Use Partial Dentures Wisely to Protect Your Future Oral Health

partial-denture-300Dentures, removable restorations for missing teeth and gum tissue, can take a number of different forms, but are usually of two different types: complete and partial. A complete denture replaces all the teeth in a given arch. A removable partial denture (RPD), on the other hand, replaces several missing teeth while using the remaining teeth as support.

A common type of RPD formed of plastic is known as a “flipper” because it’s lightweight enough to be “flipped out” or moved around with the tongue. They serve an important purpose as a temporary appliance for use between periodontal treatment, implant placement and similar treatments before obtaining a more permanent restoration. In fact, they’re often referred to as “transitional” RPDs because they’re not designed for permanent tooth replacement.

Because of their low cost relative to other restorations, however, they often become the permanent choice for many people. While a well-constructed, properly fitting RPD in a healthy mouth can be an affordable alternative for people on modest budgets, their long-term use may increase the risk of dental disease and accelerated bone loss. Decades of research verify that people who permanently wear RPDs encounter more tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease than non-wearers.

This is because the attachment points of a plastic RPD to remaining teeth increases bacterial growth, which can cause both tooth decay and gum disease. This doesn’t only endanger the survival of the remaining teeth, it can lead to bone loss that will affect the RPD’s fit.

While the better course is to consider RPDs as a stepping stone to dental implants or a fixed bridge, there’s an intermediary RPD constructed of cast vitallium or gold alloy that could be considered a permanent choice. These are even lighter weight than plastic and less obtrusive in their attachments in the mouth, which can reduce plaque stagnation and promote a better oral environment.

Regardless of your choice in dentures, it’s always important to maintain good consistent oral hygiene with daily brushing and flossing and semi-annual professional cleanings and checkups. Keeping a healthy mouth will help reduce your risk of dental disease and increase your satisfaction with your denture of choice.

If you would like more information on RPDs and other denture restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Removable Partial Dentures.”

How Does Invisalign Work?

So you want to do something about that overbite. 

It’s not just about cosmetics; it’s about your overall dental health. You know that — but you also know you don’t want to have to spend the next 1-3 years with the classic metal “railroad tracks” on your teeth if you don’t have to. Maybe you have heard about this thing called Invisalign, But how does it really work and is it right for you? Find out from the staff at DeLaura Dental in Romeo how Invisalign can help you!

How Invisalign worksinvisible-braces
According to Invisalign and the American Association of Orthodontists, the Invisalign system is an alignment therapy treatment system which utilizes a series of clear, virtually invisible plastic trays rather than metal brackets, bands, and/or wires the patient wears on their teeth. The trays are manufactured individually based on the patient’s particular case specifics. Each set of trays applies a gentle pressure to the patient’s teeth to move them into proper alignment a fraction of a millimeter at a time. Typically, the trays are worn for 2-3 weeks at a time, up to 20 hours a day, then changed out for the next set of trays in the therapy process.

Here are a few points to consider before deciding on Invisalign from your dentist in Romeo.


  • Invisalign trays are virtually invisible, so no one knows the patient is actually wearing them.
  • Invisalign trays are made to the individual patient’s case and desired outcome goal needs
  • Invisalign trays can be removed to eat, brush and floss, and other such moments that occur in everyday life
  • Invisalign trays are comfortable to use


  • Invisalign will have the best results in patients who wear them as directed. Therefore, the patient must have the self-discipline to complete the treatment plan as directed for optimal results.
  • Because Invisalign trays are removable, they can be misplaced or lost, unlike traditional braces, which are permanently affixed
  • Invisalign is not as effective for more severe or complex alignment/bite issues

Is Invisalign the right choice for you? Ultimately, that’s a decision that should be carefully considered. Your dentist or orthodontist can help you make the best decision for you. Call DeLaura Dental in Romeo today to schedule a consultation!

3 Tips for Denture Care to Help Them Last and Keep Your Mouth Healthy

dentures2-300For people with edentulism (total loss of teeth), removable dentures is a viable option for regaining both lost function and an attractive appearance. From the moment they begin wearing them, denture wearers can chew food, speak and smile with confidence.

But there are downsides to dentures, especially if they’re not cared for properly. Dentures put pressure on the gums and bony ridges of the jaw, which can cause bone to dissolve (resorb) and decrease its volume over time. Without proper maintenance they can also become a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi that not only lead to bad breath but, in cases of partial dentures, can increase the risk of dental disease. They could also contribute to serious systemic diseases.

You can reduce some of these risks by following these 3 important denture maintenance tips. Doing so will help extend the life of your dentures, as well as keep your mouth healthy.

Clean your dentures at least once a day. In addition to taking your dentures out and rinsing them with water after eating, you should also brush them daily with dish detergent, antibacterial soap or denture cleaner — but not toothpaste, which is too abrasive. Effervescent (fizzing) cleaning tablets also aren’t a viable substitute for manual brushing in removing disease-causing plaque from denture surfaces.

Take your dentures out at night while you sleep. Wearing dentures 24/7 can hasten bone loss, as well as increase your chances of dental disease or even more serious illnesses. A recent study, for example, found nursing home patients who left their dentures in at night were twice as likely to experience serious complications from pneumonia as those who didn’t. While you sleep, store your dentures in water or in a solution of alkaline peroxide made for this purpose.

Brush your gums and tongue every day. Keeping your gum surfaces clean will help reduce the levels of bacteria and other microbes that can cause disease. You can either use an extra-soft tooth brush (not the one you use to clean your dentures) or a damp washcloth.

If you would like more information on caring for dentures, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

Don’t Panic! Take Methodical Approach to Help Your Child Stop Thumb Sucking

thumb-sucking-300One of the most frequent concerns parents express to us is their child’s thumb or finger sucking habit. The good news, though, is that thumb sucking is a completely normal activity for babies and young children, and if they stop by age 4 it should have no adverse effects on their future bite.

In fact, there are positive aspects to thumb sucking: it provides babies with a sense of security, as well as a way to learn about the world. As a child grows and becomes more confident with their surroundings, the thumb sucking habit will fade and eventually stop: for most children this occurs between the ages of two and four.

If, however, the habit continues later in childhood, there is a chance the upper front teeth may be influenced to tip toward the lip during eruption and come into an improper position that could also adversely affect jaw development. The same concern exists for pacifier use — we recommend weaning a child off a pacifier by the time they’re eighteen months of age.

If your child still has a thumb or finger sucking habit as they prepare to enter school, it’s quite appropriate to work on getting them to stop. Punishment, shaming or similar negative approaches, however, aren’t the best ways to accomplish this: it’s much more effective to try to modify their behavior through reward, praise or some creative activity.

Another factor that may help is to begin regular dental visits around their first birthday. Regular checkups give us a chance to monitor the development of their bite, especially if thumb sucking continues longer than normal. We can also assist you with strategies to encourage them to stop thumb sucking or pacifier use.

Thumb sucking that continues later than normal isn’t a cause for panic, but it does require attention and action. Helping your child “grow” past this stage in their life will improve their chances of developing a normal and healthy bite.

If you would like more information on thumb sucking, please contact us to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Thumb Sucking in Children.”

Why You Should Avoid Chewing Tobacco

Discover the many reasons why chewing tobacco is so bad for both your oral and general health.

Dental-ExamIt might seem obvious, but chewing tobacco can negatively impact your health. It leaves destruction in its wake and it can be difficult for people’s smiles to bounce back after this terrible habit. Find out why you should stay away from chewing tobacco and how your Romeo dentist Dr. Michael DeLaura can help.

How Chewing Tobacco Affects Your Oral Health

Just because chewing tobacco is smokeless doesn’t make it any less harmless for your mouth. Those who chew tobacco are more likely to deal with these nasty dental issues:

  • Severe discolorations
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • A decreased sense of smell and taste
  • Increased chance of cavities and gum disease
  • Increased risk of oral cancer

In fact, chewing tobacco contains about 28 cancer-causing ingredients, which can lead to cancer of the lips, tongue, esophagus or mouth. Smokeless tobacco can also cause serious gum irritation and lead to gum disease, which can also cause complications such as bone and tooth loss.

How to Maintain Good Oral Health

It might seem obvious, but the best thing you can do to protect your mouth from cancer and other severe dental problems is to ditch your tobacco habit right away. We understand that this can be a major challenge and your Romeo dentist is here to help. Ask us about ways other people have successfully quit tobacco and kept their smiles healthy.

Also, those who’ve used chewing tobacco may need to go to the dentist more often for cleanings and exams. Luckily, the majority of cancerous lesions can be easily detected through an oral exam alone. Find out how often you need to go to the dentist to keep your smile healthy.

Whether you want to quit tobacco products or you are dealing with the after effects of this habit, your Romeo dentist is here to help. DeLaura Dental prides itself on giving you the best smile you can possibly have.

Immediate Dentures Provide You With Teeth While Your Gums Heal

immediate-dentures-300You probably can’t remember a time without your teeth — and can’t imagine life without them. But now it’s a reality: one by one your teeth have become casualties in a long-standing war with dental disease until now they’re all lost.

Total tooth loss (edentulism) can be difficult in more ways than the loss of function — it can be psychologically traumatic as you must now transition from natural teeth to dentures or other restorations. To add to the stress, you probably won’t be able to obtain your permanent restoration immediately because the extraction sites must heal.

To help you with this transition and provide a means for you to have teeth during the healing period, we may fit you with an appliance known as an immediate denture. With these temporary teeth replacements, you can maintain your smile appearance, chew food and speak unimpaired.

Initially, immediate dentures should fit well, but over time your gums will tend to shrink as they heal. This can loosen the dentures’ fit and make them uncomfortable to wear. If the healing process is still ongoing and you still need to wear the immediate dentures, they can be relined with more denture material to fine-tune the fit.

At some point, though, we must consider creating a new, permanent set of dentures. When your mouth is fully healed, we can make a more accurate impression that we can then use to construct your new set. There are also other options, such as using dental implants to support a denture or a fixed bridge. This option will only be possible, however, if you have sufficient bone available to fully support it, which we might also be able to augment with grafting.

Immediate dentures serve a worthwhile purpose, but only for a temporary period. We’ll be happy to discuss all your options with you to help you find the right permanent solution that fits both your mouth’s condition and your financial ability.

If you would like more information on transitioning to teeth replacement, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Immediate Dentures.”

Taking the Right Steps to Prevent Early Tooth Decay in Children

children-prevention-300While the prevention and treatment of tooth decay has improved dramatically over the last half century, it continues to be a major health issue, especially for children. One in four children 5 and younger will develop some form of the disease.

Although tooth decay in children stems from the same causes as in adults — the presence of decay-causing bacteria in plaque, unprotected teeth and the right mix of carbohydrates like sugar left in the mouth — the means by which it occurs may be different. We even define tooth decay differently in children as Early Childhood Caries (ECC), “caries” the dental profession’s term for tooth decay.

ECC highlights a number of cause factors specific to young children, such as: continuous use of a bottle or “sippy cup” filled with juice or other sweetened beverages; at-will breast-feeding throughout the night; use of a sweetened pacifier; or regular use of sugar-based oral medicine to treat chronic illness.

If you noticed sugar as a common denominator in these factors, you’re right. As a primary food source for bacteria, refined sugar is a major trigger for the disease especially if it constantly resides in the mouth from constant snacking or sipping. In fact, it’s the primary driver for a particular pattern of decay known as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (BBTD). This pattern is specifically linked to sleep-time bottles filled with juice, milk, formula or other sweetened beverages, given to an infant or toddler to help soothe them through the night or during naps.

All these factors cause a cycle of decay. To interrupt that cycle, there are some things you as a parent should do: perform daily hygiene with your child to reduce decay-causing bacteria; reduce the amount and frequency of carbohydrates in the diet, particularly sugar; and protect the teeth by having us apply fluoride or sealants directly to the teeth.

Early tooth decay could affect your child�??s oral health for years to come. With a little care and vigilance, you improve your chances of avoiding that encounter.

If you would like more information on preventing tooth decay in children, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”

Six Ways Saliva Helps Your Mouth and Body Stay Healthy

saliva-300While it doesn’t garner the star power of blood, saliva is still an important bodily fluid. A true multi-tasker, saliva contributes in many ways to the function and health of the body, from stronger teeth to more efficient digestion.

Here are six ways saliva helps your mouth and body function properly and stay healthy.

The mouth’s natural cleanser. Bacteria are responsible for much of the dental disease that plagues us, particularly tooth decay and gum disease. Saliva clears the mouth of food remnants, bacteria’s primary feeding source, after we eat. This leaves a cleaner mouth and fewer bacteria to cause infection.

The immune system’s partner. Saliva contains an antibody called Immunoglobulin A (IgA) that attacks disease-causing microorganisms. Along with secreting other antibacterial agents like lactoferrin and lyzozyme that curb the growth and development of bacteria, saliva serves as the body’s first line of defense against pathogens entering through the mouth.

Acid neutralizer. The optimal oral environment is a neutral pH of 7. Many of our foods and beverages, though, are highly acidic, which can raise the mouth’s acid level. The acidic environment causes the minerals in tooth enamel to soften and dissolve (a process called de-mineralization). Saliva restores the balance by neutralizing any remaining acid after we eat (a process that takes about 30 to 60 minutes).

Mineral replacer. Even under normal conditions, enamel will de-mineralize to some extent whenever the mouth becomes acidic. Saliva restores some of the enamel’s lost minerals like calcium and phosphate while it’s neutralizing acid. If fluoride is also present in saliva from fluoridated drinking water or toothpaste, it too is absorbed by the enamel making it stronger and more resistant to acid attacks.

Digestion enhancer. Saliva lubricates the mouth while we eat, making it easier for us to chew (and taste) our food. Saliva also releases the enzyme amylase as we chew to break down starches before the food enters our stomach. The end result is more efficient and comfortable digestion.

The wave of the future in diagnostics. Like blood and urine, saliva contains genetic and disease markers that could tell a physician if a patient has a certain condition. Since collecting a saliva sample is much easier than with these other bodily fluids, diagnosing disease with saliva will become more prevalent as more calibrated devices reach the market.

If you would like more information on the role of saliva in the body, please contact us or schedule an appointmentfor a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Saliva.”

How Often Should I Be Flossing?

Dental-Veneers 2Do you brush your teeth? Your answer is probably an affirmative. How about flossing? Well, many people hesitate on that question, maybe fearing to admit that their flossing habits are hit and miss or altogether absent.

Flossing benefits oral health by removing filmy plaque that settles on tooth surfaces and at the gum line. Brushing twice daily removes a lot of it, along with the harmful germs that eat away at tooth enamel and gum tissue. However, for optimal oral health, brushing must partner with flossing to thoroughly clean between teeth and in those hard to reach areas of the mouth your toothbrush misses.

How Often to Floss

Dr. Michael DeLaura at Delaura Dental agrees with the American Dental Association which says floss at least once a day. Frankly, dental patients with restorations such as fixed bridgework or orthodontic patients with traditional metal brackets and wires should floss more.

The flossing rule applies to children, teens and adults, and while opinions vary on when to floss, the important thing to do it regularly. Many dentists favor night time flossing as tooth-cleansing saliva production falls off at night, and bacteria-filled plaque can do more damage. Also, it really doesn’t matter whether you floss before or after you brush your teeth.

How to Floss

Select a floss product you like. Waxed or plain, flavored, skinny, wide–there are plenty out on the market. Choose a quality, ADA-accepted floss. and use it consistently, following these steps:

  • Pull a 18-inch length of floss from the dispenser, and wind each end around the top of the index or middle fingers of each hand.
  • Pull the floss taut with your thumbs, and carefully insert a short section in between two teeth.
  • Move the floss up and down in the interdental space, gently flossing the gum line, too.
  • Proceed around the mouth, using a fresh section of floss for each new space.
  • Take special care with the backside of your back most molars.
  • Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.

DeLaura Dental

Dr. Michael DeLaura is highly skilled in many advanced dental services, including full dental implant placement and orthodontics in the Romeo, MI area. Dr. DeLaura also has a passion for the basics of oral health. These include brushing, flossing, regular exams and hygienic cleanings as the solid foundation for lifelong healthy smiles.

Keep consistent with your dental care. Call DeLaura Dental in the Romeo area for an appointment today. Phone 855-601-2948.

Could A Dental Checkup Save Your Life?

dental-checkup-300Most everyone knows that going to see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings can help save your smile — but did you ever stop to think that it just might save your life?

That’s what recently happened to 11-year-old Journee Woodard of Edmond, Oklahoma. The young girl was having a routine teeth cleaning when hygienist Rachel Stroble noticed something unusual: The whites of her eyes (her sclera) had a distinctly yellow tint. Dr. Michael Chandler, Journee’s dentist, confirmed the hygienist’s suspicions, and advised her mom to take her for further testing. The tests revealed that Journee had a tumor covering parts of her pancreas, gallbladder and liver; it could have ruptured at any moment, with devastating consequences.

The tumor was removed three days later in a 9-hour operation, and Journee is now recovering. As for her dentist, Dr. Chandler told reporters that he and his staff were just doing their jobs thoroughly. “It’s hard to feel like I’m a hero,” he said (though others might disagree).

Is this a one-in-a-million case? Maybe — yet for many people, a family dentist may be the health care professional who is seen more often than any other. That can put dentists in the unique position of being able to closely monitor not only a person’s oral health, but also their overall health.

There are several reasons why that’s so. One is that most systemic diseases (such as diabetes, leukemia, and heart disease, for example) can have oral manifestations — that is, symptoms that show up in the mouth. If your dentist notices something unusual, further testing may be recommended. Dentists also regularly screen for diseases specific to the mouth — such as oral cancer, which has a much better chance of being cured when it is caught at an early stage.

But beyond checking for particular diseases, dentists often notice other things that may indicate a health issue. For example, if you complain of dry mouth or snoring, and appear fatigued in the dental chair, your dentist may suspect undiagnosed sleep apnea: a potentially serious condition. Many other signs — such as yellowed eyes, a pounding heart rate, or shortness of breath — can indicate potential problems.

Of course, we’re not even mentioning the main reason for regular dental checkups — keeping your smile healthy and bright; for many people that’s reason enough. How does Journee’s mom feel about keeping dental appointments? “I will never miss another dentist appointment,” she told reporters. “I will never reschedule.”

If you would like more information about routine dental checkups, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Dental Hygiene Visit” and “Good Oral Health Leads to Better Health Overall.”