All posts by bbirney

BEST OF THE BEST ORTHODONTIST – 6 YEARS IN A ROW!

What a fantastic community! What fun and exciting kids! What thoughtful parents! These are the things that came to mind when we heard that DeHaan Orthodontics was voted “Best of the Best.” There’s no doubt that this title goes both ways – Lake Orion is the “Best of the Best” community to be a part of. So we don’t just want to thank you for this recognition, we want to thank you for all that you do for us.

We vote for you Lake Orion! We vote for the baseball teams, we vote for the parade, we vote for our schools, and we vote for Lake Orion as the “Best of the Best” place to be. You have raised some truly talented kids who have represented our community impressively. Just this last year we had patients travel around the country showing off their musical talents, their athletic abilities, and heading off to study at the most prestigious universities. These kids sure are talented, but they could not have done it without the support of the Community of Lake Orion.

In the last year here at DeHaan Orthodontics we have been working hard to continue to serve you better. We have welcomed two new staff members to increase the efficiency of your orthodontic appointments. We have Ashley, a former patient, helping behind the scenes. And when you call our office or are greeted at the front desk, you will meet Brianna, a LOHS swim fan. In addition, we instituted a new system to streamline your appointments. With this system, you receive text and email reminders about your appointments to ensure that we don’t miss you! As in years past, we have used local companies for our website management and Christmas gift campaigns because we believe in being a part of Lake Orion, just like you! The opportunity to be a part of your families’ lives is an honor and we truly cherish the relationships that we continue to build with all of you.

On a personal note, as we just passed my 5 year anniversary at DeHaan Orthodontics, it brings me back to my first few weeks as the new doc when I thought it was most appropriate to go by “Dr. DeHaan.” But it didn’t take long to realize that the people in Lake Orion are far too friendly and easy-going to make things so formal. So, I became “Dr. Andrew,” and I couldn’t be more comfortable here and with that title. That is a testament to all of you and how welcoming you have been accepting me into your community. It’s hard to believe it has been five years! So many families, so many fun times, and so many smiles. We simply cannot wait for the next 5 years to see how we grow together!

Thank you Lake Orion!
Sincerely, Dr. Andrew and the wonderful staff at DeHaan Orthodontics.

Don’t forget to smile more!

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APPOINTMENT REMINDERS

We are constantly taking your feedback and responding to make your experience here at DeHaan Orthodontics as smooth as possible.  This week, we are introducing a new appointment reminder system.  This digital system will text, email, or call you to remind you of your upcoming appointment.  You can confirm your appointment through the system, so we know to expect you.

Missed appointments are very hard to reschedule given the popularity of certain appointment slots.  It’s important to come see your orthodontist on a regular basis – and we love to see you too!  If you are currently a patient and would like to update your cell number and email address – please give us a call this week.  Also, we don’t want to bug you, so if you would like to opt out of the system, you are always welcome to do so.

We appreciate your patience as we dive into this new system – we think it will be great for us all!

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SMILING MAKES YOU LOOK YOUNGER, THINNER

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)- Recent research from the University of Missouri-Kansas City suggests smiling may make people appear younger and thinner.

When you smile, other people tend to see you as younger than if you are staring back with a neutral expression or frown. If you frown, you look heavier, according to two pieces of research from the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s psychology department and the lab of professor Seung-Lark Lim.

The research, which was published in the March 30 edition of the journal PLOS ONE, was led by 25-year-old Norah Hass, a third-year psychology doctoral student.

“The take home is interesting in that maybe having a positive expression will make you look younger,” Hass told The Kansas City Star. “We can see this very clear shift, of sad emotion versus happy emotion. Unless you’re trying to look old, I’d recommend you try not to look so sad and look happy.”

The research involved asking college students to sit in front of a computer and look at a range of images of male faces split into different age groups ranging from about 30 to 65. Some of the faces were smiling, other had neutral expressions.

The study participants were asked to judge the faces, within their age groups, as either “young” or “old.”

Hass found that, no matter the age group, happy, smiling faces were judged as “young” far more often than faces with neutral expressions. Neutral faces were seen as older in each age group than their happy counterparts.

In another recent study, UMKC undergraduate psychology student Trent D. Weston, who has since graduated, was the lead author on work published in the journal Frontiers of Psychology. Weston also asked college students to judge the weight of people based on hundreds of randomized faces that flashed on a computer screen. Some faces looked sad and other had neutral expressions.

The sad faces tended to be judged as heavier, according to the study.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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EARLY TREATMENT (AKA PHASE 1 TREATMENT)

Many parents are surprised at how many third and four graders are in orthodontics appliances.  They often say: “This is not how it was back in the day.”  Well, times have changed, and the knowledge we have about orthodontics, growth, and development is helping us provide better options for our patients.

Rather than getting into all of the early treatment options, let me tell you a story of two patients…

Nina came to me when she was nine years old.  She was in “mixed dentition” or a mixture of baby teeth and permanent teeth.  Her parents could see she had some crowding of her teeth.  Upon my examination I saw that she had a narrow palate (maxilla, upper jaw).  When the palate is narrow, there is less circumference to have room for all the teeth.  The solution is an expander, which widens the palate and makes room for the teeth.  We did this expander for 1 year.  After a year, we gave her a break from orthodontics.  I checked on her periodically, but no further treatment was needed until she was 13.  All her teeth had erupted naturally because we had the space.  We did 12 months of braces to get her an ideal bite and alignment.

Tina came to me when she was a teenager.  She had no baby teeth left.   Her parents could see she had some crowding of her teeth.  Upon my examination I saw that all her baby teeth were gone, but not all of her permanent teeth had come in.  She was missing her upper right canine tooth.  Why?  Well, when I measured her palate, I could see it was narrow.  So narrow, in fact, that the last permanent tooth to come in (the canine), did not have space to erupt.  The other teeth used up all of the space.  The treatment plan will include an expander to make space for the teeth.  Braces will be added to align the other teeth and to open more space for the canine.  Depending on the position of that canine, we may now need to involve an oral surgeon or periodontist to uncover it and attach a brace or chain to it.  In Tina’s case it took 12 months to create the space for this tooth.  After surgery, it took 12 more months to pull the tooth in and 6 months to gain an ideal bite and alignment.

Every case is different and some kids will benefit from early treatment and others won’t.  As your orthodontist, I will only recommend treatment when it is necessary.  Many times we put a young patient on a recall schedule to observe growth and development until treatment is needed – if it is needed.  Even when a child doesn’t need treatment, the least I can do is let parents know what to anticipate.  As for the child, its never a waste of time, getting familiar with an orthodontic office and an orthodontist will help them be more comfortable when/if treatment ever starts.

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DO YOU HAVE A TEETH-GUM-TONGUE BRUSH?

The major misnomer in the word “toothbrush”…

The classic joke is “How can you tell the toothbrush was invented in South Carolina?” “because if it were invented anywhere else, it would be named the teethbrush!”

The South Carolina part isn’t even true, the original toothbrush dates back much further than the United States.  Anyhow, you can see how the name “toothbrush” is misleading.  In fact, it is intended to brush multiple teeth.

My gripe with this is that it should be called a “teeth-gum-tongue-brush”, but of course that is way too long of a name.  But if you think of it as this, you will remember to not just brush your teeth with it, but make sure to brush along your gum line and even your tongue.  Especially with braces, the gum line tends to get forgotten when brushing.  Inflamed gums are not just ugly, but they are harmful to the teeth and the bone surrounding the teeth.  So, use your teeth-gum-tongue-brush or ask your dental professional for some help on how to use it!

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INITIAL EXAM IS FREE

Even if your dentist or hygienist hasn’t mentioned it, it isn’t a bad idea to see an orthodontist for an initial examination.  At DeHaan Orthodontics, this is a free appointment.  I will chat with you about orthodontics first, and then take a look at the patient (you or your child).  Looking at the mouth and teeth can tell me a lot, and I will explain what is going on.  I will explain what good things are happening, and point out any problems we can see.  If any treatment is necessary, we will talk about the procedure and options.  If everything is great, we will just end it there.  If there are no current issues but I can anticipate some, I will advise you on what to expect and when to expect it.  In particular, what treatment may be needed in the future and how that will effect the patient, your insurance, and your pocketbook.  Overall, its never a bad idea to take advantage of the free examination, you can learn a lot!

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IMPACTED TEETH

 

You may have heard of the term “impacted teeth” before.  Generally you hear of impacted wisdom teeth.  These are technically 3rd molars that erupt in our late teens or early twenties.  However, many people do not have room for them to erupt and they stay in the bone/gums.  This would be considered an impacted wisdom tooth.  This is an appropriate blog for an oral surgeon.

In orthodontics, we often deal with “impacted canines.”  Canines are the “sharp”, “fang-shaped” teeth – the third from the middle.  In the upper jaw, we see impacted canines relatively often.  This is because they are the last upper teeth to erupt, and they may not have room.  They can then become impacted (stuck) in the roof of the mouth.

The good news is that seeing an orthodontist at a young age can help predict and prevent impacted canines.  We see patients as early as 7 years old, mostly to allow the patient to become familiar with the orthodontist, and check for severe problems.  We also can predict what treatment might be necessary and when.  Many 8, 9, and 10 year olds will have palatal expanders.  This is the most common way to make space for those upper canines, and AVOID impacted canines!

We do free initial evaluations in our office, even without a referral from a general dentist.  It never hurts to know what might be coming…

 

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ELASTIC WEAR

Elastics, AKA rubber bands, are small rubber bands that stretch from upper braces to lower braces. They are generally the simplest way to change the bite – relationship of the upper and lower teeth. The orthodontist will prescribe each patient with specific directions on how and when to wear the rubber bands. There are many ways to wear rubber bands, so be sure take time to understand how you will wear yours. Do not look at how your friends wears theirs. Usually they are later into treatment and not every patient needs rubber bands. Generally speaking, they are to be worn full time. That means only taking them out to eat, brush, and when you need to wear a mouth guard. The better they are warn, the faster they will work.

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FOODS TO AVOID WHILE WITH BRACES

When you have braces on your teeth, there are some key foods to avoid. Avoiding these foods and eating food properly will keep your orthodontic treatment moving quickly.

  1. Chewy and sticky foods. Candy, Starbursts, taffy, Tootsie Rolls, fruit snacks, etc. First off, these sticky things can pull the brackets and bands off your teeth. Teeth without bands and brackets will not move, and thus your treatment can slow down. Secondly, many of these are high in sugar content. They will get stuck in your braces and the sugar will be held right up against your teeth. Straight teeth are no good when we have scars and cavities on them.
  2. Gum. Many people think gum is OK with braces since most brands have sugarless options. Although sugar is not the main concern, having sticky and stringy gum stuck in your teeth can hold in other foods and also pull the braces off your teeth.
  3. Crunchy and hard foods. Biting into an apple or carrot is bound to knock off your brackets. Please take caution when eating hard foods by cutting them into small pieces. Even hard pizza crust and toast should be cut up or avoided. The glue we use to put your braces on is not super glue – we have to get them off someday, so we use a glue that is medium in strength. Keep this in mind when you bit into something hard.
  4. Hard Candy. When is the last time you were able to suck on a hard candy and never bite into it. How many licks does it take to reach the center of a TootsiePop? One, Two, Three, Crunch! And there go your braces…

Be smart and think before you eat. If it might get stuck or break your braces, its probably best to avoid it. Keeping your braces on makes orthodontics go quicker, and so you can get back to eating what you want.

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