Our Blog


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.