My Blog
November 25, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Braces   Cavities  

How your orthodontist in Portage, Michigan can help you prevent tooth decay when you have braces.

When you are going through orthodontic treatment, it’s even more important to practice great brushing and flossing habits. When you brush and floss regularly, it helps you avoid cavities.

Your orthodontist can help you avoid cavities too. Dr. Thomas Kwong of Kwong Orthodontics in Portage, Michigan offers a wide range of orthodontic services, including preventive services to help you avoid cavities.

Plaque is the enemy of your smile, especially when you have braces. The plaque has millions of harmful bacteria which create bacterial acid. This acid is strong enough to eat through tough tooth enamel, giving you a cavity.

So, how do you avoid cavities when you have braces? The truth is, wearing brackets and wires provides a perfect place for bacteria to thrive.

You can disrupt the bacteria and avoid cavities if you:

  • Brush after meals and before bed; with braces, it may be helpful to use a sonic or electric toothbrush because the pulsing action helps to clean around brackets, flushing out plaque and food debris.
  • Floss at least once each day; when you wear braces, it’s necessary to use a flossing tool, called a threader. A threader is a thin loop which is made of flexible plastic. You place the end of the floss inside the open loop. You guide the loop up under the orthodontic wire, so the floss is right next to your tooth. Then, floss your teeth normally, re-threading the loop each time you move to a new tooth.
  • Regular visits to your dentist and dental hygienist can help too. Your dental care providers can show you all of the latest tricks, tools, and techniques to help you prevent cavities while you wear braces.

Practicing great oral hygiene and regular dental visits are the keys to having a straight, beautiful smile free of tooth decay.

To find out more about cavity prevention before, during, and after orthodontic treatment, call Kwong Orthodontics in Portage, Michigan at (269) 327-4459. 

August 20, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Brace   Flossing  

Braces repair large gaps and severe crookedness, among other things. But caring for teeth during this process can be difficult for children. Dr. Thomas Kwong of Portage, MI, helps his patients through this endeavor at Kwong Orthodontics.

More About Orthodontics

The purpose of braces is to fix issues like a bad bite, crooked teeth, and/or crowding. The best time to have this done is between the ages of 8 and 14 while the child's bone structure is still developing. The amount of time children must wear braces varies from one patient to another, but your Portage braces specialist can help set up a custom plan for your child's needs.

More About Orthodontic Care

Parents need to encourage kids who wear braces to properly care for their teeth. Children need to brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. Make sure you involve your Portage braces professional in the education process of how to properly brush and floss braces. It can be challenging and children need to feel comfortable enough to ask questions.

One of the most difficult orthodontic care regimens is flossing. Here are a few Colgate tips to make it easier for a child wearing braces to floss regularly:

  • Use an orthodontic floss threader. It's already hard enough flossing between braces. An orthodontic floss threader allows you to pull the floss through teeth, above the wire, and reach the gum line.
  • Don't assume your child can floss properly. Children's underdeveloped dexterity skills make things like flossing more difficult. Help them learn by having them do it in front of you in a well-lit room.
  • It's preferable to use waxed floss. Braces snatch non-wax floss, shredding the floss. Gently slide the floss between teeth and up into the gum line using a floss threader.

Need to speak with a dentist?

Have questions about braces and/or how to take proper orthodontic care of your teeth? No problem! Call Dr. Thomas Kwong of Kwong Orthodontics in Portage, MI, at (269) 327-4459 today!

June 09, 2020
Category: Oral Health

When it comes to straightening misaligned teeth, you have several options. The two most popular choices are traditional braces and Invisalign. Both are unique in their own ways, and Dr. Thomas Kwong, your dentist in Portage, MI, specializes in providing them—read on to learn more.

How Traditional Braces Work

Traditional braces have several components that work together by applying constant pressure to slowly straighten your teeth. A metal or ceramic link is glued to each of the teeth being treated. These are connected to an archwire by ligature bands. There also spacers between the teeth to allow the bands to pass through. It sounds complicated, but traditional braces work well for people who have mild-to-severely misaligned teeth.

Why Invisalign Aligners are Popular

Portage residents have found the following benefits with Invisalign braces:

  • They can be removed: Unlike traditional braces, you can remove Invisalign braces when you eat or brush and floss your teeth. This makes it easier to clean your teeth.
  • You can eat what you like: With traditional braces, you have some restrictions with what you can eat. For example, you should avoid hard or crunchy foods so as not to damages the braces. Because you can take Invisalign brace out before you eat, you can eat the foods you like.
  • They are invisible: Because Invisalign aligners remade from clear, flexible material no one can tell that you’re wearing braces and they’re also more comfortable than traditional braces.

Although Invisalign treatment is a little more expensive than traditional braces, the treatment usually doesn’t take quite so long. Invisalign is also great for adults who feel subconscious about wearing braces and prefer a more discreet solution.


If you live in or around Portage and would like to find out more about Invisalign, call Dr. Kwong today at (269) 327 4459 to schedule a consultation.

By Kwong Orthodontics, P.C.
May 11, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Braces   Oral Hygiene  

Keep your teeth and your gums healthy while you wear braces. At Kwong Orthodontics in Portage, MI, Dr. Thomas Kwong and his capable team encourage all of their patients to practice daily care habits that preserve your smile while it's being remodeled.

The point of orthodontic care

A crooked smile presents many problems, including headaches, worn enamel, less than attractive appearance, tooth decay, and gum disease. Plus, uneven bite, gaps, and crowding make teeth harder to keep clean. So, if your detailed evaluation at Kwong Orthodontics recommends braces, be sure to undergo treatment. Both children and adults benefit from a well-aligned set of teeth.

Types of braces

Most people are familiar with traditional braces—metal, ceramic, and lingual (tongue-side) appliances with their archwires, brackets, and ligaments. Besides these options, Dr. Kwong offers clear braces in his Portage practice. Whatever you qualify for, expect a beautiful smile that optimizes your self-confidence, biting, chewing, speech, and dental/gum health.

Caring for your smile with braces

Whichever orthodontic appliances you use, oral care is a must-have. Careful twice-daily brushing with a soft toothbrush and daily flossing using the product your hygienist recommends removes food particles, avoids gum irritation, and preserves your teeth from decay. Take your time with your oral care as it's an investment in treatment plan success and a great smile.

Also, if you wear conventional braces, avoid very sticky, hard, and sweet dietary choices. Sugary drinks and foods contribute to decay, and tough-textured foods lodge in and between appliances to the point of dislodging and breaking them. As an orthodontic patient, you stay away from:

  • Bagels
  • Pizza crust
  • Nuts
  • Caramel
  • Candy apples
  • Corn on the cob (or other foods you must bite down on)
  • Ice
  • Popcorn

A beneficial addition to your diet is water. It adds fluoride to your enamel and washes teeth and gums clean.

If you do break off part of your appliance, save it to take to Dr. Kwong for repair. If a wire or bracket becomes uncomfortably rough, cover it with a piece of orthodontic wax until you see your dentist.

Finally, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends you wear an athletic mouth guard to cushion your teeth during any contact sport. Ask Dr. Kwong about custom-made acrylic guards to cover both top and bottom arches.

Find out more

Due to the coronavirus situation, we will be open on a limited basis to see emergency patients indefinitely. If braces are in your future, please make an appointment soon: (269) 327-4459.

April 08, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Invisalign  

Have you heard of Invisalign clear aligners? They are the thin, clear orthodontic appliances offered by Kwong Orthodontics in Portage, MI. Dr. Thomas Kwong uses them for many patients who desire a comfortable, discreet and effective way to straighten their teeth. Is Invisalign right for you?

Details on Invisalign

Invisalign aligners have straightened smile across the world for more than 20 years. Custom-made from SmartTrack acrylic, the removable appliances fit over the top and bottom arches, shifting teeth into healthier, more aesthetically-pleasing positions.

At Kwong Orthodontics in Portage, your dentist uses a special scanner to image your teeth and bone structure. That information, combined with the results of your oral exam, keeps produces a treatment plan perfect for your mild to moderate alignment problems.

When you wear your 18 to 30 aligner pairs in sequence 20 to 22 hours a day, you'll have your finished smile in six to eighteen months, says the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).

The issues addressed by Invisalign

Complex cases require treatment with metal braces and other kinds of orthodontic devices. That being said, the Invisalign system is highly versatile, treating adults and older teens whose jaws have finished growing and adults of all ages.

Common problems include:

  • Tooth tipping and rotation
  • Orthodontic relapse (re-treatment when teeth have shifted positions)
  • Gaps
  • Crowding
  • Overbite
  • Overjet (top front teeth protrude)
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Open bite
  • Small discrepancies in the midline of the smile (a shift to the right or left

In addition, Invisalign just helps people feel better about themselves. As they check in with Dr. Kwong every month or so, they can see how their smiles improve, aligner by aligner. When patients finish their treatment plans, self-confidence soars as their teeth look completely transformed.

Have your best smile

It's not too late. Contact Kwong Orthodontics in Portage, MI, for your one-on-one Invisalign consultation with Dr. Thomas Kwong. He'll work with you to achieve your best oral health and most attractive smile. Call us at (269) 327-4459.

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