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Grand Rapids Blog Article

Nick Stebbins DMD

Smile Dental Partners welcomes Dr. Nick Stebbins

By | Featured, Grand Rapids Blog Article, News & Announcements

Smile Dental Partners is excited to announce that Dr. Nick Stebbins is joining the Smile team. Dr. Nick is originally from Jenison where he grew up and went to high school. He attended Western Michigan University where he earned a Bachelor Degree in Bio Medical Science and Chemistry. After college he served in the Marine Corp. for six years including a year and a half deployment in Iraq.

Dr. Nick earned his DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) from A. T. Still University in Masa, Arizona and has been practicing for 3 years.

We are pleased Dr. Nick has decided to return home to West Michigan, settling in Grand Rapids to be near family. He is a welcome addition to our Smile team.

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.

 

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!

 

DSC08616

Michigan’s first multi-specialty dental practice opens Grand Rapids location

By | Featured, Grand Rapids Blog Article, News & Announcements

After ten years of helping families smile along the Lakeshore, Smile Dental Partners is opening a new practice in Grand Rapids called Smile Cascade.

Since opening Smile Grand Haven in 2008, Dr. Darren and Paige Riopelle have been challenging the status quo of traditional dentistry with a high-quality, patient-centric, preventative approach. Today it is the only multi-specialty resource along the Lakeshore capable of comprehensive dental care from birth through adulthood.

The new Grand Rapids location on Cascade Road is home to three distinct specialties that are typically not found in one practice—Smile Cascade (adult and teen dentistry), Little Smiles (pediatric dentistry), and Smile Orthodontics.

“Our goal has been to provide a dental experience that is 180 degrees from what people expect,” explains Dr. Riopelle. “We combine a personal, friendly, and fun experience with state-of-the-art technology and a proactive approach to dental health.”

Smile’s patient-centric approach is evident throughout the new Cascade practice. Adults enjoy private exam rooms, convenient lunchtime appointments, and an adult family room equipped with wifi and coffee bar. For young patients, Little Smiles provides a child-friendly environment that starts with a life-sized tree and interactive games in the Little Smiles family room. Beyond that, kids enjoy an “underwater” exam room with a giant fish tank and flatscreen TVs above each child-sized exam chair.

“We go above and beyond to create a fun and positive experience for babies, toddlers, through adolescents,” explains Dr. Cristian Brutten, Little Smiles’ Pedodontist. “That first positive experience for young children is important to establish a good relationship with healthcare providers throughout their life.”

Making a visit to the dentist a positive experience for kids has been the inspiration for everything at the practice. Parents are invited to bring children as early as 1 year old to Little Smiles for a “chair ride” to help them feel comfortable with the environment before their appointment. The Little Smiles team visits local daycares and elementary schools for Dental Health Month to teach kids healthy dental habits and foster a positive relationship with healthcare providers. Little Smiles also provides special needs care and hospital dentistry services.

Smile Cascade is now open and accepting new patients of all ages.

 

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.

 

SmileCascade NEW

Help us celebrate!

By | Featured, Fun Stuff, Grand Rapids Blog Article, News & Announcements

Smile Dental Partners is excited to announce our new Grand Rapids location on Cascade Road. To celebrate, you’re invited to an Open House on October 23rd. Enjoy some light hors d’oeuvres, meet the Smile team, and take a look around our new space.

  • Date: Tuesday, October 23, 2018
  • Ribbon Cutting: 4:30 p.m.
  • Open House: 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
  • Location: 4505 Cascade Rd, SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
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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.
Dr Cristian Little Smiles

Little Smiles Welcomes Dr. Cristian Brutten

By | Featured, For Kids, Grand Rapids Blog Article, News & Announcements

We are excited to announce the addition of Dr. Cristian Brutten to the Little Smiles team. Dr. Cristian was born and raised in Brazil where he earned his DDS from Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte. After moving to the U.S. in 2007 he earned a Masters degree from Azusa Pacific University. Dr. Cristian completed his residency in Advanced Education in General Dentistry at the University of Connecticut, followed by a pediatric residency at Harvard University, Boston Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Cristian has worked as a Pediatric Dentist in Connecticut and Texas, most recently at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. He is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Dr. Cristian lives in Byron Center with his wife, Roberta, and their three children.

MouthMyths

Common myths concerning your mouth

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

Myth #1: Putting Aspirin on your tooth will reduce pain.
Aspirin need to enter the bloodstream to be effective. Placing an aspirin on an aching tooth will not help resolve the pain—in fact, it may add to your pain by producing a chemical burn on your mouth from the acid!

Myth #2: Brushing your teeth after you eat is a good habit.
It is best to let at least 30 minutes pass between eating and brushing teeth. This allows the acid from foods you eat to neutralize in your mouth. Brushing can actually accelerate acid’s attack on your tooth enamel.

Myth #3: Don’t brush bleeding gums!
Although brushing may be the immediate cause of bleeding, it is ultimately more brushing and cleaning of your teeth that will resolve the issue. Bleeding gums is most often caused by tarter below the gum line. An improved cleaning regimen (flossing, mouthwash, brushing) will help remove the plaque and tarter that are causing the bleeding.

Myth #4: Whitening teeth damages tooth enamel.
Your tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in your body and is comprised of “tubules” that can only be seen under magnification. Whitening treatments flow through the tubules to the layer of tissue beneath the enamel called the “dentin.” It is on this dentin layer that the whitening magic happens.