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By Dr. James M. Maragos, DDS, PC
November 30, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: braces   gum disease  
TheRiskforGumDiseaseIncreasesWhileWearingBraces

Your child has had braces for a few months and making good progress with correcting a poor bite (malocclusion), but you’ve also noticed something else: his gums are becoming red and swollen.

These are symptoms of gingivitis, a periodontal (gum) disease. It’s an infection that arises when plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles, isn’t adequately removed from teeth with daily brushing and flossing. The braces increase the risk for gingivitis.

This is because the hardware — metal or plastic brackets cemented to the teeth and joined together by metal bands — makes it more difficult to reach many areas of the teeth with a brush or floss string. The plaque left behind can trigger an infection that causes inflammation (swelling) and bleeding.

To exacerbate the situation, gums don’t always take well to braces and can react by overgrowing. Wearing braces may also coincide with a teenager’s surge in hormones that can accelerate the infection. Untreated, gingivitis can develop into advanced stages of disease that may eventually cause tooth loss. The effect is also heightened as we’re orthodontically putting stress on teeth to move them.

You can stay ahead of gingivitis through extra diligence with daily hygiene, especially taking a little more time to adequately get to all tooth surfaces with your brush and floss. It may also help to switch to a motorized brush or one designed to work around braces. You can make flossing easier by using special threaders to get around the wires or a water flosser that removes plaque with a pulsating water stream.

And don’t forget regular dental visits while wearing braces: we can monitor and treat overgrowth, perform thorough dental cleanings and treat occurrences of gingivitis. In some cases you may need to visit a periodontist, a specialist in gums and supporting teeth structures, for more advanced treatment. And if the disease becomes extensive, the braces may need to be removed temporarily to treat the gums and allow them to heal.

Orthodontic treatment is important for not only creating a new smile but also improving your teeth’s function. Keeping a close eye out for gum disease will make sure it doesn’t sidetrack your efforts in gaining straighter teeth.

If you would like more information on dental care during orthodontics, 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 “Gum Swelling During Orthodontics.”

By Dr. James M. Maragos, DDS, PC
February 28, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   retainer  
WhyaBondedRetainerMightbeaBetterChoiceAfterBraces

A lot of time and effort goes into straightening your smile. But there’s a possibility it might not stay that way—and all that hard work could be lost. The same natural mechanism that enables your teeth to move with braces could cause them to revert to their old, undesirable positions.

So for a little while (or longer for some people) you’ll need to wear a retainer, an appliance designed to keep or “retain” your teeth where they are now. And while the removable type is perhaps the best known, there’s at least one other choice you might want to consider: a bonded retainer.

Just as its name implies, this retainer consists of a thin metal wire bonded to the back of the teeth with a composite material. Unlike the removable appliance, a bonded retainer is fixed and can only be removed by an orthodontist.

Bonded retainers have several advantages. Perhaps the most important one is cosmetic—unlike the removable version, others can’t see a bonded retainer since it’s hidden behind the teeth. There’s also no keeping up with it—or losing it—since it’s fixed in place, which might be helpful with some younger patients who need reminding about keeping their retainer in their mouth.

There are, however, a few disadvantages. It’s much harder to floss with a bonded retainer, which could increase the risks of dental disease. It’s also possible for it to break, in which case it will need to be repaired by an orthodontist and as soon as possible. Without it in place for any length of time the teeth could move out of alignment.

If you or a family member is about to have braces removed, you’ll soon need to make a decision on which retainer to use. We’ll discuss these options with you and help you choose the one—removable or bonded—that’s right for you.

If you would like more information on bonded retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor article “Bonded Retainers: What are the Pros and Cons?

By Dr. James M. Maragos, DDS, PC
February 13, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
WhyemBigBangTheoryemActressMayimBialikCouldntHaveBraces

Mayim Bialik has spent a good part of her life in front of TV cameras: first as the child star of the hit comedy series Blossom, and more recently as Sheldon Cooper’s love interest — a nerdy neuroscientist — on The Big Bang Theory. (In between, she actually earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA…but that’s another story.) As a child, Bialik had a serious overbite — but with all her time on camera, braces were just not an option.

“I never had braces,” she recently told Dear Doctor – Dentistry & Oral Health magazine. “I was on TV at the time, and there weren’t a lot of creative solutions for kids who were on TV.” Instead, her orthodontist managed to straighten her teeth using retainers and headgear worn only at night.

Today, there are several virtually invisible options available to fix orthodontic issues — and you don’t have to be a child star to take advantage of them. In fact, both children and adults can benefit from these unobtrusive appliances.

Tooth colored braces are just like traditional metal braces, with one big difference: The brackets attached to teeth are made from a ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of teeth. All that’s visible is the thin archwire that runs horizontally across the teeth — and from a distance it’s hard to notice. Celebs like Tom Cruise and Faith Hill opted for this type of appliance.

Clear aligners are custom-made plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Each one, worn for about two weeks, moves the teeth just a bit; after several months, you’ll see a big change for the better in your smile. Best of all, clear aligners are virtually impossible to notice while you’re wearing them — which you’ll need to do for 22 hours each day. But you can remove them to eat, or for special occasions. Zac Efron and Katherine Heigl, among others, chose to wear clear aligners.

Lingual braces really are invisible. That’s because they go behind your teeth (on the tongue side), where they can’t be seen; otherwise they are similar to traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are placed on teeth differently, and wearing them often takes some getting used to at first. But those trade-offs are worth it for plenty of people. Which celebs wore lingual braces? Rumor has it that the list includes some top models, a well-known pop singer, and at least one British royal.

So what’s the best way to straighten your teeth and keep the orthodontic appliances unnoticeable? Just ask us! We’d be happy to help you choose the option that’s just right for you. You’ll get an individualized evaluation, a solution that fits your lifestyle — and a great-looking smile!

For more information about hard-to-see (or truly invisible) orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Orthodontics for the Older Adult” and “Clear Aligners for Teenagers.”

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
October 18, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   braces   Invisalign  

What Invisalign from your LaGrange, Illinois dentist can do for your smile

You want a straighter smile, but you don’t want to wear metal brackets and wires for years. It’s time for you to discover the state-of-the-art invisalignmethod of straightening your smile; it’s called Invisalign! Dr. James M. Maragos in LaGrange, Illinois wants to help you straighten your smile without impacting your life.

Invisalign orthodontic appliances are different from conventional methods of straightening your smile. With Invisalign, you avoid metal brackets and wires; instead, you can straighten your teeth with aligners that are virtually invisible, with minimal time involvement, and far fewer visits to your dentist. Your dentist in LaGrange wants you to know about the many reasons people choose Invisalign. With Invisalign, you will experience treatment that is:

  • Virtually invisible, because the appliances are clear plastic
  • Speedy, because Invisalign treatment takes only 9 to 15 months
  • Comfortable, because Invisalign has no sharp metal parts, only smooth plastic
  • Convenient, because you can remove the appliance when you want
  • Enjoyable, because you can eat the foods you love without worry
  • Healthy, because you can clean your teeth normally, including brushing and flossing

Your Invisalign treatment in LaGrange begins with your first set of trays, called aligners. You wear this first set for two weeks and change to another set, which you wear for another two weeks. You change aligners every two weeks as your teeth slowly and comfortably move into perfect alignment. Your Invisalign treatment is complete after 9 to 15 months. That’s it!

Invisalign treatment may be different from conventional metal braces, but it can correct all of the same tooth alignment and bite issues as conventional braces, such as:

  • Crossbite or open bite
  • Underbite or overbite
  • Crowding, overlapping, or widely spaced teeth

You can straighten your smile without impacting your life. The answer is Invisalign! Why settle for old school, uncomfortable, unsightly metal brackets and wires when you can straighten your teeth easily and quickly. You deserve a great smile, and Invisalign can help. Call Dr. James M. Maragos in LaGrange, Illinois today and find out how Invisalign can improve your smile and your life!



Call Today (708) 352-7358

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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