By Cohrs Family Dentistry
March 15, 2021
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: teeth whitening  

Get the Smile of Your Dreams With Teeth Whitening.

Sometimes, the smile of your dreams is hiding just behind some troublesome stains. Teeth whitening can make your smile shine by making your teeth a few shades closer to the bright white you've always wished for. The process is relatively quick, straightforward, and safe under the care of a professional. So if you would like to know more, get in contact with Dr. Keith Cohrs in Portage, MI.

Troublesome Stains

There are just a few things you should consider when thinking about whitening your teeth. One of the most important is that whitening does not have much of an effect on certain stains.

If you've injured your tooth and noticed discoloration, this is due to the tooth reacting to the trauma by laying down more dentin. Dentin, which is darker than enamel, is the structure beneath the protective outer shell, making whitening ineffective in this case.

Also, as we age, because enamel does wear over time, more of the dentin beneath becomes visible, creating a similar situation as mentioned above. Certain medications can also create difficult-to-treat stains, and dental implements like crowns and veneers cannot be bleached like your natural teeth.

The good news is that your dentist can tell you if the treatment will improve the appearance of your smile or if perhaps other treatments may be more beneficial.

Teeth Whitening in Portage, MI

Onto even better news, the pigments of all our favorite foods and drinks that stain our teeth over time are great candidates to be treated with teeth whitening.

Good oral health is imperative for a successful procedure, as healthy gums are a must. So if you've been skimping on your regular visits, you may be surprised by how much can be achieved with only a professional dental cleaning.

Over-the-counter products can be tempting, but the results cannot compare to teeth whitening performed under a dentist's supervision. You have the option of an in-office treatment or the convenience of take-home trays.

If you want that smile you've been dreaming of, schedule your appointment today with Dr. Cohrs in Portage, MI, by dialing (269) 382-3125.

By Cohrs Family Dentistry
December 31, 2020
Category: Oral Health

Routine dental cleanings can help you get the smile you’ve always wanted. They can help you get back on track from deteriorating oral health, and they leave your mouth in its already amazing condition. Based in Portage, MI, Dr. Keith A Cohrs offers these preventative dental care services at Cohrs Family Dentistry.

We often hear that we have to get our teeth professionally cleaned twice yearly from various sources, but why?

  • Semi-annual cleanings help to make everyday oral care a snap at home.
  • Makes your breath more pleasant
  • Your dentist can answer all your questions at your visit, with information tailored to your unique situation
  • Getting your teeth cleaned decreases the likelihood of tartar and plaque buildup
  • Teeth cleanings ensure that your teeth remain stainless and decay-free.
  • Exams help your dentist help you and your dentist track your oral health.
  • Professional cleanings reach all the nooks and crannies in your mouth that you may not be able to reach. Dentists have specialized tools that help remove tartar and plaque in a way that brushing can not.

Additional Benefits

Regular cleanings, proper oral care, and a diet of crisp, healthy foods that can reach in between the teeth also work to maintain your dental health.

You can also reduce the likelihood of having poor heart health, as heart attacks and stroke correlate with unhealthy gums.

Consistent visits to the dentist also put you at a lower risk for complications with oral cancer. Your dentist will be able to search for and examine lesions, bumps, or anything else that may seem like it could cause a problem.

But most of all, a beautiful smile is the best reason to keep seeing your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings. Contact Dr. Cohrs at his Portage MI practice at (269) 382-3125 to schedule a consultation.


You can't correct a poor bite with braces or clear aligners overnight: Even the most cut-and-dried case can still require a few years to move teeth where they should be. It's a welcome relief, then, when you're finally done with braces or aligner trays.

That doesn't mean, however, that you're finished with orthodontic treatment. You now move into the next phase—protecting your new smile that took so much to gain. At least for a couple of more years you'll need to regularly wear an orthodontic retainer.

The name of this custom-made device explains its purpose: to keep or “retain” your teeth in their new, modified positions. This is necessary because the same mechanism that allows us to move teeth in the first place can work in reverse.

That mechanism centers around a tough but elastic tissue called the periodontal ligament. Although it primarily holds teeth in place, the ligament also allows for tiny, gradual tooth movement in response to mouth changes. Braces or aligner trays take advantage of this ability by exerting pressure on the teeth in the direction of intended movement. The periodontal ligament and nature do the rest.

But once we relieve the pressure when we remove the braces or aligners, a kind of “muscle memory” in the ligament can come into play, causing the teeth to move back to where they originally were. If we don't inhibit this reaction, all the time and effort put into orthodontic treatment can be lost.

Retainers, either the removable type or one fixed in place behind the teeth, gently “push” or “pull” against the teeth (depending on which type) just enough to halt any reversing movement. Initially, a patient will need to wear their retainer around the clock. After a while, wear time can be reduced to just a few hours a day, usually during sleep-time.

Most younger patients will only need to wear a retainer for a few years. Adults who undergo teeth-straightening later in life, however, may need to wear a retainer indefinitely. Even so, a few hours of wear every day is a small price to pay to protect your beautiful straightened smile.

If you would like more information on orthodontic retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.”

By Cohrs Family Dentistry
October 09, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: wisdom teeth  

One of the major signs that a young person's dental development is nearing completion is the eruption of the last four permanent teeth: the third molars, located rear-most on either side of both the upper and lower jaws. But the advent of these molars, also called wisdom teeth, isn't always a cause for celebration: They can give rise to serious dental problems.

Wisdom teeth often arrive on an already crowded jaw, making them subject to erupting out of position or becoming impacted, totally or partially submerged in the gums. This can cause harm not only to themselves, but also to other teeth: They can impinge on and damage the roots of their neighbors; impede brushing and flossing and increase the risk of disease; and skew the alignment of other teeth to create poor bites that affect dental health and function.

Wisdom teeth are considered so prone to these problems (an estimated 70% between ages 20 and 30 have at least one impacted molar) that it's been a common practice to remove them before they show signs of disease or poor bite development. As a result, third molar extractions are the most common surgical procedure performed by oral surgeons.

But the dental profession is now reevaluating this practice of early removal. On the whole, it's difficult to predict if the eruption of wisdom teeth in a particular person will actually lead to problems. It may be premature, then, to remove wisdom teeth before there's sufficient evidence of its necessity.

As a result, many dentists now follow a more nuanced approach to wisdom teeth management. An impacted wisdom tooth that's diseased or contributing to disease is an obvious candidate for removal. But if the eruption is proceeding without signs of impaction, disease or poor bite development, many providers recommend not removing them early. Instead, their development is allowed to continue, although monitored closely.

If signs of problems do begin to emerge, then removal may again be an option. Until then, a more long-term watchful approach toward wisdom teeth may be the best strategy for helping a young person achieve optimal dental health.

If you would like more information on managing wisdom teeth treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Wisdom Teeth: Coming of Age May Come With a Dilemma.”

By Cohrs Family Dentistry
October 08, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease  

Gums are an often-overlooked component of dental health, despite being the literal base of what secures our teeth in place. The prevention of gum disease is key to keeping your teeth strong, healthy and intact. Doctors can detect early signs of gum disease and infections that impact almost everyone who doesn’t practice good oral hygiene. Dentist, Dr. Keith Cohrs, in Portage, MI, can provide care that ensures those types of bacterial infections, like gingivitis, don’t develop into more dangerous ailments such as periodontitis, which can eventually cause gum recession and tooth loss.

More About Gum Disease

Gum disease progresses over four stages. Gingivitis, then slight, moderate and advanced periodontitis. This is why it’s absolutely crucial to visit your Portage, MI dentist for regular checkups and deep teeth cleanings, along with the practice of daily, thorough, oral hygiene.

  1. Gingivitis involves the initial accumulation of plaque and tartar under the gums and around teeth. Be on the watch for bleeding when brushing and flossing your teeth, as well as swelling and redness of the gums.
  2. Slight periodontitis is a progression of the infection to the bone, where the more aggressive bacteria eats away at the very structure that supports the teeth, destroying the bones. It is too late to reverse the damage with simple brushing and flossing, as a dentist’s intervention is now needed.
  3. Moderate periodontitis is an even more severe form of the disease, in which there is drastic gum recession, and even more bone loss, as the gums detach from the teeth and the bacteria form deposits deep in the gums.
  4. Advanced periodontitis is the last stage of gum disease, where bacteria have burrowed deep into bone and gum to form pockets of periodontal abscesses, as teeth continue to loosen and shift.

Caring for your Dental Hygiene

The number one way to combat gum disease is basic oral hygiene and abstaining from harmful habits, such as smoking and consuming excess sugar. Brushing, flossing, and mouthwash all offer different ways of clearing hidden plaque under the gums. However, all these methods are the mere minimum. Your Portage dentist can perform the deep teeth cleanings needed to remove the hardened tartar and calculus, as well as provide instructions on the most effective ways to maintain oral hygiene and help catch gum disease at its onset.

Need to speak to a dentist?

To schedule your next appointment with Portage, MI, dentist, Dr. Keith Cohrs, call (269) 382-3125 or visit to learn more about how to avoid and prevent the harmful effects of gum disease.

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