orthodontist Archives - Smile, Little Smiles, and Smile Orthodontics


The Braces Debate – Dentist or Orthodontist?

By | For Kids, Health & Wellness

When people meet the first thing they notice is the other person’s eyes, second teeth and third hair.  If so, why do most people worry more about who cuts their hair than who straightens their teeth?

When you are ready to explore braces, how do you know who to call?  What is the difference between a dentist who offers orthodontics and an orthodontist?

Dentists and orthodontists are both doctors and have graduated from dental school.  However, dental school includes only minimal education on straightening teeth.  Dentists who offer braces are certified through training during a few months of weekend courses.  An orthodontist requires 2-3 years of additional schooling as a dental specialty; the situation is similar to a doctor who obtains additional schooling to become a surgeon.  Only those with a specialty degree in orthodontics can call themselves Orthodontists.

A dentist who offers braces can be a great alternative for a quick crooked front tooth.  But, for treatment focused on correcting the overall health and function of your bite, orthodontists are more knowledgeable and offer a wider range of treatment options for long term success.  Orthodontists provide services related to:

  • Misaligned teethAlignerProfiles
  • Spaces between teeth
  • Crowded teeth
  • Overbite, under bite and cross bite
  • Jaw problems

Whether you choose a dentist or orthodontist for your braces, we always recommend at least seeking the opinion on an orthodontist.  Pretty smiles do not always equal a healthy bite.


An investment in braces is more than a pretty smile.

By | Health & Wellness

bracesMost people think orthodontic treatment is done purely for cosmetic reasons.  But there are several reasons why getting braces can be important to the health and lifestyle of you or your child.

1. You want to prevent tooth decay

Crooked and overlapping teeth can make it harder to brush and floss thoroughly. Some surfaces of the teeth may not receive proper cleaning from daily dental care. This results in a greater risk of cavities.

 2. You want to prevent heart disease

Crooked and overlapping teeth can also effect the health of your gums. Plaque that can’t be completely removed during routine brushing and flossing transforms into hardened tartar deposits. Tartar causes gum tissue to become inflamed and encourages the growth of certain types of harmful bacteria. This bacteria enters the bloodstream, and is known to be a leading cause of cardiovascular disease.

3. You want to prevent other health problems

Orthodontic treatment not only makes your smile beautiful, but it also positions your teeth and jaw correctly.  Incorrect jaw position can result in headaches or earaches, biting or chewing problems, speech difficulties, or even painful disorders of the temporomandibular (jaw) joint.

4. You want improved confidence and self-esteem

An attractive smile makes a person feel better about themselves and more confident in a wide variety of situations. Confident individuals tend to be more successful in educational, athletic, and professional endeavors.

5. You just want straighter teeth

Seeking orthodontic treatment is a very personal decision and the reasons behind, and goals for your treatment are between you and your orthodontist.  Ultimately, getting braces is something you should do for yourself – or your child – and not because what anyone else thinks.


Smile Grand Haven Welcomes Orthodontics

By | For Kids, Grand Haven Blog Article, News & Announcements

Please join us in welcoming Kevin Knapp, D.D.S., M.S. to the Smile team.

As a specialist in Orthodontics, Dr. Knapp will offer the training, experience and full range of treatment options to meet your unique needs.

Dr. Knapp earned his Bachelors and Masters in Biomedical Engineering from University of Michigan.  He received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DDS) from University of Michigan and his Masters of Science and Certificate of Orthodontics from Seton Hill University.

Learn more about Smile Orthodontics.