My Blog
June 23, 2021
Tags: Braces  

Properly aligned teeth can help your child with proper speech development and chewing. It's also much easier to clean and maintain your oral health when your jaw and teeth are aligned. Braces from your orthodontist in Portage, MI, Dr. Thomas Kwong of Kwong Orthodontics could help your child's teeth and jaw misalignment.

When Your Child Needs Braces

Dental misalignment problems could be genetic or develop due to accidents or dental diseases. Either way, fixing them with your orthodontist in Portage, MI, is essential.

Consider taking your child to the orthodontist as early as seven which is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO). If you notice significant problems with your child's dentition, you could schedule your visit to your orthodontist as early as five or six years old.

Dental problems that could warrant a visit to your child's orthodontist include:

  • Teeth grinding. If you hear your child grinding their teeth at night, it could be a sign of teeth misalignment. If you fail to seek help, it could damage your child's teeth and cause further jaw issues.
  • Problem chewing. Even subtle jaw misalignment can cause chewing or biting difficulties for your child. 
  • Crowded teeth. If your child's teeth seem too many to fit into their mouth, you might need to see your orthodontist. Crowded teeth that overlap could make cleaning and speech complicated.
  • Irregular loss of baby teeth. Losing baby teeth too early or too late could throw off your child's teeth alignment.
  • Thumb sucking. Oral habits such as thumb sucking could push your child's front teeth forward and cause crowding in the bottom teeth.
  • Misalignment. Jaw misalignment problems such as overbite, underbite, and crossbite might benefit from orthodontic treatment.
  • Mouth breathing. If your child is breathing through their mouth, it could affect the growth of their face and teeth.

If you're seeing signs that your child might need braces, call (269) 327-4459 to schedule your consultation with your orthodontist in Portage, MI, Dr. Kwong of Kwong Orthodontics, today.

April 07, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Orthodontist  

Here’s your guide to choosing the right orthodontist for you or your child’s needs.

We know just how important the health and appearance of your smile are. You want an orthodontist who listens to you, addresses your needs, and can provide you with the perfect treatment to give you a straighter smile. When you come into our Portage, MI, practice, our orthodontist Dr. Thomas Kwong will make sure that all of your needs are met. Here’s what you should know about shopping around for an orthodontist.

Check Reviews

What better way to find out what kind of experience you’re going to have at an orthodontist’s office than to check reviews? Reviews don’t lie! It’s a great way to get a more in-depth look into every facet of the patient experience. It can also steer you away from offices that may be overcrowded and too busy to give you the undivided attention you need. Want to read our reviews? We have 185 five-star Google reviews from happy patients who love working with our Portage, MI, orthodontist Dr. Kwong, and a 5 out of 5 rating on Facebook.

Ask for Personal Recommendations

Along with reviews, referrals or recommendations from family and friends can also be a great way to find the right orthodontist for you or your child. Talk with family members who have kids, as well as adults you might know who got braces later in life, and see which orthodontist they recommend. They may also provide you with helpful tips and advice that you might not find surfing the internet.

Check their Offerings

It’s important to know what the orthodontist will be able to offer you before you come into the practice so you’re not wasting your time. We know your time is limited and nothing is worse than finding out that the orthodontist you visited can’t offer you the same orthodontic treatments that others can.

Here at our Portage, MI, practice, we understand that the orthodontic needs of a child or teen are going to be vastly different from an adult. That’s why we offer everything from traditional and clear braces to nearly invisible aligner systems for teens and adults looking for more discreet treatment options.

Choosing the right orthodontist in Portage, MI, is an important decision and one that we know takes a lot of time and consideration. If you have questions about the services and care we offer, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Kwong of Kwong Orthodontics at (269) 327-4459.

January 19, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Broken Bracket   Broken Wire  

How your orthodontist in Portage, MI can help when you have problems with your braces

You’re straightening your smile with orthodontic treatment, and now you’ve broken a bracket or wire. What should you do? Fortunately, there are a few easy steps you can take before you visit your orthodontist. Dr. Thomas Kwong at Kwong Orthodontics in Portage, MI, offers comprehensive orthodontic services, including repairing broken brackets and wires.

Brackets and wires are strong, but they can still break. Eating hard, sticky foods can cause them to break. If you suffer a sports injury or accident involving your face can also break your brackets or wires.

If you break a bracket or wire, you should:

  • Get advice from your orthodontist about what you need to do.
  • Bring the bracket to your orthodontist if possible.
  • If the bracket is still attached to the wire, you can use orthodontic wax to fix the bracket in place.
  • If the orthodontic wire is broken, you can apply orthodontic wax to the end of the wire, so it doesn’t injure your cheeks or other soft tissue.
  • You can also try moving the wire with a Q-tip, or cut the end of the wire with a clean, sterile nail clipper.

Remember that you can do a lot to prevent breaking a bracket or wire. Remember to:

  • Avoid eating sticky foods
  • Avoid eating hard candy or hard foods
  • Cut your food into small pieces so you can minimize chewing stress

If you practice sports, remember to wear a mouthguard to keep from injuring your mouth, and to protect the brackets and wires from breaking.

If the broken bracket or wire causes injury or irritation to your soft tissue, you can rinse the area with warm salt water twice each day, and take Tylenol. Applying moist or dry heat to the area can also help relieve discomfort.

Orthodontic treatment can work magic on your smile, so you need to protect the brackets and wires. To find out more about how to protect your smile, and your orthodontic treatment, call Dr. Thomas Kwong of Kwong Orthodontics in Portage, MI at (269) 327-4459. Call today!

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!

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