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Our Blog

What's in my mouth? A Rundown of Orthodontic Appliances

July 26th, 2017

Dr. Stefen Lippitz and Dr. Herbert Lippitz and our team correct the alignment of your teeth and jaws so that you can speak clearly, chew food effectively, and look attractive when you smile. We do this by putting sophisticated gadgets in your mouth. While many of these dental devices look similar, we use a wide variety of orthodontic appliances to straighten your teeth and repair jaw problems.

Orthodontic appliances are devices that move your teeth, change the position of your jaw, or hold your teeth in their finished positions after your braces are removed. These devices may be attached to your teeth or removable.

Braces straighten your teeth. Brackets, bands, and wires characterize traditional braces. Braces are attached to the teeth, so they are not easily removable.

Spacers are small plastic rings fitted between your back teeth before your braces are placed by Dr. Stefen Lippitz and Dr. Herbert Lippitz. These spacers create space between your teeth to optimize the alignment your braces provide.

Retainers hold teeth in their finished position after your braces come off. A Hawley retainer is the most common type of retainer; it features an acrylic plate that rests against the roof of your mouth and a wire crossing in front of your teeth. Essex retainers are quite popular, as they are durable and nearly invisible.

Bite plates correct a deep bite, where the upper front teeth come down too far over the lower front teeth to cause bite problems.

Holding arches prevent the back teeth from moving forward to crowd the front teeth. A lower lingual holding arch prevents your permanent molars from migrating forward. The Nance holding arch maintains space between teeth after you lose baby teeth and before the permanent teeth come in.

A palatal expander widens your upper jaw by separating the bones of your palate. This appliance helps your top and bottom teeth fit together better. The Quad Helix widens your jaws to create more room for crowded teeth.

Contact our Chicago, Northbrook or Glencoe, IL office today to learn more about the ways we can improve the appeal and function of your smile.

When should my child be seen for an orthodontic evaluation?

July 19th, 2017

Thanks for asking! It really depends on the dental age of the patient rather than their chronological age. Usually a good time to have your child evaluated by an orthodontist is after the front permanent teeth have erupted into the mouth or if there appears to be extreme crowding of the teeth.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children between the ages of seven and nine should be evaluated by an orthodontist. There are times when an early developmental treatment is indicated to correct situations before they become major problems. In these circumstances the patient will most likely benefit from a second phase of orthodontics when all of their permanent teeth have erupted.

Most full orthodontic treatment begins between ages nine and 14, and lasts from one to three years, with two years being the average. It’s important, however, that children be screened at an early age for Dr. Stefen Lippitz and Dr. Herbert Lippitz and our staff to assess if your child can benefit from orthodontic treatment and when treatment should begin.

We hope this helps, and invite you to give us a call if you have any questions about your child’s treatment at Lippitz Orthodontics.

Post-Braces Care: Wear your retainer!

July 12th, 2017

Many patients underestimate the importance of wearing their retainers after their braces come off, but it is one of the most critical post care practices to keep your teeth in alignment. Why spend all that time, energy, and money to straighten your teeth when you don't plan to keep them straightened after treatment?

What is a retainer?

As the name implies, a retainer keeps teeth from moving back to the positions in which they started before treatment was administered; they "retain" your smile and bite. There are many different types of retainers—some are removable and some are permanent. Some retainers are made of plastic and metal (known as Hawley retainers) and others are all plastic or all metal. Some retainers can even be bonded to the back of your teeth!

How long do I need to wear it?

If you've been given a removable retainer by Dr. Stefen Lippitz and Dr. Herbert Lippitz, you may be wondering how long you need to wear it. It takes time for the tissues and bones around your teeth to reorganize and set into place after braces treatment.

The amount of time you’ll need to wear your retainer depends on your unique situation, but typically, retainers should be worn at least as long as the time you spent in braces. You might need to wear them full-time for a while, and then transition to wearing them only at night. Dr. Stefen Lippitz and Dr. Herbert Lippitz will have a treatment plan especially for you, and if you stick to it, you'll always have a straight smile.

Nothing is forever (at least without retainers!)

Research has shown that there is no “permanent” position for your teeth to remain in. In fact, some studies say upward of 70% of patients will see a change to their bite and tooth alignment as they get older. This applies to people who have had orthodontic treatment and those who have not. Of course, some people's teeth never seem to shift—you can consider them the lucky ones, as most people's teeth do.

And this is precisely where retainers come in. The only way to ensure your teeth stay in alignment long-term is by wearing your retainers. If you have any questions about retainers or your treatment plan, please ask any member of our Chicago, Northbrook or Glencoe, IL staff.

Tell us about your summer!

July 5th, 2017

The dog days of summer are upon us, and what better time for Dr. Stefen Lippitz and Dr. Herbert Lippitz and our team to ask our patients about their summer!

Whether you visited our nation’s capital, went on a camping trip, or just stayed in Chicago, Northbrook or Glencoe, IL and relaxed, we want to know how you’re all spending your summer! Please feel free to share your summer plans and experiences with us below or on our Facebook page as summer rolls on!

  • “I am so happy I chose Lippitz Orthodontics to do my braces. Dr. Lippitz is wonderful and the staff is terrific.”

    — Roy M.
  • “The entire staff rock and are extremely understanding of our children’s needs. Dr. Stefen is truly amazing…thank you!!”

    — Noah H.
  • “That appointment was wonderful! My son - who is high-functioning autistic and has a hard time sitting still and was apprehensive about visiting in the first place because he didn’t know what would happen – felt very at ease. He was made to feel comfortable!”

    — Devon M.
  • “I originally had my braces put on in 1983 by Dr. Herbert Lippitz and he was outstanding over all the years until I got them off in 1989. My most recent visit with Dr. Stefen Lippitz was equally outstanding and maybe better. I give Dr. Stefen 5 Stars!!!!”

    — Henry M.
  • “How great the staff from Dr. Lippitz to the front desk, everyone is so friendly and caring. They make this process much easier for my daughter and I. We appreciate it so much!”

    — Lydia P.
  • “Everyone was so welcoming. They really took the time to listen and explain everything to me. I had to bring my children and wasn’t sure how I would get through my appointment with both of them, but the staff jumped right in to help. I love the atmosphere here.”

    — Sarah W.
  • “Everyone clearly loves working there and are very welcoming. Dr. Lippitz always clearly explains what is need.”

    — Joh R.
  • “Always a pleasant experience…Dr. Lippitz is such a nice, friendly guy. Always get in on time, too!”

    — Sam W.
  • “Everytime I have been to your office on Western Ave. every staff member has been friendly, happy and extremely courteous. Makes me wonder what you guys are doing over there! LOL!! The great service makes me forget about the wires I have on my teeth.”

    — Cesar G.
  • “Fast and helpful – willing to take the time to schedule at our earliest convenience. Answered all my questions in a timely manner. Thanks so much.”

    — Sonya R.