Seeking a beautiful smile? With three offices in Grand Haven, Ludington and Whitehall, MI, we are conveniently located all along the lakeshore. From traditional braces to Invisalign®, and clear esthetic braces, and appliances for growth modification, we offer all of the services you need. Our team will build an individualized treatment plan to help you achieve the smile of your dreams.
We’re your friendly smile experts!
New Patient Forms
Earn points for being on-time for your appointments, keeping your braces sparkling clean, and more. At your patient rewards hub, you can play interactive games, participate in contests, and spend your points on great rewards, like gift cards to your favorite stores and restaurants!
Click the button below to learn more about the program and our prizes!
How To Care For Your Braces
When you first have your braces put on, you may notice that as your teeth begin to move, they’re likely to be a little tender, and eating softer foods will help to minimize any discomfort you feel.
You’ll definitely want to avoid crunchy, sticky, chewy, and hard foods, but before long you’ll be eating all your favorite foods again. As long as you’re wearing braces, you will need to protect and keep them clean.
Decalcification is the irreversible white staining that occurs on teeth that have not been cared for properly. Drinking sugary beverages while in braces can contribute to this process, so make sure to rinse with water or brush after drinking sports drinks, milk, flavored water, energy drinks, or soda.
Dealing with Discomfort
Your braces are meant to move your teeth. When wires and bands are first placed, your mouth will probably be tender because the bone around the roots of your teeth is starting to change which allows the teeth to move. Over time your teeth will shift, and you’ll be more comfortable.
If you notice that your teeth are more wiggly than usual, this is expected. However, if you are concerned that a tooth is too wiggly, please call our office to address your concerns.
In general, discomfort can be treated with an over-the-counter pain medication and dental wax.
The cost of treatment will depend on the severity of the problem and the complexity of treatment. We want to work with you to make the smile you deserve a reality. For your convenience, we offer flexible in-house payment plans and financing through CareCredit.
If payment is made in full at the onset of treatment, we offer a discount.
Discounts are given for additional family members who begin treatment.
For your convenience we accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover.
If you have insurance, we will help you determine your coverage and file the paperwork with your insurance company. A payment plan can be arranged for any remaining balance. Our team will assist you in filing your claim and handling any insurance questions on your behalf. If at any time during treatment you have changes to your coverage, please let us know.
The appointment to place your appliances (braces, expanders, etc.) will usually take between 1 to 1.5 hours. You will then see us every 5 to 6 weeks for an adjustment. Your regular adjustment appointments usually take 15 to 30 minutes.
It’s very important that you see Dr. Charnley regularly, as he carefully monitors your progress and oral hygiene to ensure your results are ideal. If you delay or miss appointments, you may extend the treatment time.
If you are unable to keep your appointment, please notify us as soon as possible. Rescheduling can be difficult because most appointments will be made 5 to 6 weeks in advance. If you do need to cancel your appointment due to an emergency or contagious illness, we will do our best to reschedule you in a timely manner.
When rescheduling, prime appointment slots (between 7:30-8:30 and 2:30-4:00) are typically unavailable.
True orthodontic emergencies are rare. If something comes loose, don’t be alarmed; this happens occasionally. As a general rule, you should call our office when you experience pain or have something wrong with an appliance that you can not take care of yourself. We will be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.
You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to solve many problems yourself temporarily until you can get to our office. Please see our PDF to walk you through some quick, temporary repairs.
After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. You will want to save any loose brackets or wires and bring them in with you for your repair.
In the event of an emergency, please immediately call our office number 616-842-8820. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions to your treatment plan and lengthening your care.
Congratulations on your new beautiful smile! Here’s your next step: Retainers.
Retainers are designed to hold your teeth in their corrected position throughout your lifetime. Unfortunately, our teeth continue to move over time whether you had braces or not, and if you want to continue to benefit from your beautiful smile it needs to be held that way. Luckily as the bone structure around the roots of the teeth firm up, the amount per day you will need to wear the retainers will reduce. Eventually, wearing your retainers one night per week is usually adequate to prevent the slow movement from the the bite forces.
The most important things to remember are:
- Your retainers are only effective if they are in your mouth! Wear them 16-24 hours per day or as directed by Dr. Charnley (Nights are not enough). Take them out when eating and brushing. You do not need to wear your retainers to school and/or work.
- Seat retainers using your fingers. Do not bite into position. Do not remove with your tongue.
- Keep them clean! Your retainers may be cleaned with a toothbrush and toothpaste and warm water. You don’t need to soak them in water when you aren’t wearing. Do not boil the retainer to clean.
- You may use clear denture cleaner or orthodontic appliance cleaner, such as Kleenite, Retainer Brite, etc., which you can purchase at your local store. We recommend this once a month or every other month. Only leave it in the solution for 5 mins (despite packaging instructions).
- Remove retainers to eat or to brush. Do not chew gum while wearing retainers.
- Keep them in your retainer case when they’re not in your mouth. Retainers are pretty easy to lose track of if they aren’t in their case, and pets really like them. If you lose your retainer, or it no longer fits, please call our office.
- There will be a charge to replace damaged or lost retainers.
- Please bring your retainers to your appointments.
If you have any questions, please call our office at 616-842-8820.