Category

Grand Haven Blog Article

Tooth Enamel

Enamel Erosion: Symptoms, Signs, and Solutions

By | Featured, Grand Haven Blog Article, Grand Rapids Blog Article, Health & Wellness

We’ve all heard the importance of protecting and caring for our tooth enamel, but few know why it is so important and what exactly we can do (other than brush our teeth) to protect it.

Two great analogies for what enamel is and does are fingernails and cars. When you get a manicure, a clear topcoat is applied to your nails to protect the paint underneath as well as the body of your fingernail. On a car, a similar practice of adding a clear coat of paint helps protect the vehicle from scratches and damage. Your enamel functions in a similar fashion as the protective coating of your teeth.

Many people think it is the enamel that makes your teeth white – it isn’t. The enamel protects a softer material called dentin, which is white and comprises most of your tooth. When teeth become discolored, it is the dentin that has become stained. While it’s not the enamel that is discolored, a yellowing of your teeth may be a sign that your enamel is damaged, allowing the dentin to become stained.

Other common signs that your enamel has been compromised include increased sensitivity, roughening of the tooth, and chips or jagged edges.

While there are treatments to restore the protection that enamel provides, you cannot regenerate enamel. The best preventative measure is to protect it by brushing often with a fluoride toothpaste, but also brushing correctly. Being too aggressive with your brush may do more harm than good. Avoiding acidic foods and drinks is also important. Soft drinks and citrus-based foods and drinks can erode the enamel of your tooth.

Visiting your dentist regularly will help identify any concerns related to your enamel. As with most health concerns, prevention is the best solution.

 

HCBB CANDY2018

11th Annual Halloween Candy Buyback a sweet success!

By | Community Events, Featured, Fun Stuff, Grand Haven Blog Article

Little Smiles’ 11th Annual Halloween Candy Buyback was a big success thanks to all the kids (and grown ups) who brought in their extra candy. Over 250 pounds was collected in all. Children received $1 for every pound of candy.

This year’s winning school was Peach Plains Elementary who brought in a whopping 136 pounds! St. Mary’s came in second with 19 pounds and third place was a tie between Griffin and Walden Green (14 pounds each).

Thank you to our local community for your support and for helping to teach our little ones about making healthy choices. Peach Plains Elementary will receive $2 per pound for their effort and an amazing plaque.

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Xylitol Gum

How do you say Xylitol? (And what is it?)

By | Featured, Grand Haven Blog Article, Grand Rapids Blog Article, Health & Wellness

How often do you grab a quick lunch and then finding yourself reaching for a stick of gum? Gum has the ability to cover all sorts of lunch time taboos. Spinach in your teeth? Gum will floss it away. Onions on your sandwich? A minty gum will eradicate (or mask) your bad breath. Chewing gum, by design, can be good for your mouth so long as you stick to sugar-free and non-acidic brands. Before you reach for your favorite bubble-making brand at the store, consider this:

Xylitol (pronounced zy-li-tawl) is a sugar alcohol much like what is used in popular low-calorie sweeteners like Stevia or Truvia. The amazing attribute of this alcohol is that it fights tooth decay by balancing the pH (acid) levels in your mouth and prevents bacteria from sticking to your teeth. Xylitol has a naturally minty and sweet flavor, so it is common in dental products, such as floss and toothpaste, as well as gum. Xylitol gum is a popular product that has come on the market in recent years. While levels of Xylitol are contained in some popular brands like Trident, other products contain 100% Xylitol and have benefits like being free of Aspartame and other harsh additives.

Next time you reach for that post-lunch stick of gum, make it one that will help keep your smile healthy!

 

HCBB 2018

Halloween Candy Buyback 2018!

By | Community Events, Featured, For Kids, Fun Stuff, Grand Haven Blog Article

Halloween is almost here! And that means it’s time for Little Smiles Grand Haven’s 11th annual Halloween Candy Buyback.  The purpose of this fun program is to encourage kids to support their local school while making healthy choices.

Be Healthy!

Our message to kids is simple: Too much Halloween candy isn’t good for you or your teeth.  So pick out your favorite candy to enjoy.  Then, bring the extra, unopened candy to Little Smiles Grand Haven and we’ll buy it back from you for $1 per pound.  It’s a win win!  (Children must be 13 years and under.)

Support your School!

Little Smiles’ Halloween Candy Buyback is also good for local schools in the Grand Haven and Spring Lake area.  Every pound of unopened candy that is delivered to Little Smiles is designated to each child’s school.  The school that brings in the most candy wins, and will receive $2 for every pound of candy that was designated to that school.  The winning schools receives an award, a check, and bragging rights for the year.  (Candy may be donated by anyone in the community—children and adults alike—and applied to the school competition.)

Bring unopened candy to Little Smiles Grand Haven (1203 S. Beechtree Street). We will be accepting candy on the following days:

  • Thursday, November 1 — 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday, November 2 — 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

 

Healthy Trick or Treat

Tricks and Treats for Kids’ Healthy Teeth

By | Featured, For Kids, Fun Stuff, Grand Haven Blog Article, Grand Rapids Blog Article, Health & Wellness

Eating healthy foods has a positive impact on just about every area of our kids’ lives. From focus in school to performance in athletics making healthy food choices has major benefits, including fostering healthy teeth.

Some foods, however, which are positioned as “healthy” can have a negative impact on teeth. While sports drinks help to rehydrate kids during or after activities, they also bathe teeth in sugars and acids much like soda and other sugar soft drinks. Dried fruit is another common snack provided to kids to offer a boost of energy. While dried fruits are a great source of carbohydrates and fiber, they’re also full of simple sugars and due to their sticky composition can get caught in the crevices of kids’ teeth.

High fiber fruits and veggies act as natural teeth cleaners by scrubbing away food particles left from less healthy snacks, as well as providing minerals and increasing saliva production which neutralizes the acid in your mouth. Eating healthy snack items such as apples, celery, or carrots at the end of their lunch will help kids to keep their smiles clean and healthy.

Looking for the best solution? Water is always best for keeping kids hydrated and it has no bad side effects. Fresh fruits and veggies, cheese, and other natural, no-sugar-added snacks will provide kids a healthy boost of energy while helping to keep their smiles bright and healthy.

 

LS Haunted Museum 2018

Haunted Museum

By | Community Events, For Kids, Fun Stuff, Grand Haven Blog Article

Join us for a family night of learning and fun at the Haunted Museum!

Little Smiles is proud to join the Tri-Cities Historical Museum for this year’s annual Haunted Museum on Saturday, October 20, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The family-friendly event is free and open to the public. The focus is on education and fun. Learn how Halloween was celebrated in the past, enjoy a performance of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and more.

A new feature of the event will be a trick-or-treating opportunity. Kids will be able to make their own trick-or-treat bags and then walk through Centennial Hall to receive candy and prizes. All children are encouraged to wear their costumes to the Haunted Museum.

For more information, visit: https://www.tri-citiesmuseum.org/explore-museum/events/haunted-museum

See you there!

The Little Smiles Team

Smile DOC2018

Day of Caring 2018

By | Community Events, Featured, Grand Haven Blog Article

Our amazing Smile Team always gives 100%, but today they gave something more.

Smile Grand Haven was proud to partner with United Way of Greater Ottawa County for “Day of Caring 2018.” We cleared our schedules and volunteered our time to provide free dental care for patients of Love In Action’s Free Dental Clinic.

Thank you Smile Team for your hard and heartfelt work! We love the opportunity to give back to our amazing Lakeshore community!

Child Braces

How do I know if my child needs braces?

By | Featured, For Kids, Grand Haven Blog Article, Grand Rapids Blog Article, Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry

While there are some indicators of whether braces will be necessary for a child, there are no definite signs. Early or late loss of baby teeth, biting of the cheek, or an irregular bite may all be signs that braces are in order. However, all children develop at a different rate and have their own unique teeth. Much like fingerprints, no two mouths and sets of teeth are the same.

As with most health and dental matters, early intervention is best. It is good to have your child’s teeth looked at as early as 1 year old. What is often described as a “chair ride” is also an opportunity for a dentist to catch any early issues which may result in orthodontic care. Many issues can be addressed through early minor treatments rather than braces.

The need for braces is typically identified between the ages of eight and fourteen and can result from genetic traits, injury or even from thumb sucking as teeth were developing.

Regular dental visits will help determine if your child’s teeth are growing in as they should or if treatment of some type is necessary. Visiting the dentist every six months is especially important if you suspect that your child may need orthodontic work.

Choosing A Dentist

Things to consider when choosing a dentist

By | Featured, Grand Haven Blog Article, Grand Rapids Blog Article, Health & Wellness

Many things impact our decisions when it comes to decisions on care providers. Reputation, location, and insurance are just some of the practical considerations. While those things are important, they are not indicators that we will have a positive experience with a physician, dentist, or any other care provider we entrust our health and wellbeing to. Here a few less conventional, but perhaps more important, things to consider…

 

  1. Am I comfortable with this person and their team?
    Open communication…and an open mouth are key elements of a good dental checkup. Your dentist and his/her team should be someone you’re comfortable sharing concerns with and being in close proximity to. If you can’t relax, chances are you will not reap the full benefit of your cleaning or your dentist’s expertise on any issues you may be experiencing.

 

  1. Is the office clean, comfortable and equipped with the latest technology?
    A clean, sterile, and comfortable environment are important things to look for. Not only do these matters speak to the dentist’s investment in his/her work, they’re indicators of excellence. Equipment in disrepair or a dirty lobby can and should be unsettling. Most importantly, from teeth whitening to the ability to mold a crown in-house, the technology behind dentistry is quickly developing. Does your practice stay ahead of the curve and offer you the latest advancements?

 

  1. What is the dentist’s approach to care?
    A cavity does not heal over time nor does a broken tooth mend itself. Does your dentist take a proactive approach to care? Catching issues early and caring for teeth in proactive fashion saves time, money, and discomfort. Be wary if you dentist suggests “keeping an eye on something” rather than treating it.

 

  1. Do your kids dread the dentist?
    They shouldn’t. The first dental checkups your children have should be fun, educational, and set a trajectory for life-long dental care. Choosing a dentist who uses terminology that kids understand and engages with them is important.

 

  1. What happens when care becomes more complex?
    Its important to learn how advanced/specialty care and orthodontic procedures are addressed with your dentist’s office. Having a strong referral base or in-house specialist capabilities are the assets of a great dental practice that has oversight and concern for your family’s total care. When something goes wrong, you want to rely on an expert opinion – not Google.
LS Kids Day

Join us at the Coast Guard Festival

By | Community Events, For Kids, Fun Stuff, Grand Haven Blog Article

Little Smiles is a proud sponsor of the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival. Look for us at these fun events for kids:

Kids Parade – Saturday, July 28 (10:30 AM)
Wow! A parade just for kids. We wouldn’t miss it. And guess who’s coming too? The Tooth Fairy! See you there.

Kids Day – Tuesday July 31 (10:00 AM to 2:00 PM)
Join us at Mulligan’s Hollow for a fun day of games, storytelling, face painting, arts and crafts, and entertainment. Little Smiles will be there with free balloons and lots of great stuff to keep your little smiles healthy.

For more information, visit the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival website.