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Steven Z. Hechtman, DDS
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Walled Lake MI Dentist Office - Helping Patients Smile for Over 40 Years!
Walled Lake MI Dentist Office - Helping Patients Smile for Over 40 Years!

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Wisdom Teeth and Your Oral Health

Wisdom teeth come with age. They are the 3rd and final set of molars that usually emerge in the late teen years or early twenties. Hence the name “wisdom teeth”. Healthy wisdom teeth that come through correctly, meaning they are aligned, can help you chew and don’t cause oral problems. It’s normal to feel a little discomfort as your wisdom teeth emerge, but if you have pain, see your dentist right away.

Sometimes wisdom teeth need to be removed to avoid painful oral problems.
At Walled Lake Dentist, Dr. Hechtman will examine your mouth and take an x-ray. He will monitor your mouth a look for problematic signs of unhealthy wisdom teeth. Together, you can decide the best course of treatment for your oral health.

There are signs and symptoms you should be aware of as your wisdom teeth emerge through your gums. We found the following article informative and helpful. We hope you do too.

Wisdom Teeth
…Room to Grow?

Wisdom teeth can lead to problems if there isn’t enough space for them to surface or they come through in the wrong position. If your dentist says your wisdom teeth are impacted, he or she means they are trapped in your jaw or under your gums.

As your wisdom teeth make their way through your gums, your dentist will be monitoring your mouth for signs of the following:

Wisdom teeth that aren’t in the right position can allow food to become trapped. That gives cavity-causing bacteria a place to grow.

Wisdom teeth that haven’t come in properly, which can make it difficult to floss between the wisdom teeth and the molars next to them.

Wisdom teeth that have partially come through can give bacteria a place to enter the gums and create a place for infection to occur. This may also lead to pain, swelling and stiffness in your jaw. Read the Full article here.

It is important to take care of your dental health. If you are experiencing oral pain or discomfort from your wisdom teeth, let our dental practice in Walled Lake, Mi help. Dr. Hechtman has been providing dental care for over 40 years! Our goal at Walled Lake Dentistry is to work with our patients in achieving and maintaining long term dental health and a beautiful smile. Call us today at 248-669-5221 and get started on healthy mouth and smile!

For more information on wisdom teeth visit: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/wisdom-teeth#1
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Eating for Your Dental Health

Eating healthy and proper oral hygiene practices is always recommended. They seem to go hand in hand. It promotes good dental health and healthy living. If you don’t choose wisely, it can lead to tooth decay and a mouth full of problems.

Our dental practice in Walled Lake, MI strives to educate patients and help them maintain a healthy mouth for life. Tooth decay is the root cause of many oral health problem and it all begins with what you put into your mouth.

We found the following article about oral health and nutrition informative and helpful. We hope you do too.

Healthy Foods List: Seven Best Foods For Your Teeth

When it comes to the health of your teeth, you really are what you eat. Sugary foods, such as candy and soda, contribute to tooth decay. One of the first areas to decline when your diet is less than ideal is your oral health, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Use this healthy foods list to improve your diet and the health of your mouth.

Cheese
If you’re one of the many people who profess a love of cheese, you now have another reason to enjoy this tasty food. A study published in the May/June 2013 issue of General Dentistry, the journal of the American Academy of General Dentistry, reported at EurekAlert! found that eating cheese raised the pH in the subjects’ mouths and lowered their risk of tooth decay. It’s thought that the chewing required to eat cheese increases saliva in the mouth. Cheese also contains calcium and protein, nutrients that strengthen tooth enamel.

Yogurt
Like cheese, yogurt is high in calcium and protein, which makes it a good pick for the strength and health of your teeth. Read the full article here.

To learn more about what foods are best for you, visit ChooseMyPlate.gov

It is important to take care of your physical health as well as your dental health. Let our dental practice in Walled Lake, Mi help. Dr. Hechtman has been providing dental care for over 40 years! Our goal at Walled Lake Dentistry is to work with our patients in achieving and maintaining long term dental health and a beautiful smile. Call us today at 248-669-5221 and get started on healthy mouth and smile!
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The Effects of Grinding Your Teeth

Most of us have clenched our jaw at one time or another. Some of us are unaware when it happens or do it so often that we don’t pay attention to it. Along with clenching comes teeth grinding or bruxism. Both of which result in headaches, jaw soreness, and fractured teeth.

Teeth grinding is common amongst both adults and children. Partly because it mostly happens when we sleep and its out of our control.

It’s important to protect your teeth. If you grind your teeth or have a child that does, talk to your dentist about possible solutions.
At Walled lake Dentist, Dr. Hechtman can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth during sleep. He can also do an oral evaluation to see exactly what is going on, how much damage you have, if any, and rule out any underlying medical issues.

If left untreated, clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth can have serious implications to your oral health. We found the following article helpful in identifying the signs and symptoms of bruxism.

How To Identify The Known Bruxism Causes

When building a foundation for a healthy body, people traditionally focus on exercise, nutritious foods and the occasional doctor visit. Although mouth health tends to get overlooked in the process, it can make a profound difference on how you feel in other aspects of life. More commonly known as teeth grinding, bruxism is one mouth malady that shouldn’t go untreated.

According to Mayo Clinic, those who suffer from bruxism typically clench their teeth during the day or grind them at night when they sleep – also known as sleep bruxism. The bruxism causes are varied, but you can watch for certain symptoms if you think you may have it.

Signs and Symptoms

Bruxism has many symptoms that are similar to those of other conditions. Consult your dentist if you’re concerned about:
Diminished tooth enamel and increased tooth sensitivity.
Jaw soreness or tight jaw muscles.
Grinding of the teeth loud enough to wake up your partner.
Flat, loose or chipped teeth.
A headache that begins at your temples. Read the full article here

Walled Lake Dentist has been providing dental care for over 40 years. We pride ourselves in offering a personalized experience which includes a full range of dental services. Only the most current and advanced dental technology and techniques are used in our practice.

Our goal is to work with our patients in achieving and maintaining long term dental health and a beautiful smile. Call us today at 248-669-5221 for a Free consultation!
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5 Tips for Making Tooth Brushing Fun for Young Children

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identify tooth decay, most commonly known as cavities, as one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood, citing statistics that one in five children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth.1

To help prevent tooth decay, parents need to make sure that tooth brushing becomes a daily habit for their children. The dictionary experts at Merriam-Webster define a habit as “an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary.”

There are numerous strategies which parents can use to make tooth brushing a habit that is enjoyable for children.

#1. Make it fun.
The next time you go to the store, let your child pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. Many toothbrushes for children have cartoon and movie characters on the handles. Children’s toothpaste is often flavored to appeal to children’s taste buds with flavors such as bubblegum and watermelon, rather than the traditional peppermint or spearmint.

According to Colgate, whose Colgate Minion toothbrushes are currently popular, having your child choose their favorite character helps maintain the child’s interest in tooth brushing.2 The Colgate website has tips for helping select a toothbrush that is appropriate.

There are several strategies to get your child to brush for the two minutes, twice per day that is recommended by experts. The easiest is to have your child hum a song, such as the Happy Birthday song. The second involves playing your child’s favorite song during brushing.

Most popular songs are actually 3 minutes and 20 seconds, so your child will actually be brushing longer than the recommended time. A list of songs that are great motivation for young tooth-brushers can be found online.3 A good alternative to music is to read a short passage from a favorite book to your child while they brush.

A high-tech way to get kids to enjoy brushing their teeth is to use the Disney Magic Timer App by OralB.4 According to OralB, the app has kids brushing an average of 90 percent longer. Once downloaded, parents simply scan any Crest or Oral B Pro Health Stages product with their device which will start two minutes of brushing to your child’s favorite Disney, Marvel or Star Wars character.

#2. Make it challenging.
Children thrive on games and challenges and we all know that charting progress toward a goal helps achieve that goal. There are several motivational charts available online which are designed for tooth brushing.5 Simply print out a chart, buy some stickers and reward your child with a sticker each time they achieve a task listed on the chart.

There are also pre-brush rinses, like Listerine Agent Cool Blue Tinting Pre-Brush Rinse, which can identify where your child needs to focus their brushing the most. This rinse temporarily tints teeth blue to identify areas of tartar built up. Kids just need to brush away all the blue to have cleaner teeth.

#3. Make it educational.
There are many resources online which educate children on the benefits of good oral health. The more educated your child is on why good oral care is important, the easier it will be to get them to take good care of their teeth. The folks at www.detists4kids.com have links on their website to a wide variety of educational games which will help kids learn about their teeth in a fun way.6

#4. Make it routine.
We all need to brush our teeth at least twice daily for two minutes. The best times for children are in the morning after breakfast and in the evening after dinner. At both times it is better to wait 15 to 20 minutes after eating to reduce the amount of acid in the mouth which is naturally produced after eating.

Avoid having children brush teeth right before bedtime since children have a tendency to be less cooperative when tired. Be sure to keep up the brushing habit even on hectic days and lazy days, such as vacation days.

#5. Make it a family-affair.
Use tooth brushing time as a time to bond with your child. Brush your own teeth as your child brushes their teeth. This give you a great opportunity to observe how well your child is brushing and allows you to give your child tips on how to reach those tough to get spots such as the back of the mouth and the tongue side of the teeth. It also allows you to make sure your child is spitting out toothpaste, rather than swallowing it. Role modeling good oral health behaviors will go a long way in instilling in your child the importance of twice-daily oral care.

Dental health is important, especially for children. Having a healthy mouth can improve your quality of life and overall health. Let our dental practice in Walled Lake, Mi help!

Dr. Hechtman has been providing dental care for over 40 years. Our goal at Walled Lake Dentistry is to work with our patients in achieving and maintaining long term dental health and a beautiful smile. Call us today at 248-669-5221 and get started on healthy mouth and smile!
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1 Children’s Oral Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Link: https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/children_adults/child.htm

2 Kids Toothbrushes: What to Buy for Your Child, Colgate
Link: https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/selecting-dental-products/kids-toothbrushes-what-to-buy-for-your-child-1014

3 7 Toothbrushing Tunes Kids (and Parents) Will Love
Link: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/kids-brushing-playlist

4Disney Magic Timer App
Link: https://oralb.com/en-us/product-collections/disney-magic-timer-app

5 Motivational Charts
Link: http://www.dentists4kids.com/parents/motivational-charts/

6 Kids Fun & Games
Link: http://www.dentists4kids.com/kids/
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Show Off Your Beautiful Smile with Invisible Braces

Invisible braces are an effective and affordable way to straighten your teeth. There is no metal and no wires, so they are virtually undetectable. Dr. Hechtman at Walled Lake Dentist has been straightening patients’ teeth with invisible braces for years. His level of customization ensures the very best results in the shortest amount of time.

Invisible braces are a series of custom made clear aligners that apply pressure to the teeth you wish to move.
After your dentist evaluates your teeth, a three-dimensional impression of your teeth is taken. Using computerized technology, a manufacturer-specific laboratory will make your customized aligners.

Dr. Hechtman will evaluate the suitability of the fit to ensure optimized results. He will then monitor your progress and create new sets of aligners as you progress during treatment. Treatment time varies for each patient and can range from 6 to 18 months!

The aligners are typically worn for at least 22 hours a day. They can easily be removed for eating and brushing teeth. They are smooth and comfortable as well as aesthetically pleasing. The result however, depends on the patient. If they are not worn as directed, they simply wont work.

Like traditional braces, invisible braces are designed to straighten teeth and can be used to treat the following conditions: Crowded teeth, crooked teeth, widely spaced teeth and overbites. They may not be suitable for certain misalignment cases or complex bite problems.

Your smile is important. If you are thinking of improving your smile and straightening your teeth, invisible braces may be an option for you. Call Dr. Hechtman today for a consultation. He will evaluate you to identify if you are a good candidate for invisible braces.

Our goal at Walled Lake Dentistry is to work with our patients in achieving and maintaining long term dental health and a beautiful smile. Call us today at 248-669-5221 and get started on healthy mouth and smile!
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Dental Bridges and Oral Health | Walled Lake Dentist

Very simply, dental bridges are used to span the space where teeth are missing. Individuals have a choice of the materials to be used for bridges. Our Walled Lake dental office can help you decide which is best for your unique circumstance.

There are many useful reasons for individuals to consider dental bridges

Bridges can help restore your natural smile, help maintain the shape of your facial features, restore the ability to properly chew, and prevent remaining teeth from drifting.

When making the crown or bridge, the tooth (or teeth) must be reduced to ensure proper fit. After reducing the size of the tooth (or teeth), an impression is made to provide a mold for the crown or bridge. The dental lab can then make your crown or bridge. In the interim, a temporary crown or bridge is used while the permanent one is being made. When complete, the temporary crown or bridge is removed, and the new crown or bridge is cemented in place.

Individuals with dental crowns or bridges can take important steps to ensure the longevity of their new teeth. Good oral hygiene is on top of the list. Make sure to keep your gums and teeth healthy by brushing and flossing regularly. Also make sure to visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. If you live near Walled Lake and are considering dental bridges, please contact our dental office today for a free consultation!
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Common Tooth-brushing Mistakes
Brushing your teeth twice daily is not only good oral health practice, it’s highly recommended. But if you are not doing it right, your teeth and overall oral health may can be affected. Here are a few common tooth-brushing mistakes that we need to be aware of to make the most out of our daily dental routine.

The goal is to have a healthy mouth and smile to last a lifetime. It all begins with regular dental checkups and how we maintain our teeth and gums after we leave the dentist!

Make sure you pick the right toothbrush. It should be the right size and bristle.
There are a lot of toothbrushes to choose from! Large or small, soft or hard, manual or electrical? Depending on the size of your mouth, its important to make sure all your teeth can be reached so most times, smaller is better because it can get to those hard to reach places in the back of your mouth.

It terms of bristles, softer is usually better. Hard bristles can wear down the tooth structure and damage teeth and gums while softer bristles clean effectively and can bend to clear away plaque more easily at the gum line. Your dentist or hygienist can advise which one best suits your dental needs.

Some people think that the harder they brush the better. If they don’t scrub their teeth, they’re not getting them clean enough. This can be a detriment to the tooth because tooth enamel can erode from the “scrubbing” exposing the root of the tooth. This can lead to gum irritation and sensitivity. The trick is to brush gently more like a massage, not a scrub, and make sure its for two to three minutes.

If you are hanging on to your tooth brush for more than three to four months, it may be too long.

After this amount of time, with daily use, the toothbrush isn’t as effective. Also, make sure you rinse your brush after use. Bacteria can grow on an unrinsed brush! Furthermore, common sense tells us not to share a toothbrush with anybody and to also keep it in open air to dry out between uses. Storing it in a drawer or cupboard can cultivate more bacteria and the bristles can become misshapen.

Another common mistake that needs attention is that many of us seem to skip areas such as inner tooth surfaces or the gum line. The inner tooth surface is the back of your teeth where your tongue presses against and the gum line is where the tooth meets the gum. Plaque quickly builds up in these areas, a great place for bacteria to ‘hang out”. So just brushing the front surface of the tooth doesn’t do the job. Be mindful of the front, back and gum line – the whole tooth!

Dental health is important. Having a healthy mouth can improve your quality of life and overall health. Let our dental practice in Walled Lake, Mi help! Dr. Hechtman has been providing dental care for over 40 years. Our goal at Walled Lake Dentistry is to work with our patients in achieving and maintaining long term dental health and a beautiful smile. Call us today at 248-669-5221 and get started on healthy mouth and smile!
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A Brighter Smile with Dental Teeth Whitening
A great way to restore teeth that are dull, stained or discolored is through professional dental teeth whitening. Teeth whitening is a procedure that is safe, effective and can be done in your dentist’s office or at home!

As teeth age, they get discolored, stained and dull. This is because the dentin, the layer below the enamel, becomes exposed as the outer layer, the enamel, wears away. Over time, teeth become more vulnerable to staining because they become more absorbent.

Some major staining culprits are coffee, tea, soy sauce, berries, and tobacco.
Although brushing and flossing can help, it’s not enough to make a difference like dental whitening can. Whitening toothpastes do remove some stains and make teeth a few shades lighter but are a detriment to tooth enamel. They contain abrasive substances and continue to diminish enamel and increase sensitivity.

Professional dental whitening is considered to be the safest and most effective method.

Some benefits to teeth whitening in-office or at home are that it works for people of all ages, and it is safe, quick and affordable. It also corrects tooth spots that are blotchy, yellow and brown stains. Whitened teeth look healthy and brighter which can increase your self-esteem.

At Walled Lake Dentist, we use Venus White Max for in-office bleaching. This product uses hydrogen peroxide, which produces effective long lasting results. Dr. Hechtman has been brightening smiles with dental bleaching for years. It can be done in-office or at home. If you choose to do it at home, we will create custom whitening trays in our lab to fit your mouth and educate you on properly applying the whitening agent.

Depending on the original color of your teeth and how frequently the treatment is applied, most patients begin to see results after the initial treatment. Call Walled Lake Dentist today and get started on restoring a whiter, brighter smile!
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Tips to Prevent Dental Erosion
Do you have tooth sensitivity? If so, it may be due to dental erosion. Dental erosion is caused by the acids in foods and drinks that wear away at your tooth’s enamel. As the enamel wears away, the dentin becomes exposed which leads to sensitivity to cold, hot and acidic foods and drinks.

Medical conditions such as bulimia disorder and gastroesophageal reflux (acid reflux), are also culprits. This is due to the acids in the stomach from both conditions coming in contact with the mouth causing damage to tooth enamel.

Dental erosion can be very uncomfortable and affect the way you eat and drink.

Here are a few tips to help prevent dental erosion.

Carbonated or fizzy drinks such as sodas, pops, and waters contain weak acids that can harm your teeth. Fruit juices as well. Try using a straw or drinking quickly to limit the exposure of the liquid to your teeth. Try not to drink large amounts, for overall health as well. The best option to prevent dental erosion would be to drink plain water or milk. Milk neutralizes the acids in your mouth.

After eating acidic foods, having some cheese or milk is a good idea. They both neutralize the acids in your mouth protecting your teeth. Also, chewing on some sugar-free gum after a meal increases your saliva flow which helps neutralize the acids as well.


It is important to wait at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth after an acidic meal or drink. Waiting helps teeth rebuild their minerals. Make sure to use a small headed toothbrush with soft bristles and don’t brush hard. A fluoridated toothpaste is always recommended and twice daily brushing is important for good oral health.


Regular dental check-ups and good oral health practices are always recommended. Dental erosion does not always need to be treated, especially if you are mindful of what you are eating and drinking. In some cases, however, it can become extreme and lead to tooth decay and cause discomfort.

Dr. Hechtman and his dental team have been taking care of teeth for over 40 years. Our Walled Lake Dental Office offers a personalized experience with the most current and advanced dental technology and techniques. Helping patients maintaining long term dental health and a beautiful smile is our goal. Call our Walled Lake office today and schedule a check-up!
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Stress and Dental Health
Stress can do a lot of harm to your body, including your teeth. Yes, your teeth! Oral health and physical health are integral to each other. If you are in poor physical health, chances are your mouth and teeth are suffering as well. Here are a few ways in which stress manifests itself in your mouth.
Periodontal Disease
Long term stress can lead to periodontal or gum disease. This is due to prolonged elevated levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that can weaken the immune system over time. When the immune system is weak, it’s easy for bacteria from tooth plaque to invade the gums. When plaque takes over you may experience swollen gums that bleed, loose teeth and bad breath. If gum disease is left untreated it can lead to tooth loss.
Bruxism/Grinding Teeth
Stress can cause you to clench your jaw and grind your teeth, leading to tooth damage. It often occurs unconsciously during sleep and is a common stress response. If grinding your teeth is a habit, stress can compound the damage it does to your teeth and jaw. It wears down and can fracture your teeth as well as lead to muscle pain in your jaw, face, ear and head.
Tooth Decay
Stress can change your daily routines, including oral hygiene and eating habits. Neglecting your teeth by not brushing twice daily and flossing starts to take its toll quickly on your teeth. Acids produced from plaque buildup damage tooth enamel which weakens the teeth and results in tooth decay. For some, stress increases their desire for sugary and starchy foods, prime culprits for tooth decay and cavities.
Long term stress can also cause dry mouth due to low saliva production and canker sores due to the breakdown of protective factors in your mouth.
It is important to take care of your physical health as well as your dental health. Let our dental practice in Walled Lake, Mi help. Dr. Hechtman has been providing dental care for over 40 years! Our goal at Walled Lake Dentistry is to work with our patients in achieving and maintaining long term dental health and a beautiful smile. Call us today at 248-669-5221 and get started on healthy mouth and smile!
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