Is it Safe to get Dental X-Rays While Pregnant?

dental xrays

dental xraysRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Dental visits are especially important during pregnancy. The demands placed on a body while carrying a baby — including rapidly changing hormones — can increase the risk of developing conditions that negatively affect teeth and gums. “Pregnancy gingivitis,” for example, causes irritated, swollen and bleeding gums during pregnancy, and hormones can alter how gums respond to plaque. Pregnancy requires proper nutrition to meet a pregnant body’s changing needs, but that diet — especially if it includes an increased amount of simple carbohydrates — can lead to a higher risk of developing cavities. Meanwhile, morning sickness can damage tooth enamel. For all these reasons — and despite old-wives’-tale warnings to the contrary — dentists encourage Moms-to-be to keep all scheduled dental appointments and even inquire about possibly visiting the dentist for more frequent cleanings during the nine months of pregnancy.

X-rays may feel a a bit off-putting during a pregnancy. After all, what impact could it have on an unborn child? The well-being of Mom and Baby are of utmost importance to our Royal Oak family dentists, and today they’re hoping to put expectant parents’ minds at ease about x-rays during pregnancy.

If a dentist recommends a procedure requiring X-rays during pregnancy, rest assured it’s needed and safe. According to both the American Dental Association and American Pregnancy Association, the amount of radiation used in dental X-rays is lower than what would harm a pregnant woman or her baby. Dental teams further minimize exposure to radiation with the use of heavy leaded aprons and collars, used to protect an abdomen and thyroid from radiation exposure.

Postponing X-rays until after first trimester — Some expectant mothers elect to postpone X-rays until after the first trimester of pregnancy since this is the most critical development period for Baby. While not medically necessary, it’s understandable that postponing X-rays until after 13 weeks of pregnancy may offer Mom-to-be some peace of mind.

Postponing X-rays until after Baby’s birth — Our family dentists in Birmingham don’t recommend this. If a dentist is recommending X-rays — especially during pregnancy — chances are the dentist has determined that X-rays are critical to examining a dental problem and whether it requires immediate treatment or can wait until after pregnancy. Putting off dental problems until after Baby is born may seem convenient at the time, but dental emergencies with a newborn are no fun. Use the pregnancy period to catch up and stay on top of all dental needs, including fillings for any potential cavities.

Speaking of newborns and teeth A baby’s teeth begin to form between the third and sixth month of pregnancy, in the second trimester. Doctors and our family dentists in the Royal Oak area recommend expectant moms consume a healthy diet especially during that time, full of foods rich in calcium and vitamins A, C and D. Vegetables, fruits and quality dairy products will help nourish Baby’s teeth, with the first set of 20 being in place under the gums when Baby is born.

Family Dentist in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan

It’s best to let our Birmingham family dentists know as soon as a bundle of joy is on the way. Our dental team knows exactly what to watch for during pregnancy and, if necessary, will recommend only procedures deemed medically safe for an expectant mom and her baby. Remember that dental visits are especially important during pregnancy. If you’re expecting, call Hartrick Dentistry at (248) 712-1149, or contact us online today to schedule a checkup and cleaning.

Posted in General Dentistry

Tips to Rejuvenate your Smile for Spring

rejuvenate smile

rejuvenate smileRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Having a healthy, glowing smile is imperative to one’s confidence. Laughing, talking, and grinning freely with no subconscious insecurity haunting the back of your thoughts is incredibly freeing. It’s nice to have straight teeth, but if they are stained and yellow, are you even going to show them off? Here are some helpful tips to ensure your spring smile is as white as the winter snow!

Increase Water Intake

Instead of enjoying sugary, caffeinated, highly acidic drinks after a long day, drink water to keep your teeth as white as possible. Not only does drinking water mean you’re not consuming all the aforementioned enamel destroyers, but it is also a way to clean your teeth.

When you drink water at any point after you eat, you are helping to clean your teeth by washing off bacteria and leftover food. Which, if left sitting on your teeth too long, is what causes stains, decay, plaque build-up, and cavities. However, you still need to brush and floss daily. While drinking water daily is healthy for your teeth, it also keeps your body hydrated without added sugars, dyes, and acids.

Proper Oral Hygiene

You’ve probably heard about the importance of a daily oral hygiene routine, but these actions are imperative to having a gleaming smile! Brushing your teeth twice a day helps to remove build-up that causes cavities, stains, and even gum disease. If you don’t brush your teeth and allow food to sit on them for longer than 24 hours, it can cause stains and yellowing. This is also why it is incredibly important to floss your teeth daily as well, as it helps to remove the bacteria that hides between your teeth, which causes bad breath and increases your risk of gum disease.

Eat Healthy Foods

If you are someone who finds themselves constantly consuming sugar or highly acidic foods, you may want to kick that bad habit now. Sugar is one of the top reasons for tooth decay and staining since sugar fuels enamel-eroding bacteria, stripping the tooth of its natural barrier and protector. Thinning enamel causes the tooth to become more likely to develop cavities and leads to tooth discoloration. Aim to eat more whole foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and lean meats. Consume things like desserts, candy, sweetened beverages, processed foods, and fast food sparingly.

Chew Sugar-Free Gum

After a good meal, the leftover bacteria from food runs rampant in your mouth. To quickly counteract the bacteria takeover, chew sugarless gum. Sugarless gum has been proven to increase saliva production in the mouth, which is very helpful because saliva is a natural tooth cleaner. It helps rinse excess food, bacteria, or sugar sitting on the teeth. The saliva naturally reduces plaque-acid build-up, which makes teeth stronger and reduces the risk of tooth decay. So, the next time you rush to your next work meeting or trek across campus for your next class, chew sugar-free gum to freshen your breath and give your teeth a quick clean.

Aesthetic Enhancement Solutions

Sometimes, you can eat the right foods and adhere to a rigid oral hygiene routine yet still have yellowing teeth or other aesthetic concerns with your smile. If you’d like to conceal or correct these issues, consider aesthetic dentistry at Hartrick Dentistry.

From teeth whitening and veneers to dental implants and more, we can correct seemingly small concerns or provide a complete smile makeover addressing all of your problem teeth. If you’d like to learn more, please contact Hartrick Dentistry at (248) 549-0950 to schedule a consultation and discover the best treatments for your smile needs.

Posted in General Dentistry

Is there an Alternative to the CPAP Machine?


cpapRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

To maintain your health, you need to get enough quality sleep. If you don’t, you’ll wake up feeling sluggish and cranky. People who suffer from sleep apnea have a far more difficult time than most getting a whole night’s rest each night, which is why they opt for CPAP treatment. Not only is the machine proven effective, but it can also help patients who suffer from mild to severe symptoms. However, many patients state that the machine is noisy, too uncomfortable, or challenging to clean thoroughly and prefer another treatment method. So, our Royal Oak sleep apnea dentist, Dr. Nancy Hartrick, shares on the blog today a possible alternative to the CPAP machine so that you can get a peaceful night’s rest and feel ready to take on the day.

What is the alternative to the CPAP machine?

Dr. Hartrick provides an alternative method of dealing with sleep apnea and snoring. It’s a dental appliance worn at night to reposition your jaw and open the airway to improve airflow, allowing you to breathe easier and end those restless nights spent in bed. Oral appliance therapy has helped many patients, particularly those who sleep on their backs and snore. Alternative sleep apnea treatment in Royal Oak is most effective at treating mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea.

What are some nightguard benefits?

Oral appliances can do more than reposition your jaw for better airflow and quality sleep. since they are compact and don’t use electricity, they can easily travel with you wherever you go. For example, if you’re camping or traveling someplace without electricity, utilizing a CPAP might be difficult since you’ll require a generator. Also, these oral appliances are comfortable, noise-free, and easier to clean.

Which sleep apnea treatment is best, a CPAP or oral appliance?

Oral appliances and CPAP devices may be effective for some individuals but not for others. A study conducted by the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders conducted a study about CPAP machines and oral appliances and found that more than 90 participants shared two characteristics and had the best response to oral appliances: Moderate throat tissue collapse and weak throat reflexes. On the other hand, those who suffer from sleep apnea by factors related to their brain and lungs were less likely to benefit from oral appliances. People with these characteristics and those with significant throat tissue collapse may benefit most from using a CPAP machine. The best way to find out which sleep apnea treatment is right for you is to schedule an appointment with our Royal Oak dentist who treats sleep apnea patients.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan

Not getting enough sleep can be hazardous to your health, but so can using a loud machine and disturbing your sleeping partner. Patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea symptoms may benefit from oral appliance use. However, patients with severe conditions May only respond to CPAP treatment. Our sleep apnea dentist in Birmingham encourages patients to visit the office for a consultation to determine their condition’s severity and begin immediate treatment. So, whether you are newly diagnosed with sleep apnea or tired of dealing with your CPAP machine, now is the best time to inquire about an oral appliance. To find out more about sleep apnea or to schedule a consultation, please call Hartrick Dentistry at (248) 549-0950 or contact us online to request an appointment.

Posted in Sleep Apnea

Is it Normal to have Pain after getting Dental Implants?

dental pain after implant

dental pain after implantRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

A missing tooth or teeth can be embarrassing, especially when the gap is in a prominent area. Even though multiple treatment choices exist to replace the missing tooth, dental implants are the most stable and longest-lasting option available. However, placing a dental implant is a lengthy and intricate process. Our Royal Oak implant dentist explains that implants are like other invasive procedures, and it’s normal to feel discomfort for a few days after the procedure. However, persistent pain beyond a few days may indicate postoperative problems. So, today on the blog, Dr. Nancy Hartrick shares how to tell whether the pain you’re experiencing is typical or something more serious and what you should do when you experience painful sensations.

What is the dental implant placement procedure?

During your initial consultation, our implant dentist in Royal Oak will check your teeth and gums to ensure you’re a good candidate for a dental implant. You must have good oral health and enough jawbone to hold the implant. If not, you could require a bone graft before placing the implant. Before the procedure begins, your mouth is made numb. Next, a small incision is made in the gum, and a titanium metal post is surgically placed into the jawbone. The first phase of the procedure is complete after a tiny abutment or connector piece is attached to the implant. This piece remains slightly visible above the gum line and helps prevent the gum from growing over the implant. After the gums heal and the post and bone fuse, you return to our office to receive your dental crown that is permanently attached to the implant.

What could cause pain during and after the implant procedure?

You should expect discomfort after the treatment for a few days and bruising, swelling, and jaw stiffness that should subside within ten days. An over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever will help ease discomfort, and an ice pack to alleviate the swelling. Discomfort is expected, yet you should be able to control it with OTC medication. Additionally, discomfort should not last more than a few days to a week. However, you must contact our Royal Oak dentist for a follow-up appointment if the pain in discomfort last more than two weeks or is unbearable.

Although complications after dental implant surgery are uncommon, you may experience one of the following situations that could cause pain

  • Damaged Nerves – The titanium post can strike and damage a nerve during the implantation process. Nerve injury is more common in females and younger patients and manifests as discomfort on contact or a strange feeling in the lips. Dr. Hartrick may recommend removing the implant and using oral steroids to minimize inflammation before placing a new implant to help the nerve recover.
  • Peri-implantitis – Chronic inflammation surrounding an implant site is called peri-implantitis, caused by a bacterial accumulation. Gums that are sore, uncomfortable, or bleed while brushing are the condition’s symptoms. Dr. Hartrick will treat peri-implantitis by cleaning the affected area and instructing the patient to maintain good oral hygiene. Implant removal may be necessary in severe peri-implantitis cases to avoid further bone loss and tissue damage.
  • Ill-fitting Implant – Implants that never fully fuse with the bone require a replacement implant. Patients could experience painful sensations in the jaw or lips.
  • Infection – Bacterial infections at the surgical site might delay or prevent the wound from healing. Infection symptoms include high body temperature, abnormal bleeding or swelling, and vomiting.

Contact our Royal Oak implant dentist as soon as possible if you have any signs and symptoms of complications. The sooner Dr. Hartrick administers treatment, the less likely that issues will worsen.

Dental Implants in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan

Some people fear getting dental implants because they believe the procedure will be painful. Doctor Hartrick takes the necessary steps to ensure your comfort during the process. Although there could be some pain and discomfort after the surgery, it should quickly dissipate with the use of over-the-counter pain medications. Also, there are rare cases where painful situations can develop after surgery. However, Dr. Hartrick will fully support you and correct the problem when necessary. So, contact Hartrick Dentistry today to reschedule your implant consultation by calling (248) 549-0950 or contacting us online.

Posted in Dental Implants

Make your Smile Valentine’s Day Ready with these 5 Tips

valentines smile

valentines smileRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

If you’re hoping to impress your date on Valentine’s Day, it’s in your best interest to put up some extra effort. People may be first drawn to your outward beauty, but it’s your charming grin that will keep them coming back for more. Teeth that are yellow, discolored, crooked, or chipped are unattractive at any time of year. Maintaining good dental hygiene habits can help you feel and look your best on Valentine’s Day. Our Royal Oak family dentist, Dr. Nancy Hartrick, shares on the blog today how to make your smile Valentine’s Day ready with these five tips.

Eliminate Bad Breath

Our greatest advice for Valentine’s Day is to brush up on your oral hygiene. Bad diet, tooth decay, alcohol use, tobacco usage, and other health issues may all contribute to foul-smelling breath. Unfortunately, using breath mints won’t fix the underlying problem. Take a hard look at what you’re eating and make some changes. The majority of cases of bad breath may be traced back to dental issues like cavities and plaque buildup, so make an appointment with our family dentist in Birmingham as soon as possible. In the meantime, you should stay away from sugary meals, brush your teeth twice a day with a good toothbrush and toothpaste, floss every day, and cut down on your caffeine and alcoholic beverage use.

Brighten Your Smile

Treat your Valentine to a brighter smile by booking a teeth-whitening appointment at the dentist. Maintaining a healthy, radiant grin will send a positive message to your Valentine’s Day date about your commitment to personal cleanliness. You may purchase an over-the-counter teeth whitening product or use a DIY teeth whitening method. However, nothing can compare to a professional whitening treatment regarding speed and shade difference. A teeth-whitening procedure at Hartrick Dentistry will give you visible, long-lasting results right away.

Repair Cavities

Don’t put off fixing your tooth decay or filling cavities until Valentine’s Day. Poor dental hygiene and bad breath are two major turnoffs for potential romantic partners. Not only are cavities unsightly, but they might prevent you from enjoying your Valentine’s Day champagne or chocolate. To prevent a horrible Valentine’s Day, gather your courage and make an appointment with our family dentist in Royal Oak to get your cavities fixed before the holiday.

Be Cautious About Certain Foods and Drinks

Although you may be tempted to indulge in heart-shaped candies and candlelit meals, remember to exercise caution for the sake of your pearly whites. Teeth may get discolored and stained by consuming certain foods and beverages. For example, red wine, coffee, and heavily dyed foods can impact your smile’s color, so consume them in moderation. For optimum oral health, avoid smoking and eating strong-smelling or spicy meals on Valentine’s Day, and always clean your teeth after eating.

Visit Our Royal Oak Dental Office

A date’s initial impression may be based on your smile. Therefore it’s important to take good care of it. In addition to regular dental floss and mouthwash use, you should take care of any issues with your teeth before your big romantic day. Make an appointment with our Birmingham dentist and inquire about all-inclusive dental care plans. You can have your teeth whitened, cavities filled, plaque removed, and your whole oral cavity cleaned as part of a standard Valentine’s Day dental treatment plan.

Dentists in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan

Good oral hygiene is essential to your overall well-being. Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy mouth by scheduling regular dental checkups and engaging in consistent at-home dental care. With these helpful hints, you can achieve a sparkling new smile in time for Valentine’s Day and wow the person with whom you want to celebrate. So, please contact our Royal Oak dental office, Hartrick Dentistry, by calling (248) 549-0950 or contacting us online to schedule an appointment.

Posted in Cosmetic Dentistry

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