Monday, March 29, 2021

Preventing Bad Breath

We understand that bad breath can be uncomfortable to talk about but unfortunately it happens to most people. The most common factor for bad breath in patients with braces at McClellan Orthodontics is often poor oral hygiene.

After getting braces, patients may develop bad breath from not cleaning their teeth correctly. Bacteria feeds on food particles left in your mouth, and this bacterium creates odor. Because braces contain so many small spaces to trap food, the habits that worked great for cleaning your teeth before braces may no longer be enough. If you have recently gotten braces and have found that you have developed bad breath, there is a good chance that it is being caused by bacteria remaining in your mouth.

Preventing Bad Breath While Wearing Braces

  • Brush Often - Follow a strict routine of brushing regularly. Brush your teeth after breakfast every morning and prior to going to bed.
  • Use a Water Flosser – The powerful jets of water provided a water flosser is great for cleaning between your braces and gum line.
  • Use Fluoride Mouthwash - Always use a Fluoride Mouthwash in your daily dental routine to help fight gingivitis, plaque, and bad breath.
  • Stay Hydrated - Dehydration is bad for both your overall health and your oral health as it can increase the chances of bad breath greatly. Drink a lot of water every day to keep your mouth constantly clean and moist.
  • Eat Right - Try to avoid sugary foods as much as possible as they lead to poor dental health which in turn leads to tooth decay and bad breath.
  • Keep Breath Mints on Hand - If you've established a proper dental health routine but you still feel self-conscious about having bad breath, you can temporarily freshen your breath with sugar-free breath mints.
  • Schedule Regular Dental Visits - Scheduling regular dental visits will help you keep any tooth and gum problems at bay as well as to rectify any oral health issues that may be contributing to bad breath.
For more information on fighting bad breath visit the McClellan Orthodontics website or give one of our friendly team members a call.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

5 Steps to a Healthy Smile

McClellan Orthodontics

A healthy smile often means having beautiful teeth. Healthy teeth promote good physical well-being because dental health is connected to physical health in many ways. A mouth full of bacteria may be ingested into the body and cause problems for your heart, liver, and other organs. Optimum oral health is the first step to achieving overall wellness. Thus, it is important to always maintain a healthy smile.

One of the easiest things we can do to improve our health in 2021 is to create a healthy oral hygiene routine. Most of us know that we need to brush our teeth every day, but what does a complete oral health routine look like?

The mouth is constantly exposed to food and bacteria, so the best thing to do is to practice good oral health care habits. Here are the 5 steps to a healthy smile:

1. Brush after every meal. This ensures that your mouth is clean and rid of cavity-causing bacteria that tend to stay on the teeth. Brushing should take at least 2 minutes to complete. This means that the upper and the lower teeth must be brushed for 1 minute each. Brushing does not only prevent tooth decay but also bad breath, gum disease, and many other dental problems.

2. Change Your Toothbrush. An easily avoidable habit we can change is to switch out our toothbrush every 3-4 months. Look at the bristles. If they are frayed, they will not clean teeth as thoroughly.

3. Floss every day. Flossing is an essential step in any oral hygiene routine. Flossing every day is even more important when you have braces. If you are having trouble flossing, ask us how to use a floss threader.

4. Get deep cleanings from your general dentists twice-a-year. The teeth have grooves and ridges that may be hard to clean, even with daily brushing and flossing. With regular deep cleanings by your general dentist, plaque is prevented from hardening and turning into a substance known as tartar. Once tartar is formed, you have a high susceptibility to gum disease and many other dental concerns.

5. Use mouthguards during sports activities. This ensures that your teeth are protected from trauma during contact sports like football, soccer, basketball, and many more. Mouthguards are custom-fitted mouth appliances that protect both the lips and teeth from damage and injuries during sports.

Located in Kenilworth, Illinois, our top priority at McClellan Orthodontics is to provide our patients with the highest quality orthodontic care in a friendly, comfortable environment. If you have any questions about orthodontic treatment or your oral health care routine, please do not hesitate to contact us or schedule a consultation.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

5 Things You didn't Know About Your Teeth

We use our teeth every single day, from biting, to eating, to speaking. Sometimes we might take our teeth for granted. We often don't realize how strong and vital they are to our health, appearance, and overall impact teeth have on our bodies. 
Here are 5 surprising facts you may not know about your teeth.

  1. Your teeth are like your fingerprint…they are uniquely yours. Even identical twins don’t have identical teeth. 
  2. About a third of each tooth is underneath your gums. This is why keeping your gums healthy is as important as making sure your teeth are well cared for. Your gums should always be pink in color, and firm. 
  3. Your enamel is the hardest part of your body. The enamel is the outermost layer of your teeth. Like a hard shell, its primary purpose is to protect the rest of the tooth. Even though it’s there to protect your teeth, enamel can still chip or crack, and it isn’t safe from decay. Sugars and acids, like those found in soft drinks, interact with bacteria in your mouth and attack your enamel, which marks the start of tooth decay. Enamel is partly responsible for your teeth’s white appearance, and when it decays, your teeth may start to appear yellow. 
  4. Diet soda and sports drinks can be just as tough on teeth as regular soda. Both contain acid. Acid attacks the enamel surface of your teeth and can lead to cavities. A cavity is one of the few things the body cannot heal. It just gets larger with time, unless a dentist removes the decay and places a filling. 
  5. Plaque contains millions of bacteria. It is white and sticky and is constantly growing. If you don’t remove it regularly by brushing and flossing, it can cause tooth decay. Without removal, plaque hardens and develops into tartar. So, brush and floss at least twice daily and see your dentist for regular cleanings.

Knowing a little more about your teeth and how your behaviors affect your dental health can keep you smiling long into the future.

If you have any questions on how to better care for your teeth, please contact our Kenilworth Orthodontic office today.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Brush Your Teeth: 2 Minutes 2 Times a Day

Seeking orthodontic treatment is a great way to make sure your oral health is in good shape. However, there are other factors that affect the status of healthy teeth. Brushing, flossing and eating habits are just as important.

When treating your teeth Dr. McClellan and his staff want to be sure they are working with healthy teeth...and developing healthy habits start at a young age.

Did you know that the baby teeth that appear in the first 3 years of a child's life have been there since birth, in the baby’s jawbones? Those baby teeth are key for chewing, speaking and appearance. They also hold space in the jaws for upcoming adult teeth. Even though they fall out, baby teeth are important and you need to take good care of them.

In an effort to help Keep Kids' Mouth's Healthy, The Ad Council has started the 2min2x Children's Oral Health Campaign. For healthier teeth, good breath and fewer cavities kids need to remember to brush their teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day. Adopting these healthy brushing habits can help save children from a lifetime of tooth pain.

Helpful Brushing Tips  

  • Brush with a fluoride toothpaste.  
  • Place the toothbrush at an angle against the gums.  
  • Make sure to move the toothbrush back and forth, gently, in short strokes.  
  • Brush the tongue to remove germs and freshen breath. 
...For more tips please visit

At McClellan Orthodontics we care about the overall oral health of all of our patients. If you have any questions about your oral health, please contact our office today.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Orthodontic Myths

McClellan Orthodnotics

Choosing to get orthodontic care is a big decision for anyone. At McClellan Orthodontics, we understand and respect your reasons for wanting to improve the way you look and feel. Our practice will work with you every step of the way to make sure your orthodontic treatment is an amazing experience. Our office utilizes the latest technology while offering a variety of safe and gentle treatment options to give you the customized, individual care you deserve.

We often get asked a lot of great questions on orthodontic care and treatment. We have also seen a lot of false information on orthodontic treatment. Some are rumors and others are myths that are believed to be true. Here are a few orthodontic myths and the real truth.

Myth: “My dentist says he can give me braces or Invisalign.”

Truth: At the foundational level, both an orthodontist and a dentist are health care professionals that work on teeth. Both health care professionals help patients achieve good oral health and both are dental school graduates. All Orthodontists are dentist, but only a small percentage of dentists are orthodontists. An orthodontist is a dental specialist in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Orthodontists must successfully complete an additional two to three-year residency program of advanced dental education in orthodontics. Orthodontists specialize in the alignment of teeth and services include treating misaligned teeth, crowded teeth, overbites and under bites. Only an orthodontist who has been trained and certified by Align Technology can diagnose and treat using Invisalign. Invisalign is not appropriate for everybody. Only an orthodontist, like Dr. McClellan, can determine if Invisalign treatment is an effective option for you.

Myth: “Braces and orthodontic treatment is only for children.”

Truth: As we grow older, our teeth begin to shift in various places. Braces are not just for kids… orthodontics can be rewarding to adults as well. Teeth provide the support structure for the soft tissue of the lower face, including lips and cheeks. By repositioning the teeth and jaw, skin can appear tighter and lips can appear fuller. Adults can often achieve greater facial aesthetics without surgery or the extraction of teeth with a treatment plan utilizing appliances that can expand the jaw and reposition teeth and gums.

Myth: “I can’t play sports anymore because I have braces.”

Truth: Having braces, does not mean you have to stop living your life! Whether you just received braces or are near the end of your treatment, braces should not be a barrier to playing any type of sport. As long as you wear a mouth guard, braces should not stop you from playing your favorite sport. If you are unsure which type of mouth guard to use or need more information on mouth guards, ask our staff.

Myth: “My teeth will remain straight forever.”

Truth: The truth to this myth is…after your orthodontic treatment is over, a retainer will be the most important tool for you to use. Your teeth will start to drift back to the original position if you do not wear your retainer as recommended by Dr. McClellan.

Myth: “I don’t need to see a dentist while in orthodontic treatment.”

Truth: Even during orthodontic treatment, it is important that you continue to visit your general dentist and continue your regularly scheduled appointments. Wearing braces can make you more prone to plaque and tartar around your teeth, which is why you should stick with your regular dental check-ups.

A new smile means a new life change. At McClellan Orthodontics, we understand that a big decision like this is not easy. We will ensure that we answer all questions and make you feel comfortable. If you have any addition questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask us before coming to your first visit.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Is Invisalign Right for You?

McClellan Orthodontics

Typically, when we think orthodontics, we think traditional metal braces. And while technology has made many advances in traditional metal braces…there are many more options for achieving the smile you have always dreamed of. If you want a straighter smile but don’t want to spend years wearing traditional metal braces, Invisalign is the perfect option for you.

Invisalign takes a modern approach to straightening teeth, using custom-made aligners created just for you. Wearing the aligners will gradually and gently shift your teeth into place, based on the exact movements Dr. McClellan has planned out for you.

The Invisalign System straightens your teeth without wires and brackets, using a series of clear, customized, removable appliances called aligners. Not only is Invisalign effective, but the aligners are nearly invisible and can be worn without detection.

Invisalign is clear. Not only is Invisalign effective, but the aligners are nearly invisible and can be worn without detection. This eliminates the negative impacts of anxiety or low self-confidence that usually comes with traditional metal braces.

You can remove them. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners can be removed instantly and easily.  You can take them out without compromising your treatment. There are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. You just pop in a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks, until your treatment is complete.

You can eat anything. Because you can remove the Invisalign aligners at your leisure, you don’t have to avoid any foods like patients with traditional braces do.  Invisalign makes it easy to eat whatever you want, whenever you want and never worry about your meals ruining your orthodontic treatment.

With the Invisalign System, you will achieve a great smile with little disruption in your daily life.

If you are considering orthodontic treatment for you or your teen, please call our Kenilworth Orthodontic Office to learn how you can benefit from Invisalign! Request a consultation today…initial consultations at McClellan Orthodontics are always free!


Did you know…  

Only an orthodontist who has been trained and certified by Align Technology can diagnose and treat using Invisalign. Invisalign is not appropriate for everybody. Only an orthodontist, like Dr. McClellan, can determine if Invisalign treatment is an effective option for you.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

You have Questions...We Have Answers

McClellan Orthodontics

Dr. McClellan and his team know that being told that you need braces can cause some apprehension. If you have been told by your General Dentist that you may need braces, don’t worry…we are here for you every step of the way.

At McClellan Orthodontics we get a lot of questions when it comes to braces. One of the most popular questions is… 
Do Braces Hurt? There is no reason to be anxious about getting braces. Getting braces does not hurt. While each patient will have a different experience with braces, braces do not hurt at all when they are applied to the teeth. However, most of our patients experience mild soreness the first 4 days after their braces and wires have been placed. If you do feel any discomfort associated with getting braces…an over the counter pain reliever, such as Advil or Motrin, plus a regimen of salt water rinses can be used to greatly ease the discomfort.
Other questions we often get asked are… 
Are Braces Expensive? There’s no denying that braces are costly, but because orthodontic treatment is highly personalized and based on the individual the patient, your expenses will depend on your age, the severity of your orthodontic problem, and your insurance plan. 
Can My Dentist Put My Braces On? Orthodontists are trained to detect and correct complex bite and jaw problems that are normally beyond the skill level of a general dentist. Dr. McClellan continued his education after completing dental school, spending thousands of hours of instruction on malocclusions, jaw joint issues, bone growth problems, and craniofacial anatomy. When it comes to braces…training is key. Only orthodontists, like Dr. McClellan, with their extensive backgrounds, can be relied on to provide the appropriate and comprehensive treatment for your orthodontic needs. 
How Long Do I Have to Wear My Braces?  The amount of time you will need to wear your braces greatly depends on the severity of your orthodontic problem, the health of your teeth, gums, and supporting bone, and your willingness to carefully following Dr. McClellan’s instructions throughout treatment. Most of our patients need to wear braces for about 18 to 24 months. For problems that are harder to correct, treatment may take up to three years. 
Still have questions about braces? Give our Kenilworth orthodontic office a call to schedule your initial consultation