Dietrich & Hilliard Orthodontics

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You're Never Too Old to Treat Yourself to a New Smile!

September 18th, 2012

Did you know one in every five orthodontic patients is an adult? We’re living longer and technology is improving, making orthodontic treatment an appealing and safe option for patients of all ages. As the trend toward treatment later in life grows, we’re seeing braces on parents as well as children – and even adult celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Gwen Stefani and Nicholas Cage have shown off their braces. It’s never too late to look and feel your best!

Can Braces Work for Adults?

People of all ages can benefit from orthodontic treatment. The physical process for moving teeth is the same, young or old, which means it’s never too late to address issues such as an overbite or underbite, crooked or crowded teeth, or jaw disorders.

How Do I Get Started?

If you’re considering orthodontic treatment, we’ll make a consultation appointment with you. During this meeting we will perform a general assessment of your oral health, discuss options for treatment, and answer any questions you may have. We will also discuss matters of cost and insurance. The next step is an orthodontic records appointment in which we take x-rays, photos, and an impression of your teeth. This information drives your unique treatment plan.

What Are the Benefits?

Straightening your teeth can improve your smile, your self-esteem, and your dental health. Technologically advanced new treatments make it easier to identify the option that best fits your lifestyle. Modern techniques and materials have made braces and aligners more effective, comfortable and unobtrusive than ever.

If you think you might benefit from orthodontic treatment, give our team a call, so we may set up a consultation to determine what type of treatment best meets your needs.

What are the Early Signs of Orthodontic Problems?

August 8th, 2012


Visibly crooked teeth are not the only reason to take your child into the orthodontist. There are some subtle things to look for as well, which may indicate the onset of more serious orthodontic issues. Many orthodontic issues are much easier to address if treated and corrected during a child's development.

Waiting until facial development is complete or until the permanent teeth have come in can make correction of many orthodontic issues more challenging. Both children and adults can benefit from orthodontic care at any age, but addressing issues early is almost always the ideal choice.

If you're wondering if you or your child might have need for orthodontic care, there are some things you can be on the lookout for. Here are some of the most common warning signs of orthodontic issues:

• Difficulty when chewing or biting
• Chronic mouth-breathing
• Sucking the thumb, the fingers, or any other oral sucking habits that continue after the age of six
• Overbite - when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth by more than 5mm
• Top front teeth that cover more than 25% of the bottom teeth while biting
• Underbite - when the top front teeth go behind the bottom row of teeth when biting
• Crowded, crooked, overlapped, misshapen, misplaced teeth or extra teeth of any size
• Crossbite - when one or more teeth tilt toward the cheek or toward the tongue causing excessive stress on the jawbone
• The center of the top and bottom teeth don't line up
• Uneven teeth-wearing
• Baby teeth coming out too early for the child's age
• Pain in jaws
• Clicking in the jaw joints
• The jaw shifts off-center while chewing or biting
• A jaw that protrudes, or recedes, too much
• Difficulty speaking or enunciating clearly
• Chronic biting of the inner cheek or roof of the mouth
• Asymmetrical facial structure
• Grinding or clenching of the teeth

If you notice that either you or your child has one or more of these conditions, they could be signs that there is a risk of orthodontic or health problems. The sooner these problems are addressed, the wider and brighter you will be able to smile going forward!

Burning Invisalign questions, with Hilliard & Dietrich Orthodontics

July 23rd, 2012


Are you wondering what Invisalign treatment is really like, and what effect it will have on your day-to-day activities? Will it slur your speech? Will people know you're in treatment? You're not alone in your concerns!

Dr. Andrew Dietrich, Dr. Keith Hilliard, and our team thought we’d share this list of questions and answers for anyone pondering Invisalign treatment at Hilliard & Dietrich Orthodontics.

How exactly does Invisalign work?
Using 3-D computer imaging technology, Invisalign creates a series of custom-made, clear aligners exclusively for your teeth, based on the treatment plan that we specify for you. Each aligner moves teeth incrementally and is worn for about two weeks, then replaced by the next in the series until the final position is achieved.

Will I experience pain during treatment?
Most people experience temporary discomfort for a few days after a new aligner is placed. This feeling of pressure is normal and is a sign that Invisalign is working by sequentially moving your teeth to their final destination.

Can other people see that I'm in treatment?
One of the benefits of Invisalign is that the aligners are clear. You can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing.

Can I smoke during treatment?
We discourage smoking while wearing the aligners as they may become discolored.

Are there any foods I shouldn’t eat while in treatment?
You can eat normally during the entire course of treatment. One of the advantages of Invisalign is that the aligners are removable. Simply take the aligners out before each meal, brush when you're finished eating, then reinsert the aligners afterward.

What about chewing gum?
We recommend removing your aligners for all meals and snacks, as gum and other chewy substances can stick to the aligners.

How often must I wear my aligners?
Aligners should be worn all day, except when eating, brushing, and flossing.

Will my speech be affected by the aligners?
As with any orthodontic treatment, aligners may temporarily affect your speech. If this does happen, your tongue will adjust within a day or two and your speech should return to normal.

How do I clean my aligners?
The best way to clean your aligners is by brushing and rinsing them in lukewarm water.

How often must I visit the office during treatment?
For most patients, visits every 4-6 weeks are frequent enough for us to determine that your treatment is progressing properly. We will provide you with a specific schedule that supports your individual treatment plan.

If you have additional questions about the Invisalign treatment, please give our office a call, or visit us on Facebook!






-Independence Day Facts, Tips, and Party invitations!

July 2nd, 2012

It’s hard to believe, but July is already here and half of 2012 has already passed! As July 4th approaches, our team thought it would be fun to share some facts and safety tips for celebrating our country’s independence day.

Fun Facts:
• Betsy Ross, according to legend, sewed the first American flag in May or June 1776, as commissioned by the Congressional Committee.
• The major objection to being ruled by Britain was taxation without representation. The colonists had no say in the decisions of English Parliament.
• The word ‘patriotism’ comes from the Latin patria, which means ‘homeland’ or ‘fatherland.’
• The first public Fourth of July event at the White House occurred in 1804.
• And what could be more fitting than spending the day in a place called “America”? There are five such places in the country, with the most populous being American Fork, Utah, with 21,941 residents. Check out American Fact Finder.

Safety Tips:
• Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
• Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
• Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
• To prevent a trash fire, be sure to douse the spent fireworks with plenty of water from a bucket or hose after fireworks complete their burning and before discarding them.
• Make sure fireworks are legal before buying or using them.

What are your plans this 4th of July? Share them with us! We’d love to hear what you and the rest of the community will be doing to celebrate! (Don’t forget to make sure there are no restrictions on fireworks! Check out this link to see if fireworks might be an issue for you this year.)

Also, check out these 4th of July party invitations, eGreeting cards, and delicious recipes!

July 4th eCard invitations!

Happy Independence Day eCards

Independence Day Recipes

Photo by shawnajean
Photo by shawnajean

Stay Cool with a Braces-Friendly Summer Treat!

June 27th, 2012



Summer is here! Kids and adults alike will now be spending more time outside being active and enjoying the hotter temperatures. What’s better on a hot summer day than a delicious treat that will cool you down after doing something active in the summer sun? Luckily, our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) have just the thing, Watermelon Sorbet! You can find the complete recipe below:

Watermelon Sorbet

Ingredients
• ¾ cup water
• ¼ cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon lime juice
• 2 to 3 cups watermelon, diced, no seeds or rind
Directions
In a small saucepan, heat the water, sugar, and lime juice on medium high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Chill this “syrup” at least 20 minutes. In the meantime, place the watermelon chunks in a food processor or blender and liquefy them. Add the chilled syrup to the watermelon puree and blend. Freeze sorbet in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately.

Happy Summer!

Orthodontic Emergency? We can help!

June 22nd, 2012


True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can’t take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment with our office.

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you get in to see us…

The following solutions may help you relieve your discomfort:

Poking Wire: Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.

Loose Bracket or Band: If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. If the wire comes out entirely, wrap the bracket with a tissue.

Loose Wire: Using a tweezers, try to place your wire back into place. If doing this and using wax does not help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If your discomfort continues, place wax on it.

Loose Appliance: If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part of your appliance.

Headgear Does Not Fit: Sometimes headgear discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by your orthodontist. If the facebow is bent, please call our office for assistance. Surprisingly, headgear becomes more comfortable the more it’s worn, so be sure you’re getting in the prescribed hours.

General Soreness: When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.

Remember, after alleviating your discomfort, it is still very important that you call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem.

Making Your Life Better with Orthodontics

June 15th, 2012




The number one goal of orthodontic treatment is to give you or your child a good bite, meaning straight teeth that work well with the teeth in the opposite jaw. A good bite makes it easier for you to eat, chew and speak. It can enhance your dental health and your overall health, and may well improve your self-esteem. As a part of your comprehensive dental health care plan, orthodontic treatment can help you retain your teeth—and your smile—for a lifetime.


Let your smile express yourself! Nothing can show the world how happy you are quite like a beautiful smile. In fact, it’s one of the first things others notice about you, too. With orthodontics, you can be proud to flash your smile, because you’ll know that your smile truly represents your positive attitude.


Make your mouth healthy! Straight teeth aren’t just pretty, they’re healthy as well. Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to clean, reducing the amount of plaque buildup and risk for gingivitis. The cleaner you keep your teeth, the longer they’ll last!


Feel free to live your life! Orthodontics is easier today than ever before, with treatment options that fit your lifestyle and schedule. We can personalize your treatment to suit all of your needs!

"What Should I Expect During My Initial Consultation?"

May 8th, 2012

Great question! When you first come in for your initial consultation we will conduct a comprehensive examination to assess your oral health. This will better enable us to determine the best treatment method for you.

Your orthodontic evaluation will consist of an oral and facial examination to assess your oral health. We will have you take intraoral and facial photographs as well as panoramic and cephalometric X-rays to help determine the proper orthodontic treatment method. Then, an impression of your teeth and bite will be taken to construct a model of your mouth. (This will help us when examining your diagnostic records).

At your second appointment, we will discuss your options with you. Our team feels it’s important to take the time to carefully examine your diagnostic records after your consultation so that we can more thoroughly prepare for your treatment. This additional preparation will ensure that you receive the best orthodontic care possible. At this time, we encourage you to ask us any questions you may have about your treatment.

If you are seeking orthodontic treatment for your child, our staff asks that both you and your child attend the initial consultation. We feel it is important that both you and your child completely understand the doctor’s recommendations before we proceed with treatment.

Give us a call today and schedule a consultation! We look forward to hearing from you!

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, from Drs. Hilliard & Dietrich

April 2nd, 2012


Visiting your dentist during your orthodontic treatment at Hilliard & Dietrich Orthodontics will not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy while you have braces, but will also help keep the rest of your body healthy. The fact is, every hour of every day in the U.S., someone dies of oral cancer, which is the sixth-most common diagnosed form of the disease. The five-year survival rate is only 50 percent, and oral cancer is one of the few cancers whose survival rate has not improved. Since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, we would like to take this opportunity to remind all of our patients about the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene while you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment with Drs. Hilliard & Dietrich.

Your dentist is specifically trained to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health problems. Please let us now if you have any questions about your oral health during your next adjustment appointment. Take care of your teeth!

“Am I Too Old for Braces?”

March 26th, 2012


Absolutely not! Orthodontic treatment for adults is becoming more and more common. In fact, the number of adults getting braces has actually climbed 24 percent since 1996! More adults than ever are realizing that orthodontic treatment is not just for kids, and can help improve the aesthetics and health of a smile of any age! In a society where appearance matters and can help make the difference between getting a job or a promotion, adults are choosing wisely to invest in orthodontic treatment.

Some of the most common reasons our adult patients come to us considering orthodontic treatment include:

• Teeth that are crowded or spaced apart, sometimes as a result of tooth decay or gum disease
• Pain or pressure from crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw
• A bad bite or malocclusion, causing teeth to fit together incorrectly

Most of all though, adult patients come to Hilliard & Dietrich Orthodontics seeking a healthier mouth and a more confident smile! Orthodontic treatment at our Southside or Northside office locations in Lakeland, FL can be successful at any age, and adults especially can appreciate the benefits of a beautiful smile.

As an adult patient, Drs. Hilliard & Dietrich recognize that you have different needs than our younger patients, and we will work with you to ensure you receive the most appropriate treatment and that your needs are met with understanding and respect from us.

If you’ve been thinking about getting that perfect smile, we would love to have you visit for a consultation. We understand you have a busy schedule, and will work with you to find a time that is convenient for you. Please visit our website or give our office a call to schedule your appointment today!

How will you spend MLK Day?

January 16th, 2012


In the 1950s and ’60s, civil rights champion Martin Luther King, Jr. recognized the need to bring about social justice, strengthen America’s communities and move the nation forward. Today, thousands of people of all ages and races in Florida will spend their day building, giving and renovating our communities to help celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Did you have the day off? If so, what did you do to help your local community?

We’d love to know about your activities and events this MLK Jr. Day. If you have any video or pictures you’d like to share, please share them on our Facebook page!

Our entire team at Hilliard and Dietrich Orthodontics are proud of your work in our community! Happy MLK Day!

Do we have your current contact info?

December 1st, 2011

Happy holidays from all of us at Hilliard Orthodontics! As you probably know, you can always connect with Dr. Keith Hilliard and our team on our Facebook page, but we also encourage you to call us and let us know if you have any new phone numbers or if your contact information has changed!

Please contact our office with any updates to phone numbers and addresses, so that we may be able to reach you. Thank you!
- The team at Hilliard Orthodontics

Ask Drs. Hilliard & Dietrich: "I just got braces. Now what?"

November 16th, 2011


We love when patients ask us that question! Now that you’re wearing braces, it’s just as important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen as you did before before orthodontic treatment began.

Braces are known to trap food particles and make it difficult to brush or remove plaque, which is why Drs. Hilliard & Dietrich recommend that you brush and floss after every meal. We also encourage you use a proxabrush to help with the smaller areas where your toothbrush doesn’t reach. We encourage the use of fluoride rinse as well; ask us for a recommendation!

When your braces are initially placed, your teeth are likely to be very sensitive. You may experience discomfort for up to 3 or 5 days, which is why we encourage you to eat soft foods during that time. Remember, the less pressure you put on your teeth, the less discomfort you will have.

You may also be thinking, “Okay, so what can I eat?” We would encourage you to avoid eating sticky, hard, crunchy or chewy snacks that can stick to your teeth.

Drs. Hilliard & Dietrich and team will tell you it’s crucial to regularly check your braces for bent or loose wires and brackets. In the event of a loose/broken wire or bracket, please call our Lakeland orthodontic office immediately to schedule an appointment for repair.

Lastly, in addition to visiting Hilliard Orthodontics during your orthodontic treatment for adjustments, you should visit your dentist for professional check-ups and teeth cleaning appointments about every six months, or as recommended by your dentist.

What are your November plans?

November 10th, 2011


Believe it or not, we’re almost in full holiday mode! But before you go celebrating, Dr. Keith Hilliard and our team at Hilliard Orthodontics want to know: What are your plans for November? Do you have plans for Thanksgiving? Are you planning a winter vacation? If so, we’d love to hear all about it!

You may share your stories with us below, or by posting on our Facebook page!

–The team at Hilliard Orthodontics

Halloween safety tips from Hilliard Orthodontics

October 31st, 2011

With Halloween here, our staff at Hilliard Orthodontics know a lot parents here in Lakeland are worried about their kids going overboard on candies this evening.

All those sweet, sour and sticky candies may taste great, but Dr. Keith Hilliard will tell you these treats are known to damage teeth, as well as braces! Did you know sour candies can be acidic to your teeth, and actually wear down the enamel that protects them?

Our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists recommend softer treats, such as soft chocolate or peanut butter cups, or melt-in-your-mouth foods. Trick-or-treaters who indulge should make sure they brush and floss between teeth, around brackets and at the gum line. If damage occurs, please call us as soon as possible.

We hope everyone has a fun, safe and scary Halloween!

Cold season is here, from Keith Hilliard, DMD Orthodontic Specialist

October 17th, 2011


Cold and flu season is here - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that a common cold usually includes sneezing, runny nose, sore throat and coughing. Symptoms can last for up to two weeks.

To promote a healthy and clean environment, Dr. Keith Hilliard and our entire staff give a great deal of attention to sanitation and sterilization in our Lakeland offices at all times, as well as following all requirements for sterilizing instruments and work surfaces. For the protection of other patients and our staff at Keith Hilliard, DMD Orthodontic Specialist, we always ask that patients reschedule their appointments if they have any type of cold or illness that can infect others.

And remember to constantly wash your hands and avoid contact with those who are ill! Stay Healthy!

October also marks National Dental Hygiene Month!

October 10th, 2011


In addition to October being National Orthodontic Health Month, as we discussed last week, did you know that October is also National Dental Hygiene Month? Fall is here, and Halloween is coming soon, but now it is more important than ever to maintain good oral hygiene during your treatment at Hilliard Orthodontics.

Drs. Hilliard and Dietrich will tell you that while all those sweet, sour and sticky candies may taste great, these treats can damage your teeth and braces as well! Sour candies can be acidic to your teeth, and actually wear down the enamel that protects them - this can cause tooth decay and cavities! After eating these candies, be sure to wash your mouth out with water, drink milk or eat a few slices of cheese. These will help neutralize the acid in your mouth.

Besides cavities and tooth decay, many people do not realize that good oral health and hygiene are important to your overall health too - research has discovered the connection between periodontal disease and other major health concerns, such as heart disease! Therefore, it is important to maintain a good oral hygiene routine: see your dentist here in Lakeland every six months, brush and floss daily and use an antibacterial mouthwash.

Hope this helps!

- Dr. Hilliard and Dr. Dietrich

Back to school with Hilliard Orthodontics

August 29th, 2011

Now that many of the schools in Lakeland and nearby communities are back in session, Dr. Keith Hilliard and our staff would like to remind all of our patients about the importance of scheduling appointments in advance in August and early September. With school, clubs and sports to consider this fall, we know that it can be challenging to find time to visit our office. In order to accommodate all of our wonderful patients' busy schedules, it is important that you plan ahead for your appointments so that we are able to provide you with an appointment time that is convenient for you.

As always, please remember to give us advanced notice if you're unable to make your regularly-scheduled appointment. If we receive enough notice, we might be able to schedule another patient for that time. Feel free to give us a call at 863-644-0430 if you have any questions, or if you would like to schedule your fall appointment.

We hope you had a fantastic weekend - we look forward to seeing your smiling faces very soon!

When should you call Hilliard Orthodontics?

August 3rd, 2011


We hope you're having a great week! Our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists have put together a helpful list that outlines when you should call Hilliard Orthodontics for a complimentary orthodontic consultation. If you experience the following symptoms or conditions, it may be time to check in us:

1. Early or late loss of baby teeth

2. Difficulty of chewing or biting

3. Mouth breathing

4. Finger sucking or other oral habits

5. Crowding, misplaced or blocked-out teeth

6. Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or retrude

7. Speech difficulty

8. Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth

9. Protruding teethhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

10. Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all

11. Facial imbalance or asymmetry

12. Grinding or clenching of teeth

Do any of these warning signs fit you? If so, please give us a call at our Lakeland office!

See you soon!

Get those regular checkups! From Hilliard Orthodontics

July 20th, 2011


Drs. Hilliard and Dietrich want to know: Are you brushing your teeth twice a day during your orthodontic treatment? If yes, that’s what we want to hear! But, don’t forget that it’s also important for you to visit your general dentist every six months in addition to brushing your teeth and flossing (and visiting Hilliard orthodontics, of course). Regular dental checkups are important for maintaining good oral health.

Your dentist can check for problems that might not be seen or felt, detect cavities and early signs of decay, treat oral health problems early and show you how to properly brush and floss your teeth.

During an oral exam your dentist can check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks and tongue. Checkups will also include a thorough teeth cleaning and polishing. If you have not been to the dentist in the last six months, let us know during your next visit with us, and we will provide a few great references in the greater Lakeland area!

We hope you're having a great summer!

What's your story? What made you choose Hilliard Orthodontics?

July 8th, 2011


At Dr. Hilliard and Dr. Dietrich's office, your orthodontic treatment is about much more than straightening your teeth with braces. You expect great results and we get them because each patient’s treatment is individually planned to meet their needs.

Whether you’ve just come in for a consultation or your family has been visiting our convenient Lakeland office for years, we’d love to hear your feedback. You can write a review on our Facebook page or on our Google listing!

Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend!

Welcome to the team, Chelsea!

June 23rd, 2011


We welcomed Chelsea, a new clinical assistant to our office. Chelsea is engaged to be married this fall, and is a graduate of Traviss Tech. Chelsea is great with patients, has a beautiful smile and has already been a mentor to one of our patients who spent "career day" in our office! Chelsea is also a very hard worker, very quick learner and great communicator with patients and parents alike. We're really glad she's joined the Hilliard orthodontic team!!

Ask Dr. Hilliard: When should my child come in for a consultation?

May 23rd, 2011

Great question! Many parents think they must wait until their child has all permanent teeth to start treatment, only to find that treatment would have been much simpler if started earlier. So, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child have an orthodontic check-up no later than age seven.

What’s so special about age seven? Enough permanent teeth have arrived for an orthodontist to make a determination about whether any problems are present. The first molars have come in, providing an opportunity to check for malocclusion, or what Drs. Hilliard and Dietrich call “bad bite.” Also, the incisors have begun to come in, and problems such as crowding, deep bites, and open bites can be detected.

Orthodontic evaluation at an early age provides one of two positive outcomes: For some, early identification or problems will lead to easier or shorter orthodontic treatment in the future. For others, a healthy prognosis will provide immediate peace of mind.

Early evaluation, of course, may signal a need for early treatment. For some children, early treatment can prevent physical and emotional trauma. Aside from spurring on years of harmful teasing, misaligned teeth are also prone to injury and detrimental to good oral hygiene. So if your child is nearing age 7, give us a call at Hilliard Orthodontics to schedule an appointment.

Flossing with Braces 101

May 8th, 2011

Dr. Hilliard & Dr. Dietrich will tell you that keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever when you have braces. Food bits have more spots than usual to hide in your mouth, so you must be diligent in order to avoid bad breath, swollen gums, discolored teeth and cavities. If you remove plaque regularly during treatment, you'll experience better results and could possibly reduce your treatment time.

Here is a very concise video explaining the proper way to floss your teeth with braces. Give our team a call if you have more questions about flossing. Enjoy!

A great braces-friendly spring recipe! From Dr. Hilliard & team

April 29th, 2011

Winter is over, and the weather is finally starting to get warmer. Our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) made an appetizing (and braces-friendly!) spring dish that is sure to delight. Remember, a healthy diet provides essential nutrients and helps you achieve the best possible result from your orthodontic treatment.

Soy Simmered Chicken Wraps

Ingredients:

• 3 boneless chicken breast halves
• 2 large onions, chunked
• Small flour tortillas (pkg. of ten) wheat or white
• (optional: 10-16 oz. of cooked chopped broccoli)
• ¼ cup soy sauce
• ¼ cup water
• 2 Tablespoons honey
• 1/8 teaspoon ginger
• 2 Tablespoons peach or apricot jam
• 1 Tablespoon cornstarch

Directions

In a slow cooker, or a large pan on the stove, layer the onions and the chicken breast. Allow at least three hours in the slow cooker on medium, or at least one hour on the stove—the longer the better, but you don’t have to do anything to it while it cooks. Spoon out the chicken onto a cutting board, and with a knife and fork, shred the chicken as finely as you’d like. In a small saucepan, stir all sauce ingredients together over medium heat until the mixture starts bubbling, then let it simmer for five minutes on low heat to thicken. In a serving bowl, stir sauce and onion into chicken; if you’d like, add cooked chopped broccoli. Makes about six to eight servings.

Enjoy this great spring dish and have a great week!

--From Dr. Hilliard and staff

Play it safe this spring, from Dr. Hilliard

March 30th, 2011

Let’s face it: sports-related injuries are common among children, let alone teens with braces. In a recent survey, the American Association of Orthodontists, or AAO, discovered that 70 percent of parents said their biggest fear is that their child will get hurt while playing organized sports. But 67 percent admitted that their child doesn’t wear a mouth guard during organized sports such as football, basketball, baseball and soccer. That’s why the office of Dr. Hilliard is helping spread the word that many facial sports injuries can be prevented simply by reminding your kids to wear mouth guards.

Dr. Hilliard can recommend the best mouth guard for you, and, in addition, the AAO has four quick tips for keeping kids safe during sport activities.

• Wear mouth guards during contact sports
• Wear a helmet
• Wear protective eyewear
• Wear a face shield to avoid scratched or bruised skin
• Stretch before and after a game or practice
• Be observant even as a spectator
• Use good judgment

All of these can reduce injuries. Only by using a mouth guard and other forms of facial protection can kids with and without braces avoid serious sports injuries. Give us a call if you have any questions about mouth guards or your treatment with Dr. Hilliard.

How important is your smile? From Hilliard Orthodontics

March 21st, 2011

At Dr. Hilliard’s office, your orthodontic treatment is about much more than straightening your teeth with braces. You expect great results and we get them because each patient’s treatment is individually planned to meet their needs.

At our office the focus is always on you…your comfort, your convenience and making your orthodontic treatment a terrific experience! The bottom line is, we know your smile is important to you.

And speaking of smiling, in a new poll conducted by Glamour Magazine, people were asked, “If you had to pick between having perfect teeth, eyesight or hair, which would you choose?

Well, 44 percent of folks out there are choosing teeth! In addition, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, or AACD, conducted a study and found that 99.7 percent of those polled believed a smile is an important social asset. Respondents said straightness, whiteness, cleanliness, as well as the sincerity and sparkle of a person’s smile were all important factors not only socially, but career-wise as well.

We invite you to visit us and see for yourself how great your orthodontic experience can be!

Foods to Avoid during your Orthodontic Treatment

March 11th, 2011

There are a variety of foods Drs. Keith Hilliard and Andy Dietrich want you to avoid while you're wearing braces. Some foods can occasionally damage braces, but certain foods can bend the wires or even break the brackets on your braces. If you’re wearing braces, you should avoid starch, sugar and gummy foods, as these foods can be difficult to remove during brushing. Foods that are high in sugar and starch tend to cause plaque, cavities and even tooth decay.

Avoid tough meats, hard breads and raw vegetables such as carrots and celery. Before long, you'll be able to bite a cucumber again. But you'll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you're wearing braces.

Foods you should avoid include:

Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips
Sticky foods: caramels, gum
Hard foods: nuts, candy
Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots

Also, chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.

If you have any questions on which foods you should be avoiding and why, we invite you to give our office a call or ask our staff during your next visit.

Visualize your new smile with the Brace Painter!

March 2nd, 2011

Braces at the office of Drs. Keith Hilliard and Andy Dietrich are more fun than ever! With the Brace Painter, parents and children are able to “paint their braces,” and visualize how teeth will look with different colors of bands.

Would you like to try out green and gold bands this March, without the commitment of an all-out St. Patrick's Day look? The Brace Painter allows for you to select different colors, and then assign those colors of bands to certain teeth. Now, you can visualize your braces before you even come in for your appointment!

As always, please let Dr. Hilliard or Dr. Dietrich know if you have any questions about the Brace Painter, or your orthodontic treatment. Have a great week!

Connect with the Braces Brigade!

February 23rd, 2011

At the office of Dr. Keith Hilliard DMD, our patients want to get as much out of their treatment as possible. That includes asking a lot of questions and making sure they take care of both their appliances and oral health.

Would you like to learn more about what to expect during orthodontic treatment, from someone with firsthand experience? Well, our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recently developed the Braces Brigade blog, where past, present, as well as future orthodontic patients from coast to coast document their (or their child’s) orthodontic journeys. The blog will serve as a source of guidance for others as the patients undergo orthodontic care.

Our team at encourages you to visit the Braces Brigade blog to read these great and informative blogs—who knows, maybe you’ll learn a thing or two! As always, don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions about the Braces Brigade or your own orthodontic treatment with Drs. Keith Hilliard, and Andy Dietrich!

The office of Dr. Keith Hilliard sends "Singing" Valentines

February 16th, 2011

This Valentine's Day, the office of Dr. Keith Hilliard sent "singing" Valentines to some of the other dentists and their patients. For your enjoyment, here's a video of one of the great performances. Let us know what you think!

-Dr. Keith Hilliard and team

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!

February 2nd, 2011

Each February for the past 61 years, the American Dental Association (ADA) has sponsored National Children's Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

For kids wearing braces, brushing and flossing can become more difficult, requiring extra time and vigilance to remove food particles that accumulate on and between the teeth and in braces.

If the health of your teeth is ignored during treatment with braces, the results can be significantly compromised. Drs. Keith Hilliard and Andy Dietrich are available and happy to explain why effective brushing and flossing is one of the most critical actions needed from patients during orthodontic treatment. Have you visited us lately? Give us a call and schedule an appointment!

Ask Drs. Hilliard and Dietrich: When Are Two Phases of Orthodontic Treatment Necessary?

January 25th, 2011

Usually patients in orthodontic treatment already have their permanent teeth – they are pre-teens, teens and adults. But in some cases the office of Keith Hillard will have to start treatment earlier, even before the patient’s permanent teeth come in. We call this “two-phase treatment.”

When we have patients with clear developmental problems at an early age, it’s best to start work when they are young, before the problems get bigger and more difficult to treat.

Examples include:

• An upper or lower jaw that is not growing correctly
• A mouth growing in a way that doesn’t leave enough room for all the permanent teeth to come in
• A severe malocclusion, or bad bite, which means the jaw doesn’t fit together correctly

In these cases we will start early and do one round of treatment – phase one – while the patient still has their baby teeth. Phase one usually does not involve braces, but can include a different type of appliance that helps the jaw grow into place properly. We’ll follow up with phase two usually a few years later, when permanent teeth are in place. Generally phase two involves standard braces.

In order to catch early problems, we recommend that children have an orthodontic check-up no later than age seven (and so does the American Association of Orthodontists). However, if your dentist or pediatrician sees any sign that early treatment might be necessary, he or she may recommend your child visit our office even sooner.

The Benefits of Dairy, from Dr Hilliard

January 20th, 2011

Dr. Hilliard wants to know:Is dairy a major part of your diet? If not, it should be! A 2008 study from the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) has found that regular consumption of dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt, can actually lower your chances of contracting periodontal disease (also known as gum disease). Results of the study also showed that adults who consume at least 55 grams of lactic acid a day are less at risk for gum disease.

Cheese is one of the healthiest snacks for your child's teeth. In addition to providing large amounts of much-needed calcium, cheese also does its part to fight cavities. Cheddar, Swiss, Mozzarella, and Monterey Jack all stimulate the body's salivary glands to clear the mouth of debris and protect them from acids that weaken them, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. This means cheese disrupts the development of cavities, especially when eaten as a snack or at the end of a meal. Calcium and phosphorous found in cheese reduce or prevent decreases in the plaque's ph level and work to re-mineralize the enamel of your child's teeth.

Gum disease is caused by a bacterial infection in the mouth that affects the gums and jaw. Gum disease results in a loss of teeth and bone, and has been connected to certain cases of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease and osteoporosis.

Eating dairy is not just healthy for building strong bones, but is essential for maintaining a strong, healthy mouth. Next time you reach for a quick snack, choose some cheese, or a glass of milk, and remember with each bite, and every sip you are preserving your teeth for a lifetime of smiles and good oral health!

For more information about which dairy foods are best for keeping your teeth healthy, please give us a call.

Don't Forget About Fluoride!

January 11th, 2011

There are so many ways you protect your teeth throughout your orthodontic treatment at the office of Dr. Keith Hilliard. You brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly and protect your mouth and appliances from being damaged. But did you know there is another, often forgotten about, way to keep your teeth clean and healthy during your treatment? Fluoride – a mineral that helps prevent cavities and tooth decay – can help keep your teeth strong! Fluoride comes in two varieties: topical and systemic. Topical fluoride is applied directly to the tooth. Topical fluoride includes toothpastes and mouth rinses. Systemic fluorides are swallowed in the form of a dietary supplement.

Fluoride used in the orthodontists’ office is often times a stronger concentration than in toothpaste or mouthwash, but is available at some drug stores or a pharmacy (ask your doctor how to purchase professional strength fluoride). A fluoride treatment typically takes just a few minutes. After the treatment patients may be asked not to rinse, eat or drink for at least 30 minutes in order to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride. Depending on your oral health or doctor’s recommendation, you may be required to have a fluoride treatment every three, six or 12 months. Your doctor may also prescribe a fluoride product such as mouthwashes, gels or antibacterial rinses for at-home treatment.

When choosing your own fluoride product, be sure to check for the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of acceptance. Products marked with the ADA seal of approval have been carefully examined and have met the criteria of the ADA for safety and effectiveness. Take care of your teeth, and smile bright!

Dr. Hilliard, How does Invisalign work?

January 4th, 2011

Perhaps you've wondered recently how Invisalign treatment with Dr. Keith Hilliard straightens teeth without using those metallic traditional braces? The Invisalign system is a state-of-the-art system of clear, removable aligners that we proudly offer.

We encourage you to watch this video, as well as visit our website and the Invisalign homepage for more information about the Invisalign treatment. As always, you can also give our office a call.

Happy New Year from the office of Dr. Hilliard!

December 28th, 2010

The year is almost over, so we wanted to ask what was memorable about 2010 for you, and what are you looking forward to in 2011? Do you have a new year's resolution, or any exciting plans for the coming year?

Have a safe and happy New Year, from the office of Dr. Keith Hilliard DMD!

What do you love about the holidays?

December 20th, 2010

In this season given to tidings of comfort and joy, and as the team at the office of Dr. Keith Hilliard DMD reflects on the year that was, we’d like to ask you, our wonderful patients: What do you love about the holidays this year? Being with your loved ones? A clean slate for 2010? Opening presents by the fireplace? All the delicious food? Also, what gift are you most looking forward to getting this year?

We’d love if you shared with us all the things you love about the holidays. Stay warm, and don’t forget to stay away from those sweets!

--Dr. Hilliard and team

Carmel, Chocolate, and Candy Canes..Oh MY! Ten Tips to Keep your BRACES Sparklin’ Clean this Holiday Season!

December 15th, 2010

Everyone at Dr. Hilliard's office knows it can be tough this time of year to diligently clean your braces. But do keep in mind, having clean teeth is more important than ever when you have braces. Food bits have more spots than usual to hide in your mouth, so you must be diligent in order to avoid bad breath, swollen gums, discolored teeth and cavities. If you remove plaque regularly during treatment, you'll experience better results and shorter treatment time. Keep plaque at bay with these top ten tips:

1. One tooth at a time.
When you brush, take time with each individual tooth – at least 10 seconds each – and pay careful attention to the spots where your teeth touch your braces.

2. It’s all about the angles. Brush the tops of your teeth and braces with your brush angled down toward where they meet. Brush the bottoms of your teeth and braces with your brush angled up.

3. The tooth, the whole tooth, nothing but the tooth. While the front surface of your teeth may seem like the most logical to clean, it’s equally important to clean the inner surface of your teeth (tongue side) as well as the chewing surface. And be sure to clean along your gum line – a key spot for plaque buildup.

4. Step 1: eat, step 2: clean. While you’re in treatment, it’s important to brush after every meal. Bits of food can easily get caught between braces and teeth, and these food bits interact with bacteria in your mouth to cause decay. The longer food is in contact with your teeth, the greater opportunity for plaque to form. If you are eating somewhere that you can’t brush, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.

5. Like a Boy Scout, always be prepared. The easiest way to be sure you can brush after every meal is to get in the habit of taking a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss with you wherever you go. Designate a special container just for your teeth-cleaning tools and keep it in your purse, backpack, or laptop case.

6. Remove the moving parts.
If you have elastic bands or headgear, remove these parts before you brush or floss.

7. Fluoride is your friend.
Fluoride helps prevent cavities. Be sure to brush with fluoride toothpaste, and rinse with fluoride mouthwash.

8. Pointy brushes reach tiny places.
Interproximal brushes (sometimes called proxa brushes or interdental brushes) are cone-shaped and come in very handy for reaching spots around your braces that standard brushes can’t.

9. Find the floss for you.
Regular floss works for some patients, but others find it easier to work with a floss threader, which helps you get the floss into tight places. Other patients like an all-in-one product called Superfloss, which comes with a stiff end for easy threading, a spongy section for cleaning wide spaces, and regular floss for narrow spaces.

10. Make time for the pros.
It’s your job to take care of the everyday cleaning. But make sure to visit your dentist regularly while in treatment, to get the deep, thorough cleaning that only a professional can provide. If you need help finding the right Dentist for you, feel free to contact our office - we’d love to help!

We hope you found this information useful, now go enjoy your holiday treats....but not too much :)

Dr. Hilliard and Team

Dr. Hilliard, what exactly is Malocclusion?

December 7th, 2010

Malocclusion, or what Dr. Hilliard calls “bad bite,” is the improper alignment of teeth and/or jaws. When your teeth and jaws are not properly aligned, it may impact your bite, the ability to properly care for your teeth, your gum tissue health and even your appearance.

Most people experience some degree of malocclusion, but it generally is not severe enough to require corrective measures. If your malocclusion is serious enough, however, treatment may be necessary to correct the issue.

Dr. Hilliard will tell you that untreated malocclusion can lead undesirable mouth problems, including tooth decay, gum disease, or chipped and cracked teeth. The most common solution for malocclusion, of course, is orthodontic treatment. The actual course of treatment, including the length of time you will require braces, will be determined by severity of your malocclusion. The goal of your treatment is to move your teeth into the proper position and correct any misalignment in the jaw.

At the office of Dr. Keith J. Hilliard DMD we use the most advanced technology in the field in order to ensure that you receive the best possible results. If you have any questions about malocclusion, please give us a call and we’ll try to answer any questions you may have.

Tell us what's on your mind!

November 29th, 2010

We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving break! By now, you're probably familiar with our blog process: Week after week, our professional team at Hilliard Orthodontics blog about important topics pertinent to orthodontics and your well-being, among other things.

This week, Dr. Keith Hilliard thought we’d step back and ask: what’s on your mind? What would you like to know about the always-changing field of orthodontics? What would you like us to focus on our blog? Perhaps there’s something you’ve been wanting to ask us for a while now? Let us know by posting here or on Dr. Hilliard's Facebook page. Take it away and our team will try to answer any questions you may have! Happy Monday!

Hey Dr. Hilliard, when should I replace my toothbrush?

November 15th, 2010

Fall is here, and with it the dreaded cold and flu season. After recovering from your cold, Dr. Keith Hilliard will tell you one of the most important steps you can take to avoid becoming reinfected is replacing your toothbrush!

Germs can linger on the bristles, and you risk prolonging your sickness by continuing to use the same toothbrush. Be smart - keep a spare, just in case! To protect your toothbrush from bacteria all year long, consider the following tips:

• Wash your hands before and after brushing

• Allow the brush to air dry after each use, harmful bacteria dies after being exposed to oxygen

• Store the toothbrush in an upright position to allow water to drain and dry faster

• Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Worn bristles are less effective in properly cleaning your teeth, and can actually be damaging to teeth if used too long!

Hope this tip helps! Feel free to call us at Hilliard Orthodontics if you have any questions or ask us on Facebook.

Talking retainers with Hilliard Orthodontics

November 10th, 2010

If you've recently completed treatment at Hilliard Orthodontics, we’d like to congratulate you! Now that your braces have been removed, Drs. Hilliard or Dietrich will provide—or have provided you—with retainers.

After braces are removed, teeth may shift out of position if they are not stabilized. Retainers, however, provide that stabilization, and are designed to hold teeth in their corrected, ideal positions until the bones and gums adapt to the treatment changes. Wearing retainers exactly as instructed by Dr. Keith Hilliard and team is the best insurance that the treatment improvements last for a lifetime. Here are some things to remember when you receive your retainers:

* Wear your retainers full time, until the doctor instructs otherwise. Wearing your retainers at night ensures that your pearly whites won’t relapse.

* Take your retainers out when eating...and always put retainers in their case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunch rooms or restaurants.)

* Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and only a small amount of toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water.

* When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case.

* Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken, give us a call immediately.

* Remove retainers when swimming or during any sporting activity in which the retainers could fall out and get broken or lost (cheerleading, basketball, etc.) or when you should be wearing a mouth guard (football, soccer, etc.).

We hope this helps! You can always contact us by phone or on Facebook if you have any questions!

Connect with Hilliard Orthodontics on Facebook!

November 7th, 2010

facebook Pictures, Images and Photos

At Dr. Hilliard’s office, your orthodontic treatment is about much more than straightening your teeth with braces. You expect great results and we get them because each patient’s treatment is individually planned to meet their needs. Even if you only see us for your appointment on a regular basis, did you know that you can now connect with Dr. Hilliard and staff on our Facebook page?

There, we share office news, announcements and updates, so check us out! By Liking our page, you will receive updates from our office automatically in your news feed!

See you on Facebook and have a great weekend,

Dr. Hilliard and team

The common cold is back, from Hilliard Orthodontics

October 25th, 2010

It's fall, and the cold and flu season is once again upon us in Lakeland. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, says that a common cold usually includes sneezing, runny nose, sore throat and coughing. Symptoms can last for up to two weeks, according to the CDC.

To promote a healthy and clean environment, Dr. Keith Hilliard and our entire staff give a great deal of attention to sanitation and sterilization in our Lakeland offices at all times, as well as following all requirements for sterilizing instruments and work surfaces. For the protection of other patients and our staff at Hilliard Orthodontics, we always ask that patients reschedule their appointments if they have any type of cold or illness that can infect others.

And remember to constantly wash your hands and avoid contact with those who are ill! Have a great rest of your weekend!

Who else is getting braces?

October 15th, 2010

Did you know that back in 2002, Tom Cruise had braces? During this time, he was 40 years old and filmed Minority Report, Austin Powers in Goldmember and the Last Samurai.

Just check out his smile in Jerry Maguire, Rain Man or The Firm and compare to the post-braces Tom Cruise in Valkyrie or Tropic Thunder. The fact is, movie stars need to look their best for the silver screen, and it wouldn't be possible without orthodontists like Dr. Keith Hilliard and Dr. Andy Dietrich.

In fact, lots of Hollywood stars have had orthodontic treatment. Check out this slideshow of famous faces with braces. If you’ve thought about getting the perfect smile you’ve always wanted, please give Hilliard Orthodontics a call at 863-644-0430.

Have a great weekend all!

October is also National Dental Hygiene Month!

October 8th, 2010


In addition to October being National Orthodontic Health Month, as we discussed last week, did you know that October is also National Dental Hygiene Month? Fall is here, and Halloween is coming soon, but now it is more important than ever to maintain good oral hygiene during your treatment at Hilliard Orthodontics.

Drs. Hilliard and Dietrich will tell you that while all those sweet, sour and sticky candies may taste great, these treats can damage your teeth and braces as well! Sour candies can be acidic to your teeth, and actually wear down the enamel that protects them - this can cause tooth decay and cavities! After eating these candies, be sure to wash your mouth out with water, drink milk or eat a few slices of cheese. These will help neutralize the acid in your mouth.

Besides cavities and tooth decay, many people do not realize that good oral health and hygiene are important to your overall health too - research has discovered the connection between periodontal disease and other major health concerns, such as heart disease! Therefore, it is important to maintain a good oral hygiene routine: see your dentist here in Lakeland every six months, brush and floss daily and use an antibacterial mouthwash.

Hope this helps!

- Dr. Hilliard and Dr. Dietrich

October is National Orthodontic Health Month! From Hilliard Orthodontics

October 1st, 2010

With October being National Orthodontic Health Month, we thought we'd remind Dr. Hilliard and Dr. Dietrich's patients to be careful when they bite into their treats this month.

Remember, caramels, taffy, nuts, bubble gum, popcorn kernels and suckers are some of the foods you should be avoiding this Halloween Season! Indulging in these foods can break your braces and lengthen your treatment time at Hilliard Orthodontics!

Of course, Halloween doesn’t have to be completely treat-less. Our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists have provided a helpful list of tips and braces-friendly recipes for the Halloween Season. Check them out, and have a relaxing weekend!

Tell us your story! Why do you choose Hilliard Orthodontics?

September 24th, 2010

At Dr. Hilliard and Dr. Dietrich's office, your orthodontic treatment is about much more than straightening your teeth with braces. You expect great results and we get them because each patient’s treatment is individually planned to meet their needs.

Whether you’ve just come in for a consultation or your family has been visiting our convenient Lakeland office for years, we’d love to hear your feedback. You can write a review on our Facebook page or on our Google listing!

Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend!

Why are straight teeth so important, anyway?

September 16th, 2010

People wonder why Lakeland orthodontists Dr. Keith Hilliard and Dr. Andy Dietrich work tirelessly to give our patients straight teeth. Of course it’s nice to have a smile full of evenly aligned teeth, but did you know that straightening your teeth at Hilliard Orthodontics can keep them healthier? Straight teeth lead to better oral hygiene, increasing your chances of keeping your own natural teeth for a lifetime!

Straight teeth are less prone to decay, because they collect less plaque—the sticky colorless substance that forms on our teeth and leads to tooth decay; and they are easier to keep clean!

If you’re wondering whether your teeth might cause problems because they are out of alignment, please give us a call at 863-644-0430 to set up a consultation. Our staff at Hilliard Orthodontics can help you decide whether or not you will benefit from orthodontic treatment. Enjoy the rest of your week!

The advantage of Invisalign Teen™ at Hilliard Orthodontics

September 9th, 2010

Our staff at Hilliard Orthodontics know image is everything. At an age when image is so important, the thought of having metal brackets and wires constantly attached to teeth may intensify the already-delicate confidence of today's teens. But... not to worry! There is a clear alternative to traditional braces! Dr. Hilliard and Dr. Dietrich thought we'd remind you that Invisalign Teen™ gives you a whole new way to wear braces for a "clearly" amazing smile!

So how does Invisalign Teen work, you ask? Much in the same fashion as Invisalign, but with a few added characteristics tailored specifically to teenagers’ lifestyles. For instance, Invisalign Teen is designed with “compliance indicators” that fade from dark to light during the two week period that particular tray is used and once it has faded teens know to change trays. Each aligner comes with up to six free individual replacement aligners in case the original aligner ends up lost or broken. Another big benefit for the patient!

The treatment period for Invisalign Teen varies from nine to 18 months at Hilliard Orthodontics. If your teen is considering orthodontic treatment at our convenient Lakeland office, please contact us and we’ll answer any questions you may have about Invisalign Teen.

August featured patient reviews for Hilliard Orthodontics!

August 30th, 2010


Dr. Keith Hilliard, Dr. Andy Dietrich and our team love getting patient reviews. And lately, Hilliard Orthodontics, serving Lakeland and surrounding communities, has been getting some pretty great patient testimonials! We thought we'd share some with you today! Happy Tuesday!

"His dental knowledge and willingness to listen and answer questions without irritation was very impressive. We also liked his approach that there is always more than one way to fix teeth. He worked with us making sure to listen to our concerns and was willing to make the necessary changes to make my son comfortable with himself. He's wonderful and I have already referred a few of my close friends to him." ~ Steve C.

"I like the nurses. They give great service and are very friendly. They are always smiling and are the best. Dr. Hilliard is great too!" ~ Aaron V.

"It's an overall super facility!!! I fell very comfortable bringing my son to your office and feel completely positive about the treatment he is/will receive. WE LOVE YOU GUYS!!!" ~ Brenda T.

"I like that Dr. Hilliard is a perfectionist. I am a big perfectionist as well, and little things bother me easy, so I'm glad that Dr. Hilliard makes sure that my teeth will turn out as perfect as they can." ~ Angela W.

Come on over to 330 E. Highland Drive or 6430 Pearce Road and see why Dr. Keith Hilliard and our staff are making so many people in Lakeland smile! Our orthodontic practice serves many neighboring cities like Fountain Heights, Eaton Park, Tancrede, Crystal Lake, Highland city and many others!

Back to school with Hilliard Orthodontics

August 22nd, 2010

Now that many of the schools in Lakeland and nearby communities are back in session, Dr. Keith Hilliard and our staff would like to remind all of our patients about the importance of scheduling appointments in advance in August and early September. With school, clubs and sports to consider this fall, we know that it can be challenging to find time to visit our office. In order to accommodate all of our wonderful patients' busy schedules, it is important that you plan ahead for your appointments so that we are able to provide you with an appointment time that is convenient for you.

As always, please remember to give us advanced notice if you're unable to make your regularly-scheduled appointment. If we receive enough notice, we might be able to schedule another patient for that time. Feel free to give us a call at 863-644-0430 if you have any questions, or if you would like to schedule your fall appointment.

Have a fantastic weekend - we look forward to seeing your smiling faces very soon!

Are you wearing your mouth guard this summer?

August 14th, 2010


With summer here for another five weeks, Drs. Hilliard and Dietrich and our staff at Hilliard Orthodontics would like to remind our young athletes in treatment to take care of both your mouth and appliances while participating in contact sports (and non-contact sports) this summer. Whether you're playing touch football in the backyard or on your way to football or soccer practice, make sure to grab that mouth guard!

Remember, only by using a mouth guard can kids with and without braces avoid serious sports injuries. The next time you're in for a visit at our Lakeland office, be sure to ask us for a mouth guard, and we will provide one for you!

Lastly, have you checked out our Facebook page! If not, we invite you to join us at Facebook.com/HilliardOrthodontics.

The importance of regular dental checkups, from Hilliard orthodontics

August 4th, 2010


Drs. Hilliard and Dietrich want to know: Are you brushing your teeth twice a day during your orthodontic treatment? If yes, that’s what we want to hear! But, don’t forget that it’s also important for you to visit your general dentist every six months in addition to brushing your teeth and flossing (and visiting Hilliard orthodontics, of course). Regular dental checkups are important for maintaining good oral health.

Your dentist can check for problems that might not be seen or felt, detect cavities and early signs of decay, treat oral health problems early and show you how to properly brush and floss your teeth.

During an oral exam your dentist can check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks and tongue. Checkups will also include a thorough teeth cleaning and polishing. If you have not been to the dentist in the last six months, let us know during your next visit with us, and we will provide a few great references in the greater Lakeland area!

We hope you're having a great summer!

Invisalign and how it helps your oral health, from Drs. Hilliard & Dietrich

July 26th, 2010

At Hilliard Orthodontics, we get smart and curious patients who often ask us how Invisalign treatment is so different than traditional braces. Here's our answer: Invisalign, which is a series of removable aligners that are nearly invisible, not only help straighten your teeth, but can improve your oral health as well. Here’s how:

Healthy gums: Straight teeth allow a close fit for gums. This lessens the gum stress that is caused by crowded or widely spaced teeth, thus also reducing red and swollen gums.

Improved speech and chewing: Properly-aligned teeth don’t have the discomfort or compound speech impediments that can be caused by crowded teeth or a deteriorating jawbone.

Easy cleaning: Invisalign is removable, therefore brushing and flossing is easier and you are able to maintain a healthy mouth. These habits are vital to avoiding tooth decay, plaque, and gum disease.

If you have any questions about Invisalign, just ask Drs. Hilliard or Dietrich the next time you visit for an appointment. Or, you may post your question on our Facebook page, and we'll do the best we can to answer your question about this revolutionary treatment!

Happy Monday!

Share a smile, Watch the Idols!

July 9th, 2010

From now until the end of July, YOU can win TWO tickets to the 2010 American Idol Tour on August 4th at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa!

There are five ways to enter our contest: If you “Like” our page on Facebook, we will award you ONE entry. Write a short testimonial on our wall, and you’ll also get ONE entry. But, if you post a video testimonial, Dr. Hilliard and team will award you TWO entries. If you invite a friend to “Like” our page, you will receive ONE entry (be sure your pals post on our wall to let us know you asked them to like us! Finally, post one of your Scavenger Hunt Contest photos on our Facebook wall (or a photo of you wearing your Hilliard Orthodontics tee) and you’ll get TWO entries!

The winner will be announced on July 30th! Good luck everyone, and have a GREAT weekend!

Hilliard Orthodontics photo shoot at Hollis Gardens!

July 6th, 2010


A few weeks ago, our staff at Hilliard Orthodontics had a photo shoot day at Hollis Gardens! All of us had fun, and later posted the photos to our Facebook fan page, so be sure to check them out! Also, our entire staff would like to congratulate Dr. Andy and Bobbi! They have set an April 2011 date for their wedding - we know it will be beautiful!

Share your Fourth of July plans with our staff!

June 30th, 2010

This Sunday, Dr. Keith Hilliard and our entire team will celebrate America's 234th birthday. For most people, Independence Day is a time to celebrate, as well as commemorate, the anniversary of the signing of America's Declaration of Independence. It's also a time for most Americans to pay homage to all our soldiers - past and present - who lost their lives in battle - and those soldiers who continue to place themselves in danger every day so that Americans everywhere may celebrate our freedom.

Today, we thought we'd ask: what are your Fourth of July weekend plans? Are you heading to a barbecue? Hitting the great American open road with family?

We invite you to post your responses on our Facebook page! Please feel free to post photos as well!

Whatever you end up doing over Independence Day weekend, our entire staff hope you have a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend!

Featured patient review for Hilliard Orthodontics!

June 22nd, 2010


Our entire staff at Hilliard Orthodontics love hearing feedback from current and former patients - their great testimonials remind us each time why we do what we do: create beautiful smiles for all ages in Lakeland!

"Great staff, everything is explained in detail by the doctor and the staff. Dr. Hilliard is obviously a very knowledgable orthodontist, and I admire the way he works with his staff. I've worked for medical doctors and chiropractors for 18 years, and I find it very important for the doctor to have a staff that he trusts and works well with as a team. I love the open atmosphere instead of small offices with restricted walls; I think this makes the patients feel better about wearing braces or appliances because they see that other people are going through the same thing. The atmosphere and decor is very pleasant and inviting. It is rare to find a doctor with such expertise, who also has a good chairside manner, a beautiful office, and a staff that works so well as a team and takes time to explain things to the patients. I'm very impressed!" ~ Lance S.

Share your summer adventures and experiences with us!

June 16th, 2010


It's almost summer (officially)! At Hilliard Orthodontics, we know that calls for a season full of adventures, vacations and great memories. Whether you're headed to a barbecue, an exotic destination, a camping trip in the Everglades, or just having fun around Lakeland, Dr. Keith Hilliard and team want to hear about it! Share your plans and experiences on our Facebook page all summer long!

Happy travels!

Drs. Hilliard and Dietrich want to know: what's on your summer reading list?

June 9th, 2010

With summer only weeks away, some of us at Hilliard Orthodontics have been thinking increasingly about the importance of reading. Sure it’s easier to go play ball or kick back and watch television, but reading during the summer is a vital step in being prepared for classes in the fall and maintaining your skill level.

Out of ideas for great summer reads? Ask us for suggestions, and Dr. Hilliard & staff at Hilliard Orthodontics would be happy to provide a few titles. You may also ask a local librarian for some ideas or check out these summer reading lists that we came across.

Enjoy the rest of the week and happy reading!

Dr. Hilliard, protecting your mouth this summer

June 4th, 2010


Wouldn’t you believe it, summer is right around the corner! At Hilliard Orthodontics, our team knows that the summer months bring with them an increase in outdoor activities and a greater chance of our young athletes damaging their precious teeth. If you're playing sports this summer, it's important that you consult Drs. Hilliard or Dietrich for special precautions, such as wearing a mouth guard. Mouth guards are advised for playing spring sports such as baseball, soccer, lacrosse and many, many others.

We were reminded about the need to wear mouth guards after reading an article recently about hockey great Keith Tkachuk needing reconstructive surgery after taking a puck to the mouth. Tkachuk’s gruesome injury underscores the need for all of our patients to use facial protection at all times when out on the field.

In case of any accident involving the face, we want you to check your mouth and appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances are damaged, please schedule an appointment to see Dr. Hilliard immediately. And don’t forget to ask us—Dr. Hilliard will be more than happy to provide a mouth guard for any patient in active treatment!

Our team at Hilliard Orthodontics will tell you that only by using a mouth guard and other forms of facial protection can kids with and without braces avoid serious sports injuries. Please give us a call at 863-644-0430 if you have any questions about mouth guards or your treatment with Drs. Hilliard or Dietrich.

Dr. Hilliard and team want to know: What are your plans for Memorial Day weekend?

May 27th, 2010

Memorial Day weekend, a day when Drs. Hilliard and Dietrich and most Americans reflect and honor the men and women who have served to protect America and ensure our freedom, is only a day away.

Memorial Day is also the unofficial start of summer, and for many of the folks in Lakeland and our patients, getting out of town for three days after being cooped up in the classroom or the office is sweet relief. At Hilliard Orthodontics, we know Memorial Day weekend is ripe for travel. After all, it’s almost time for vacations, adventures and great memories.

What about you? Whether you are headed to a barbecue, a camping trip, or just hitting the great open roads of Florida, we’d like to hear all about it!

Our entire team wish you a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend!

Fun fact Friday with Hilliard Orthodontics!

May 22nd, 2010


At Hilliard Orthodontics, we know people love fun facts - LOVE THEM. The American Association of Orthodontists, or AAO, has come up with some fun facts about orthodontics that Dr. Keith Hilliard and our team at Hilliard Orthodontics thought you might enjoy.

• There are nearly 4 million people in orthodontic treatment throughout the United States. Three out of four are younger than 18.

• The first mechanical treatment for correcting irregular teeth was suggested by Gaius Plinius Secundus (A.D 23-79).The American Association of Orthodontists is comprised of more than 12,000 members in the United States, Canada and abroad.

• The time required to complete orthodontic treatment ranges from 12 to 36 months depending on the nature and severity of the problem.

• Of the 160,000 dentists in the United States and Canada, 8,000 are practicing orthodontists.

• The cement that attaches the braces to the teeth is now made with a special fluoride-releasing substance.

• Wires activated by body heat used in today's braces originally were developed by NASA for use in the space program.

• In addition to alleviating or preventing physical health problems, orthodontics can boost self-esteem as treatment aligns teeth, jaws and lips.

• Famous orthodontic patients include: Dr. Joyce Brothers, Hale Irwin, Cher, Diana Ross, Phyllis Diller, Chelsea Clinton, Whoopi Goldberg, Daisy Fuentes and Brandi.

Share your experience at Hilliard Orthodontics with the world!

May 14th, 2010


At Dr. Hilliard’s office, your orthodontic treatment is about much more than straightening your teeth with braces. You expect great results and we get them because each patient’s treatment is individually planned to meet their needs. We offer a variety of the most advanced options in orthodontics today for both adults and children. This includes affordable metal and clear braces, retainers and so much more.

Whether you've visited Hilliard Orthodontics for a week, months or even years, we'd love to hear your feedback about how our office is faring! There are lots of ways you can share your thoughts about our practice with the rest of the world, but we encourage you to head to our Google Local page and write a review there.

After all, reviews help Drs. Hilliard and Dietrich create more beautiful smiles in Lakeland and surrounding communities.

You may write a review here.

Thank you and enjoy your weekend! We look forward to reading your reviews!

Hilliard Orthodontics, supporting National Physical Fitness and Sports Month!

May 7th, 2010

You might not know this, but May is designated as America's Physical Fitness and Sports Month? In 1983, President Reagan encouraged Americans to incorporate more activity into our lives, and the reminder is even more important in this day and age as kids are distracted more and more by television, social networking and video games. Kids living an active lifestyle can improve their health, productivity and overall well-being, and best of all? It doesn’t have to take a lot of time!

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has provided these public health guidelines for your reference. The guidelines call for children and teens to exercise for at least one hour each day of moderate intensity physical activity (such as playing sports or brisk walking) or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous activity (jogging, dancing and jumping rope).

At Hilliard Orthodontics, we always encourage our patients to stay fit by exercising or participating in sports. However, we want to remind you to always wear a mouth guard or other forms of facial protection when playing sports. To learn more about how often your child should exercise, we recommend you check out this series of helpful articles about kids and exercise, courtesy of our friends at KidsHealth.org.

And Happy Mother's Day to all the moms who come to our office! Enjoy your day on Sunday!

Hilliard Orthodontics want to know: Do you know where your retainers are?

May 1st, 2010


If you recently completed treatment with Dr. Hilliard, our professional team would like to congratulate you on a job well-done! Now that your braces have been removed, Dr. Hilliard will provide—or has provided you—with retainers. After braces are removed, teeth can shift out of position if they are not stabilized.

Retainers provide that stabilization
. They are designed to hold teeth in their corrected, ideal positions until the bones and gums adapt to the treatment changes. Wearing retainers exactly as instructed is the best insurance that the treatment improvements last for a lifetime.

If you have additional questions about retainers or your treatment here at Hilliard Orthodontics, please give us a call at 863-393-9917 or take a look at this helpful article about retainers from KidsHealth.org. Our staff would love to hear from you!

Dr. Hilliard presents: Mr. Bean goes to the dentist

April 16th, 2010

How do you feel about a treat today? Here's a little classic dental humor for you to enjoy, from the bumbling yet lovable British spy, Mr. Bean. Our staff at the office of Keith Hilliard loved it, and know you'll get a laugh as well. Enjoy "Mr. Bean Goes to the Dentist”!

If you have any other suggestions you think we should share with other patients, please let us know! Have a safe and terrific weekend!

The importance of smiling, from Dr. Hilliard

April 9th, 2010

Folks with big smiles may live than those who don’t, according to a new study at Michigan’s Wayne State University.

Researchers at the university looked at photos of 230 ball-players who began their careers in baseball before 1950. The players' photos were enlarged, and a rating of their smile intensity was made (big smile, no smile or partial smile). The players' smile ratings were compared with data from deaths that occurred from 2006 through 2009. The researchers then corrected their analysis to account for other factors associated with life longevity, such as body mass index, career length and even college attendance.

The results? Researchers found that players who weren't smiling died at the average age of 72.9 years. Players with partial smiles lived to be 75. Those with big smiles, however, lived on average to be 79.9 years old.

So smile now, smile often and you might just live longer! Have you been perfecting your smile by visiting our office on a regular basis? If not, give us a call!

Dr. Keith Hilliard, helping you save face in April

March 29th, 2010

Dr. Hilliard and our team have blogged about the advantage of wearing a mouth guard when playing sports in the past, and we thought a reminder today wouldn’t hurt. You see, April - wich is only two days away - happens to be National Facial Protection Month, and it’s a good time to remind our young athletes about staying safe on the field this spring. According to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, children, high-school athletes and adults will have more than 5,000,000 teeth knocked out in sporting events this year. By simply wearing a properly fitted mouth guard, these accidents could prevent this along with other traumatic facial injuries.

The above video from our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists outlines five ways you can protect yourself this spring. If you have any further questions about any of these tips, please contact our team. And remember to stay safe and have fun this spring!

What's on your mind? Tell Dr. Hilliard!

March 26th, 2010

By now, you, our fantastic patients and readers, probably know how our blog process works: Week after week, Dr. Hilliard and our professional team blog about important topics pertinent to orthodontics and your well-being, among other things.

This week, Dr. Hilliard thought we’d step back and ask: what’s on your mind? What would you like to know about the always-changing field of orthodontics? What would you like us to focus on our blog? Perhaps there’s something you’ve been wanting to ask us for a while now? Let us know by posting here or on Dr. Hilliard's Facebook page. So … take it away and our team will try to answer any questions you may have!

This March, what are you up to? From Dr. Hilliard

March 12th, 2010

It’s almost springtime. The daffodils and buttercups are on their way, the birds are chirping, the sun is warming up and the smell of freshly-cut grass is wafting from baseball fields in Lakeland. Dr. Keith Hilliard and team thought this would be a good time to ask: What are your plans for March?

Are you ready for spring? Are you participating in school sports this year? Do you have exciting plans? We’d love to know them all!

You may share your stories or plans with our team here, on Dr. Hilliard's Facebook page or by giving us a call!

Dr. Keith Hilliard, supporting National Nutrition Month

March 5th, 2010

March has arrived, and that can only mean one thing: it’s National Nutrition Month. Every March, Dr. Keith Hilliard and thousands of dentists and orthodontists around the country celebrate National Nutrition Month. This March, Dr. Hilliard and our staff want you to think diabetes, obesity and periodontal disease, and how healthful eating and physical activity may improve periodontal health.

Dr. Hilliard knows small changes really can make a big difference, and the American Dietetic Association (ADA) has some advice on ways to start improving your diet this March:

Focus on fruits and vegetables: Add a serving each day to one meal and increase it every few weeks. Adding more of these foods into your diet is important whether you buy frozen, fresh or organic.

Think fresh, think local: From farmer’s markets to community-supported agriculture, you have many options to find new, fresh foods here in Lakeland and surrounding communities.

Make every calorie count: When you are choosing between options, focus instead on the one with more of the vitamins and nutrients that you need. Sometimes, foods with fewer calories aren’t always the healthiest options.

It’s tempting, but…: If you have a sweet tooth, have fruit and yogurt for dessert. If you crave a snack in the afternoon, enjoy some trail mix or nuts.

Expand your horizons: Try a fish you’ve never eaten before or find a new vegetable recipe. By testing yourself, you might find new healthy favorites to add to your regular grocery list.

If you have additional questions about periodontal disease or keeping yourself and your mouth healthy, please give us a call!

"Pick the Final Idol" contest

February 23rd, 2010

We are having a "Pick the Final Idol" contest in our office. The winner will be chosen by a drawing from all correct entries. The Grand Prize is "Something to Sing About!," and the lucky winner will receive two tickets to the 2010 American Idol Concert tour (dates to be announced) OR the cash equivalent.

Our staff each has their favorites ... How about YOU?

If you have any questions about our American Idol contest, please give us a call!

February is American Heart Month, from Dr. Hilliard

February 18th, 2010

Did you know February is Heart Month? It’s a great time to take notice of the health of your heart, says Dr. Hilliard. Cardiovascular disease remains American's number one killer, according to the American Heart Association. Studies have shown a correlation between gum disease and heart disease, underscoring the importance of good oral health care.

Visiting our office regularly can help prevent gum disease or at least catch it in its early stages. And because people with dental insurance are more likely to visit their dentist when they should, a healthy mouth begins with a visit to the office of Dr. Keith Hilliard. In observance of Heart Month, Dr. Hilliard says it’s also important to know your numbers: blood pressure (less than 120/80), cholesterol (less than 200) and BMI (less than 25). If you have any questions about heart health, or about your treatment with Dr. Hilliard, please give us a call today.

More patient reviews for Dr. Keith Hilliard and team

February 10th, 2010

A couple of months ago, we shared with you some patient reviews for Dr. Hilliard and our dedicated staff. Well wouldn't you know it, the reviews kept pouring in. Today, we thought we'd share a few of those reviews with the world.

"Dr H does great work. All the assistants in the clinic are awesome." ~ Maureen P.

"My experience has been very positive all the way around. The people are very friendly. The appointments have been on time. The communication is good. I love the website and email reminders." ~ Korey T.

"The friendly staff and excellent quality of service that is given to my daughter." ~ Robert S.

Dr. Hilliard and our entire team love getting patient testimonials! If you loved your experience with our office, please ... feel free to tell us all about it!

Dr. Hilliard, helping tackle sports injuries

February 3rd, 2010

Let’s face it: sports-related injuries are common among children, let alone teens with braces. In a recent survey, the American Association of Orthodontists, or AAO, discovered that 70 percent of parents said their biggest fear is that their child will get hurt while playing organized sports. But 67 percent admitted that their child doesn’t wear a mouth guard during organized sports such as football, basketball, baseball and soccer. That’s why the office of Dr. Hilliard is helping spread the word that many facial sports injuries can be prevented simply by reminding your kids to wear mouth guards.

Did you know mouth guards are one of the least expensive pieces of protective equipment available? Over-the-counter versions may cost as little as $5, although custom-fit mouth guards offer greater protection. Dr. Hilliard can recommend the best mouth guard for you. In addition, the AAO has four quick tips for keeping kids safe during sport activities.

• Wear mouth guards during contact sports
• Wear a helmet
• Wear protective eyewear
• Wear a face shield to avoid scratched or bruised skin
• Stretch before and after a game or practice
• Be observant even as a spectator
• Use good judgment

All of these can reduce injuries. Only by using a mouth guard and other forms of facial protection can kids with and without braces avoid serious sports injuries. Give us a call if you have any questions about mouth guards or your treatment with Dr. Hilliard.

The Great Social Media Adventure

January 28th, 2010

Isn’t social media great? Dr. Hilliard and team love to communicate with our patients online, whether it’s by sharing news on our blog or communicating ideas on Facebook. For social media to work, conversation is vital, and that’s why we invite you to join in and tell us what’s on your mind. Although social media is hugely popular these days, it is unpredictable and ever-changing.

While we’re taking a little time to research how to best continue using social media, we thought we’d ask you, our loyal patients: How would you like us to use our social networks? What would you like us to share? Send us your thoughts or give us a call!

Hilliard Orthodontics want to know: What are you up to in January?

January 20th, 2010

It typically doesn't get too cold here in Lakeland, but can you believe we're only a couple of months away from spring? Dr. Hilliard and team thought we'd ask: What are you doing in January? What have you accomplished this year? Are you keeping up with your New Year's Resolution? Any big mid-winter break plans? Anything exciting going on in your life?

If you have any photos or videos that you would like to share with us, please send them our way or call our office and ask how! Have a great rest of the week!

Ask Dr. Hilliard: When should my child get an orthodontic check-up?

January 12th, 2010

Many parents think they must wait until their child has all permanent teeth to start treatment, only to find that treatment would have been much simpler if started earlier. So, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child have an orthodontic check-up no later than age seven.

What’s so special about age seven? Enough permanent teeth have arrived for an orthodontist to make a determination about whether any problems are present. The first molars have come in, providing an opportunity to check for malocclusion, or “bad bite.” Also, the incisors have begun to come in, and problems such as crowding, deep bites, and open bites can be detected.

Orthodontic evaluation at an early age provides one of two positive outcomes: For some, early identification or problems will lead to easier or shorter orthodontic treatment in the future. For others, a healthy prognosis will provide immediate peace of mind.

Early evaluation, of course, may signal a need for early treatment. For some children, early treatment can prevent physical and emotional trauma. Aside from spurring on years of harmful teasing, misaligned teeth are also prone to injury and detrimental to good oral hygiene. So if your child is nearing age 7, give us a call at Hilliard Orthodontics to schedule an appointment.

What puts you at ease at Hilliard Orthodontics?

January 6th, 2010

Dr. Hilliard understands not everyone is thrilled to see their orthodontist. But we strive to bring you the best and most comforting experience at each visit. We’d like to know: What is it about our practice that makes you comfortable or puts you at ease? Is it something about our pleasant environment? Our friendly staff? Dr. Hilliard himself?

Let us know by posting here or by giving us a call! Enjoy the rest of your week!

A few helpful webisodes about orthodontics, from Dr. Hilliard

December 29th, 2009

Dr. Hilliard and his team at Hilliard Orthodontics would like to point you to a few interesting webisodes about orthodontics, located on the YouTube page of the American Association of Orthodontics, or AAO.

There, they tend to post some very pertinent videos about orthodontic treatment, as well as state-of-the-art technology in orthodontia. These include "Orthodontic Treatment Basics," "Common Bite Problems Seen in Children" and "Does My Child Need Braces?"

We think you may find these webisodes interesting, as well as enlightening. If you have any questions about the videos, or your treatment here at Hilliard Orthodontics, please give us a call.

Happy New Year from the entire team at Hilliard Orthodontics!

Happy Holidays from Dr. Hilliard and team!

December 23rd, 2009

The holidays are here, and as Dr. Hilliard and his team reflect back on 2009, we’d like to ask you, our wonderful patients: What do you love about the holidays? Being with your loved ones? A clean slate for the new year? Opening presents by the fireplace? All the delicious food? Also, what gift are you most looking forward to getting this year?

We’d love if you shared with us all the things you love about the holidays. Stay warm, and don’t forget to stay away from those sweets!

--The team at Hilliard Orthodontics

Reading is Essential, says Dr. Hilliard!

December 16th, 2009

Dr. Hilliard and his team know a lot of kids are home for the holidays. Some are hanging out, some are playing sports, while others are reading. Dr. Hilliard and staff encourage kids to read, and that's why we'd like to point them to a great web site that combines education and fun: "Time for Kids," Time Magazine's news magazine that covers a wide range of real-world topics kids love to learn about - and motivates kids to read!

On the site, you can find games, quizzes, cool pictures and more interesting things that will keep your mind healthy and balanced - and ready for school!

Happy reading!

Patient reviews for Dr. Hilliard

December 8th, 2009

Dr. Hilliard and his team love getting patient reviews. And lately, Hilliard Orthodontics, serving Lakeland and surrounding communities, has been getting some pretty great patient testimonials! We thought we'd share some with you today! Happy Tuesday!

"THE STAFF - THEY ARE AWESOME!! DR HILLIARD IS AMAZING AND REALLY SWEET TO THE KIDS." ~ Tammy P.

"Loved the friendliness of the Staff and Doctor. The kindness began right from the start when I called to inquire information. We were extremely pleased. My children loved the video games in the office, great concept!" ~ Kim A.

"Patient care/service. I went to Dr. Hilliard for my braces as a young adult and never had any problems or complaints. I was always impressed that every time I went he knew exactly what had changed with my teeth from the last visit. I also appreciate the professionalism of all his staff. Now I'm taking my oldest son to him and my youngest is looking forward to his turn" ~ Jeff G.

What Do You Love About Hilliard Orthodontics?

December 1st, 2009

From your very first visit to Hilliard Orthodontics, Dr. Hilliard and his team strive to provide superior treatment in a pleasant, friendly atmosphere. Have you been especially impressed by Dr. Hilliard? Did our team go out of their way to make your day? Do you love your new smile?

Whether you’ve just come in for a consultation or your family has been visiting our office for generations, we’d love to hear your feedback on our networks. Or, you can tell us by giving us a call!

Thank you,
The team at Hilliard Orthodontics

Happy Thanksgiving from Hilliard Orthodontics!

November 25th, 2009

Dr. Hilliard and team would like to wish you a happy Thanksgiving. It's a big food holiday, so be careful what you eat! If you have any stories or pictures to share with us, we'd encourage you to send them along or call our offices and ask how.

Gobble Gobble!

Dr. Hilliard and team want to know: What are you up to in November?

November 19th, 2009

Believe it or not, we’re almost in full holiday mode! But before you go celebrating, Dr. Hilliard and and team want to know: What are you doing this month? Anything exciting happening in your life? If so, Hilliard Orthodontics would love to hear all about it!

You can share your stories with us here, on our social networks or by giving us a call!

--Dr. Hilliard and team

Preparing for Cold and Flu Season, from Dr. Hilliard

November 12th, 2009

Traditionally cold and flu season starts in Fall, but this year it seems to have started much earlier and with the number of patients canceling appointments because of flu and H1N1 symptoms our office is taking additional precautions to help prevent the spread of germs.

To promote a healthy and clean environment, we give a great deal of attention to sanitation and sterilization in our office at all times as well as following all requirements for sterilizing instruments and work surfaces.

For the protection of other patients and staff, we always ask that patients reschedule their appointments if they have any type of cold or illness that can infect others.

Maintaining and protecting oral hygiene equipment is also important this flu season. To protect your toothbrush from bacteria follow these steps:

• Wash your hands before and after brushing
• Allow the brush to air dry after each use, harmful bacteria dies after being exposed to oxygen
• Store the toothbrush in an upright position to allow water to drain and dry faster
• Replace toothbrush after every cold or flu or every 3-4 months when bristles appear worn

Hope this helps! Stay healthy!

--Dr. Hilliard and team

Braces 101, from Dr. Hilliard

November 5th, 2009

Should you need to call Dr. Hilliard in case you sustain any damage to your braces, we can help you more effectively if you can tell us exactly which piece is in trouble! Here’s a handy diagram and corresponding list of all the parts that make up your braces.

Elastic Tie: Tiny rubber band that fits around the bracket to hold the archwire in place.

Archwire: The main wire that acts as a track to guide the teeth along. It's changed periodically throughout treatment, as teeth move to their new positions.

Loop in Archwire: Frequently used for closing space left by an extraction. Many archwires don't have a loop.

Bracket: Small attachment that holds the archwire in place. Most often, a bracket is cemented directly onto the tooth's surface, eliminating the need for a band.

Headgear Tube: Round, hollow attachment on the back bands. The inner bow of the headgear fits into it.

Coil Spring: Fits between brackets and over archwire to open space between teeth.

Tie Wire: Fine wire that is twisted around the bracket to hold the archwire in place.

Band: A thin ring of metal fitted around a tooth and cemented in place. The band provides a way to attach the brackets to the tooth.

Hook: Welded or removable arm to which elastics (rubber bands) are attached.

Elastic (Rubber Band): Small rubber band that is hooked between different points on the appliance to provide pressure to move the teeth.

Hope this helps! Give us a call if you have any questions.

--Dr. Hilliard and team

Ghosts, Goblins and a Ghoulish Halloween Recipe! From Dr. Hilliard

October 29th, 2009

Trick-Or-Treat! October is National Orthodontic Health Month, and in honor of October’s sweet and spooky holiday, Halloween, the American Association of Orthodontists has provided trick-or-treaters with some tips and treats for a ghoulishly good time!

Dr. Hilliard thought he'd pass it on!

Frightfully Fabulous Cupcake Sandwiches

Ingredients:
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup warm water
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup superfine sugar
2 cups cake flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 can of chocolate frosting or store-bought chocolate mousse
1 container of whipped topping

Assorted “braces-friendly” candy pieces such as chopped peanut butter cups, chocolate bars and melt-in-your-mouth candies.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Fill a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners and set aside.

Combine cocoa powder, water, and mix until smooth. Fold in mayonnaise. (Make sure cocoa mixture is not to hot to prevent breaking of mayonnaise). Add vanilla and whisk until smooth.

In mixer, combine sugar, cake flour, baking soda and salt and mix slowly until well incorporated. Add wet cocoa mixture, mix on medium-high until well blended. Scrape down the sides and blend for 30 seconds.

Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 way full of batter. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool on rack.

Slice each cupcake in half, horizontally, and serve the halves with chocolate mousse or frosting, whipped topping, and assorted candy pieces. Kids build the sandwiches by spreading one-half of a cupcake with mousse/frosting or whipped topping, sprinkling on candy pieces and placing the other half of cupcake on top.

Halloween Safety Tips

•Young children should always be accompanied by an adult
•Carry a flashlight
•Wear a light-colored or reflective costume
•Choose face paint over masks for young ghosts and goblins
•Have an adult inspect all treats before the children dig in

And be sure to have a happy and safe Halloween! From Dr. Hilliard and staff.

Write a Review of Dr. Hilliard!

October 23rd, 2009

Whether you have visited Dr. Hilliard for a week, months or years, we'd love to hear your feedback about Dr. Hilliard or his staff. Now with the Internet, it’s even easier to write your thoughts and share them with the world. We'd want to encourage you to write a review of us. It only takes a moment!

You may write a review here.

Thank you and have a great weekend!

--Dr. Hilliard and team

Invisalign Tips

October 16th, 2009

Many people know that Invisalign is a great solution to braces if you don't want to experience the look and feel of traditional metal braces. What few people know, though, is that just like traditional braces, Invisalign requires proper care to work effectively. Good oral hygiene is highly important, even when you are wearing something in your mouth that you can take out to eat with. It's still likely that your aligners can build up plaque if not treated properly. When wearing your Invisalign aligners, ask yourself the following questions:

1.) Am I eating with my aligners on? - These aligners are removable and should be taken out when you eat.
2.) Am I drinking anything other than water with my aligners on? - Though it's not a necessity for you to take out your aligners while you drink, think about how sticky a soda is. If you take out your aligners when drinking a soda, you have a better chance of keeping your aligners clean.
3.) Am I brushing before putting the trays on? - The aligners have both an inside and outside. Keeping the outside clean is easy. Keeping the inside clean is also easy: just make sure you've brushed your teeth before putting the trays on.

These are all very simple steps, and ultimately, they help to keep you building good oral habits.
--Hilliard Orthodontics

National Dental Hygiene Month

October 9th, 2009

Did you know that October is National Dental Hygiene Month? Fall is here, and Halloween is coming soon, but now it is more important than ever to maintain good oral hygiene.

All those sweet, sour and sticky candies may taste great, but these treats can damage your teeth and braces too! Did you know sour candies can be acidic to your teeth, and actually wear down the enamel that protects them? This can cause tooth decay and cavities! After eating these candies, be sure to wash your mouth out with water, drink milk or eat a few slices of cheese. These will help neutralize the acid in your mouth (wait at least one hour before brushing your teeth with toothpaste, as this can actually increase the effects of acid on your teeth)

Besides cavities and tooth decay, many people do not realize that good oral health and hygiene are important to your overall health too! Research is discovering the connection between periodontal disease and other major health concerns, such as heart disease! Therefore, it is important to maintain a good oral hygiene routine: see your dentist every six months, brush and floss daily and use an antibacterial mouthwash.

Make a resolution to improve your oral health for October, the National Dental Hygiene Month!

--Dr. Hilliard and Dr. Dietrich

Dr. Andrew Dietrich Joins Hilliard Orthodontics

September 16th, 2009

Dr. Hilliard is excited to announce that Dr. Andy Dietrich has joined his practice as an associate! Both doctors will be seeing patients in our North and South locations and our office hours will remain the same.

Dr. Dietrich is a life long Lakeland native and graduated from Santa Fe High. He received a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from the University of Florida and graduated as Valedictorian of his UF Dental School Class in 2007. In August of this year he completed two years of additional intensive training at the University of Texas-Houston and received a Master of Science and Certificate in Orthodontics. This additional training and study qualifies him as an Orthodontic Specialist.


Dr. Dietrich is a true GATOR FAN, has a new puppy named Sasha, and is anxious to meet everyone in the practice! Dr Hilliard invites both patients and thier parents to introduce themselves and welcome Dr. Dietrich back to Lakeland at their next appointment!

The great toothbrush debate: is an electric toothbrush or a manual toothbrush more effective? Dr. Hilliard

August 27th, 2009

The answer is simple: both! It’s true; you can effectively brush your teeth with either a manual or an electric toothbrush, and still maintain a clean, healthy smile. While both toothbrushes do an good job of cleaning your teeth and gums, they each offer different advantages.

Picking the Right Toothbrush

An electric toothbrush is great if you have arthritis, or are unable to grip the smaller handle of a manual toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes also have a convenient two-minute timer, so that you know you are brushing long enough. Here are a few helpful tips to help you purchase the right electric toothbrush for your needs:

• Make sure it’s comfortable and easy to hold onto.
• A toothbrush with soft bristles is best for removing plaque without hurting your teeth or gums.
• Small headed brushes are recommended, since with a smaller brush head you will be able to reach all areas of your mouth, including the often hard to reach back teeth.
• Pick a toothbrush that fits your mouth. Brushing your teeth should always be comfortable.
• Always pick a toothbrush that has the seal of approval from the American Dental Association.

Whether you use an electric toothbrush or a manual toothbrush, it is recommended that you change the toothbrush (or just the head) every three months, or whenever it starts to show wear (such as bent, or fanned out bristles). It is also important to change your toothbrush after you’ve had a bad cold or illness. Your toothbrush can collect bacteria that may lead to infection if it’s not replaced.

As always, remember to brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss at least once. Brushing after each meal and remembering to floss can maximize the health of your smile!

If you’re wondering which kind of toothbrush is best for you, be sure to ask Dr. Hilliard. Call 863-644-0430 to schedule an appointment.

If you have a favorite toothbrush, or some helpful advice about picking out the right toothbrush, we encourage you to share your opinions with other patients just like you! We welcome your comments - happy brushing!

Softly Brushing Your Way to Clean Teeth, From Dr. Hilliard

August 19th, 2009

Just as there are so many different types of toothbrushes to choose from, each brush also has a different type of bristle! There are generally three different types of bristles; hard, medium, and soft. We always recommend that our patients, especially children and seniors, use a soft bristled toothbrush.

Using a hard and medium bristled brush can actually harm your teeth and gums by stripping the enamel from the teeth and irritating the gums so that they become red and sore, and can even cause gum recession. If you do use a hard or medium bristled brush as a personal preference, we recommend using an electric toothbrush.

Soft bristles are much gentler on your teeth and gums, and while patients of all ages are recommended to use soft bristled brushes, they are particularly great for children, seniors, patients recovering from a dental procedure, and patients wearing braces.

Soft bristles, and even extra-soft bristles are every bit as effective when it comes to cleaning your teeth; in fact, if you currently use a hard or medium bristled brush, try a soft bristled brush next time you buy a toothbrush and we bet you won’t even notice a difference!

--Dr. Hilliard

Dr. Hilliard Around the Web

August 13th, 2009

If you've ever visited us at Dr. Hilliard's office, you already know that Dr. Hilliard and the rest of the team love connecting with their patients. We love the ability to communicate with all of you online too! Besides our web site and our blog, Dr. Hilliard is on many other networks too!

What are you doing this summer? from Dr. Hilliard!

August 7th, 2009

Its summer here for the team at Dr. Hilliard's office, a season full of vacations, adventures and great memories. Whether you are headed to a barbeque, a camping trip, or just having fun in the sun, we want to hear about it! Leave a comment on our blog and tell us about your summer!

Happy Travels,

-From Dr. Hilliard

Summer Fun with Dr. Hilliard

July 29th, 2009

Here at Dr. Hilliard's office, we like to have a little fun, especially during the summer!


If you haven't heard yet, our weekly word scramble contest is on! Check out the Office Fun & Games page of our web site, and download this week's wordscrambles. You may enter multiple times, and the more you enter, the more chances to win a drawing for a fabulous prize!

The prizes include a choice of: a trip for you and five of your friends or family to the movies, or a $100 gift card to a shop of your choice!

Drop off your submissions at our office, and GOOD LUCK!

--Dr. Hilliard

Braces 101 with Dr. Hilliard

July 15th, 2009

Should you need to call Dr. Hilliard's office in case you sustain any damage to your braces, we can help you more effectively if you can tell us exactly which piece is in trouble! Here’s a handy diagram and corresponding list of all the parts that make up your braces.

Elastic Tie: Tiny rubber band that fits around the bracket to hold the archwire in place.


Archwire:
The main wire that acts as a track to guide the teeth along. It's changed periodically throughout treatment, as teeth move to their new positions.

Loop in Archwire: Frequently used for closing space left by an extraction. Many archwires don't have a loop.

Bracket: Small attachment that holds the archwire in place. Most often, a bracket is cemented directly onto the tooth's surface, eliminating the need for a band.

Headgear Tube: Round, hollow attachment on the back bands. The inner bow of the headgear fits into it.

Coil Spring:
Fits between brackets and over archwire to open space between teeth.

Tie Wire: Fine wire that is twisted around the bracket to hold the archwire in place.

Band: A thin ring of metal fitted around a tooth and cemented in place. The band provides a way to attach the brackets to the tooth.

Hook: Welded or removable arm to which elastics (rubber bands) are attached.

Elastic (Rubber Band): Small rubber band that is hooked between different points on the appliance to provide pressure to move the teeth.

More Patient Reviews for Dr. Hilliard

July 8th, 2009

Dr. Hilliard has been receiving more great patient reviews! Check out what everyone said, as well as our past reviews:

My experience with Dr. Hilliard has been very positive all the way around. The people are very friendly. The appointments have been on time. The communication is good. I love the website and email reminders. ~ Korey T.

The whole office is very polite, helpful and friendly. It was also nice to be referred to an equally nice dentist. I look forward to dealing with both offices during my daughters treatment. ~ Lisa G.

Dr. Hilliard does great work. All the assistants in the clinic are awesome. ~ Maureen P.

We loved the great environment. Dr. Hilliard and his staff make it really comfortable and nice when going to each appointment ~ Alexandra R.

Cardiodontics: The Heart Mouth Connection from Dr. Hilliard

June 29th, 2009


If you have been told you have periodontal disease (also known as gum disease or periodontitis), you're not alone. An estimated 80 percent of American adults currently have some form of the disease! Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost.

Gum disease is a threat to your oral health. Research is also pointing to health effects of periodontal diseases that go well beyond your mouth. So we at Dr. Hilliard want to let you know some interesting facts and ways to treat the disease.

What is Periodontal Disease?

"Perio" means around, and "dontal" refers to teeth. Periodontal disease is an infection of the structures around the teeth, including the gums and the bones that hold the teeth. The earliest stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis – an infection of the gums. In more severe forms of the disease, all of the tissues are involved, including the bone. Bacteria that live and reproduce on the teeth and gums cause periodontal disease.

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

Symptoms may include the following:
--redness or bleeding of gums while brushing teeth or using dental floss
--halitosis, or bad breath
--gum recession, resulting in apparent lengthening of teeth
--"pockets" between the teeth and gums indicating that the bone which holds the teeth in the mouth is dissolving
--loose teeth
Gum inflammation and bone destruction are largely painless. Hence, people may wrongly assume that painless bleeding after teeth cleaning is insignificant, although this may be a symptom of progressing periodontitis. If your hands bled when you washed them, you would be concerned. Yet, many people think it's normal if their gums bleed when they brush or floss.

Periodontal Disease Affects Your Health

Periodontal disease is a putrid, festering infection of the mouth. Bacteria and inflammatory particles can enter the bloodstream through ulcerated and bleeding gums and travel to the heart and other organs. In recent years, gum disease has been linked to a number of health problems. Researchers are studying possible connections between gum disease and:
--Heart disease: Gum disease may increase the risk of heart disease. Gum disease also is believed to worsen existing heart disease.
--Stroke: Gum disease may increase the risk of the type of stroke caused by blocked arteries
--Diabetes: People with diabetes and periodontal disease may be more likely to have trouble controlling their blood sugar than diabetics with healthy gums.
--Premature births: A woman who has gum diseases during pregnancy may be more likely deliver her baby too early and the infant may be more likely to be of low birth weight.

Combating Periodontal Disease

--See your dentist! See your dentist every six months for a checkup! Regular professional cleanings and checkups make you feel good, look good, and could be a lifesaver!
--Brush and floss daily. Take your time and do it right!
--Use an anti-bacterial mouthwash. Daily use of an anti-bacterial mouthwash helps to disinfect the teeth and gums, and reduces the number of bacteria.
--Straighten your teeth. Crowded teeth are nearly impossible to keep clean. Orthodontic treatment can greatly reduce inflammation and periodontal disease.

--Dr. Hilliard

How To Stay Young And Healthy from Dr. Hilliard

June 22nd, 2009


Whether you’re 5 or 50, your health depends on your awareness of what’s good for you. But in a world filled with fad diets, blaring advertisements, and unintelligible ingredient lists, we at Dr. Hilliard's office know it can be difficult to determine exactly what is good for you – and what’s not.

For straightforward guidance on how to live a long, healthy life, we recommend Brush Your Teeth! And Other Simple Ways to Stay Young and Healthy by Dr. David Ostreicher. The book sums up good health in six fundamental principles: hygiene, diet, attitude, exercise, sleep and personal safety.

Drawing on nearly three decades of experience as an orthodontist and professor of health and nutrition, Dr. Ostreicher definitively answers age-old debates, like the best way to prevent colds and flu (your mom was right: wash your hands). He provides straight talk on a variety of diet choices including salt, fats, carbs and organic food, and he documents the importance of regular sleep, stress reduction and positive thinking to your overall health. His suggestions throughout are simple, clear, and inexpensive.

Dr. Ostreicher advocates a back-to-basics, common-sense approach to staying young and healthy. We at Dr. Hilliard's office couldn’t agree more, and we’d like to repeat the title of his book as our favorite piece of advice: don’t forget to Brush Your Teeth!

Dr. Hilliard Talks About Oral Piercing

June 14th, 2009


Piercing, like tattooing, is one of today’s popular forms of “body art” and self-expression. If you’re thinking about getting a piercing – or if you already have one or more – we at Dr. Hilliard's office want to share some health risks you should know about.

Your mouth contains millions of bacteria, and infection is a common complication of oral piercing. Just touching your mouth jewelry (tongue barbells and lip and cheek labrettes) can lead to infection. Many people who have piercings tend to regularly touch them – which is a perfect opportunity for bacteria from hands to enter piercing sites. Also, food particles that collect around piercing sites can lead to infection.

Pain and swelling are other possible side effects of piercing. Your tongue – the most popular piercing site in the mouth – could swell large enough to close off your airway! Piercing also can cause uncontrollable bleeding or nerve damage. Damage to the tongue’s blood vessels can cause serious blood loss.

The hoop, ring, stud, and barbell-shaped jewelry can hinder your ability to talk and eat. Some people also develop a habit of biting or playing with their piercings – which can lead to cracked, scratched teeth; gum damage and recession; and sensitive teeth. There may also be a need for restorations, such as crowns or fillings, and additional dental treatment due to piercings.

Consider the potential pitfalls of piercing carefully before getting one. Keep in mind that it will be an added responsibility to your life, and will need regular upkeep. Make sure that you’re committed to the task of taking care of it for the full healing period and beyond.

If you have an oral piercing, pay special attention to it. Clean the piercing with antiseptic mouthwash after eating, and brush the jewelry when you brush your teeth. Of course, let us know at Dr. Hilliard's office if you have any questions.

Parsley and Other Ways To Brighten Your Smile

May 29th, 2009


At Dr. Hilliard's Office we see lots of patients concerned about their bad breath. So we want to educate you about what you can do to really keep your chompers clean and breath minty fresh!

Naturally, good oral hygiene is the first set. With proper brushing and regular dental checkups you can keep bad breath (halitosis) in check.

Certain foods, medications, smoking, sinus issues, or even gum disease cause most bad breath. If the stink lingers for longer than 24 hours, you should see us at Dr. Hilliard's Office. It might be something more serious, like dehydration, zinc deficiency, diabetes, liver failure, kidney failure, or even certain kinds of cancers!

In the meantime, here are some home remedies to keep you smiling bright from Dr. Hilliard's Office.

--Spice Up Your Life

Snack on some cloves, fennel, or anise after each particularly odorous snack.
--Don’t forget the tongue
Lots of people brush their teeth regularly, but leave the tongue alone. One of the main causes of bad breath is food and plaque residue on the surface of your tongue. So give it a nice gentle brush-over too!
--Watch your drinking habits
The worst options are coffee, wine, whiskey, and beer.
--Frequent brushing
Carry a toothbrush with you so brushing after each meal is convenient and refreshing! Trust us, you’ll love the way it makes you feel. If you can’t brush, still swish around a couple sips of water to remove any lingering food.
--Make your own Gargle
Gargling with a home mixture of sage, calendula, and myrrh gum extracts four times a day should ward off that bad breath potential.
--Parsley’s there for a reason
Finish your parsley after you finish your dinner and you’ll find a refreshing breath enhancer. Hate the texture? Throw a couple sprigs in a blender to sip after each meal.
--Sugarless Gum
Always a good idea to carry some mints or sugarless gum for that quick spruce up before you meet the boss.
--Don’t cut that cheese
The stronger the cheese, the stinkier your breath can become. Think about blue cheese and Roquefort? They really get the party started in your mouth and it’s hard to make them leave!

More Interesting Information On Sour Candies from Dr. Hilliard

May 22nd, 2009


It’s no secret that sweet, sugary candies and drinks have an adverse effect of the health of your smile, but what about sour or tart candies? We at Dr. Hilliard's office thought you might want to know what kind of an effect does eating or drinking something sour have on my smile?

Recent research from the Minnesota Dental Association suggests that the amount of acid in sour candies is enough to eat away at tooth enamel and cause cavities. Here are a few souring facts about sour candies, and some helpful tips on how to protect your teeth from Dr. Hilliard(even if you cannot give up sour candies all together).

Facts

-Sour candies can be very acidic, and may actually burn the gums and cheeks, while weakening and wearing down the enamel on your teeth. (Check the acid levels in some of your favorite candies)

-It can take almost 20 minutes for the acid in sour candies to become neutral. Holding the acid in your mouth by sucking on sour hard candies or chewing sour gummies can keep the acid active for more than 20 minutes.

-The acid in sour candies can cause cavities and severe tooth decay.

Protect your teeth

-Limit the amount of sour candies that you eat on a daily basis, and if you do indulge, remember not to suck or chew on sour candies for long periods of time.

-After eating sour candies, rinse your mouth out with water, drink milk, or eat a couple slices of cheese. This will help neutralize the acid in your mouth (wait at least one hour before brushing your teeth with toothpaste, as this can actually increase the effects of acid on your teeth)

-If tooth erosion has already begun, ask your dentist about ways you can help reduce sensitivity and continue to protect your teeth.

Hope this helps! From Dr. Hilliard's office.

Take This Fun Soda Pop Quiz From Dr. Hilliard

May 15th, 2009


We at Dr. Hilliard's office want to know, where does all that soda pop go?

On average, the typical person consumes over 50 gallons of soda pop per year! The amount of acid and sugar found in a can of soda can cause serious tooth decay and lead to cavities, gum disease, and even tooth loss!

We at Dr. Hilliard's office know that you don’t want to lose your teeth, so take the soda pop quiz, presented by the Minnesota Dental Association, and learn more about how to keep your smile healthy.

It’s a fun interactive quiz, so enjoy! From Dr. Hilliard.

Straight Talk About Invisalign From Dr. Hilliard

May 8th, 2009


More than half a million patients can boast experience with Invisalign treatment. While this invisible method of moving teeth is proven to be effective, many would-be candidates for Invisalign treatment have confusion about whether it’s right for them. Here are some common questions and concerns about Invisalign, with straight answers from Dr. Hilliard.

Have you been told that Invisalign won’t fix your bite?

There are certain movements that are more successful with Invisalign than with braces – it just depends on the type of bite that you have. Invisalign statistics show that over 80% of bad bites (malocclusions) can be corrected by Invisalign. The other 20% can be corrected in conjunction with Invisalign by using braces that are hidden behind the teeth.

Are you worried that Invisalign is expensive?

The cost of Invisalign in most cases is comparable to traditional orthodontics. We do offer affordable financing options with low monthly payments. If it’s important to you to have straight teeth and a more confident smile, we will help make Invisalign affordable for you.

Have you heard that Invisalign doesn’t work?

Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that requires special technique and product knowledge. Our office is well trained in this system and we have successfully treated a broad range of patient types.

Are you concerned about your speech being affected?

Most patients will not notice a significant change in their speech. Certain patients may take a couple of days to a couple of weeks to become accustomed to their aligners. The tongue typically adapts more quickly in patients who speak two languages.
Smiling patient

Have you heard that you can’t drink liquids (including alcohol) with Invisalign?

You can certainly drink liquids while you’re in treatment. However, we recommend that when you do, you take the time to brush your teeth and clean your aligners afterward. If you’re away from home and don’t have access to your toothbrush, it’s best to rinse your aligners with water when your drink is finished. You can drink coffee and tea, but stay away from drinks that are too hot and drinks heavy in sugar.

Have you been told in the past you are not a candidate for Invisalign treatment?

Come in to Dr. Hilliard's for a consultation. We have treated a wide variety of Invisalign cases and are comfortable with the technique. Most likely we can show you an example of a case similar to yours that we have treated successfully.

Adults Improve Your Dental Health With Orthodontics From Hilliard Orthodontics

April 30th, 2009


Like the millions of adults who have already completed orthodontic treatment, the current one million adult orthodontic patients in the U.S. and Canada are looking forward to improved dental health and beautiful smiles. Dr. Hilliard wants you to know that age need not be a consideration in orthodontic treatment; healthy teeth can be moved at almost any age.

With longer life expectancies than previous generations, and a greater awareness among adults that teeth can last a lifetime, today's adults are taking better care of their teeth, as evidenced in a survey released by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. This study showed that the number of people ages 55-64 with missing teeth has dropped by 60 percent since 1960.

Orthodontics can improve the overall health of teeth and their supporting structures, leading to a properly aligned and functioning bite. By aligning your teeth, orthodontic treatment makes it easier to remove plaque – a colorless, sticky film of bacteria, food particles and saliva that constantly forms in the mouth. Plaque feeds on sugars and starches to form an acid that endangers teeth and gums. With proper alignment, the likelihood that your teeth will last for a lifetime is increased.

Orthodontic technology has come a long way in the past few decades. The major advances in orthodontic tools and techniques mean that the options for adult patients are far greater than ever before. And adults – just like teens and pre-teens – can benefit dramatically from the enhanced self-esteem that comes with a confident smile.

If you’re considering straightening your teeth, give us a call at Dr. Hilliard's Office and come in for a consultation to discuss your options.

Nifty "Eggs"periment from Hilliard Orthodontics

April 21st, 2009


Summer is near. If the little ones aren’t at camp, you may run out of ideas to keep them occupied. Why not use a fun and simple science experiment to focus their attention for a while? At Dr. Hilliard's office, we found one that includes a lesson about why it’s important to brush teeth to make plaque go away.

Gather the items you will need for this experiment:

* 1 hard-boiled egg with the shell on
* 12 ounces of Coke, Pepsi or other dark-colored cola
* 1 container large enough to hold the cola and egg
* 1 plastic bowl
* 1 toothbrush
* 1 drop of fluoride toothpaste
* Clean-up supplies

Explain to your child that plaque is a sticky layer of germs that collects on her teeth. If she doesn’t brush, plaque can cause serious problems for her teeth, for example holes in the teeth (cavities) or swollen gums (gingivitis). Tell her that you are going to do an experiment to see how plaque coats her teeth, and why brushing twice a day is important for healthy teeth and gums.

Conduct the experiment:

1. Make the comparison between the white color of the egg and the white color of your child's teeth.

2. Place the egg into the container and pour the cola over it, so that it completely covers the egg.

3. Let the egg sit in the cola for 24 hours.

4. Remove the egg from the cola. The egg will be stained and yellowish.
5. Explain to your child that the colored layer that has appeared on top of the eggshell is just like the layer of plaque that occurs on her teeth.

6. Place the egg in the plastic bowl and give your child the toothbrush with the drop of toothpaste on it.

7. Let her brush the "plaque" off of the egg. The yellowish film will disappear, exposing the white eggshell. Explain that the same thing happens when she brushes her teeth.

--Hilliard Orthodontics

Mom and Dad Can Have Perfect Teeth Too from Dr. Hilliard

April 16th, 2009


Focusing on your kids' teeth so much that you're neglecting your own? If you've been thinking wistfully about having your own set of perfect teeth, let us know at Dr. Hilliard's Office! We are specially trained to offer an adult-friendly option for straightening teeth called Invisalign.

This course of treatment consists of a set of clear aligners that are molded to fit your teeth using a proprietary technology. You wear them all day and night, except for meals, brushing, and flossing – when you can easily slip them out to make eating and cleaning a snap!

Because they're clear, your teeth will be steadily straightening – and no one will know it but you!

Time and expense

Your teeth are unique, and the cost of Invisalign varies according to the complexity of your treatment plan. The time involved in treatment varies as well, and with new Invisalign Express, designed specifically for common problems like minor crowding and spacing, you could have your new perfect smile in less than six months!

Thinking ahead

If your health care plan covers orthodontics, it most likely covers Invisalign treatment to the same extent as conventional braces. Check your benefits, then give us a call at Dr. Hilliard's Office to set up a consultation, so we can discuss the specifics of your treatment.

Tap Water is Better than Bottled -- Dr. Hilliard

March 10th, 2009

As more families turn to bottled water and away from the tap, they may be missing out on one important ingredient that most brands of bottled water fail to include: fluoride.

As of 2005, bottled water is second only to soft drinks as the most popular drink in the United States, beating out milk, juice, and – more significantly – tap water. Between 2001 and 2006, the amount of bottled water sold in the U.S. rose an average of 10% per year. And many dental health specialists point to bottled water’s increased popularity as the culprit behind rising rates of cavities.

Because fluoride helps strengthen teeth, it is an important component of maintaining good oral health. The benefits of fluoride were noticed in the early part of the twentieth century, when researchers found communities with low levels of tooth decay. It turned out that these towns had measurable levels (around 1 part per million) of fluoride in their drinking water.

Beginning in the 1940s, communities have fluoridated their water supplies, and dentists have seen a significant decline in cavities ever since. The American Dental Association endorses both community water fluoridation and the use of fluoride-containing products as a safe means of preventing tooth decay. Between tap water and toothpaste, most of us get sufficient amounts of fluoride.

But if your family avoids fluoridated tap water in favor of ever-more-popular bottled water, you could be missing out on the levels of fluoride necessary to make a difference in your oral health.

If bottled water is your water of choice, check the label to make sure that your brand contains fluoride. As of a 2006 decision, the FDA allows bottled water containing .6 to 1.0 milligrams per liter of fluoride to carry a label stating that fluoridated water may reduce the risk of dental cavities or tooth decay. The ADA has backed this decision.

Of course, simply drinking fluoridated water is not a magic ticket to perfect teeth. To keep your choppers in tip-top shape, it’s important to brush and floss daily and avoid sugary sweets, in addition to maintaining your fluoride intake. Check us out at Hilliard Orthodontics for more information and to come in for a consultation.

Dr. Hilliard and His Team are one of the Most Experienced Around

March 4th, 2009

Did you know that Dr. Hilliard has one of the most experienced orthodontic teams in the country? Each one was individually selected from many applicants to work in his office because of their unique talents and abilities. Dr. Hilliard believes that a well-rounded team should be carefully chosen and his team definitely reflects the quality of care that is the hallmark of his practice.

Frequent Continuing Education Courses are provided for the staff to help assure that the latest orthodontic research is incorporated into the treatment provided to his patients. In addition to being very knowledgeable and skilled, they are a really nice group to get to know! Give them a call today to see for yourself!

Cool Kids Wear Braces - Dr. Keith Hilliard

February 24th, 2009

Braces today are “cool” and even “fun.” These are among the findings of a nationwide survey of mothers whose children are having or have had orthodontic treatment. New technologies in treatment, advanced computer software, color options, and even popular celebrities sporting stylish braces are making orthodontic treatment more comfortable, fashionable and cool for today’s youth.

The study, conducted on behalf of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) for February’s National Children’s Dental Health Month, finds 86 percent of mothers report that braces are cooler today than when they were children. Sixty-nine percent also said wearing braces makes their children feel cool, and 81 percent report their children’s experience with orthodontic treatment as either positive or extremely positive.

Different color options and the ability to change colors, for example, provide exciting ways for young patients to customize appearances. Just check out our brace painter to see all the exciting options for yourself. That enthusiasm helps them to feel good about their orthodontic treatment, and may contribute to the success of treatment. Give Dr. Hilliard a call to schedule a consultation and see these orthodontic advancements for yourself.

Dr. Hilliard Patient Reviews

February 18th, 2009

Dr. Hilliard and his staff are committed to providing superior orthodontic services to Lakeland, Florida residents. Just see what their patients have to say!Dr. Hilliard’s dental knowledge and willingness to listen and answer questions without irritation was very impressive. We also liked his approach that there is always more than one way to fix teeth. He worked with us and made sure to listen to our concerns and was willing to make the necessary changes to make my son comfortable with himself. He's wonderful and I have already referred a few of my close friends to him.
-Steve C.

The staff and Dr. Hilliard are very nice and friendly! They explain everything to you and teach you how to wear your rubber bands and so many others things! They are so great and I like coming to the orthodontist because I know I will be treated right.
-Arthur M.

I love the friendliness of the staff and Dr. Hilliard. The kindness began right from the start when I called to inquire information. We were extremely pleased. My children loved the video games in the office, great concept!
-Kim A.

It's an overall super facility!!! I fell very comfortable bringing my son to your office and feel completely positive about the treatment he will receive. WE LOVE YOU GUYS!!!
-Brenda T.

Dr. Hilliard took the time to explain what he was doing and why he felt this was the best method. I didn't feel like he was rushed and he took time with us.
-Pamela G.

The staff are friendly and give excellent service to my daughter.
-Robert S.

Smoke Screen Lakeland, FL

February 11th, 2009

Everybody knows that smoking causes lung cancer, but did you also know that smokers and tobacco are susceptible to a variety of oral health problems at a faster rate than non-smokers?

It’s true! Smoking is responsible for almost 75% of gum disease in adults; and, similar to smokers, adults who smoke pipes and cigars, as well as those using smokeless tobacco, are just as susceptible to gum disease and other tobacco related health problems.

As soon as you use tobacco products, you become more likely to experience any of these oral-health problems:

• Oral cancer
• Gum disease
• Tooth loss
• Loss of bone in the jaw
• Gum recession
• Delayed/impaired healing process after oral surgery or any other treatment
• Decreased success rate of dental implant (tooth replacement) procedures
• Mouth sores
• Loss of your sense of taste and smell
• Bad breath
• Tooth and tongue stains

If you are interested in protecting your oral health we strongly recommend you quit using tobacco products! The following steps are recommended by the Surgeon General to help you quit smoking and using tobacco:

• Get ready – set a quitting date and remove all materials from your home, car and office
• Get support
• Learn new skills and behaviors
• Get medication and use it correctly
• Be prepared for relapse or difficult situations

For support, start with Keith Hilliard! We can help by recommending different options to help you quit, and above all we will support you throughout the quitting process. We are dedicated to helping you protect your oral health – and quitting smoking is significant step in the right direction.

Baby Teeth - and Gums - Need Special Care!

January 29th, 2009

One question we hear all the time is “When should I start brushing my baby’s teeth?”

You should begin regular cleanings even before your baby has teeth. After each breast feeding – or bottle-feeding – use a clean, damp washcloth to gently rub your baby’s gum tissue. You can wrap the material around one finger to make it easier to remove any food bits from your baby’s mouth.

When your baby’s first tooth comes in switch to a baby toothbrush. Look for special baby toothbrushes in your drugstore – they have just a few bristles and are very soft. There are even brushes shaped like finger puppets that fit over the tip of your pointer finger! All you need at this point is water – no toothpaste yet.

After a few more teeth appear, you can start using toothpaste, but you only need a tiny bit, and make sure it doesn’t contain fluoride for the first three years. From the beginning, have your little one practice spitting the toothpaste out after brushing. That way, he or she will already have the good habit of spitting when you switch to fluoride toothpaste, which should never be swallowed.

If you have any questions about caring for your baby’s teeth, please contact Dr. Hilliard.

The Tooth Fairy - Lakeland, FL Orthodontist

January 22nd, 2009

Losing your first tooth, or any baby tooth for that matter, can be exciting! Your baby tooth may be gone, but in no time you will have a bigger, “grown-up” tooth in its place. So what do you do with the lost tooth? That’s simple…place it under your pillow at night and when you are fast asleep the tooth fairy will come and whisk your tooth away leaving behind a special gift just for you! Here’s a simple craft project I found a little while back that will help make the tooth fairy’s job a little easier and give your tooth a special place to stay until it is taken away. Please click on the link for instructions and pictures!

Tooth Fairy “Tooth” Box
(remember to ask your parents for help when using hot glue and scissors)

What you will need
• I large empty match box
• Enough felt to wrap the box and inside sliding tray
• Ribbon
• Glue (tacky glue or a hot glue gun)
• Markers
• White, pink and blue (or your favorite color) felt for decorating the matchbox
• Scissors

Step 1: Pull the inner tray out of the box and line the inside with glue and felt as shown. Wrap the outside of the box with felt and glue it in place.

Step 2: Glue ribbon to the outside of the box in a hanging loop shape. Fold another piece of ribbon in half and glue it to the bottom of the inner tray to create a handle for sliding it in and out.

Step 3: Draw a tooth shape on paper, cut it out, and trace it onto the white felt twice. Cut out the teeth and face details.

Step 4: Decorate the teeth with the eyes and cheeks and draw on a mouth. Glue one tooth to the outside of the box.

Step 5: Create a tooth pocket by applying glue to the sides and bottom of the remaining tooth as shown, leaving an opening at the top. Glue the pocket to the inside tray. Once the glue dries, the box is Tooth Fairy-ready. Have your child put the tooth inside the inner pocket and hang it outside their door before your child goes to bed!

Katherine Heigl Struggles with Crooked Teeth - Lakeland, FL

January 15th, 2009

Everyone struggles with little imperfections. Making crooked teeth straight, stained teeth sparkling white and chipped teeth smooth is part of what I do as an orthodontist. The sense of renewed self confidence that comes to my patients after having some sort of reconstructive work is what makes my job worthwhile.

Consider Katherine Heigl, award winning actress, and considered by many the Grace Kelly of our day. She describes struggling with crooked teeth her whole life until finally there came a point when she said "enough is enough!" She decided to do something to straighten her teeth.

I think you will enjoy this clip. Please feel free to leave comments, tell me what you think! Have you ever struggled with this same problem? Have you felt the relief of smiling to reveal a straight, bright smile after hiding crooked ones for so long? Contact us so we can hear your story, or help you create a new beautiful smile and a story of your own!

Gum Disease Can Sneak Up on You - Dr. Keith Hilliard

January 8th, 2009

It’s easy to tell when you have a cavity; but unfortunately, gum disease can exist in your mouth without you even knowing. In fact, you can have the beginning stages of gum disease without noticing any pain or discomfort. Since gum disease can be undetectable, it’s important to watch for warning signs in order to prevent the disease from worsening!

Signs to watch for:

• Gums that appear red or swollen
• Gums that feel tender
• Gums that bleed easily (during brushing or flossing)
• Gums that recede or pull away from the teeth
• Persistent bad breath
• Loose teeth
• Any change in the way teeth come together in the biting position
• Any change in the way partial dentures fit

If you or someone in your family is showing these signs, make an appointment right away by calling 863-644-0430. We can diagnose the problem and begin treatment to save your teeth and give you back a healthy mouth!

Understanding Cavities - Lakeland, FL Orthodontist

January 1st, 2009

One word nobody wants to hear when they visit their dentist is Cavity! That’s right, the dreaded cavity; but, what exactly is a cavity and how do they happen? A cavity is a hole that develops in a tooth when the tooth begins to decay. It’s important to get a cavity filled as soon as it’s detected so that it does not grow bigger.

So, what causes a cavity? A cavity is caused by plaque, a sticky substance that forms on the tooth as a result of germ and bacteria build-up. Plaque is acidic and as it clings to your teeth the acids eat away the outside of the tooth (also called the enamel) and a hole is formed.

Yes, cavities can be repaired by your dentist, but here are a few simple steps you can take to prevent cavities:

• Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice daily
• Gently brush your gums to keep them healthy (when choosing a toothbrush it is recommended to use soft bristles)
• Floss your teeth at least once a day to remove plaque and food that may be caught between your teeth and braces where your toothbrush can’t reach
• Limit the amount of soda and sugary treats you eat/drink
• Be sure to visit your dentist every six months for a teeth cleaning and check-up

Now That I Have Braces, What Can I Eat? - Dr. Keith Hilliard

December 25th, 2008

You just got braces and the orthodontist has informed you that over the next several months you will want to avoid eating anything sticky, hard, crunchy, or chewy. What does this leave for you to eat? Lettuce? Nothing?

Luckily, there was someone else wondering the same thing when she first got braces! Brenda Waterman, 13, decided she was going to find a way to have her cake and eat it too, so she created a variety of “braces-friendly” recipes that allow you to enjoy your favorite treats without interfering with your orthodontic care! Her cookbook, “The Braces Cookbook: Recipes you (and your Orthodontist) will Love,” gives patients a variety of delicious recipes, safe to eat with braces; plus additional tips and advice for packing lunches, what to eat at parties, and braces-friendly restaurant dishes! There’s even a section with tips for dealing with the soreness that can occur when your braces or appliance are adjusted. Enjoy the foods you love – even with braces!
Here is a delicious, sneak peek recipe from “The Braces Cookbook:”

Wonderful Waffles

Forget the recipe that came with your waffle iron – this recipe will redefine fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. The secret to delicious waffles is letting the batter "sit" for five minutes before pouring into the waffle iron. Top cooked waffles with syrup, jam, fresh fruit or even whip cream. Makes about 5 servings!

Preheat your waffle iron according to the directions. You may want to lightly spray it with vegetable oil before heating.
• 3 cups flour
• 2 Tbl + 2 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 Tbl sugar
• 4 cups milk
• 4 eggs
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
In a large bowl, whisk (or use electric mixer on low) together all ingredients. Let batter sit for about five minutes to activate the baking powder.

When waffle iron is ready, pour about 1/3 cup of batter onto each of the four squares (experiment with your iron – you don't want the batter overflowing). Gently close the cover and set your timer as the manufacturer suggests. Do not lift the cover while they bake. When done, carefully lift one edge with a flat spatula and pull the waffle away from the iron. Keep waffles warm on a plate under a clean dishtowel while the others bake.

Good Breath Gone Bad! - Dr. Keith Hilliard, Orthodontist

December 18th, 2008

Bad breath can be a real downer, especially when you are out on a date with that girl or boy you’ve had a crush on all semester! However, bad breath can be prevented!

Bad breath, or as your doctor may call it “halitosis,” is caused by odor-producing bacteria that grows in your mouth. This bacteria gathers on bits of food in your mouth and between your teeth and release sulfur compounds making your breath smell. Some foods, like garlic and onions, may contribute more to bad breath because of oils the food the food releases, and smoking is also a major cause of bad breath.

There are several myths around bad breath. Here are some common myths and the truth behind it all:

Myth #1: Mouthwash will make my breath smell better

Mouthwash will make your breath smell better, but it is only a temporary fix. If you use mouthwash, just know that you will still need to brush and floss when you get the chance as mouthwash alone will not kill all of the bacteria producing germs in your mouth. When choosing a mouthwash, pick an antiseptic with plaque-reducing compounds. Also make sure any dental products you choose comes with the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of approval!

Myth #2: I brush my teeth; I will never have bad breath

Brushing your teeth will save you from having breath, but the truth is most people only brush their teeth for about 30-45 seconds! You need to brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes, twice a day to give your teeth a thorough cleansing. It’s also important to brush your tongue, which is where a majority of odor causing bacteria like to hang out. Lastly, flossing to remove food and plaque between the teeth will also help reduce your chances of having bad breath!

Myth #3: If I don’t smell it, then my breath is fresh

This is a false assumption in every sense of the word! The truth is that the breath you breathe out is not the same breath coming out when you talk to someone. When you breathe you are not using your throat as you do when you are talking; and when you talk more breath moves over the back of your mouth where bacteria is causing bad breath.

#1 TRUTH: Brush your teeth twice a day (for at least 2 minutes), floss at least once and visit your dentist every six months…this way your breath will always be fresh! Not letting your nerves get the best of you on your date? That’s up to you!!!

$1.50 for a Cavity

December 11th, 2008

Vending machines are a quick way to satisfy hunger. You put in $1.50 and you get back a candy bar, bag of chips or even a soda…but that’s not all! Vending machines not only dispense sweet treats and caffeine bursts, but they also dispense cavities!

Every time you chow down on that chocolate bar the bacteria in your mouth have a party feasting on the sugar. The sugar quickly turns into acid; that’s right, ACID!!! The acid sits on your teeth and eats away at the tooth’s natural enamel (the stuff that protects your tooth from decay). When this enamel is eaten away by the acid on your tooth, you get a cavity! Brushing your teeth after eating a sugary treat can help prevent cavities; but before you indulge remind yourself: “can’t brush? Hold the sugar!”

When choosing a snack, consider these nutritional options that will not only satisfy your hunger and that “sweet tooth”, but won’t cause acid build up resulting in cavities:

• Fresh Fruits (berries, oranges, melon, pears, etc)
• Soft Bread
• Milk (low or non-fat)
• Cheese (low or non-fat)
• Sliced meat

What's So Special About an Orthodontist?

December 4th, 2008

"Dentists, Orthodontists, they're all the same right?" We hear our patients asking this question as they wonder about the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist. Before becoming an orthodontist Dr. Hilliard started out in dental school and earned a DDS (dental degree), just like your dentist. After dental school however, Dr. Hilliard decided he wanted to learn more about orthodontics, which is one of nine specialties within the dental field. So he stayed in school for a few more years and became an expert in orthodontics; which focuses on tooth and jaw alignment and bite problems like overbites and under bites.

Other dental specialties you may have heard of include endodontic (focusing on the soft tissue inside your teeth), periodontic (focusing on the gums and other tissues surrounding your teeth) and prosthodontic (focusing on restoring and replacing damaged teeth).

Isn't it nice to know there's a dental expert here to help you through any type of treatment your teeth, jaw and gums might need?

Regular Checkups Are Important!

November 20th, 2008

Are you brushing your teeth twice a day? If yes, that’s great; but, don’t forget that it’s also important to visit the dentist every six months in addition to your regular orthodontic visits. Regular dental checkups are important for maintaining good oral health. Your dentist can:

• Check for problems that might not be seen or felt
• Detect cavities and early signs of decay
• Treat oral health problems early
• Show you how to properly brush and floss your teeth

During an oral exam the doctor will check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks and tongue. Checkups will also include a thorough teeth cleaning and polishing. If you have not been to the dentist in the last six months, it’s time for you to schedule an appointment!

Is Invisalign® Really Customized for Each Patient?

November 13th, 2008

Yes, it is, and that’s part of what makes it work. To find out if you are the right candidate for Invisalign treatment, the first thing we do is to take an impression of your teeth as they are now and digitize it. Using special software, we look at the current positioning of your teeth and compare it to the way your teeth should look.

Next we use special software to map out the exact path your teeth will take from the beginning of your treatment to the end. Based on the results, a set of custom aligners are created just for your teeth. Throughout the course of treatment, you will be required to wear these clear, removable aligners one at a time; each one moving your teeth closer and closer to their final, perfectly aligned position. And since the aligners are virtually invisible, nobody around you will even know you are wearing braces!

Dr. Hilliard is a certified Invisalign provider. If you have questions about Invisalign, or would like to find out if you are a candidate for Invisalign treatment, give us a call at 863-644-0430.

Moooooooove Over Gum Disease!

November 5th, 2008

Is dairy a major part of your diet? If not, it should be! A recent study from the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) has found that regular consumption of dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt, can lower your chances of contracting periodontal disease (also known as gum disease).

Gum disease is caused by a bacterial infection in the mouth that affects the gums and jaw. Gum disease results in a loss of teeth and bone, and has been connected to certain cases of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease and osteoporosis.

Results of the study show that adults who consume at least 55 grams of lactic acid a day are less at risk for gum disease. Eating dairy is not just healthy for building strong bones, but is essential for maintaining a strong, healthy mouth. Next time you reach for a quick snack, choose some cheese, or a glass of milk, and remember with each bite, and every sip you are preserving your teeth for a lifetime of smiles and good oral health!

For more information about keeping your teeth healthy, call us at 863-859-3581 or visit www.drhilliard.com.

Are There Teeth Grinders in Your House?

October 29th, 2008

Grind, grind, grind, grind. If you live with a teeth grinder, especially a night grinder, you may be familiar with this unpleasant sound. Other symptoms of teeth grinding (technically called “bruxism”) include:

• Sensitivity in the teeth
• Tightness or pain in the jaw
• Dull headaches, earaches, or facial pain
• Chipped, worn down, or loose teeth

People frequently grind their teeth in response to stress, so taking measures to reduce or eliminate stress can help solve the problem. Here are some things you can try to stop grinding:

• Cut back on caffeine and alcohol
• Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
• Relax right before bedtime with a warm bath or shower
• Help your jaw learn to relax by quitting any chewing habits (pens, pencils, gum)
• When clenching or grinding happens during the day, place your tongue between your teeth to serve as a reminder to avoid the habit

If grinding goes untreated, it can lead to chipped teeth, worn enamel, chronic pain, or even TMJ, a painful jaw disorder. If the teeth-grinder in your house can’t stop, make an appointment to see us by calling 863-644-0430. Dr. Hilliard can help determine the cause of the problem and possibly even prescribe a custom mouthpiece to help break the habit.

When Is Thumb-Sucking a Cause for Worry?

October 22nd, 2008

Lots of you have asked us about whether it’s healthy for children to suck thumbs (or, less frequently, fingers). If you’ve got a thumb-sucker in the house, you are not alone. Research tells us that between 75% and 95% of infants suck their thumbs. Is this anything to worry about?

In most cases, no. Sucking is a natural reflex for an infant, and can provide security and contentment as well as relaxation for your little one. It’s a habit that most children grow out of between the ages of 2 and 4.

However, if your child keeps sucking after he’s gotten his permanent teeth, it’s time to take a closer look. If your child sucks his thumb aggressively, putting pressure on the inside of his mouth or his teeth, it could cause problems with tooth alignment and proper mouth growth. If you’re worried, give us a call at 863-644-0430 and we will help assess the situation, and provide tips for how to help your child break the habit.

Ghosts, Goblins, and National Orthodontic Health Month!

October 15th, 2008


Trick-Or-Treat! October is National Orthodontic Health Month! In honor of October’s sweet and spooky holiday, Halloween, the American Association of Orthodontists has provided trick-or-treaters with some tips and treats for a ghoulishly good time!

BOO! Spooky recipes for a “braces friendly” Halloween

Frightfully Fabulous Cupcake Sandwiches

Ingredients:
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup warm water
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup superfine sugar
2 cups cake flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 can of chocolate frosting or store-bought chocolate mousse
1 container of whipped topping

Assorted “braces-friendly” candy pieces such as chopped peanut butter cups, chocolate bars and melt-in-your-mouth candies.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Fill a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners and set aside.

Combine cocoa powder, water, and mix until smooth. Fold in mayonnaise. (Make sure cocoa mixture is not to hot to prevent breaking of mayonnaise). Add vanilla and whisk until smooth.

In mixer, combine sugar, cake flour, baking soda and salt and mix slowly until well incorporated. Add wet cocoa mixture, mix on medium-high until well blended. Scrape down the sides and blend for 30 seconds.

Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 way full of batter. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool on rack.

Slice each cupcake in half, horizontally, and serve the halves with chocolate mousse or frosting, whipped topping, and assorted candy pieces. Kids build the sandwiches by spreading one-half of a cupcake with mousse/frosting or whipped topping, sprinkling on candy pieces and placing the other half of cupcake on top.

Halloween Safety Tips

• Young children should always be accompanied by an adult
• Carry a flashlight
• Wear a light-colored or reflective costume
• Choose face paint over masks for young ghosts and goblins
• Have an adult inspect all treats before the children dig in

CLICK HERE to visit our web site; and have a Happy National Orthodontic Health Month!

Toothbrush Trivia

October 8th, 2008

People have been brushing their teeth for thousands of years! In fact, the first “toothbrush” was created around 3000BC! Ancient civilizations used a thin twig with a frayed edge to rub against their teeth for cleaning.

The first toothbrush with bristles – similar to today’s toothbrushes – was invented in 1498 in China. Brushes were made out of bone or bamboo with bristles made from the hairs on the back of a hog’s neck.

It wasn’t until 1938 that the first nylon bristle toothbrush was introduced and people quickly became aware of practicing good oral hygiene.

Here are some other interesting facts about your toothbrush (and toothpaste):

• Most people are said to use blue toothbrushes over any other color
• The first toothpaste was used in 500 BC in China and India
• On average, children smile about 400 times per day
• Your toothbrush should be replaced every two months
• The first known toothpaste was used in 1780, Crest was introduced in the US in 1955 and Colgate in 1873

Patients' responses to our practice!

May 8th, 2008

At our office, Dr. Keith Hilliard and talented staff take pride in having happy patients. Here are a few quotes from patients about our office in Lakeland.

"The nurses or ladies that work there and Dr. Hilliard are very nice and friendly! They will explain everything to you and help you know certain things like where and how to wear your rubber bands and so many others things! They are so great and I like coming to the orthidontist because I know I will be treated and cared for right." - Arthur

"Patient care/service. I went to Dr. Hilliard for my braces as a young adult and never had any problems or complaints. I was always impressed that every time I went he knew exactly what had changed with my teeth from the last visit. I also appreciate the professionalism of all his staff. Now I'm taking my oldest son to him and my youngest is looking forward to his turn." - Jeff

"I like that Dr. Hilliard is a perfectionist. I am a big perfectionist as well, and little things bother me easy, so I'm glad that Dr. Hilliard makes sure that my teeth will turn out as perfect as they can. =)" - Angela

"His dental knowledge and willingness to listen and answer questions without irritation was very impressive. We also liked his approach that there is always more than one way to fix teeth. He worked with us making sure to listen to our concerns and was willing to make the necessary changes to make my son comfortable with himself. He's wonderful and I have already referred a few of my close friends to him." - Steve

"How friendly the staff was when I called and how quickly they got my daughter in for an appointment." - Amy

"Loved the friendliness of the Staff and Doctor. The kindness began right from the start when I called to inquire information. We were extremely pleased. My children loved the video games in the office, great concept!" - Kim

"Clean office environment...friendly staff...my daughter feels comfortable and that makes me happy." - Michelle

Come on over to 330 E. Highland Dr and see why Dr. Hilliard and his staff are making so many people in Flordia smile! Our orthodontic practice serves many neighboring cities like Fountain Heights, Eaton Park, Tancrede, Crystal Lake, Highland city, and many others!

Call today (863) 644-0430 or for more information check out our website.

Your First Visit to Our Lakeland, FL Invisalign Orthodontist

February 29th, 2008

Your First Visit

From the minute you call us, you'll notice a difference!

Your First VisitOur friendly and knowledgable administrative staff members pride themselves on guiding our patients through the new patient process with ease. They will explain each step of the process and schedule a new patient exam at a convenient time for you. Our team's sole responsibility is to assist you with whatever appointment, payment or insurance needs you may have.

At your first visit, Dr. Hilliard and his Treatment Coordinator will complete a comprehensive orthodontic examination. If orthodontic treatment is recommended, some or all of your diagnostic records will be taken. In addition to your medical/dental history, and clinical examination, diagnostic records include photos of the patient's face and teeth and two different types of x-rays. This information is used by Dr. Hilliard to develop a custom treatment plan for each patient. These records are also helpful in tracking the progress of treatment as the teeth move under orthodontic care.

In most cases Dr. Hilliard will be able to discuss his recommendations with you at the initial visit, as well as the costs involved. In some instances, you may need to return for an additional consultation visit after the doctor has further evaluated the records.

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