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Hello Friends!
What’s your New Year’s Resolution for 2015? Now that the calendar has officially turned to 2015, you may have already come up with a resolution – and hopefully you haven’t given up on it yet! If you haven’t come up with one yet, how about rededicating yourself to taking care of your mouth, teeth and gums? It’s a resolution that will pay dividends for your health and your smile for a lifetime.

While it’s not always easy to follow your resolution throughout the year, this year, resolve to achieve one of these easy, yet effective, oral health goals. Understanding the benefits of your particular resolutions can be motivating and rewarding. Whatever your goals might be, it is important to take small steps to achieve them. Remember: consistency is key with any resolution that you make!

Take the right steps!

Healthy resolutions can keep your teeth healthy, and any of the following strategies will go a long way toward giving you a brighter, healthier smile in the coming year:

Ditch the Tobacco – this highly addictive substance is one of the worse vices you can have. Using a product filled with toxins and carcinogens (cigarettes) often causes bad breath, tooth-staining and will put you at an increased risk of developing conditions such as oral cancer, heart disease and dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.

Eat Right – eating well is important to maintaining your dental health. Poor nutrition affects the entire immune system, thus putting you at a great risk for many common oral disorders including gum disease.

Brush! Brush! Brush! – brushing and flossing protect your teeth from decay and most importantly, plaque. Without proper brushing and flossing, you may develop bleeding gums, which may worsen to severely swollen, red, bleeding gums (gingivitis) and, eventually gum disease.

Utilize Preventative Dentistry – receiving dental care prior to any dental problem arising is crucial in maintaining a bright, healthy smile. During your regular check-ups, we provide professional cleaning that removes harmful plaque and gingivitis before is develops into periodontal disease. Not only can preventative procedures stop issues from arising, it is also a great way to save money! In fact, studies have shown that for every $1 spent on preventative dental care, you’d spend $8 to $50 on restorative care.

Let’s have a great 2015!

Good oral health habits not only promote healthy teeth and a beautiful smile, it also contributes to your overall health. You owe a lot to your teeth and gums! Do them a favor this New Year by practicing excellent dental health habits and smile big in 2015!

If we can answer any questions or help in any way, visit our website at to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

Your Friends at Brunner Family Dental


Hello Friends!

Here’s some more valuable information from Delta Dental’s Mouth Matters Information Series:

Taking good care of your teeth and gums may be a key factor to good heart health.  Studies have shown that both periodontal (gum) disease and heart disease have similar underlying causes including age, tobacco use, genetics, stress, medications, poor nutrition and obesity.*

However, another casual factor is the build up of dental plaque over time.  Gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease, occurs when bacteria in the mouth grow into plaque, causing inflammation and bleeding in the gums.*  When left untreated, the plaque can spread below the gum line, allowing bacteria to enter the bloodstream.  Due to the inflammation and the spread to the bloodstream, it’s believed that there is an increased risk for other systemic diseases such as heart disease.**

But here’s the good news!  you can reduce your risk of heart disease and periodontal disease by simply practicing good oral health habits every day.  Regular brushing, flossing and dental visits are more important than ever for your mouth, heart and general overall wellness.

Do you or someone you know have dental concerns?  Have you noticed any of the following?

– Gums that bleed easily

– Red, swollen, tender gums

– Gums that have pulled away from the teeth

– Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth

– Permanent teeth that are loose or separating

– Any change in the way the teeth are biting together

– Any change in the fit of partial dentures

Did you know?

More than 70% of Americans 65 and older have periodontitis 9an advanced stage of gingivitis).*

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about your dental health, please give us a call or visit us at  We’d be happy to help.


Your friends at Brunner Family Dental

* American Academy of Periodontology. Gum disease and Heart Disease,, accessed June 2013

** Van Dyke TE, van Winkelhoff AJ: Infection and Inflammatory mechanisms. J Periodontol 84, S1-S7 (2013)

Delta Dental of Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, and Tennessee

Hello Friends!
     Do you or someone you know need dentures?  Have you ever wondered what is involved in the process?  Below is the latest info shared in our October patient newsletter.

Benefits of Dentures

Is your smile missing some teeth? If so, you’re not alone! Almost 70 percent of American adults between the ages of 35 and 55 have lost at least one of their natural teeth. Tooth loss can be due to an accident, tooth decay, injury or gum disease. The good news though, is that there are affordable, aesthetically pleasing options available to replace missing teeth.

There are different types of dentures, but ultimately we will decide between partial and full dentures to restore your smile. Partial dentures are used to replace groups of teeth or a few teeth across the lower or upper jaw. These dentures attach to remaining teeth and have a gum-colored portion meant to blend into the existing gum. Full dentures are used for total tooth replacement for either upper or lower teeth and, in some cases, both.

Who needs dentures?

Dentures are not just for elderly patients. Patients of any age may lose some or all of their teeth and may require a denture of some sort. If your jawbone is unhealthy, or you have extensive gum disease, full or partial dentures may be your best choice. Full dentures are typically placed about 12 weeks after unhealthy teeth have been removed. People who wear dentures enjoy the following advantages:

  • Dentures are often covered by dental insurance
  • Dentures are a safer option for those with unstable jawbones or other medical conditions
  • No surgery = No risk!
  • Dentures are adjustable and can be altered if needed

How are dentures made?

The denture process takes about one to two months to complete. Once our team determines what type of appliance fits you best, we will complete the following steps:

  • Create a series of impressions of the jaw and take measurements of how the jaws relate to one another
  • Create models, wax forms and/or plastic patterns in the same shape and position of the denture to be made
  • Cast a final denture
  • Fit the denture in the patient’s mouth and make adjustments

If you have suffered the loss of your teeth, it is important to consider the many benefits of dentures. If you are concerned that you might need dentures in the future, there are preventative steps you can take by visiting the dentist and receiving regular preventative dental care while also practicing proper oral hygiene techniques at home.

As always, if you have any questions about your health care you would like more information, visit our website at or call 734.878.3167 to schedule a complimentary consultation with the doctor.


Your friends at Brunner Family Dental

This newsletter/website is not intended to replace the services of a doctor. It does not constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Information in this newsletter/website is for informational purposes only & is not a substitute for professional advice. Please do not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating any condition.

Hello Friends!

So obviously we all know that flossing is important, right?  But did you know that it is essential for young children as well?  As soon as your child has two teeth that touch, flossing should start.  Here’s some great reminders from Delta Dental of Michigan:

While a toothbrush does a good job cleaning most parts of the tooth, the bristles can’t always get those “hard to reach” areas between the teeth.  This is where flossing makes a big difference.

There are many types of floss to choose from, so check the type and find out what works best for your child.

Dental floss can be:

Waxed or unwaxed

Flavored or unflavored

Regular or wide 

Floss even comes pre-threaded on fun, colorful animal shapes that are easy to handle.  These may appeal to kids who have difficulty working with traditional floss.


* Dental floss should be used at least once a day

* When flossing, kids should start in the same place in the mouth and work their way around so no spots are missed

* If there is soreness or a bit of blood at first, kids shouldn’t give up.  The bleeding will go away the more a child flosses.  This will be a sign that the gums are getting healthier.  If bleeding doesn’t stop, see a dentist.

Brushing teeth twice a day is a great way for your kids to keep their mouth and teeth healthy.  Dental floss can work hand-in-hand with their toothbrush to get the job done.

There are lots of fun ways to teach your kids about oral health.  Visit for books, videos, coloring pages and science activities.

As always, if you have any questions or would like more information, stop in or give us a call at 734.878.3167.

Have a great day!

Your friends at Brunner Family Dental

The Pitfalls of Poor Oral Hygiene

Maintaining proper oral hygiene techniques at home can mean the difference between a healthy, happy smile and a discolored, embarrassing one. So what can you do if you’re not happy with your smile? The answer is simple: visit your dentist regularly. Then, while you’re there, ask the right questions. Ask them what kind of toothbrush you should use, how to floss properly and whether or not you should be using any special appliances or tools. You can search all over the internet for proper oral hygiene techniques, but in reality, your dentist knows your history and can recommend the best products and behaviors to help maintain a healthy smile.

After your appointment, you need to apply those techniques to your everyday brushing routine. Here’s an idea of how you can improve your oral hygiene at home:

Brush twice a day – Brushing is great for your teeth and gums. It is recommended that you brush after every meal and right before you go to bed.
Floss once a day – Making sure to floss before you go to bed is one of the best ways to maintain healthy gums.
Preventative care – Patients are recommended to visit their dentist at least twice a year. Preventative treatments allow your doctor to monitor and treat any possible problems.
Stay clean – Clean your toothbrush regularly and understand when to replace an overused toothbrush.
Healthy teeth are not just white; they are thoroughly cleaned and have no cavities or bacteria buildup. Healthy gums are pink and firm, they should never bleed while brushing. If you do not maintain a regular brushing or flossing routine, you might notice that your teeth have become discolored, your gums bleed easily and plaque has built up in the small, hard to reach areas of your mouth.

Plaque is a sticky combination of bacteria and food that begins to accumulate on your teeth within 20 minutes of your last meal. If you do not clean your teeth well enough, plaque will build up and eventually develop into tartar. Untreated tartar buildup can lead to serious periodontal issues. These conditions include:

Cavities – Small holes that damage the structure of your teeth and often cause pain after eating sweet, hot or cold foods and drinks.
Gingivitis – Swollen, inflamed and bleeding gums. This is treatable through various professional cleaning procedures.
Periodontal Disease (gum disease) – If gingivitis goes untreated, it can lead to gum disease. This condition causes the destruction of the bone and ligaments that support the teeth, often leading to tooth loss.
Halitosis (bad breath) – Bad breath that is most commonly related to poor oral hygiene and is caused by the release of sulphur compounds by bacteria in the mouth.


Ever wonder about baby teeth?  What’s normal development?  How should you treat a cavity in a baby tooth?  When should you worry?  Here are some myths and facts with regards to baby teeth:

Myth # 1

     Baby teeth don’t matter, because they’re going to fall out anyway.


     Unhealthy baby teeth can mean unhealthy permanent teeth, since bacteria can be passed down from one top tooth to the one waiting underneath.

Myth # 2

     A baby’s oral health isn’t a big deal until the first tooth appears.


     Healthy gums are just as important as healthy teeth – babies’ gums need to be cleaned after every meal.

Myth # 3

     Baby teeth have no effect on permanent teeth.


     Baby teeth can have a huge impact on how permanent teeth come in.  These 20 “temporary teeth” help make adequate space in the mouth for the 32 permanent teeth.  If some are missing because they had to be pulled, it could result in “crowded” permanent teeth.  The spacing and structure of primary teeth also help children develop clear speech, chew certain foods such as crunchy celery and carrots.  

Myth # 4

     Dentist appointments can wait a few years


     Babies should visit the dentist within six months of the eruption of their first tooth or by the age of one year for an assessment of growth and development.

If you ever have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s dental care or would like to schedule a visit, give us a call at 734-878-3167 or at

The above information was referenced from a great article by Sally Rummel printed in the Healthy Teeth/Healthy Body publication July 13, 2014 






Welcome to Summer!

There are so many reasons to enjoy summer – great food, drinks and activities.  However, many of our summertime favorites could cause issues with your teeth.  Here are some of the most common:

1) Acidic drinks like lemonade or other citrus fruit drinks can wear away tooth enamel, making it thinner over time.  The addition of sugar can also lead to decay.  While no one wants to give up something as wonderful as a tall glass of cool delicious lemonade, a good solution is to swish with water after consuming a glass instead of slow sipping all day long.

2) Snacks: Blueberries, blackberries, cherries, pomegranates and other brightly-colored fruits, while rich in anti-oxidants are potential tooth-staining culprits.  Again, rinsing well with water after eating helps a lot.  If your cocktails contain these stain-inducing berries, sip through a straw to keep from splashing your teeth with every swig.  Keep in mind that hot beverages stain worse than cold ones.  

3) Gap-fillers: Foods like corn-on-the-cob getting stuck in your teeth can be more than just a nuisance, it can force teeth to separate, creating gaps that attract more food to collect.  Wedged food can lead to tooth decay.  Be sure to floss immediately, and be especially wary of hard seeds and nuts, popcorn and dense meats like steak.   

4) Sticky Foods: BBQ sauce, S’mores and taffy are all sticky and loaded in sugar.  Bacteria thrive in an environment that contains sugar.  The stickiness allows the sugar to remain attached to the enamel for longer periods of time.  Again, drinking water is a good idea to flush the area. 

5) Pool water Chlorine damages tooth enamel and bonding work by drying them out and stripping essential minerals.  Regular swimmers may want to keep their mouths closed in the pool, and the ocean as well.  Salt water can dry the mouth, slowing the flow of saliva.  Again, a fresh water swish will help wash out the chemicals and salt and get the saliva flowing.

Basically, the bottom line is to enjoy those summer goodies, but do so sensibly:)

Happy Summer!!!

Your friends at Brunner Family Dental


I’d like to thank Amanda Schupak for the above information excerpted from her article “Are Your Teeth Under Attack?” on


Hello Friends!

With back to school time fast approaching, it’s a great time to get your children’s dental health on track with a checkup. Dr. Brunner and Dr. Prast suggest making a tooth exam and cleaning part of your back to school routine.

The dentist should be on your  “to-do” list.  Often, physical exams and hearing and eye tests for kids are scheduled at the start of each new school year; a dentist visit should be on that schedule too. In fact, according to the American Dental Association, dental exams are as important to kids as getting booster shots.  Here’s why:

*Tooth pain can be more involved than it appears.  It has been reported that over half of all children between the ages of 5 and 9 have at least one cavity or filling. If your child has a cavity and the pain that comes with it, they’ll also have a tough time eating, speaking and even focusing on classroom activities or homework—and often their teachers don’t recognize what’s going on. They may also miss school and become depressed or fatigued. Your dentist can help.

*Kids are prone to tooth trauma.  It’s common to see children who have dental injuries. If your child’s play style is rough and tumble or they are involved in sports, getting a mouth guard is a great preventive step. They’re available at most sporting goods store or can be custom fit in our office.  Prevention is key.

* Taking your child to the dentist on a regular basis serves several purposes—it helps the dentist take other preventive steps, like applying a dental sealant, against tooth decay; it can help ease your child’s apprehensions about visiting the dentist; and it reveals issues that can be treated early, when damage can be fixed and painful or chronic conditions avoided.

Give our office a call and we’d be happy to schedule an appointment or discuss any concerns.  We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer:)

Your friends at Brunner Family Dental




It is surprising how many people in the general public have total misconceptions regarding dental insurance and dental care in general. Some of these misconceptions include:

  • I am self-employed and have no dental insurance; therefore I don’t go to the dentist unless I have a problem.
  • I can only do what my insurance plan covers. If it is not covered, I must not need it      
  • I would never spend a lot of money on my teeth. I’ll just get them all pulled so I’ll quit having dental problems.
  • My husband’s /wife’s company just changed insurance plans. I must find a new dentist because Dr. X is not on the plan’s list of providers.

Hopefully, the questions and answers below will help to clear up the above listed misconceptions.

Pertinent Answers Regarding Dental Insurance

Q: Our Company just changed benefit plans. I really like my dentist. Does this mean I must change to one of the dentists on the provider lists?

A: In most cases, the patients have choices of WHO provides their care. The only thing that changes for these patients is the way in which their accounts are paid. The practices most often still file the claim forms as a courtesy. Using electronic claims gives a faster turnaround of the funds directly to the patients or the office. The patient is then only responsible for the portion their insurance company does not pay. In some treatments, there is a difference in co-payments paid by the patients. This amount varies by policy. In our office, we will gladly contact the insurance company for the patient and relay the benefit details so that each patient can make an informed decision.

Q: I’m self-employed and do not have dental insurance; therefore I don’t go to the dentist unless I have a problem. Isn’t this the norm for most people who don’t have dental insurance?
A: This misconception by patients is one of the biggest problems dental practices face. Dental insurance is an appeasement benefit, which in most cases is minimal. The annual maximum allowable benefit has not changed on most plans in over 30 years. Fees then were a third of what they are today. Oftentimes, the premiums paid by the patient or their employer cost more annually than their total benefit. If we didn’t have food insurance would we still eat? The answer to that is simple. Good dental health is as important as fueling one’s body, yet many people use being nondental-insured as their excuse to neglect their teeth. Preventive dentistry is not expensive, neglect is!

Q: I cannot/should not have anything done to my teeth that is not covered by my insurance plan, right?

A: Many patients use dental insurance as their crutch. They have the misconception that if it is not covered on their plan, it must not be a necessary treatment, or it is out of reach financially. Following the advice of a benefit plan company that is in business to save money by restricting care is an unwise decision. Listening to your dentist and dental health care team who are in business to save your natural teeth for a lifetime is a much wiser choice.

Q: Why doesn’t my insurance cover this?

A: Dental insurance is meant to be a partial reimbursement for basic preventive and basic restorative care.

Ninety-five percent of all adults need more than basic dentistry. Taking care of small dental problems before they develop into major dental emergencies is a goal every patient should have. Having a dentist who performs a comprehensive oral health examination and one who presents a complete treatment plan that will restore the mouth to an optimal level is key, regardless of who pays for the service. Unfortunately, the same people who complain about the fees involved in total dental care are often the same people who think nothing of buying big screen TVs, eating out several times per week, getting a new car or truck every other year and taking expensive vacations. Smart consumers know that you get what you pay for, and having your priorities in the right order includes making the choice to have a clean, healthy and attractive smile. Your health depends on it.

Your dentist is your partner in your oral health. If you have any questions or concerns, please give our office a call and we will be glad to help.

Your friends at

Brunner Family Dental


Source: adapted from an article by Linda L. Miles


So you’ve taken the time to make your dental appointment – now what?  Granted, making the call and showing up are often the biggest hurdles, but there are a few helpful hints to make the appointment as easy as possible.

What to bring to the appointment:

An updated list of all medications, over the counter drugs, vitamins and herbal supplements you are taking

An updated list of all medical conditions and allergies

The name and telephone number of your physician and health care providers

The name and contact information of your emergency contact, and the individual who can make decisions for you in case of emergency

Your dental insurance information and the preferred method of payment  

Dentures, partials and mouthguards – even if you aren’t wearing them

Questions or concerns about your teeth or mouth in general

If helpful, bring a friend or family member to support you:)

We want your experience in our office to be as comfortable as possible.  Do you get cold sitting in the dental chair?  We have blankets to make you more comfortable.  Does the sound of the drill bother you?  We have an ipod that may help distract you – or you may certainly bring your own if you prefer.  Please speak up so you don’t have to be uncomfortable unnecessarily.  If we can help, we will.

Also,  please allow yourself enough time when scheduling other appointments or activities before or after your appointment so you aren’t rushed either coming to or leaving from our office.  It’s hard to focus on making decisions regarding treatment scheduling if you are in a hurry.  It also helps to bring your calendar with you to help when scheduling your next appointment.

Be honest about your health habits, behaviors, finances and other concerns.  It’s always easier to work a problem before, rather than after.  

Do you have any suggestions that may make the dental experience easier?  We’d love to hear from you.  As always, if you are in the Pinckney area and would like to schedule an appointment, give us a call at 734.878.3167 or visit our website at