Lansing's Dental Discussion

Posts for: June, 2017

By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
June 22, 2017
Category: Oral Health
NancyODellonMakingOralHygieneFunforKids

When Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O’Dell set out to teach her young daughter Ashby how to brush her teeth, she knew the surest path to success would be to make it fun for the toddler.

“The best thing with kids is you have to make everything a game,” Nancy recently said in an interview with Dear Doctor TV. She bought Ashby a timer in the shape of a tooth that ticks for two minutes — the recommended amount of time that should be spent on brushing — and the little girl loved it. “She thought that was super fun, that she would turn the timer on and she would brush her teeth for that long,” Nancy said.

Ashby was also treated to a shopping trip for oral-hygiene supplies with Mom. “She got to go with me and choose the toothpaste that she wanted,” Nancy recalled. “They had some SpongeBob toothpaste that she really liked, so we made it into a fun activity.”

Seems like this savvy mom is on to something! Just because good oral hygiene is a must for your child’s health and dental development, that doesn’t mean it has to feel like a chore. Equally important to making oral-hygiene instruction fun is that it start as early as possible. It’s best to begin cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as they start to appear in infancy. Use a small, soft-bristled, child-sized brush or a clean, damp washcloth and just a thin smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice.

Once your child is old enough to hold the toothbrush and understand what the goal is, you can let him or her have a turn at brushing; but make sure you also take your turn, so that every tooth gets brushed — front, back and all chewing surfaces. After your child turns 3 and is capable of spitting out the toothpaste, you can increase the toothpaste amount to the size of a pea. Kids can usually take over the task of brushing by themselves around age 6, but may still need help with flossing.

Another great way to teach your children the best oral-hygiene practices is to model them yourself. If you brush and floss every day, and have regular cleanings and exams at the dental office, your child will come to understand what a normal, healthy and important routine this is. Ashby will certainly get this message from her mom.

“I’m very adamant about seeing the dentist regularly,” Nancy O’Dell said in her Dear Doctor interview. “I make sure that I go when I’m supposed to go.”

It’s no wonder that Nancy has such a beautiful, healthy-looking smile. And from the looks of things, her daughter is on track to have one, too. We would like to see every child get off to an equally good start!

If you have questions about your child’s oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Taking the Stress Out of Dentistry for Kids” and “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”


By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
June 07, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral appliance  
TakeCareofYourDentalAppliancetoExtenditsLongevity

What do dentures, retainers and nightguards have in common? Along with orthodontic aligners and athletic mouthguards, they’re all types of removable dental appliances. They also share another commonality: each one depends on the wearer caring for it to ensure its longevity.

The most important thing you can do for your appliance is to clean it regularly. Don’t use toothpaste, though, even with dentures: while your natural tooth enamel can handle the abrasive particles in toothpaste, your appliance’s materials may not. Toothpaste can create tiny scratches that can harbor disease-causing bacteria. Instead, use liquid dish detergent or hand soap with warm water.

Although boiling water may disinfect your appliance, it’s not advisable to use. Even hot water can distort plastic components and warp the appliance’s fit in your mouth. Likewise, don’t use bleach, which can fade the plastic color used to resemble gum tissue and break down the material’s composition. When you clean your appliance, use a brush — but not the one you use for your natural teeth. Use a soft toothbrush, a nail brush or a specialized brush for appliances like dentures.

You should also protect your appliance from damage. Some appliances like dentures have parts that can break if they’re dropped on a hard surface — like the porcelain in your sink. To prevent this, place a towel in the sink to cushion the appliance if it accidentally slips from your hand during cleaning. And when the appliance isn’t in your mouth, don’t keep it on a low table or night stand where small children or pets can easily get their hands (or paws) on it.

And one more thing: don’t wear your denture appliance around the clock — take it out, for instance, while you sleep. Leaving dentures in interferes with the acid-neutralizing and antibacterial function of your mouth’s saliva, which could increase your risk of disease (and bad breath).

Appliances can be an expensive investment in your dental health. By following these guidelines you’ll help protect that investment for years to come.

If you would like more information on caring for your dental appliance, 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 “10 Tips for Cleaning Your Oral Appliance.”


By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
June 02, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry   veneers  

Find out if these porcelain cosmetic restorations could give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of.veneers

Do you only notice dental flaws when you smile in the mirror? Does your smile make you feel embarrassed? Do you find yourself offering others a close-lipped smile rather than flashing your smile for all to see? If so, it might be time to talk to our Lansing, MI, dentist Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler about whether dental veneers could help give you your dream smile.

Dental veneers are thin restorations made from translucent porcelain that is each custom-made to cover the front of a tooth to achieve a whiter smile with a more even and uniformed shape. Veneers are pretty incredible restorations because they can completely revamp your smile without the need for invasive dentistry or even anesthesia, in most cases. Not having to deal with needles or drills can be a major pro for patients who want to alter their smile but find themselves a bit nervous about undergoing a dental procedure.

Who is a good candidate for porcelain veneers?

Any healthy individual who is looking to make minor-to-moderate improvements to the color, shape or length of their smile can often do so by getting porcelain veneers in Lansing, MI. These customized restorations are a great way to hide any of the following:

  • Worn, uneven teeth
  • Cracked or chipped teeth
  • Misalignments and uneven spacing between teeth
  • Discolorations and stains
  • Malformed or poorly shaped teeth

When veneers are fused to the front of your teeth they can completely change the way your smile looks. Plus, very little tooth preparation is required prior to getting these restorations. While some enamel will need to be removed from the front of your teeth, this is a painless and simple process. In as little as three visits you could walk out of our office sporting a brand new smile that you won’t believe is yours.

If dental veneers sound like the treatment you’ve been looking for, then don’t wait any longer to get the smile you know you deserve. Call our Lansing, MI, dental office today to find out if you are the perfect candidate for this treatment.




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