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Chronic backaches, hip fractures, and osteoporosis — these are problems generally associated with adults as they age. What if you could turn back time and lessen the likelihood of some of these maladies? The truth is that skeletal health begins in childhood. By the time a man is 20 and a woman is 18, their peak bone mass has already been reached, according to the National Institutes of Health. That means the time to focus on building better bones is during childhood, when healthy nutritional and lifestyle habits can make a tremendous difference later in life. While some factors affecting bone mass are genetic, such as gender and race, others — such as nutritional status and physical activity — are controllable. Getting the right amount of calcium is essential for bone growth, as are exercises that focus on weight-bearing areas such as the hips during walking, and on the arms during weight-lifting.
A child’s good health is dependent on many factors. In this section, experts in the areas of dentistry, podiatry, orthodontics, and exercise weigh in on issues that make an impact on children’s health. Make no bones about it, a lifetime of good health begins in childhood.
Cosmetic Dentistry Institute
Q: WHAT IS INVISALIGN AND WHY IS IT SOMETIMES A BETTER OPTION THAN TRADITIONAL BRACES?
A: Traditional metal braces aren’t always the best option for older teens who may be sensitive about their appearance. They want straighter-looking teeth, but not at the “social” expense of wearing traditional braces in high school.
The Invisalign system uses a series of clear, paper-thin plastic aligners to shift teeth into place. Patients change the computer-calculated aligners about every two weeks. The beauty of Invisalign is that students can remove their appliances to eat, brush and drink, and keep their teeth cleaner than if they have regular braces. While the invisible aligners usually go unnoticed by friends and family, they can be removed for special occasions like an important stage performance or a good-night kiss after a date.
The cost is comparable to traditional braces, but Invisalign may be a better option for those students who may have needed braces in middle school, yet for whatever reason did not get them. Once students reach high school age, they are far happier with the invisibility of Invisalign. Studies have shown that parents shouldn’t ignore displeasing elements that adolescents bring to their attention, including things like dark, blotchy, or crooked teeth. The psychological and aesthetic component is often as important as the health of the teeth and the beauty of the smile. Invisalign invisible braces have proven an excellent choice for teens with busy after-school schedules who desire hasslefree orthodontics. Invisalign is also a preferred choice for adults who need braces, and treatment usually takes a year or less.
Dr. Craig Goldin is an experienced Invisalign provider who has actually performed cases at the request of Align Technology Inc., the manufacturer of Invisalign.
At the Cosmetic Dentistry Institute, we provide every phase of general dentistry with the same passion, gentle care, and dedication to excellence that we bring to our more complex procedures.
Q: HOW CAN AN INTERDISCIPLINARY TEAM HELP ADDRESS A VARIETY OF AREAS IN MY CHILD’S DEVELOPMENT?
A: If your child displays delays in gross or fine motor skills, speech delay or difficulty, toe-walking, torticollis, feeding issues, or even scoliosis, our team can help. A parent’s gut feelings about difficulties their child is having are always valid and deserve an evaluation by our team of dedicated, pediatric specialized therapists. Children MAY outgrow their difficulties, but education empowers both parent and child to play and exercise differently, depending on their unique issue. For example, poor handwriting — from light, wispy writing to forceful, laborious writing — is often the result of weak core muscles and shoulder girdle muscles. Strengthening these muscles can change handwriting from a struggle to an enjoyable activity.
Parents often notice scoliosis when kids are in their teens. “Waiting and seeing” if it will get worse, wondering whether surgery will be required, and recognizing that it will never go away are heavy burdens. Our therapists are trained in a specialized approach to scoliosis, called Schroth scoliosis therapy, and can offer an exercise method that works alongside orthopedic doctors and braces (if necessary). Toe-walking is another common pediatric issue that parents wonder if their child will ever outgrow. Our therapists are trained to help the child get off their toes, thereby making them safer and stronger.
Finally, delays in speech, gross, or fine motor development, or feeding difficulties, can be helped, too. Balance problems and the inability to ride a two-wheeler don’t need to be accepted as the norm. With strength training and therapeutic play, parents can become empowered to help their child advance and keep up better with their peers.
Q: MY CHILD MAY HAVE A CONCUSSION. WHAT DO I DO?
A: For student athletes, 2010 marked the year when a new concussion protocol was adopted by the Michigan High School Athletic Association. This states that any athlete “who exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion (such as loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, confusion or balance problems) shall be immediately removed from the contest and shall not return to play until cleared by an appropriate health care professional.”
Concussion treatment usually involves rest and relaxation, and recovery is gradual. Depending on the symptoms, and how many other injuries your child has experienced prior to this, your child’s doctor may order an MRI to determine if there is internal damage. The MRI is the foundation on which your doctor bases a diagnosis. It’s a detailed picture of your body — or, in this case, your child’s brain — used to determine if there is neural damage. MRI is becoming more important in the evaluation of a concussion. It may be ordered to gain a baseline status if a child’s initial injury was severe, as comparisons can be made with subsequent tests to determine any subtle changes in the brain. Oakland MRI’s premier technology ensures that your physician gets the most accurate picture possible, and our protocol includes all the sequences necessary to diagnose not just the acute traumatic changes, but also white matter injury, which is responsible for the late effects of concussions. Interpretations of scans are prompt and precise, and done by board-certified radiologists.
Oakland MRI offers convenient scheduling, including same-day, next-day, and Saturday appointments. Because injuries don’t happen on a schedule, and often occur on weekends, Oakland MRI has late hours up to 11 p.m., and all day Saturdays, to accommodate any schedule.
Pilates Fitness & Physical Therapy Center
Q: HOW CAN PILATES-BASED PHYSICAL THERAPY HELP MY STUDENT ATHLETE?
A: Injuries in sports happen whether it’s a high-contact, high-competitive sport or a weekend pick-up game between friends. With more intensive sports programs and yearround competition becoming the norm, student athletes are more vulnerable to injuries. It’s important to carefully select a rehabilitation program for growing bodies. Treatment for children is different than it is for adults, as the musculoskeletal system is still growing. Pilates Fitness and Physical Therapy treats young athletes using a multifaceted approach including: A comprehensive injury evaluation; a custom rehabilitation program using Pilates-based methodology; addressing muscle imbalances; and working on strength, mobility, flexibility, balance, and proprioception as needed for the athlete’s chosen sport.
The student will be ready to safely return to his or her sport stronger, more body-aware, and with information they can use to prevent future injuries. Athletes, coaches, and parents should also consider a mind-body cross-training program to prevent injuries before they happen. Pilates and GYROTONIC methods are excellent for young bodies in motion, as they promote body awareness and train smaller muscle groups to prevent injuries. Pilates Fitness and Physical Therapy Center offers private training and group classes.
Q: WHY IS INVISALIGN A GOOD CHOICE FOR TEENS AND STUDENT ATHELETES?
A: The Invisalign system uses a series of thin, clear aligners that are changed every two weeks to move teeth into place. Teens can remove the appliance to eat and brush their teeth, so there are no food restrictions and oral hygiene is smooth-sailing. In our practice, student athletes will typically keep their aligners in place during play because they don’t interfere with speech and provide added protection to their smiles. This is especially important in sports like soccer and basketball, where mouth guards are rarely worn. With no wires and brackets to loosen and cause mouth irritations, Invisalign is a very comfortable and convenient alternative to traditional braces.
Mindy Salzberg-Siegel, D.D.S., PC
Q: HOW DO I KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME FOR MY CHILD TO VISIT AN ORTHODONTIST?
A: Your dentist will suggest an orthodontist if there are obvious issues such as misaligned bite, speech difficulties, mouth breathing, or pain when chewing. These are all signs that immediate attention is needed. Your dentist will be watching for signs such as a cross bite or skeletal issues at each visit, and might recommend a visit as early as age 7 or 8. Typically an orthodontist is recommended after the permanent teeth have erupted. The idea of waiting until middle and high school isn’t always the best, because by then it’s more difficult to make corrections in the bite. When an orthodontist visit takes place earlier, it allows more time for treatment, if needed, and also takes advantage of the flexibility of the palate and teeth. Left unaddressed, problems in the mouth can affect the rest of the body and have serious effects on lifelong overall health. It’s important to discuss your child’s dental health with his or her dentist from an early age, and seek advice on finding a board-certified orthodontist who will be able make the right decision for your child’s dental health.
Nature’s Alternative – Medical Cannabis Provisioning Center
Q: CAN MEDICAL CANNABIS SERVE AS A VIABLE THERAPEUTIC OPTION FOR PEDIATRIC PATIENTS SEEKING RELIEF FROM THEIR MEDICAL CONDITIONS?
A: At Nature’s Alternative, we handle a number of pediatric patients utilizing medical cannabis to help manage a range of different ailments. A few of our young patients suffer from seizure disorders, such as Dravet Syndrome, where patients often suffer multiple debilitating seizures on a daily basis. Those patients have found the most relief utilizing medical cannabis products higher in cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabidiol has shown to be helpful at reducing the frequency and severity of seizures, without the “high” associated with tetrahydracannabinol (THC). Nature’s Alternative offers a CBD-rich, infused olive oil preparation, known as Cannabiotix, which contains a high ratio of CBD relative to THC. Cannabiotix products are available in various ratios, so patients can find the blend that gives them the greatest relief from their symptoms.
Pediatric patients suffering from severe pain or spasmodic disorders may require more THC to effectively control their symptoms. For those patients we offer various edible forms of cannabis, such as capsules and lozenges, which include higher levels of THC, relative to CBD.