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Kids hate being nagged about anything, but in this case, a reminder (or ten) can work to make sure your child takes care of his/her retainer. Lost retainers are expensive to replace and the risk of tooth shifting escalates when patients go without retainers (especially immediately after getting the braces removed).

Our Tips:

  1. Discuss retainer importance and replacement costs. Sometimes kids simply have no idea how much their retainer costs. Tell them! It might help them see the value and take special care of it.
  2.  

  3. Use a bright retainer case. Our orthodontic team provides many color choices for retainer cases in lots of fun colors. Choose a bright color so it’s memorable and easily seen. And always put the retainer in its case when not in use. The most common way of losing your retainer is wrapping it in a napkin and then tossing that napkin in the trash!
  4.  

  5. Label the retainer case with your phone number. “If found, call ###########.” Our staff will also label your retainer cases with your childs name using a label maker. If you get lucky and someone does call you about a lost retainer, your child should always have someone with him/her when retrieving the retainer from the caller.
  6.  

  7. Keep the retainer and the case in the same spot. You can even sew or glue a special pocket inside your child’s bag (backpack or purse) for the retainer case. It should be the bag they always carry or sleep with, i.e., the bag containing their phone, headset, toiletries, etc.

This way, they can always put the case in that pocket, and look for it there without having to dig through their bag or leaving it by the sink.

Other children have attached their retainer case to a lanyard, as well.

  1. Have your child make a note and a reminder about their retainer in their phone. All smartphones have built-in Notes: they should put their retainer instructions there. Wear schedules do change over time and the note should be updated accordingly.

We recommend setting a recurring alarm on their phone or smartwatch to remind them when they have to put their retainer in. This starts and then reinforces the habit of using their retainer as they should.

Ask them if they need help. If they’re struggling, your nightly calls while they’re away can include a reminder or you might enlist a friend to remind them.

  1. Let your orthodontist help you with your summer plans. A visit before you go away not only takes care of your child’s equipment, but also helps your orthodontist give you advice and tips for your child and his/her treatment.

Don’t forget to participate in our My Dentist’s Summer Adventure activity and raffle!!

About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. 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.

39400 Garfield Rd., Suite 200
Clinton Township, MI
48038
US
info@mychildsteeth.com
Phone: 586-286-0700
Fax: 586-286-5932

The post Don’t Lose Your Retainer This Summer! Tips From Your Orthodontist appeared first on Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan.

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Vacation is not just for your kids: some parents are also on vacation from early mornings, lunch bag prep and the morning rush to get the kids to school on time. Our routines do shift a little in the summer and there may be a little more time to enjoy special experiences and treats. But teeth don’t know the difference and they do not become stronger over the summer like a superhero in a phone booth. So it’s important to help your kids stick to their dental hygiene habits!

Stick to good habits, or start better habits with your extra time.

Bedtimes may be later, but don’t let your child skip brushing before their heads hit the pillow. If they’re staying over at a relative’s or a friend’s house, your evening call can include a reminder for them to brush their teeth.

Habits take 21 days to stick. So if your little one is new to brushing on their own, summer is a great time to start and establish the habit of brushing in the morning, afternoon and at bedtime.

Time for Fun! Consider making your own ice cream and popsicles.

It’s hot. Kids love frozen treats when they’re melting down from outdoor activities in the sun. Sugar-free recipes for ice cream and popsicles are abound on the internet. Look them up and make your own. If you mix a few simple ingredients like heavy cream, 100% cocoa and bananas you have your very own chunky monkey ice cream!

Making popsicles couldn’t be easier. Popsicles turn juice into quick bites and kids can rinse their mouth with water afterward. Choose real fruit and real juice and water down with water before freezing them! Maybe consider getting some fun rubbery template forms to make popsicles in cool shapes that your kids will love.

Choose drinks wisely, even when it’s scorching hot.

Sports drinks, milkshakes, and sodas are everywhere in the summer, and they are even more tempting when you need something to cool off. Give your child ice cold water, plain carbonated water, infused water, or diluted juice as healthier alternatives.

And of course, visit us! See your pediatric dentist for a cleaning or a sealant, now or before school!

About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. 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.

39400 Garfield Rd., Suite 200
Clinton Township, MI
48038
US
info@mychildsteeth.com
Phone: 586-286-0700
Fax: 586-286-5932

The post Summer Treats! Ice Cream and Popsicle Season appeared first on Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan.

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We have found over the years that some of our patients do not see the dentist regularly when they are undergoing orthodontic treatment. The main reason being that the patient or parent felt that they were seeing a dentist monthly for orthodontic adjustments. However, the orthodontist is not equipped to clean the teeth or diagnose cavities the same way your general dentist or pediatric dentist is. In fact, you need your dentist more than ever when undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Your orthodontist and your dentist support each other

Your orthodontist takes care of aligning your teeth and jaws. Your dentist makes sure your teeth and gums stay clean and healthy.

Our patients often tell us they don’t think they need to see us when they already see their orthodontists. The difference is that the orthodontist is focused on making sure the braces or clear aligner systems are working properly and advancing the tooth movement each time the patient visits. We don’t have the tools to clean teeth and search for cavities available at orthodontic appointments. Similarly, our dentists and hygienists do not have all the tools for adjusting and maintaining orthodontic appliances.

Our orthodontists will be in communication with your dentist. When orthodontic treatment is started, your orthodontist will either call or send a letter to your dentist detailing the nature of the treatment and to emphasize that we need their help along the way to keep the teeth and gums as happy as possible. Keep in mind, orthodontic appliances unfortunately make it much harder to keep the teeth clean as the braces and wires can trap extra food

Sometimes, when oral hygiene is not ideal, we will recommend that a patient sees the dentist/hygienist more often than twice a year to help prevent cavities, stains on the teeth and gum disease.

Don’t neglect good habits at home

Just because your dentist and orthodontist are both watching your teeth doesn’t mean you should stop brushing, flossing, rinsing and watching your diet.

Our main recommendations during orthodontic treatment are:

  • Continue with your regular dental hygiene visits
  • Avoid sugary and acidic drinks as completely as possible
  • Brush 2-3 times daily (for 2 minutes each time) and critically evaluate if you removed all the food when you are done
  • Floss or use a waterpik before bed
  • Rinse with an antimicrobial or anticavity mouthwash before bed
  • Keep your regular orthodontic appointments and let us know immediately if something has broken so we can determine the appropriate time for you to come in to fix it.
About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. 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.

39400 Garfield Rd., Suite 200
Clinton Township, MI
48038
US
info@mychildsteeth.com
Phone: 586-286-0700
Fax: 586-286-5932

The post Are Regular Dental Checkups Necessary During Orthodontic Treatment? appeared first on Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan.

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We all love a picture of a giggling baby with an open mouth and no teeth to show. There may not be anything cuter. But, many parents are surprised to find out that babies are actually born with teeth. They’re just not visible until they emerge when the baby is, on average, six to 12 months old. New moms and dads have lots of questions about teeth. We compile some of them here for you.

Once the first tooth comes in, the rest quickly follow. Most kids have a full set of baby teeth by the time they are 3 years old. That’s 20 teeth, to be exact. 10 in the upper arch and 10 in the lower dental arch. These teeth include 4 incisors, 2 canines, and 4 baby molars per arch.

At around 5-7 years old, the baby — or milk teeth — begin to fall out one by one. This is natural: the permanent teeth are coming in and are pushing out the baby teeth.

Kids have their full set of permanent teeth by age 12 or 13. Third molars, or wisdom teeth, grow between the ages 17-25. Some kids don’t grow them at all.

There are 32 permanent teeth in total.

When does my child need to see the dentist?

By age 1 or the eruption of the first tooth. This allows the dentist to make sure oral health care is being done properly at home, examine your child to make sure everything is developing normally and establish a relationship with you and your child that will make their future dental experiences easier and more predictable.

When do I start brushing/cleaning the teeth?

The teeth should be cleaned either with a moist washcloth or a soft toothbrush once they are erupting into the mouth. At first, no toothpaste is applied but the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry does recommend starting to introduce a fluoride releasing toothpaste as a smear on top of the bristles after the age of 1.

What do I do with a knocked out tooth? Is it gone forever?

Stay calm and take your child, as well as the tooth, to the dentist immediately. Many times if it is a baby tooth, nothing will need to be done except examine the area for signs of the trauma. For adult teeth, it’s much more critical. If possible, put the tooth back into the gums. Read our post about knocked out teeth here. You need to know how to preserve the tooth so you don’t lose your chance to restore it.

If my child splits her lip but there’s nothing wrong with her teeth, can I bring her to the dentist?

Absolutely. Dentists are trained to treat all oral injuries. When we can’t help you, we have connections to area oral surgeons that would be able to assist further. Taking your child to the ER is typically not the preferred option. Read why here.

Is thumb sucking and other oral habits bad for the mouth?

Yes, it can be very detrimental to dental and facial bone development. Stopping this habit in a timely manner will protect your child’s teeth and gums. Read about it here.

Does my child need braces before all the adult teeth are in?

We can assess it with a free orthodontic evaluation. Early detection and interceptive treatment can shorten, simplify, or even completely remove, the need for treatment later on. Read about interceptive orthodontics and how it helps children’s dental health and development.

About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. 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.

39400 Garfield Rd., Suite 200
Clinton Township, MI
48038
US
info@mychildsteeth.com
Phone: 586-286-0700
Fax: 586-286-5932

The post Teeth Facts and FAQs Parents Might be Wondering appeared first on Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan.

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The entire team at Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan pride ourselves in our personal approach to dental and orthodontic care. For both “sides” of our office, pediatric dentistry and orthodontics, we make a point to provide personal consultations with our doctors for evaluation and treatment explanation appointments.

Believe it or not, this is not the norm in the dental industry. However, we feel so strongly about the personal relationships we create with our patient families that our doctors hold aside special time to educate, explain, and support our patients as they undergo more complex treatment plans.

Our pediatric dentists, Dr. Curt, Dr. Mak, Dr. Jeff, Dr. Renee, and Dr. Elizabeth, will privately consult with parents reviewing exam findings, explaining x-rays, and discussing proposed treatments to address any dental needs.

Our resident orthodontists, Dr. Ari and Dr. AJ, perform both evaluation and consultations directly with patients and parents. Our team of assistants and scheduling coordinators will help along the way, but the entire explanation of any diagnosis and the details of a treatment plan will always be personally delivered by your doctor.

Our unique approach

Parents and kids have questions, and we can answer those questions. Our doctors know every tiny detail of your child’s dental and orthodontic history. We make detailed notes about examination visits and treatment plans and experience joy in sharing this information with parents and patients. Many parents have expressed to us over the years how different this is from other dental and orthodontic experiences they’ve had and how much they learn during the process.

Ultimately, we want you to know and feel how important successful treatment of you or your child is to us. By explaining the diagnosis, outlining the solution and treatment plan, and getting to know each other well before starting treatment, we feel we create a family centered environment where trust is the bedrock and optimal outcomes are the expectation.

This personal, direct contact means your treatment is exactly what you need

Many parents’ concerns about the cost of dental and orthodontic treatments are valid. Because of our direct consultations, you and your child will know exactly what we are aiming to address and what it will take to do it. There may be options and they will be explained to you clearly and often with animated videos so you can properly understand your options.

Costs will vary depending upon the treatment. Many orthodontic problems only need limited treatment, for instance, and some patients are candidates for clear aligner treatment and some are not. As parents and patients make the decision of how to go about treatment, we want to field your relevant questions to allow you to make an informed decision.

Ultimately, we want everyone that comes into our office to feel that they are treated as an individual and not a numbered patient. Part of developing the trust of the community over the past 50 years has involved doing the little, special things. We truly believe this is what makes the relationship we share with our patients and their parents successful and enduring.

We are excited to do the work we are doing in the community and we look forward to working closely side by side with your families during the process. We know that it will make a huge difference for your experience in pediatric dental or orthodontic care.

About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. 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.

39400 Garfield Rd., Suite 200
Clinton Township, MI
48038
US
info@mychildsteeth.com
Phone: 586-286-0700
Fax: 586-286-5932

The post Our Doctors Perform ALL Consultations Themselves appeared first on Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan.

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Block parties and summer gatherings can make it difficult to maintain optimal dental health for our children. It’s the season of chips, barbeque sauce, popsicles and smores. While we’re certainly not trying to be party poopers, we do have some recommendations to help your teeth stay healthy and white while you enjoy the party. We know some of the tooth-unfriendly foods are going to be around. We hope this list of tips will help you also fill the table with some choices that might offset some of the harmful summer snacks.

Replace chips with healthy, crunchy choices

After the initial crispness and crunchiness, potato chips just become globs of starch that settle in your molars and the pits of your teeth. It is a feast for cavity-causing bacteria.

Someone else will surely bring chips, so you can add a healthy choice to the table with apples, pears, carrots, raw broccoli or celery. Aside from being packed with vitamins and minerals, they all cleanse the palate and are natural toothbrushes that scrape away food residue from teeth and stimulate saliva flow.

A platter of cheese

From burger toppings to salads, cheese is likely to be found at summer gatherings. It is also a wonderful snack by themselves. Cheeses pair amazingly with fruits and provide good amounts of calcium and phosphorous to strengthen enamel and bones. Cheese also has the ability to modulate the acidity in the mouth toward neutral which can help prevent cavities.

Infused water

Reduce the temptation of reaching for soda and juice with infused water. While the “fizzy” flavored waters are slightly acidic, they are delicious, sugar free, calorie free and tooth friendly.

Crushed ice, not cubed

Speaking of tooth-friendly drinks, provide crushed ice over cubes when possible to help protect those of us that can’t help but bite into ice cubes (a known risk factor for tooth fracture).

Xylitol Gum

Both kids and adults will appreciate freshening their breath after meals with good sugar-free, cavity-fighting gum. Xylitol gum is great for mechanical abrasion of food and debris away from teeth while supporting enamel remineralization.

About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. 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.

39400 Garfield Rd., Suite 200
Clinton Township, MI
48038
US
info@mychildsteeth.com
Phone: 586-286-0700
Fax: 586-286-5932

The post Our Tooth-Friendly Ideas for Summer Parties appeared first on Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan.

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Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Spec.. by Pediatric Dentistry And Orthodontic.. - 1M ago

It’s 2019 and technology has stormed the orthodontic profession in a profound way. While the tried-and-true orthodontic treatment with braces and wires is not going away anytime soon, digital technologies of oral scanning and software manipulation of plastic have allowed for amazing tooth movement abilities with alternatives such as clear aligners.

When we have a patient that is a great candidate for orthodontic treatment using clear aligners, our doctors have chosen to partner exclusively with Invisalign. It’s a myth that all brands of clear aligners work the same. For the best predictable outcomes, we can depend on Invisalign SmartTrack technology, and innovations like the SmartForce attachments and the experience of doctors like our that have combined to treat over 6 million smiles using Invisalign plastic and software control.

Simply put, there is no alternative to achieving excellent orthodontic care than an experienced doctor programming and controlling a superior product. There’s magic in that combination that cannot be found in any other clear aligner solution.

Invisalign Technology

Invisalign SmartTrack has a 75% predictability and is 50% faster in straightening teeth. This means that when a doctor asks for a tooth movement, he gets roughly 75% of what he asks for and treatment time can be cut in half.

But wait, we don’t want 75% results. We want 100%. That’s the secret. The doctor programming the shape of the aligners, the speed of certain tooth movements, necessary over-corrections and communication with the patient about their at home schedule and behaviors that will promote success.

The only way to get 100% results is going with experienced doctors that provide a lot of clear aligner therapy with the best clear aligner on planet Earth.

SmartTrack is already well known for making Invisalign clear aligners more comfortable and easier to put on and take off. Similar to the space age wires used in traditional braces, SmartTrack aligners apply gentle, constant force to encourage teeth alignment and movement.

Invisalign SmartForce makes it possible for your orthodontist to create complex tooth movements without braces. Plastic aligners alone are essentially a retainer. They don’t really have a way to grab, twist, torque, push or pull teeth without something to grab onto. Our doctors use special software to design, shape, and place tiny tooth colored attachments on your teeth to assist in appropriate and predictable tooth movement. They are attached to your teeth during your Invisalign treatment. You truly cannot have success without these custom designed aspects of clear aligner treatment.

Invisalign clear aligners fit tightly and smoothly around SmartForce attachments, and gently push your teeth into place that way.

More patients can now benefit from Invisalign

It can be difficult for kids and teens to be told they need braces. Most teens want their teeth fixed, but don’t want the hassle of wearing braces. Invisalign and the SmartForce technology now makes the Invisalign system a possible treatment option, even for kids who need teeth movement.

Our doctors love what they do and it shows. Come meet with us to see how enthusiastic we are about providing amazing and patient friendly solutions for your search for the smile of a lifetime.

Talk to us about improving your smile with Invisalign.

And, don’t forget, we see both children and adults of all ages in our orthodontic clinic. Parents and children come to their appointments together ALL THE TIME.

About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. 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.

39400 Garfield Rd., Suite 200
Clinton Township, MI
48038
US
info@mychildsteeth.com
Phone: 586-286-0700
Fax: 586-286-5932

The post Why We Partner With Invisalign appeared first on Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan.

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Not surprisingly, the food we eat can have a positive or negative effect on our dental health — and not just in the way they stick to teeth, or how sugary or acidic they can be. Kids need to grow up knowing the right foods to eat to maintain a healthy bite and smile but also for their general health.

Your plate at mealtime

The nutritional guidelines from the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (see MyPlate) tell us to have fruits and vegetables covering half the plate. This helps with digestion, fills you up with micronutrients and provides “roughage” from fruit and vegetables to help scrape and naturally cleanse your teeth as you bite or chew.

Whole grains, which are chock full of vitamins and minerals for bone density and healthy digestion, should be the next largest part of your diet. Low-fat and fat-free dairy, fortified with calcium and vitamins, are also recommended. For protein, choose lean meats and it is recommended that we eat at least 8 ounces of seafood every week for essential omega-3 fatty acids for your heart and organs.

Snacking

If you need to snack – and most growing kids do and will – choose healthy items like cheese and nuts. Avoid sweets and potato chips that promote tooth decay and add on useless calories.

Be careful with acidic foods

Citrus fruits and vegetables, like tomatoes – along with ketchup and sauces – are nutritious, but they can do serious damage to teeth due to their acid content. While they make convenient snacks, it is definitely best to consume them with meals to offset some of that acid. Dr. AJ says, “It is also very smart to swish your mouth with water if the opportunity to brush isn’t there to help neutralize acids, especially when orthodontic appliances are on the teeth.”

Choose whole fruit over juice. If you do drink juice, drink it quickly in one sitting as opposed to sipping over longer periods. Again, rinse your mouth afterwards with water.

Sugar-alternatives for the sweet tooth

Xylitol is a healthier sweetener that has cavity-preventing properties. Other sugar substitutes sweeten, like sugar, but have less cavity-causing acids. Look for the ADA seal in gums and sugar substitute brands.

Brush, floss, and visit the dentist

In the end, no matter how well you eat, your teeth depend on proper dental hygiene. Brush at least two times per day, floss at least once per day, and visit your dentist for checkups and a tooth cleaning every 6 months. Many patients are ideal candidates for dental sealants to seal hard to clean areas from dangerous bacteria and our pediatric dentists are happy to discuss this option with you at your next visit.

About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. 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.

39400 Garfield Rd., Suite 200
Clinton Township, MI
48038
US
info@mychildsteeth.com
Phone: 586-286-0700
Fax: 586-286-5932

The post Eating right helps your teeth and gums, too! appeared first on Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan.

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School’s out! You and your kids will be spending the most time together during the summer of any time throughout the year. This is a great time to continue to cultivate amazing self-care habits and parents can take on their roles as first teachers — especially when it comes to dental hygiene. June is Oral Health Month and this might be an opportunity to “brush up” on the importance of oral and dental health routines.

All good habits start at home. Your kids go to school already brushed and groomed to perfection, or as near perfect as they can in their unique ways. Maintaining good dental habits will help make sure that our children’s mouths are healthy but also that they have engrained habits to sustain them when we aren’t there with them all the time. Tots soon become independent, and they need personal hygiene habits to fall back on.

The American Dental Association theme for this year’s Oral Health Month is Share More Time, Share More Smiles. They have some fun activities to help parents explore the concept of good oral health at home.

Download and print these activity sheets. Use them with the whole family!

Share your smile or like other people’s smiles! Photos of you brushing or flossing together as a family can raise up to $40,000 for Give Kids A Smile, an ADA Foundation that provides dental health care to underserved kids.

Share the photo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and Colgate will donate $1 per photo or “like” and share to the foundation!

Don’t forget to book your summer appointments with us. This is the most popular time of the year for dental and orthodontic appointments as school commitments are so minimal. Give us a call today at 586-286-0700 to make sure you can reserve your preferred day and time.

About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. 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.

39400 Garfield Rd., Suite 200
Clinton Township, MI
48038
US
info@mychildsteeth.com
Phone: 586-286-0700
Fax: 586-286-5932

The post June is Oral Health Month – Share More Time, Share More Smiles appeared first on Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan.

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Mouthwash is a very important part of your daily dental care routine. Floss, brush, mouthwash – that’s a well-rounded habit. Younger children shouldn’t use mouthwash yet, but for older kids, teens, and adults, mouthwash helps in keeping mouth bacteria populations under control while helping to prevent tooth decay.

So which should you use: fluoride or antimicrobial mouthwash?

Dr. Renee says, “It really depends on what you need your mouthwash to accomplish.”

Protection against cavities: fluoride mouthwash

A fluoridated mouthwash helps if you are prone to cavities. This makes fluoride mouthrinses ideal for younger children or teens, especially those with a sweet tooth. While it doesn’t reduce the bacteria in plaque, it does strengthen tooth enamel against decay.

At night, before sleep, a fluoride mouthwash strengthens teeth during the time when the mouth will not be exposed to foods for many hours. Additionally, our mouths tend to become dry at night so putting a shield of fluoride on the teeth can be protective.

Mouth freshness: alcohol-free, chloride or organic/herbal mouthwash

We recommend regular mouthwash that contains mint or cleansing properties like various types of chlorides. Too much alcohol swishing can dry out your mouth, and dry mouths aren’t friendly to teeth and gums. So if you don’t have other issues like bad breath or problems with your gum tissues but like the fresh, clean feel of mouthwash, swishing with something mild and alcohol-free may be the best thing for you.

Natural/herbal choices include aloe vera or clove mouthwashes making many alcohol-free and natural mouthwashes antimicrobial because of their active ingredients!

Bad breath and gum problems: antimicrobial mouthwash

Really bad breath, bleeding or receding gums are signs that something is not right in the oral cavity. Schedule an appointment with your dentist to discuss the root cause of these issues. And in the meantime, floss, brush, and use an antibacterial or antiseptic mouthwash.

Available over the counter or by prescription, antimicrobial mouthwash is strong enough to get rid of many of the bacteria that cause halitosis and gingivitis. Alcohol content can be high and harsh, or there are alcohol-free options. Either way, antibacterial mouthwashes reduce mouth bacteria by up to 75%.

There are prescription mouthwashes that have even higher anti-microbial properties. They usually contain chlorhexidine, which helps treat irritated, swollen, red and bleeding gums. This can stain teeth, but it works to reverse gum disease and assists in healing of mouth sores.

Remember that mouthwash is NOT a substitute for flossing and brushing! Brush at least twice a day and floss every day.

About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. 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.

39400 Garfield Rd., Suite 200
Clinton Township, MI
48038
US
info@mychildsteeth.com
Phone: 586-286-0700
Fax: 586-286-5932

Image Courtesy of AARP

The post Mouthwash Showdown: Fluoride vs. Antimicrobial – Which Should You Use? appeared first on Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan.

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