitosis (chronic bad breath). Antiseptic mouthwashes can affect your sense of taste and may stain the teeth, so it is recommended that you consult your dentist before using this type of mouthwash.
Combination – a combination mouthwash is designed to help prevent tooth decay, freshen the breath, and maintain the health of your smile.
Prescription – for patients with gum disease, or any signs of gum disease, you may need a prescription mouthwash. Prescription mouthwashes, like Peridex of PerioGard, are used to treat gingivitis, and other forms of decay.

There are also many different brands of mouthwash. Some common brands include:
• Scope
• Listerine
• Act
• Crest
• Tom’s of Maine (all-natural)
• Plax (anti-plaque rinse)
• Breath Rx
• Orajel
• Targon (special mouthwash made for smokers)
• Rembrandt (whitening mouthwash)

If you are curious about which kind of mouthwash would work best for you, be sure to ask us at your next appointment. If you have a favorite mouthwash, let us know by posting a comment for others to read!

Forever Smiles

Patient question: "How do I prevent tooth decay during my treatment?”

January 25th, 2012

Great question!

If you are brushing and flossing daily during your orthodontic treatment, we think that’s great! But, don’t forget that it’s also important for you to visit your general dentist every 3-to-6 months in addition to brushing your teeth and flossing (and visiting Forever Smiles, of course). Regular dental checkups are important for maintaining good oral health, especially during orthodontic treatment.

Tooth decay, which is caused by sugars left in your mouth, can turn into an acid, which in turn can break down your teeth. Children are at high risk for tooth decay because adolescents tend to be lax in their oral hygiene habits. Proper brushing and flossing routines, combined with regular dental visits, help keep tooth decay away.

If you have any questions, please be sure to keep ask our team during your next adjustment appointment, or ask us on Facebook!

Thanks to Invisalign, you can have a perfect smile without metal wires or brackets!

January 17th, 2012

At Forever Smiles, we know image is everything. For many people, the thought of having metal brackets and wires attached to their teeth for two or more years may be more than enough to delay orthodontic treatment.

If you’ve been considering straightening your teeth but are apprehensive about metal wires and brackets getting in the way of your smile, Invisalign treatment at Forever Smiles may be a great solution. Invisalign, which straightens teeth through a series of clear, custom-fit removable aligners, does so in a way that is discreet and hardly noticeable.

If you have questions about Invisalign, or would like to find out if you are a candidate for Invisalign treatment at our office, please give us a call to schedule a consultation with our office.

Dr. Y. Razdolsky Sells Grayslake Practice to Dr. M. Stosich

January 9th, 2012

Buffalo Grove orthodontist Dr. Yan Razdolsky sold his Grayslake practice in November to Dr. Michael Stosich. He will continue to work from his Buffalo Grove office.

The sale to Dr. Michael Stosich was finalized Nov. 30, Razdolsky says, but he will continue to work in Grayslake Thursdays only through Feb. 29, 2012 as the transition is completed.

“The sale of this practice creates a win-win for everyone involved,” says Razdolsky, who has been an orthodontist since 1987.

In Buffalo Grove, patients will enjoy added appointment scheduling flexibility, as Razdolsky’s office will offer early and late office hours Monday through Friday throughout the month now that he no longer must divide his time among two practices.

About Dr. Yan Razdolsky
Dr. Yan Razdolsky has steadily left his mark on the orthodontics field through innovative treatment, a series of patents and hundreds of instructional lectures to fellow orthodontists from around the world since he began his career in 1987.

Born in Moscow, Russia, Dr. Razdolsky immigrated to the United States as a teenager with his family. They moved to Chicago to be near family who also had emigrated from Russia. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Illinois. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry in 1985 and earned a graduate degree in orthodontics in 1987.

He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics.

Make 2012 the year to improve your oral health

January 5th, 2012

Many folks consider the beginning of a new year a time to not only reflect on the year that was, but also to set personal goals for the upcoming year. How are you planning to improve your health and happiness in 2012? Drs. Yan Razdolsky and Kapil Vij and our team recommend that you make a New Year’s resolution to benefit your oral health!

It is important that New Year’s resolutions are reasonable and attainable, and that they improve your overall quality of life—for example, did you know that flossing every day is the very best way to prevent periodontal, or gum, disease? Using a straw when drinking sugary beverages can also help prevent cavities. There are many small steps that you can take to prevent cavities, oral infections and bad breath.

Be sure to give us a call if you need a few suggestions on ways to improve your oral health—we want to hear from you! After all, we know your oral health is about more than just a beautiful smile.

Happy New Year!

—Your friends at Forever Smiles

Holiday Hours

December 28th, 2011

All of us at Forever Smiles hope that you are enjoying the holidays! Dr. Yan Razdolsky and team wanted to inform you that our office will be closed from December 21, 2011 until January 2, 2012 to allow every staff member to have time with their family and friends for the holidays. If you have an emergency, you can contact Dr. Stosich at 609-206-4640.

Have a safe and happy New Year, and we will see you in 2012!

Season's Greetings from Forever Smiles!

December 21st, 2011

In this season given to tidings of comfort and joy, and as our team at Forever Smiles reflect on the year that was, we’d like to ask you, our wonderful patients: What do you love about the holidays this year? Being with your loved ones? A clean slate for 2012? Opening presents by the fireplace? All the delicious food? Also, what gift are you most looking forward to getting this year?

We’d love if you shared with us all the things you love about the holidays. Stay warm, and don’t forget to stay away from those sweets!

--The team at Forever Smiles

Emergency care with Forever Smiles

December 15th, 2011

At Forever Smiles, we know orthodontic emergencies are never convenient nor timely. If you are a patient of record, Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our team are committed to your dental health and are more than willing to see you after hours or over the weekend. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can’t take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem. If you have a orthodontic emergency after regular office hours, please give us a call. If you are calling us after hours, please follow the emergency prompts to learn how you may be able to solve the problem yourself, or, if you cannot, how to contact Dr. Yan Razdolsky and team.

Common issues include:
*Broken Brace
*Broken Wires
*Tie has come off of a Brace
*Loose Expander
*Poking Wire Tie
*Sharpness Felt on the Tongue Side of a Brace
*Loss of a Separator
*Initial Soreness
*Wire Poking

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you visit our office.

Do we have your current contact info?

December 7th, 2011

Happy holidays from all of us at Forever Smiles! As you probably know, you can always connect with Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our team on our Facebook page, but we also encourage you to call us and let us know if you have any new phone numbers or if your contact information has changed!

Please contact our office with any updates to phone numbers and addresses, so that we may be able to reach you. Thank you!

- The team at Forever Smiles

Forever Smiles is proud to be a sponsor of Project Extreme!

December 1st, 2011

In honor of our patient David Tessler, Dr. Yan Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles Team recently participated in a charity David was running for called "Project Extreme".

Project Extreme is a part of Crowdrise organization. Crowdrise is an innovative, crowd-sourced community of volunteers and online fundraisers that are coming together to answer the call to service, create online fundraising projects for charity, and have the most fun in the world while doing it.

Events and Charities use Crowdrise to raise money in new ways, turning their participants and supporters into effective, impactful online fundraisers. If you'd like to support Project Extreme, contact us or find us on Facebook!

The superfood, cranberries, are not just for Thanksgiving!

November 22nd, 2011

Here at Forever Smiles, we know that cranberries complete the Thanksgiving table nationwide. For many years researchers have associated cranberries with a variety health benefits. Among those benefits are:

1. Protection against Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
2. Immune system support, which may lower the frequency of cold and flu. It is important to note that research is still very limited in this area.
3. Cardiovascular health is perhaps the best-researched area amongst the cranberry's benefits. The combined anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits offer a natural defense against atherosclerosis, and the accumulation of low density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad cholesterol".
4. Anti-cancer benefits has been more intriguing in the past 10 years since the majority of studies in this area have involved lab studies on human cancer cells or animal experiments.
5. The cranberry's anti-inflammatory properties are said to be beneficial not only to the stomach and digestive tract, but can also help lower the risk of periodontal disease. Chronic, excessive levels of inflammation around our gums can damage the tissues that support our teeth. The phytonutrients in the cranberrry help reduce this unwanted inflmmatory response.
Journal of Clinical Periodontology (Oct. 18, 20110)
6. Anti-aging agents suggest that diest containing fruit and vegetables with high-ORAC values ( a measure of antioxidanrt levels ) may provide protection against chronic symptoms of aging, like loss of coordination and memory. CDS Review (Sept/Oct. 2011)

We hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving meals (don't forget the cranberries!). From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

Ask Dr. Razdolsky: Now that I have braces, what can I eat?

November 18th, 2011

You just got braces at Forever Smiles and Dr. Razdolsky has informed you that during your orthodontic treatment you will want to avoid eating anything sticky, hard, crunchy, or chewy. What does this leave for you to eat? Lettuce? Nothing?

Luckily, our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists, or AAO, created a variety of “braces-friendly” recipes that will allow you to enjoy your favorite treats without interfering with your orthodontic care!

Recipes include main dishes, side dishes and even yummy desserts! After all, a healthy diet provides essential nutrients and helps the patient achieve the best possible results from orthodontic treatment.

If you have any questions about the recipes listed or about the foods you should be avoiding during your orthodontic treatment, please give us a call or ask us on Facebook!


The advantage of SureSmile

November 7th, 2011

Does the thought of having braces bring you down? The team at Forever Smiles understands that one of the biggest concerns for orthodontic patients with braces is the length of their treatment.

But you’re in luck, because Dr. Razdolsky specializes in SureSmile, high-tech braces that are revolutionizing the orthodontic industry. SureSmile, which combines digital 3-D imaging, has computer-aided treatment planning and customized archwires to straighten teeth about 40 percent faster than traditional braces. The SureSmile program calculates the exact shape and pattern of the teeth and bends and cuts the braces wires, with more precision than traditional braces.

There are three steps. First, Dr. Razdolsky identifies the initial tooth position with the patented OraScanner, a wand with a tiny camera attached. The OraScanner creates a precise 3-D digital model of your mouth, which is then uploaded into software that lets Dr. Razdolsky view your mouth and teeth from any angle. Next, the SureSmile system allows us to create your entire treatment plan prior to treatment, using special computer software to analyze the 3-D model of your mouth and develop a custom archwire treatment. Finally, SureSmile’s robotic technology bends Shape Memory Alloy archwires, which can “remember” your prescription.


With SureSmile’s specially programmed archwires, your teeth move more directly into their intended positions. The result for our patients is shortened treatment time and a more comfortable experience in braces.

Once the braces are on it’s only a matter of time before they are taken off revealing beautiful, straight, healthy teeth. With traditional braces a patient is expected to schedule 18 to 20 office visits over two years. With SureSmile, patients average seven to 10 visits and can have their braces off within half the time!

If you’re considering orthodontic treatment, please contact Forever Smiles today!

5 ways you can avoid plaque

November 4th, 2011

At Forever Smiles, we know nobody likes getting plaque on their teeth. Here are five other ways you can avoid that dreaded enemy of the teeth during orthodontic treatment, courtesy of WebMD.

Let’s start with brushing regularly. Brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste is vital to a healthy mouth. Make sure you softly brush all the surfaces of your teeth.

Next on the list is flossing daily: a simple daily flossing between teeth clears away plaque before it can cause damage and can also clean plaque at the gum line. Plaque is known to reach the spaces between teeth.

Also, evading a trip to the dentist is probably not a great idea. Let’s say you brush and floss daily. You’re still at risk for plaque. With time, the plaque hardens and turns into tartar. Consider visiting your general dentist at least twice a year or as recommended by your dentist, and you have a lower chance of getting cavities or losing your teeth while wearing braces.

You’ll also want to stop avoiding those fruits and veggies. Believe it or not, there are foods out there that play a key role in keeping plaque off our teeth. They include apples, carrots, cucumbers and other raw fruits and vegetables. You can still eat these types of fruits and veggies if you have braces, but be sure to cut them up into bite sized pieces to avoid breaking off brackets.

Finally, before you pick up that candy bar, remember to not give in to your sweet tooth. Consuming sugary drinks or eating candy or other junk food allows sugar to stick to our teeth. The bacteria, then, becomes plaque, which turns into acid and damages our teeth. Avoiding these five bad habits keeps your plaque in check and your mouth as healthy as can be during your orthodontic treatment with Drs. Yan Razdolsky and Kapil Vij. If you have any questions, give us a call or ask us on Facebook!

Halloween TIPS from the American Association of Orthodontists

October 28th, 2011

It’s almost that spooky time of year again and Dr. Yan Razdolsky and our team thought we’d share some Halloween tips from our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists.

Trick-or-treating safety guidelines:

• Young children should always be accompanied by an adult
• Carry a flashlight
• Wear a light-colored or reflective costume
• Choose face paint over masks for young ghosts and goblins
• Have an adult inspect all treats before the children dig in

To protect your braces, steer clear of the following Halloween treats, or recipes with these ingredients:

• All hard candies
• All chewy candies
• Caramel
• Nuts
• Licorice
• Taffy
• Jelly beans
• Hard pretzels
• Bubblegum
• Popcorn (including unpopped kernels)
• Ice

Of course, Halloween does not have to be completely treat-less. Braces-friendly Halloween treats can help you enjoy the “spook-ta-cular” holiday. For example, plain chocolate candy is okay, provided you remember to brush and floss afterwards. Bobbing for apples as well as caramel apples are not recommended. However, you can enjoy thinly sliced apples, dipped in yogurt or creamy chocolate sauce.

Dr. Razdolsky suggests looking for foods that are soft, such as soft chocolate that can melt in one’s mouth or peanut butter cups. Overall, candies that aren’t sticky, chewy, hard or crunchy are generally acceptable.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN from all of us!

October is National Orthodontic Health Month!

October 20th, 2011

Happy October! For those who don't know, it’s National Orthodontic Health Month. This month-long event is organized by our pals at the American Association of Orthodontists, or AAO.

Drs. Yan Razdolsky and Kapil Vij and our team realize that this is a great opportunity for us to raise awareness about the importance of oral hygiene. National Orthodontic Health Month also aims to recognize the dedicated work of orthodontists like Drs. Razdolsky and Vij and other dental professionals in Buffalo Grove and Grayslake, IL.

The AAO recommends patients avoid the following Halloween treats, or recipes with these ingredients:

• Caramel
• Nuts
• Popcorn (including un-popped kernels)
• Taffy
• Jelly beans
• Hard pretzels
• Licorice
• Bubblegum
• Ice

If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call, ask us on Facebook, or ask us at Forever Smiles during your visit this month! Additionally, our office has composed a fun and entertaining program for kids. We invite your classes to our office for this educational field trip. However, if leaving your school is inconvenient, we can bring our technology into your classroom setting. If you are interested, contact our office for more information!

Guess the Great Pumpkin Contest

October 14th, 2011

Our Forever Smiles annual Guess the Great Pumpkin Weight Contest has arrived at our Buffalo Grove and Grayslake, IL offices. Stop by our office to guess the weight of the pumpkin and get entered into our raffle for a surprise gift!

We can't wait to see all of your guesses. Keep your eye on our blog for more details. Good luck!
Grayslake office pumpkin:

Buffalo Grove office pumpkin:

Ask Dr. Razdolsky: who benefits from braces?

October 7th, 2011

Braces aren’t just for pre-adolescents and teenagers anymore! Dr. Razdolsky will tell you that anyone, at any age, can benefit from orthodontic treatment, whether it’s correcting a problem not treated in your younger years, or catching a problem early.
To ensure the best overall treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists, or AAO, recommends that children receive an orthodontic consultation as early as age seven. If a problem is evident, taking action early can spare a lot of treatment and expense down the road.
If you never received orthodontic treatment when you were young, don’t worry! You’re never too old for a beautiful smile. Set up an appointment for a consultation and find out how orthodontics will transform your smile, as well as your life!

Continuing Education with Dr. Razdolsky

September 30th, 2011

At Forever Smiles, we pursue continuing education opportunities as part of our ongoing effort to provide the best orthodontic treatment for our patients. On August 30th, our entire staff underwent a 4 hour extensive CPR / AED training course which provided each individual the knowledge and skills necessary to recognize emergencies in the office. We were fortunate to have Dr. Steven Oltean, certified American Red Cross instructor, teach this course.

Bowl-A-Thon Fundraiser

September 20th, 2011

On Monday, Aug. 29 after work, Amie and Nancy participated in a fundraiser held at the Brunswick Zone in Glendale Heights for the Mateo's Kids non-profit organization. Dr. Razdolsky made a generous financial donation to the cause. Nathan and Christian are the recipients of the proceeds raised at this year's bowling fundraiser. Nathan is 3 years old and has a medical condition called Prune Belly Syndrome. Christian has Chronic Lung Disease, Cerebral Palsy, Gerd, Central Hypoventilation Syndrome, Nervous System Disorders and suffer from seizures. It's never too late to donate, and no donation is too small! Please visit the the Mateo's Kids website for further information.

Don't forget those regular checkups!

September 13th, 2011

Are you brushing and flossing daily during your orthodontic treatment? If yes, that’s great! But, don’t forget that it’s also important for you to visit your general dentist every 3-to-6 months in addition to brushing your teeth and flossing (and visiting our office, of course). Regular dental checkups are important for maintaining good oral health, especially during orthodontic treatment.

Your general dentist can check for problems that might not be seen or felt, detect cavities and early signs of decay, treat oral health problems early and show you how to properly brush and floss your teeth.

During an oral exam your dentist can check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks and tongue. Checkups will also include a thorough teeth cleaning and polishing. If you have not been to the dentist in the last six months, let us know during your next visit and we will provide a few great references in the greater Buffalo Grove and Grayslake areas!

Our patients have talent!

September 9th, 2011

Dr. Razdolsky's current patient Dylan T. recently participated in the State Gymnastics Competition held at the Illinois State University. Dylan was awarded several medals from the following: Floor Exercise, Parallel Bars, High Bar, Pommel Horse, Rings, Vault and All Around.

Congratulations Dylan, all of us at Forever Smiles are very proud of you!

Radiation - Is it Safe?

August 30th, 2011

Lately, Dr. Razdolsky and Dr. Vij have noticed that there has been a lot of debate in the health community about dental x-rays and radiation. Here at Forever Smiles, we try to provide you with the most up to date information on topics relating to the health of our patients and their loved ones. That is why we want to share with you a few scientific facts about radiation that were recently published by the American Academy of Oral & Maxillofacial Radiology. This research was conducted by Dr. Sharon Brooks at University of Michigan's Department of Radiology and Dr. Stuart White at UCLA's Department of Radiology.

    • Did you know that the exposure from one digital panoramic x-ray is less than the exposure of just being alive for one day?
    • Radiation that strikes only part of the body, such as medical x-rays, is not as hazardous as the same amount of radiation to the whole body.
    • The average exposure from a panoramic scan is 10-15 uSv, whereas your natural radiation exposure (just being alive) is about 3,000 uSv per year.
    • The typical BERT (Background Equivalent Radiation Time) of ionizing radiation for dental bitewing is about one week.

For more information about quantities and units, we encourage everyone to download the below document from the American Academy of Oral & Maxillofacial Radiology. As always, please don't hesitate to contact our team if you have any questions.

Breaking bad habits

August 25th, 2011

At Forever Smiles, we know good dental health requires only a few minutes a day. We thought we’d provide some practical advice on how to improve your or your child’s smile between your adjustment visits with Dr. Razdolsky and Dr. Vij.

Start by brushing your teeth twice a day. Proper brushing techniques are an essential part of maintaining good oral health during your orthodontic treatment, as well as preventing gum disease. More care and time are needed to adequately brush your teeth when you are wearing braces. Brushing daily helps remove decay-causing plaque from tooth surfaces. Please consult Dr. Razdolsky and Dr. Vij if you would like us to review brushing techniques with you or your child. The use of a mechanical toothbrush such as a Sonicare or Oral B can aid in removing plaque around braces. Flossing daily will also prevent plaque to build up between the teeth and prevent stains between your teeth. Research has shown the bacteria of gum disease has been linked to coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes and memory loss. Lastly, we encourage you to throw away old toothbrushes and replace them every 2 or 3 months, or after an illness.

We hope this helps! If you have any further questions about any of these tips, please contact Forever Smiles or ask your general dentist during your next scheduled visit! Or, ask us on Facebook!

Check Out Dr. Razdolsky's YouTube Channel

August 16th, 2011

Dr. Razdolsky has added new videos to our YouTube Channel! We invite patients to check out our latest videos, which include everything from instructions on how to handle orthodontic emergencies to information about forsus appliances.

Would you like to be on our YouTube channel? If so, please let us know during your next appointment. We would love to share your experience at Forever Smiles with the world! Our team is always willing to record patients who would like to discuss their experience with braces and with Dr. Razdolsky on the silver screen.

Friday fun facts, from Forever Smiles

August 12th, 2011

Everyone loves fun facts. Fun, fun, fun! The American Association of Orthodontists, or AAO, has come up with some fun facts about orthodontics that our team at Forever Smiles thought you might enjoy.

• There are nearly 4 million people in orthodontic treatment throughout the United States. Three out of four are younger than 18.

• The first mechanical treatment for correcting irregular teeth was suggested by Gaius Plinius Secundus (A.D 23-79).

• The American Association of Orthodontists is comprised of more than 12,000 members in the United States, Canada and abroad.

• The time required to complete orthodontic treatment ranges from 12 to 36 months depending on the nature and severity of the problem.

• Of the 160,000 dentists in the United States and Canada, 8,000 are practicing orthodontists.

• The cement that attaches the braces to the teeth is now made with a special fluoride-releasing substance.

• Wires activated by body heat used in today's braces originally were developed by NASA for use in the space program.

• In addition to alleviating or preventing physical health problems, orthodontics can boost self-esteem as treatment aligns teeth, jaws and lips.

• Famous orthodontic patients include: Dr. Joyce Brothers, Hale Irwin, Cher, Diana Ross, Phyllis Diller, Chelsea Clinton, Whoopi Goldberg, Daisy Fuentes and Brandi.

Cool kids get braces with Dr. Razdolsky and Dr. Vij!

August 5th, 2011

Braces today are “cool” and—many would say—even “fun.” These were among the findings of a 2010 nationwide survey of moms whose children are going through or have had orthodontic treatment. New technologies such as SureSmile and the Damon System, advanced computer software, color options, and even popular celebrities—Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Danny Glover, Serena Williams—sporting stylish braces are making orthodontic treatment more comfortable, fashionable and cool for today’s teens.

The study, conducted on behalf of our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists for February’s National Children’s Dental Health Month, found 86 percent of moms reporting that braces are cooler today than when they were children. Sixty-nine percent of moms also said wearing braces makes their children feel cool, and 81 percent reported their children’s experience with orthodontic treatment as either positive or extremely positive.
Different color options and the ability to change colors, for example, provide exciting ways for young patients to customize appearances. That enthusiasm helps them to feel good about their orthodontic treatment with Dr. Razdolsky and Dr. Vij, and may contribute to the success of treatment.

Has your child or teen visited Dr. Razdolsky and Dr. Vij for a consultation? If not, please give us a call and let us help your child begin the journey to a gorgeous smile!

Why do you choose Dr. Razdolsky and Dr. Vij?

July 25th, 2011

Dr. Razdolsky and Dr. Vij, serving Buffalo Grove, Grayslake and surrounding areas, strive to provide exceptional treatment in an informative and friendly environment. Have you had a great experience at our office?

Share your story with the world!

Buffalo Grove:
Just select one of the "Review us on Google Places" buttons above to write a review on our Google Place Page. We look forward to receiving your feedback!

Thank you,
The team at Forever Smiles

Orthodontic Emergency Care with Forever Smiles

July 22nd, 2011

True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can't take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment with Drs. Razdolsky and Vij.

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you schedule an appointment with Forever Smiles.

The following solutions may help you relieve your discomfort:
Poking Wire: Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.

Loose Bracket or Band: If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. If the wire comes out entirely, wrap the bracket with a tissue.

Loose Wire: Using a tweezers, try to place your wire back into place. If doing this and using wax does not help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If your discomfort continues, place wax on it.

Loose Appliance: If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part of your appliance.

Headgear Does Not Fit: Sometimes headgear discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by your orthodontist. If the facebow is bent, please call our office for assistance. Surprisingly, headgear becomes more comfortable the more it's worn, so be sure you’re getting in the prescribed hours.

General Soreness: When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.

Remember, after alleviating your discomfort, it is still very important that you call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem.

Visualize your new smile with the Brace Painter!

July 8th, 2011

Braces at Forever Smiles are more fun than ever! With the Brace Painter, parents and children are able to “paint their braces,” and visualize how teeth will look with different colors of bands.

The Brace Painter allows for you to select different colors, and then assign those colors of bands to certain teeth. Now, you can visualize your braces before you even come in for your appointment!

As always, please let our team know if you have any questions about the Brace Painter, or your orthodontic treatment at Forever Smiles. Have a great week!

Dr. Razdolsky & Dr. Vij Ask: What are your 4th of July plans?

July 1st, 2011

This coming Monday, July 4th, is Independence Day and the United States of America will be turning 235 years old! It’s a day to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and also a time for every American to pay homage to our soldiers, past and present, who have placed themselves in harm’s way so that we may continue to enjoy our freedom.

Dr. Razdolsky & Dr. Vij and team will be celebrating this Monday and we would like to know, what are your plans for the 4th of July? Will you be out in the sun? Have you stocked up on fireworks? Are you going to grill up your favorite summer foods? Are you staying in town or heading somewhere else? If you have a 4th of July tradition, we would love to hear about it.

Whatever you plan to do, Forever Smiles hopes you have a fun and safe holiday! Feel free to upload your 4th of July photos to our Facebook page and let us know how your Independence Day turned out this year.

Stay Cool with a Braces-Friendly Summer Treat!

June 24th, 2011

Summer is here! Kids and adults alike will now be spending more time outside being active and enjoying the hotter temperatures. And what’s better on a hot summer day than a delicious treat that will cool you down after doing something active in the summer sun? Luckily, our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) have just the thing, Watermelon Sorbet! You can find the complete recipe below:

Watermelon Sorbet

• ¾ cup water
• ¼ cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon lime juice
• 2 to 3 cups watermelon, diced, no seeds or rind
In a small saucepan, heat the water, sugar, and lime juice on medium high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Chill this “syrup” at least 20 minutes. In the meantime, place the watermelon chunks in a food processor or blender and liquefy them. Add the chilled syrup to the watermelon puree and blend. Freeze sorbet in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately.

Happy Summer!

- Dr. Razdolsky, Dr. Vij and team

Smile! June is National Smile Month!

June 17th, 2011

According to the American Dental Association, a person's smile outranked eyes, hair and body as the most important physical feature, which is why it's important for our team at Forever Smiles to support National Smile Month this June.

Here are a few simple steps you can take to improve your oral health so that you may celebrate National Smile Month for many, many years to come:

* Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Here's a helpful video showing you how to brush with your braces on.
* Floss every day to clean between your teeth.
* Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks during your orthodontic treatment with Drs. Razdolsky & Vij.
* Visit your dentist regularly (usually every six months apart).

If you have questions about any of these tips, we encourage you to give us a call.

Forsus Emergency Care

June 10th, 2011

We've recently created a set of videos for emergency care of your Forsus appliance. Watch all three videos above, and please call our office if you have any questions!

Thank You,

Drs. Yan Razdolsky & Kapil Vij and the Forever Smiles Team

What’s on your summer reading list?

June 4th, 2011

With summer in full swing, some of us at Forever Smiles wanted to remind all our patients about the importance of reading. Sure it’s easy to keep putting off reading this time of year, but reading during the summer is a vital step in brain development and warding off the dreaded “summer slide.” Plus, it's fun!

Today, we thought we’d ask: What's on YOUR summer reading list? What are some of your all-time favorites? Out of ideas for great summer reads? Ask us for suggestions, and our staff (and Drs. Razdolsky & Vij) would be happy to provide a few suggestions. You may also ask a local librarian for some ideas or check out these summer reading ideas that we came across today, courtesy of Barnes & Noble.

Happy reading! Be sure to share with us your summer picks or your all-time favorites on our Facebook page!

Foods to Avoid During Your Orthodontic Treatment

May 20th, 2011

There are a variety of foods the Forever Smiles team wants you to avoid while you're wearing braces. Some foods can occasionally damage braces, but certain foods can bend the wires or even break the brackets on your braces. If you’re wearing braces, you should avoid starch, sugar and gummy foods, as these foods can be difficult to remove during brushing. Foods that are high in sugar and starch tend to cause plaque, cavities and even tooth decay.

Avoid tough meats, hard breads and raw vegetables such as carrots and celery. Before long, you'll be able to bite a cucumber again. But you'll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you're wearing braces.

Foods you should avoid include:

• Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
• Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips
• Sticky foods: caramels, gum
• Hard foods: nuts, candy
• Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots

Also, chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.

If you have any questions on which foods you should be avoiding and why, we invite you to give our Buffalo Grove or Grayslake offices a call or ask our staff during your next visit.

Forever Smiles at the 2011 AAO Annual Session

May 12th, 2011

At Forever Smiles, we are very proud to serve so many families in Grayslake and Buffalo Grove, IL. Our greatest goal is to help you achieve a healthier, happier, more confident smile. Dr. Razdolsky and Dr. Vij are both lifelong learners and spend countless hours every year to acquire and share the knowledge, skills, and expertise that directly benefits you, a member of our patient family.

One of the ways we provide a “complete” orthodontic treatment experience for our patients is by attending important seminars and conferences. One of these gatherings – the American Association of Orthodontists’ Annual Session in Chicago this weekend- is an educational event that is one of the largest orthodontic conventions in the world – and one that allows us to stay up-to-date on all the latest technologies and orthodontic treatment options available. This, in turn, allows us to give you, our wonderful patients, the best treatment experience possible. Our team will be attending the event this year, which runs from May 13th- 17th. We are excited to attend, and look forward to sharing news and photos from the event once we return!

What’s on your reading list?

May 8th, 2011

With the school year close to winding down for a lot of our patients at Forever Smiles, we wanted to remind all our patients about the importance of reading. Sure it’s easy to keep putting off reading this time of year, but reading is a vital step in brain development and literacy. And if you needed any more reason to read, May marks “Get Caught Reading Month.”

Today, we thought we’d ask: What's on YOUR reading list? What are some of your all-time favorites? Out of ideas for great reads? Ask us for suggestions, and Dr. Razdolsky, Dr. Vij and our team would be happy to provide a few. You may also ask a local librarian for some ideas on what to read next!

Happy reading! Be sure to share with us your book picks or your all-time favorite novels or literature on our Facebook page!

At Forever Smiles, what puts you at ease?

April 28th, 2011

Dr. Razdolsky, Dr. Vij and team understand not everyone enjoys visiting their orthodontist. But we strive to bring you the best and most comforting experience at each visit. We’d like to know: What is it about our Buffalo Grove & Grayslake offices that makes you comfortable or puts you at ease? Is it something about our pleasant office environment? Our friendly staff or doctors?

Let us know by posting here or by giving us a call!

Taking steps to reduce our environmental impact

April 22nd, 2011

We are living in an age with a renewed commitment to conservation, and are frequently reminded to recycle, reduce and reuse. Earth Day is this Friday, April 22nd, and we thought this would a great time to discuss the things that Dr. Razdolsky, Dr. Vij & team do to conserve our natural resources and the environment.

Did you know that we offer patients account access 24 hours a day, seven days a week? Our office has convenient and secure online services with our secure patient login system. You can view all of your account information, and even receive appointment reminders through email or text messages. Since this information is submitted electronically, we eliminate the use of large amounts of paper and printing materials.

Our team would love to hear how you minimize your impact on the environment. Leave us a comment below or you can also visit our Facebook page and post something on our wall.

Happy Earth Day!

Flossing with Braces 101

April 16th, 2011

Our team will tell you that keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever when you have braces. Food bits have more spots than usual to hide in your mouth, so you must be diligent in order to avoid bad breath, swollen gums, discolored teeth and cavities. If you remove plaque regularly during treatment, you'll experience better results and could possibly reduce your treatment time.

Here is a very concise video explaining the proper way to floss your teeth with braces. Give Forever Smiles a call if you have more questions about flossing. Enjoy!

April is National Facial Protection Month

April 8th, 2011

With spring here, many children, teens and adults in Buffalo Grove and Grayslake, IL will once again pick up the ball, bring the bat out of seasonal retirement, and lace up their cleats to hit the fields for the return of spring sports! April is National Facial Protection Month, and during this time, Dr. Razdolsky, Dr. Vij and our dedicated team urge our young athletes to play it safe when out on the field. According to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, children, high-school athletes and adults will have more than 5,000,000 teeth knocked out in sporting events this year.

Here are a few ways to ensure your mouth’s safety this spring, courtesy of our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists:

1. Wear mouth guards for contact sports such as baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse.
2. Wear a helmet
3. Wear protective eyewear
4. Wear a face shield to avoid scratched or bruised skin
5. Be alert, even as a spectator

We hope that helps. Protective gear is vital for anyone engaging in tooth or mouth-threatening activities. If you have any further questions about any of these tips, please contact us at . Stay safe and have fun!

Now that I have braces, what can I eat?

April 1st, 2011

You just got braces at Forever Smiles and we have informed you that over the next several months you will want to avoid eating anything sticky, hard, crunchy, or chewy. What does this leave for you to eat? Lettuce? Nothing?

Luckily, there was someone else wondering the same thing when she first got braces! Brenda Waterman, 13, decided she was going to find a way to have her cake and eat it too, so she created a variety of “braces-friendly” recipes that allow you to enjoy your favorite treats without interfering with your orthodontic care! Her cookbook, “The Braces Cookbook: Recipes you (and your Orthodontist) will Love,” gives patients a variety of delicious recipes, safe to eat with braces; plus additional tips and advice for packing lunches, what to eat at parties, and braces-friendly restaurant dishes! There’s even a section with tips for dealing with the soreness that can occur when your braces or appliance are adjusted. Enjoy the foods you love – even with braces!

Here is a delicious, sneak peek recipe from “The Braces Cookbook:”

Wonderful Waffles

Forget the recipe that came with your waffle iron – this recipe will redefine fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. The secret to delicious waffles is letting the batter "sit" for five minutes before pouring into the waffle iron. Top cooked waffles with syrup, jam, fresh fruit or even whip cream. Makes about 5 servings!

Preheat your waffle iron according to the directions. You may want to lightly spray it with vegetable oil before heating.

• 3 cups flour
• 2 Tbl + 2 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 Tbl sugar
• 4 cups milk
• 4 eggs
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil

In a large bowl, whisk (or use electric mixer on low) together all ingredients. Let batter sit for about five minutes to activate the baking powder.

When waffle iron is ready, pour about 1/3 cup of batter onto each of the four squares (experiment with your iron – you don't want the batter overflowing). Gently close the cover and set your timer as the manufacturer suggests. Do not lift the cover while they bake. When done, carefully lift one edge with a flat spatula and pull the waffle away from the iron. Keep waffles warm on a plate under a clean dishtowel while the others bake.


-Your friends at Forever Smiles

All the cool kids do it!

March 26th, 2011

Braces today are “cool” and—many would say—even “fun.” These were among the findings of a 2010 nationwide survey of moms whose children are going through or have had orthodontic treatment. New technologies, advanced computer software, color options, and even popular celebrities—Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Danny Glover, Serena Williams—sporting stylish braces are making orthodontic treatment more comfortable, fashionable and cool for today’s teens.

The study, conducted on behalf of our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists for February’s National Children’s Dental Health Month, found 86 percent of moms reporting that braces are cooler today than when they were children. Sixty-nine percent of moms also said wearing braces makes their children feel cool, and 81 percent reported their children’s experience with orthodontic treatment as either positive or extremely positive.

Different color options and the ability to change colors, for example, provide exciting ways for young patients to customize appearances. That enthusiasm helps them to feel good about their orthodontic treatment with us, and may contribute to the success of treatment.

Has your child or teen visited for a consultation? If not, please give us a call and let us help your child begin the journey to a gorgeous smile!

Why is it so important to have straight teeth?

March 16th, 2011

Some people wonder why Buffalo Grove and Grayslake Orthodontists Drs. Razdolsky & Vij and our team work tirelessly to give our patients straight teeth. Of course it’s nice to have a smile full of evenly-aligned teeth, but did you know that straightening your teeth can keep them healthier? Straight teeth lead to better oral hygiene, increasing your chances of keeping your own natural teeth for a lifetime!

Straight teeth are less prone to decay, because they collect less plaque—the sticky colorless substance that forms on our teeth and leads to tooth decay; and they are easier to keep clean!

If you’re wondering whether your teeth might cause problems because they are out of alignment, please give us a call to set up a consultation. Drs. Razdolsky & Vij can help you decide whether or not you will benefit from orthodontic treatment.

What Will YOUR Smile Look Like After Orthodontic Treatment?

March 11th, 2011

It is sometimes hard to believe the transformation your smile undergoes during orthodontic treatment. We at Forever Smiles love to see our patients’ smiles light up when they see their new smile in the mirror for the first time. For those of you who haven’t yet started or finished your orthodontic treatment, have you ever wondered what your new smile might look like after treatment?

The American Association of Orthodontists, or AAO for short, has recently launched a new tool called “Virtual Smiles”, which shows what your smile might look like after orthodontic treatment. Using the tool will also earn you a free orthodontic consultation coupon, which can be redeemed at West Chester Orthodontics by yourself, a family member or friend.

Check out the Virtual Smiles tool, and call us to get started on improving your smile today!

Celebrities get braces, too!

March 4th, 2011

Did you know that back in 2002, Tom Cruise had braces? During this time, he was 40 years old and filmed Minority Report, Austin Powers in Goldmember and the Last Samurai. Check out his smile in Jerry Maguire, Rain Man or The Firm and compare to the post-braces Tom Cruise in Valkyrie or Tropic Thunder. The fact is, movie stars need to look their best for the silver screen, and it wouldn't be possible without orthodontists like Drs. Razdolsky & Vij.

In fact, lots of Hollywood stars have had orthodontic treatment. Check out this slideshow of famous faces with braces. If you’ve thought about getting the perfect smile you’ve always wanted, please give us a call!

Connect with the Braces Brigade!

February 25th, 2011

At Forever Smiles in Grayslake and Buffalo Grove, IL, our patients want to get as much out of their treatment as possible. That includes asking a lot of questions and making sure they take care of both their appliances and oral health.

Would you like to learn more about what to expect during orthodontic treatment, from someone with firsthand experience? Well, our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recently developed the Braces Brigade blog, where past, present, as well as future orthodontic patients from coast to coast document their (or their child’s) orthodontic journeys. The blog will serve as a source of guidance for others as the patients undergo orthodontic care.

Our team encourages you to visit the Braces Brigade blog to read these great and informative blogs—who knows, maybe you’ll learn a thing or two! As always, don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions about the Braces Brigade or your own orthodontic treatment with Drs. Razdolsky & Vij!

Don't Forget- Have Your Teeth Professionally Cleaned by a Dentist

February 18th, 2011

Floss Daily for Good Oral Hygiene

There is a special way that you can floss while you have braces for good oral hygiene. Many times, people are tempted to skip the flossing during braces because it can be a little intimidating and difficult.

Flossing while you have braces is very important. It can prevent your gums from swelling over the braces themselves. If you have forgotten the flossing technique please visit our website for more information.

Don't Forget- Have Your Teeth Professionally Cleaned by a Dentist
Dental cleaning is important for good oral hygiene when in braces. It prevents cavities from forming under the braces. With poor oral hygiene you can end up with yellow spots or even cavities after braces are removed. It is imperative that you visit your dentist every six month for dental cleanings while you are in braces. Call us if you have any questions!

Brush Teeth More Often with Braces for Good Oral Hygiene

Food is more likely to get lodged in brackets and other ortho appliances. Please brush your teeth more often during orthodontic treatment.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!

February 4th, 2011

One in four parents says their child has had an injury during an organized sport resulting in a trip to the emergency room, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, or AAO. That why the Forever Smiles team thought February—also known as National Children’s Dental Health Month—would be a great time to remind our patients to be mindful of their braces and teeth while playing sports. Here are a few tips to stay safe on the field this spring, courtesy of the AAO:

1. Wear mouth guards for contact sports such as baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse.
2. Wear a helmet
3. Wear protective eyewear
4. Wear a face shield to avoid scratched or bruised skin
5. Be alert, even as a spectator

We hope that helps. Protective gear is vital for anyone engaging in tooth or mouth-threatening activities. If you have any further questions about any of these tips, please contact our Grayslake or Buffalo Grove offices. Stay safe and have fun!

Congratulations to our On Time Contest Winners

January 27th, 2011

Congratulations to December's On Time Contest Winners, Megan H. from our Buffalo Grove office and Adina C. for our Grayslake office. We invite you both to please choose your Prize from our gift display! Stay tuned for next month when we pick the next round of winners!

January Community Service in Grayslake & Buffalo Grove IL

January 20th, 2011

We are proud sponsors of local sports teams in Grayslake, Buffalo Grove and surrounding communities. Some of the teams we sponsor include:

-Warren Wave Girls Travel Softball team

-Mundelein Mustang Swim Club

-Vernon Hills High School Basketball

-The Blue Devil Travelers 12U Blue Team

Congratulation to them all!

Never Too Old to Treat Yourself to a New Smile - Is This Your Year?

January 14th, 2011

Did you know one in every five orthodontic patients is an adult? We’re living longer and technology is improving, making orthodontic treatment an appealing and safe option for patients of all ages. As the trend toward treatment later in life grows, we’re seeing braces on parents as well as children – and even adult celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Gwen Stefani and Nicholas Cage have shown off their braces. It’s never too late to look and feel your best!

Can Braces Work for Adults?

People of all ages can benefit from orthodontic treatment. The physical process for moving teeth is the same, young or old, which means it is never too late to address issues such as an overbite or underbite, crooked or crowded teeth, or jaw disorders.

How Do I Get Started?

If you’re considering orthodontic treatment, we’ll make a consultation appointment with you. During this meeting we will perform a general assessment of your oral health, discuss options for treatment, and answer any questions you may have. We will also discuss matters of cost and insurance. The next step is an orthodontic records appointment in which we take x-rays, photos, and an impression of your teeth. This information drives your unique treatment plan.

What Are the Benefits?

Straightening your teeth can improve your smile, your self-esteem, and your dental health. Technologically advanced new treatments make it easier to identify the option that best fits your lifestyle. Modern techniques and materials have made braces and aligners more effective, comfortable and unobtrusive than ever.

If you think you might benefit from orthodontic treatment, get in touch with us so we may set up a consultation to determine what type of treatment best meets your needs.

General Dentist vs Orthodontist: What's the difference?

January 7th, 2011

We would like to start off by saying we have the highest respect for our fellow general dentist. We are often asked this question by our patients what's the difference between an orthodontist and a general dentist when it comes to performing orthodontic services. An orthodontist is a dentist, who after graduating from dental school, completes an additional 2-3 years full-time university based education in an accredited orthodontic residency program. By learning about the biology of tooth movement (orthodontics) and facial development (dentofacial orthopedics), orthodontists are specifically educated experts in dentistry to straighten teeth and to properly align jaws.

Orthodontists limit their practices to orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. This means that orthodontic treatment is what they do, and all they do. Many family dentists can legally do Invisalign or braces after taking a weekend or night courses. They do not have the breadth of knowledge to understand all the possible complications of treatment and offer all the best treatment options.

Crossword Puzzle Answers and On-Time Winners!

December 29th, 2010

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday celebration. In addition to well wishes for the New Year, we wanted to share the answers to our December Newsletter Crossword Puzzle, along with the On-Time winners for November.

Crossword Puzzle Answers


4- Brackets
6 - Invisalign
7- Expander
8- Buffalo Grove


1- Suresmile
2- Woodentokens
3- Retainer
5- Razdolsky

On-Time Winners for November
Congratulations to Alex K. for our Buffalo Grove Office and Nolan J. for our Grayslake Office. Please choose your Prize from our gift display!

Happy New Year from all of us at Forever Smiles!

Season's Greetings from Forever Smiles

December 21st, 2010

May you all have a Happy and Safe Holiday Season, From Dr. Razdolsky and Staff.

The office will be closed from December 23 through January 2nd, 2011. Please visit our website for any questions regarding handling orthodontic emergencies over the holiday season. Otherwise, Dr. Vij will be in on December 30th from 10-2pm for Emergencies only!

Community Service this Holiday Season

December 17th, 2010

At Forever Smiles our mission during the winter holiday season is to bring a smile to the face of an innocent child. In lieu of holiday gifts amongst the staff, we give to the children of Arden Shore. If you would like to be a part of this amazing experience please do so. We guarantee each child will greatly appreciate it.

Click here to learn more about Arden Shore

Seasons Greetings, from your friends at Forever Smiles!

Congratulation to the Pumpkin Winners!

December 11th, 2010

We would like to thank all of you for participating in Guessing the weight of the Pumpkin contest.

The Winner of the Gigantic pumpkin contest is Kamaren S. he guessed the true weight of (956 pounds)--Please come to our office to accept your $25 gift card to the Country Bumpkin Garden Center and a $25 gift card from Dr. Razdolsky.

The winner of the Buffalo Grove pumpkin contest is Sean T. he guessed the true weight of (204 pounds) Please come to our Buffalo Grove Office to accept your Electric Tooth Brush.

The Winner of the Grayslake pumpkin contest is Natalie L. she guessed the true weight of (142 pounds) Please come to our Grayslake Office to accept your Electric Tooth Brush.

Congratulations to you all and thanks again to each and everyone who participated in this contest!

Happy Thanksgiving, from Forever Smiles

November 25th, 2010

Drs. Razdolsky and Vij would like to wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy a day filled of friends, family, and great Thanksgiving food.

We are very thankful for all of our patients and their families. We'd like to know, what are you most thankful for this year? Leave us a comment, or if you have any stories or pictures to share with us, we encourage you to share them on our Facebook page!

Happy Thanksgiving!