Posts for: April, 2018

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
April 25, 2018
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 Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
April 24, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry   veneers  

Do you have to have braces or dental crowns to remake your cosmetic smile defects? Your four front teeth have always been crowded, veneersand now they are chipped from a car accident. The professional team at Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC in Westland, MI, have a better solution. Called porcelain veneers, these tooth-shaped ceramic laminates disguise flaws and strengthen defective teeth. Dr. Dennis Aylward, Dr. Brent Carey, or Dr. Allison Carey would love to tell you about them.

Why veneers are popular

Porcelain veneers are just part of a wide repertoire of cosmetic dentistry treatments Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC offers. These services address problems with tooth alignment, dental stains, hairline cracks, surfacing pitting, overcrowding, chips, and more. Veneers correct defects which are too extensive for simple teeth whitening treatments or composite resin bonding. They can be a great alternative to orthodontic correction or porcelain crowns.

Placing veneers

Veneer patients enjoy realistic appearance and durability. Your Westland dentist may recommend veneers after evaluating your teeth and gums with an oral examination and digital X-rays. If they are healthy and if the veneers would adequately address your aesthetic concerns, your dentist will take oral impressions and remove a small portion of enamel from each tooth. While you wait for your new veneers, your dentist will place temporary ones over your prepared teeth to protect them and give you normal oral function and appearance.

Your dentist's detailed care plan and your oral impressions will go to a dental lab where a skilled technician will make a three-dimensional model of your mouth. From there, the technician will sculpt the veneers one by one, coloring them and shaping them to blend in with the rest of your smile.

When you return to Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC, your dentist will remove your temporaries and bond the new veneers in place with a strong, tooth-colored adhesive. The doctor always ensures veneers fit properly so your dental bite is correct.

You and your veneers

Life with veneers is easy. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry advises twice daily brushing with a non-abrasive toothpaste, and you should floss daily to keep all your teeth plaque-free. Limit staining foods and beverages and extra-hard foods. If you clench or grind your teeth, consider a customized bite guard to protect your teeth from premature wear. All in all, your veneers should last at least a decade.

Find out more in Westland

Yes, porcelain veneers have many dental benefits. Why not explore what they could do for your smile? Call Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC in Westland, MI, for a cosmetic dentistry consultation: (734) 425-9130.


RemovingTeethCouldImprovetheOutcomeforaCrowdedBite

The primary goal of dental care is to preserve teeth. But there are circumstances in which removing a tooth, even a relatively healthy one, could prove best in the long run.

A malocclusion (poor bite) related to crowding might fit such a circumstance. Crowding occurs when the size of the jaw is too small for the teeth coming in. With not enough space, some teeth could erupt out of their proper positions. Removing certain teeth frees up space to eventually allow braces or other orthodontic devices to re-align the teeth.

The teeth most frequently removed are the first bicuspids, located between the cuspid (the "eyeteeth" directly under the eyes) and the back teeth, and the second premolar. Removing these won't normally affect appearance or functionality once orthodontic or cosmetic treatments are complete.

Because of the mechanics of jaw development it might be necessary to perform these extractions several years before orthodontic treatment. This could create another potential problem: the time lag could adversely affect bone health.

This is because bone, as living tissue, has a life cycle with cells forming, functioning and then dissolving, and new cells taking their place. When teeth are chewing or in contact with each other they generate force that travels through the tooth roots to the bone and stimulates cell growth at a healthy replacement rate.

But when a tooth is missing, so is this stimulation. This slows the replacement rate and eventually leads to decreased bone volume. Too much bone loss could create obstacles for orthodontic treatment or a future dental implant.

To avoid this, the dentist will often place a bone graft with processed bone mineral within the empty tooth socket right after extraction. The graft serves as a scaffold for bone cells to grow upon. The graft (plus any other added growth boosters) can help maintain a healthy level of bone volume to facilitate future orthodontic or restorative treatments.

Since targeted extraction for orthodontics is time-sensitive, you should have your child's bite evaluated by an orthodontist by age 7 to see if any action is necessary. The earlier a malocclusion is detected, the more likely a more attractive and healthy smile will be the ultimate outcome.

If you would like more information on correcting poor bites, 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 “Tooth Removal for Orthodontic Reasons.”