Let’s Defeat Tooth Decay

Let’s Defeat Tooth Decay

Let’s Defeat Tooth Decay from Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. Delaney, Plunkett, Ralstrom, Makowski, Thanasas, Ker, and Associates Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan have specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. The ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs reaches beyond our facility, which has treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options.  We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.

How to Make Retainers Last Longer

It’s always a great day when your child gets their braces removed because no matter how long they are on, it always seems too long to the parents driving them to the orthodontist and the patient wearing them! The finished result is the look of straight and beautiful teeth. However, if you want to maintain that gorgeous smile, patients must wear their retainers. When braces are removed, your orthodontist will give your child retainers that are made especially for them and their bite and they will be thoughtfully designed based upon the pre-treatment presentation of the patient. They are made for both the upper and lower teeth. Retainers are not temporary. It is suggested that your child wear their retainers for life although the required wear time greatly reduces over time. This may seem overzealous, but it is not. The braces your child wore allowed your child’s teeth to be straightened but their teeth have microscopic fibers in the gingiva that take time to reorganize and have elasticity that can cause “relapse.” Properly worn retainers will keep this from happening. You need to think of it as part of your child’s daily routine, like brushing and flossing. The first 4-6 months after the braces are removed represents the most critical time as the bone around the teeth heals and hardens around the new tooth positions. Types of Retainers There are typically two kinds of removable retainers. One is called the Hawley Retainer. This retainer has a metal bar across the […]

Mouthguards Are Important For Contact Sports

Dental injuries can occur during a variety of activities but outdoor sports season is a high risk time for our kids teeth and jaws. The last thing any of us at Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan want to receive is an emergency phone call for a patient that had a tooth knocked out. It can be a very unpleasant experience, effecting smiling, talking, and eating. Preventing injuries during contact sports is surprisingly easy and is important for your child’s overall oral safety. Mouthguards, or mouth protectors, help to cushion the blow from active sport contact to the face and jaw to reduce the odds of concussion while also minimizing the chances of experiencing a cracked, chipped, or avulsed (knocked out) tooth. One of the easiest things you can do is to provide your child with a mouth guard. Mouthguards prevent thousands of mouth injuries every year. They are your child’s best bet for mouth safety. Mouthguards are generally recommended for football, basketball, hockey, lacrosse, and less commonly for soccer. Interestingly, soccer players are actually more at risk for dental injury than football players. Football/hockey/lacrosse players are usually required to wear a mouth guard and of course wear helmets, where soccer players usually do not face that same requirement. Challenges for balls in the air where hands are clearly not allowed and impact from headers make soccer particularly dangerous once play becomes more aggressive as kids grow older. There are four types of mouthguards to consider: stock mouthguards, mouth-formed […]

How we use 3D Printing in Orthodontics

3D printing capabilities bring exciting possibilities to the world of orthodontics and our office is proud to be on the cutting edge of this very patient friendly innovation. 3D printing involves the process of making 3 dimensional solid objects from a digital file using an accretive printer that lays down 3 dimensional forms as it prints. Our office uses a revolutionary iTero Element video scanner that captures the teeth and jaws in 1:1 relationships and makes a digital file called an .stl file. The digital 3D models are then saved and formatted and sent to the 3D printer where the layer-by-layer design of an entire 3D object is formed. Orthodontists have the job of creating the perfect smile, healthy and functional occlusion, and ideal facial balance. The use of the 3D printing is revolutionizing the orthodontic process by using the advantages of digital information over the traditional processes used in the past. For example, gone are the days of goopy alginate (think runny putty) impressions for most applications. Our digital scanner makes all of the information we need to create study models, Invisalign case submission, and most appliances used in orthodontic treatment. After a 3D scan is complete, it is then transferred to the computer to get 3D images of our patients’ teeth. These models can eliminate physical impressions and can aide in creating functional appliances, retainers, custom wires, brackets, and aligners. 3D printing allows for superior accuracy and speed. It helps to make our office more efficient by decreasing […]

What Does Your Oral Health Say About Your Overall Health?

Did you know that what we see in your mouth can be an indicator of your overall health? Sometimes we take our oral health for granted. But keeping a healthy mouth means that you are contributing to your overall health and scientists continue to find new connections between oral health and general health every year. Your mouth can show signs of nutritional deficiencies. Many oral lesions occur because of nutritional deficiencies or tooth problems. The good news is that, today, we are able to prevent almost all oral disease from occurring it should be the expectation that Americans will keep all or most of their original teeth throughout their entire life! Unfortunately, even with all our awareness about good oral health care, millions of Americans still fail to see the dentist on a regular basis. Dental caries, or cavities, remains one of the most chronic diseases of childhood. There are a few simple steps that we suggest our community take to help prevent dental and oral health problems. Practice Good Oral Health Habits Be sure you and your children are brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Flossing is equally important as there is zero chance your toothbrush will get in between your teeth with tight contacts. Try to get in at least one flossing per day, preferably at night before you sleep and your salivary flow decreases. Rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash is a great way to keep bacteria that normally live in your mouth in check. We […]

Can You Tell Me More About Invisalign?

Invisalign is a great alternative to traditional braces. Invisalign is a tool used by orthodontists to straighten teeth using a custom-made series of aligners. These aligners are created for each individual and each individual stage of treatment based upon the unique structure of a patient’s teeth and jaws. Invisalign is designed to be invisible. The trays are made of smooth, clear multilayer plastic called SmartTrak and are worn over the teeth. They look and feel like a custom retainer or thin mouthguard and are worn 22-24 hours a day.Invisalign is easy to clean by removing and brushing/rinsing trays. Aligner trays need to be changed between every 7 to 14 days depending upon the complexity of movement occurring or stage of treatment a patient is experiencing. Invisalign is easy to clean by removing and brushing/rinsing trays. Aligner trays need to be changed between every 7 to 14 days depending upon the complexity of movement occurring or stage of treatment a patient is experiencing. One of the best traits of Invisalign treatment relates to how it fits into patient lifestyle. There are no emergencies and there are no dietary restrictions. There are no issues with food or difficulty eating as you can remove the aligners to eat. Removing them to eat can be a bit of a hassle as you cannot eat with them so impromptu eating becomes more difficult. Patients also have to remember to put them back in, whereas braces are always attached to the teeth and, therefore, are always […]

Taking Care of Your Teeth During a Cold and Flu

It seems like, especially this year, just about any week that goes by someone we know has a cold or flu. Believe it or not, taking care of your teeth at this time is very important. Taking care of your body should be top priority, and your teeth and mouth are no exception. No matter how bad you feel, take the time to floss, brush, and rinse your mouth and keep it clean. A clean mouth will make you feel better. The flu virus can actually live on moist surfaces for up to 72 hours. Because of this, you should be sure to replace your toothbrush after you have had the flu or a cold. The virus spreads so easily through coughing and sneezing because it can live on moist surfaces for so long after leaving the body. That’s why it is important to cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. It’s best to sneeze or cough into your elbow. Teach your children this early. If you are unlucky enough to have the cold or flu, throat and cough symptoms make cough drops a must at times. We advise the use of sugar free cough drops to reduce sugar exposure to oral surfaces that may already be dry from medication or the illness itself. Many cough drops contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup. This is just like sucking on a piece of candy all day! This sugar is a veritable feast for the bad bacteria that live in […]

Dental Health and Diabetes

Millions of people in our country have been diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes affects they body’s ability to process sugar. There are two types of diabetes, Type I and Type II. Type I diabetes is characterized as the rarer form, more common to childhood onset, and is described by the body destroying the cells that create insulin needed for body cells to intake glucose (sugar). Type II diabetes tends to occur beyond childhood and is described more as insulin resistance, where the body isn’t able to use insulin the right way. Many Americans don’t even know that they have diabetes. If it goes untreated in can have dangerous effects on the whole body, including oral health as well. Diabetes often leaves people with dry mouth and a feeling of excessive thirst. The condition of dry mouth can lead to cavities and gum disease because saliva helps to protect your teeth both through the beneficial minerals inside and the ability to neutralize acids we may consume. Diabetics may also be susceptible to infections inside the mouth. The poor blood sugar control specific to diabetes increases the risk of gum tissue problems. The bad news is that gum disease can become very serious as the chronic inflammation in the gums couples with the reduced anti-inflammation cellular response in a person with diabetes. Seeing your dentist is extremely important for those diagnosed with diabetes. Treating gum disease can help to improve blood sugar control and decrease the progression of the diabetes. Performing excellent oral […]

FDA Warns Against Homeopathic Teething Products

We all know what teething is and have experienced the suffering it can cause in our young children. Babies are born with 20 primary teeth below their gum line. These teeth usually start to erupt somewhere between the ages of 6 and 12 months. Many babies become fussy, have trouble sleeping, demonstrate loss of appetite, and can even have excess drool during this process. Your baby’s gums may become very sore or tender when teeth cut through the gums. The best way to help your baby with teething is to gently rub their gums with a clean finger. Parents can also use a gauze pad or even a cool, small spoon. Parents may even want to give the correct dosage of ibuprofen for infants as recommended by their doctor. However, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has urged parents NOT to use homeopathic teething products containing belladonna. Belladonna is commonly known as deadly “nightshade,” which is a toxic substance. Hylands is a brand name for teething products, and they have recently discontinued producing their teething products including their homeopathic teething tablets. These tablets have been around since the 1900s. They were used to provide relief for babies who were teething. However, the FDA has recommended against these products based on testing that was done finding that these products contained inconsistent amounts of the substance, belladonna. There have been seizures and even deaths related to the use of these products; although not completely conclusive, they are still being investigated. If you […]

Lunches Approved by Your Child’s Dentist

Parents know that packing lunches for kids can become time-consuming and even frustrating. However, all parents want to pack their children a healthy and enjoyable lunch, but sometimes they run out of ideas as to what to put in those bags and boxes. Here are some good ideas about healthy lunches that your child’s dentist will surely approve for the youngest of kids all the way to your teenagers. What to Avoid in Children’s Lunches We often think that if we pack our children a lunch we will avoid some of the high sugary foods included in the school lunches, but we need to be careful about how much sugar we are putting in our kids’ homemade lunches as well. Believe it or not, you may want to limit the individual containers of applesauce. They tend to be loaded with sugars and we know all of our readers know that sugar exposure can easily lead to cavities. A small container of cottage cheese could be a good alternative. You can add real, fresh fruit to it to make it even more appealing. Speaking of fresh fruit, all fresh fruit is a good snack idea. We suggest limiting those sticky, gummy “fruit snacks as they are also loaded with sugar and they stick to the teeth, causing even more potential for cavities and gum disease. Good Options for Children’s Lunches Plain milk or string cheese is another good option for their lunches. Avoid any flavored milks, as they very sugary. Water […]

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