My Blog
By Kwong Orthodontics
June 22, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Orthodontics  

A minor overbite or a few slightly crooked teeth are the types of dental imperfections that can make a smile individual and unique. In fact, with cosmetic dentistry now making it possible for anyone obtain white, straight teeth, a little gap here and there can be a beautiful sign of individuality. However, when the teeth are significantly misaligned, the resulting bite problems may require orthodontics to shift the Bracesteeth back into proper alignment.

Get Straighter Teeth in Portage

On the surface, crooked teeth may appear to be a strictly cosmetic problem. But teeth that are severely out of alignment can lead to a series of dental problems, and even cause distortions to facial features in extreme cases. Dr. Thomas Kwong, an orthodontist in Portage, MI recommends scheduling an appointment with an orthodontist for an adult or child experiencing any of the following symptoms of malocclusion (bite problems):

  • Frequently biting the lining of the cheeks
  • Crowding (not enough room in the mouth for the teeth; new teeth that do no fully erupt)
  • Teeth that cut or poke the roof of the mouth or cheek lining
  • Difficulty chewing or speaking clearly

Orthodontic correction is most common in childhood, when malocclusion issues first become apparent and are easier to correct. However, it is never too late to visit an orthodontist, and adults can also benefit from tooth alignment with braces or aligner trays. Schedule an appointment with an orthodontist if you or your child are suffering from any of the following bite problems:

  • Crowding
  • Underbite
  • Abnormal eruption
  • Excessive spacing
  • Open bite
  • Protrusion/overjet
  • Overbite/deep bite
  • Crossbite - front and back of teeth

Contact an Orthodontist in Portage

Not sure if braces are right for you or your child? For more information, contact Kwong Orthodontics by calling (269) 327 4459 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kwong today.

By Dr. Thomas Kwong
April 15, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Straight Teeth  

Getting braces doesn't have to mean that you must give up your favorite sport. Dr. Thomas Kwong, your Portage, MI orthodontist, explains how you can protect your teeth and your braces when you're on the playing field.

Watch that ball!Straight Teeth

Balls, sticks, elbows and falls can break wires and brackets and damage your teeth. Unfortunately, sports wouldn't be much fun without those things. Luckily, you don't have to sit on the bench just because you have braces. An orthodontic mouthguard can provide the protection you need to avoid injury.

How is an orthodontic mouthguard different than a regular mouthguard?

Regular mouthguards are made of harder plastic than orthodontic mouthguards. If you do get hit in the mouth, your wires or brackets can break when the mouthguard is pushed against them. Orthodontic mouthguards are made from soft silicone, a material that helps absorb the impact of a blow and protect your braces. These mouthguards also help keep your lips from being pushed into your teeth during a fall or blow. When you get your braces, let your Portage orthodontist know that you'll need this special mouthguard.

Are some types of braces better for sports than others?

Although metal braces are very effective at moving your teeth, some athletes prefer to wear braces that can be removed while they play sports. Invisalign braces are not only removable, but are also clear. Since they're transparent, no one may even know that you're wearing braces. These braces are typically worn for 20 hours every day, but can be removed for special events, like games and practices. If you choose Invisalign, it's still important to wear a mouthguard to prevent injury to your teeth, lips and mouth.

What happens if I have a mouth injury?

Call your orthodontist as soon as possible if you experience an injury during a game or practice. He'll let you know if he thinks you need an emergency appointment.

Interested in learning how braces can improve your smile? Call Dr. Thomas Kwong, your Portage, MI orthodontist, at (269) 327-4459 and schedule an appointment.

By KWONG ORTHODONTICS
February 19, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Braces  

You could actually prevent certain dental problems just by getting orthodontics.

There are so many reasons your Portage, MI orthodontist, Dr. Thomas Kwong, may recommend orthodontic treatment. Some of the most common reasons include:Braces

  • To correct certain malocclusions (bad bites) such as an overbite or underbite
  • Crooked teeth or teeth that stick out
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Crowded teeth or spaces between teeth
  • Jaws that do not line up properly

While you already know that braces can improve your smile’s aesthetics, did you know that they could also improve your oral health? That’s right! Getting braces could actually reduce your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease and prevent problems that could result in tooth loss.

An abnormal bite can put too much pressure on certain teeth, which may cause excessive wear on healthy tooth enamel. Over time, this wear and tear on your teeth may result in cracked or fractured teeth. Before your tooth needs a dental crown, maybe it’s time you considered getting braces in Portage.

Also, an abnormal bite can affect speaking or chewing. If you find that your misaligned smile is making it difficult to eat all the foods you would like, you may also be missing out on some nutrients that you need. Before this takes a toll on your health it’s time to weigh the pros and cons of braces.

Also, crooked teeth or overlapping teeth make it difficult to thoroughly brush in all those nooks and crannies, which can result in leaving food and plaque behind. Over time plaque turns to tartar, which your toothbrush won’t be able to remove (only your Portage dentist will be able to with a thorough dental cleaning). If tartar isn’t removed, this can result in gum disease and cavities. Before this happens, it’s time to consider whether braces are right for you.

With all the advancements in dental technology, you now have more options than ever to get a straighter smile. Traditional braces are a great way to fix even the most complex dental issues, but there are also porcelain braces that boast tooth-colored wires and brackets and nearly invisible braces like Invisalign that teens and adults can benefit from.

You’ll never know if braces are right for you unless you come into our Portage, MI orthodontic office for a consultation. Let Kwong Orthodontics straighten out your smile once and for all.

By Kwong Orthodontics
January 14, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Broken Brackets  

Knowing how to properly handle damaged braces may prevent further complications to your orthodontic treatment.

Whether you’ve just gotten your braces or you’ve been wearing them for a few months, while you can take all the necessary precautions sometimes accidents happen anyway. There are many reasons why braces become damaged or broken. Find out how your Portage, MIBraces orthodontist Dr. Thomas Kwong can help.

Some of the most common problems with braces include:

  • Broken brackets
  • Broken wires
  • Loose braces or bands
  • Wires sticking out

If you are dealing with any of these issues it’s important that you call our Portage, MI orthodontic office to see whether you need to come in right away for treatment.

Loose brackets

The brackets, which can either be made from metal or ceramics, are the part of the braces that are attached to the front of the tooth. While hard or crunchy foods are typically off limits, if you decide to eat these kinds of foods they can break or damage the resin that holds the brackets on. If this happens, and you are concerned that the broken bracket may poke your gums or tongue, apply a dental wax or sugar-free gum to the brackets before heading over to our Portage office.

Loose bands

Bands are the metal rings that are placed over back teeth. If one of your bands has come loose give our Portage, MI orthodontic office a call. Don’t try to put the band back on yourself, just save the piece and bring it with you.

Broken wires

This is one of the most common issues we see with damaged braces. Wires that stick out or are broken can cause damage to sensitive tissue like cheeks or gums. You can try to use the eraser side of a pencil to push the wire back but if this doesn’t do the trick opt for wax and sugar-free gum to place over the end of the wire to prevent cuts. A broken wire won’t be able to successful move teeth, so this means that you will need to come in right away for repairs.

Don’t ignore broken braces! Receive immediate dental care from your dentist in Portage by calling Kwong Orthodontics today.

By Kwong Orthodontics, P.C
October 29, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Clear Aligners  

Find out if you could benefit from getting nearly invisible braces.


Here are some questions you should ask yourself before deciding if it’s time to talk to your Portage orthodontist Dr. Thomas Kwong Clear Alignersabout getting the clear alternative to braces.

Q. What dental issues are you looking to fix?
Two of the biggest factors that determine whether clear braces like Invisalign are right for you are the problems you are looking to correct with orthodontics and how severe your dental issues are. Even though Invisalign can treat moderate to even more complex dental cases, those with very severe issues like large overbites may require traditional orthodontics from your Portage orthodontist in order to help shift the jaw back into the proper place.
Here are the most common issues that Invisalign can handle:

  • Spaces between teeth
  • Crowded teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Crossbites

Q. How old are you?
Another important factor is age. While Invisalign can be a great treatment option for older teens and adults they aren’t the best option for children and young teens since teeth are still growing. Invisalign can be fantastic for older teens and adults who are looking for a way to straighten their smiles without others noticing. Imagine enjoying prom, graduation or even your first day on the job without having to worry about people seeing your braces.

Q. Are you dedicated to wearing braces?
It’s true that Invisalign is easy to wear, especially since you can remove your trays for eating and drinking. Despite this, it’s important not to abuse this privilege. You will still want to wear your clear trays for a minimum of 22 hours out of the day to get the results you want.

Furthermore, your Portage, MI orthodontist will advise that you wear a retainer even after Invisalign treatment in order to retain your smile’s new shape. It’s important that you continue to follow our instructions so you can keep those beautiful new results.

If you want to find out if the clear alternative to braces are right for you, then it’s time to schedule a consultation with your Portage, MI orthodontist at Kwong Orthodontics. Dr. Kwong can give you that straighter smile no matter your age.





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