Have You Ever Wondered Why So Many People Need Braces?

Have You Ever Wondered Why So Many People Need Braces?

Pretty much everyone sees the allure of beautifully straight teeth and a healthy bite. While we are fortunate to have excellent technology and knowledge of how to use it to straighten teeth today, have you ever wondered why so many people have crooked teeth or bite problems? Straight teeth look great and they are also healthier as they simplify our overall oral care. So, why aren’t we all born with beautiful, straight teeth? There are some theories on why this is the case. One belief is that our modern diet is part of the reason why our teeth are crooked. The modern human jaw doesn’t always have enough room to fit all the teeth we have. Some believe that as humans evolved and began growing their own food and raising animals, the way they used their teeth changed. Archeologists have noticed that before times of agriculture, jawbones and teeth showed significantly more wear and tear, but very little crowding. Our jaws became smaller over time because the strength required to chew processed food is much littler. However, the number of teeth we had stayed the same, causing the crowding we see today. Some archeologists found that the shape of the upper jaw was significantly different between hunter-gatherers and farmers, believing that the introduction of softer foods may have protected those with shorter, weaker jaws, with the side effect of overcrowding of teeth. Of course, there are environmental reasons for crooked teeth or bad bites aside from genetic causes. These things […]

What is Bad Breath? And how to get rid of it!

Bad breath can be downright offensive, however, we all have it from time to time. Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can occur for a variety of reasons. Basically, bad breath is created by the natural bacteria that lives in our mouths. After eating, bacteria feeds on the food particles that are left behind and can cause foul smells that create bad breath. Certain foods that have pungent characteristics, like garlic or onions, can make this problem. Dehydration can also lead to bad breath. Keeping your mouth moist with your saliva or consuming the recommended amount of water each day keeps the mouth moist, you hydrated, and can help to wash away bacteria. Certain medications may also contribute to this problem. One way to keep your mouth hydrated is to eat healthy foods that require chewing, such as apples and carrots, or even sugar free gum (unless you are wearing braces). Drink lots of water and avoid breathing with your mouth open, this can also dry out your mouth. Of course, smoking will create dry mouth along with the aroma from the cigarettes, which can lead to bad breath. Chronic bad breath may be a sign of gum disease. Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround your teeth. Some signs that you may have gum disease include red or swollen gums or gums that have pulled away from the teeth. If your gums bleed easily, this could also be a sign of gum disease. Chronic gum disease […]

How Do Pacifiers Effect Baby’s Teeth?

We are often asked if pacifiers effect baby’s teeth. The answer is yes if an infant continues to use them throughout their early years. Pacifiers are generally safe to use in the very early stages of a baby’s development. Parents often find them an acceptable way to help soothe fussy baby when all else fails, including cuddling, holding, feeding, and changing diapers. There are many resources online and books and articles written about the use of pacifiers, and we encourage you to discuss with your pediatrician what is right for you and your baby. From the standpoint of your baby’s teeth and oral health, most dentists recommend that a child not continue a pacifier after the age of three. Dr. AJ informs parents that, “after the age of three, dental malformation can occur if a child uses a pacifier continuously. Sucking strengths increase and more teeth are aligned into the dental arch that can be effected.” Excessive and forceful pacifier sucking may cause an overbite, flared or spaced front teeth, and can narrow the palate. The longer you wait to get rid of the pacifier, the harder it can get. Therefore, you may want to start sooner rather than later. Besides affecting the teeth’s natural positioning, The Academy of General Dentistry reports that pacifier users are also more likely to suffer from acute middle ear infections. Pacifier use beyond the age of five can also delay your child’s baby teeth from falling out to make room for their permanent teeth. […]

9 Ways to Protect Children’s Oral Health

Let’s Fight Potential Cavities! 9 Ways to Protect Children’s Oral Health 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.

Is Flossing Necessary?

You may have recently heard in print and digital news media that there have been questions raised about whether flossing in between teeth provides a health benefit as a recent study found that the differences in tissue health were not statistically significant in flossers and non-flossers. We felt it would be important to discuss this topic and set the record straight from a scientific and dental health perspective. We want to urge you and your children not to abandon your flossing routine. Also, we would like to ask you, does your mouth feel cleaner after you floss? Do you ever find small food particles or plaque debris in between your teeth after you floss? Most of you would say yes to these questions. So many of our patients have told us how flossing has changed their overall dental health, appearance of their gum tissues, reduced bleeding while brushing, and led to easier 6-month check ups. The ADA (American Dental Association) put out a response to this recent study. They stated that, “a lack of strong evidence doesn’t equate to lack of effectiveness.” Unfortunately, due to a variety of factors including the cost involved with following people over a long term study, anatomical differences in teeth and their alignment, and differences in flossing/brushing/mouth rinse techniques (a lot of people just do it wrong) the research available on the effectiveness of flossing is not the strongest. However, flossing just makes good sense. It is a low risk, low-cost proposition. Brushing your teeth […]

Preventing “White Spot Lesions” During Orthodontics

White spot lesions, or white decalcification stains on the front surface of teeth acquired during orthodontic treatment, are frustrating problems for every orthodontic professional. They are formed when oral hygiene is inadequate or when too much liquid sugar is consumed during orthodontic treatment. Prevention is the key because removing white spots after they appear can be very difficult. The best way to prevent them from occurring is to first identify patients who have the greatest risk of getting them. Patients who already have the appearance of the lesions before orthodontics fall into this category. Poor oral hygiene or a poor diet can also put people at risk. Just like our overall health, there are foods that are better for our oral health as well. We all know that sticky foods and candy can wreak havoc on our teeth and gums, causing cavities and oral decay. Most carbohydrates and sugary foods can add to this as well. The most common cause of these terrible looking stains remains inadequate oral hygiene (leaving plaque on the teeth) and soaking the plaque sponge with sugary liquid like pop, Gatorade, juices, and sweetened coffees and teas. This combination of inadequate brushing with the liquid form of sugar essentially guarantees there will be acid burns/white spot lesions on the enamel when braces are removed. Our orthodontists strongly encourage and demonstrate proper hygiene techniques and strongly discourage the consumption of these beverages There are foods that can help us avoid the dreaded white stains. Cheese, for example, […]

Invisalign Treatment For Adults and Teens

You are never too old to have great teeth or to create an amazing smile. Invisalign is the perfect solution for adults, as well as kids and teens, to achieve that goal. Straight teeth create a fantastic smile, but they also help with the overall health of your mouth by creating a healthy, even bite that is not prone to wear and tear. Properly aligned teeth can reduce your risk for tooth decay and even gum disease. Gums that are healthy and tight fit more securely around the teeth and allow for the strongest defense against periodontal problems. Invisalign continues to trend as an emerging solution for orthodontic tooth movement as they innovate and create technologies that make tooth movement with clear aligners better and better each year. Invisalign has many core strengths as a solution for tooth movement, in the right hands and for the right problems. It is easy to use with no food restrictions or hard to clean places Discomfort tends to be slightly less than with braces. Emergencies are extremely uncommon and visits can be spaced out further requiring less trips to the orthodontist to achieve the same result. It is very socially friendly for older students and adults. Invisalign straightens teeth using a custom-made series of aligners that are created for each individual and the unique structure of their teeth. Invisalign is designed to be invisible. The trays are made of smooth clear plastic and are worn over your teeth. Patients typically advance through their […]

Tips for a Safe Summer

Summer is here – that time of year when kids are home from school and families are taking vacations. This is a time of year when dental injuries can occur too, so we would like to provide our parents with some summer safety tips regarding pools, water activities, summer sports, and tooth injury. One thing to think about is how too much swimming time can affect your child’s smile. Spending over six hours a week in a swimming pool may put your child’s teeth at risk for developing dark brown stains on their teeth. Pool water contains chemical additives that directly disturb our pearly whites. These hard, brown deposits are known as swimmers’ calculus. This is easy to remove by dental professionals but may not be managed simply by brushing. Older kids may be experimenting with scuba diving, perhaps while on vacation. It is a good idea to have your child’s teeth checked before partaking in this activity to make sure the teeth are in good shape. If a diver has a cavity, temporary filling, or gum disease, this could lead to “tooth squeeze.” Tooth squeeze is a pain in the center of the tooth. Divers also report jaw joint pain and gum tissue problems. So be sure to discuss these issues with your dentist too if you are fortunate enough to be partaking in this fun activity. Summer sports such as soccer, baseball, and even outside play can cause dental injury. These are all activities where mouth guards are […]

Dental Care for Children with Autism

Our motto and our mission is to be a trusted partner in our community providing special care for all people that seek our care for pediatric dental and orthodontic needs regardless of patient background or medical history. This of course, would include any patient with autism. Dental Care for Children with Autism 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.

The Importance of Dental Check-Ups During Orthodontic Treatment

Your orthodontist is the expert when it comes to building your amazing smile and bit. He or she is there to give you the beautiful smile you are trying to achieve and you will be seeing your orthodontist during treatment much more often than your regular dentist, usually around once ever 6 weeks. Many of our orthodontic patients tell us at the start of treatment that they thought they didn’t have to go to the regular dentist while they are seeing the orthodontist. This is a misconception as the orthodontic visits are not designed for tooth cleaning or cavity check ups because that requires different amounts of time and tools than we are set up for. In fact, because of all the hardware in the mouth that is used during orthodontic treatment, our patients home dental care often appears less effective than it normally is making those regular dental visits even more critical than they normally are. Dental Cleanings During Orthodontic Treatment During your six-month checkup, you can expect the dentist to evaluate the overall health of your mouth including your gums. Our pediatric dentists and hygienists also check to make sure that there is no tooth decay while taking a look at your bite and the movement of your jaw joints. Plaque and calculus can build up in a very short period of time, especially around those braces, and food and drinks can stain teeth. This is why we do a thorough cleaning of the teeth during this visit […]

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