Office Blog

Does my kid need early orthodontic treatment?

Why do some children need early treatment and others don’t, and why are kids getting braces so young these days!  Many of us (me included) had early treatment in the 90’s.  I think it’s about getting into the orthodontist early enough allowing us to recognize potential major issues. This is why all kids 7 and up should see the orthodontist.

By finding these problems early, we can reduce the chance of major issues like impacted canines or extractions, and address growth disturbances and more.  In other words, we are trying to prevent the things that most parents complain about, “I had braces for 5 years, I had extractions, I had impacted teeth”.

There are many reasons why we do early treatment.  I think what can be the most confusing is seeing one kid who looks like they may need treatment, but it’s not recommended.  Then another child who doesn’t look like they need it but does receive treatment.  We are looking beyond just the front teeth.  Crowding alone is not a reason to do a phase I treatment.

Feeling confused?  Bring your children 7 and up into the office for a complimentary consultation and we will evaluate and discuss.  No referral needed from your dentist.


Mothers Day gift guide

Mothers day gift guide!


This will look different for everyone.  For me and a lot of others I know, it’s time for yourself to re-energize.  I like to get a massage at Winas massage.  In the summer I love to get a pedicure and I recently had a great experience at Hope nails.  A blowout is also a nice extra special treat, check out Hey Baby Beauty Bar.  The easiest, most peaceful thing for me to do, is just a grab a coffee and zone out.   Sometimes a hot coffee alone is enough to reset and energize for the day!  Biggby Coffee is a great place to stop.  What I love is that all of these places are LOCAL!  Right here in New Hudson.


I have never carried a purse until just recently and it’s changed my life!  The shoulder bag is so easy, I can sling it over my shoulder and throw my phone, chapstick and car key in there and go.  I almost never have pockets so this is perfect!  My first suggestion is Madrn, this is a woman owned company, which I love!  The bag is high quality and cute.

Another option, which is so popular they are often sold out, would be a lululemon belt bag.  You can go for the traditional fanny pack, but I also love their backpacks and bags to carry my things to work and for vacation.  They are a little pricey, but the quality is extremely high!


I also love athleisure wear.  In the summer my go to is an athleisure dress for EVERYTHING!   I will attach a few.  Lululemon is my go to, I have a few that are years old and have went through pregnancies with me!  Vuori is great too!  Then alo with built in shorts!

Maybe skip this!

The things I say no thank you to…. Flowers and cards!  Save the $5.99+ for the card and write a note!  Its thoughtful and basically free!  The flowers end up dying after a few days and are often marked up in price around this time.  But if flowers are their thing, consider a potted flower or something that can be planted outside that will last!  Or a beautiful succulent which will last and is fairly drama free, HAVE YOU SEEN OUR PLANT WALL!


And don’t forget, on Mother’s day we just want a no fuss day where we aren’t doing dishes or taking care of things.  Just relaxing and enjoying time with our kids!


When a crown fails: A case for orthodontic extrusion.

Problem: We had an unaesthetic and failing crown and inflamed gums that are not level with each other.

Solution: Orthodontic movement (a combination of braces and clear aligners) and replacing the crown.

Outcome: We obtained improved aesthetics and gingival health!

Initial photo:  Gingival/gum inflammation next to the crowned tooth (#9).  The gingival levels are not even.  The crown is longer, wider, a different shade.  (Right photo marked for length reference)

Braces start photo: The wire Is bent and will pull this tooth down. By moving the crown of the tooth down with orthodontic extrusion**, we hoped we could heal the gums and bring them to the same level.


**Extrusion of a tooth (slowly and controlled “extraction” of the tooth in very small amounts)

We did this with braces.  Slowly the tooth will move down millimeter by millimeter.  As a bonus, as we move the tooth down, the bone levels may “grow down” and can improve as well, which is what we were hoping for and obtained here.


Final braces photos: We still have the old crown in here, but you can see the gums have already improved in shape and color and they are also level.  The length of the crowns are the same length because we have filed down the one as we moved it.  (Right is marked for length reference)

Final photo: With a new crown**.  The size and shape is much closer to the natural tooth.  The gums are level and the gingival inflammation is gone!  (Very mild redness can be noted as this picture was the same day the crown was placed).


**Special thanks to Dr Jeffrey Dunwell who worked with us throughout the process.  We did regular cleanings with special attention to the tissue in this area.  But also, how beautiful, and natural is this crown that he did.  In office same day, no temporary crowns needed.


For dental professionals:  We extruded the tooth with braces for 3 months.  As I extruded I was reducing the crowns incisal edge and lingual surface and recontouring the teeth for esthetics.  After we finished active extrusion, I removed the braces and placed a gingival bevelled attachment and used uLAB in house aligners for retention and alignment.  When the old crown was removed, we could see a fracture at the crown margin that was likely causing the inflammation.  But because we were able to move this margin down we were able to resolve all of the inflammation with a new margin and a new crown.  The probing’s went from 5mm+ down to normal levels.


Summarized treatment plan: Orthodontic treatment with Braces and clear aligners, Polishing/recontouring of the edges of the teeth for symmetry and shape.  In office whitening.  Crown placement.  12months total.

Initial March 2022. Prior to orthodontic treatment

Progress July 2022. After orthodontic extrusion

March 2023: Post Orthodontics, prior to crown

March 2023: Day of Crown placement



Dr Chrissy and her kids

How becoming a mom made me a better practitioner

When I was ready to have kids, I worried about how it would affect my ability to work as a practitioner.  As I sit here and reflect on this with my 5-year-old and 2-year-old, I’ve realized it’s made me better!  I would never have guessed that back then.  Why do I think it made me better?   As a mom, I understand the juggle of being a parent, I treat kids how I would want me own to be treated, I respect when parents question what we are doing as they only want what’s best for their kids, and I do my best to provide a safe and friendly environment to our families.

First, the juggling act of being a parent!  I remember after I returned from maternity leave with my first in 2016, I was scheduled to leave a few minutes early one day and I had a mom tell the office they should find a new doctor to replace me.  I already had so much guilt at that time. I was a new mom and trying to find a balance and felt like I was letting down families and my own daughter.  Looking back, I realize that my leaving a few minutes early on one day wasn’t making or breaking anything.  In the end, that situation gave me the ability to see things through a different lens.  First, I don’t fault that mom.  Maybe she was in a job that didn’t allow her the flexibility to get her daughter to her appointment by a certain time on a certain day.  I luckily have an amazing partner who supports me, and we share pick up and drop off and appointments, but we still have days where we are scrambling.  I relate to parents in the quest to work, get your kids to appointments, not miss too much school.  It’s tough!

Beyond that, I see myself through the lens of a parent daily when I make treatment plans.  What would I want for my child? THE BEST!  A caring provider that listens, spends time with my family, is compassionate, is data driven and up to date on the latest in healthcare ideas and technology.  They do not over treat or offer treatment that is not needed just to make more money.  This is exactly what drove me to open CD Orthodontics and provide the care that I know every family deserves!

I can relate to parents questioning treatment or coming in with concerns that they want addressed.  As parents, we can tell a practitioner something is wrong, they may tell us it isn’t, but we can still feel it’s wrong, and maybe seek a second opinion.  As orthodontists (same with physicians) we were trained in school, but research and data changes over the years.  I am constantly trying to stay on target with new research and never minimize parents’ concerns.  While I don’t feel like doctors need to be trained in every single area, we need to be open to referring to a specialist when appropriate. Instead of saying that’s not a thing, don’t worry about it.

I remember when I was in residency thinking, I can’t have kids right now, I need to be in school and finish my program and then graduating and getting a job and still worrying.  I wish I could go back and tell myself how being a mom would make me a BETTER practitioner and person.  I own my own practice where I provide the type of care that I feel families and patients deserve.  And if someone feels that I cannot offer what they are looking for, there are many other practices in the area that have multiple doctors and locations.  For me, I love the one-on-one care I provide to each family.

My child’s big teeth aren’t coming in, what is going on?

Did your child lose a baby tooth months ago and the permanent tooth still hasn’t come in?

There are a few reasons why this happens, which we will discuss here.  But the best thing you can do is schedule a consultation with orthodontic specialist who will evaluate.  We recommend kids first visit at age 7 or 8 and you DO NOT need a referral from your dentist.  This visit is always complimentary in our office.

*Below I have highlighting the most common reasons your kids teeth are not coming in to their mouth

  1. Lack of space, or severe crowding is one reason why these teeth may not come in.

There must be adequate space for an adult tooth to erupt in to the mouth.  The adult teeth are wider than the baby teeth, which is why we like to see spacing in young kids who still have primary teeth.  This is surprising to parents whose child’s teeth looked great before the baby one fell out. Again, baby teeth shouldn’t look perfect, there should be space.  If there is not enough space, your child may require early orthodontic treatment to create space.

  1. An adult tooth may not come in is because it’s not in the right position.

If the tooth is heading in the wrong direction, it can require even further care later in life, which is why we recommend seeing an orthodontist at age 7 or 8.  There we will evaluate that all the teeth are developing in the correct position, and if they are not, we can make early adjustments.  In many cases, removing a baby tooth as soon as the problem is identified may help the tooth find its correct path. If the path doesn’t change, orthodontic treatment is sometimes required to create space and sometimes guide it into the right position.

  1. Some adult teeth do not develop

This is very common for the upper lateral incisors, the second tooth from the center.  It is also common for the lower second premolars.  Because the lateral incisors are an esthetic tooth, it is helpful to know they are missing to plan for the esthetic replacement.  I have seen cases where the baby teeth are pulled, not realizing the permanent teeth are not developing and these patients are left without these front teeth.  In these cases, we leave baby teeth for as long as possible.  We then make a retainer with fake teeth until the patient is ready for a more permanent replacement such as implants.

  1. More rare instances

Sometimes the tooth takes longer than expected and nothing is wrong.  In cases where baby teeth are extracted early due to trauma or decay, we often see a delay in eruption of this tooth, which is still considering “normal”.  There are more rare conditions such as ankylosis or primary failure of eruption.  I won’t go into these, but again, we just recommend visiting your orthodontist for an evaluation.

In summary, the best thing to do is have your child evaluated by an orthodontic specialist at the age of 7 or 8.  There is no referral needed, we do not charge for the visit, and we can ensure everything is there and erupting properly.  If things need to be addressed, we can discuss the best solution.  Early treatment is sometimes the best and easiest solution for certain cases; however, I will never push early treatment if it is not needed.  At the end of the day my job is to show you everything I see and give you my professional recommendations.

FSA and HSA can be used for Orthodontic treatment

Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) are accounts, typically set up through your employer, that allows you to set aside pre-tax money for qualifying health care expenses.  Orthodontic care is an expense that can be paid with an HSA or an FSA.

Important things to remember, while an HSA rolls over from year to year, an FSA does not. So make sure you use those FSA dollars before the end of the year!  If you or your child are interested in starting orthodontic treatment before the end of the year, now is the time to get started.  Whether you decide to do braces or invisalign, both are an eligible expense!

Call today to schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Chrissy, your local, family friendly orthodontist.