Common TMJ Symptoms you Shouldn’t Ignore

tmj symptoms

tmj symptomsRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Navigating a lengthy To Do List with a severe headache or jaw pain can make the process much more challenging. Sometimes, the pain could be related to high-stress levels, but other times, it could be a severe condition in your jaw joints that demands medical attention. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) links the jaw to the skull and is one of the most complicated joints in the human body. These joints serve a crucial role in normal jaw functions and may be found directly beneath the ear on both sides of the head. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) may malfunction for several reasons, which can often lead to pain and discomfort. Our Royal Oak dentist that treats TMJ patients, Dr. Nancy Hartrick, shares on the blog today common TMJ symptoms you shouldn’t ignore so that you can relieve your painful symptoms and restore a pain-free life.


Inadequate jaw joint function may cause muscular strain, which can cause headaches that range from mild to severe. When the TMJ is misaligned, it may cause strain on the supporting muscles and connective tissue. Our Birmingham TMJ dentist explains that the stress may eventually manifest as pain in the upper back and shoulders. Regular headache sufferers who can’t pinpoint their pain source or who take over-the-counter medications that don’t last may want to get a dental checkup to see whether their temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is to blame.

Jaw Clicking or Popping

Abnormal noises when eating, speaking, or yawning are another typical indicator of a TMJ problem, although they are generally disregarded. The only person who can hear these noises is the individual who’s experiencing them, yet for some people, these sounds are noticeable even to onlookers. Our dentist who treats TMJ in Royal Oak explains that the noises may vary, but they may include clicking, grinding, cracking, or even crushing sounds. Combining these symptoms with the additional indicators presented here raises the possibility that you have a TMJ issue.

Ear Problems

Some issues with the temporomandibular joint might manifest as ear pain, but few individuals make the connection. Our dentist in Birmingham that treats TMJ advises that if you have recurrent ear or head discomfort, then TMJ should be considered a possible reason. Some people with a TMJ disorder also have tinnitus, which is a buzzing or ringing sound in the ears that can only be heard by the person who has it. Because of its proximity to the ear, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) should not be ignored as a possible source of tinnitus and other ear issues.

Pain While Speaking or Chewing

Pain or discomfort while moving the jaw, like when eating or talking, is another symptom of TMJ problems. Facial muscle soreness is also possible, and the pain might come and go or be constant. Our Royal Oak TMJ dentist explains that for some individuals, the discomfort is persistent and may persist even when the jaw is relaxed. Many people who have problems with their jaw joints have chronic pain that interferes with their everyday lives, and they need therapy to relieve painful symptoms.

TMJ Treatment in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan

Getting through life in constant pain is not feasible for most people. Fortunately, TMJ problems are curable. Our dentist who treats TMJ in Birmingham might help you discover the source of your TMJ symptoms and offer effective therapy to relieve the painful sensations. If you consistently suffer from pain in your head, jaw, neck, shoulders, and upper back, Dr. Hartrick encourages you to schedule an appointment and find out more about TMJ disorder. Please call Hartrick Dentistry at (248) 549-0950 or contact us online to request a consultation today.

Posted in TMJ

When TMJ Disorder Affects your Relationship

tmj affects relationship

tmj affects relationshipRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Those who have TMJ issues may experience pain in any circumstance that calls for awkward jaw movement, and one of these is intimate moments with your partner. If dental discomfort interrupts your romantic life, you’re not the only one. Similar issues affect many people and can influence a person’s relationships and sense of self, not to mention challenging to live with. Our Royal Oak TMJ dentist, Dr. Nancy Hartrick, shares on the blog today how TMJ disorder can affect your relationship and how you can stop the pain and restore jaw function.

You’re Not Alone

Many of the TMJ-related and life-related anecdotes you hear are uncomfortable to discuss with your dentist because they include TMJ and common life occurrences. TMJ discomfort can affect your intimate relations with your significant other. Although it is more of a private concern, it is significant for both men and women. Patients frequently believe they are the only ones dealing with this issue, but many people deal with discomfort from TMJ disorder. Our dentist who treats TMJ disorder in Royal Oak explains that triggers might be anything from little behaviors to more aggressive ones. Joint discomfort can result from speaking, chewing, and even being touched on the face. Any activity that requires jaw movement or a wide open mouth may aggravate symptoms.

The Negative Effects

Many individuals do not consider how TMJ discomfort may affect both the spouses of those who are diagnosed with it and their intimate life. Due to common interactions like being touched, kissed, or experiencing any other feeling, something that was previously delightful is now producing a substantial amount of agony. Our Royal Oak dentist who treats TMJ patients explains that due to their inability to please their partner, someone with TMJ may experience melancholy, self-consciousness, and worries that their physical pain and limitations may impact their relationship. Men might have the same problem but are less likely to talk about it.

The Solution

Find a solution when you consult with our Royal Oak TMJ dentist that treats jaw joint pain and dysfunction. You may improve your day-to-day comfort by reducing stress, making a few lifestyle changes, and talking to your spouse. The first step in dealing with the issue is to inform your partner about your pain and discomfort. By doing this, you will ensure that they are aware of the circumstances and understand better than to push you beyond your comfort level. Second, be ready. An anti-inflammatory or pain medicine can lessen discomfort so that you can feel more like yourself. Third, using cold packs is another method to ease discomfort and swelling around the face. Lastly, opt for professional dental treatments and therapies that can relieve joint tension and reduce your pain.

TMJ Treatment in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan

Experiencing jaw pain can be frustrating when it interferes with your relationship. Even though you may mentally want to show them how much you love and care for them, your jaw discomfort may result in moody behavior. Fortunately, through effective TMJ treatments at our Royal Oak dental office, you can stop the painful sensations and restore the full function of your jaw, making it more pleasant to be intimate with your partner. If you suffer from jaw pain or wake up with daily headaches, please contact Hartrick Dentistry to schedule a consultation and find out how TMJ therapy can help relieve your symptoms. Please call our office at (248) 549-0950 or contact us online to request an appointment today.

Posted in TMJ

What Happens if I Miss Wearing my Invisalign Aligners?


invisalignRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Researching teeth straightening options may lead you to a wide treatment variety. From traditional braces to clear aligner therapies, people are seeking a straighter smile for better oral health. Those considering Invisalign clear aligners should know that they must wear them for a minimum of 22 hours every day. Fortunately, the custom aligner design is comfortable and clear so it remains undetectable to others. Our Royal Oak dentist who offers Invisalign explains what happens if you miss a few appointments during Invisalign treatment and how to get back on track.

What is Invisalign treatment?

When it comes to improving the smiles of teenagers and young adults, Invisalign is by far the most popular orthodontic treatment option. The fact that Invisalign’s transparent aligners may be taken out while you eat, brush your teeth, and play sports is a big part of its attraction. Invisalign is a great way to straighten your teeth, but only if you follow the explicit directions Dr. Hartrick provides.

What happens if you don’t adhere to your Invisalign treatment plan?

Without consistently wearing your Invisalign clear aligners, you may find that they no longer fit your teeth as well as they should or that gaps have appeared between your teeth and the aligners. Our Royal Oak Invisalign provider explains that each pair of custom Invisalign trays is intended to be worn for 22 hours each day for 14 days and subsequently progress in treatment with new aligners until the teeth are in their proper place. You can’t expect your teeth to move as quickly or keep up with the treatment pace if you aren’t wearing your aligners consistently.

How do you get back on track with your Invisalign treatment?

When life throws a curveball, and you get behind on your Invisalign treatment, all hope is not lost.

Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to get back on track

  • Talk to Dr. Hartrick – When you notice any deviation from your treatment plan’s prescribed regimen, call our Royal Oak Invisalign dentist immediately to schedule a checkup. A dental professional can evaluate your current condition and suggest the next steps in therapy. We encourage our patients to share where they are in the treatment plan and where they’re struggling so that we can work together to devise a plan to get them back on track with treatment.
  • Take a Step Back – To get the best possible results from your treatment, it may be necessary to go back to an earlier set of clear aligners. This ensures proper tooth alignment when you convert to your new set, paving the way for smooth treatment. Dr. Hartrick will recommend when and what kind of replacement set to use.
  • Adjust Your Treatment Plan – A fresh set of aligners may be necessary if Dr. Hartrick finds that the ones you’ve been using so far aren’t doing their job. A dental appointment sooner rather than later is preferable since it reduces the likelihood that your treatment plan may require major adjustments and delay the results, costing you more time and money.

Invisalign Providers in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan

Invisalign clear aligner therapy can provide multiple benefits for anyone who needs to straighten their smile. Working closely with our Royal Oak dentist who offers clear aligner therapy and keeps up-to-date, is essential to getting the most out of your treatment and ensuring its success. So, if life happens and you stop wearing your aligners, know that there is a possibility to get you back on track with your treatment plan. To begin, call Hartrick Dentistry at (248) 549-0950 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and discuss your current situation and future treatment plans.

Posted in Oral Health

How do you know if it’s Time for a Dental Checkup?

Time to Schedule a Dentist Appointment

Time to Schedule a Dentist AppointmentRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Oral health experts recommend seeing your dentist twice a year to avoid the damaging effects of neglecting your teeth and gums. But some individuals live by the mantra, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Unfortunately, that is not a recommended approach when it comes to your oral health. Dr. Nancy Hartrick, our Royal Oak family dentist, explains when you need a dental checkup to protect your smile.

Why visit the dentist?

Even if you brush and floss daily, see your dentist regularly. Oral bacteria secrete acids that, if not removed often and thoroughly enough, harden into tartar, which only can be removed by a professional dental cleaning. To fully protect your teeth and gums, a dental hygienist must use specialized tools to clean your teeth. Otherwise, tartar buildup becomes discolored and increases your risk of chronic bad breath, receding gums, gum disease, and cavities. During your checkups, we’ll also look for problems and treat them early for optimal oral health.

Pain or Swelling

Dr. Hartrick can determine if you have an infection or gum disease if you have persistent pain or swelling in your mouth. You don’t have to accept long-term discomfort. Even if the discomfort subsides, the underlying issue may remain unless treated.

Bleeding Gums

Healthy gums don’t bleed, but they still need care. Our Royal Oak pediatric dentist checks for gum disease and periodontal pockets that harbor bacteria. Additional gum complications include puffy or inflamed gums, pus or an odor, bluish red rather than pink gums, swelling, or gum recession. These symptoms could indicate a serious condition that will worsen if untreated.

Previous Work

Fillings, crowns, dental implants, and bridges can become loose with every bite. Let our dentists fix any loose, crooked, or out-of-place dental work to avoid future problems and costs.


Hormones during pregnancy may make gums more sensitive and susceptible to infection. Regular cleanings can manage or prevent pregnancy gingivitis. Low birth weight is linked to gingival and periodontal issues, which makes preventive dental care a necessity during pregnancy. So, see the dentist regularly for your health and the health of your unborn child.


Sensitive teeth can be more than a minor nuisance. Sensitivity can also be caused by teeth grinding, decayed fillings, or broken teeth. Changes in how your teeth react to heat and cold often indicate a more serious issue. The source of this sudden discomfort may help solve the problem. When decay penetrates the tooth enamel, it can cause new food or temperature sensitivity, so it’s best to treat cavities right away.

Dry Mouth

Chronic thirst may signal a health problem. Insufficient saliva causes dry mouth. Saliva protects soft and hard mouth tissues from tooth decay. Our dentist in Royal Oak may recommend rehydrating techniques. Mouth rinses and sugar-free candies and gum can help combat dry mouth by stimulating saliva.

Chewing or Swallowing Challenges

Chewing and swallowing issues are more common in the elderly. Normal aging, medications, oral issues, or surgery can cause these problems. Dysphagia affects chewing and swallowing, which can lead to choking or aspiration if food or other objects become lodged in the upper airway. Blocked airways may be fatal. Only consume soft foods or liquids to prevent the problem from worsening until you see your dentist or doctor.

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Nutrition, acid reflux, sinusitis, dry mouth, medications, uncontrolled diabetes, and gum disease can cause bad breath. The best dentists in Royal Oak recommend mints and mouthwashes to help, but they may mask the problem, although routine dental care that treats the problem at the source is the only way to get rid of bad breath for good.

Lingering Mouth Sores

Biting your tongue, cheek, or lip can cause mouth sores. If they last a week or longer, see a dentist. Cold sores, leukoplakia, candidiasis, canker sores, and other sores can be linked to viruses, infections, or cancer. Therefore, we recommend letting the dentist check your oral sore if it does not heal within a reasonable amount of time.

Jaw Problems

Untreated problems like an uneven bite or painful jaw popping when chewing or opening the mouth can eventually damage your teeth and lead to worsening pain. Your dentist may recommend an orthodontist. Possible jaw pain causes include periodontal disease, injury, infections, sinus problems, toothache, arthritis, or bruxism.

Family Dentists in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan

It’s always a good time for a dental checkup and cleaning. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never been to a dental office or if it’s slipped your mind for a few years, visiting our Royal Oak dental office for a checkup and cleaning is crucial to protect your overall health and wellness. Therefore, we encourage you to call Hartrick Dentistry at (248) 549-0950 or contact us online to request an appointment.

Posted in General Dentistry

Tips for a Sparkling Smile this Holiday

sparkling smile

sparkling smileRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

The holiday season brings festive lights that sparkle in the night. Your smile could shine bright when you properly care for your oral health. Whether you stay at home in your pajamas or travel to see loved ones, it’s crucial to practice preventive dental care. Our Royal Oak family dentist, Dr. Nancy Hartrick, shares on the blog today several tips for a sparkling smile this holiday so you can show your pearly whites and feel confident when taking photos.

  1. Make Water Your Beverage of Choice

Family gatherings and parties with coworkers or friends around the holidays are often accompanied by alcoholic beverages, like red wine that can stain your tooth enamel or cocktails with highly acidic juices. Although it can be challenging to avoid a glass of wine, our Royal Oak cosmetic dentist recommends drinking water instead to reduce your tooth staining risk. Additionally, other alcoholic beverages, juices, sodas, and energy drinks contain high sugar amounts that can increase bacterial activity, which may result in cavities or gum disease. Therefore, make water your beverage of choice this holiday season for superior oral health. Not to say that you shouldn’t enjoy sweets or an adult beverage occasionally, but just be sure not to allow sugary or acidic foods and beverages to remain on your teeth for prolonged periods. Sipping water throughout the day can help eliminate sugar from your teeth, although daily brushing and flossing are still necessary.

  1. Practice Regular Oral Health Care

The easiest way to prevent most advanced oral health conditions is to establish a daily routine that includes brushing twice a day and flossing once daily. Even though you may have stellar skills at brushing and flossing your teeth, everyone develops tartar buildup, even dentists! Therefore, our family dentist in Royal Oak recommends scheduling an appointment with our office for a checkup and cleaning every six months so that we can monitor your oral health and stop advanced conditions from developing.

  1. Exercise Self Restraint with Sweets

Aunt Maggie’s holiday cake and uncle Joe’s festive homemade candies may look delicious, and it can be tempting to eat every single one. Sadly, sugar and carbohydrates fuel harmful bacteria and promote activity that may result in dental damage. Our family dentist in Royal Oak explains that when you reduce sugar consumption from foods or beverages, you can better protect your oral health. Instead, reach for apples or other fresh fruits to satisfy your sweet tooth.

  1. Chew Sugarless Gum After Meals

After a meal, bacteria are at their most active. Cavities can develop because of the acids released by oral bacteria, which eat away at tooth enamel. However, saliva naturally helps rinse away residual food particles, bacteria, and acids, although brushing and flossing are still needed. Unfortunately, saliva production may slow as you age or experience unwanted side effects from certain medications. By stimulating saliva production while chewing sugarless gum, you can aid in self-cleansing and mineral replacement in your mouth that’s lost because of enamel erosion.

  1. Consider Cosmetic Dental Solutions

Your smile can be healthy but not have that special sparkle you desire. On the other hand, you could have some other minor cosmetic flaws that need treatment to restore your smile. Our cosmetic dentist in Royal Oak offers multiple options to transform your smile into one that shines. For example, Dr. Hartrick offers dental bonding, veneers, crowns, teeth whitening, dental implants, and Invisalign clear aligner treatment. So, no matter your cosmetic concern, you’re in good hands at Hartrick Dentistry.

Family Dentist in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan

Flashing a beautiful smile throughout the holiday season may take a little bit of effort, but the perfect photos and unforgettable memories are worth every bit of it. Taking care of your oral health can protect your overall health and wellness. Therefore, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at our Royal Oak dental office for a checkup and cleaning to make sure your smile is ready for the holidays. Call Hartrick Dentistry at (248) 549-0950 or contact us online to schedule your preventive care appointment today.

Posted in Cosmetic Dentistry

Here’s why you should see your Royal Oak Airway Dentist if you Snore


snoringRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Snoring may be a symptom of sleep apnea, a serious medical condition. The most prevalent kind of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), although there are also other varieties, including central and mixed. When you have obstructive sleep apnea, your airway is partly blocked, preventing air from entering or leaving your lungs easily. This may generate the vibration and sound that is characteristic of snoring. Even though snoring may seem like a harmless nocturnal activity, it could negatively affect your oral and overall health and wellness. Dr. Nancy Hartrick shares on the blog today why you should see a Royal Oak airway dentist if you snore so that you can protect your smile and your health.

Sleep Apnea is Characterized by Loud Snoring

Snoring may not always indicate sleep apnea. Half of the 90 million individuals in the United States who snore suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. However, snoring is a common sleep apnea sign, so seeing our sleep apnea dentist in Birmingham may help you figure out whether you have the condition and whether or not you require treatment. Depending on your sleep apnea severity, we may be able to help cure it and minimize or eliminate your snoring so that both you and your sleeping partner can get a better night’s rest.

The Dangers of Ignoring Snoring

Ignoring snoring due to its association with sleep apnea might be harmful to your health. Sleep apnea, particularly obstructive sleep apnea, is associated with several serious medical conditions like diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes. Our Royal Oak dentist that treats sleep apnea explains that this is because the breathing interruption associated with OSA stops your body from receiving the necessary oxygen and inhibits you from experiencing true rest at night. The effects may include daily sleepiness, weight gain, psychological issues, and even a rise in the likelihood of accidental injury. If you are a chronic snorer, you must get a professional evaluation and treatment to protect your health.

Oral Appliance Therapy Could Be Beneficial

Sleep apnea is often treated using a CPAP machine. However, these devices are often loud and inconvenient to use throughout the night. If you have mild to severe obstructive sleep apnea, our Birmingham dentist who treats sleep apnea may be able to assist you with oral appliance treatment. An oral appliance is a piece of equipment designed specifically for your teeth and gums to realign your jaw. You wear it like a retainer at night to keep your airway clear while you sleep. Reducing sleep apnea symptoms with oral appliance treatment may have a significant positive impact on your life quality.

Sleep Apnea Screenings in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan

A visit to our Royal Oak dental office for a checkup could be in order if you snore. If we suspect you have sleep apnea, we may refer you to a sleep specialist who can diagnose your condition and determine its severity. If you qualify, we will be happy to collaborate with your doctor to develop a treatment plan that includes oral appliance therapy. To find out more about your snoring and whether or not it might be caused by OSA, contact Hartrick Dentistry right away. Please call our office at (248) 549-0950 or contact us online to request an appointment.

Posted in Sleep Apnea

What’s a Frenectomy, and Why you Might Need One


frenectomyRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Ankyloglossia, often called a tongue tie or lip tie is a serious ailment that can impair breathing, eating, and speaking if left untreated. Problems tend to worsen the longer the issue remains untreated. Since a tongue tie won’t go away on its own over time, it’s crucial to speak with our Royal Oak laser dentist, Dr. Nancy Hartrick, at Hartrick Dentistry if you believe your kid has one. Today on the blog, we discuss the details of a frenectomy and why you might need one.

What’s a frenectomy?

Simply defined, a frenectomy is a procedure that releases the “lingual frenulum,” a band of tissue that binds the tongue to the floor of the mouth and restricts its mobility. A more common term used concerning the lingual frenulum is tongue tie. Our Royal Oak family dentist offers a simple laser procedure to free the tongue tie and regain complete range of motion. We use a precise dental laser that makes the procedure last a few seconds and can work for patients of any age, including newborns. You might also need to finish a myofunctional therapy program in addition to the tongue-tie release since it can improve your oral function, teach you new oral habits, or help you overcome past issues like correcting mouth breathing, closed-mouth posture, and proper swallowing patterns.

Why do I need a frenectomy?

Most of the body’s growth and development occurs in the adolescent years, and when you have a tongue tie, it can make it challenging to learn how to eat or speak properly. However, there are additional health risks that include developing sleep apnea, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, poor oral health, and malocclusion. Therefore, our Royal Oak dentist that treats tongue ties recommends addressing the situation as early as possible to prevent developmental issues that could cause future oral and overall health problems.

What are the benefits of a frenectomy?

For kids with tongue and lip ties, both lactation consultants and speech therapists frequently advise frenectomies. Frenectomies can be beneficial in helping tongue, and lip-tied youngsters establish healthy speech patterns, according to 60% of ENT physicians and 50% of speech-language pathologists (SLPS). This is because limited mobility of the lips and tongue can create articulation problems, notably with the letters  S, Th, N, L, R, D, and T. A child’s speech could sound “slushy” or slurred if they have a tongue tie or lip tie. A frenectomy can help with this problem by promoting normal tongue and lip mobility.

The advantages of frenectomies have also been mentioned by lactation and nursing professionals. Children’s correct latching, swallowing, and eating might be hampered by tongue and lip ties. Drooling, hindered jaw growth, and subpar oral motor development are all problems brought on by tongue ties interfering with the jaw and tongue motions necessary for effective feeding. Due to their inability to latch and nurse effectively, children with tongue and lip bindings will also take a lot longer to feed and show poor weight gain. Due to these factors, our Royal Oak dentist that offers frenectomies, frequently recommends the procedure for kids with moderate to severe tongue and lip ties.

Frenectomy in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan

The real harm to oral health occurs during the early stages of an infant’s development. That’s why it’s crucial to address tongue ties during the adolescent years. Fortunately, even as an adult, if you still have a tongue tie, there is hope. Contact our Royal Oak dentist as soon as possible if you suspect you or your child has ankyloglossia. Dr. Nancy Hartrick would be happy to examine you or your child and make sure that any issues are promptly fixed using a less invasive laser approach. To find out if a tongue-tie release is the best option for you or your child, call Hartrick Dentistry at (248) 549-0950 or contact us online.

Posted in Tongue Tie

8 Halloween Treats and their Impact on your Smile

haloween candy

haloween candyRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

The trick-or-treating season is here, and so are the sugary, sticky sweets that children and parents love. Halloween is a festive season full of treats that can pack a punch to your smile, especially when the bag or container sits in an area where you’re constantly tempted to snag a piece. However, not all Halloween candy is created equal when it comes to the effects on your oral health. Therefore, our Royal Oak family dentist, Dr. Nancy Hartrick, shares on the blog today eight Halloween treats and their impact on your smile so that you can make good choices that protect your oral health.

  1. Gummy candy

Gummy candy is one of the worst Halloween treats for your smile. Not only is the concoction high in sugar, but the sticky substance takes a long time to chew and often gets lodged in tooth crevices, between your teeth, and around your gums. It also requires you to chew it longer before digesting it, which increases sugar exposure to your teeth.

  1. Caramel

Caramel is a seasonal favorite for many people, especially when it’s drizzled over an apple. And fortunately, the sticky substance takes a long time to dissolve and remains on your teeth. That means bacteria have a stable food source and can continue secreting tooth enamel damaging acids.

  1. Tacky Candy

Candy that’s harder to chew but is still sticky, like Starbursts or taffy, can get stuck in your teeth. But, these sneaky candies have also been known to dislodge dental work like crowns and fillings. Furthermore, allowing candy to dissolve in your mouth bathes your teeth and gums in sugar for a prolonged period of time.

  1. Lollipops and Suckers

On most occasions, lollipops and suckers are consumed over a long period. In some cases, the treats are large with added sugary decorations that can be a double whammy to your oral health. With heightened acidic and sugar levels, your smile may receive more damage than other candy options.

  1. Powder Candy

Candy that comes in the fun format of powder can be hard to resist. Unfortunately, powder candy products are extremely acidic and can eat away at tooth enamel without the presence of bacteria. Fortunately, water is an excellent counterbalance to highly acidic foods, so when you eat powder candies, drink water to help flush away the acids.

  1. Sugar-free Candy

It’s a common misconception that sugar-free candy does not affect your oral health. Even though sugar-free candy may have a reduced sugar to no sugar content, it can also contain higher citric acid levels. Therefore, although the sugar won’t attack your tooth enamel, the acids could.

  1. Chocolate

Chocolate is a smooth concoction that comes in various flavors: white, sweet, semi-sweet, and dark. Since chocolate easily melts in your mouth, it fails to stick to tooth crevices and doesn’t get stuck in your teeth. Also, with reduced sugar exposure to your teeth, chocolate reduces the harmful effects Halloween candy can cause on oral health. It’s best to opt for dark chocolate since it contains the least amount of sugar.

  1. Caramel Apples

Caramel apples are a Halloween staple treat that can be good and bad for your oral health. The caramel coating is sticky and high in sugar content, although the apple can help clean tooth surfaces from the sticky substance.

Enjoying Halloween snacks and treats on the day of the holiday won’t destroy your smile. However, parents should encourage their children to make good decisions about their candy choices to help protect their teeth and gums. After you eat your holiday treats, limit yourself and family members to one piece a day or donate the remainder of your candy.

Family Dentist in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan

Contact Hartrick Dentistry to help keep your oral health in tiptop shape this fall season. Please call our office at (248) 549-0950 or contact us online to schedule preventative treatment today.

Posted in Oral Health

5 Ways to “Fall” in Love with your Smile Again

fall in love with your smile

fall in love with your smileRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Seeing your smile in the mirror can reduce your confidence and self-esteem, especially when there are imperfections. Although many people believe cosmetic dentistry only makes your smile pretty, it can also help restore your ability to speak, eat, and thrive in social situations. Furthermore, repairing damages caused by tooth decay or bacteria can prevent advanced conditions that require more expensive treatments. Therefore, our Royal Oak cosmetic dentist, Dr. Nancy Hartrick, shares on the blog today five ways to fall in love with your smile again so that you can feel confident during the upcoming holiday season.

  1. Whitening

Dingy or discolored teeth can cause embarrassment and reduce your desire to smile. But the good news is that teeth whitening treatments can brighten your smile significantly. Our Birmingham cosmetic dentist offers three effective teeth whitening options that include the Zoom whitening system for in-office visits, Sinsational Smile® whitening in 20 minutes, and take-home whitening kits. However, the best whitening treatment for your smile may vary depending on your oral health condition. Some individuals may benefit from a more permanent solution to whiter, perfect teeth.

  1. Veneers

Porcelain veneers are thin shell-like tooth covers that can repair minor smile imperfections. For example, veneers are an excellent treatment for patients with stubborn intrinsic stains (stains from within the tooth), chips, cracks, or gaps. Whether you have one tooth that needs treatment or several, veneers can blend in with your natural teeth because our Royal Oak cosmetic dentist can adjust the color, shape, and size to blend perfectly. Therefore, no one will know that you have veneers unless you tell them.

  1. Crowns

Dental crowns are an effective way to restore severely damaged teeth and fall in love with your smile again. Not only do they fill in the hole and provide a more pleasing aesthetic appearance, but they can fully restore bite functionality, strength, stability, and durability. Dental crowns are similar to veneers and can change in shape, color, and size to best suit your smile.

  1. Invisalign

Many patients with crooked and twisted teeth are apprehensive about visiting a dentist because they know the typical treatment is traditional braces, which stand out and are extremely uncomfortable. Fortunately, our Royal Oak dentist that offers Invisalign, a clear tray tooth aligning system, explains that not all patients need traditional braces to create a straight smile. Invisalign is an effective and discreet treatment that gradually moves your teeth into the proper place using gentle pressure. Patients are required to wear a set of aligners for 22 hours per day that are exchanged every two weeks, depending on your treatment plan. Invisalign should only be removed to eat, drink, or during your regular oral health care routine.

  1. Dental Implants

Missing teeth can be stressful, especially when it’s in a conspicuous place. Whether you had an accident or lost it to tooth decay, replacing it is vital. Although some patients may choose a dental bridge to fill in the gap, it often fails over time because neighboring teeth that absorb bite pressures break down. Fortunately, our implant dentist in Royal Oak explains that dental implants are a permanent tooth replacement treatment that can last a lifetime. Dental implants require surgical insertion of a titanium post into your jawbone. After healing, a dental crown that matches your surrounding teeth is placed on top of the post. The titanium post stimulates the jaw bone and can help prevent jaw bone loss and teeth from shifting.

Cosmetic Dentists in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan

It can be challenging to feel confident when your smile is less than perfect. Fortunately, there are cosmetic procedures that can help you fall in love with your smile again and provide you with a renewed sense of confidence. If you’ve been debating about what needs to be done with your smile, we invite you to schedule a consultation at our Royal Oak dental office so that we can create a plan together that helps you fall in love with your smile again. Please call Hartrick Dentistry at (248) 549-0950 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today.

Posted in Cosmetic Dentistry

Healthy Teeth, Healthy Life

healthy teeth healthy life

healthy teeth healthy lifeRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Having fitness goals is quite common. Many people take strides daily to improve or maintain their health, from exercising to eating healthy. But, fewer people include keeping their mouth healthy as part of that focus. Today on the blog, we are going to discuss how having healthy teeth means having a healthier life.

Oral health has a lot to do with the health of your body, and here’s how.

Gum disease increases the risk of heart disease and stroke

More than half of the adults in America are afflicted by gum disease, an oral disease that causes foul-smelling breath, puffy and bleeding gums, and loose teeth that eventually need extracting. The ironic part about it is that gum disease is entirely preventable in most healthy individuals. So, if you’re clocking miles on the treadmill or pumping iron in the gym in efforts of keeping your arteries clear, don’t stop there. Simply brushing and flossing daily, as well as seeing the dentist twice a year for routine checkups and cleanings can prevent gum disease from starting in the first place, and do a lot for your health.

Gingivitis is the most common form of gum disease, which is the initial stage. It presents as gums that are red, swollen, and bleed easily. At this point in the game, it can be reversed without any permanent damage being done to your oral health. But, ignore it, and you soon will find yourself dealing with progressing stages of periodontitis or gum disease. Keep your mouth healthy, and you could lower your risk of heart disease or a stroke.

Poor oral health interferes with blood glucose levels

Diabetes has a lot to do with blood glucose levels, and consequently, so does your mouth! Poor oral health that results in inflamed gums or gum disease is intricately connected to your body’s ability to regulate glucose levels. On the flip side, fluctuating glucose levels significantly impact gum health, so people with type 2 diabetes have to work extra diligently to keep their teeth and gums healthy. While eating a healthy diet that is low in refined carbohydrates and sugar, as well as exercising regularly can help decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes, so will keeping your mouth clean! Furthermore, if you are type 2 diabetic, be sure that you don’t skip out on going to the dentist. Studies prove that gum disease treatment can lower blood glucose levels in those with type 2 diabetes.

Flossing could help you lose weight

Now, before you start thinking that you can cancel your gym membership and floss to stay in shape, hang on a minute. That’s not what we are alluding to. However, studies report that poor oral health could actually cause you to have more cravings, which, in essence, could lead to weight gain. So, if you aren’t taking care of your teeth and gums, it could be part of the reason why you are packing on the pounds or struggling to lose weight. Results of one study also reported that people with a higher body mass index (BMI) are more prone to developing gum disease, which could be due in part to their diet of unhealthy foods and consuming more sugar. Point being, take care of your teeth, and you may see an improvement in your weight.

As you can see, the health of the mouth and body are connected. You can’t expect to be in impeccable health, yet neglect your mouth and vice versa. Maintaining your health should include attention to all areas of your body, such as exercising to maintain muscle tone and healthy bones, eating healthy to maintain the recommended BMI for your body type, and taking care of your oral health by brushing and flossing daily, and seeing the dentist for cleanings and checkups twice a year.

To schedule your next visit, just call Hartrick Dentistry at (248) 549-0950. We welcome patients from Birmingham and Royal Oak, Michigan.

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Dr. Nancy Hartrick, DDS
32609 Woodward Ave.
Royal Oak, MI 48073
Call: 248-549-0950
Fax: 248-549-1180