Lansing's Dental Discussion

Posts for: March, 2014

By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
March 18, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tongue scraper   bad breath  

Although usually not considered a serious health condition, bad breath is nonetheless one of the most embarrassing conditions related to the mouth. Although some serious systemic diseases may result in mouth odor, most cases originate in the mouth or nose. Bacteria are usually the culprit — certain types of the organism can excrete volatile sulphur compounds, which emit a rotten egg or rotten fish smell.

The largest breeding ground for bacteria is the tongue, typically in the back where saliva and hygiene efforts aren’t as efficient in removing food remnants. A bacterial coating can develop on the surface of the tongue, much like the plaque that can adhere to teeth; the coating becomes a haven for bacteria that cause bad breath.

There seems to be a propensity in some people who exhibit chronic bad breath to develop this tongue coating. To rid the tongue of this coating, people with this susceptibility could benefit from the use of a tongue brush or scraper. These hygienic devices are specifically designed for the shape and texture of the tongue to effectively remove any bacterial coating. Toothbrushes, which are designed for the hard surface of the teeth, have been shown not to be as effective in removing the coating as a tongue scraper.

Before considering using a tongue scraper you should consult with your dentist first. If you suspect you have chronic bad breath, it’s important to determine the exact cause. Using a tongue scraper is unnecessary unless there’s an identifiable coating that is contributing to the bad odor. It’s also a good idea to obtain instruction from your dentist on the best techniques for using a tongue scraper to be as effective as possible and to avoid damaging soft tissues from over-aggressive use.

In addition, don’t neglect other hygiene habits like brushing, flossing and regular cleanings. Removing as much bacterial plaque as you can contributes not only to a healthier mouth but also pleasanter breath.

If you would like more information on the tongue and halitosis, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tongue Scraping.”

By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
March 05, 2014
Category: Dental Education
Tags: Lansing   Dentist  
Lansing family DentistYour oral health care is important, and knowing your dentist in Lansing is even more important.  By getting to know Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler, you will be creating an improved level of trust, which allows you to remain relaxed at every visit knowing you are in good hands.  Dr. Scott-Hetchler prides herself in being a leading dentist in Lansing, MI, and looks forward to getting to know you better.

Meet Your Lansing, MI Dentist

Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler grew up in Lansing, MI and began as a dental assistant.  She went on to attend Lansing Community College where she received an Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene in 1994.  Throughout her educational journey, Dr. Scott-Hetchler worked as a dental hygienist and completed her Bachelors of Science degree at Michigan State University in 1998. 
After graduation, she went on to attend the University of Detroit Mercy, School of Dentistry where she earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 2002 and joined her current practice in 2002 where she transitioned to ownership when Dr. Gerrit Gucky retired.

Continuing Education

Education doesn’t end.  Dr. Scott-Hetchler continues to improve her dental health care knowledge through the completion of continuing education courses and seminars.  She has completed many continuing education seminars, including the prestigious Dawson Academy and Spear Education Institute.  She has also received certification in the areas of cosmetic improvement of smiles, TMJ disorders, pediatric dentistry, and many more.
Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler looks forward to being your go-to dentist in Lansing and continues to improve her knowledge and understanding of advancements in dentistry through ongoing dental education.

By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
March 03, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   braces  

Her parents Will and Jada are Hollywood royalty, who helped her land her first acting role when she was 7. She released a hit single, “Whip My Hair,” before she had quite reached the age of 10; shortly afterward, she was signed to a record label. Yet the young singer and actress Willow Smith has at least one thing in common with plenty of ‘tweens and teens across America: She needed to wear braces to correct problems with the alignment of her teeth.

Why do braces seem to be a part of growing up for so many kids? One answer is because they work so well. Braces apply gentle pressure to the teeth through a thin, flexible wire called an archwire. Attached to the teeth with a metal or ceramic bracket, the archwire exerts a light force which causes teeth to gradually move into better positions. Sometimes, when additional force is needed, elastic bands or other appliances may be used in conjunction with braces.

Most everyone is familiar with the silvery metal “tracks” of traditional braces. But did you know that there are a number of other options too? For a more inconspicuous look, you may be able to have braces with tooth-colored ceramic brackets; then, only the thin archwire will be visible in your mouth. It’s even possible in some cases to place the metal wires and brackets on the tongue side of the teeth. With this system, called lingual braces, the orthodontic hardware is truly invisible.

What if you didn’t need metal braces at all? Some people can get good results using a system of clear plastic aligners instead of braces. The aligners are worn 23 hours a day, but can be taken off for cleaning and for important events. They work best for correcting mild or moderate alignment problems.

Still, plenty of people feel that if they’re going to wear braces, they might as well flaunt them. That’s why some types of braces are available with bands that come in different colors. When Willow’s brother Jayden wore braces, he was reported to favor red and black ones. Jayden, who is about two years older than his sister, had his braces removed just before Willow got hers put on.

So if it turns out that you need braces, remember that lots of your favorite celebrities wore them too. And keep in mind that, depending on your own situation, you may have several options to choose from.

If you would like more information about braces or orthodontic treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Orthodontics for the Older Adult.”

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Holly A. Scott-Hetchler DDS, PC 919 Chester RdLansing, MI 48912