Thursday, October 7, 2021

Trust an Orthodontist with your Smile

McClellan Orthodontics is proud to provide exceptional orthodontic care to patients of all ages. Dr. McClellan is highly trained and experienced in identifying and correcting a wide variety of orthodontic issues, from crooked teeth to misaligned jaws. 

Did you know that Orthodontists and Dentists are not interchangeable? There are significant differences between orthodontists and dentists that you should be aware of in order to make an informed decision regarding orthodontic care for you and your family.

Orthodontists and dentists both help patients improve their oral health, but in different ways. Dentistry is a broad medical specialty that deals with the teeth, gum, nerves, and jaw, while orthodontics is a specialty within dentistry that focuses on correcting bites. All orthodontists are dentists, but most dentists are not properly trained orthodontists.

Orthodontists and Dentists both begin their careers with dental school, but once they graduate, their paths go in separate directions. Dentists are free to begin practicing immediately after graduating from dental school, but orthodontists must complete an additional 2-3 years of education, training, and supervision. During this time, orthodontists learn a great deal about identifying and treating the misalignment of teeth and jaws by studying the growth and maturation of the mouth and learning special biomechanical techniques to successfully move the teeth using braces, aligners, and other appliances.

Most people aren’t aware of how much work goes into becoming an orthodontist! While there are exceptions to almost every rule, most general dentists don’t possess the level of education and skills a certified orthodontist, like Dr. McClellan has.

The benefits of having an orthodontist work on your teeth goes beyond just having a beautiful smile. Well-aligned teeth make it possible to bite, chew and speak effectively. Not everyone needs to have orthodontic treatment, but it may be required if you have any of the following issues:

Overbites: When your front teeth stick out over your lower teeth, you have an overbite.

Underbites: When lower teeth extend too far forward and your top teeth are too far back, you have an underbite.

Crossbites: When the upper teeth do not come down in front of the lower teeth properly, it creates an improper bite, or crossbite.

Spacing issues: These include gaps or spaces between your teeth.

Crowding: When there are too many teeth for a limited amount of space, you can experience crowding.

Misplaced Midlines: This occurs when the centers of your upper and lower teeth are not aligned.

Wondering if you should see an orthodontic expert to improve your smile?

You have every right to choose the healthcare provider you feel most comfortable with, but when it comes to your smile, it’s worth considering an orthodontist with specialized training. Give McClellan Orthodontics a call today.

Did you know?

Dr. McClellan is Board Certified by the American Board of Orthodontists, an achievement only 35% of orthodontists attain.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Whiten Your Teeth

McClellan Orthodontics

The feeling you have after getting your braces removed is the absolute best! 

Unfortunately, some people get their braces off and are disappointed by the color of their teeth. From toothpaste to whitening trays…there are many options for whitening your teeth after your braces have been removed.

Whitening Toothpaste – Whitening toothpastes are different from regular toothpastes as they includes more abrasive ingredients to scrub the surface of the teeth to remove surface stains. Whitening toothpastes are the least expensive and most easily accessible option for brightening your smile. However, it can take several weeks to begin to see results. 

At-home Whitening Kits – At-home whitening kits like Crest Whitestrips are relatively effective and can help whiten your teeth after braces. At-home whitening kits are able remove stains from under the tooth surface with bleaching agents that contain hydrogen peroxide. The bleaching agent reacts with the internal aspect of your tooth, mixing with the discolored areas and breaking them apart, giving your teeth a noticeably whiter appearance.

Professional Teeth Whitening – If you have serious stains or white spots on your teeth after your braces have been removed, a professional whitening treatment is the best choice. With professional whitening, you’ll be able to quickly reverse years of staining in a single appointment.

If you or a member of your family has just completed orthodontic treatment and are looking for teeth whitening options in Kenilworth, IL, the team at McClellan Orthodontics can help answer any questions you may have. Give our office a call today! 


Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Handling Orthodontic Issues at Home

Even though you are careful, you may occasionally damage your braces or orthodontic appliance. While there are steps you can take to temporarily fix or alleviate discomfort and prevent additional damage, you should always notify our office if you have any issues or concerns. 

At McClellan Orthodontics, we want our patients to be informed of problems that may occur, and understand how to solve them until it is possible to return to our office. With the supplies listed below, you will be prepared to handle the most common orthodontic issues at home.

  • Orthodontic wax
  • Dental floss 
  • Tweezers
  • Q-tips 
  • Salt
  • Non-prescription pain reliever (acetaminophen or ibuprofen) 
  • Topical Anesthetic (such as Orabase or Ora-Gel)

Below are some typical orthodontic issues and how you can solve them:

Discomfort - It’s normal to have some initial discomfort during orthodontic treatment as your teeth move. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water and over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, may alleviate this discomfort.  If the discomfort lasts longer than a couple days, be sure to call our office.

Mouth Sores - Some patients are susceptible to episodes of mouth sores. While braces do not cause these sores, they may be exacerbated by an irritation from your braces. Mouth sores are not an emergency, but they can be very uncomfortable. Prompt relief may be achieved by applying a small amount of topical anesthetic (such as Orabase or Ora-Gel) directly to the ulcerated surface using a cotton swab. 

Irritation - Sometimes braces or wires can be irritating to your mouth, especially when eating. A small amount of orthodontic wax makes an excellent buffer between the metal bracket and your mouth. Simply pinch off a small piece of wax and roll it into a ball the size of a small pea. Flatten the ball and place it completely over the area of the bracket causing irritation. 

Protruding Wire - Occasionally the end of a wire will work itself out of place and can irritate your mouth. Use a Q-tip or clean tweezer and try to push the wire so that it is flat against the tooth. If the wire cannot be moved into a comfortable position, cover it with wax.

There will be normal, day-to-day discomfort associated with wearing braces, if you have any questions about your orthodontic treatment, or if you think you may have a true orthodontic emergency, don’t hesitate to call our Kenilworth orthodonticoffice…We can help!

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Can You Afford Invisalign?

When it comes to orthodontic treatment options, many people have a tough time deciding between getting Invisalign or traditional braces. Ultimately, every patient is different and the best option comes down to your lifestyle, your preferences, and your orthodontic needs. If you want a treatment option that doesn’t draw attention to the fact that you’re straightening your teeth, Invisalign is the clear choice for you. But can you actually afford Invisalign treatment?

There are a number of factors that contribute to the amount you might pay Invisalign. Factors include:

1. The Severity of Your Orthodontic Problem - Invisalign can treat almost the entire spectrum of teeth and jaw misalignments. However, more acute conditions take more time and supplies to correct. Therefore, a severe orthodontic problem might end up with higher overall costs.

2. Insurance - When Invisalign was first introduced, it wasn’t covered by insurance companies, making it a very expensive option for anyone who wanted it. Today, it is covered by a wide variety of companies and plans.

3. Patient Compliance - Invisalign’s efficacy depends almost entirely on whether or not you actually wears your aligners. The treatment itself recommends that the aligners be worn all day, every day. The you cannot leave your Invisalign trays in because of an activity like playing a sport or playing an instrument, your teeth are not going to move as quickly. This means that your treatment time will take longer than originally planned, which could make your entire treatment more expensive.

At McClellan Orthodontics, the cost of any orthodontic treatment, including Invisalign, depends on the severity of the patient’s problem. In an effort to keep orthodontic fees down while maintaining the highest level of professional care, we have established this financial policy:

  • If full payment is made at the onset of treatment, we will offer a fee discount. 
  • To fit your individual needs, financial arrangements can be made to extend your payments over a period of months. 
  • We offer a unique program where we create a payment slider. You pick the down payment and you pick how many payments you would like to make.

Effective for a wide range of smiles. The Invisalign system has been successful in giving hundreds of thousands of amazing smiles to both teens and adults. While the cost of Invisalign is covered by most insurance companies, if cost is a concern, we can provide you with estimates based on your exact treatment plan.

Not everyone is a candidate for the Invisalign aligner system. Please contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. McClellan to see if the Invisalign system is right for you.



Friday, August 6, 2021

More Than a Pretty Smile

McClellan Orthodontics

The benefit of straight teeth is not only for aesthetics.

Straight teeth are easier to clean. When teeth are rotated and overlapped, more nooks and crannies exist where plaque bacteria can build up. Even with proper brushing and flossing, some areas may be difficult to clean and will have a higher risk of forming a cavity. Straighter teeth allow for easier cleaning and lower cavity risk.

Because misaligned teeth are more difficult to keep clean, the build-up of plaque bacteria can cause gum inflammation that may potentially lead to gingivitis and periodontitis. Also, gum recession can occur in areas with crowding due to difficulty with brushing.

Even if your teeth appear straight, there can be a problem with your bite. Added wear of teeth, chipping of teeth, and teeth grinding are very common problems when an improper bite is present. Jawbone and joint problems can also develop, leading to breakdown of the bones that support your teeth as well as TMJ pain, headaches, and migraines.

When teeth are crooked or the bite is off, it can change the shape of the face. Teeth with extreme overbite can make the lower jaw and chin look unpronounced, and underbite can make the chin look overly pronounced.

The benefits of straight teeth and jaw alignment are important to your overall well-being. If you are interested in straightening your teeth or have any questions about your options, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment. At McClellan Orthodontics, our team can develop a plan to ensure your teeth are not only straight, but a healthy bite is achieved.



Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Correct Your Bad Bite

McClellan Orthodontics

A bad bite is when the upper teeth do not properly meet the lower teeth when you bite down. There are many issues that a bad bite can cause…for example, a bad bite can cause pain while chewing and even damage your teeth over time. Poorly aligned teeth can cause jaw pain. The jaw may also click or pop. Sometimes, a bad bite can cause speech problems because the jaw and teeth cannot properly form words.

3 Common Bite Problems Treated by Dr. McClellan

1. Crossbite - A crossbite occurs when the upper teeth fit inside of lower teeth. This orthodontic problem can be caused by misalignment of teeth or a misalignment of the bone and can affect a single tooth or groups of teeth. Your jaw may shift to one side if not corrected and wear down on your tooth enamel.

2. Underbite - An underbite happens when the lower jaw sits in front of the upper jaw. The lower jaw may appear to be excessively large, but in many cases the lack of upper jaw development is at fault. An underbite impacts tooth wear and adds a stress on your jaw joints. Through orthodontic treatment, an underbite can be corrected and help keep you healthy, beyond an aesthetically pleasing smile.

3. Overbite – An overbite occurs when your top front teeth extend beyond your bottom front teeth. The most common cause of an overbite is the shape and/or size of the jaw or the teeth. This could mean having too much room in the jaw area or too little room to accommodate one’s teeth. If not treated, the overbite will allow the teeth to crowd each other and grow in crooked if there is too little room, or the teeth will be spaced too far apart if the jaw area is too large. A more severe overbite may lead to tooth decay, gum disease, or jaw pain.

Untreated problems will only get worse with time. If you suffer from a bad bite, consider visiting McClellan Orthodontics in Kenilworth, IL. Make an appointment today.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Achieve a Healthy Smile in 6 Easy Steps

McClellan Orthodontics

For many people, an ideal smile is a mouth full of bright white, perfectly aligned teeth. But in addition to straight white teeth, you need to make sure that your smile is a healthy one.

Follow the steps below to make sure your smile is the picture of health.

1. Brush your Teeth Twice a Day

Brushing removes leftover food particles that can bond with saliva to form plaque. These particles feed the bacteria that naturally live in our mouths and these bacteria can eat through our tooth enamel and cause tooth decay.

2. Floss Once a Day

Flossing removes plaque between teeth and out from under the gumlines, where a toothbrush can’t reach. If left alone, plaque and tartar build up under the surface of the gumlines can cause periodontal disease, which leads to bone destruction and tooth loss.

3. Limit Sugary Drinks

The bacteria in our mouths thrive on sugar which makes sugary drinks a major contributor to tooth decay. Reducing the amount of sugar in your diet combined with regular brushing and flossing can help keep the bacteria under control.

4. Maintain a Healthy Diet

Good nutrition provided by healthy foods help your bones and teeth grow and stay healthy. Also...a lot of fruits and vegetables are crunchy and chewy, which promotes the production of saliva. Foods that require a lot of chewing are good for the teeth because more saliva means the mouth is naturally washed out more often.

5. Stay Hydrated

Water is the healthiest drink for your smile and your body. Drinking water helps rinse teeth clean and discourages tooth decay. Not only that…but keeping your body hydrated helps your mouth produce enough saliva to keep your mouth and teeth clean.

6. See your Dentist Twice a Year

Regular dental visits are necessary to preserving your oral health. Having routine cleanings every six months helps to promote good oral health and a beautiful smile. Regular dental checkups are the key to maintaining a healthy smile.

It can take some time before you start to notice changes from improved oral hygiene. While these changes won’t come overnight, they are certainly worth the time and effort, both for the sake of your smile and your overall health. If you have any questions regarding the health of your teeth and mouth, don’t hesitate to call our office