Author Archives: buffalogroveortho

When am I getting my braces off?

May 4th, 2016 | Posted by buffalogroveortho in Braces | Orthodontics - (Comments Off)

When am I getting my braces off?

Our estimated time that your braces will be on is not just a random number that we quote to every new patient that we see, nor is it a number that is determined by the kind of braces or specific treatment technique we are using.  How long you’ll have your braces on is dependent upon the problems that exist in your mouth at the beginning of treatment and the goals that you have for how you want your teeth to look at the end. Your time in braces is also largely determined by how well you take care of your braces.

The number and severity of orthodontic problems that you present with are the primary determinant of your treatment time, and these factors are not under your control.

The easiest – and therefore shortest – orthodontic cases are those in which all of the permanent teeth are erupted, the bite is normal (jaw size not an issue), and the crowding and alignment problems do not require the removal of permanent teeth. Generally speaking, these cases can be completed in about a year by an orthodontic specialist.

If you have more crowding (that requires the use of a palatal expander for example), a posterior (back) crossbite, mild to moderate bite issues, but don’t need to have any permanent teeth removed, your treatment will probably take about 18 months. These are routine cases for a specialist and represent the majority of the patients we see in our office.

When you have moderate to severe crowding, a bite problem that is more than half a tooth off, or any condition that requires the removal of permanent teeth, you should plan on 24 months of treatment. The reason this takes so much longer is that every tooth in your mouth must be shifted to close the extraction spaces or to compensate for the problems with your jaw-size discrepancy. Most orthodontists consider these moderately severe orthodontic problems.

There are additional variables that complicate treatment and can make treatment time longer and more difficult to estimate, however these problems present only in a small percentage of orthodontic patients.

Two major factors that affect the amount of time you’ll wear your braces are very much in your control.

If you choose to go to an orthodontist (a specialist who does orthodontics and nothing else) for your orthodontic treatment, chances are that he or she will propose a treatment plan that provides you with the best bite and smile possible before the braces come off. Although this may seem obvious, there is a popular trend among general dentists to merely line up the front teeth and purposefully not finish the job. Orthodontists receive three additional years of training after dental school which enables them to provide the most efficient and effective orthodontic care. They will get it done right, and in as short a time as is feasible.

Most importantly, you can greatly reduce your time in braces by taking care of your braces and following our instructions carefully. Regular, careful tooth brushing and flossing is critical to keeping your treatment on track. If your oral hygiene is not good, it limits how quickly we can move your teeth and that results in an increased treatment time. Cooperation with wearing orthodontic elastics (“rubber bands”) is also vital to keeping treatment time shorter. Far too many patients lose precious months by either wearing their rubber bands minimally or not at all.

Orthodontic treatment takes time.

Everyone is different, but these estimates give you a general idea of what you can expect going into your treatment. Don’t be fooled by promises of faster treatment by a dentist or orthodontist who uses “special brackets” or markets an “advanced technique.” When these claims have been put to the test in controlled studies, they have been shown to be mostly hype. We all play by the same biological rules and no bracket manufacturer has an inside track with Mother Nature to get the job done any quicker. Even the newest technologies claiming to shorten treatment time (tooth vibrators, bone perforators, pulsating light energy, etc.) have been shown to reduce it by only a very small percentage at huge additional cost.

Having braces isn’t always easy – we know that. We do our best to make the process fun, and in the end you need to remember that before too long you’ll have beautiful new smile and a perfect bite. Keep the end in mind, and try to enjoy the ride!

Why Braces Can Come Off of Your Teeth

February 24th, 2016 | Posted by buffalogroveortho in Braces - (Comments Off)

Why Braces Can Come Off of Your Teeth

As you know, in our office we do our best not to make a big deal out of loose braces. We’d like it not to happen, and will do what we can to aid you in helping them stay on your teeth. It can be frustrating when you are doing your best to avoid difficult foods – what causes this and how can it be avoided?


Variable #1: The Tooth

Ideal bonding strength of an orthodontic bracket is most easily achieved between normal ivory colored enamel and a new orthodontic bracket. Our orthodontic adhesives have enough strength to hold a bracket on a normal tooth under regular conditions. When an orthodontic bracket is attached to any other surface besides normal enamel, there is a loss of bond strength that results in more frequent debonding. The quality of tooth enamel varies from patient to patient and from tooth to tooth, so some teeth will naturally have a lower bond strength and, therefore, a higher likelihood of having a bracket come loose. Another tooth-related cause of loose brackets is a bad bite. If a tooth in the opposing arch hits on a bracket when the patient bites down, or even if a cusp tip in the opposing arch is directly across from a bracket, it is more likely that bracket will become dislodged during chewing.

Variable #2: The Bonding Technique

The second variable that determines if a bracket stays on the tooth is the clinical technique used by the orthodontist. Modern bonding techniques require that teeth are clean and dry before they are sealed. A second step in the procedure that can affect bond strength is how well the adhesive is forced into the mesh pad on the back of the bracket. If the cement is not thoroughly incorporated into the mesh, weaker bond strength will result. Finally, there is also a direct correlation between the amount of time that the doctor takes “positioning” the bracket before curing it and the strength of the bond. The more times the bracket is moved, the thinner and less uniform the cement on the back of it is and, therefore, the weaker the resulting bond. To minimize the impact of all of three factors on your bond strength we use an Indirect Bonding Technique which greatly reduces the time it takes to put the braces on, and therefore reduces the potential impact of all of these variables.

Variable #3: The Patient

Although all patients receive instructions about what they can and cannot eat with their braces on, changing eating habits is challenging. Hard and sticky foods must be avoided. This includes ice! Some patients forget that even some healthy foods (like whole raw carrots) are not good for their braces and must be avoided during treatment. Sports mouthguards are essential, but they can also dislodge brackets which should be reported to the orthodontist. Last, but not least, any habit that involves foreign objects going into the mouth (like pens, fingernails, etc.) must be identified and stopped.

It is important that you check your braces every night when you brush to make sure that none of the brackets have come loose during the day. Although patients commonly tell me a bracket came off during brushing, in reality it was probably already loose but was merely discovered at that time. You can tell if a bracket is loose by gently pushing on it with your finger. If you notice that it moves but the tooth does not, it is probably no longer attached. Any time you suspect a loose bracket, you should call your us to schedule an appointment to have it repaired within one or two business days. Waiting longer than that could result in unwanted tooth movement that may lengthen your treatment time.

Our Office Makeover!

October 29th, 2015 | Posted by buffalogroveortho in Braces - (Comments Off)

We are so excited to share with you the changes we have made to our office in the past two months! We gave our office a face-lift with some new paint and new carpet. We also added a wall behind our front desk that features our new logo sign! And we now have a brand new retro gaming system with over 600 games on it!

Front Desk Before and After                    Operatory Before and After

                    Our front desk before and after.                                                         Our operatory before and after.

Waiting Room 2 Before and After                    Waiting Room Before and After

                                                                  Waiting room before and after.


                                 New logo sign!

  Game On Game

              New retro gaming system with 600+ games!

Sports and Mouthguards!!

July 29th, 2015 | Posted by buffalogroveortho in mouthguards - (Comments Off)

Sports and Mouthguards

     Protect Your Teeth!      

  The new school year is just around the corner, and with the start of school comes the start of the fall sports seasons. We here at Weintraub & Eltink Orthodontics want to remind young athletes to “play it safe” by wearing a mouth guard during recreational and organized sports this fall. Research estimates that about 2 percent of all children or adolescents who participate in sports eventually will suffer a facial injury severe enough to require medical attention!

Mouthguard image21 protective+sports+guard

       A properly fitted mouth guard is an essential piece of any athlete’s protective equipment. Mouth guards protect the teeth from being knocked out (avulsed), broken or displaced. They also prevent injuries to the bone and tissues around the teeth and help avoid injuries to the mandible (lower jaw) and temporomandibular joint (T.M.J.) in the jaw. Tooth loss incurs a tremendous financial, emotional, and psychological expense. Protect what you have – wear a properly fitted mouth guard. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Policy on Prevention of Sports-Related Orofacial Injuries, sports accidents reportedly account for 10 to 39% of all dental injuries in children and are most often caused by direct hits with a hard object, such as a puck or ball, or direct player-to-player contact.

Here are five tips to help prevent facial injury:
1. Wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports: Mouth guards are significantly less expensive than the cost to repair an injury, and dentists and dental specialists can make customized mouth guards that hold teeth in place and allow for normal speech and breathing.
2. Wear a helmet: Helmets absorb the energy of an impact and help prevent damage to the head and concussions.
3. Wear protective eyewear: Eyes are extremely vulnerable to damage, especially when playing sports.
4. Wear a face shield to avoid scratched or bruised skin: Hockey pucks, basketballs and racquetballs can cause severe facial damage at any age.
5. Make protective gear mandatory for all sports: Athletes who participate in football, hockey and boxing are required to wear mouth guards. If mouth guards have been proven to significantly decrease the risk of oral injuries, they should be mandatory in every sport where contact or trauma is likely for kids!sport mouth guard stacks how-mouthguards-protect-athletes

Children’s Dental Health Month!

February 2nd, 2015 | Posted by buffalogroveortho in Braces | Children's Dental Health Month | Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!


               Each February since 1949, the American Dental Association has sponsored National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health.

               At Weintraub & Eltink Orthodontics we take dental health very seriously, and we do our best to promote the benefits of good oral health to children and adults, caregivers, teachers and many others. A child’s dental health is influenced by a myriad of factors, including professional dental care, home care and nutrition. Attitudes and habits established at an early age are critical in maintaining good oral health throughout life. By participating in this annual celebration of National Children’s Dental Health Month, we will help our patients and their parents gain an appreciation for how these factors impact not only dental health, but general health as well.


             In past blogs, we’ve outlined the benefits of proper oral hygiene, orthodontic screenings and mouthguards. As always, if you have questions regarding any aspect of your child’s oral health we are here as a resource for you. Don’t be afraid to ask!


Dental Health Goals:


           1. Schedule regular dental visits for the whole family. Preventive care is easier and less expensive than emergency care.


          2. Spend extra time helping your children develop good brushing and flossing habits. If you need supplies or help with instructions, we are happy to be of assistance.




             3. Sugary foods should be consumed with meals . Saliva production increases during meals and helps neutralize acid production and rinse food particles from the mouth.

causes of decay

             4. Monitor beverage consumption – instead of soft drinks which are sugary and acidic, children should choose water, juice or low-fat milk.




          5. Limit between-meal snacks. If kids crave a snack, offer them fruit or other nutritious foods.


        6. If your kids chew gum ( hopefully not with braces!), make it sugarless. Chewing sugarless gum after eating can increase saliva flow and help wash out food and decay – producing acid.


Happy Halloween!

September 30th, 2014 | Posted by buffalogroveortho in Braces | Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

Happy Halloween!


“Unmask a safe Halloween for your teeth…and your braces”

          Avoid sticky situations with your braces. Stay away from hard, sticky, crunchy or chewy candy and snacks. These include caramel, licorice, taffy, bubble gum (even the sugarless kind) and jelly beans. Also steer away from nuts, taco chips and popcorn (especially unpopped kernels.) Good alternatives for people with braces include soft chocolates, peanut butter cups or other melt-in-your-mouth varieties of candies.

             If you do consume sweets, please do so in moderation. Avoid the temptation to grab another handful from the bowl filled with treats. Parents may want to limit the time during which children can eat from the Halloween candy bowl, whether they have braces or not. Eating candy may increase the risk of tooth decay for people in general, and especially for orthodontic patients.

           Brushing and flossing are more important than ever during the Halloween season, when teeth may receive more exposure to sweets that can cause cavities. People with braces should be especially conscientious about brushing and flossing after consuming sugary or starchy foods.

                This year Weintraub & Eltink Orthodontics is once again sponsoring a Halloween Candy Buy-Back Program for our patients and their friends. WE WILL PAY $1.00 PER POUND of surrendered candy. Candy may be brought to our office during regular office hours from Monday, November 3rd through Saturday, November 8th.

Tooth Whitening

July 22nd, 2014 | Posted by buffalogroveortho in Braces | Whitening - (Comments Off)

how-to-naturally-whiten-teethThe first thing that our patients ask us when they get their braces off is “When can I get my teeth whitened?” There are many great options for tooth whitening, but there are certain guidelines that we follow to ensure the best esthetic outcomes for our patients and to protect their orthodontic results.

custom-whiteningBefore beginning any whitening regimen, it is important to first visit your dentist for a thorough examination and tooth cleaning. A dental cleaning, as well as a few months of diligent brushing and flossing will restore your teeth and gums to optimal health following your time in braces. By waiting a few months after the braces are removed, your gum tissues will tighten up and you can be sure that the bleaching system whitens the entire tooth. Our second concern is that the tooth whitening system does not interfere with your retainer wear after your braces are removed. Some at-home bleaching systems require you to wear soft trays with bleaching gel in your mouth for several hours, which would require you to go for several hours without wearing your retainers. Such systems should be avoided until we advise you that you can limit your retainer use to “nighttime wear”.

white-teethDental in-office bleaching systems can help you avoid the difficulties with retainer wear, as the procedures take less than one hour. Special lights or lasers are used to activate the bleaching gels, and the results are instantaneous!

Welcome to the Buffalo Grove Ortho Blog

June 4th, 2014 | Posted by buffalogroveortho in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

Buffalo Grove OrthoEveryone knows that if you need braces, you go to an orthodontist. They will straighten your teeth and fix your bite, but they aren’t filling cavities or giving you fluoride treatments. Are they dentists? Are they doctors? Many people ask us questions about what we do, and about the benefits of seeing an orthodontist.

Yes, we are dentists! An orthodontist is a dentist who has completed a minimum of two years of specialized graduate training after dental school and general practice. For most orthodontists, this means a total of eleven years of study after high school.

Study ModelDentists are trained to identify problems related to the development and positions of the teeth and jaws, and play an intricate role in managing apatient’s entry into orthodontic treatment. During routine dental visits, they will evaluate your bite and determine the best time for you to see the orthodontist.

An orthodontist’s additional training involves much more than retainers, braces and wires. The study of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics (our full specialty name) centers around the understanding of the growth and development of the facial structures, and how these changes can be influenced to create a healthy bite and beautiful smile.Mouth Mirror

An orthodontist can prevent dental irregularities in children by conducting examinations before all of the permanent teeth come in. A child should ideally have his or her first visit with an orthodontist around the age of seven, especially when there is afamily history of crooked teeth or bite problems. The early intervention of an orthodontist takes advantage of the still- growing bones of the jaws and the pending development of the permanent teeth. Early intervention can also make any future orthodontic treatments more efficient and more effective.

Another key component of an orthodontist’s graduate study is the management of complex orthodontic and facial problems. This is where first having the training of being a dentist is crucial.

Adult patients often have a more detailed dental history, and require more interaction with the general dentist and other dental specialists. The orthodontist can not only oversee the orthodontic care of such patients, but can also orchestrate the timing and direction of a patient’s other dental needs.

The path to becoming an orthodontist is a long and difficult one, but our profession is very rewarding and we are happy to be to be able to share our knowledge and skills with our patients.