Posts for category: Uncategorized

March 18, 2020

 

Given the outbreak of COVID-19, your orthodontist may have made the difficult, but important, decision to postpone any non-emergent appointments. You can be assured that this decision was not made lightly but was made to protect patients, staff and families.   

Given the closure, you may have a few questions.  

Will this delay my treatment? 
We know part of successful orthodontic treatment is showing up for your appointments. If that’s not an option under these unusual circumstances, it’s okay. Don’t panic. Though your appointments are scheduled out to achieve maximum success, this hiccup shouldn’t have much of an impact on your overall treatment plan. Given the situation, your orthodontist will work hard to get your treatment plan back on track when they reopen.  
You can help keep treatment on track by following your orthodontist’s directions, avoiding hard and sticky foods and keeping your teeth clean.  With limited appointments available, now is not the time to be breaking brackets, and keeping your teeth clean will ensure the best possible result.
What now?  
Make sure to stay in contact with your orthodontist about when they plan to reopen and get any appointments you’re going to miss rescheduled. For many offices, information regarding this is available on practices’ Facebook pages and/or websites.
A timeline as to when they reopen may be up-in-the-air, but you can rest assured they are making decisions with your best interest in mind.  
My orthodontist said they will continue “essential dental care.” What does that mean?  
If you have an urgent need during this time, such as pain or injury, your orthodontist will likely be available for emergency appointments. Please contact their office to determine the best course of action for your specific situation. 
There’s a lot of uncertainty right now, but what’s one thing we know for sure?  
Your orthodontist looks forward to seeing you back in our office soon! 
For more information on AAO guidelines during this unprecedented time, visit aaoinfo.org/virus.  
March 15, 2020
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

In light of what is going on in our community and the world, we want to let you know what we are doing to protect our patients and staff.  Our offices are currently open on our normal schedule.  However, effective immediately, we would like to limit the amount of traffic coming in and out of the office.

• To minimize the number of people in our office, we request that you not bring siblings, friends, or relatives to your orthodontic appointment.

• When parents are accompanying children, we ask that only one parent, rather than both, attend with your child.

• Some families desire that their children be seen without an adult present in the office (for example, a parent may wait in the car).  We strongly encourage you to do so.  Please assume that no treatment update from us is good news and that your child’s treatment is advancing normally. We will contact you as needed for any treatment updates.

• If you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath, please do not come to the office.  Please call us and we will gladly reschedule your appointment.

• If you have traveled to a high-risk area known to have COVID-19 or have been on a cruise in the last 14 days, please call the office to reschedule your appointment until after you have at least 14 days of being symptom free.

• If you have known exposure to someone diagnosed with COVID-19, please call to reschedule your appointment. 

Unlike many public environments, our office remains a very safe space to continue administering care, as we are constantly disinfecting our facility and equipment by following CDC, and State of Illinois regulations and recommendations pertaining to dental care settings.

In addition to our standard levels of sterilization and disinfection after every patient visit, our team is disinfecting common areas frequently, including waiting room chairs, front desk and brushing station.

Fortunately, routine orthodontic care seldom carries with it any urgency.  Please rest assured that should the changing environment require a deferring of appointments, or our office hours require alteration, your orthodontic treatment will not suffer any significant delay.  Although we are hopeful that it will not be necessary, should it become prudent to delay office operations for any reason, we will be able to continue your treatment unabated as such time that operations return to normal.

We thank you for your time in reviewing this update, and remind you to keep calm and wash your hands.  We will get through this together.

Sincerely
Dr. Varble and the entire team at Varble Orthodontics.

By Varble Orthodontics
March 20, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: nutrition  
HeresHowtoManageSchoolSnacksandYourChildsDentalHealth

Besides daily hygiene and regular dental visits, the best thing you can do for your kids' dental health is to see that they're eating a nutritious diet. And not just at mealtime—healthy snacking also promotes healthy teeth and gums.

Healthy snack foods are quite similar to their counterparts at mealtime: fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy. At the same time, you should avoid providing processed snacks high in sugar, salt, unhealthy fats and calories.

Managing snack choices at home is usually a simple matter of discipline and follow-through. When they're at school, however, it's a bit trickier as they may encounter snacks sold on school grounds or offered by fellow students that don't meet your definition of a healthy food. Public schools follow nutrition guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on snacks sold on school grounds, but many dentists don't believe the standard goes far enough to protect dental health.

So, what can you do to combat these less healthy snack choices your kids may encounter at school? For one thing, you can work with your child's school officials to exceed the USDA guidelines or turn off snack vending machines right before lunch to lessen kids' temptation to skip lunch.

You can also interact with your children to better manage their schooltime snacking. But rather than issue blanket commands about what they should snack on at school, help them instead understand the difference between nutritional foods and less nutritional ones, and why it's important to choose healthy snacks for their life and health.

Finally, don't send them to school empty-handed—pack along nutritious snacks so that they won't seek out vending machines or their classmates to satisfy the munchies. You can supercharge your efforts with a little creativity (like a dash of cinnamon in a bag of unbuttered popcorn) that make your snacks fun and more enticing than other school ground options.

It's not always easy to keep your kids from unhealthy snack choices. But with a little commitment, interaction and ingenuity, you can help steer them toward snacks that are tooth-friendly.

If you would like more information on boosting your child's dental health, 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 “Snacking at School: How to Protect Your Child's Teeth and Promote Good Nutrition.”

By Varble Orthodontics
December 20, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: oral hygiene  
WhatYouNeedtoKnowtoBuytheRightToothbrush

If there’s one essential tool for protecting your dental health, it’s the humble toothbrush. The basic manual brush with a long, slender handle and short-bristled head is still effective when used skillfully. The market, though, is full of choices, all of them touting their brand as the best.

So how do you choose? You can cut through any marketing hype with a few simple guidelines.

First, understand what you’re trying to accomplish with brushing: removing dental plaque, that thin film of bacteria and food particles on tooth surfaces that’s the main cause of dental disease. Brushing also stimulates gum tissue and helps reduce inflammation.

With that in mind, you’ll first want to consider the texture of a toothbrush’s bristles, whether they’re stiff (hard) or more pliable (soft). You might think the firmer the better for removing plaque, but actually a soft-bristled brush is just as effective in this regard. Stiffer bristles could also damage the gums over the long term.

Speaking of bristles, look for those that have rounded tips. In a 2016 study, less rounded tips increased gum recession in the study’s participants by 30%. You should also look for toothbrushes with different bristle heights: longer bristles at the end can be more effective cleaning back teeth.

As far as size and shape, choose a brush that seems right and comfortable for you when you hold it. For children or people with dexterity problems, a handle with a large grip area can make the toothbrush easier to hold and use.

And look for the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance, something you may have seen on some toothpaste brands. It means the toothbrush in question has undergone independent testing and meets the ADA’s standards for effectiveness. That doesn’t mean a particular brush without the seal is sub-standard—when in doubt ask your dentist on their recommendation.

Even a quality toothbrush is only as effective as your skill in using it. Your dental provider can help, giving you tips and training for getting the most out of your brush. With practice, you and your toothbrush can effectively remove disease-causing plaque and help keep your smile beautiful and healthy.

If you would like more information on what to look for in a toothbrush, 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 “Sizing up Toothbrushes.”

By Varble Orthodontics
September 21, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
BaseballsFranciscoLindorShinesasMrSmile

At the first-ever Players Weekend in August 2017, Major League Baseball players wore jerseys with their nicknames on the back. One player — Cleveland Indians shortstop, Francisco Lindor — picked the perfect moniker to express his cheerful, fun-loving nature: “Mr. Smile.” And Lindor gave fans plenty to smile about when he belted a 2-run homer into the stands while wearing his new jersey!

Lindor has explained that he believes smiling is an important part of connecting with fans and teammates alike: “I’ve never been a fan of the guy that makes a great play and then acts like he’s done it 10,000 times — smile, man! We’ve got to enjoy the game.”

We think Lindor is right: Smiling is a great way to generate good will. And it feels great too… as long as you have a smile that’s healthy, and that looks as good as you want it to. But what if you don’t? Here are some things we can do at the dental office to help you enjoy smiling again:

Routine Professional Cleanings & Exams. This is a great place to start on the road toward a healthy, beautiful smile. Even if you are conscientious about brushing and flossing at home, you won’t be able to remove all of the disease-causing dental plaque that can hide beneath the gum line, especially if it has hardened into tartar, but we can do it easily in the office. Then, after a thorough dental exam, we can identify any problems that may be affecting your ability to smile freely, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or cosmetic dental issues.

Cosmetic Dental Treatments. If your oral health is good but your smile is not as bright as you’d like it to be, we can discuss a number of cosmetic dental treatments that can help. These range from conservative procedures such as professional teeth whitening and bonding to more dramatic procedures like porcelain veneers or crowns.

Tooth Replacement. Many people hide their smiles because they are embarrassed by a gap from a missing tooth. That’s a shame, because there are several excellent tooth-replacement options in a variety of price ranges. These include partial and full dentures, bridgework, and dental implants. So don’t let a missing tooth stop you from being Mr. (or Ms.) Smile!

If you’d like more information about oral health or cosmetic dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”