Category

Featured

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.

Smile Phone 1

Appointment Confirmations

By | Community Events, Featured, For Kids, Fun Stuff, Health & Wellness, Uncategorized

Smile has a new appointment reminder and confirmation system!

While this system will be more user friendly and provide more flexibility for our patients, new systems always require a bit of adjustment and patience.  Because the upgrade required a new software provider, email confirmations will start with a “welcome email”.  Please watch for this email in your inbox or junk mail.

If you are used to seeing confirmations and are no longer receiving them by email or text, please let us know!

 

 

 

 

Smile Insurance

Smile Partners with New Insurance Plans

By | Community Events, Featured, For Kids, Fun Stuff, Health & Wellness

Smile is pleased to announce new partnerships with several insurance plans. While we accept almost all insurance plans, we are now In-Network Providers with:

Delta Premier
Delta Healthy Kids/MiChild
Healthy Michigan
Blue Cross Blue Shield Par Select
Cigna DPPO
Assurant (Stratus Network)
United Concordia (Stratos Network)
Aetna (DHA Network)
MetLife (Stratos Network)
Principal (Stratos Network)

As an In-Network Provider we are able to pass along negotiated savings to our patients.  We continue to add more insurance plans.  Check our insurance page for updates.

If you need clarification on In-Network plans, have specific questions about your coverage, or have a change in your insurance coverage, please contact us prior to your appointment.