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Healthy Starts Here

Good to Grow: Pediatric Dental Wellness, Airway, Growth,
and Sleep Solution

The Nurture Frenectomy Center 

by Lauren Ballinger, DDS

Meet Dr. Lauren Ballinger

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              As a Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist and mother of two, I care deeply about how
children grow and experience life. We all want our children to thrive; to feel good, and feel good about themselves, inside and out. Good to Grow-Pediatric Dental Wellness, Airway, Growth and Sleep Solutions AND The Nurture Center Frenectomy Center were created to foster those goals for growing children, as early as birth.

 

WHY IS A PEDIATRIC DENTIST LIKE ME TALKING ABOUT MORE THAN JUST
TEETH?

Because your child’s teeth, breathing, sleep and overall wellness go hand in hand.
YOUR CHILD’S TEETH ARE PART OF THE PUZZLE THAT MAKE UP THE FULL
PICTURE OF YOUR CHILD’S WHOLE-SELF AND WHOLE-HEALTH.

We treat your whole child, not just your child’s teeth

HOW CAN MY CHILD’S TEETH HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH HOW WELL THEY
BREATHE?

Your child’s teeth are part of your child’s body and are connected to the jaws.
And the shape and size of their jaws also determine the shape and size of the other
bones of the head/skull and face - we can refer to this as your child’s craniofacial
structure
All these bones come together to house your child’s brain, your child’s eyes, your child’s
inner ears, your child’s nose and make up the size and shape of your child’s oral cavity
and airways spaces -we can refer to this as your child craniofacial-respiratory
structure


WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? To name just a few things:
1) if your child’s jaws are too small and not growing correctly, their teeth will be crowded and not
fit into their mouth
2) If your child’s jaws are too small and not growing correctly, the airway spaces that your child
uses to breathe will be reduced in size.

3) If your child’s jaws are too small, your child’s tongue doesn’t not have enough room to
properly fit into the mouth and to swallow and speak properly.
4) your child is at risk for having future tooth crowding, reduced airway/breathing function that
lowers their immune system and can affect the quality of sleep, which can brain development.
5) Children do not grow out of these DENTAL and SKELETAL issues over-time ; they GROW
INTO bigger problems the older they get

 

SOLUTION: Early identification of the signs that your child’s structural growth (craniofacial-
respiratory structure) is compromised and early intervention to get the structure corrected before
it’s too late

 
 

What makes us unique?

Learn more below!

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What do we specialize in?

Dr. Lauren's Credentials

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Affiliations

  • American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry - AAPD

  • American Board of Pediatric Dentistry- ABPD

  • American Dental Association - ADA

  • Massachusetts Dental Association - MSDA

  • Berkshire District Dental Society - BDDS

  • The Pankey Institute, faculty member  

  • American Academy of Physiological Medicine and Dentistry- AAPMD

  • The Foundation for Airway Health - FAH

  • International Association of Tongue Tie Professionals - IATP

  • Lightscalpel CO2 Laser Ambassador

  • American Laser Study Club - ALSC

  • Academy of Laser Dentistry -ALD

  • The Breathe Institute and Breathe Baby Ambassador

  • North American Association of Facial Orthotropics® -NAAFA

  • Airway Circle

  • Health Latch Circle

  • Mommy Dentists in Business -MDIB

Education

Doctor of Dental Surgery -University of Maryland School of Dentistry 2000

​Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry -University of Maryland School of Dentistry Pediatric Dental Residency 2006 

Certified Specialist in Orofacial Myology -Graduate School of Behavioral and Health Sciences

2018

Certifications and continuing educations

  • Board Certified Pediatric Dentist

  • Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry

  • Certified Specialist in Orofacial Myology: Sandra Coulson, OMT

  • Certified Myobrace® Provider

  • Certified Myobrace® Myofunctional Therapist

  • Orthotropic® Mini-Residency: Dr. Bill Hang

  • Pediatric Airway Mini-Residency: Dr. Germain Ramirez-Yanez

  • TMD and Facial Pain Mini-Residency: Dr. Steven Olmos

  • Orthodontics Straight Wire Mini-Residency:  Dr. Leonard Caraprezza

  • The Breathe Institute Frenuloplasty Education: Soroush Zaghi, MD

  • Breathe Baby Infant Frenectomy Education: Chelsea Pinto, DDS

  • Cont’d below

  • Tongue-Tie Academy Mini-Residency: Dr. Richard Baxter

  • Boston University: Pediatric Tongue and Lip Ties Diagnosis and Treatment with Soft Tissue Lasers: Dr. Marty Kapan; Michelle Price Emanuel OT, IBCLC; Peter Vitruck

  • Postural Orthodontics Mini-Residency: Dr. Simon Wong

  • RIghtsleep®: Healthcare Practitioner Training: Stasha Gominak, MD

A Founding Member of Endeavor
think tank focused  ages 71 months and younger focusing two pillars: Pillar One: increase professional awareness and education opportunities for the screening, management, and protocol development, as well as public awareness, of the importance of earliest recognition and intervention of poor craniofacial respiratory growth and development Pillar Two: Recognizing that dental caries is an END STAGE and preventable disease, just as Type 2 diabetes and obesity is; by addressing the epidemic consumption of high sugar, highly processed foods, we can decrease the demand for aerosolizing dental restorative procedures to treat end-stage caries, as well as  prevent the health comorbidities that weaken the immunity system and make children more susceptible to infectious disease.

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Prevention of Sleep Disorded Breathing 
(Airway focused dentistry)

Our practice focuses on helping your child achieve their optimal health. The services we provide work together to help prevent sleep disordered breathing for your child. SDB is a terrible disease that leaves your child gasping for breath during sleep. With palatal expansion, Orthodontic therapy, myofuntional therapy,  and our breathing program, we can help prevent or stop your child from having SDB. Our goal is to help aid your child with healthy well rested sleep, and the proper airway that your child deserves!

WE START EARLY!

Dr. Lauren is known well across the globe for her work in this field. The key to optimal skeletal growth is to start at age 3! The younger the better, due to bone formation. Patient's nine and older are considered geriatric in skeletal growth, however we will do our best to help each child grow into their best selves. 

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Tongue and Lip Tie Specialists

A sanctuary of nurturing, support and expertise for mothers, babies, and caregivers to optimize the breastfeeding and the feeding relationship for optimal wellness, function, and growth as early in life as possible.

Helping children with tethered oral tissues (lip-ties and tongue-ties) attain proper function to aid in optimal facial and jaw growth, swallowing, speech, nasal breathing, and restful sleep

Co2 Laser frenectomies

Dr. Lauren, and Taryn our CLC, have lectured for Light Scalpel. Light Scalpel is the best laser on the market for tongue and lip tie procedures. With the Co2 laser, there is less post-operative sensitivity or pain, minimal to no scaring, and absolutely no swelling, or infection.

Did you know that about 70% of your child’s jaw growth is completed by the age of 4?

By the age of 12 when most kids are getting braces, almost all the craniofacial-respiratory structural growth is finished.

TEETH CAN BE STRIGHTENED at this age, but the treatment is aimed at improving the cosmetic look and position of the teeth,
not at improving the jaw and face shape

By the time your child is about 12 years old, outside of surgery, there is not much
that can be done to change the craniofacial-respiratory growth pattern that they grew into.

Testimonials and before & afters
hear and see why our patients love us!

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Before and After of the airway of a patient 10 months in treatment. Patient had expansion in both arches, wore reverse pull headgear (non retractive headgear),  and also had their tonsils and adenoids removed.

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The foundation of your child's healthy life starts here

Contact Info - We can't wait to meet you! 

Text or call
Email
Address

413 - 329 - 3292

200 elm street, suite one

Pittsfield, MA 01201 

Hours 

Monday - Friday 

8:00 am - 4:30 pm

By Appointment Only

 

We look forward to meeting your family! On average we tend to "book out" 1-3 months in advance for majority of our appointments (accept for our newborns - newborns will be seen ASAP). To schedule please give us a call or text, at the number listed above, we look forward to hearing from you! Majority of our patients travel from 1-3 hours away, we will do our best to accommodate your schedule! For those flying in, please let us know your flight times in advance so we can do our best to accommodate your flight and travel time.

Scheduling with us!