Dietrich & Hilliard Orthodontics

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Emergency Orthodontic Care!

October 29th, 2012

Our team knows that orthodontic emergencies are never convenient nor timely. If you are a patient of record, our team is committed to your dental health and we are more than willing to see you after hours or over the weekend. 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 to resolve the problem. If you have an orthodontic emergency after regular office hours, please give us a call. If you are calling us after hours, please follow the emergency prompts to learn how you may be able to solve the problem yourself, or, if you cannot, how to get in contact with our team.

Common issues include:
*Broken Brace
*Broken Wires
*Tie has come off of a Brace
*Loose Expander
*Poking Wire Tie
*Sharpness Felt on the Tongue Side of a Brace
*Loss of a Separator
*Initial Soreness
*Wire Poking

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you visit our office, but please never hesitate to call!

How much do you know about your toothbrush?

October 22nd, 2012

Taking care of your smile is nothing new! 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 1955 and Colgate in 1873

Cold season is here, be prepared!

October 15th, 2012

Cold and flu season is here yet again. The folks at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say 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, our entire staff 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 our staff, 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!

Don't forget your mouth guard for this fall’s sports season!

October 8th, 2012


At our office we know how important it is to protect your face while playing sports. Fall brings an increase in outdoor activities and a greater chance of damaging your precious mouth and pearly whites. Our team also knows sports-related injuries are common among children. It’s been found that 70 percent of parents said their biggest worry is that their child will get hurt while playing sports. Another 67 percent admitted their child doesn’t wear a mouth guard when playing sports such as football, basketball, baseball and soccer.

That’s why we’re doing our part to spread the word that facial sports injuries can be avoided simply by reminding your kids to wear mouth guards. Ask us—Our team will provide a mouth guard for any patient in active treatment.

In addition, the following tipscan help your kids stay safe on the field. Please remind them to:

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

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. Lastly, please give us a call if you have any questions about mouth guards or your treatment with our team!

October is National Orthodontic Health Month!

October 1st, 2012

Happy October! For those who don't know, it’s National Orthodontic Health Month.

Our team realizes that this month-long event is a great opportunity for us to raise awareness about the importance of oral hygiene. National Orthodontic Health Month also aims to recognize the dedicated work of orthodontists and other dental professionals.

To avoide orthodontic emergencies, our team recommends that patients avoid the following Halloween treats, or recipes with these ingredients:

• Caramel
• Nuts
• Popcorn (including un-popped kernels)
• Taffy
• Jelly beans
• Hard pretzels
• Licorice
• Bubblegum
• Ice

Avoiding the above will help ensure that you don't encounter any unwanted orthodontic issues! If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call, ask us on Facebook, or ask our team during your visit this month!

Looking for a delicious braces-friendly fall dessert? We’ve got a great recipe!

September 25th, 2012

You have braces, and you’re probably wondering what to eat. You can’t have gum, popcorn or other delicious but braces-unfriendly foods. But fear not! Our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists have a delicious recipe that will satisfy both your sugar craving and hunger when the weather gets cold.

Apple Bombolini
Ingredients:

Rustic dough
• 9 ounces cake flour (about 3 cups)
• ½ cup all purpose flour
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• Pinch sea salt
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into large pieces
• 1 tablespoon vanilla
• 2 tablespoon cold water

Apple sauce filling
• 4 Granny Smith apples
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 vanilla bean, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 1 tablespoon water

Diced apples:
• 4 Granny Smith apples
• ¼ cup sugar
• ½ teaspoon vanilla
• ½ lemon, juiced

Directions:

For the dough: In a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, add the dry ingredients and mix for 5 seconds to blend. Add the butter and vanilla and mix until the butter is about the size of peas. Add the cold water and blend until the dough just comes together. Form the dough into a roughly shaped ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
Applesauce filling: Peel, core, and slice the apples. Put the apples with the rest of the ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and cook until the apples are very soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool, and refrigerate.

Diced apples: Peel, core, and cut the apples into large slices. Toss with the sugar, vanilla and lemon juice and set aside.

Assemble the bomboloni: Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Roll out to1/4-inch thick round. Cut into 6-inch rounds. Place about 1/4 cup of the Apple Sauce Filling onto the center of each round. Top with a few pieces of the Diced Apples. Pull the sides up towards the center to form a bundle, pinching the dough together towards top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour before baking

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.

When Should My Child See an Orthodontist?

September 10th, 2012

Orthodontic treatments vary from dental treatment, in that they primarily address malocclusions, jaw spacing and tooth alignment, rather than the actual health of the teeth. That is why it is often more difficult for parents to determine when a child needs orthodontic treatment rather than dental treatment. So how can you know it is time to take your child to the orthodontist?

Bad Bite - As the adult teeth begin to replace primary teeth, bite occlusions can develop. These often become visible to parents between middle childhood and the pre-teen years, although an orthodontist can identify a bad bite with early evaluation.

Visible Tooth Crowding - If your child's newly emerging teeth are already crowded, you should make an appointment with our office to discuss braces.

Tooth Grinding (Bruxism) - Children who grind their teeth at night may do so unconsciously, but the condition requires treatment to prevent the development of headaches, TMJ, and tooth damage. Oral appliances are available to correct nighttime tooth grinding.

Difficulty Chewing, Biting, or Speaking - If your child is displaying difficulty speaking or eating, or if he or she often experiences cheek biting, schedule an orthodontic consultation.

Asymmetry - If your child's face is asymmetrical, or if his or her teeth do not meet together in a natural way, orthodontic treatment may be necessary.

Evaluation and Preventive Care
Even if your child has no visible tooth or jaw alignment problems, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child visit the orthodontist for an initial examination no later than age seven. The reason for early evaluation is because orthodontists are capable of finding subtle problems with the jaw and teeth growth and spacing before they become more pronounced and also more difficult to treat. By bringing your child in for an evaluation, you may be able to treat orthodontic conditions with shorter and more simplified treatments that are also more affordable than treatment during the teenage and adult years.

What questions should I ask during my orthodontic consultation?

September 4th, 2012

Are you thinking about orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth or correct jaw alignment? Consider making your first step an orthodontic consultation. During the consultation we will address your questions, concerns, and talk about a treatment plan that would best suit your situation.

We want you to feel prepared and in charge of your orthodontic treatment decisions, so keep these questions in mind when you come in for your appointment.

• If I do need some adjustments to my teeth, what options will I have besides braces?
(This will help you determine what approaches we use to straighten your teeth.)

• What kind of preparation is needed to get braces? How many visits will it take?
(It’s important to know how many appointments may be needed and what you will need to do between appointments to be ready for braces.)

• Can I expect any pain when getting braces?
(Ask about the ways we address pain management.)

• What determines how long I have to wear braces?
(The length of treatment will vary from patient to patient. During your consultation we can evaluate your teeth and jaw alignment to determine the correct course and length of treatment.)

• How will braces affect my lifestyle? Foods I can eat? Activities I can do?
(You may find that little needs to change in your daily routine to have a successful orthodontic outcome. We can discuss and address any changes so you can be prepared before you get your braces.)

• Who will be involved in the orthodontic work? Whom can I expect to see during my adjustment visits?

• What will my orthodontic work cost? What is the ”average” cost and what could be the maximum?
(Make sure you are clear about what your insurance covers, who contacts the insurance company for pre-authorization, who files the insurance forms, and what flexibility there is to pay the remaining amount not covered.)

Your initial orthodontic consultation may just be the first step in relieving a lot of pain and discomfort in your life. Going in with the right questions will help you to understand the entire process and prepare you to do your part for your own dental health. Be sure to bring a list of your questions!

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

August 28th, 2012

Orthodontic treatments are used to correct malocclusion, a condition more commonly known as a bad bite. The length of treatment time varies depending on the severity of the bite problem.

What is a "bad bite"?
A bad bite occurs when spacing or alignment problems are present. This often includes teeth that are protruding, crowded, or crooked. Sometimes teeth appear straight, but have an uneven bite because the upper and lower jaws do not align properly. Teeth that are irregularly spaced - either too far apart or too close together - can also cause bite problems.

Frequent causes of bite problems:

  • Heredity
  • Thumb-sucking
  • Premature tooth loss
  • Accidents

Benefits of orthodontic treatment:

Appearance -
Correcting a bad bite often creates a more attractive smile, which frequently raises the patient's self esteem.

Preventing Decay -
It also results in a healthier mouth. It is much more difficult to thoroughly clean teeth that are crooked, protruding, overlapped, or crowed. This may allow plaque to build up, which can lead to gum disease, tooth decay and even tooth loss. Orthodontic treatment corrects these conditions, so cleaning can be more efficient.

Avoiding Alignment Issues -
An uneven bite can interfere with the motions of chewing and speaking. This can cause abnormal wear to tooth enamel, which may require pricey cosmetic restorative treatments, such as crowns or veneers, to correct. It can also lead to problems with the jaws. Orthodontic treatment lessens the likelihood of those issues, as well.

 

Types of orthodontic treatment:

- Braces: Metal or ceramic brackets are bonded to the front of teeth. Wires and elastics are attached to the brackets to straighten teeth.

- Invisalign®: Advanced 3D computer images of the patients' mouth are used to create clear, custom aligners that slowly move teeth. They are nearly invisible and are more comfortable than traditional braces. They are also removable, which makes it possible to continue with normal brushing and flossing.

- Retainers: A retainer is a removable piece worn inside the mouth that uses pressure to force teeth to move into proper alignment. They are used after braces are removed.

 

Length of orthodontic treatment:
Treatment typically ranges from 12 - 36 months. Factors include the age, cooperation level, and growth occurrence of the patient. The complexity of the case also impacts the treatment time.

 

 

Preventing Decay While Wearing Braces

August 20th, 2012


Having braces can present some new challenges when it comes to oral hygiene. Preventing tooth decay can be a big challenge simply because of the tendency for braces to trap food under the wires and between the teeth and the brackets. Here are a few tips to keep your teeth healthy while wearing your braces:

1. Eat Braces-Safe Foods
Keeping your teeth from decay starts with a proper diet. Foods that are high in sugar or starch can cause more plaque which is difficult to remove during your brushing. There are certain foods that should be avoided while wearing your braces. First, sticky foods like caramel or gum can get stuck in your braces and be difficult to remove during brushing. Next, hard foods such as nuts and candy could bend wires or even break a bracket. Foods that are firm or hard to bite into like apples, carrots, or corn on the cob should be avoided. As much as we like to snack on them, those crunchy treats can harm your braces. Things like chips, ice, popcorn can also bend or break your braces.
On the other hand, bananas, mangoes, milk, water, poultry, and pasta all tend to be low in enamel-busting acids.

2. Proper Brushing
You want to place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums in order to clean the whole tooth, and brush gently in the area between the wiring and the teeth. Use a softer toothbrush with fluoride paste for best results. Rinsing every day will help, too. Rinsing is important regardless, but especially important when you have braces as you need to disinfect the entire mouth, including those spots under the braces where your brush can't always reach.

3. Ask About Special Cleaning Tools
There are also special brushes, or other tools, to get under and clean your braces. You can also find many of these items at your local pharmacy.

4. Regular Teeth Cleaning
It's important to keep your routine appointments with your dentist and dental hygienist for a thorough cleaning twice a year or as directed. The exact frequency of these visits will be up to your dentist as some types of braces are more demanding of a regular cleaning than others.
As long as you practice good oral hygiene and follow these basic tips, you should have no problem keeping your teeth from decaying while you wear braces.

When Should I Schedule an Orthodontic Evaluation for My Child?

August 13th, 2012


Most parents know that routine dental care should begin during the toddler years. But many are unaware of when orthodontic treatment should begin. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, the ideal age for an orthodontic evaluation is age seven or before, when children usually have a mixture of adult and baby teeth. Although treatment usually will not begin until one to five years after the initial evaluation, the evaluation is helpful in determining whether your child has any problems with emerging teeth -- regardless of how subtle.

Children have more formidable bone structures than teenagers and adults, and as they grow, orthodontic appliances can help guide jaw growth, which may prevent the development of an overbite or under-bite, as well as tooth crowding due to space limitations. Orthodontic treatment is also helpful for guiding newly emerging adult teeth into a proper alignment, which is not only aesthetically advantageous, but also helpful in preventing tooth decay.

Why Early Evaluation?
Taking your child to the orthodontist for an evaluation means that you may be able to identify problems with the jaw and teeth early when they are still easy to treat. Early treatment often equals a more simplified treatment plan, which is beneficial to both children and their parents. Often, earlier treatment can cost less to correct a problem than delayed treatment.
If a problem is detected, our team will discuss corrective options and provide a recommended treatment schedule. Depending on your child's orthodontic needs, he or she may benefit from:

• Palatial Spacers - Helpful for correcting a crossbite by expanding the width of the upper jaw.
• Fixed Functional Appliance - Helpful for correcting severe upper tooth protrusion.
• Headgear - Helpful for guiding healthy growth of new teeth and the jaw. Headgear is removable, but usually must be worn at least 10 hours per day.

If your child is approaching the age of seven, or has already surpassed his or her seventh birthday, it is time to schedule an appointment for an initial examination.

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!

Understanding Orthodontic Appliances for Jaw Growth Correction

August 1st, 2012

Children and adults who visit orthodontists often feel confused and a little frightened because of the various metal tools and appliances. Knowing the applications of such devices can help ease a patient's mind when undergoing treatment. Dentofacial orthopedics is a specialty that uses appliances to adjust the jaws for ideal compatibility. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends these treatment options for children between the ages of eight and twelve to make adjustments during developmental stages. Adults also experience dental changes throughout their lives and can benefit from dentofacial orthopedic appliances. Some common problems with jaw alignment or development include:
  • Underdeveloped lower jaw
  • Protrusion of upper teeth
  • Malocclusions
  • Crossbite
  • Overbite
Orthodontic Appliances for Correcting Jaw Growth Problems

Jaw-correcting appliances are either fixed or removable. Fixed appliances are applied to the teeth with the use of cement. Removable appliances require dedication from the patient to wear the devices as instructed. You will receive better results by wearing your orthodontic gear and following the treatment plan designed for your specific needs. Understanding the potential results will help you stay motivated, and parents can help their children to follow recommendations. Some appliances can cause slight discomfort during adjustment periods, but wearing them regularly will help shorten the time frame for treatment. Here are some of the most common appliances for correcting jaw growth problems.
  • Headgear: This appliance is removable and consists of a stainless steel facebow and fabric safety strap. The orthodontist fixes metal bands to your upper-back teeth where you attach the facebow. The safety strap wraps around your head and secures the facebow. Headgear affects jaw growth and tooth movement by applying pressure to the upper teeth and maxilla.
  • Herbst® Appliance: Typically permanent, these appliances attach to the upper and lower molars to hold the mandible forward. The purpose of this type of treatment is to eliminate an overbite. With expansion screws, the Herbst can also widen the jaw.
  • Mara: This appliance pushes the mandible forward to reduce overbite. Crowns are placed on your top and bottom molars, and a metal elbow connects the crowns.
  • Bite Corrector: This appliance is combined with braces to correct different malocclusions. Metal bars with enclosed springs apply pressure to both the upper and lower jaws. The placement of such bars will depend on the bite type.
  • Bionator: This removable appliance guides the lower jaw so that it grows in proportion to the upper jaw. Children can develop aligned bites by wearing bionators.
  • Palatal Expansion: There are two options for placement, fixed, or removable palatal expansions, to fix crossbites. The appliance attaches to the upper-back teeth and widens the jaw.
You will get used to the feeling of most appliances within one month, and the adjustment period is easier if you follow the treatment plan designed by our staff. The average time it takes to correct jaw problems is 12 months, so you can expect to see a more beautiful smile in about one year.

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

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.

"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!

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.

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

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.

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 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!

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.

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!

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!

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.

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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.

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

Taking Care of Your Toothbrush, from Dr. Hilliard

July 24th, 2009

You know your toothbrush is a vital tool for the proper care of your teeth – but do you know the best way to take care of your toothbrush? Following are some guidelines for toothbrush care from Dr. Hilliard:

One toothbrush should have one owner.

If you share your toothbrush, you could also be sharing bodily fluids and bacteria, increasing your risk of infection.

Toothbrushes need privacy, too.

For the same reason, when storing brushes, make sure they are placed in such a way that they can't touch each other.

Give your toothbrush some space.

Keep your brush in a clean, well-ventilated spot and make sure it has time to dry in between uses. Keeping your toothbrush in a closed, moist space regularly can encourage the growth of germs.

Showering is good for your toothbrush.

Before and after each use, rinse your toothbrush under running water to eliminate excess toothpaste and other residue. Rub your fingers along the bristles – but only after washing your hands; no use substituting one set of germs for another. When you're finished, shake out the brush to accelerate drying.

Let your toothbrush indulge in a nice bath.

You may be able to reduce the amount of bacteria on your brush by soaking it in anti-bacterial mouthwash after each use.

Don't get too attached to your toothbrush.

Swap your old toothbrush for a new one at least as often as every three to four months. Keep an eye out for frayed bristles and replace sooner if necessary. The more worn the bristles, the less effective brushing is. Of course, if you've been sick with the flu, a cold, or a mouth infection, say goodbye to your toothbrush and move on to a new, germ-free one immediately.

Beware of too-good-to-be-true toothbrush-cleaning products.

Some products profess to being designed to "sanitize" your toothbrush. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), there is no conclusive evidence that these products provide any particular benefit to your health. The ADA also encourages consumers to be wary of products claiming to "sterilize" your toothbrush, as there is currently no data to support such claims.

Don't trust Aunt Minnie's toothbrush-cleaning advice.

Although they certainly mean well, and they're clearly creative, your friends and relatives with home-cooked ideas about cleaning toothbrushes may not be the safest sources of information. Dishwashers, microwaves, and boiling water are no substitute for simply buying a new brush – and in fact could damage your brush, rendering it less effective.

Remember – what's good for the toothbrush is good for the teeth!

--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!

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.

Everybody's Brushing With Dr. HIlliard

April 1st, 2009

These days everybody is brushing their teeth. Here's a fun video Dr. Hilliard found to show your kids and teach them about the importance of oral hygiene!

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!

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!

$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

From the minute you call us, you will notice a difference!

September 4th, 2008

You've dreamed of having a beautiful smile. This is a goal that can be approached with fear and hesitation...but it doesn't need to be! 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 your needs.

We welcome you to come in for a consultation to review your options for creating your beautiful new smile. Dr. Hilliard's team takes great care to make sure that you are comfortable and that we explain each step of the process completely. We pride ourselves on being friendly and knowledgeable and we work hard to make sure that your visit a pleasant one. Our sole responsibility is to assist you with whatever appointment, payment or insurance needs you may have.

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

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