The Top 5 Things Moms Need To Know About Orthodontics

As a mom, you most likely find yourself wearing multiple hats each day, from cook to chauffeur and everything in between. However, there’s one hat you shouldn’t have to wear just because you’re a mother – that of an orthodontist. You may be a pro at juggling work, school, extracurriculars, and the occasional special event, but your child’s oral health requires expert advice and guidance. That’s where Grubaugh Orthodontics comes in!

Experienced orthodontists go through years of additional training after dental school in order to become highly-trained specialists in tooth movement, facial growth, and dental development. This extra training and experience are what make orthodontists the best bet for giving your child a lasting smile that looks and feels great.

You may not be an expert on orthodontics like Dr. Grubaugh, but we still want you to feel confident in your choice to seek orthodontic care for your child. Treatment is a big investment in their oral health and their smile, so let’s look at some of the important things you should know about orthodontics before you get started!

(Is your child age 7 or above? Click here to schedule their FREE orthodontic evaluation!)

Orthodontics is about more than creating straight smiles

It’s a common misconception that orthodontics is focused exclusively on straightening smiles, but in reality, treatment addresses much more! Straight teeth aren’t the only indicator of a healthy smile, so orthodontics focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of malpositioned teeth and jaws. Orthodontists like Dr. Grubaugh know how to go beyond the surface of a smile to examine a patient’s teeth, the movement and growth of their jaw, and the way the teeth are developing. This gives them the opportunity to catch any impacted, missing, or overcrowded teeth that may otherwise go unnoticed – at least until they begin causing problems!

Grubaugh assistant talking to a patient's mom

Children should have an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7

Orthodontics tends to be associated with teens, so it often comes as a surprise to learn that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends kids have their first orthodontic exam by about the age of 7. Yes, even though their mouths are still developing, and yes, even though they still have a mix of baby and permanent teeth. That’s actually the point! When we see children around this age, we can pick up on potential problems before they become a bigger deal. This can lessen or eliminate any negative impact on your child’s permanent teeth and bite.

Because we treat many young patients at Grubaugh Orthodontics, we’ve seen time and again the difference preventive care can make. Starting treatment at the right time can have a big impact on a child’s oral health! Even though most children won’t require any active treatment, an early exam lets us check for a number of issues to determine if and when orthodontic treatment is indicated.

Pick an orthodontic office you and your child are comfortable with

Depending on the type of treatment, most orthodontic patients will need to be seen every 6-8 weeks or so throughout the process. Since you’ll be spending quite a bit of time there, it’s important to find an office you feel comfortable with. Our Lansing and DeWitt offices are state-of-the-art facilities, full of fun for kids and adults alike! With the latest technology and most innovative treatment options, you can be sure you’re getting the most efficient treatment and best results possible, all in a relaxing, friendly environment.

For your convenience, we offer late appointments on Monday and Tuesday evenings, as well as early appointments on Thursday mornings. We’re also conveniently located so you can get back to work, school, or home as soon as possible after your child’s appointment. Our team is committed to creating a positive, stress-free experience from your first appointment with us to your last – and beyond!

There are multiple treatment options available

At Grubaugh Orthodontics, we combine innovative technology with cutting-edge techniques to help patients of all ages achieve a straighter, healthier smile. We offer the following treatments in our Lansing and DeWitt offices.

Traditional metal braces

Metal braces are composed of high-quality stainless steel brackets, wires, and bands. These work together to gently guide the teeth into the desired positions over time. Today’s braces are smaller, lighter, and more comfortable than ever before, and can even be personalized by choosing elastics from wide variety of fun colors!

Traditional metal braces still tend to be the most widely used orthodontic treatment, and for good reason.They’re a reliable, efficient, and cost-effective option for straightening smiles and improving oral health. Metal braces can be especially useful in cases that are more severe or complicated.

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces, sometimes referred to as clear braces, utilize the same components as traditional braces, but the brackets are made of a translucent ceramic material. This blends in with the natural color of your teeth, and when paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored elastics and ties, offers patients a discrete treatment option. Current ceramic braces are often a little less durable than their metal counterparts, and are sometimes prone to breakage, so we generally only recommend them for older teens and adults.

Damon system braces

Unlike traditional braces that use elastic ties, Damon System uses self-ligating brackets.  Each one has a built-in door that holds the wire passively to the bracket. Additional attachments like ligature ties and elastic rubber o-ties aren’t needed to hold the wire, which decreases friction so less force is required to move teeth. This allows us to use lighter and more biologically compatible forces, minimizing the need for extractions of permanent teeth, headgear, and high force palatal expanders (RPE).

Damon braces are precise and effective, and can reduce the need for some of the more time-consuming procedures that can come with traditional braces. Due to the unique design of the Damon system, teeth can be moved into their correct positions with less discomfort and faster results. Because the braces are small, comfortable, and easy to keep clean, they can be an excellent option for patients of all ages!

Invisalign clear aligner therapy

Instead of relying on metal or ceramic brackets and wires, Invisalign uses a series of clear, customized aligners to move the teeth over time. These aligners are nearly invisible and completely removable, giving patients extra freedom and flexibility. Because they’re composed of a soft but strong thermoplastic resin, patients avoid some of the friction and abrasions that braces can cause. As the teeth begin to shift, the aligners are changed out every 1-2 weeks to keep up with the movements.

Unlike braces, Invisalign relies almost entirely on patient compliance to work properly. The aligners must be worn a minimum of 20-22 hours every day, throughout the course of treatment. The Invisalign system tends to work best for mild to moderate orthodontic issues, so it may not always be a suitable choice for patients with more severe or complicated cases.

Dr. Grubaugh talking to a patient and her mom

Treatment times vary

When it comes to how long a patient will be in braces or aligners, there is no “one size fits all” answer. That’s because every patient has their own unique smile, and responds to treatment in their own way. The length of time your child will require treatment will vary based on their own specific case. Other factors will include the severity of the problem, the health of their teeth, gums, and supporting bone, and how compliant they are. On average, however, braces tend to be worn for about 12 to 24 months, while Invisalign treatment averages about 12 to 18 months.

Give your child the gift of a lifelong smile with Grubaugh Orthodontics

We know that you want nothing but the best for your child, including a beautiful, healthy smile that will last a lifetime. If you’re in Lansing, DeWitt, or any of the surrounding communities and want to explore more about orthodontics for your child, get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation! We’d love to meet you both, and get your child on the road to a smile they’ll want to share with the world!

Nutrition and Oral Health

It’s no secret that a balanced diet is important to our overall health. But did you know that what you eat and drink can also directly affect the health of your teeth and gums?

Here at Grubaugh Orthodontics, straightening smiles is only one part of what we do. We want to help you improve your oral health, too! Orthodontic treatment is one way to achieve that, but eating a nutritious diet also plays an important role in the process. Let’s take a look at how good foods can protect your teeth, how a poor diet can affect them, and what you should be eating in order to maintain a healthy, happy mouth.

A healthy diet will give you something to smile about

Nutrition affects our oral health before we’re even born. All the calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, and protein that an expectant mother takes in helps a baby’s teeth begin to form and mineralize properly. Our teeth continue to develop and mineralize throughout the teen years, and over the course of our life, our oral tissues are constantly recycling. A variety of nutrients are necessary to support this process successfully.

Good nutrition is not only a building block of oral health, it’s also a preventative measure. Nutritional deficiencies can reduce your resistance to dental disease and inhibit your body’s ability to fight certain types of infection. Your diet can help prevent tooth decay and enamel erosion….or it can contribute to it! Human mouths are naturally hospitable to all different kinds of bacteria, some of which are helpful, and some that are harmful.

Many of the harmful microorganisms thrive on the sugar in your diet. As they process this sugar, the bacteria produce acids that can eat into the enamel of your teeth, forming the small holes better known as cavities. If left untreated, tooth decay can worsen. It may become painful, and can cause teeth to loosen or even fall out eventually. This is one reason why you should do your best to avoid food and drinks with added sugar. While indulging in a sugar craving every now and then is okay as long as you’re brushing and flossing properly, fresh fruit can hit the spot in a much healthier way!

Grubaugh assistant with a patient

A healthy diet equals a healthy mouth

Fortunately, there is no evidence that the sugars that exist in whole grains, fruits, vegetable, and starch-rich staples like bread, rice, and potatoes are harmful to teeth. That’s good news since these can be excellent sources of vitamins and minerals! These foods benefit your overall health in a number of ways, but more specifically, they strengthen your teeth and help protect enamel. (They’re also safe for braces, if you wear them.) Here’s a brief breakdown on how healthier choices will give you a brighter, stronger smile.

Milk and other dairy products
Who doesn’t love cheese? Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt make excellent snacks, and also pack a punch of calcium that will help to keep your bones and teeth strong and healthy.

Whole grain bread and pastas

These items offer up complex carbohydrates that give bacteria less digestible food to grow. In addition, they possess a ton of nutrients to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Chicken, red meat, and fatty fish

Protein is the star of this show, but these foods also contain phosphorus, a vital component in strengthening your teeth and protecting the tooth enamel.

Fresh fruits and vegetables

Eating a rainbow of fruits and veggies is one of the best things you can do for your oral, and overall, health. Leafy greens, in particular, contain high amounts of magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium and magnesium, all minerals that are instrumental in improving and maintaining oral health.


Sodas, juices, and sports drinks may be delicious, but they are notorious for leaving behind sugars that bacteria flock to. As the bacteria devours this sugar, it produces acid that eat away at the enamel of your teeth. Sodas and juices can also have phosphoric, citric, or malic acids  added to them, which can compound enamel erosion.

Plain water, however, is wonderful for your oral health! It protects your mouth by washing away any leftover food and debris that bad bacteria are looking for, and also  dilutes the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. It’s also useful for reducing bad breath and relieving dry mouth. While drinking water throughout the day is no substitute for your oral hygiene routine, it can go a long way towards keeping your mouth clean and cavity-free!

Dr. Grubaugh speaking with patients

What’s the best healthy diet for you?

The best diet will vary from person to person, depending mainly on age, gender, height, weight, and fitness, but most people will benefit from the following concepts.


No single food, drink, or shake can meet all of the daily nutrient requirements. Eating a variety of foods and washing them down with water not only help you hit nutritional milestones, they also make mealtimes more interesting!


To maintain a balanced diet, aim to eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups daily, including:

  • whole grains
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • lean sources of protein such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish, dry beans, peas, and other legumes
  • dairy foods

Limit the number of snacks you eat, and when you do indulge, try to choose something healthy, such as a fruit, vegetable, or a piece of cheese.


Speaking of, there’s a reason to keep a lid on excess snacking! It’s not just what you eat that affects the level of acidity in your mouth, when you’re eating matters, too. Foods that are eaten as part of a meal actually cause less harm to the teeth than eating lots of snacks throughout the day, because more saliva is released during a meal. That saliva helps wash foods from the mouth and neutralizes the harmful acids being produced.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that foods and beverages should be consumed in the appropriate serving sizes whenever possible. This is especially important when it comes to items that are heavy on added sugar for the reasons outlined above.

Grubaugh Orthodontics can help you find your healthiest smile

It’s clear that what you choose to eat and drink can have a powerful impact on your oral health, for better or worse. While orthodontic treatment with Grubaugh Orthodontics can align your mouth and jaw and give you a straighter smile, adopting a healthier diet is an easy way for you to improve your oral health and your overall health, too!

If you’re in Lansing, DeWitt, or the surrounding areas, and want to learn more about how nutrition can give you a happy mouth and sparkling smile, get in touch with us today! We’re always happy to educate patients on ways to improve oral hygiene at home.

Sell Grubaugh Orthodontics Your Girl Scout Cookies!

It’s Cookie Time!

ATTENTION GIRL SCOUTS- Grubaugh Orthodontics will BUY 1 case of cookies from any Greater Lansing Area troop interested in visiting our office and taking a picture  with our team! SO what will we be doing with all of these cookies??? We will be delivering  them to local area first responders!

Three or more members of your troop will need to visit our Lansing or DeWitt office in full uniform and take a photo with us! – To schedule an order and time for a photo or any questions please email: [email protected] (please include troop #, city, and troop leader name).  We will email you back with a link to an electronic calendar so that you can schedule a time for your troop to come to our office.

Troop must be based out of Clinton, Ingham, Eaton, Ionia or Shiawassee counties.

Giving Thanks In 2018: A Recap Of Our Work In The Community This Year

“Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work.”

― William Arthur Ward

Here at Grubaugh Orthodontics, we are proud to provide top-quality orthodontic care to patients of all ages in Lansing, Dewitt, and surrounding areas. Yet, we stand for much more than creating beautiful smiles! Our practice regularly initiates and participates in volunteer opportunities and other activities designed to give back to the community within which we work and live. With Thanksgiving celebrated and the holiday season in full swing, we want to take a moment to share with you a recap of our efforts to make this little corner of the world a better place in 2018.

Dr. Grubaugh with a class

One Class At a Time

As a partnership program with WLNS News, One Class At a Time allows local teachers to apply for and win a $250 classroom grant. Dr. Grubaugh was able to surprise 3 classrooms every month throughout the 2017-2018 school year for a grand total of 27 grants. That’s almost $7K invested into the education of children in our community! Dr. Grubaugh deeply believes in the important role that our teachers play, and understands the impact they can have on a child’s future. He has continued to participate in the One Class At a Time program, and has already given 6 more grants for the 2018-2019 school year!

$1000 scholarships for St. John’s and Dewitt High Schools

In 2018, Dr. Grubaugh awarded 2 scholarships: a $1,000 Outstanding Mathematician Scholarship received by a graduating DeWitt High School senior, and a $1,000 scholarship received by a graduating St. John’s High School senior pursuing a degree in the STEM field. 

Dr. Grubaugh with a sports team

Supporting local sports teams

We love cheering on our local teams! This year, Grubaugh Orthodontics donated $2500 for the construction of a new batting cage for the Dewitt softball program and also sponsored a 5K run organized by the Dewitt cheer team to help raise funds for new team equipment. We also sponsored the Dewitt football team by purchasing pre-game meals in addition to stadium advertisements at DeWitt, St. Johns, and Waverly. These funds are used to purchase equipment for the teams.

Dr. Grubaugh with meals on wheels

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels America provides senior citizens with nutritious meals that are delivered right to their door. For the second year in a row, Team Grubaugh volunteered at our Mid-Michigan Meals on Wheels chapter to prepare meals for delivery to our local senior citizens in need. We also helped with cleaning the kitchen and delivery equipment.

Dr. Grubaugh being a super hero

SuperHero 5k Run

We’re fortunate to have a local organization like The Voice for Clinton County’s Children to advocate for children during a child abuse investigation process. Every year they organize the SuperHero 5k Run to help raise funds, and this year Grubaugh Orthodontics was a proud sponsor.

Grubaugh orthodontics staff

Generosity Feeds Event

Generosity Feeds works to feed hungry children in every county across America through packaged meals. Grubaugh Orthodontics sponsored a Generosity Feeds event at the DeWitt Middle School, and with the help of other volunteers, packaged 10,000 meals to feed local Mid-Michigan children!

Lansing Team Hope Walk/5k

The Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) is the premier nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of everyone affected by Huntington’s Disease. Grubaugh Orthodontics was a proud sponsor of Lansing’s Team Hope Walk/5k through the HDSA this past fall which raised funds to provide hope and support for those impacted by Huntington’s Disease through community services, education, advocacy, and research. 

Dr. Grubaugh raising money

Olivia’s Walk

The Olivia Kay Foundation is a homegrown non-profit organization founded right here in Dewitt.  Their mission is to improve the quality of life for children who have severe multiple impairments, as well as supporting their families and caregivers. Grubaugh Orthodontics was proud to be a 2018 GOLD sponsor for Olivia’s Walk, an annual event that brings the community together to raise funds and awareness for children with impairments. 

Leggo piggy bank

Lego Piggy Bank Donation for Small Talk Children’s Assessment Center

In 2018, Dr. Grubaugh launched his Lego Piggy Bank campaign. After designing his own custom Lego Piggy Bank, Dr. Grubaugh made them available exclusively to patients at our Lansing and Dewitt locations for $25 each. 100% of all funds raised through the sale of all piggy banks is donated straight to children’s charities in the Mid-Michigan area.

Only one month after launching the campaign, Dr. Grubaugh was able to donate $1000 to Small Talk Children’s Assessment Center! This local non-profit organization provides a comfortable and child-friendly atmosphere for children to receive services during the child abuse investigative process. This donation would not have been possible without the countless hours Dr. Grubaugh put into designing this custom Lego Piggy Bank, and the many purchases made by AMAZING patients like you. 

Dr. Grubaugh with the Harrison Mammography Endowment Fund

Harrison Mammography Endowment Fund

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Grubaugh Orthodontics proudly donated $361 to The Harrison Mammography Endowment Fund. This fund helps to provide breast cancer education and imaging services to women in the Mid-Michigan area. We had help from all of you on this one! The donation was made possible thanks to our patients participating in a super fun social media contest.

Capital Area Humane Society

Dr. Grubaugh loves animals, and is especially a big fan of dogs! The Capital Area Humane Society provides a safe haven for companion animals of all kinds, offering protection, placement, and educational services for animals in need. Their staff works hard to bring to life their vision of healthy, safe human-animal bonds in our community. Thanks to another social media contest, our awesome patients helped Grubaugh Orthodontics raise $368 to donate to the Capital Area Humane Society.

Giving Thanks with Grubaugh Orthodontics

Whatever your plans are for this holiday season, Grubaugh Orthodontics would like to encourage you to consider all that you’re grateful for, as well as the many ways you can create positive change in your community. Big or small, you never know the difference your actions can make in someone’s life. A special shout-out to all of our wonderful patients who participated and helped our efforts in giving back to our own community this year. Your support means the world to us, and we can’t wait to see what Grubaugh Orthodontics accomplishes in 2019!

Tailgate with Us 8/30/18

Stop by Grubaugh Orthodontics’ tailgate before the DeWitt Vs. Walled Lake Varsity football game on August 30th.

It’s open to the public and no RSVP is needed. There’ll be free Kona Ice and other giveaways!

Fascinating Facts About Animal Teeth

We talk a lot about teeth here on the Grubaugh Orthodontics blog, which isn’t surprising since it’s kind of our specialty! What you might be surprised to learn, however, is that even though the shapes and positions vary by species, people and animals have much the same makeup when it comes to teeth. All vertebrates have teeth, including us humans, and all those teeth are made up of a mix of calcium, phosphorus, and other assorted minerals. They are also specifically designed for what we eat. For example, herbivores like cows and koalas only eat plants, and have teeth that are good at tearing through leaves and grass. Carnivorous animals like lions and hyenas who only eat meat have teeth suited to hunting and killing. Humans are omnivorous, and over time, our teeth have adapted to a mix of incisors, molars, and canines that help us eat a wide variety of foods.

You may wonder why anyone would ever want to learn more about animal teeth, but the truth is, it can help us understand more about our own unique teeth! It can even inspire us to take better care of them. Grubaugh Orthodontics love teeth of all kinds, and we want to help you and your family appreciate your own smiles, and do your best to keep them healthy and strong. To help motivate you, we’ve put together some fun facts about animal teeth and how they compare to our own. Keep reading to learn more!

giraffe in the wild

Fun, Fascinating, and Fantastic Facts About Animal Teeth

Let’s start things by examining some teeth that are similar to our own. Giraffes have 32 teeth, just like us, but most of them are positioned in the back of their mouths. As a matter of fact, a giraffe doesn’t have any upper front teeth at all! Instead, they use their lips and very long tongues to grab leaves and twigs to eat, regurgitate them, and then they use all those back teeth to grind them up before swallowing.

Giraffes spend a good portion of their days finding and eating food, taking in over 100 lbs. of leaves daily. Can you imagine how many times we would need to brush our teeth daily if we ate that much? Fortunately for most animals, they don’t tend to get cavities the way us humans do. Their diets are naturally very low in sugar, and chewing on materials like bone or tree bark helps to keep their teeth clean. That said, not every animal is off the hook when it comes to poor oral health. Even though the extremely high pH in a dog’s saliva is good at preventing demineralization, these domesticated animals can still develop cavities if they have a diet high in sugar. It’s important to pay attention to what’s in your pet’s food, and to limit their consumption of sweets and other human food in order to keep their mouths healthy and clean.

Some animals have a lot more teeth than humans. Can you guess which has the most? Strangely enough, it’s the snail! Some species boast over 20,000 teeth, but these aren’t really like regular teeth. A snail’s teeth are arranged in rows on its tongue, and they’re used for scraping, rather than tearing or chewing. When it comes to which vertebrate has the most teeth, the white shark is the winner thanks to having around 3,000 serrated, triangular teeth. These lie in rows within the jaws at a gentle inwards incline, but there’s nothing gentle about the three tons per square centimeter of bite they can exert! Sharks will lose a tooth and grow another in its place, just like humans, but this continues throughout their life, and can happen thousands of times. Some sharks may lose up to 30,000 teeth in a lifetime, so it’s not surprising shark teeth are one of the most common things to find on the seabed.

Moving away from the ocean and into the fields for a moment, have you ever heard the expression “long in the tooth” before? We have the horse’s aging process to thank for it. As horses get older, their gums tend to recede and expose more of the teeth, making it look like they are actually growing and providing inspiration for the popular saying. Although horses and humans may share this illusion of length, some animals truly are toothy. The hippo, for example, has the longest canine teeth of any animal. At an astonishing 3 feet long, their incisors can bite right through a small boat! That unicorn-like horn that narwhals are known for? It’s actually a tooth. The scientific name, monodon monoceros, comes from a Greek term meaning “one-tooth one-horn.” The tooth can grow longer than 8 feet and is used to taste and measure the concentration of chemicals in the water around it in order to find food. It might not be a unicorn horn, but it’s still pretty magical if you think about it.

Keeping Your Human Teeth Healthy with Grubaugh Orthodontics

An elephant never forgets, but when it comes to teeth, they don’t really have to remember to brush, anyway. Their molars can weigh up to 10 lbs. and they all fall out about once every ten years or so. Elephants can have up to six sets of new teeth in their lives, but us humans are stuck with just one set, so it’s super important that we take good care of them! Dental technology has changed with time, so you probably won’t end up with dentures made of cow, hippo, and walrus teeth like founding father George Washington. You should still do your best to keep your own teeth clean and functional, though. Sometimes that won’t take anything more than a good oral hygiene routine and regular dental visits, but for some of us, orthodontics will be necessary to achieve a truly healthy smile. This is where our team can help!

At Grubaugh Orthodontics, we’ve created a fun, family-friendly environment for our patients. We offer only the highest quality orthodontic care, and work hard to provide an enjoyable customer experience from the first day of treatment until the last. Dr. Grubaugh will settle for nothing less than perfection when it comes to your treatment results! Our team is always happy to answer any questions you may have about orthodontics for adults, teens, or children. Get in touch with our Lansing or DeWitt office today to schedule your complimentary exam. Don’t be an animal! We’re wild about creating beautiful smiles for patients just like you!