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Dr. Karen O'Rourke, DDS

*Great News for Those without Dental Benefits!*
We have created an In-House Premium Dental Plan.  This is affordable dental coverage for you and your family.  If you have recently lost dental benefit coverage or have not had dental benefit coverage, this plan may be the right choice for you.  Our plan entitles you to preventative dental care services at no cost.  Corrective and restorative services are available at a reduction from our usual fees. We think this is great news for those of you without benefits.
**Please call our office at (616) 455-7930 for details and a brochure if this sounds like a plan for you.

Do you know of a child who snores?
I will be doing a free internet powerpoint presentation called a Spreecast on the topic of “Recognizing Growth and Development Problems in Children.” Crowded teeth is one symptom among many indicating an airway issue in a child. Others include snoring, bed-wetting, night terrors, disturbed breathing, etc.
See details and link below in the attachment from Barry Raphael:
"Dr. Karen O'Rouke will be talking about Reading the Face, where med...icine and dentistry interFACE.
When your patient sits in your chair and you say good morning, you should be looking a more than the social six. Even before they open their mouths, there is a ton of information about them that's as plain as the nose (and eyes and cheeks and lisp...) on their face. Karen will be talking with us about diagnosing problems with growth and airway by looking at the face.
Karen is one of the U.S.'s veterans in Biobloc Orthotropics up in Grand Rapids. In fact, She's hosting the Mew's this weekend.
Spreecast: Monday, November 9,2015 9:30pm Eastern, 6:30pm Western
To attend, click here…/ep-43-karen-o-rourke-reading-the…
You can pass it along to anyone you think might be interested.
You can view the recording afterward with the same link .
And you can subscribe on the same page for invitations to future episodes should you wish."

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We can (616) 455-7930

From a very young age the FACES of some children grow downwards (vertically) and they develop receding chins, flat faces, crowded teeth and big noses. On the other hand some children grow forward (horizontally) looking much better (see below right). Most orthodontists think that these problems are inherited and that little can be done to correct them other than to mechanically straighten the teeth. However Orthotropists® believe that vertical growth is caused by open mouth postures or tongue habits so they convert the vertical growth to horizontal by training the children to change these habits (see below right). Obviously Orthotropics must be started young but it can have a big effect on facial appearance (see other faces on this site). Orthodontic treatment tends to increase vertical growth so look for treatments that encourage horizontal growth.

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Here is a recipe for Thanksgiving family gatherings this week:
Incredibly Moist Pumpkin Bread- Gluten Free

1 1/2 C Pumpkin
3 Lg eggs
1 T Vanilla extract
1/4 C Honey
1/4 C Coconut oil
2 C Almond flour
1/2 t Sea salt
1 t Baking soda
1 1/2 t Pumpkin pie spice
2 t Cinnamon
Preheat oven 350 F
Mix pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, honey and coconut oil together. Add in almond flour,salt, baking soda, pumpkin spice and cinnamon. Pour in a greased loaf pan and bake for 50 min. Cranberries and nuts can be added if you like!

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Why Do People Clench or Grind Their Teeth?

Optimal Airway_HangA “normal“ airway is about 11mm; 20+mm is optimal. Many operate with less than a 6mm airway – about the size of a soda straw. Notice the person with the optimal airway has a straighter spine. He doesn’t have to bring his head forward and tilt it back to open his airway. Every inch the head moves forward of the shoulders amplifies its weight by ten pounds. If the opening of the ear canal is in line with the spine, the spine supports the ten pound head. If it is three inches forward of it, exhausted muscles must support what feels like forty pounds! This Forward Head Posture contributes to head and neck pain, swallowing difficulties, migraines, pinched nerves, herniated neck discs, and arthritis. As pain upregulates the central nervous system, it can also contribute to fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and myofascial tender points. The entire gastrointestinal tract can become agitated and result in sluggish peristalsis and evacuation.

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Watch how this mother helped her son with his medical issues:

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Do you know someone that snores?  Watch this video to find the answer to help stop the snoring:

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Can you tell the difference between Orthotropics and Orthodontia?
What actually causes oral parafunction?

As we have discussed there is good evidence that soft food can lead to weak muscle tone and that this in turn can be blamed for many adverse dento/facial changes, but how? Experiments on animals with soft diets confirm that there is an effect on dental arch dimensions but it is small and will not alone cause skeletal disproportion. Clearly hanging the mouth open is also a major factor but it is hard to see why either of these would precipitate parafunction. Many clinicians attribute parafunction to a lack of breast feeding and an increase in thumb-sucking and there is a large body of public opinion led by the La Leashe League which encourages mothers to maintain the more natural sequence of breast feeding for two or three years or more.

Read more about fundamental orthodontic concepts at Prof John Mew`s new book of “The Cause & Cure of Malocclusion” at:

Learn more about facial growth, malocclusion and its treatment by joining orthodontic-orthotropic course at: 
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