Dr. Cynthia Wong

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Treating Braces Pain

When the phrase “beauty is pain” was coined, it wasn’t used in reference to orthodontic care. But anyone who has braces would most likely agree! Braces are aligning teeth that are out-of-place. They are literally moving your bones, so some discomfort is expected. But what can you do when the pain gets out-of-hand? Dr. Cynthia Wong of Dr. Cynthia Wong Orthodontics has some tips for alleviating your discomfort. Located in Orland Park, IL, she provides you with top-tier orthodontic care.


Braces pain is split into two causes, internal and external. External pain is the irritation of the gums and soft tissues in the mouth from the orthodontic gear itself. This happens when the brackets and wires cut or rub the mouth. Over time, your mouth toughens in these vulnerable areas. Talk to your Orland Park, IL, orthodontist about products for relieving discomfort. Different over-the-counter products provide relief to cut or scrapped soft tissues. Internal factors, however, are caused by changes in the blood flow. This is from the orthodontic gear placing pressure on the teeth.


Pain relief is found through over-the-counter pain medications. These remove the aches stemming from pressure. Motrin or Advil are the best for this. There are also topical pain relievers you can try. Talk to your orthodontist for suggestions. Dr. Wong also recommends dental products that target oral aches. Try following this advice too! After an adjustment to your braces, try eating softer foods. This includes pudding, jello, pasta, and softer vegetables. You should also use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid irritation.


It’s also important to protect both your mouth and braces. A facial injury forces your braces towards your vulnerable areas. A trauma or fall to the face will knock or break wires and brackets. If you play sports, always wear a mouthguard.


If you are having problems with orthodontic pain or have suffered an injury, reach out right away to Dr. Cynthia Wong Orthodontics. We are located in Orland Park, IL. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Cynthia Wong, visit her website or call 708-444-8341.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Orthodontic Emergencies

No matter how careful you are, orthodontic emergencies do happen. When these occur, contact Dr. Cynthia Wong Orthodontics right away. Conveniently located in Orland Park, IL, Dr. Cynthia Wong will see you as soon as possible. Many of these emergencies are handled over the phone. The more serious troubles require an office visit. Just remember that there is no need to panic. Here are both minor and major emergencies and what you should do.


Minor emergencies are the ones handled over the phone. You won’t need to see Dr. Wong to fix these problems. Call our office and we will walk you through the issue. Discomfort is the main issue we hear about. As your braces move your teeth, there is bound to be some achiness. Invest in over-the-counter pain medication to relieve the pressure. Others find relief through warm salt-water rinses. There are also over-the-counter dental products that focus on pain relief. Another common emergency is minor wires that move out-of-place. Use a clean utensil, like a q-tip or tweezers, to push the wire into a comfortable position. You can also cover it in dental wax.


A major orthodontic emergency constitutes serious harm or danger to your mouth and braces. A situation we frequently encounter is broken or loose brackets. Call our office right away when this happens. If the orthodontic gear isn’t applied correctly, it won’t work. Your mouth is also at risk of getting seriously injured by the exposed sharp materials. If a piece of your braces falls out, do your best to locate it. Bring it with you to your appointment. Other major emergencies focus on injuries or facial trauma. These can happen from a hit to the face, sports, or even a fall. After being cleared of other injuries, we can fix any broken orthodontic gear.


Dr. Cynthia Wong Orthodontics is located in Orland Park, IL. We provide quality and family-friendly orthodontic services. Our goal is to keep you healthy and happy, with a smile that can’t be beaten! To schedule an appointment with Dr. Cynthia Wong, visit her website or call 708-444-8341.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Pregnancy Gingivitis

Maintaining good oral hygiene is of critical importance when a patient is undergoing orthodontic treatment. If you are pregnant, you may have noticed that you develop gingivitis and your gums bleed more easily. Although this is distressing, it is also expected. We at the Orland Park orthodontic office of Dr. Cynthia Wong pay especially close attention to pregnant women’s gum health to ensure that their orthodontic therapy will be completed on time and satisfactorily.

Pregnant women’s bodies produce large amounts of the hormone progesterone. This hormone triggers the growth of new blood vessels. Although it is necessary elsewhere in the body, it causes the gums to become especially sensitive and prone to swelling. Gingivitis occurs when oral bacteria produce acid as part of their metabolization process. When they have a lot of food available to them, they’ll produce and multiply more. The acid becomes stuck in the biofilm created by bacteria on the teeth, leading to tooth decay and gum recession.

If a patient with fixed braces suffers extensive tooth decay and instability, the orthodontic brackets may have to be removed prematurely. Patients must frequently use Christmas tree toothbrushes to push food debris out of their brackets and use threaders to loop floss around their wires. People with Invisalign must also brush and floss twice daily, and also brush the aligner. Pregnant women who are eating more should be aware that carbohydrates are easy for oral bacteria to digest, so they should be quick to brush away debris from crackers and similar foods. They can also combat oral bacteria by drinking more water and using nonalcoholic mouthwash.

Cynthia Wong, DMD, operates at 15614 S Harlem #B, Orland Park, Illinois, 60462. To contact her office, call 708-444-8341 or visit Dr. Cynthia Wong and send a message.


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Oral Hygiene during Halloween

Halloween is always a challenging time for oral hygiene, but that’s especially true for people with traditional braces. People not only have easy access to sugary candy, but also sugary and acidic drinks. We’ve been in the orthodontic business for a long time at Dr. Cynthia Wong’s Orland Park office, so we wanted to advise parents and patients on some of the pitfalls of Halloween treats and how to mitigate them.

There are two issues to beware of: exposure to sugar and impact on the structure of braces. Sticky candies can dislodge orthodontic elastics and wires; hard candies can break them. As alternatives, consider soft, chewy candies such as chocolates. These candies are still high in sugar and will need to be quickly brushed off the teeth, but the risk from sugar has more to do with the length of time it remains on teeth than the sugar content of the food. To ensure the teeth are not exposed to sugar for long periods, limit the consumption of candy and soda or cider to set mealtimes, when the mouth is producing more saliva and the sugar can easily be brushed away afterward. Drinking more water throughout the day will also keep the mouth clean of sugar and acid. Lastly, we want to remind patients that it is much easier to maintain oral hygiene with Invisalign, but brushing and flossing must still be done regularly and that people shouldn’t put their aligners back in while there is still sticky material trapped between their teeth.

Cynthia Wong, DMD, operates at 15614 S Harlem #B, Orland Park, Illinois, 60462. To contact her office, call 708-444-8341 or visit Dr. Cynthia Wong and send a message.


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Treating the Causes of Gap Teeth

A gap between your teeth may cause you to whistle while you speak, or it may just make you self-conscious. Either way, we at the Orland Park orthodontic office of Dr. Cynthia Wong can help you correct it. But because gaps between the teeth (also known as diastema) can have a variety of causes, we may use different treatments, particularly for patients who are still children.

Children are especially likely to develop gap teeth if they suck their thumbs. If this is a coping behavior for severe anxiety, they may need help from a child psychologist. However, once the psychological problem is resolved, the gap and accompanying overbite can be fixed with traditional braces. Tongue thrusting is also a behavior that puts pressure on the teeth and is sometimes a psychological coping mechanism, but it could be caused by an involuntary muscle issue that would require help from an ear-nose-and-throat doctor to solve. A gap may also be caused by overly large connective tissue between the upper palate and the inside of the upper lip. This would push the upper central incisors apart and would require an oral surgeon to reduce the size of the connective tissue.

Many diastema are caused by the teeth simply being too small for the mouth. When there are not severe accompanying misalignments, such a gap may be closed with Invisalign. Once a gap has been closed, a patient will have to wear their retainer regularly and keep good care of their oral health, but if a gap does reappear, further Invisalign treatment can usually close it.

Cynthia Wong, DMD, operates at 15614 S Harlem #B, Orland Park, Illinois, 60462. To contact her office, call 708-444-8341 or visit Dr. Cynthia Wong and send a message.


Friday, October 18, 2019

Lip Protection in Cold Weather

As we enter another Chicagoland winter and the temperature drops, the air is retaining less moisture. Some people are already suffering from chapped lips. We at the Orland Park orthodontic office of Dr. Cynthia Wong know that this is especially irritating for people with fixed braces and wire retainers, who already have to be careful to control dry mouth. To help keep our patients comfortable and ensure their mouths won’t be damaged by their orthodontic treatment, we wanted to provide some guidance about lip protection.

The lips become chapped as moisture on them evaporates. Lip balm will seal moisture in, while licking the lips only adds more fluid to be evaporated. But not all lip balms are equal. Those that use spice as fragrance or flavoring, as well as those containing menthol, salicyclic acid, or eucalyptus could cause further chemical irritation. Instead, patients should stick to balm with sun-protective minerals such as titanium oxide and zinc oxide and that is made from a petroleum or mineral oil base. Balm will likely have to be applied throughout the day and before bed. Patients may also want to try placing small humidifiers where they sleep and other places where they have to spend a lot of time, such as at a workstation. They should also avoid long showers, which will cause further dryness.

Cynthia Wong, DMD, operates at 15614 S Harlem #B, Orland Park, Illinois, 60462. To contact her office, call 708-444-8341 or visit Dr. Cynthia Wong and send a message.


Thursday, October 3, 2019

Different Kinds of Braces

We at Dr. Cynthia Wong Orthodontics are excited to offer our patients three types of braces: clear braces, traditional braces, and Invisalign®. It is now common for patients of all ages to undergo dental work to straighten their smile. While in some ways a rite of passage for kids entering their teen years, adults who have never had braces are taking on the commitment.

Sometimes we all want to look our best, even during the process of straightening our smiles. Changing the layout of your teeth takes time. Dr. Wong offers clear braces, made from translucent ceramic to match the color of your teeth, for adults who wish for their braces to be less noticeable. Traditional braces are the standard for kids, and are made with exceptionally strong metals and are metallic colored. Kids can even choose different colored rubber bands for that extra pizzaz!

Invisalign® is a clear and comfortable alternative to braces, should you be a candidate for it. The teeth are moved gradually through a series of custom-made aligners. The aligners are virtually invisible, allow you to eat what you want, removable and promote less gum irritation. To see if Invisalign® is right for you, Dr. Wong offers a free, professional exam and consultation during which all your questions can be answered. 

Dr. Cynthia Wong Orthodontics is located at 15614 S Harlem Ave. in Orland Park, IL 60462. To schedule an appointment or for more information, please visit drcynthiawong.com or call 708-444-8341.