Associated Orthodontists Now Offering Virtual Consultations!

Have you been thinking about improving and enhancing your smile?
Wondering if you’re a candidate for Invisalign® or braces?

If the answer is YES — but your busy life makes it challenging to start — our Virtual Consultation is the answer you’re looking for!

With Associated Orthodontists Virtual Consultation option, you can schedule an appointment on YOUR  time either from your phone or home computer. This simple, convenient and complimentary appointment allows our doctors to review your case and provide your treatment options in the comfort of your home.

      • Virtually connect with one of our highly-trained orthodontists on your schedule
      • It takes just minutes: provide contact info, download some photos, ask questions & hit send
      • Our doctors will review your case and provide treatment options in just a few days
      • When you’re ready to start treatment, let us know and we’ll schedule a 30 minute in-house appointment for x-rays and treatment plan review

CLICK HERE to schedule your Virtual Consultation with Associated Orthodontists!

Associated Orthodontists Announces 2020 Scholarship Winners

Current and former patients awarded $1,000 scholarship

Associated Orthodontists is proud to announce the winners of its 2020 Scholarship Program. The annual scholarship is open to all current and former patients that are graduating high school seniors with a GPA of at least 3.0 and received full braces at Associated Orthodontists.

Each winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship to be applied directly to tuition at a college, university, vocational training or technical school.

Applications were reviewed by a panel at Associated Orthodontists, and were chosen based on submitted essays, academic achievements, and participation in school and community activities.

2020 Scholarship Winners

Madyson Rogers

Madyson is a graduate of Herscher High School, with plans to attend Olivet Nazarene University in the fall. She was a member of the volleyball, track and cross-country teams and was honored as MVP for volleyball and track, plus selected All-conference and the Daily Journal’s Player of the Year for volleyball. Additionally, Madyson was honored at the Straight-A Banquet and was a member of the National Honor Society. During her free time, she volunteered with several organizations, including the Herscher Hustler’s 4H Club, Best Buddies and the high school’s summer volleyball camp.

Louis Baser

A student at Lincoln-Way Central High School, Louis is looking forward to attending the University of Kentucky this fall. During his high school career, he served as class president and student council representative, in addition to being involved in numerous other extracurricular groups. Academically, Louis graduated with high honors as an AP Scholar with Distinction and Illinois State Scholar, and was a member of the National Honor Society, plus the Spanish, Science and Math National Honor Societies. Outside of school, he served as a student ambassador to St. Joseph’s Medical Center and volunteered with numerous groups.

Erica Passo

Erica is a resident of Plainfield and was a graduate of Joliet Catholic Academy, where she performed on the dance team and was a member of the student council, the National English Honor Society, National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta. She volunteered at local nursing homes, food banks, Hopeful Tails Animal Rescue and Feed My Staring Children. This fall, she will be attending the University of St. Francis in Joliet.

Noah Riley

This Joliet Central High School graduate is looking forward to attending Yale University this fall. Noah was a member of the symphonic and marching bands, varsity baseball, senior class committee, plus several other groups and activities. He graduated as an Illinois State Scholar, AP Scholar and a member of both the National Honor Society and Alpha Theta, in addition to being named an SAT Pacesetter and Rotary Student of the Month. As a member of the New Life Church in New Lenox, Noah served as a monthly Praise Team Leader.

Elizabeth Gildea

Elizabeth is a graduate of Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School, and this fall, she will be attending Old Dominion University of Virginia. During high school, she served as President of the Advice Beyond the Classroom program, Kairos leader and was also a member of the National, Science and Spanish Honor Societies. Elizabeth was also active in her school and club sailing teams, was a three-time Irish dancing world champion and was a member of the band.

Associated Orthodontists has six convenient locations in Joliet, Plainfield, Morris, New Lenox, Frankfort and Bourbonnais. Please visit to find a location near you. If you have questions about the scholarship program, please contact Julie Gardner at

About Associated Orthodontists

Since 1969, Associated Orthodontists has been providing patients with care that is focused on wellness, satisfaction and perfection. With cutting-edge treatments and extraordinary outcomes, its team of highly trained orthodontists are committed to creating a customized, stress-free and rewarding experience for patients and families. The partners at Associated Orthodontists include the most experienced and renowned orthodontists in the area, committed to improving smiles and making a positive impact in the communities they serve. For more information on Associated Orthodontists, including services and locations, please visit

Summertime Check List

Summer is a time for long days, fun activities and relaxed schedules.  But . . . it can also throw off our “normal” schedules — making it easy to forget about our oral health. Add to this sugary, warm-weather treats, parties with tempting goodies and outside play, and summertime can be hard on braces and smiles.

Help keep your braces intact and your smile on track by using our Summer Checklist:

4 is the magic number: Those wearing braces should brush their teeth FOUR times each day — breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime.

Water is best: Soft drinks, lemonade and sports drinks can quench your thirst, but their contents can damage teeth. Enjoy them in moderation and rinse with water or brush after drinking to get rid of the sugar and acid.

Avoid the Ice: It’s easy to chew on ice during hot days, but it’s not brace-friendly. Use ice to chill drinks . . . not as something to eat.

Brace-friendly treats: Remember to avoid crunchy, chewy, or sticky treats — they lead to certain destruction for braces! Choose summertime favorites like ice cream, jello and fresh fruit.

Make a travel set: Grab a travel size toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, wax and rubber bands to keep handy for vacations, slumber parties and day trips. Need some extras? Contact your local AO office and we’ll be glad to give you more wax and rubber bands!

Wear a Mouth Guard: Whether on the soccer field, or rollerblading in the park, a properly fitting mouth guard can reduce the chance of even the most common dental injuries by up to 60 times. Need a brace-friendly mouth guard?  Contact your local AO office and we’ll give you one!

Orthodontic emergencies: General soreness, loose brackets and poking wires can be frustrating and irritating, but rarely require an emergency visit. Click here to find temporary solutions to common issues.

Associated Orthodontists has six convenient locations in Joliet, Plainfield, Morris, New Lenox, Frankfort and Bourbonnais. Please visit to find a location near you or to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Related articles:

Hydration and Oral Health
10 Tips for Summertime Oral Health
Time for Braces? 4 Reasons Why Summer is Best!
Soft Drinks and Your Teeth — a Bad Combination
Mouth Guards: Protect Your Smile


2020 Smile Search

We’re looking for the next “Face of Associated Orthodontists”

Associated Orthodontists is excited to announce this year’s summer contest – AO’s Smile Search. The team at AO is inviting all patients, both past and present, to show off their smile and become the face of AO! Winners will be featured on Associated Orthodontists website, promotional print material, social media and more!

The contest will kick off on Monday, June 1 and will run through Saturday, July 30, 2020. Participants can enter by submitting a headshot featuring their brightest and best smile — with or without braces! A group of finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges at Associated Orthodontists, and final winners will be chosen via online voting. Winning smiles will participate in a Fall photoshoot.

Submissions can be dropped off at any Associated Orthodontists location or via email at Please be sure to include name, age, email or phone number with submissions.

Associated Orthodontists has six convenient locations in Joliet, Plainfield, Morris, New Lenox, Frankfort and Bourbonnais. Please visit to find a location near you. If you have questions about AO’s Smile Search, please email


We are excited to see you soon!  

You’ll notice that a few things have changed for your upcoming appointment and we want to make sure you know what to expect!

  • PLEASE ARRIVE A FEW MINUTES EARLY FOR CURBSIDE CHECK-IN! When you get to the office, you will notice signs in the parking lot that you can use to do the online required “Wellness Survey.”  This will also let us know that you are at the office. PLEASE NOTE: “Wellness Survey” should be completed by a parent or legal guardian.
  • To complete the survey, please take a picture of the QR Code on the signage with your phone and click the link, or visit the website listed. You can also visit CLICK HERE.
  • We will be contacting you via the cell phone you have on file to let you know we are ready for your appointment.
  • Please make sure the patient is wearing a face mask.
  • A team member will greet the patient at the door, take their temperature and escort them to their appointment.
  • We ask that ONLY THE PATIENT come into the office, due to state guidelines.
  • In fact, our waiting area is closed per state recommendation.
  • The patient will be brought into the office and asked to sanitize their hands and rinse with a hydrogen peroxide solution.
  • At the conclusion of the appointment, we will contact you to schedule your next appointment. You will also receive a summary of the visit.

Our commitment to the health and safety of patients is our top priority. We are following the guidelines set forth by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in addition to other health institutions on infection control. The team at AO has participated in educational webinars for training and we have the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). We thank you in advance for your patience with re-scheduling missed appointments, restricted entry to our clinic for non-patients as well as other mandated measures we have implemented.

Please understand that these new steps are new steps for us as well, and things may move a bit slower at first. We will work hard to see you as soon as we can, but these changes will limit how many people we can see and which procedures are done at which time.

We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time! Again, the safety of our patients and our quality of care are at the top of our list. 

AO Coloring Contest

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be releasing a coloring sheet featuring one of our doctors! So, get your Crayons ready & your creative brain in gear!
Here are the contest details:
  1. Submit as many entries as you’d like!  Color your favorite doctor — or all four!
  2. Be creative!  Give Dr. Casey some hair, a chef’s hat for Dr. Dave, a colorful shirt for Dr. Scott
    or a fishing pole for Dr. Pat.
  3. Submit your finished photos in person when we reopen, post on Facebook or email them to
  5. One winner will be chosen for each doctor & the winner will receive a $25 Visa Gift Card!!!
  6. Contest end date is to be determined.  Stay tuned for more information.

Click photo below to download & print.

FAQs for Braces


Your dentist just recommended orthodontic treatment for your child, and now a million questions are running through your head . . .

  • Isn’t my child too young for braces?
  • How much will it cost?
  • How long will it take?
  • Don’t braces hurt?

The word “braces” can be intimidating for parents and children alike, but the good news is that with advancements in technology, techniques and products, starting orthodontic treatment is more convenient and life changing than ever before.

Here are some answers to the most common questions about braces:

Best Age To Start

Patients of any age who wish to enhance the appearance and function of their smiles can visit an orthodontist. The team at Associated Orthodontists, together with the American Association of Orthodontists, recommends that all children have a consultation no later than the age of seven — the optimal time to assess the structure of the jaw, placement of erupting teeth and need for possible orthodontics in the future. Teenagers and adults can seek orthodontic treatment at any time.

Insurance Coverage & Cost of Treatment
Associated Orthodontists is a participating provider with most major insurance carriers. When calling to schedule your complimentary consultation, our team will collect your insurance information and our insurance team will verify and coordinate benefits.

Each patient’s orthodontic needs will differ, so treatment cost will also differ. Associated Orthodontists will evaluate your specific alignment needs, and our team will create a cost analysis and present several convenient payment options — including zero-percent financing. We fully explain your insurance benefits and all costs before starting orthodontic treatment. There will be no hidden fees and you will have all the payment information before braces are put on.

Length of Treatment
Every smile has different alignment needs, so it is hard to give an answer that is true for all patients. You may need braces anywhere from 6 to 30 months, though most treatments average at approximately 22 months. To receive the most accurate estimate for orthodontic treatment, visit our website to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Do Braces Hurt?
Don’t worry — braces are not generally painful. You may experience slight tenderness for several days at the beginning of your treatment as your teeth, mouth, jaw and gums adjust to your new braces.

Braces Offer More Than Just Straight Teeth
Straightening your teeth with orthodontic appliances will ultimately give you a straight, beautiful smile. However, the benefits of braces reach well beyond the aesthetic benefits — healthier teeth and gums, teeth that are easier to clean, prevention of jaw problems, improved confidence and improved overall health.


READY FOR BRACES? Schedule your Complimentary Consultation today! With a combined 75 years of experience, our orthodontists include the most experienced and renowned orthodontists in the area. We have a specially trained and highly professional team that understands the importance of patient satisfaction and strives for the highest level of customer service — each and every visit.


Related Articles:

Braces Offer More Than Just A Beautiful Smile

Braces — Just Not for Kids

Oral Health and Overall Health

Do You Need to See an Orthodontist?








Smile Squad Clothing Drive

The AO Smile Squad is excited to announce its first quarter community project!

Between February 17 – 28, all Associated Orthodontists locations will be collecting gently used clothing and household items. All clothing donations will be given to Gifting for Thrifting — a community pop-up store that collects clothing and provides it at no cost to our communities. Gifting for Thrifting will be hosting its next free thrift store on Saturday, March 14th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Saint Mary’s Parish Center, 303 W. St. Mary’s Street, Minooka. Other collected items will be donated to Rich En Deed, a store open Saturdays and Sundays in Plainfield that allows community members to shop for free.

Current Associated Orthodontists patients that participate in the drive will be entered into a drawing as a thank you for their support. One winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card, plus an additional winner from each Associated Orthodontists location will win 100 Smile Miles points.

The general public is also welcome to participate, and can drop items off at any Associated Orthodontists location during normal business hours. Participants are encouraged to visit AO’s Google pages or contact their local Associated Orthodontists office to confirm weekly hours of operation.

For more information about the organizations listed above, please click the links below:

Gifting for Thrifting
Rich En Deed
The AO Smile Squad

The Smile Squad

Since 1969, the team at Associated Orthodontists has strived to not only create healthy, happy and beautiful smiles, but to give back to the communities we live in, work in and serve. Through sponsorships and donations, AO supports numerous organizations, non-profits, athletic clubs and schools.

Then, in 2018, our employees asked to do more, and so the Smile Squad was born. 

The Smile Squad is an employee-driven division of Associated Orthodontists, focused on doing good in our communities with quarterly fundraising events or projects. In our first year, the Smile Squad supported Jillian’s Journey, the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Operation Firm Handshake and Big Brother Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties.

As we begin 2020, the Smile Squad is looking forward to again supporting our communities through various activities. Each quarter, we’ll be doing something a little different, but our focus will be the same to go beyond the braces and make a difference!

So, stay tuned to our social media outlets and website for updates. We can’t wait to start our next project and do some good!


Are you involved with an organization or project that might be a good fit for the Smile Squad?

We’d love to hear about it! Please contact Julie at with your information.