Effects of Vaping on Teeth

Vaping has become the latest trend, allowing many people to enjoy a rush of nicotine or other legal drugs without the tar and pervasive smell of smoking. However, many people who enjoy vaping do not realize that it also can have potent physical effects. Although the smoke coming from a vape pen appears whiter and cleaner than heavy, tarry cigarette smoke, it can have part a particularly profound impact on the health of your teeth and gums.

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blue aligner

What Is the Difference between Traditional Expanders and Clear Aligners?

In the past few decades, orthodontists have made a lot of progress in their field. New technology like clear aligners provides alternatives for those who do not want typical braces. If you are trying to decide which is better traditional expander or clear aligner, you need to know the difference between the two options. Both traditional expanders and clear aligners can help to create a straighter smile and a more functional bite, but they are not the same type of orthodontic equipment. Here are answers to all the questions you probably have about the difference between aligners and traditional braces. Read more


Early Orthodontic Treatment Saves (Time, Money, and Effort)

orthodontist for kids

Young Children Have Soft Facial and Alveolar Bones

In the past, parents waited until their children were teenagers to have an examination to determine if orthodontic treatment was required. However, experts now advise having your daughter’s teeth examined as soon as she begins to grow her permanent teeth. Most children begin to grow permanent molars when they are approximately 7 years old. Within a few more years, a child will have more permanent teeth inside her mouth. At this age, a child has soft facial and alveolar bones, making it easier to repair any malocclusions that are beginning to develop. Early orthodontic treatment saves time because it repairs your child’s teeth quickly, and it will also reduce the price of straightening your child’s teeth.


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Orthodontist tools

What Happens Immediately after Removal of Braces?

Teeth checking

Braces are specifically designed to straighten teeth. Misaligned teeth (malocclusions) or overcrowding of teeth vastly impacts our appearance, affects how we eat and how we talk. Ill-fitting teeth can create tooth decay problems, like gum disease, cavities, empty spaces (interdental), and the loss of teeth.

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Little Girl wearing pink sunglasses

Having an Overbite, What Treatment Can Be Recommended?

Little girl's chin smiling

What is an overbite? This type of orthodontic issue is one of the most common in the world. Many people struggle with an overbite. This misalignment can be aesthetically unattractive, even changing the appearance of one’s facial bone structure. In addition, an overbite can cause a great deal of serious dental issues if left untreated. Regardless of your age, there are several ways that overbites can be treated by an experienced orthodontist.

What Is an Overbite?

Also called a malocclusion, an overbite is diagnosed when upper teeth extend further than lower teeth by more than 30%. Many people mistake this for simple crooked teeth when in fact the jaw is not lining up correctly. In many cases, this condition is hereditary.

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Girl smiling

What are Temporary Anchorage Devices (TAD’s)?

Girl opening mouth

What are Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs)?

The presence of crooked teeth is a big nuisance and can greatly affect your confidence in social situations. Previously, such teeth were fixed using high-pull headgear, elastics, bite blocks, and functional appliances. Serious cases of crooked teeth had to be fixed through surgery.

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Can [Orthodontic Expanders] Be Used On the Lower Teeth To Avoid Extractions?

Orthodontic ExpandersCan Orthodontic Expanders Be Used On the Lower Teeth To Avoid Extractions?

Visit an Orthodontic Office To Learn How To Avoid Extractions Of Your Teeth

When you have crooked or poorly spaced teeth, it is essential to visit an orthodontist for treatment. The most common time to seek orthodontic treatment is during childhood or adolescence because your bones are softer, making it easier to repair major problems. Having teeth that are packed in the lower part of your mouth is an issue that requires repair to prevent overlapping teeth as you age. It is also difficult to remove food particles from teeth that are too close together. If your teeth continue to shift in the lower jaw, then it can cause pain along with damage to the dental enamel.

When Is Extracting Your Teeth Appropriate?

Fortunately, it is possible to fix this orthodontic issue without extracting your permanent teeth. If your primary teeth are the problem, then when you have a tooth bud underneath the gums, removing one or more primary teeth is acceptable. Occasionally, an individual will have supernumerary teeth that aren’t normal, so you may need to have these extracted. However, if you want to avoid having normal permanent teeth removed from your mouth, then you should learn if changing the size of your lower jaw with an orthodontic expander is possible.

Undergo a Complete Examination With Medical Images

Most orthodontic expanders are used in the upper part of the mouth to expand the palate, but it is also possible to expand the lower jaw. To determine if an orthodontic expander is suitable for a patient, she will need a thorough examination with medical images to analyze her facial structure. The goal of an expander on the bottom portion of the mouth is to shift the teeth to make more space for permanent teeth. If a patient has teeth that are in the wrong positions, then the orthodontic expander will move the teeth into an upright position. In order to have the best results from this orthodontic appliance, a patient must have a healthy mouth that has enough bone to support the roots of the teeth.

How Do Patients Cope With Lower Jaw Expansion?

A lower jaw orthodontic expander is similar to the types used for the upper jaw, and your orthodontist will create a removable device with built-in expansion screws. In addition to having a lower jaw orthodontic expander, a patient may also need to wear braces or Invisalign aligners. When a patient has a lower jaw expander on her teeth, it will apply significant pressure on her teeth and bones. This can lead to headaches or pain in the ears and nose. The patient will also salivate more because there is an unusual item in the mouth, but eventually, this problem stops. During the adjustment period of wearing a lower jaw expander, it is essential for a patient to consume soft but nutritious foods.

You Must Maintain Your Oral Hygiene While Wearing a Lower Jaw Expander

A lower jaw orthodontic expander can collect a lot of food debris, so you must brush your teeth carefully to prevent halitosis, gingivitis or cavities. It is also important to floss the teeth to remove additional debris, but you may need to use specialized devices for this process. Using an oral irrigator that emits pressurized water can also remove food debris to prevent a layer of plaque on the teeth. You may only need to wear a lower jaw orthodontic expander for a few weeks, but most patients need to wear the devices for four to six months.

What Is The Herbst Appliance?

The Herbst appliance is the most common type of lower jaw orthodontic expander, and it is attached to a patient’s molars that are located toward the back of the mouth. This orthodontic appliance can correct a bad bite by helping the lower jaw develop into a forward position, but it also can repair the spaces between tightly packed teeth. A patient might have a fixed or removable lower jaw orthodontic expander.

Why Is Lower Jaw Expansion a Better Orthodontic Process?

While extracting teeth is a fast process, when permanent teeth are removed from the mouth it can have ramifications in the future. Having a lower jaw orthodontic expander applied to the teeth can require visiting an orthodontic office several times, and you must have the patience to endure problems such as discomfort or excess salivation. However, if you want to keep your permanent teeth, then using a lower jaw orthodontic expander is the best solution.

Schedule Your First Appointment At Childers Orthodontics Today

At Childers Orthodontics in Illinois, we offer a variety of orthodontic treatments for adults, teenagers, and children. Dr. Kyle Childers is an orthodontist who provides expert treatments for malocclusions of the teeth. Schedule an appointment with us to learn more about:

• Retainers – to keep teeth in place after treatment
• Aligners – Invisalign devices for adults and teenagers
• Braces – traditional or Damon system devices
• Expanders – for the lower or upper jaw

We make it easy to undergo orthodontic treatment by having several locations, including:

• Herrin – 618-997-1800
• Harrisburg – 618-252-0770
• Benton – 618-438-2815

We use the iTero scanner device to create the best fitting Invisalign aligners for your mouth, and our orthodontic team uses SureSmile archwires for braces. If you have a lower jaw that is too small for your permanent teeth, then make sure to contact us for an evaluation to learn more about lower jaw expansion. Schedule an appointment online or by calling (618) 438-2815.

Childers Orthodontics

201 West Washington
Benton, IL 62812
Phone: (618) 438-2815

Can Orthodontic Expanders Be Used On the Lower Teeth To Avoid Extractions?

Does my child need two-phase treatment?

two-phase treatment children

Two-phase orthodontic treatment involves two separate and distinct treatments. It allows your son or daughter to begin early treatment of bite and jaw problems, in order to reduce the dental issues he or she may experience later on.

Two-phase Orthodontic Treatment

Two-phase orthodontic treatment with Dr. Kyle Childers can improve how well the second phase of the treatment works and helps to make room for permanent teeth. Overall, two-phase treatment helps to position the teeth and the jaw for an attractive profile. Our team at Childers Orthodontics recommends that you bring your child to our Benton, Harrisburg or Herrin, IL office at the age of seven or eight, so that Dr. Kyle Childers can determine if early (Phase-One) treatment is necessary.


Phase-One orthodontic treatment is known as an early treatment. It begins shortly after your child’s first orthodontic examination, usually around age eight or nine. The main goal of Phase-One orthodontic treatment is to help make room for permanent teeth, which reduces crooked teeth as a result of overcrowding. It treats the jaw and bite growth; and issues like crossbite or underbite. This can reduce the need for your child to undergo extractions.


Phase-Two orthodontic treatment is when braces are placed on the upper and/or lower teeth. The purpose is not just to correct spaces or misaligned teeth, but also to correct overbite or underbite concerns. Phase-Two usually begins around age 11 or 12, and the braces are worn for an average of two to three years, depending on your child’s unique needs. Some children have fewer issues and wear braces for little more than a year while others need them for up to four years.

Signs your child needs two-phase orthodontic treatment

If your child exhibits the following signs, he or she may be a good candidate for two-phase orthodontic treatment:

  • Losing baby teeth early, before five years of age
  • Problems with biting or chewing
  • Sucking the thumb after age five
  • Evidence of a crossbite, where the teeth don’t come together when opening or closing of the mouth
  • Teeth are crowded at age seven or eight
  • Protruding teeth on the top or bottom

Not all children need to have early treatment but if your child shows any of these signs, bring your child for an evaluation at Childers Orthodontics.


Does my child need two-phase treatment?

What is Dentofacial Orthopedics?

Big Smile
You may have noticed that we specialize in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. And while most people we talk to have heard of orthodontics, many are confused by the Dentofacial Orthopedics part of the title. Today, Dr. Kyle Childers and our team thought we would explain the difference.

Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics

While orthodontics entails the management of tooth movement, Dentofacial Orthopedics involves the guidance of facial growth and facial development, which occurs for the most part during childhood, and is a reason why kids are often the best candidates for receiving Dentofacial Orthopedic Therapy. Dr. Kyle Childers will examine and monitor your child’s growth to determine when starting treatment will be most effective. If your child begins orthodontic treatment before his or her adult teeth have erupted, it is known as Phase-One treatment. During this phase, Dr. Kyle Childers will use treatments designed to correct your child’s jaw growth and make sure that the jaw bone is properly aligned before beginning the next phase of treatment, which usually involves placing braces to straighten your child’s teeth.

Dentofacial Orthopedics

Dentofacial Orthopedics is also used to treat adult patients at Childers Orthodontics, however, this process may involve surgery. With our younger patients, we know the jaw bones are still forming, making it easier for our team at Childers Orthodontics to control bone growth and tooth movement. Adults, however, are a different story; their bones are no longer growing, and their jaw bones have hardened, so it is more difficult to adjust the bite and move teeth into proper alignment. Dr. Kyle Childers may recommend surgery to adjust the jaw bone and establish the proper bite alignment before beginning treatment.

Because our team at Childers Orthodontics is skilled in both areas, we are able to diagnose any misalignments in the teeth and jaw as well as the facial structure, and can devise a treatment plan that integrates both Orthodontic and Dentofacial Orthopedic treatments.

We hope that helps! To learn more about Dentofacial Orthopedics, and to find out if this type of treatment is right for you, please contact our Benton, Harrisburg or Herrin, IL office and schedule an initial consultation for you or your child. It’s never too late to get a great smile, and we can’t wait to help you or your child get started.


What is Dentofacial Orthopedics?

What’s so great about self-ligating braces? Five things you need to know


self-ligating braces

What’s so great about Self-Ligating Braces?

Parents of a certain age will no doubt remember the teen comedies of the 1980s. These movies typically included a character so wired up with orthodontic apparatus (elaborate metal braces, rubber bands, a mountain of headgear) that he or she looked like some sort of electrical machinery. In recent years, the technological advancements in braces have not only made this character a thing of the past, but if your child needs braces to fix crooked teeth, you no longer need to worry about him or her being called “brace face” with a “tin grin.”

5 things you need to know about Self-Ligating Braces

Traditional braces use a system of archwires, brackets, and rubber bands to straighten and realign crooked teeth. Self-ligating braces that Dr. Kyle Childers and our team at Childers Orthodontics provide, by contrast, use specialized clips to hold the archwires in place instead of rubber bands. But what makes self-ligating braces so good?

  1. Self-ligating braces make it easier to keep your teeth clean because there are no rubber bands. Rubber bands collect food particles, and this can lead to an increase in plaque and decay. Have you ever tried to brush for two minutes with a mouth full of rubber bands? It’s tricky. Self-ligating braces improve oral health.
  2. Self-ligating braces are smaller and less noticeable than conventional braces. Most kids are self-conscious about how they look (flashback to those 1980s comedies), so braces that are subtle and less conspicuous are a huge draw.
  3. Self-ligating braces are more comfortable than traditional braces. Less pressure and friction are placed on the tooth. These types of braces also need fewer alterations and adjustments, so chances are you will save money by making fewer appointments with our office.
  4. Self-ligating braces move crooked teeth into place more quickly than conventional braces. In other words, you’re going to wear self-ligating braces for a shorter amount of time than traditional braces.
  5. Orthodontic work can be expensive. Self-ligating braces, however, cost about the same amount of money as traditional braces.

Dr. Kyle Childers and our team are proud to offer self-ligating braces as an alternative to traditional metal braces with our viable financial plan. Ask our team if they are right for you by giving us a visit at our Benton, Harrisburg or Herrin, IL office!


What’s so great about self-ligating braces? Five things you need to know