4 Common Misconceptions About Orthodontic Care | Orthodontist in Portage

Portage MI Orthodontist

It’s not surprising that some patients are a little unsure about how orthodontic treatment works. To clear up some misconceptions you may have, we’d like to set the record straight on some of the most common myths we’ve heard.

Portage Orthodontist

Only Kids Need to See an Orthodontist

While it’s true that a lot of teens and adolescents wear braces and aligners, there are actually over one million adults in America currently undergoing orthodontic treatment. Whether they didn’t receive orthodontic care as children, their teeth have shifted since having braces, or they suffer from jaw joint disorders that cause headaches and chewing problems, patients at any age can benefit from visiting an orthodontist.

The Reason People Wear Braces or Aligners is to Improve Appearance

Many of our patients come to us in search of a beautiful smile, but the truth is that wearing orthodontics delivers multiple other benefits including:

  • Making it easier to brush and floss between crowded teeth, which reduces the possibility of future oral health problems.
  • Fixing jaw alignment problems to alleviate speech and chewing issues.
  • Eliminating teeth grinding.
  • Reducing the risk of injury from protruding front teeth.

Orthodontic Treatment Fixes Teeth Permanently

Did you know that your teeth can remember where they were before? It’s true! After braces or aligners come off, teeth try to return to where they were before treatment began. This is why it’s really important to wear your retainer for as long as we recommend. At first, you’ll need to wear it throughout the day and at night, and as time progresses and your teeth start to feel comfortable in their new “home,” you’ll be able to wear it only at night.

Children Shouldn’t See an Orthodontist Until They’ve Lost All Their Baby Teeth

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, children should actually have an orthodontic consultation at the age of seven. We like to examine patients while baby teeth are still present to see how permanent teeth are erupting, and to evaluate how the jaw is growing. After examining a young child, we may recommend early orthodontic treatment if we find issues such as:

  • Irregular Jaw Structure. Intervening while bones are still soft can prevent oral surgery when they’re older.
  • Bite Problems. A crossbite, underbite or overbite can cause chewing problems, speech impediments, and other major issues. Early orthodontic care can address these before they become bigger issues.
  • Potential for Crowding. By making plenty of room for permanent teeth to come in, we allow space for thorough brushing and flossing, reducing the chances of oral disease as they grow.
  • Dangers of Protruding Teeth. Young kids can sometimes be clumsy, and if their front teeth aren’t protected behind the lips, they’re likely to be damaged during a fall. Early treatment can pull the teeth back into a safer position.

Confused About Orthodontic Treatment?

If you have any questions about how orthodontics works, we’re always happy to answer them. Just give us a call or make an appointment with our Portage orthodontic office and we’ll be glad to address your concerns.

Sage Orthodontics of Portage
Phone: (269) 327-0760
1700 E. Centre Ave.
Portage, MI 49002

Healthy Smile, Healthy Body | Portage, MI Orthodontist

Orthodontist in Portage MI

Good oral hygiene habits are essential to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. What you might not know is that research has found the health of your mouth actually mirrors the overall condition of your body. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, there is a direct relationship between gum disease and many serious health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. The good news is, research also shows that good oral health may actually help prevent certain diseases from occurring.

Orthodontist in Portage MI

Understanding the mouth/body connection

Poor oral habits can cause bacteria to build up on your teeth, making your gums more prone to disease and infection. When that happens, your immune system goes to work attacking the infection, leading to inflammation and gum disease, also known as periodontitis. Left untreated, periodontitis and chronic inflammation can wreak havoc on the rest of your body, leading to a host of health problems. Thankfully, this “worst-case-scenario” is easily preventable. Here’s what you can do to elevate your oral hygiene habits and keep unwanted health concerns at bay:

  • Brush twice a day for at least two minutes using a soft-bristled brush. Be sure to choose a toothbrush that is the right size for your mouth so you can reach back teeth easily. If you have any questions about which toothbrush we recommend for you, you can ask our office during your appointment.
  • Remember to replace your toothbrush every three or four months.
  • Choose an American Dental Association-approved fluoride toothpaste to keep teeth free from decay.
  • Floss daily to remove tooth decay-causing bacteria that tend to linger between teeth. Regular flossing also helps remove plaque under the gumline and minimize your risk of contracting gum disease.
  • Eat a healthy diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks.
  • Avoid cigarettes and other tobacco products, which are known to contribute to gum disease and oral cancer.

In addition to maintaining good daily oral health habits, seeing your dentist regularly is one of the best ways to keep your mouth – and your body – healthy. These exams allow our team to monitor any changes to your teeth and gums and make recommendations that will help you avoid future health problems. Call our 49002 orthodontist office today to schedule an exam.

Sage Orthodontics of Portage
Phone: (269) 327-0760
1700 E. Centre Ave.
Portage, MI 49002

Time Is On Your Side: Orthodontic Treatments | Orthodontist Portage MI

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The search for straightened teeth or an aligned bite has challenged patients and dental professionals alike. With increasing demands on our time, patients want to be assured that they can commit to the duration of their treatment.

Portage Orthodontist

Today, not all orthodontic treatments are created equal. As patients explore their treatment options, they learn to understand that each involves a different investment in time. Generally, orthodontic treatments for malocclusion (imperfectly positioned teeth), fall into two categories: those that can be addressed with clear aligner therapy, and those that are treated with wires and brackets. Let’s take a look at some of these options.

Clear aligner therapy refers to a series of clear dental trays (think of an athletic mouthguard), that are formed to the shape of a patient’s teeth. Clear, transparent aligners gradually improve appearance and function by applying gentle, steady pressure to a patient’s teeth, which encourages the breaking down of bone (osteoclastic) and the building up of bone (osteoblastic) activity. The patient wears the aligner or tray for a period of about twenty-two hours a day for a period of about two weeks. This process is then repeated for the length of the clear aligner therapy which, on average lasts a little more than a year. Once the treatment period ends, the patient will wear a retainer at night. The clear tray is designed to be removed for eating, drinking hot liquids, flossing and brushing your teeth.  Most, but not all types of malocclusion can be improved with clear aligner therapy and many tooth movements are possible with clear aligners.

Wires and brackets, or braces as they are more commonly known, are often regarded as the traditional approach towards gaining that perfect smile. Braces work by providing constant pressure and force on the teeth. Braces are comprised of brackets, bonding components, wire, and elastic bands. The constant pressure of the wires on the brackets demands that the teeth be loosened and rebuilt through bone growth in its new position. After extensive prep-work that often includes x-rays, molds, and impressions, the braces are fitted to the patient’s teeth. Regular adjustments to the braces occur about once a month and the duration of the treatment can last anywhere on average from one to three years. The length and specificity of treatment depend exclusively on the needs of the patient’s teeth.

Improving your smile and overall oral health is a commitment not to be taken lightly. While there are several orthodontic treatments that exist, not one method is appropriate for everyone. 

As always, speaking with our orthodontic office is your best source for information with regard to which orthodontic treatment is best for you. Talk to our Portage MI Orthodontics team today to better understand which option best suits your needs.

Sage Orthodontics of Portage
Phone: (269) 327-0760
1700 E. Centre Ave.
Portage, MI 49002

How to Research Your Orthodontic Treatment | Portage MI Orthodontics

Portage Orthodontist

Embarking on orthodontic treatment requires an investment of time and money. Researching your options is always a good idea, to make sure you choose the orthodontic treatment plan that is right for you. As you begin compiling a list of questions to ask during your consultation, here are some things to consider:

Orthodontist Portage MI

Types of braces

Gone are the days when a mouth full of metal was the only way to achieve a straighter smile. Depending on the condition of your teeth and gums, in addition to metal/traditional braces, you may be able to select from:

·         Ceramic braces. These braces are preferred by some patients because they are less noticeable than metal braces. Keep in mind, ceramic braces may require more diligent maintenance as they tend to become stained when not properly cared for.

·         Lingual braces. This choice is most similar to traditional metal braces, except that the wires and brackets adhere to the inside of the teeth, making them invisible from the outside. Because the brackets are behind your teeth, these braces can be more challenging to keep clean, and the treatment time may be longer than with traditional braces.

·         Clear aligners. These clear plastic aligners are popular with adults of all ages and can be removed for eating and drinking, just like a retainer. With this treatment plan, you will wear a series of custom-made aligners that you swap out every few weeks until you achieve your treatment goal. Clear aligners may not be suitable for children and in some cases, can be significantly more costly than metal brackets. They also require a higher degree of compliance, since failing to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day can significantly compromise your results.

Treatment time

One of the first things many people wonder when it comes to getting braces is, “How soon can I get them off?” The answer to this question is going to depend on many factors, including your age, the condition of your teeth, and the type of treatment plan you choose. Most orthodontic plans range between 12 and 24 months.

Out-of-pocket costs

If you have dental insurance, inquire about your covered benefits prior to your orthodontic consultation. Be sure to mention the type of braces you are considering, and ask if there could be additional expenses for retainers and aftercare.

When it comes to orthodontic treatment, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Doing your homework and researching your options is a good first step, and meeting with our experienced orthodontist is the best way to find out what types of braces will help you achieve the confident smile you’ve always wanted. Call our orthodontic office today to schedule your consultation and get started on your new smile.

Sage Orthodontics of Portage
Phone: (269) 327-0760
1700 E. Centre Ave.
Portage, MI 49002

Easy Flossing Alternatives to Preserve Your Healthy Smile | Orthodontist in Portage, MI 49002

Easy Flossing Alternatives to Preserve Your Healthy Smile

If there is one recommended dental habit that many people struggle to embrace, it’s flossing. Whether you find traditional thread flossing challenging to maneuver, messy, or just time consuming, you are not alone. However, The American Dental Association (ADA) and our office want you to be able to floss regularly and thoroughly. Consider these effective alternatives to remove unwanted plaque from the places your toothbrush simply can’t reach.

1.) Disposable Floss Pick

These convenient little tools have plastic handles and Y-shaped prongs that come pre-threaded with floss. No measuring, snipping or finger threading required. Ideal for travel and on-the-go use, simply grab the handle, insert the floss between your teeth, and when done, toss the tool away. 

2.) Non-Disposable Floss Picks

Fashioned with a longer handle than their disposable counterparts, these picks may be an excellent option for patients with small mouths and/or crowded teeth. They also help to make reaching back teeth a breeze.

3.) Water Flossers

Electronic flossers use streams of pressurized water to clean between your teeth. There are many different models to accommodate price preferences, and most offer adjustable pressure settings to ensure your comfort during use. 

4.) Interdental Brushes

Designed to look like tiny toothbrushes, interdental brushes are especially effective for those who wear braces. They are also a nice option for patients with mobility issues who struggle with traditional flossing. Another plus? Like toothbrushes they can be used repeatedly – simply ask our office when we recommend replacement.

5.) Air Flossers

These high-tech tools use air pressure combined with a small amount of water to keep teeth and gums clean and healthy. Considered to be less messy than their water-based cousins, air flossers offer easy point and click instructions – just aim the flosser between your teeth and a blast of air does the rest. 

Keeping the spaces between your teeth and gums free from plaque and tartar is essential to your oral health. Finding tools and techniques that work for you is the first step towards establishing lifelong habits that lead to a lasting, healthy smile. Consider any of these flossing alternatives or call our office for a recommendation. Our 49002 orthodontist team will be happy to evaluate your unique needs to help you find the solution that is right for you.

Sage Orthodontics of Portage
Phone: (269) 327-0760
1700 E. Centre Ave.
Portage, MI 49002

Facts You May Not Have Known About Oral Cancer | Portage, MI 49002 Orthodontist

Facts You May Not Have Known About Oral Cancer

According to The American Academy for Oral Systemic Health, oral cancer claims one American life every hour of every day. Unfortunately, most cases go undetected until it is too late, making the need for regular examinations of even greater importance. Those who are proactive and seek treatment early have the best chance of beating the disease and living a long, healthy life. Below are some facts you may not have known about oral cancer, including warning signs, trends, and more. 

1.) Oral Cancer Affects More Men Than Women

No matter your gender, you should be aware of the very real dangers of oral cancer. While studies conducted by the Oral Cancer Foundation have shown that oral cancer is one the rise among women too, a 2:1 incidence ratio between men and women still remains. This correlation may be due to the fact that, statistically speaking, men smoke and drink more than women. Regardless of your own habits, remain aware of the signs and symptoms and ask your doctor to perform a regular oral exam if they do not already. 

2.) Each Year, 450,000 New Cases Are Discovered

As such, it is likely that oral cancer has affected someone in your life. Whether you know someone who has had, or is currently dealing with their own struggle against oral cancer, you should know that they are not alone.

3.) Alcohol and Tobacco Increase Your Risk

Among the many risk factors, your lifestyle choices can have a huge impact on the likelihood of you developing this cancer. It is estimated by the Cancer Treatment Centers of America that roughly 80% of people with oral cancer are heavy smokers, while 70% are heavy drinkers. Add this unfortunate statistic to the list of reasons why you should leave the cigarettes behind.

4.) When Detected Early Enough, Oral Cancer has a Cure Rate of 90%

According to many experts, part of the reason why oral cancer can be so destructive is because it often goes undetected for long periods of time. Don’t overlook or ignore any suspicious new developments in your mouth and call your doctor or oral surgeon as soon as you notice anything amiss. 


The best way to overcome oral cancer is to stay informed and catch it early. As something that is important to all dental professionals, we hope you will take this disease just as seriously as we do. We look forward to helping you stay healthy and protecting your oral health throughout your life. If you have any questions call or contact our Portage orthodontist office today and we will assist you however we can. 

Sage Orthodontics of Portage
Phone: (269) 327-0760
1700 E. Centre Ave.
Portage, MI 49002

Orthodontist Portage, MI | Am I a Candidate for Clear Aligners?

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More people than ever are discovering the amazing benefits that clear aligners, such as Invisalign or ClearCorrect can bring to their orthodontic treatment. If you’ve been considering this orthodontic option, but still want to know whether or not you would be a good candidate for the treatment, read through this list and see if aligners might be right for you. 

1.) If you’re looking for a nearly invisible orthodontic treatment, aligners are probably a great option for you. Made of clear plastic that forms to your teeth, aligners are all but unnoticeable to most of the people you interact with. Many may not even know you are undergoing orthodontic treatment unless you tell them yourself. 

2.) If you want to be able to remove your treatment occasionally in order to enjoy the same foods and beverages that you always have, aligners may be a great option. Beyond the benefits when it comes to food and drink, the removable nature of aligners also make it much easier to keep your teeth and gums clean, beautiful, and healthy.

3.) If you’re trying to reduce your treatment time, aligners can also help you do so in some cases. Aligners can sometimes speed up your treatment time when compared to that of traditional braces. While this may not always be the case, you can talk with our orthodontic office about your own circumstances, and which treatment option may be best for you.  

What Makes Me a Poor Candidate For Aligners?

Unfortunately, there are some sets of circumstances that can disqualify you from receiving aligner orthodontic treatment.

If you have untreated tooth decay, it is likely that our team will need you to be assessed and treated before moving forward with aligners. 

If you are currently suffering from gum disease, you may also be disqualified from aligners. If your gum disease is active and causing you to have loose teeth, any attempt at aligner orthodontic treatment could be detrimental to your health. 

If you have dental implants that won’t move, TMJ issues, or dental bridges that are long, these may also disqualify you as a candidate for aligners. 

While these are all matters of concern, always discuss the options you have with our Portage Orthodontic office. We can offer you further guidance on whether or not your own circumstances prevent you from experiencing the amazing benefits of this particular orthodontic treatment. Contact our Portage Orthodontist to schedule your consultation appointment and join the millions of people who have achieved straighter, healthier smiles with clear aligners.

Sage Orthodontics of Portage
Phone: (269) 327-0760
Url: https://sageorthodontics.com/
1700 E. Centre Ave.
Portage, MI 49002

49002 Orthodontist | How to Choose The Best Orthodontic Treatment For You

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Orthodontic care is one of the most important investments in your health, your appearance, and your confidence that you can make. That being said, you don’t want to rush blindly into your treatment without knowing that you have the best option for you. Follow this three-step process and be sure that you have done everything you can to get the best orthodontic treatment you can. 

Step 1: Do the Research & Know What’s Available

As the research and technology of orthodontics continue to progress, your list of available treatment options is only going to grow. Knowing all of these choices is the first step in deciding which one is right for you. Today, there are 

  • Traditional metal braces
  • Ceramic braces, which are tooth colored, and less visible
  • Lingual braces that attach to the back of your teeth and are nearly invisible
  • Clear aligners that are removable and also nearly invisible
  • And many others

Step 2: Weigh the Pros & Cons

After you have found all the potential options that appeal to you, it’s time to discuss them with our orthodontic office. We know the best features of each, as well as the possible shortcomings they may have in addressing your needs. For example, not all alignment issues can be properly solved with clear, plastic aligners. 

However, whatever your needs may be, our office can help make sure that your choice in orthodontic treatment is going to meet them all.  

Step 3: Find an Office That Cares

If you’re reading this blog, then you’ve already completed the third and final step in this important process. Our orthodontics team truly cares about you as a person, not just your treatment. We’re going to help you choose the right care and follow through with it until you have the smile you’ve always wanted. 

Begin the process and get started on your healthier smile today. Contact our Portage Orthodontist and schedule your appointment with us today for quality orthodontic care you know is the best choice for you.

Sage Orthodontics of Portage
Phone: (269) 327-0760
Url: https://sageorthodontics.com/
1700 E. Centre Ave.
Portage, MI 49002

Orthodontist Portage | Improve More Than Just Your Smile With Orthodontic Care

There are many reasons why you may be looking to visit our Portage orthodontic office. Some of those reasons may be that you’re looking to improve your smile. Maybe you’re bringing in your child for their own orthodontic treatment

There are also a few reasons why people visit us that they may not even be aware of when they first begin. Our personalized care has helped our patients with all kinds of orthodontic issues, such as

  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Open Bites
  • Uneven Spacing & Crowding
  • Misplaced Midlines
  • Crossbites

And while we are very proud of the work we’ve done to help people correct these specific issues, the other ways in which we can help patients like you live healthier happier lives are perhaps even more special to us.  For example- 

Speech Impediments:

Many people do not realize just how important the alignment of your teeth is to your speech patterns. If you suffer from very poorly aligned teeth, it can often cause a lisp or other speech struggle. If you’re suffering from a speech impediment right now, you don’t have to continue to do so. Contact our Portage orthodontic office and schedule a consultation to get started on creating a treatment plan. 

Chewing & Eating:

Our role in helping to restore the function to your mouth is very important, even more so when you have difficulty eating and chewing. With great orthodontic care we can help you become healthier and happier while allowing you to eat all of the foods you enjoy with ease.

Sleep Apnea:

In some cases, orthodontic care can be helpful to patients who suffer from sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused when your airways close during sleep, forcing you to gasp for air throughout the night and get a terrible night’s sleep. Orthodontic care can correct the positioning of your jaw to help open your airways and get a more restful night of sleep. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and are looking for a potentially permanent solution, contact our office to see how we can help.  

Comfort & Confidence:

Most of all though, we love the fact that we get to help restore your comfort and confidence in their smile with our orthodontic care. It’s hard to beat having a smile that you can show off proudly whenever your life makes you happy. 

Our office is clean, friendly, and ready to welcome you. If you’re ready to solve your orthodontic issues, call our office and schedule an appointment today. We’ll evaluate your orthodontic needs and discuss which options may be available to you for a straighter, healthier smile.

Sage Orthodontics of Portage
Phone: (269) 327-0760
Url: https://sageorthodontics.com/
1700 E. Centre Ave.
Portage, MI 49002

Portage MI Orthodontist | 8 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Get Braces

Whether you are considering orthodontic work for yourself or your child, there are many questions you will want answered before committing to a treatment plan. Here is a list of key conversations to have with our team during your next appointment:

1. What are my treatment options?

There are many different styles of braces, including traditional metal brackets, clear braces, invisible aligners and more. Ask us about the pros and cons of each and be sure to compare the treatment times and costs.

2. What is the estimated treatment time?

Treatment plan times can vary dramatically depending on your situation, your chosen treatment, and your adherence to our guidance. Clarifying expectations with our office now can provide you with a realistic picture of when you can debut your new smile.

3. Do I need to change my lifestyle or activities?

Sports and other hobbies should continue as usual with braces, but there may be certain adjustments needed, such as wearing a mouthguard during athletic events. Depending on the type of treatment you choose, you may have to avoid eating certain foods as well. 

4. How many office visits are required?

The time frame will vary based on the type of braces you recieve and the treatment plan our office recommends and utilizes.

5. Will I need to remove any teeth?

While there are conflicting opinions on the necessity of tooth extraction in some orthodontic cases, our office will work with you to ensure that you are only getting the most necessary care. If a tooth extraction is needed in order to help you achieve a straighter smile, we will discuss that option with you in time. 

6. What happens if my brackets or wires come loose?

Loose brackets or wires are not uncommon during orthodontic treatment. If this happens to you, you can contact our office to set up a time to fix the issue. In the meantime, dental wax is a great way to reduce the pain that loose wires can cause in some instances.

7. What happens if I break or lose my retainer?

Replacement retainers can be made, but it’s a good idea to keep removable appliances in a case when not in use, to avoid accidental loss or damage.

8. What is the total cost of my treatment plan?

As with many other aspects of orthodontic treatment, the cost could vary. However, our office will work with you to find the treatment option that works best for your needs.

Orthodontic treatment is a very unique and personal experience – for both you and your child. Asking the right questions ahead of time can help you manage expectations and get you started on your journey towards a healthy, beautiful smile. If you’re interested in getting started on creating a beautiful healthy smile of your own, call our Portage orthodontic office today for a complimentary consultation.  

Sage Orthodontics of Portage
Phone: (269) 327-0760
Url: https://sageorthodontics.com/
1700 E. Centre Ave.
Portage, MI 49002