Thursday, August 10, 2017

What is a Palatal Expander?

A palatal expander is exactly what it sounds like – an orthodontic device that expands the palate.  The palate expander puts gentle outward pressure on the upper molars in the back of the jaw. Very gently and over time, the size of the palatal expander is made bigger and the palate and the upper jaw bone become wider.
Every child should have an orthodontic examination by the time they are 7, and part of this exam is so that the palate and the overall structure, size and shape of the oral cavity and nasal floor can be measured. Once the doctor has conducted this examination, an informed decision can be made about whether or not the child needs early treatment. The use of a palate expander can eliminate the need for tooth extraction later on, which may occur if the jaw is not big enough to accommodate all of the child’s adult teeth.
There is a limited window of time when the palatal expander can be used, and that is why the examination by age 7 is so important.
If the palate is not big enough, and if mid-palatal suture has fused, palatal expansion may require surgery. An oral-maxiofacial surgeon inserts an expander into the mid-palatal suture, the location where the two halves of the palate meet. These are normally separated, but if they fuse together, this is the only way to spread them apart.
The use of palatal expander appliances have become increasingly common as a good alternative to this surgery or the practice of extracting teeth before braces can be used to straighten teeth.
Palatal expanders also increase the width of the nasal floor as they expand the width of the upper arch of the jaw. For young patients, a palate expander increases airway volume and prevents sleep apnea.

If you have questions, please call the office at 631-427-8444 and we’ll be happy to set up a free consultation for your child, including a free examination.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Are You And Your Braces Going On Vacation?

Here’s what you need to know if you and your braces are going on vacation this summer:

The most common way to lose your retainer is to put it in a napkin when you are eating out, and it happens so often during vacations! Bring an extra retainer case – just ask for one at the front desk – so you never ever put your retainer in anything but your mouth and the case!

Traveling is a time when regular routines go out the window – that’s part of the fun of a vacation. But you still have to take good care of your teeth and your braces. If you can’t brush after every meal, at least rinse your mouth with clear water. Try to floss at least daily.

Bring an emergency kit, and if you are running low on supplies, just ask us – you’ll want lots of wax, a bite wafer, a small mirror so you can get a close look, floss threaders or floss and lip balm. Don’t forget a spare toothbrush and mouthwash. A pop up folding cup is a nice addition!

If you have a problem, like a wire that moves or a bracket that comes loose, call our office and we’ll figure out an action plan. We do have a network of excellent orthodontists that we can reach out to if you are very far away. And we’ll set up an appointment so that there won’t be any delay when you do return home.

If you are using Invisalign aligner traysDr. Gellerman , it’s a good idea to bring the last tray or the next tray with you, just in case you lose a tray. Remember not to put your trays in a napkin or tissue!

Most of all, remember vacations are all about fun – have a great time and send us a photo of your Spectacular Smile on vacation! 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Getting Ready For College – Start Invisalign Before You Go

Congratulations to graduates who are heading off to college this fall! It seems like you’ll never finish packing and planning, but before you know it, you’ll be waking up in a dorm room in this next exciting phase of your life. If you have always wanted a Spectacular Smile, good news: you can start on your new smile during the summer and easily continue treatment while you are away at school with Invisalign.

The same look that worked for you in high school may not suit you now–and you have a whole new group of people to meet. If you’ve got an awkward smile and you’re uncomfortable with how your teeth look, Invisalign is a perfect solution.

You can start treatment with Invisalign before you go away and bring the aligner trays with you when you leave for college. You’ll keep making progress while you’re at school and need to check in with Dr. Gellerman when you return on breaks.

You’ll still look your best when going to classes, getting involved with school activities and expanding your horizons. All the while, your teeth will be moving to the perfect position. Want to know more? Call Gellerman Orthodontics at 631-427-8444 and schedule your free consultation today!

Friday, July 7, 2017


WOW – this summer Gellerman Orthodontics celebrates 1,000 patients who have started treatment with Invisalign® clear aligners! Did you know that Dr. Gellerman is recognized by Invisalign as one of its top 1% providers nationwide?

We’ve worked hard to achieve this high level of performance and we’re proud of it!

Why are our patients so happy with their Invisalign smiles?

Dr. Gellerman and our entire team have more training than most Invisalign providers. We’re not just going for a weekend certification course! At least once a month, we attend Continuing Education courses and Study Groups on Invisalign. We keep up to date with all of the latest in technology and treatments so that our patients get the best possible care.

Our training and years of experience shows when our patients smile!

What’s behind the growing popularity of Invisalign at Gellerman Orthodontics? For teens, Invisalign is easy to live with, and because so many of their friends are also having treatment with Invisalign, they are already familiar with how the aligner trays work. They also like being able to remove the trays to brush and floss.

Adults like Invisalign because it lets them smile without feeling self-conscious. Brides and grooms opt for Invisalign so that their engagement and wedding photos are picture perfect. People who are in the public eye—at meetings, speaking, or being in front of the camera—like knowing that their smiles are improving every day, without anyone knowing.

If you want a great smile this summer, talk with Dr. Gellerman about Invisalign today and join the 1,000+ Invisalign patients. They're smiling because of Dr. Gellerman and Invisalign--a great team!

Learn more about Invisalign – call the office today at 631-427-8444 for a FREE consultation and exam.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Are you packing for camp this month?  If you wear braces, don’t forget to pack everything you need to take care of your Spectacular Smile!   Here’s a list of what you need to bring:

  • Extra wax, floss and spare toothbrushes
  • Mouth guards – and remember to wear them for sports
  • Extra retainer cases – remember the most common way to lose a retainer is to put it into a napkin.  

If a wire or band breaks or becomes loose while you are away at camp, use the back of a spoon or the eraser on a pencil to gently press the wire back under the archwire.

You can use wax or a piece of wet cotton as a buffer between the wire and your mouth if the inside of your mouth feels irritated.

Remember not to eat foods that are hard to chew and follow the same instructions at camp that you do at home.

If you have any questions or concerns, just call the office 631-427-8444.  
And have a great summer!!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


If you're a sports fan, you know that every now and then a player gets sidelined by a hit to the face. Lately, this has happened to a few basketball players who don't wear protective helmets but do face a tangle of arms and elbows. They leave the game and sit on the bench, surrounded by concerned coaches, and usually they are back in the game in a matter of minutes -- because they are wearing mouth guards!

Mouth guards are mouth savers! Student athletes wearing a high-quality custom fit mouthguard enjoy an extra layer of protection. The material in the mouth guard is designed to absorb the force of the blow to the face. This is Physics 101: if you get hit hard on the face, the force transfers from the thing you were hit with your face. Not fun!

When kids are wearing braces and they take a hit to the face, the force transfers to the braces and that can cause soft tissue damage, painful cuts and tears to the lip, gums and inside of the cheeks.  A mouth guard can minimize the damage.

Even kids who are not wearing braces need to wear a mouth guard. Having permanent teeth knocked out at a young age is life altering. If the tooth is not put back into the mouth in time, they'll have to deal with having false teeth for the rest of their lives. It's easily avoided—just by wearing a mouthguard.

At Gellerman Orthodontics, we think mouth guards are so important that we give them away for FREE - and these are not just the inexpensive mouth guards that you can pick up at the local sport store for a few dollars. These are high-tech materials that offer the protection possible!

If your student athlete doesn't have a good mouth guard, you are sending them out to play unprotected.

Call our office at 631-427-8444 for an appointment for a custom fit mouth guard. Coaches are encouraged to call and make appointments for the entire team. We're serious about mouth guards - we hope you are too!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Did you know that only orthodontists are trained in the art and science of the movement of teeth and other facial structures? There's a lot of science behind your braces!

An orthodontist devotes years to studying the science of how teeth move, but she also studies the artistic design of the smile. The size and shape of the teeth have to be in proportion to the size and shape of the mouth, which also has to be considered in relation to the size and shape of the face.

All of these aesthetic considerations, combined with the medical aspects of the mouth, jaw, teeth, upper hard palate and soft palate and airways, are all part of how an orthodontist looks at a patient's smile and considers what the best treatment will be to achieve the final goal of a Spectacular Smile.

That's why you want your orthodontic treatment to be provided by an orthodontist, and especially an orthodontist who is board certified. That means your treatment is being designed by a professional who has made a commitment to giving patients superior care. The proof is in your smile!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


High school graduates and college graduates are both getting ready for the next stage of their lives, and Invisalign is on everyone's to-do list!

For high school graduates, Invisalign Teen is an easy part of preparing for college, when they are going to meet a new group of peers and prepare for living on their own in a dorm setting. Invisalign is perfect for college students, as they can easily bring aligner trays with them and return to the orthodontist's office when they are home on break.

College graduates are also making a fresh start, this time heading out into the work world, where their appearance matters. There have been many studies on the impact that appearance and a person’s smile can have during a job interview.

For college students and graduates, the confidence that comes from knowing that your smile is at its best speaks volumes to those around you. In the classroom, in social settings and during interviews for internships and jobs, having a confident and Spectacular Smile can make the difference between being one of the crowd and standing out from other candidates.

Learn more about Invisalign - call the office 631-427-8444 for a FREE consultation and exam.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


Today we’re used to seeing tweens, teens and adults of all ages wearing braces, but you may be surprised to see braces on the smile of a younger child. That’s because there are times when early treatment can solve orthodontic problems that may be harder to treat when the child is older.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, children should have an orthodontic check up by the time they are seven to evaluate their mouths and jaws and make sure that their teeth are coming in correctly. At this time, most children have at least eight permanent teeth – four molars and four incisors. Most children don’t need treatment at this time, and it’s a quick (and free) visit.
But for some kids, teeth that are growing in above the gum line, an already crowded jaw line or teeth that have not yet come in at all may point to the need for early treatment. Can you tell just by looking?  Sometimes these early problems are easy to spot, but oftentimes they are not.
We can tell if a child’s jaw may not be big enough to fit all of the permanent teeth that are coming in. There are several appliances that can widen the jaw when the child is younger, avoiding the need for teeth extraction later on. Make no mistake about it: orthodontists, parents and patients prefer to avoid having teeth extracted!
Early habits may have already created orthodontic problems. If not treated, things like protruding teeth from thumb or a misaligned bite could become worse as the child’s oral structures grow and change over time.
If a tooth or teeth have failed to come in, a spacer will ensure that when the teeth finally do come in, there’s plenty of room for them.
Because orthodontists study the movement and placement of teeth for many years to master their specialty, they are able to see precisely what is happening in the mouth and determine if early treatment is necessary. Most kids are fine, but wouldn’t you want your child to get the right treatment, at the right time?
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s teeth, call our office at 631-427-8444 to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


One question parents often ask when their children begin their journey to a spectacular smile is whether it will be necessary to extract teeth. Our goal is to minimize the need to extract teeth, but it is worthwhile to understand the role of extraction in orthodontic treatment.

Dr. Gellerman, the orthodontist, is trained to look at the patient’s entire face and head, including the jaw, cheeks and chin. How do all of the parts of the face fit together? Are the proportions correct, both in terms of function and appearance? Just as every person is different, every person’s teeth, jaws and facial structures are unique. A careful examination by a skilled orthodontist like Dr. Gellerman will evaluate issues including crowding, tongue placement and the position of other facial structures.

Today, orthodontists are able to minimize teeth extraction because of the improvements to orthodontic technology.

For children under the age of 13, palate expansion, sometimes referred to as Rapid Palatal Expansion, is used to gain more space on the upper jaw and avoid having to extract teeth. The appliance gently widens the roof of the mouth, and treatment can take a few weeks or months.

The most common reason for extraction is known as “crowding.” Each person’s jaw has only so much space, and when there’s not enough room, teeth respond by moving out of alignment, overlapping or sticking out at awkward angles. Think of this like putting too much furniture into a small room: you can push furniture in, but no matter how strong the movers are, you won’t be able to open drawers if they are up against the bed! By removing teeth on a crowded jaw, the patient’s teeth have sufficient space to line up to create a straight and smooth surface.

If you have questions about whether or not your child’s teeth need to be extracted before orthodontic treatment can begin, call our office at 631-427-8444.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Did you know that children suffer from sleep apnea in the same way that adults do? Some children who have problems concentrating or staying focused in school are actually having trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Sleep apnea, when someone cannot breathe for a short period of time during sleep or snores heavily, is caused when certain structures in the mouth and throat block the airway necessary for regular breathing. Sometimes this happens because the muscles located in the back of the throat relax during sleep, and other times the position of the jaw itself pushes the soft tissue and muscles of the throat onto the airway.
There are ways to treat sleep apnea without the use of a breathing mask. 
Start with determining what is causing the sleep apnea. The use of a 3-D imaging study is very useful in examining patients to determine the cause of sleep apnea. We are able to tell what structures are blocking the airways, and this plays a key role in selecting the most effective treatment. The 3-D- imaging is also helpful to monitor the changes that occur over time, another means of evaluating the efficacy of the treatment.
A sleep study gives the ENT (ear, nose and throat doctor) an opportunity to determine whether or not you have sleep apnea, and start investigating treatments. Non-surgical appliances can be used to improve symptoms of sleep apnea through expanding the upper jaw and/or re-positioning the lower jaw forward and allowing airways to expand. 
Treating children is very different than treating adults because oral structures are still growing and changing. In some cases, tonsils and adenoids may be inflamed, causing a sleep apnea condition. In the past, tonsils and adenoids were routinely removed, but today we know that they are an important part of the lymphatic system and are only removed if they become a problem.  
Concerned about your child? Call our office at 631-427-8444.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


A convenient location is important, but that’s just a small part of what to consider when deciding where to go for orthodontic treatment. 

Start by asking if the orthodontist is an American Board Certified Orthodontist.  Orthodontists who become Board Certified undertake a rigorous and voluntary examination process with The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO).  It’s not an easy credential to obtain and demonstrates a commitment to remaining at the forefront of proficiency and excellence.

Dr. Gellerman has always been a Board Certified orthodontist, and has continued to be certified as part of her commitment to maintaining the highest level of professional excellence.  The recertification program required her to present clinical examinations of difficult cases. Dr. Gellerman selected the most challenging cases to convey the quality of care and technical expertise provided to patients.  Her presentations were made before a panel of nationally-known peers in orthodontics who hold the highest standards for patient treatment and care. Her presentations were very well received, and members of the panel were very interested how her patients were treated.
Orthodontics is a highly specialized area that is always changing, and requires keeping up with new medical science and treatments. To ensure that you or your family member is getting the best possible orthodontic treatment, choose an orthodontist who de
monstrates their commitment to patient care by making ongoing education and certification a priority.

At Gellerman Orthodontics, we pursue excellence in patient treatment and care every day, and we are proud of this commitment to our patients and colleagues. 

Monday, March 13, 2017


Did you know…..??
If you are on a journey to a Spectacular Smile using the Invisalign, Teen Invisalign, or SureSmile system, you are benefitting from one of the early products created with the use of a 3-D printer!

A company founded by the engineer who developed the first 3-D printers in the 1980s was involved with the development of Invisalign.  The aligner trays are printed by a state-of-the-art 3-D printer, after a digital image of the patient’s bite is taken, with gradual changes in the trays to move teeth into the correct position.

3-D printers are being used in amazing ways in medicine.  They are used to build frameworks when the body’s own structures did not develop correctly, or when illness or injury destroyed parts of internal organs.  Researchers are working with 3-D printers in ways never thought possible to help save lives.  If you want to read a really good article about this, visit the New Yorker -

At Gellerman Orthodontics, we strive to stay abreast of the latest advances in orthodontic treatment. We’re using state-of-the-art systems in straightening teeth, treating chronic headache and helping patients who suffer from sleep apnea, all with the latest in treatments that are new – and bring out patients Spectacular Smiles, a great night’s sleep, and relief from chronic pain.  To learn more, give us a call 631-427-8444– or visit our website

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


Yes, we were all surprised when we heard about this. Mail order aligner trays are starting to pop up on the internet. Unlike contact lenses, which are created from a prescription, orthodontic treatment doesn’t really lend itself to mail order.

Your teeth are part of a sophisticated system that includes your jaw, facial and neck muscles, even your sinuses. How your teeth are moved can have an impact not just on how your face looks, but how your jaw operates, how you speak, chew and swallow.

An orthodontist creates a model of your teeth and jaw, using a mold or 3D computer imaging, and based on specialized training and, in my case, decades of experience, creates a treatment plan that includes recommendations for the type of treatment, other orthodontic appliances that may be needed, and in some instances, oral surgery.

Without an in-person exam by an orthodontist, you may create more problems than you solve. Orthodontic treatment also includes evaluating other problems in your mouth, including periodontal issues, cavities and overall oral health.

When teeth are moved incorrectly, you run the risk of losing teeth, developing TMJ problems, along with chronic headaches caused by misaligned jaws.

Our solution? Come in for a free consultation. We’ll take a full set of films, you’ll get a free examination by Dr. Gellerman, and then we’ll talk about what orthodontic treatment you need. We also offer many different payment options to make it possible for all of our patients to enjoy a spectacular smile!

Thursday, February 23, 2017


February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and the Gellerman Orthodontics team is visiting schools with a fun presentation about taking care of young teeth.

While our show changes every year, the message is the same: proper brushing, flossing and a healthy diet can help children have a beautiful healthy smile for a lifetime. Good dental hygiene and healthy habits are important all year long!

What children drink can have a big impact on their dental health. Flavored waters, sodas and juices expose young teeth to sugars for a long period of time. Flavored water sounds like a healthy alternative to soda, but check the label first. If sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial food coloring, artificial flavors or ascorbic acid have been added to the water, it is just as bad as drinking soda. When vitamin C is added, it’s even worse, as a lot of vitamin C over time wears away tooth enamel.

Today we’re used to seeing tweens, teens and adults of all ages wearing braces, but you may be surprised to see braces on the smile of a younger child. That’s because there are times when early treatment can solve orthodontic problems that may be harder to treat when the child is older.

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, children should have an orthodontic check up by the time they are seven to evaluate their mouths and jaws and make sure that their teeth are coming in correctly. At this time, most children have at least eight permanent teeth – four molars and four incisors. Most children don’t need treatment at this time, and it’s a quick (and FREE) visit.

The orthodontist will be able to tell if a child’s jaw may not be big enough to fit all of the permanent teeth that are coming in. There are several appliances that can widen the jaw when the child is younger, avoiding the need for teeth extraction later on. Make no mistake about it: orthodontists, parents and patients prefer to avoid having teeth extracted!

You may be reading this in February, but if you would like the Gellerman Orthodontics team to visit your child’s classroom any time during the school year, or if your child’s after-school group would like to have a dental hygiene program at our office, just call us at 631-427-8444. We also welcome Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and Brownies who are earning badges for oral health and dental hygiene.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


If you’re wearing Invisalign, you don’t have to worry about kissing your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day because the clear aligner trays are smooth and won’t get in the way! Although we have never really believed those stories about two braces wearers getting their wires crossed and having to be disconnected…..

Red is our favorite color, every day of the year. But Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples and it’s not just about chocolates and roses.

Here’s how everyone can celebrate Valentine’s Day:
  • Put on your dancing shoes and take a ballroom dance class. Lots of area dance studios offer dance parties on this day for singles and couples. Dance instructors make the best dancing partners!
  • Use heart-shaped cookie cutters to make hearts out of fruit slices. Try watermelon, cantaloupe or pineapple slices.
  • If you are packing lunch, a big heart shaped cookie cutter can make a heart shaped sandwich that’s a fun surprise on Valentine’s Day.
  • Red velvet cupcakes, heart shaped brownies and soft cookies are braces-friendly treats.
  • Bright red tulips are our personal favorite for Valentine’s Day – a touch of spring plus great color.
  • Heart shaped stickers, plush animals, red socks and hats: there’s plenty of non-food fun for Valentine’s Day!
Braces and Valentine’s Day are a great combination, as long as you remember the basics: stick with soft foods, brush after eating sugary treats and most important, remember to show off your Spectacular Smile!

Friday, February 10, 2017


It’s simple: tweens and teens love Invisalign because no one can tell that they are getting state-of-the-art orthodontic treatment while they are wearing Invisalign. But that’s not the only reason tweens and teens love Invisalign:

Sports: It’s easy to put on a mouth guard – just place it over your Invisalign trays during contact sports. Invisalign users are less likely to experience soft tissue damage that can occur when wearing brackets and arch wires. BTW, everyone should wear a mouthguard during sports. Call our office and make an appointment for a free custom fit mouthguard.

Oral Hygiene is Easier:
It’s easy to remove the Invisalign clear aligners to brush and floss. Make sure to clean the trays before you put them back on! Just remember: dont put the aligners in a napkin or tissue while you are brushing so you don’t accidentally throw them out.

You’ll look GREAT. We know how awkward some teens feel, even when they look great to everyone around them. You won’t have to worry about food getting stuck in your teeth or not wanting to show your smile while wearing Invisalign. No one will know you are wearing Invisalign, unless you tell them.

Dr. Gellerman is proud to be a nationally recognized Invisalign Top 1% provider. She is a member of a select group of only 1% of all orthodontists nationwide. Our Invisalign patients know that they are getting the best possible treatment from such a highly skilled Invisalign source!!

Want to know more about Invisalign at Gellerman Orthodontics? Call us today at 631-427-8444 for a free consultation and exam. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


If you got engaged this holiday season, congratulations! You’re in for a whirlwind of excitement and anticipation as you and your beloved plan your future and your wedding celebration. To look your best in photos and videos, you’ve probably already starting your wedding diet and are thinking about making your smile spectacular.

While we can’t help you with your wedding diet, we have some pointers for your smile!
We know how busy you are already, and there's only so much time between your engagement and your wedding date.  Invisalign clear trays are a perfect fit for brides and grooms. No one will know that you are wearing the invisible aligner trays unless you tell them. They won’t show up in the many pictures that are taken between now and your wedding day. And if you want to make your treatment time even shorter, we can help with that too.

Acceledent® Aura is used to dramatically decrease the length of time you’ll need to be in treatment to get your spectacular smile.  It works by stimulating bone remodeling, which helps the teeth move into alignment faster. Acceledent® Aura uses a simple appliance that rests comfortably in your mouth for twenty minutes a day.

When it comes to a brighter smile, remember to straighten your teeth first, and then whiten. If you do this in reverse order, you may find your beautiful bright smile has unattractive dark spots.

For the best possible results for your smile, consider that an orthodontist devotes several years of specialized training after graduating from dboard certified orthodontist has achieved the highest level of skills, having been tested through scientific peer reviews. A board certified orthodontist is the best choice to take your smile from good to great, with the latest in orthodontic treatments.
ental school just to study how teeth move and how to move teeth for the best possible results. An orthodontist who is