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Posts for: June, 2017

By Dr. James M. Maragos, DDS, PC
June 16, 2017
Category: Oral Health
AnyTimeAnyPlaceCamNewtonsGuidetoFlossing

When is the best time to floss your teeth: Morning? Bedtime? How about: whenever and wherever the moment feels right?

For Cam Newton, award-winning NFL quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, the answer is clearly the latter. During the third quarter of the 2016 season-opener between his team and the Denver Broncos, TV cameras focused on Newton as he sat on the bench. The 2015 MVP was clearly seen stretching a string of dental floss between his index fingers and taking care of some dental hygiene business… and thereby creating a minor storm on the internet.

Inappropriate? We don't think so. As dentists, we're always happy when someone comes along to remind people how important it is to floss. And when that person has a million-dollar smile like Cam Newton's — so much the better.

Of course, there has been a lot of discussion lately about flossing. News outlets have gleefully reported that there's a lack of hard evidence at present to show that flossing is effective. But we would like to point out that, as the saying goes, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” There are a number of reasons why health care organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) still firmly recommend daily flossing. Here are a few:

  • It's well established that when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth, tooth decay and gum disease are bound to follow.
  • A tooth brush does a good job of cleaning most tooth surfaces, but it can't reach into spaces between teeth.
  • Cleaning between teeth (interdental cleaning) has been shown to remove plaque and food debris from these hard-to-reach spaces.
  • Dental floss isn't the only method for interdental cleaning… but it is recognized by dentists as the best way, and is an excellent method for doing this at home — or anywhere else!

Whether you use dental floss or another type of interdental cleaner is up to you. But the ADA stands by its recommendations for maintaining good oral health: Brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste; visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups; and clean between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner like floss. It doesn't matter if you do it in your own home, or on the sidelines of an NFL game… as long as you do it!

If you would like more information about flossing and oral hygiene, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.


By Dr. James M. Maragos, DDS, PC
June 14, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   braces   Invisalign  

Invisalign is the virtually invisible way to straighten your smile. Invisalign effectively corrects a variety of orthodontic problems, including: invisaligncrooked teeth, an overbite, protruding teeth, underbite, cross bite, overcrowded teeth, and gapped teeth. Dr. James Maragos is one of the finest dentists in LaGrange, IL. He offers orthodontic treatment with Invisalign to his patients. Read on to find out Invisalign works to straighten your smile.

What are the aligners made of?

Over the course of treatment, you will be supplied with a set of nearly invisible, removable aligners. The aligners are made of a thermoplastic material uniquely developed for your Invisalign treatment. The aligners are custom-made specifically for your teeth. The aligners are worn for about two weeks. Then you switch to a new set of aligners. 

How does Invisalign straighten teeth?

Invisalign aligners accomplish their goals using the same orthodontic approaches that dental professionals have always used. Invisalign aligners straighten teeth through the placement of controlled force on the teeth. The aligners gently and continuously move your teeth in small increments. You will need to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours every day.

What are the benefits of Invisalign?

Invisalign is for anyone who wants a smile they will absolutely love. Invisalign can be as effective as conventional braces for the most common teeth-straightening issues. Many people love the fact that Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible and that they work with their lifestyles.The aligners are comfortable to wear, so you will be able to wear them for about 22 hours a day without much effort. 

How long does treatment take?

The average length of your treatment can only be determined by your Invisalign dentist. However, the average case takes about one year for adults. Before you start treatment, you will know exactly how long your treatment will take and what your teeth are expected to look like at the end.

How do I get Invisalign?

At your first consultation, your Invisalign provider will discuss your needs, evaluate whether Invisalign treatment is suitable for you, and answer any questions you may have about the process.

Say goodbye to that less-than-perfect smile. You deserve a smile you absolutely love. Don't wait another minute- call our dental office at 708-352-7358 right now to schedule an Invisalign consultation in LaGrange, IL. If you want a beautiful smile, the Invisalign system is the clear path forward.


By Dr. James M. Maragos, DDS, PC
June 01, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
WemayNeedtoRemoveoneorMoreTeethBeforeApplyingBraces

“To gain something, sometimes you have to give up something else.”

No, that isn't the latest viral meme on the Internet. It's actually a practical consideration that could arise in orthodontics.

In this case, the “something” to gain is a straighter, more attractive smile; the “something” you may have to part with is a few teeth. This may be necessary if there are too many teeth on a dental arch for its capacity, a situation called crowding. A lack of space is the main reason teeth come in misaligned.

Before we can correct this, we'll need to free up space to allow for tooth movement by removing one or more of the existing teeth. The ideal candidates are those that are near to the teeth we wish to move but not highly visible. The first bicuspids are the most frequent choices for removal: they're located behind the cuspids or eyeteeth (the pointed teeth right under the eyes).

Ideally, we'll remove the target teeth some time before we apply braces to give the gums a chance to heal. At the same time we want to preserve the bone that once supported the teeth we've extracted. This is because when we chew the forces generated by the teeth stimulates bone replacement growth. When a tooth is no longer there the supporting bone doesn't receive this stimulation and may ultimately reduce in volume.

We may try to prevent this by placing a bone graft in the empty socket immediately after removing the tooth. The graft serves as a scaffold to encourage new bone to grow. Hopefully when we're ready to apply braces, the bone will be strong and healthy to handle the movement of the teeth.

As the teeth move under the influence of braces, they'll begin to fill up the space created by tooth removal. Once it's completed, the extracted teeth won't be missed — the other teeth now straightened will completely fill out the smile.

The different steps in this process must be carefully planned and executed precisely, and it will take months or even years to complete. In the end, though, this complicated bite problem can be corrected and replaced with an attractive, straight smile.

If you would like more information on correcting a poor bite, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Removal for Orthodontic Reasons.”




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4727 Willow Springs Road
LaGrange, IL 60525

James M. Maragos, D.D.S.

Dr. Maragos’ commitment to his community parallels his commitment to his profession. In 2007, he was elected to... 

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