My Blog

Posts for category: Oral Health

By Progressive Dental
April 09, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Preventive Care  

No one decides to have poor oral health; it happens gradually, often due to neglecting simple practices form the base of basic oral hygiene. Here at Progressive Dental in Ann Arbor, MI, your dentists, Drs. Meridith and Bart Hall, provide preventive care guidance that keeps patients in great health—read on to learn more.

The enemies of your teeth and gums

There are tiny, microscopic pathogens that put your oral health at risk. They're Streptococcus bacteria, and they live in the food residues that cling to your teeth and gums. Brushing and flossing remove these organisms, which is why the American Dental Association (ADA) highly recommends these actions as part of your regular routine, along with a low-sugar diet and ample hydration.

However, the war on gum disease and tooth decay cannot be won alone. You and your family need regular preventive services from our Ann Arbor office. After all, without routine hygienic cleanings, X-rays, and examinations, tooth decay and gum disease remain hidden and untreated.

What you can do

Besides your conscientious at-home care, come to our Ann Arbor office for your cleaning and check-up. Each exam includes a check for decay/gum disease, oral cancer evaluation, an inspection of any dental restorations, and a careful look at jaw joint function/dental bite. Every cleaning also removes the plaque and tartar build-up which can damage your gums and teeth.

Additionally, your dentists will present you with a comprehensive care plan to include your best path to a long-lasting smile. It includes preventive, restorative, and cosmetic treatments.

Common preventive care includes:

  • A cleaning and check-up every six months (or more often if you struggle with gum problems)
  • X-ray imaging according to a set schedule
  • Anti-cavity fluoride treatments to supplement the fluoride in your toothpaste and municipal water supply
  • Plastic sealants (particularly for children's teeth) to protect the chewing surfaces of molars
  • Customized mouth guards to protect your teeth during sports

Learn more

Prevention is the way to go. At Progressive Dental, Drs. Meridith and Bart Hall will partner with you to keep your smile intact and shining for years to come. Contact your dentists at (734) 930-4022.

By Progressive Dental
February 19, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Orthodontic  

Improve your smile, improve your oral health and improve your appearance all at once.

Unfortunately, many people make assumptions about us based on the way we look. So if you have a smile that is a bit crooked or misaligned you may feel embarrassed to smile around friends, colleagues, coworkers or fellow students. Our Ann Arbor, MI, dentists Drs. Meridith and Bart Hall have helped countless patients of all ages get beautifully straight, confident smiles through braces.

Along with the obvious benefit of getting a straighter smile, here are some of the less obvious benefits of getting orthodontic treatment,

Make Chewing Easier

While you might not even realize it, having crooked teeth can make it more challenging to properly chew food. Getting a straighter smile can help make eating everything you love easier, which also means a happier digestive tract.

Prevent Damage

If you are dealing with an overbite, underbite or an all-together misaligned smile then every time you bite down or put pressure on your teeth the force from your jaws isn’t being evenly distributed throughout your smile. This means that some teeth end up taking on more pressure and force than they should. Over time, this leads to excessive wear and tear on teeth, eventually resulting in cracks, chips and fractures.

Reduce Decay Risk

Crooked, twisted or overlapping teeth are also more difficult to keep clean, making it a hospitable environment for food to get trapped between these crevices. By correcting these issues with orthodontic treatment our Ann Arbor family dentists can help you reduce your risk for cavities and gum disease.

Should I get braces?

Since most people don’t end up with perfectly straight teeth, many of them can benefit from braces. Our dental practice makes it easy to get the orthodontic treatment you need based on certain factors including your age, the type of issues you need to fix and your finances. Each orthodontic plan is individualized to meet your needs. While children as young as seven often benefit from undergoing an orthodontic consultation, you are never too old to get braces.

Are you interested in getting braces for you or your child? If so, Progressive Dental in Ann Arbor, MI, can help get your smile where you want it with orthodontic treatment and other dentistry options. Call our office today at (734) 930-4022 to schedule a consultation.

By Progressive Dental
May 28, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: teeth whitening  

Since you look at your teeth every day in the mirror, you may not notice when the color starts to change or become dull. An Ann Arbor, MI dentist at Progressive Dental will help brighten up with smile quickly with professional teeth whitening. The dentists are committed to cosmetically improving your teeth while also being concerned about your comfort.

When Your Smile Becomes Dull


As much as you love your coffee, tea, Italian dinners with plenty of tomato sauce, and the occasional glass of wine, these substances can do a number on the appearance of your teeth. The enamel becomes darker and duller, gradually over time. This is especially true if you don’t brush or see your dentist for checkups as often as you should. The good news is that food or drink staining usually only effects the outer enamel, so there’s a good chance that it can be bleached by your dentist.

The Bleaching Process


The dental team at Progressive Dental in Ann Arbor, MI uses a teeth whitening system called BOOST to whiten your smile in about an hour. It involves the use of a bleaching agent containing peroxide to remove several shades of stains from your teeth. It is applied to the teeth while the lips and cheeks are retracted for protection. If the tooth discoloration is relatively mild, you will most likely only need one session with your dentist.

White Smile Benefits


If you’re committed to giving your professional or social life a boost, having an off-white smile is simply not enough. A professionally whitened smile comes with the following benefits:

- Feeling more relaxed when in the company of others and when smiling for photos.
- A younger, more refreshed appearance.
- Inspiration to brush, floss, and care for your teeth more consistently to maintain your whiter smile.

Make Your Smile Brighter


If you want to improve the quality of your smile quickly and reliably, consider professional teeth whitening. It won’t take much of your time, yet this simple cosmetic treatment provides significant results. Call (734) 930-4022 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Meridith Hall or Dr. Bart Hall at Progressive Dental in Ann Arbor, MI.

By Progressive Dental
April 17, 2017
Category: Oral Health
LifeIsSometimesaGrindforBrookeShields

Ever since childhood, when her career as a model and actress took off, Brooke Shields has enjoyed worldwide recognition — through advertisements for designer jeans, appearances on The Muppet Show, and starring roles in big-screen films. But not long ago, that familiar face was spotted in an unusual place: wearing a nasal anesthesia mask at the dentist's office. In fact, Shields posted the photo to her own Instagram account, with the caption “More dental surgery! I grind my teeth!” And judging by the number of comments the post received, she's far from alone.

In fact, researchers estimate that around one in ten adults have dental issues that stem from teeth grinding, which is also called bruxism. (Many children also grind their teeth, but it rarely causes serious problems, and is often outgrown.) About half of the people who are teeth grinders report problems like persistent headaches, jaw tenderness and sore teeth. Bruxism may also result in excessive tooth wear, and may damage dental work like crowns and bridges; in severe cases, loosened or fractured teeth have been reported.

Researchers have been studying teeth grinding for many years; their findings seem to indicate that it has no single cause. However, there are a number of factors that play a significant role in this condition. One is the anatomy of the jaw itself, and the effect of worn or misaligned teeth on the bite. Another factor relates to changes in brain activity that occur during the sleep cycle. In fact, nocturnal (nighttime) bruxism is now classified as a sleep-related movement disorder. Still other factors, such as the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, and a high level of stress or anxiety, can make an individual more likely to experience bruxism.

What can be done for people whose teeth grinding is causing problems? Since this condition may have many causes, a number of different treatments are available. Successful management of bruxism often begins by striving to eliminate the factors that may cause problems — for example, making lifestyle changes to improve your health, creating a soothing nighttime environment, and trying stress-reduction techniques; these may include anything from warm baths and soft music at bedtime, to meditation and mindfulness exercises.

Several dental treatments are also available, including a custom-made occlusal guard (night guard) that can keep your teeth from being damaged by grinding. In some cases, a bite adjustment may also be recommended: In this procedure, a small amount of enamel is removed from a tooth to change the way it contacts the opposite tooth, thereby lessening the biting force on it. More invasive techniques (such as surgery) are rarely needed.

A little tooth grinding once in a while can be a normal response to stress; in fact, becoming aware of the condition is often the first step to controlling it. But if you begin to notice issues that could stem from bruxism — or if the loud grinding sounds cause problems for your sleeping partner — it may be time to contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more about bruxism in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Stress and Tooth Habits.”

By Progressive Dental
April 09, 2017
Category: Oral Health
GumDiseaseCouldAffectMorethanYourTeethandGums

If you have periodontal (gum) disease, it's important for you to know its effects aren't limited to your mouth. A number of studies demonstrate gum disease can affect the rest of your body — and what may be going on elsewhere could likewise stimulate gum disease.

Here are 3 diseases or conditions that seem to share a link with gum disease.

Diabetes. This chronic disease results from the body's inability to interact properly with insulin, the hormone necessary for turning glucose (sugar) into energy, or producing enough of it. There's clear evidence that having diabetes increases your risk of gum disease and vice-versa. If you have diabetes, it's important that you keep it under control for your gum's sake as much as for your overall health.

Cardiovascular disease. Like diabetes, this group of heart and blood vessel diseases has a related characteristic with gum disease: inflammation. This natural function of the immune system limits tissue damage caused by disease or injury. But in both CVD and gum disease, inflammation can become chronic and itself cause damage. Further, some types of bacteria associated with gum disease can contribute to a higher risk of CVD. Minimizing gum disease occurrence with good oral hygiene could positively impact your risk of CVD.

Pregnancy. While certainly not a disease, pregnancy does trigger hormonal changes in the mother that in turn could elevate her risk of gum disease, particularly pregnancy gingivitis. Not only does this pose problems for the mother's teeth and gums, some studies connect gum disease to the increased possibility of early, pre-term birth. A sharper focus on dental care during pregnancy not only benefits the mother but may also be important for the health of the baby.

These aren't the only conditions that can be affected by gum disease: others like osteoporosis, respiratory disease or rheumatoid arthritis also share links with the disease. If you have any systemic condition like these, it pays to be extra vigilant in preventing and treating gum disease.

If you would like more information on periodontal (gum) disease, 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 “Good Oral Health Leads to Better Health Overall.”