Our Blog

National Orthodontic Month and National Prevention Bullying Month

October 9th, 2019

Teeth are the number one feature bullies focus in on – with space between teeth, missing teeth and shape or color of teeth coming in as some of the top features targeted.

“It’s time … it’s time to make it stop,” said Kirk Smalley, founder of Stand for the Silent, referring to bullying in general.

Stand for the Silent has fast become one of the leading and most effective anti-bullying organizations by reaching more than 1,505,000 kids in nearly 1,500 schools. The mission is simple – bring awareness to bullying and the real devastation it causes.

Students, start making a difference today with these four steps:

1. Educate yourself and your peers.

Stand for the Silent found when students tell a trusted adult about bullying, they believe things only get better 18% of the time.

Thousands of incidents and tragedies reveal school administrators cannot intervene and prevent incidents from happening if they do not know about them. It takes a team effort. Students, teachers, parents, community members and social media community members need to be equipped with awareness and tools to get the right information to the right people at the right place at the right time, so they can make it stop.

You are somebody. You can be a hero.

2. Practice empathetic awareness.

Become part of a culture of caring. Step back and strive to understand other people’s emotions and perspectives, as well as how they may respond to certain situations. Don’t just sit back when you notice something. You have the power to intervene. Stand for the Silent teaches us that the fear of getting involved is temporary, but the regret you have for not is permanent.

3. Pledge to be the change.

Take the Stand for the Silent pledge, “From this day forward, I promise to respect those around me as well as respect myself. I am somebody, and I can make a difference. I can make another feel loved. I can be the helping hands that leads another back to the path of hope and aspiration. I will not stand silent as others try to spread hatred through my community. Instead, I pledge to lift up those victims and show them that their life matters. I will be the change, because I am somebody!”

4. Start your own chapter.

Choose to stand for the silent by starting a chapter at your own school. Have all members signs a pledge card, find an adult sponsor, vote to appoint officers, create a name and mission, determine a meeting location and meeting times. Follow this more detailed step-by-step guide to get started.

The bottom line – you are somebody, and you can make a difference.

Stand for the Silent runs solely off donations from those who support its mission. Help them reach 100,000 more kids by making a donation at gofundme.com/help-sfts-reach-100000-more-kids. Interested in sponsoring a Stand fort the Silent presentation at a school near you? Learn more at standforthesilent.org/schools/host-a-presentation.

For National Bullying Prevention Month and National Orthodontic Health Month, AAO challenged it’s 19,000 member orthodontists to come together in the fight against bullying. Orthodontists worldwide are pledging to stand for the silent and encouraging their patients to do the same.

Together, we can set it ALL straight.

Source: aaoinfo.org

The Leaves are Starting to Change...is Your Bite Changing too?

September 18th, 2019


Everything changes with time. At this time of year, bursts of vibrant fall colors are a visual reminder that change happens. Change can be predictable, like the annual transformation of leaves from green to glorious golds, reds and oranges. In some instances, change can be so gradual that it’s nearly imperceptible.

We can expect changes in our bodies, too. Let’s talk about the changes that happen with our teeth.

Teeth are set in bone, not stone.

There’s no question that bone is a hard substance. But unlike stone, bone is living tissue. It is in a constant state of change. Bone cells are broken down and rebuilt; this process is called “bone remodeling”. It takes stimulation to keep the process moving. For bone in the jaws, it comes from biting, chewing, swallowing and speaking. Just as these actions place force on the teeth, the force, in turn, stimulates bone remodeling, which is why teeth can move.

It is this remodeling process that makes orthodontic treatment possible. Appliances like braces and aligners are tools that Dr. Johnson uses to place controlled forces on teeth in order to move them into ideal positions.

Without an orthodontist like Dr. Johnson guiding the direction and amount of pressure applied to teeth, they are free to move where the forces take them. As a result, your bite – the way your upper and lower teeth come together – may be off.

Have you noticed a change in your bite?

Maybe your bottom front teeth are just beginning to crowd? Perhaps a permanent tooth was lost and its former neighbors are on the move? Maybe you previously had some orthodontic treatment but you’ve noticed some shifting in your teeth? Whatever the cause, a visit with Dr. Johnson is recommended.  Dr. Johnson has received highly specialized training and education in orthodontics, including correcting changing bites. Of course, the sooner, the better. If you notice shifts in tooth positions, timely intervention may minimize movement.

So this year, when it comes to your teeth, let the fall colors be your reminder that change doesn’t have to be inevitable. A healthy and beautiful smile really can last a lifetime. Just ask Dr. Johnson and call the office to set up your consultation. (630)887-1188

Source: aaoinfo.org

What's the Deal With Wearing Retainers?

September 5th, 2019

Whether you’re thinking about treatment with Dr. Johnson, or you are currently undergoing treatment, you may be wondering, “Will I need to wear retainers after treatment?” The answer is yes, and here’s why. Getting straight teeth is only half the battle; the other half is keeping them straight, and that is where retainers come in.

Changes in tooth position are a lifelong and naturally occurring phenomenon! In order to maintain the finished result created by Dr. Johnson retainers must be worn! While small changes after treatment concludes are normal, retainers prevent teeth from going back to their original positions.

Why are retainers needed?

Retainers are prescribed for two reasons: first, to allow the bone that holds teeth to rebuild after teeth have moved, and second, to maintain the healthy new positions of teeth after active orthodontic treatment ends. Your body changes your whole life, and your teeth change too.

Are there different retainer options?

Yes, there are two general kinds of retainers: removable (put in and removed by the patient) and fixed (placed and removed by Dr. Johnson)Both types of retainers hold teeth in their new positions after “active” orthodontic treatment is completed. This allows newly formed bone to mature around the teeth.

Two common removable retainers:

  1.   Wire retainers are made of wire and a plastic-like material. The part of the retainer that covers the roof of the mouth or goes behind the lower front teeth is plastic and wires help told the teeth in place.
  2.   Clear retainers are transparent trays made of a plastic-like material that are exact replicas of the teeth.

Dr. Johnson will teach you how to insert, remove and take care of a removable retainer.

fixed retainer consists of a thin, custom-fitted wire that is bonded to the tongue-side of upper or lower teeth.

How long will I have to wear them?

As long as you want to keep your teeth straight, many patients wear retainers nightly for life.  Wearing retainers becomes part of your oral hygiene routine: brush and floss before bed, and wear retainers at night for a lifetime.

Source: aaoinfo.org

One Little Rubber Band Did WHAT?!

August 21st, 2019

How not to fix a gap!

The December 2018 issue of the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics reports on an 8-year-old boy in Greece who had a gap between his two permanent front teeth. According to that article, his parents did not consult an orthodontist. Instead, taking matters into their own hands, they used a tiny rubber band to pull their son’s teeth together. The gap was gone after two days, but so was the rubber band. The parents assumed it broke. They were happy with the outcome and unconcerned about the rubber band.

One little rubber band caused extensive damage.

On the surface the DIY treatment seemed to be a quick, easy and inexpensive approach to close a gap. Unfortunately, the DIY treatment resulted a long-term, difficult and costly fix. One little rubber band caused extensive damage. It worked its way up the teeth and under the gums and destroyed the tissues that hold the teeth in place. The rubber band in effect pushed the two front teeth out of the gums and bone. The teeth were loose and looked longer (think Bugs Bunny). In addition, the patient experienced pain and swelling in the gum tissue around those teeth.

The youngster visited the pediatric dentistry department of the Dental School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. After his teeth were stabilized with a wire, his next stop was the school’s department of periodontology. He was diagnosed with acute, severe gum disease. X-rays showed more than 75% of the bone that held the boy’s teeth in place was lost. But why? The rest of the teeth and gums were healthy. After three weeks of no improvement, gum surgery finally revealed the culprit: the missing rubber band. The boy’s next stop for treatment was the school’s department of orthodontics.

Sadly, even with professional help, the boy’s two front teeth could not be saved.

But this story has a happy ending. Thanks to the high quality of care provided by the team of dental specialists, including orthodontists, pediatric dentists, periodontists, and dentists specialized in operative dentistry, the youngster sports a healthy and beautiful smile today.

How they did it.

Tooth movement came first. Orthodontists moved the lateral incisors (the teeth next to the front teeth) forward to take the places of the front teeth. The remaining upper teeth moved forward, too. Once in position, the new front teeth were built up so that they looked like front teeth. As well, the pointy canine teeth were re-shaped to look like lateral incisors. And the first premolars were modified so that they would look like the canines.

Most people would never guess what it took to give the patient good function and a natural appearance. Truly, his smile is a testament to the science and artistry of those on his care team.

One small rubber band – multiple complications.

It took three years and nine months of treatment to repair the damage caused by an elastic band that well-meaning parents had their son use to close a gap between his front teeth.

Advice from the experts – see an orthodontist...Like Dr. Johnson who has over 20 years of experience and has treated thousands of patients over the years!

One of the article’s co-authors, Dr. Ross Brenner, says in a video regarding the boy’s case, “Patients and parents should know use of an elastic gap band to close a space between two teeth may result in severe periodontal destruction and eventual tooth loss. Prior to any tooth movement, patients are urged to see an orthodontist to find out their best plan.” The American Association of Orthodontists wholeheartedly agrees.

That being said, please give our office a call and set up a complimentary consultation with Dr. Johnson at  (630)887-1188.


Source: aaoinfo.org

Invisalign Invisalign Teen iTero AcceleDent American Association of Orthodontists
We'd love to see you! Call (630) 887-1188 for a Complimentary Consultation