Welcome to Cusack Orthodontics, located in both in both Peoria and Pekin, IL. At Cusack Orthodontics you’re not just a patient, you’re a part of our family! We commit ourselves to offer not only the finest quality orthodontic treatment, but to make the process as enjoyable as possible, every step of the way. We aim to provide superior service and individualized care for each patient, at a reasonable fee, in a family like atmosphere that is enjoyable, caring, friendly and fun.
Meet the Doctor
Meet the Doctor
Being an orthodontist allows me to watch my patients’ amazing transformations when their smiles are improved with orthodontic treatment. The excitement and anticipation that go along with the first visit, all the way to the amazing smiles at the end of treatment, are what make what I do worthwhile.
A native of Peoria, I moved back to my hometown after completing my orthodontic residency at St. Louis University in 1997. I’m a Bergan High School alumnus and a graduate of the University of Louisville Dental School. My wife, Michelle, is also a Central Illinois native and is a graduate of Woodruff High School and Bradley University. We have been married for 18 years and have three daughters. I love spending time with my family and enjoy boating, photography, flying radio-controlled aircraft, model trains, and recreational hockey. I’m a little “old school” when it comes to music, so you may hear some songs from the 80s when you visit our office.
As an orthodontist, I pride myself on providing my patients with state-of-the-art treatment techniques and equipment. I am a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, Illinois Society of Orthodontists, Illinois State Dental Society, Peoria District Dental Society, American Dental Association, and Orthodontic Education and Research Foundation. I also belong to several local dental study clubs and organizations.
I look forward to meeting you and helping you to a better smile!
Meet the Staff
Meet the Staff
At Cusack Orthodontics we treat you with respect and sensitivity. Our amazing team gives their work the attention it needs to be of the highest quality, but where we stand out is the attention we give our patients. Everyone who walks in our doors will feel the passion, the experience, and the dedication to our patients that Cusack Orthodontics is known for.
With innovation, passion, and excellence, our mission is to build lasting relationships as well as provide each individual person a truly outstanding orthodontic experience. The process of orthodontics is a journey, and Dr. Cusack and his staff are excited to get to know you along the way, from your initial consultation to the last retainer check. We are committed to guiding you to a beautiful, healthy smile.
Our Patients Love Us!
Everyone in the office is very pleasant, kind and passionate about their jobs. It seems like a great work environment. Treatment was thoroughly discussed and understood. I also never felt judged for asking questions!! I highly recommend this office for children and adults alike. Anyone looking to improve your smile, they will remind you just how WORTH IT you are!!
- Natasha Lacy
Cannot say enough good things about Dr. Cusack and his staff!! Both of my boys have beautiful smiles now! Everyone is so nice and friendly, monthly payments made braces affordable for both my kids…Can’t thank you all enough for everything and I would definitely recommend this office to anyone needing orthodontic care!!
- Tonya Alexander
Dr. Cusack is the greatest and his staff is excellent. He fixed the smiles on both my girls and now I am ready for my son to start the process. It was a breeze with the first two and they both have the most AMAZING smiles…Thank you Dr. Cusack and staff
- Erin Olsen
Nothing but the best from start to finish! Great attention to the patient and keeping the parent up to date at every visit!!
- Molly Legaspi
After three years and jaw surgery, I got my braces off!! I’d just like to say if anyone knows someone who wants braces I highly recommend Dr. Cusack and his wonderful staff!! They are really awesome and really care about each individual person who comes to them! So for anyone that needs braces, go to Dr. Cusack because my teeth (and jaw) used to be horrible and now I love them!
- Amelia DeCeanne
Always enjoyed my times going here and my teeth look beautiful to this day. Thanks Pat and team!
- Andrew Kistner
Had a wonderful experience with Dr. Cusack and his team for my Invisalign. The entire staff is very friendly and accommodating, worked well around my schedule, and there were very short wait times when I arrived for each appointment. In and out quickly which was awesome. They worked with my financial situation as far as payments, and the whole process was definitely worth it. Very satisfied with the end result. The funny thing is I’d been to a different orthodontist in the Peoria area before who told me Invisalign was not an option for my teeth, which was really disheartening since at my age I really didn’t want to do braces. They said I’d have to get braces or eventually have a tooth removed!! Clearly they were wrong, so I’m very glad my dentist recommended this place. Thank you so much Dr. Cusack and team!!
- Mary Spengler
Best, best, best place by far…love my smile!! Plus, everyone there is very sweet and nice!
- Katy Metzger
Sarah’s smile is beautiful!!! Thank you Dr. Cusack and staff!!! Everyone there is so nice and professional!!
- Posie Bretchtel Heuermann
Dr. Cusack and his staff are the best!!!
- Kevin Streitmatter
Dr. Cusack and staff are awesome! Everyone is so friendly and helpful. As an adult getting Invisalign they have made me feel so comfortable and relaxed. I would recommend to everyone!
- Rebecca Taylor
We love Dr. Cusacks office. The staff is always so nice and professional. Great work! Very much recommended!!
- Jaylee & Jenny Wernowsky
I have been very pleased with Dr. Cusack and his staff. They made our children feel safe and always welcomed! So far, we have had 2 of our 3 children go to Cusack Orthodontics for braces. Their teeth turned are beautiful!! We are very pleased with his work! His staff is very friendly. They have always been accommodating to our schedule needs. I would highly recommend Dr. Pat Cusack for orthodontic services!! We will be using him again for our third child!! Thank you!!!
- Jenni Gustafson
Very impressed! Friendly staff, clean efficient office, and very good with after braces are off with teeth looking great & staying that way!! Good job to all employees!!!
- Sue Haussmann
When I noticed my teeth were moving about two years ago, I drug my feet to find an orthodontist. After the problem began to make me self-conscious I asked friends and family for a recommendation. Dr. Pat Cusack was the overwhelming response, so I made an appointment to see him. It was one of my best decisions. From the moment I stepped foot in his office I felt comfortable. For starters, the office is clean and modern and the staff is wonderful. Then there is Dr. Cusack himself. He has one of the nicest smiles I’ve ever seen, which is very reassuring when you’re going to him to fix your smile. It is obvious by his smile, and those who work for him, that he knows what he is doing.
My problem was subtle to others but significant to me. I had braces when I was 13 and since then my bite had shifted and it affected the way my smile looked. I was a news anchor, on television each night, and I worried the thousands of viewers would notice. Dr. Cusack suggested I try Invisalign. He promised people wouldn’t notice as the clear, invisible retainers corrected my smile. He was right. Unless I told someone, they really were not noticeable. One night I even anchored the news in them (by accident) and not one person detected a difference.
My experience with Dr. Cusack and his staff was impeccable. I would recommend him to anyone. He is an honest doctor and he made my experience not only easy, but almost fun. I have honestly never been happier with my smile than I am now because of Dr. Cusack
- Ashlee McNamee
We have a long standing relationship with Cusack Orthodontics with 3 sons out of braces and 1 currently going through treatment. The results are outstanding and the boys' teeth never looked better!!! Dr. Cusack and his staff are always very friendly and accommodating. The office is very parent and patient friendly with fun things for the patients to do while in the waiting room and even monthly trivia questions with the winners receiving gift cards. I would highly recommend Cusack Orthodontics to anyone who would love to see their smile be the best that it can be!!!!
- Lori Donlan
I bought my daughter to Cusack orthodontics for her initial appointment. Dr. Cusack suggested partial braces. The process from start to finish was a great experience. The staff was knowledgeable and friendly!! My daughter loves her new smile! Big thanks to Dr. Cusack and staff for boosting her self-esteem!!
- Tiffany Kamrath
I love this office. Friendly atmosphere. Everyone is very professional and efficient.
- Janelle Boyer
Absolutely love Cusack Orthodontics! I remember dreading these appointments when I was a kid but my daughter actually looks forward to her office visits! The doctor and staff are outstanding and the office environment is professional and pleasant.
- Colleen Ryan
At Cusack Orthodontics, we love to invest in our community. Peoria and the surrounding communities are home to our staff and our patients and the towns where we live, work, and play. We put our time and money into making the Central Illinois area a wonderful place to be. As a small business, our role is to be a caring and supportive corporate citizen. We have made connections to many local concerns through our staff, patients, family, and friends.
Here are just a few of the many ways that Cusack Orthodontics works with area residents and their endeavors:
- Sponsoring athletic programs
- Donating orthodontic treatment to school fundraising auctions
- Acting as a major sponsor to both the Children’s Hospital of Illinois “Sunny Day” event and the Riverfront Museum including the Halloween scavenger hunt
- Supporting community theater
- Funding countless student activities.
Straight teeth look great, function better, are easier to clean, and are more likely to last your lifetime. Orthodontic treatment is a wonderful investment with life-long returns.
A Straight Smile is a Healthy Smile!
Straight teeth and jaws that align properly mean that the rest of the mouth and face can grow proportionally, ensuring good oral health. Correcting an abnormal bite can also help ward off oral health problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, and abnormal wear of tooth enamel.
Beautiful Smiles Build Confidence!
Crooked, crowded, unevenly-spaced teeth present obstacles for the confidence level of both children and adults. Straight, healthy, clean teeth build pride and comfort when interacting with others – from making new friends, to participating in class, to sharing photos, to going on job interviews. Many patients complain of being teased for how their teeth look. A beautiful smile paves the way for easier socialization at school, in groups, during extracurricular activities, and at work.
Headaches, toothaches, sinus problems, dry mouth, snoring, drooling, bad breath, and insomnia are all symptoms of a smile that isn’t straight, jaws that aren’t aligned, or teeth that are too close together – or not quite close enough. Oftentimes, however, the mouth is the last place we check for signs of discomfort, lossof sleep, or even a simple headache.
If your child’s pediatrician can’t figure out why he or she isn’t sleeping well or experiencing headaches or other problems for which there seems to be no cause, a simple 30-minute exam in our office could answer many of those questions and begin a road to resolution.
The mouth is like a giant puzzle and all of the pieces slowly come together during growth and development. But what happens when the pieces of the puzzle don’t fit together properly?
The result can be a series of orthodontic problems that cause pain and discomfort. For example, a narrow upper jaw will often produce a shift in the lower jaw to one side when your child bites down because it is “more comfortable” that way. This shift creates a cross bite that can wear down back teeth prematurely and also grow the lower jaw asymmetrically, shifting the dental midlines. If not corrected, this condition can eventually lead to problems in the joints of the jaws. Early treatment appliances such as an orthodontic expander at the proper time of development can correct these conditions.
Choosing to straighten your teeth is a big decision that affects not only your appearance, but your lifestyle as well.
As an adult, you may be looking to improve your smile for business and social reasons, or even for a special occasion like your wedding day. Or perhaps you're a teen or the parent of a teen looking for an effective yet modern-day solution. Either way, Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen® can provide a simple way to accomplish this without having to put your life on hold. Take a moment to learn more about the Invisalign treatment process and how it can help you.
Let’s face it. With school, sports, dating, and hanging out with friends, getting metal braces might not be at the top of your list of favorite things to do. Guess what? With Invisalign Teen®, you can straighten your teeth without metal wires and brackets getting in the way. You’re free to enjoy the things that make these the best times of your life.
NO ONE NEEDS TO KNOW
Invisalign Teen aligners are made of a smooth, clear plastic that is virtually invisible!
Your friends probably won’t even know you’re wearing them. Enjoy the confidence of showing your smile every day while moving your teeth at the same time! That can make for a better social life overall.
EAT WITH FREEDOM
With Invisalign Teen, the aligners are completely removable, allowing you to eat all of your favorite foods whenever you want. This also means you can easily keep brushing and flossing as you normally would for proper oral hygiene.
KEEP DOING WHAT YOU LOVE
Whether you play sports or a musical instrument, a mouth full of metal can hold you back from enjoying the things you want to. It’s hard to perform at your best knowing you could get hit in the mouth with a ball, or cut your lip trying to hit that note on the trumpet. Invisalign Teen helps you focus on doing what you do best—being a teen.
The Itero scanner uses laser technology to “scan” you bite straight into a digital format. This virtual impression is all Dr. Cusack needs to start the fabrication of your aligners.
The benefits to the patient include:
- State of the art Itero scanner eliminates uncomfortable and messy impressions for Invisalign
- No more pinched gums and gagging
- Fewer, shorter patient appointments
- Greater accuracy virtually eliminates redo appointments and reduces chairside adjustments for aligners
- ClinCheck treatment plans are posted 50% faster than for cases using traditional impressions, which means much faster turnaround times
- Scanning with iTero translates to 7 times fewer aligner fit issues on average
- The ability for the patient to see a virtual “before and after” image.
How It Works
How It Works
KEEP DOING WHAT YOU LOVE
- Talk to Dr. Cusack about Invisalign
- A customized treatment plan is created for you
- Receive your custom aligners
- Wear a new aligner every two weeks
- Reveal your new smile & keep it looking great
The road to a beautiful and healthy smile starts right here with some information about our office and policies.
The Initial Visit
The Initial Visit
We are always excited about meeting new patients during their first visit to our office. The initial appointment consists of a thorough examination and consultation. It is important to analyze each patient's specific needs, since in-depth planning leads to superior results and higher patient satisfaction. We know your time is valuable, so to expedite treatment, we may do diagnostic records on this visit. The records include X-rays, photos, and impressions for study models that are necessary for developing the appropriate treatment plan.
During this consultation visit we discuss treatment options, time frames, and financial arrangements. We make sure that our patients and their parents leave the office with a clear understanding of their specific needs, what the treatment will consist of, and how long it will take. Dr. Cusack and his staff take the time to educate, explain, and answer all of your questions.
These are some of the most common questions at the initial visit:
- Is this a condition that orthodontics can address?
- Is treatment needed now or should treatment be delayed until appropriate growth, tooth eruption, or other factors have occurred?
- What treatment procedures will be used to correct the problem?
- Is there room for all of the permanent teeth?
- How long will treatment take?
- How much will it cost?
- What are my payment options?
We know that outstanding customer service can only be provided with appropriate fees and flexible payment options. There is no charge for your initial examination or diagnostic orthodontic records. A detailed diagnosis and the formulation of the treatment plan by Dr. Cusack are also complimentary. Fees are determined based on the finalized treatment plan(s) and estimated treatment length after Dr. Cusack has carefully studied your orthodontic records.
- Many of our in-house payment plans include a down payment and monthly payments with 0% interest, while strong credit may preclude the down payment.
- In addition, there is a discounted fee for payment-in-full at the start of treatment.
- We also offer flexible third-party financing with a low interest rate (with qualifying credit).
- We have a "Family Care Program" where we extend a discounted fee for other family members who also need orthodontic care.
- If a child undergoes early or interceptive orthodontic treatment, we also offer a reduced fee for the following full-braces phase of treatment.
Our flexible payment arrangements are designed to make orthodontic treatment affordable for everyone. We offer automatic debits from a checking or savings account, or automatic credit card payments. We accept assignment of benefits from most insurance companies, and this could lower both your down payment and monthly payments.
We will work with you to create a payment plan that fits your budget, and you will know what to expect before beginning treatment. As always, we will do everything possible to provide you with a positive experience!
There are many different agreements between insurance carriers and their subscribers, and each contract provides a different benefit. For your convenience, our office gladly assists you in calling your insurance company to get an estimate of the amount of your coverage.
Our treatment coordinators are experienced in dealing with most local orthodontic insurers. Once your insurance carrier verifies your orthodontic benefits, we can determine your anticipated balance and arrange a workable payment plan. We also submit insurance claim forms on your behalf. And, we accept assignment of insurance benefits; therefore, your payment plan is usually only for the patient portion of the fee, not including the insurance portion.
Want to save time at your first appointment? Just download, print, and complete the appropriate form below. You can also fill out this form online by calling our office at 309-693-3200 and we will email a link to you.
The Bonding Appointment
The Bonding Appointment
Dr. Cusack will put the braces on at the bonding appointment. This one-time appointment takes about an hour. Brackets are placed on the teeth with special orthodontic glue. A carefully selected metal archwire is then placed over the brackets. Tiny elastic loops attach the wire to each bracket. The pressure from the wire gradually works to straighten the teeth. There are different options for bracket materials and a rainbow of fun color choices for elastic bands (which are changed at every adjustment appointment) for a unique and colorful smile. You will be sent home with a “Cusack Orthodontics Survival Kit” with everything you need to get started taking care of your new braces.
After the bonding appointment, the patient comes back for regular adjustments at four- to six-week intervals. These adjustment appointments typically last about thirty minutes. At each adjustment appointment, the previous elastic bands will be removed, new archwires may be placed, and different colored elastics can be chosen.
At Cusack Orthodontics, we believe an orthodontic office should be modern, clean, and conveniently located.
The waiting room features complimentary WiFi, bottled water, a 70" TV for some Wii U games, and a large variety of Keurig fresh-brewed coffee.
Safety and cleanliness is a priority in our practice. We meet or exceed the standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administrators (OSHA) and we follow the State of Illinois Infection Control Guidelines. Our goal is to provide the highest level of safety for us and for all our patients.
Our office is conveniently located in the middle of Peoria near Richwoods High School and St. Vincent's Middle School. That means great orthodontic care is only a few minutes from your home, work, or school.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic screening by the age of seven or sooner if there are concerns or questions about their bite. This is not necessarily to start treatment but to evaluate the need for intervention by looking at jaw growth or the lack of room for permanent teeth. An orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal. Please don’t wait until all the baby teeth are lost. There are great advantages to starting treatment early.
Early or Inceptive Treatment
Early or Inceptive Treatment
This phase of treatment is for the orthopedic correction of the jaws and alignment of the front teeth to facilitate in the eruption of the remaining permanent teeth. Appliances are sometimes placed on the upper and/or lower permanent teeth.
Treatment usually begins after the four upper front teeth have erupted (around the ages of seven to nine.) The patient may wear space maintainers or expanders, which bring the teeth into a more ideal biting position. Interceptive treatment can be used to enhance the growth pattern in children to help create more room for the eruption of permanent teeth. Treatment can be accomplished within 12 months with a “holding” pattern (i.e. retainers.)
Advantages of Interceptive Treatment
- Improves the relationship of the upper and lower jaws.
- Utilizes the maximum advantage of the child’s growth.
- The bone is more pliable and teeth move more easily.
- Moves protruding teeth back so that they will be less susceptible to injury.
- Improves facial appearance and self-esteem.
- Patient is cooperative and enthusiastic at this age.
- Helps reduce chance of removing permanent teeth later.
- Reduce length of time wearing full braces.
- Could possibly eliminate the need for full braces later.
Comprehensive treatment is commonly known as full braces or complete braces. This phase of treatment concerns all of the permanent teeth and establishes the proper final occlusion. Orthodontic retention is the only phase remaining after this phase.
Orthognathic surgery (also known as corrective jaw surgery) treats and corrects abnormalities of the facial bones (size, shape, and location). These abnormalities can often cause difficulty with chewing, talking, sleeping and other routine activities. Orthognathic surgery can correct these problems and improve the overall appearance of the facial profile. Orthognathic surgery may be unnecessary if orthognathic treatment can correct the problem during early growth of the jaws.
If your bite requires orthognathic surgery, Dr. Cusack is able to demonstrate the overall aesthetic and functional benefits of orthognathic surgery using the latest in digital imaging technology.
Braces aren’t just for kids. All ages can benefit from a healthy bite. Tooth alignment can be changed at any age if your gums and bone structures are healthy, which we evaluate with every adult patient. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, abnormal wear of the tooth enamel and surfaces, headaches and jaw joint (TMJ/TMD) pain. We offer a variety of treatments that are designed for different age groups – including adults.
The new techniques and appliances we use greatly reduce discomfort levels, decrease the frequency of visits, shorten treatment time and may allow you to choose from several different types of braces. Your choices may include metal braces, translucent braces, or transparent aligners that can be worn to improve mild cases of misaligned teeth.
Over 25% percentage of our patients are adults, and they agree that it’s never too late to improve their greatest asset — their smile. Contact us about adult orthodontics today.
Common Orthodontic Problems
Common Orthodontic ProblemsUpper Front Teeth Protrusion
The appearance and function of your teeth are impacted by this type of bite. It is characterized by the upper teeth extending too far forward or the lower teeth not extending far enough forward.Overbite
The upper front teeth extend out over the lower front teeth, sometimes causing the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth.Crossbite
The upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which may cause tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth.Openbite
Proper chewing is impacted by this type of bite, in which the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap. Openbite may cause a number of unwanted habits, such as tongue thrusting.Crowding
Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gum. Crowding can often be corrected by expansion, and many times, tooth removal can be avoided.Spacing Braces Peoria IL invisalign.
Spacing problems may be caused by missing teeth, or they may only be a cosmetic or aesthetic issue.Dental Midlines not Matched
This type of problem is caused when the back bite does not fit and match appropriately, which may negatively impact jaw and proper dental function.Thumb Sucking Habit
This common habit will flare the top teeth forward, tip the lower teeth back, and create a narrow upper jaw shape that can put the back teeth into a crossbite.Tongue Thrust Habit
Normally the tongue pushes against the roof of the mouth when a person swallows. Sometimes, however, a person can develop a habit in which the tongue pushes forward against the back of the front teeth when they swallow. This undesired habit will create an open bite in the front.
Types of Braces
Types of BracesTraditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.Ceramic
Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth.Invisalign®
Invisalign® uses a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable aligners to straighten your teeth. Not only are the aligners invisible, they are removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment. Plus, brushing and flossing are less of a hassle. The aligners are comfortable and have no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment.Self-Ligating Braces
Self-ligation is a system of braces that can potentially shorten treatment time, be more hygienic, and allow for decreased tenderness during treatment. It is made from stainless steel or ceramic for stability and is smaller in size for aesthetics (great for our adult patients.) The rounded structure improves patient comfort while maintaining overall performance. Self-ligation uses lighter wires and lower friction brackets to move teeth, resulting in slightly faster treatment times due to its sliding mechanism designed to maximize tooth movement speed and efficiency.
Once the active orthodontic appliances are removed, the patient will receive retainers to stabilize the dental correction. Because the bone and soft tissues surrounding the teeth are stabilizing for several months after braces are removed, it is imperative that the retainers are worn as instructed. Failure to wear the retainers may result in undesirable movement of the teeth, which could necessitate re-treatment. Braces Peoria IL invisalign.
Our goal is to help your smile stay beautiful and healthy for a lifetime. Your cooperation is essential in order to achieve this goal.
Your New Braces
Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step in an amazing and life changing experience, so now what? Here are some helpful tips.
Brushing With Braces
You will notice it is harder to keep your teeth clean with orthodontic appliances. Food can easily become caught in the brackets and between your teeth. Proper brushing and flossing is vital to keeping your teeth and gums healthy, and is essential in preventing the development of stains, cavities, or gum disease. Dr. Cusack recommends brushing when you wake up in the morning, before bed, and after every meal. In addition, use a fluoride and/or anti-bacterial mouth rinse after brushing to keep teeth strong and healthy. Additional hygiene tools, such as electric toothbrushes and Waterpiks, may help out if you need more than a conventional tooth brush and floss.
To brush your teeth, start by brushing the outer surfaces of the teeth and braces with a gentle, circular motion. Tilt your toothbrush 45 degrees to clean the top and bottom of the braces. Concentrate on the areas of your teeth between the gums and the braces, as this area is most commonly missed when brushing. Then, brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth as well as the inside surfaces of your teeth. Don’t forget to brush your tongue as odor-causing bacteria can get trapped here. Do not brush with a hard-bristled toothbrush or use harsh, saw-like motions. This may cause damage to your teeth and gums by wearing away the surface structure of the teeth.
To clean between the brackets, use an interproximal or proxy brush, which is a small, pine-tree shaped brush that can be adjusted to different angles. Dr. Cusack will provide a proxy brush in the “orthodontics survival kit” you will receive, but they can also be found at most drug stores. Insert it under the arch wire, and gently work it in an up and down motion. By doing this, you will be cleaning the surfaces of your teeth to the left and right of the braces. Do this between all of your brackets and bands.
There are 10 rules of hygiene during orthodontic treatment to ALWAYS remember:
- Brush after EVERY meal, and AT LEAST 4 times a day.
- Floss EVERY DAY.
- Brush every surface of your tooth.
- Brush every surface of your braces, including in between. Brush your gums, and concentrate on the ones between the teeth and braces.
- Brush in a circular motion.
- Brush your tongue.
- Rinse with fluoride-fortified mouthwashes.
- A Waterpik is a great cleaning tool.
- It only takes one day of improper cleaning to cause BIG problems!
To clean between your teeth, you will need to floss. Several different flossing tools have been developed to assist orthodontic patients with this, as it can be difficult to stretch the floss underneath the orthodontic wire.
Please watch this short video to learn about the "parts" of your new braces.
Unlike regular dental emergencies such as a tooth ache or a chipped/broken tooth, orthodontics has very few emergencies that can’t be handled with help from a parent, spouse or friend. As long as you are not in great pain or bleeding you should be able to attend to your own “emergency” in the comfort of your own home.
A loose bracket that is still affixed to the wire can be secured with wax until it can either be replaced or removed from the wire at your next appointment. A long wire that is ‘pokey’ can be bent away from your gum tissues with an eraser from a pencil or by using a spoon. Gently use the eraser to push the wire towards the teeth and place some wax over the sharp point. This is the only time you are allowed to put a pencil near your braces!
A wire that cannot be moved can be clipped with a sharp pair of nail clippers; just make sure you clean the clippers with rubbing alcohol and rinse them under water before use. Clip the wire behind the next bracket that is still securely fastened to your teeth. A lost elastic or tie wire can wait until the office reopens or your next appointment where the broken wire will be replaced.
In the case of any change to your orthodontic appliances we ask that you call the office when we re-open and allow us to make the decision regarding a return emergency visit. If you have bleeding, swelling or are experiencing extreme discomfort please call our office as soon as possible. Dr. Cusack’s cell phone number is on our answering machine if the office is closed.
Foods to Avoid
Hard and sticky foods can break off brackets, bend wires, and loosen bands, which will extend your total treatment time. Foods high in sugar can cause cavities, calculus build-up, and ugly, permanent stains on your teeth. So what can you do? Limit your diet to softer, healthy foods.
Here are some examples of foods that must be avoided during orthodontic treatment:
Ice, nuts, popcorn, peanut brittle, rock candy, apples and carrots (unless cut into pieces,) corn on the cob, hard pretzels, hard rolls, bagels, hard tacos and corn chips.
Hard, sticky candy such as Jolly Ranchers, caramels, bubble gum, taffy, suckers, chewy candies such as Starburst, Dots or other jelly candies.
Pizza crust, crusty breads, beef jerky, gummy bears or gummy anything.
Sugary Foods and Drinks
Cake, ice cream, cookies, pie, candy, soda pop, and drinks with sugar. Also, do not chew on pens, pencils, fingernails or other hard objects. Please use your common sense when deciding which foods you should eat and those to be avoided. Remember, eating the right foods will provide you with the shortest treatment time possible!
What foods can I eat?
When braces are first placed or after an orthodontic adjustment, your teeth will be sore when you chew. Stick to soft foods such as soup, pasta, pancakes, eggs, macaroni and cheese, yogurt, Jell-O, milkshakes, etc. Or you can always eat Dr. Cusack’s personal favorite – mashed potatoes. After a few days, you'll be eating a pretty normal diet again.
For some contact sports, we recommend using a mouth guard that allows tooth movement to continue while protecting the skin tissue from getting impinged in the braces from hits to the head. Never use the boil and bite mouth guards with braces as your braces may get stuck when you bite into the mouth guard. Dr. Cusack has mouth guards at his office or you can buy them at sports stores.
Dr. Cusack informs his instrument-playing patients that woodwind players may have slightly more difficulty than brass instrument players. Every musician seems to adapt very well to playing with braces after a week or two of practice. Some of them find that placing wax on the brackets is helpful during the initial adjustment period. If a patient is a “First Chair” player, some extra practice will ensure that they are conditioned to playing with braces and maintain that high level.
Retainers are made of a thermoplastic material that is sensitive to excessive heat, so they should be kept away from heaters, dishwashers, car dashboards or any place where the temperatures exceed 115 degrees(F). The retainers should be cleaned before and after placement in the mouth. Because the material used for fabrication is slightly porous, plaque tends to cling to the surfaces of the retainer. Gentle scrubbing with a toothbrush and a mild liquid soap will remove the plaque. A denture cleaning solution, such as Efferdent, will aid in the removal of plaque and tartar. Be sure to rinse the retainer thoroughly after cleaning to remove any cleanser residue.
Here Are A Few Things to Remember During the Years of Retainer Wear:
- Don't fold it in your napkin or leave it on the table at a restaurant. Garbage cans don't make happy hunting grounds.
- Don't put your retainer in your pocket. You might sit on it and break it.
- Take your retainer out when swimming in a lake or ocean. If it falls out you may not be able to find it. The same goes for a swimming pool depending on the size of the pool.
- Animals and younger children love to play with it. Please make sure your retainer is in your mouth at all times. Your retainer should only be out of your mouth when brushing or eating.
- Your lower retainer may be a fixed retainer bonded onto your teeth. It is not considered permanent and can be broken or detached from your teeth, if you are not careful with it.
- Bring your retainers to your check-up appointment. If anything happens to your retainers (i.e. it doesn't fit, it's broken, or it's lost) please call us ASAP. If your lower bonded retainer wire comes out, keep it and bring it in at your next appointment for rebonding.
- The first set of retainers is included in your treatment fee. Any repair, replacement of your retainer, or rebonding of your lower retainer will be additional and charged to your account.
- Keep things clean! Be sure to brush your teeth without your retainers in. Do not boil your retainer or put it in hot water. Brush your retainer with a toothbrush using toothpaste or water.
Pick Some colors!
Click on the bracket color below and then click on a bracket or several brackets in the image on the right to see what different colors will look like! We have more than 50 colors to pick from in our office!
Brooke’s Impossibly Easy Taco Pie
- 3½ pound ground beef
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 1 pkg. taco seasoning
- 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 T cornmeal
- ½ cheddar cheese
Brown beef and chop into fine crumble then drain. Mix in diced tomatoes and chopped onion. Add taco seasoning and water. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup cheddar cheese.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk a whisk, beat together the eggs, flour, salt, milk and ½ cheddar cheese. Grease a 9” pie pan. Pour mixture into the pan and sprinkle with cornmeal. Spoon the meat mixture into the center of the batter, keeping it one inch from the edge.
Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until crust is lightly browned.
Variations: Serve with extra sour cream, salsa, black olives, and green onions.
Lisa’s Heavenly Ham And Potato Bake
- 1 (5.5 ounce) pkg. scalloped potato mix
- 2 cups boiling water
- ½ cup milk
- 2 cups fully cooked ham
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In an ungreased baking dish, combine potatoes with sauce mix, boiling water and butter. Stir in milk and ham. Bake uncovered 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Sprinkle with cheese and bake 5 minutes longer.
Variations: mix in corn or broccoli before baking.
Ashley’s Tangy Tuna Fish Casserole
- 2 ½ cups egg noodles
- 2 6oz cans tuna drained
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- ½ cup miracle whip
- Optional: 1/3 cup onion diced, 1 cup frozen peas thawed
- Personalize with your choice of topping: crumbled Ritz crackers or classic favorite crushed potato chips!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large pot, boil water and cook noodles until not quite tender. Mix miracle whip and cream of mushroom soup together. Grease casserole dish and stir in noodles, tuna, (peas and onions) and soup mixture. Sprinkle with topping of choice. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly on top.
Joanna’s Breakfast Bake
- 3 cups frozen shredded hash browns
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup cooked ham diced or crumbled sausage
- 4 eggs beaten
- 1 12(oz.) can evaporated milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease 2 quart casserole dish. Spoon shredded potatoes, then top with cheese and ham or sausage. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, and evaporated milk. Pour egg mixture over potatoes.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes
Tricia’s Tantalizing Tuna Cakes with Sour Cream Dill Sauce
- 12 cans (6oz each) water packed tuna, drained
- Picture 7 10 saltines crackers
- 1 to 2 tablespoons dried chives or 1 green onion finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Sour cream dill sauce
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
- 1 tsp. dried dill weed
By hand, crumble the crackers into a bowl, breaking them into pea-sized pieces; stir the tuna, crackers, eggs and chives together thoroughly so that no egg is showing. Shape mixture into 4 4-inch patties.
Heat oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook patties in oil 2 to 3 minutes. Turning once, until light golden brown. Serve with sauce.
Megan’s Hamburger Crumbles
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 envelope onion soup mix
- ½ cup water
- Optional: 1 tablespoon ketchup and mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a large frying pan, brown the beef chopping it to a fine crumble, drain if necessary. Add soup mix, water and ketchup and mustard, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer just to heat through. Serve on hamburger buns.
Jennie’s ‘Jam’min Thumbprint Cookies
- ½ cup margarine, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup jam of your choice (works better than jelly because it is thicker)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine margarine, sugar, salt, egg and vanilla, using an electric mixer blend until smooth. Mix in flour.
Drop by tablespoons onto greased cookie sheet. Press a thumbprint into the center of each ball, about ½-inch deep. Fill each indentation with about 1 tsp jam. Bake for 9 minutes.
Makes about two dozen.
Patrick’s Perfectly Easy Apple Crisp
- 3 cups apples peeled, cored, and sliced (avoid Delicious apples)
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1/3 cup butter, chopped into small bits
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Arrange apple slices evenly in prepared baking dish. Sift flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture becomes fine crumbs. Sprinkle crumb topping over apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, depending on how dark you like the crumbs. Cool slightly before serving.
Karessa’s Pumpkin Muffins
- 1 (15 oz. can of pumpkin)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups white sugar
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 T plus 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce (or vegetable oil)
- 3 eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Paper-line or grease 12 muffin cups.
Combine flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Combine pumpkin puree, eggs, oil or applesauce in large mixer bowl; beat until just blended. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture; stir just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Kinsey’s Sausage and Corn Bake
- 1 pound pork sausage
- 1 (16 oz.) pkg. dry corn bread mix
- 1 (15 oz.) can cream style corn
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 (8 oz.) pkg. shredded cheddar Monterey jack cheese blend
- Optional: jalapenos diced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.
Cook sausage and onion over medium high heat until brown. Drain and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix corn bread mix, cream style corn and water.
Cover the bottom of the prepared baking dish with about ½ in. of the corn bread mixture. Layer with sausage and onion mixture followed by optional diced jalapenos. Cover with cheese. Top with remaining corn bread mixture.
Bake 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Michelle’s Baked French Toast
- 5 cups bread cubes (use soft bread)
- 4 eggs
- 1 ½ cups milk
- ¼ cup white sugar, divided
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 T butter softened
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease an 8x8 in. baking pan.
Line bottom of pan with bread. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, 2 T sugar, salt and vanilla. Pour egg mixture over bread. Dot with butter; let stand for 10 minutes.
Combine remaining 2 T sugar with cinnamon and nutmeg and sprinkle over the top.
Bake for 45-50 minutes until top is golden.
Tiffany’s Easy Baked Spaghetti
- 16 oz. spaghetti noodles
- 1 pound ground beef or turkey
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 (16 oz.) meatless spaghetti sauce
- 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce; set aside.
Mix together pasta, meat mixture, and cheddar cheese, pour into 9x13 pan. Top with mozzarella cheese and bake for 30 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.
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