Dietrich & Hilliard Orthodontics

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Hilliard orthodontics

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!






Five ways you can avoid plaque!

July 10th, 2012



Our team knows nobody likes getting plaque on their teeth. Here are five other ways you can avoid that dreaded enemy of the teeth during orthodontic treatment, courtesy of WebMD.

Let’s start with brushing regularly.. Brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste is vital to a healthy mouth. Make sure you softly brush all the surfaces of your teeth.

Next on the list is flossing daily: a simple daily flossing between teeth clears away plaque before it can cause damage and can also clean plaque at the gum line. Plaque is known to reach the spaces between teeth.

Also, evading a trip to the dentist is probably not a great idea. Let’s say you brush and floss daily. You’re still at risk for plaque. With time, the plaque hardens and turns into tartar. Consider visiting your general dentist at least twice a year or as recommended by your dentist, and you have a lower chance of getting cavities or losing your teeth while wearing braces.

You’ll also want to stop avoiding those fruits and veggies. Believe it or not, there are foods out there that play a key role in keeping plaque off our teeth. They include apples, carrots, cucumbers and other raw fruits and vegetables. You can still eat these types of fruits and veggies if you have braces, but be sure to cut them up into bite sized pieces to avoid breaking off brackets.

Finally, before you pick up that candy bar, remember to not give in to your sweet tooth. Consuming sugary drinks or eating candy or other junk food allows sugar to stick to our teeth. The bacteria, then, becomes plaque, which turns into acid and damages our teeth. Avoiding these five bad habits keeps your plaque in check and your mouth as healthy as can be during your orthodontic treatment. If you have any questions, give us a call or ask 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!

June marks National Dairy Month!

June 6th, 2012

In honor of June Dairy Month, our team would like to thank all of our hard working families in the Dairy Industry.

In fact, dairy is important to your overall health! Regular consumption of dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt, have been found to lower your chances of contracting periodontal disease (also known as gum disease).

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.

Questions about which foods you should steer clear of and which you should enjoy during orthodontic treatment? Give us a call or ask us on Facebook!

"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!

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

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!

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

October is National Orthodontic Health Month!

October 3rd, 2011


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! We hope you had a relaxing weekend!

Ask Drs. Hilliard and Dietrich: How much will braces cost?

September 22nd, 2011


Thanks for the question! The cost of treatment depends on the severity of the patient's problem. You will be able to discuss fees and the down payment options before treatment begins. We have payment plans to suit different budgets, including a no-down-payment option for those who decide to finance treatment through Capital One.

Our team at Hilliard Orthodontics provide a patient payment option with no interest and, for our patient's convenience, we accept all major credit cards. Our office goal is to help each patient and family reach the goal that they have for orthodontic treatment and to have that treatment fit within their budget.

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!

Do we have your current contact info?

July 28th, 2011


We hope you’re off to a great summer so far! If you are planning on traveling with family this summer or think you might not be able to make it to your scheduled adjustment appointment at Hilliard Orthodontics, please let us know ahead of time so that we may be able to accommodate you, as well as schedule another patient with Drs. Hilliard and Dietrich at that appointment time.

Also, we ask that you give us a call and let us know if you have any new phone numbers or if your contact information has changed! Please call us with any updates to phone numbers and addresses, so we may be able to reach you. Thank you! Enjoy the rest of your week!

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!

Fun facts with Hilliard Orthodontics!

July 15th, 2011


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.

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.

Hilliard Orthodontics at the 111th AAO Annual Session in Chicago

May 13th, 2011

Patients at Hilliard Orthodontics can feel confident they are receiving the best in orthodontic health care. Our goal is to provide the most up-to-date technology and techniques using the best equipment possible. Dr. Hilliard is devoted to continuing education and furthers his learning through reading, attending conferences and continuing education courses. One of those conferences includes the 2011 AAO Annual Session in Chicago, where our entire team will head later this week.

Dr. Hilliard will also be lecturing at the AAO in the doctor's scientific program. Only one other orthodontist in the state of Florida was asked to do a scientific lecture! Dr. Hilliard will be showing many cases he has treated and instructing others on how to maximize the use of aligners in orthodontic treatment. This is his third time Dr. Hilliard has been asked to present a clinical teaching lecture to this international meeting, and we think that’s pretty darn impressive, as he has great credentials and an international reputation for excellence in orthodontic treatment!

The AAO Annual Session is an always-educational event that is also one of the largest orthodontic conventions in the world. It's also a time for Drs. Hilliard and Dietrich to consult with dental experts and orthodontists from around the country and stay up-to-date on all the latest technologies and orthodontic treatment options available. This, of course, allows our team at Hilliard Orthodontics to give you, our wonderful patients, the very best treatment experience possible.

Dr. Hilliard and Dr. Dietrich are committed to lifelong learning and continuing education, not only for themselves but also for the staff. The entire team will be attending the AAO this weekend and will be seeing patients again on Tuesday.

If you've got an appointment for an adjustment or consultation scheduled with us soon, we invite you to ask us about our Chicago trip, including what we learned and how continuing education and acquisition of new technology helps us treat you more effectively at Hilliard Orthodontics!

Dr. Hilliard & team, dispelling the myths about orthodontics

April 21st, 2011


Our team at Hilliard Orthodontics are aware there are quite a few myths about orthodontists circulating around. Before you buy into those myths, you should get the facts! We came across a great site that helps set the record straight. Our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists have some excellent information on the myths and facts of orthodontists, check them out today!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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 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!

This Earth Day, did you make a difference? From Dr. Hilliard

April 22nd, 2010

At Hilliard Orthodontics, we support Earth Day, which is designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for our environment and ecosystem. Earth Day marks its 40th anniversary today. Whether lending a helping hand to plant trees or getting out to volunteer in various projects in Lakeland, today was our opportunity to get involved in making our year-round impact in the community. Did you make a difference today? Were you involved in any cool projects? How long have you participated in helping our community and planet?

If you’d like to join the millions of people around the world who are making small but important changes to help sustain our ecosystem, try these helpful environmental tips, courtesy of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA.

We hope you had a great Earth Day!!

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!

"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!

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

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