childers orthodontics - invisalign platinum plus provider

What Makes Invisalign Unique [Among Others?]

UPDATED 28 – 07 – 18

What makes Invisalign unique among others? Cinderella probably didn’t have to worry about getting her teeth straightened – she had a fairy godmother. For the rest of us, however, braces from the orthodontist are still the only available option. These days, thanks to advances in orthodontic and dental science, options abound metal brackets, ceramic brackets, brackets with wires, brackets with rubber bands, decorative additions in different colors and shapes.

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adult smiling braces

Are Braces for Adults Worth the Trouble?

adult smilingAre Braces for Adults Worth the Trouble

When you think of braces, you probably picture a kid or teen wearing metal appliances and going to school. It’s often thought that after you’re out of your teens, the thought of getting braces is absurd and shouldn’t be considered.

Thankfully, there is a growing trend of individuals who are choosing to get braces well into their adult years. If you’ve ever wondered, “Is it still worth it to have braces as an adult?”, you’ll want to consider all of the benefits that will come from working with an orthodontist and having this work done.

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Do Orthodontic Braces Cause (White Spots) on Teeth?

Do Orthodontic Braces Cause White Spots on Teeth?

For most people, braces are the ideal way to get a better smile. However, some people end up getting disappointed by the results of their orthodontic braces because they notice unsightly white spots after the brackets are removed. White spots can be a little unpleasant to look at, but you should not let them stop you from deciding to get braces. The reality is that white spots are entirely preventable even if you are wearing orthodontic braces. Keep reading to find out all about the underlying cause of white spots and learn how you can protect your teeth from them.

How Common Are White Spots After Braces?

Though white spots are not necessarily caused by braces, it is true that this type of tooth discolouration is more common among people who have been wearing braces. White spots and braces are linked because braces can make it much more difficult for a person to properly clean their teeth. The most common location for white spots tends to be either along the gumline or around the edges of the brackets. Not every patient who has braces will get white spots. In fact, the majority of orthodontic patients will not have white spots after treatment. It is a relatively uncommon effect of wearing braces.

What Causes White Spots on the Teeth?

White spots are actually an area of the tooth where the enamel does not contain enough strengthening minerals. This type of demineralization is caused by bacteria that can flourish in the mouth when it is not properly cleaned. These types of bacteria produce byproducts that gradually wear away at the teeth. When the minerals are removed from the surface of the tooth, the area because hollow, so it looks lighter. The area may be rough, pitted, indented, or raised.

As you can see, braces do not necessarily cause white spots. Instead, white spots are essentially areas of the teeth that are not getting properly cleaned. Many orthodontic patients, especailly younger ones, struggle to get the entire surface of their tooth while brushing, leading to white spots. In addition to being unsightly, these white spots may eventually become cavities if left untreated, so it is important to try to treat or prevent them.

Can You Do Anything to Treat White Spots?

Fortunately, it is possible to get rid of white spots on your teeth from wearing braces. One of the first things you will probably need to do is focus on re-mineralization. This is a special technique that involves applying a mineral rich cream to your teeth and letting it sit for a while. The teeth are very absorbent, so the minerals will sink into the white spots and help to strengthen teeth. In addition to building tooth strength, re-mineralization will also help the white spots to fade.

Another way to reduce white spots is through various cosmetic dentistry treatments. A basic tooth whitening procedure can help to lighten the teeth and reduce the appearance of white spots. If the white spots are unusually raised, microabrasion can remove them and reveal new enamel. For sunken white spots, your doctor can fill in the area with dental resin coloured to match your teeth.

What Can You Do to Prevent White Spots?

Though it is possible to fix white spots on the teeth, keep in mind that these treatments can be a little time consuming, expensive, or slow to show results. Instead of just planning on treating white spots once your braces are removed, it is better to prevent them from happening in the first place. Most patients find that white spots are entirely avoidable as long as they practice some simple oral hygiene habits. Use these tips to reduce your chances of getting white spots after wearing braces:
Make sure you brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day to remove bacteria and plaque buildup that could contribute to white spots.

Use a mouthwash with fluoride to ensure that your teeth remain properly mineralized.
Consider using an electric toothbrush with a head specifically for braces wearers to ensure that your teeth are properly cleaned.
Floss once a day to remove bacteria that can hide between teeth.

Avoid eating high sugar foods that can encourage bacteria growth. Whenever you do eat something sugary, brush your teeth or rinse out your mouth afterwards.

Lower the amount of acidic things that you eat and drink. This includes soda, salad dressings, sour candies, tomato-based sauces, and lemonade.

Talk to your orthodontist about putting a sealant on your teeth to help them resist bacteria.

Now that you know how to prevent white spots on the teeth, you can confidently get braces without worrying about their effect on tooth colouration. If you would like to find out more about how to take care of your teeth while wearing braces, set up an appointment at one of the three convenient Childers Orthodontics locations. Call us at 618-438-2815 or fill out our online contact form to get in touch with us today.

We would love to know your thoughts, please drop a comment below:

Two happy girls

Do Orthodontic Braces Hurt?

Dental Repairs

Overcome Braces Anxiety with This Simple Guide

Negative thoughts can stop people from getting the braces they need. Believe it or not, orthodontists are used to hearing questions and statements like, “I am afraid of having braces. Do they hurt? Will I feel the pain in my teeth by having braces?” The following is going to help you understand what you might experience with this process.

Not Knowing Is an Issue 

Wondering how does it feel to have braces or is it painful could be on your mind simply because you do not know much about braces. Sometimes people who ask, “I am afraid of having braces. Do they hurt? Will they be uncomfortable? How does it feel to have braces Is it painful?” are usually thinking of those old school braces kids wore on old TV shows or movies.

Older braces look uncomfortable, and they look bulky enough to cause some pain so it is okay to be worried or ask yourself, “Will I feel the pain in my teeth by having braces?” Some people are scared for other reasons like how they will look, how they will eat, or if it is going to hurt to talk.

What you need to do is learn everything there is to know about these orthodontic devices.

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Should I Get Braces Before My Wedding?



Should I Get Braces Before My Wedding?

You’re getting married. Congratulations! Now that you’re getting married to your best friend, you’re excited to get started on the wedding planning. There’s so much to do, from the flowers to the guest seating to securing the location of the ceremony. You don’t know exactly how you will get everything done, but you know that you’ll do it in style.

But what if everything about your appearance was camera ready, except for your teeth? The wedding pictures will be a big part of your wedding budget, so you want the star of the pictures (the bride) to look especially great. Is there anything you can do to fix your teeth before you say “I do?”


Why Do Your Teeth Become Crooked?

For many adults, they experience dental alignment issues right from childhood. They may have even needed to get braces as a child, but the parents couldn’t afford the expense of orthodontia.

Other adults have straight teeth in childhood but develop dental alignment issues when they grow into their adult teeth. Some people even wore braces when they were in their teens, but are seeing old issues return as they get older. While developing dental issues in adulthood can be really frustrating, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Even when you become an adult, your teeth will still continue to shift. Injuries and accidents can also cause alignment problems.

Can I Wear Braces As An Adult?

As an adult, you may think that orthodontics aren’t an option. As a matter of fact, when you think of a person wearing orthodontics, you picture a tween with metal in their mouth. What you definitely don’t imagine is a beautiful, blushing bride walking down the aisle on her wedding day with metal orthodontics on her teeth.

Out of all the people who wear orthodontics in the United States, 20 percent of them are adults. This means that there are plenty of men and women well into their adulthood who aren’t embarrassed at the fact that they have dental alignment issues that they will need to fix to get a healthy smile.

Just because you’re not a tween or teen getting raised by your parents does not mean that you no longer have the opportunity to fix your teeth. Many men and women take their improved financial situation as an opportunity to repair dental issues that can impair their smile.

How Long Will I Need to Wear Orthodontics?

Unfortunately, most adults will have to wear orthodontics for a longer period of time than tweens and teens do. This is because the body of an adult does not change as fast as that of younger people. However, before you nix the possibilities of fixing your smile right off the bat, know that for most people, the benefits will definitely outweigh the downsides. While you may have to deal with orthodontia for a bit, within 12 to 20 months, you will have a picture perfect smile for the ages.

Do I Have to Have That “Metal Mouth”?

As a future bride, you might get a little concerned about how your orthodontics will look in your wedding photos. A person’s appearance is a common concern for adults who are considering orthodontics as a solution to their alignment problems.

The good news for the future brides out there is that you have plenty of options when it comes to the styles of available orthodontia. Some of these methods aren’t readily visible to the human eye, so the people in your life won’t see what you have on your teeth.

A Great Way to Fix Your Smile Without Sacrificing Your Appearance

If you want your smile to look perfect in your wedding pictures, ask your local orthodontist about Invisalign. Invisalign works by straightening your teeth using customized aligners that are made only for your teeth. The trays are made of clear plastic that you will place over your teeth every day. These aligners will gradually move your teeth into their rightful place. Your orthodontist won’t have to attach those pesky metal brackets and you won’t have to keep coming back to the office to get wires tightened. Every two weeks you will go to the office to get your old aligner set replaced with a new one. You will do this until you finally get the smile that you were meant to have.

Why Brides Should Consider Invisalign

When a bride invests in these invisible aligners, she is not only investing in beautiful wedding pictures. She is also making an investment in her dental health and overall quality of life. Researchers have shown in a few studies that study participants consider people who have smiles they consider to be less than ideal to be less intelligent, educated, and friendly.

A bride certainly doesn’t want a stranger looking at her wedding photos to think that she is anything other than beautiful, radiant, and competent in life and love. With these aligners, a bride can both take care of her teeth while at the same time ensuring that she takes great pictures on the most important day of her life.

Need a Great Smile For Your Wedding Day?

If you need your wedding day smile to be stunning and radiant, contact our office and talk to our orthodontist on staff. Once you make an appointment, they will alert you to all of your options for fixing alignment issues that will not interfere with those all-important wedding photos.

Call Our Orthodontist Today to Schedule Your First Appointment

At Childers Orthodontics in Benton, Ill., Dr. Kyle R. Childers offers expert care for children, teenagers and adults. Our orthodontist provides these treatments to repair misaligned teeth:

• Damon System – passive self-ligating devices
• Braces – traditional wires and brackets or color-matching ceramic brackets
• Aligners – designed by Invisalign
• Retainers – designed for keeping teeth in correct positions
• SureSmile – customized arch wires
• Propel – alveolar perforations for faster bone formation

Call us to schedule your first orthodontic evaluation.

Childers Orthodontics

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

Child with curly hair

Is It Possible to Close the Gaps Where I Lost Two Teeth?

Smiling little girl with blue hat

Teeth can fall out for a variety of reasons, whether through inadequate care or some kind of accident. Regardless, many times patients walk into an orthodontist’s office and wonder: any chance that my teeth will move and close the gaps caused by the two teeth I lost?

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Is Alcohol-free, Sugar-free Breath Spray Okay to Use with [Invisalign]?

perfect smile


Is Alcohol-free, Sugar-free Breath Spray Okay to Use with Invisalign?

Bad breath is a common complaint, and it can become an even bigger problem during orthodontic treatment. Whether you are undergoing treatment with braces or clear aligners, orthodontic appliances give bacteria more places to hide, which leads to more halitosis. Invisalign’s clear aligner design makes it easier to clean all those hard-to-reach places, but if you still have some lingering bad breath, you might be wondering: Is breath spray okay to use? Some breath sprays can be bad for your teeth during treatment, but in general, sugar-free, alcohol-free breath sprays are safe to use with Invisalign.


What Is The Problem With Sugar?

Check the ingredient list of any breath spray to make sure it has no sugar. Sugar might be a tasty treat for you, but it is also a favorite treat for those pesky oral bacteria, which use it for fuel. Once they consume sugar, they reproduce and leave a smelly byproduct, which results in not just more bad breath but also enamel-destroying acids.

Breath spray containing sugar can get trapped beneath your Invisalign aligners where saliva cannot rinse it away, and your teeth can be damaged faster than they would otherwise. Breath sprays that are sweetened with xylitol might be the best choice. Xylitol can actually combat oral bacteria.

What Is The Problem With Alcohol?

Alcohol is also a problem for teeth but for another reason. Saliva is a natural lubricant and contains mucins, which suspend oral bacteria so that they cannot hurt teeth. Alcohol dries the mouth, allowing bacteria to flourish. Breath sprays that contain alcohol might temporarily sweeten your breath, but that freshness will come at a price. You will end up with bad breath and more bacteria at the end of the day.

Where Can I Find Sugar-free, Alcohol-free Breath Sprays?

You can find sugar-free, alcohol-free breath sprays at mass merchandisers, pharmacies, drug stores and online. If you are unable to find a breath spray you like, ask our orthodontist for a recommendation.

What Are Some Breath Spray Alternatives?

There are plenty of ways to address chronic bad breath apart from sprays, including:

1. Staying well-hydrated

Drinking water frequently throughout the day helps keep your body hydrated and flushes the bacteria out of your mouth. It also helps you produce more saliva, which keeps the environment of your mouth healthy and balanced. You can drink water when your aligners are in, and you don’t have to brush after a drink like you would with a sugary beverage.

2. Brush frequently.

Brushing is so important during orthodontic treatment, and Invisalign makes it easy. Remove your aligners when you eat, and brush your teeth before putting your aligners back in. Brush to remove plaque, food particles and bacteria, and your breath should stay fresh all day long. Use a tongue cleaner or brush your tongue to remove even more bacteria.

3. Floss daily.

Toothbrush bristles are small, but they are not quite small enough to clean between your teeth. You need to floss every day to remove the debris that settles in these areas and prevent decay and bad breath. If you wear braces, use a floss threader or pick to clean around the brackets and wires more effectively.

4. Clean your aligners.

When you remove your aligners, clean them. You can use the cleaning kit that is made for them, or you can just brush and rinse them using lukewarm water. Never eat with them in your mouth, and only drink water when you are wearing them to keep them clean.

5. Find a good mouthwash.

Mouthwashes can help kill bacteria in your mouth and leave a minty fresh feeling much like breath sprays. Look for alcohol-free versions since, much like alcohol-containing breath sprays, mouthwashes with alcohol can dry your mouth and worsen bad breath. A mouthwash with fluoride or a non-alcohol antimicrobial ingredient can be a good alternative.

You can also suck on sugar-free, dye-free mints throughout the day. Mints can freshen your breath and help stimulate saliva flow, both of which can combat bad breath without affecting your orthodontic treatment.

How Can Orthodontics Prevent Bad Breath?

Chronic bad breath that persists even when dental hygiene is improved and breath sprays or mints are used can indicate that you need orthodontic treatment. Teeth that are improperly aligned, crowded or crooked can be tough to clean thoroughly, and this can lead to pockets of bacteria. Gums can become swollen, inflamed and irritated as the bite puts pressure on the jaw and periodontal tissues.

Our orthodontist can evaluate your child’s teeth and determine if treatment is necessary. Proper treatment with braces or aligners can correct a wide range of orthodontic issues, eliminate bad breath and promote a lifetime of better dental health.

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

Blue toothbrush and toothpaste

Seven Tips for Brushing Your Teeth with Braces

Teeth and blue toothbrush

An investment in your kid’s braces is an investment in their future. Not only are you helping physically correct an issue, but you’re also giving them a boost in self-esteem and confidence that will help them as they travel through life.

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Treatment Time for Damon System

damon braces


Treatment Time for Damon System

When braces were first invented back in 1728, they weren’t the most comfortable or subtle of treatments. In fact, the so-named “Father of Modern Orthodontics,” Pierre Fauchard, was famous for using forceps to move teeth where he wanted them to go – ouch!

Here at Childers Orthodontics, we are happy to report that today’s braces have come a very long way from those earliest of days. Today’s hardware is lightweight, streamlined, flexible and sometimes even near-invisible depending on placement and materials used!

The Damon System is one of the most popular orthodontic treatments offered today for all of these reasons and more.


What Is the Damon System?

The Damon System is a treatment that can be successfully used on patients of all ages. The modern, streamlined and sleek hardware make use of what is called “self-ligating” technology to reduce discomfort and shorten treatment times.

The term “self-ligating” means that the system is self-contained and requires no use of elastic bands or metal ties, both of which can cause abrasion and discomfort. The simple hardware consists of just two pieces: an archwire and brackets.

Each tooth gets its own individual bracket in either traditional metal or clear (these are nearly invisible!). The upper set of teeth gets one archwire and the lower set of teeth gets one archwire.

From here, the orthodontist makes small adjustments to ensure the teeth move into proper alignment in the shortest possible time period with the greatest possible comfort to the patient.

The Benefits of the Damon System

The Damon System has become popular over time as its benefits become more widely recognized.

These benefits are the same for all age patients but may be particularly appreciated in young patients, who often lack the patience to do the extra brushing and flossing and dietary/activity modifications required by traditional hardware.

Damon System benefits include (but are not limited to) these:

  • The choice of metal or clear hardware allows for image-sensitive patients to choose the least visible treatment system.
  • The system can treat mild or moderately severe malocclusions (misalignments) of teeth and bite.
  • The hardware is very easy to clean and maintain, with far less brushing and flossing than with traditional hardware.
  • Fewer orthodontist visits are required for adjustments and hardware repairs (on average, only half as many visits as for traditional treatment, which also saves on drive time and expense of treatment).
  • The overall treatment time tends to be shorter by as much as six months when compared to traditional orthodontic treatments.
  • Treatment is much less invasive on average, with less discomfort, fewer abrasions to soft mouth tissues and less risk of damage to hardware through everyday activities.
  • Often the need to extract teeth (for example, with issues of overcrowding) can be completely avoided with the Damon System.
  • There is zero risk of swallowing any of the hardware (elastic bands, O-rings, metal ties) because the Damon System has no external additional parts.
  • The result is the widest, healthiest and most balanced possible smile with exceptional tooth and jaw alignment.
  • The much lighter weight hardware is not only comfier, but places less pressure on teeth and helps to maintain optimal blood flow for fast treatment success.

Talking Treatment Times: How Fast is “Fast?”

It just stands to reason that any orthodontic patient will want to see the results of their treatment right away….and even yesterday, if possible!

After all, that is the whole reason orthodontia was invented: to give patients the chance to have the best oral health as well as a smile to be proud of and show off at every opportunity.

So how fast, exactly, is “fast?” With the Damon System, research has identified precisely how much faster this system can deliver treatment results than traditional (conventional) orthodontic treatment.

The average length of treatment time for conventional orthodontic treatment is 27.5 months, or two years and 3.5 months.

The average length of treatment time for Damon System treatment is 20.3 months, or one year and 8.3 months.

That is a difference of just over seven months! Here, it just makes sense why the Damon system, like the equally popular trailblazing Invisalign system of aligners, has become so popular and in demand among orthodontic patients.

That is seven months free from wearing orthodontic hardware, free from visiting the orthodontist for adjustments, free from wondering and waiting when you will finally have the perfect, beautiful smile you’ve been waiting to see!

Where to Start

If you want to learn more about the Damon System and find out if you are a good candidate, the first step is to schedule your consultation with Dr. Childers. Read on to find out how to do this!


Schedule an Appointment

In Illinois, you visit Childers Orthodontics to have an examination to determine if you need to straighten your teeth. Dr. Kyle R. Childers offers his services to adults, teenagers and children in three locations that include:

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

After an evaluation of your mouth, our orthodontist can determine if you need to wear one of these types of devices:

Damon System – uses self-ligating brackets
Braces – made with traditional metal and wire brackets
Invisalign – aligners designed for teenagers or adults

Patients at Childers Orthodontics can also request the AcceleDent Aura system to reduce the amount of time required for their orthodontic treatment.  Schedule an appointment online or by calling (618) 438-2815.

Childers Orthodontics

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

How Can Widely Spaced Teeth Impact Your Overall Health



How Can Widely Spaced Teeth Impact Your Overall Health

When people first visit the orthodontist, their first thought is usually that they can’t wait to have a beautiful smile. Widely spaced teeth often lead to issues with self-esteem, and it is important to love what you see in the mirror. However, you should be aware that having large gaps between your teeth places you at risk for serious oral health conditions such as gum disease, and they can also be a symptom of other health problems. As you prep for your appointment, keep this information in mind about the impact of widely spaced teeth on your overall health.


Understand the Link Between Genetics and Your Teeth

If you’ve every noticed a parent and child having the same smile, then you recognize the role that genetics can play in teeth placement. It is very common for both parents and their children to need braces to correct problems such as a large gap between the two front teeth. While this is fairly benign, certain genetic disorders can also create large spaces between teeth. For example, acromegaly is a genetic disorder that involves a person’s body producing too much growth hormone. In addition to other issues, it causes the jaw and head to be larger than average. All of that extra room results in the teeth being set further apart.

Know Your Risk For Gum Disease and Decay

Having space between your teeth makes it easier to floss. However, spaces that are too large also become what orthodontists tend to call plaque traps. This is because food and debris have more space to collect. As they break down, they generate bacteria that contribute to gum disease. Once periodontal disease starts up, it requires a series of treatments to get your mouth back to a healthy state. If you show signs of early gum disease, then Invisalign is a great option for decreasing these gaps because it also makes it easier to brush and floss those gaps while they are closing.

Avoid Other Oral Health Issues

Gum disease and decay are scary enough, but those are just the most obvious problems you can face. Teeth with large spaces are also usually out of alignment, and misaligned teeth lead to long term wear and tear that places you at risk for jaw pain, cracked teeth or an inability to maintain restorations such as fillings. When you have gaps along with misalignment, you will likely be a good candidate for braces that correct both of these issues at once.

Encourage Better Overall Health

It is easy to forget that proper nutrition begins with your mouth. You must be able to chew your food properly to keep your digestive system working efficiently. When large gaps interfere with your eating abilities, malnutrition, digestive discomfort and pain are all possible issues that you can face. Periodontal disease has also been linked to serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease because the bacteria that accumulates deep within your gums eventually enters your bloodstream and creates a systemic infection. It is also important to avoid overlooking the toll that unsightly teeth can take on your mental health. Depression, anxiety and a loss of self-esteem are all mental health issues that can stem from unhappiness with your widely spaced teeth.

Find Out Your Options

The field of orthodontics is constantly evolving, and you can take advantage of having multiple options for safeguarding your health through orthodontic treatment. For example, Invisalign offers a discreet way to shift your teeth into proper alignment without detracting from your overall appearance. Many people prefer this treatment because the trays can be removed so that eating, playing sports and toothbrushing can all be done without any hindrances. Alternatively, traditional braces can be used for children and young teens who may not be as likely to wear their plastic aligners as required.

Call Our Orthodontist Today to Schedule Your First Appointment

At Childers Orthodontics in Benton, Ill., Dr. Kyle R. Childers offers expert care for children, teenagers and adults. Our orthodontist provides these treatments to repair misaligned teeth:

• Damon System – passive self-ligating devices
• Braces – traditional wires and brackets or color-matching ceramic brackets
• Aligners – designed by Invisalign
• Retainers – designed for keeping teeth in correct positions
• SureSmile – customized arch wires
• Propel – alveolar perforations for faster bone formation

Call us to schedule your first orthodontic evaluation.

Childers Orthodontics

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