Hospital Prom brings Joy to Pediatric Patients

Child life specialists celebrate milestones and bring a sense of normalcy to hospitalized children. Birthdays, holidays and special events are all recognized, so children and teens can feel that simple joy of being in the moment. Funding can be a challenge though.

I’m excited to share that the Joy in Childhood Foundation is offering a teen prom grant for hospitals, the deadline is August 31, 2019.

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Common Orthodontic Problems an Adolescent May Face


Dr. Michael Stosich, orthodontist, explains common orthodontic issues young patients may face.

Has your dentist recently recommended that you schedule an orthodontic consultation for your child? Or, is your child past the age of seven and hasn’t yet seen an orthodontist? If so, you may have questions about what might cause your child to need orthodontic treatment.

“We recommend that children seen an orthodontist by the age of seven,” says Dr. Michael Stosich. “This is the ideal time for an orthodontic consultation because the child will most likely have a mix of baby and permanent teeth, and we can start to see how the future smile might emerge.”

But what exactly is the orthodontist looking for?

Malocclusion is the term given to orthodontic abnormalities that might result in the need for braces. The most common issue orthodontists see is crowding. This occurs when there just isn’t enough room in the mouth for all of the permanent teeth. If it isn’t corrected at the right time, the teeth can grow in over each other, leading to overlapping.

Other malocclusions an orthodontist looks for include:

  • Underbite – If your child’s lower jaw outgrows the upper jaw, he may have an underbite. The lower teeth will protrude over the top teeth in an underbite.
  • Overbite – If your child’s top teeth cover an excessive amount of the lower teeth, an overbite might be indicated. This can lead to the teeth wearing down, and in a severe overbite, the bottom teeth might actually bite into the gums in the roof of the mouth.
  • Spacing – If your child is missing teeth, or has very small teeth or a wide dental arch, there may be abnormal spacing.
  • Crossbite – If your child’s front or back upper teeth can fit inside the lower front or back teeth, it’s called a crossbite.
  • Overjet – If your child’s teeth protrude too far out, or the lower teeth don’t extend far enough, it’s an overjet. This can be the result of either uneven jaw growth, or extended thumb sucking.
  • Open bite – If your child’s front teeth don’t touch when the back teeth are touching, it’s called an open bite. This is most often caused by thumb sucking and other bad oral habits. An open bite can lead to chewing and speech problems.

“If your child indicates any of these issues, it’s important to schedule a consultation with a certified orthodontist,” says Dr. Stosich. “While a dentist may be able to recognize signs of a malocclusion, only a trained orthodontist will have the knowledge and skill to properly correct it.”

At your child’s first consultation, the orthodontist will conduct a thorough exam to determine what the problem may be, and if treatment will be needed. X-rays and photos will be taken, and the orthodontist will perform a physical examination. From there, the orthodontist will determine the best course of treatment to correct the issue.

“While you may commonly picture a teenager with a mouth full of braces, it’s important to have your child examined by an orthodontist around the seventh birthday,” says Dr. Stosich. “Your child may not need treatment then, but we can monitor growth and begin treatment at the right time to ensure the best results. Sometimes, beginning treatment earlier can shorten later treatment or prevent the need for it altogether.”

If your child is past the age of seven and hasn’t had an orthodontic consultation yet, or if he or she exhibits any of the signs above, call as soon as possible to schedule a consultation with a certified orthodontist. Correcting the issue as soon as possible may be able to save you time, money and future headaches. Call Dr. Stosich at iDentity Orthodontics today at 847-548-4200.

dr-michael-stosich-2About Dr. Michael Stosich:

Dr. Stosich is a highly experienced and exceptionally trained orthodontist serving patients throughout the Kenilworth and Grayslake area. His credentials are nearly twice that of other orthodontists because he takes his field seriously and is committed to providing only the best in care to his patients. In addition to treating patients in his office, Dr. Stosich also serves as the director of orthodontics at the University of Chicago hospital team for craniofacial, sleep apnea and cleft palate patients. Dr. Stosich has studied orthodontics extensively, having received an endowed grant from the National Institute of Health, and is committed to offering patients advanced smile design techniques.

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Empowering Hospitalized Adolescents: Spotlight on Wish Upon a Teen

Wish Upon a Teen

As a former Child Life Specialist, I had been aware for quite some time that adolescents were a forgotten population in the medical world. I constantly had to tell my teenage patients bad news about everything from diagnosis, to missing homecoming games, to having to share rooms in a packed hospital with a sick two-year-old that never stops crying.

According to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, roughly 70,000 young adults between the ages of 15-39 years old are diagnosed with cancer each year in the United States. Even though the medical community continues to make great strides in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, it still remains the number one killer, when it comes to diseases, of children and teenagers in the United States—more than Cystic Fibrosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Asthma and AIDS combined.

You would think with numbers like that, hospitals around the country would know how to treat teenagers and understand how the needs of teenagers are different from those of children or adults. That they’d understand that being a teenager is difficult in general, and then getting a diagnosis of a severe illness like cancer on top of it can make things seemingly impossible. Going through puberty, navigating junior high or high school, formulating plans for the weekend (not to mention for college), and now to add in surgery, chemotherapy, hospital stays, meds, and being sick all the time can really rattle the strongest of people. The sad truth is that most hospitals do not understand what teens need or want.

While working as a Child Life Specialist, I frequently had to tell the teen patients that, in addition to going through difficult procedures, we also had no programs or resources for them. The hospital rooms weren’t any better, there never seemed to be that opportune moment to ask the 16-year-old if he or she would rather have a Winnie-the-Pooh-themed room for her 9-week stay or if Mickey and Minnie were sufficient. On one especially bad day at work, when I had seen enough disappointment, I made a promise to myself, I would find a way to provide the programming and resources that these teenagers needed and longed for.

Wish Upon a Teen Collage

Fast forward to 2011; I was preparing for my first ever Spa Day event at a skin care clinic in Los Angeles. I had achieved my goal, Wish Upon a Teen, the non-profit I had started to help teenagers who were living with severe terminal or life-limiting medical conditions, was up and running. It was my mission to provide programming to normalize their environment to the teenagers that the community was not. My objective for Spa Day was to do more for the girls than just give them a day of pampering. The goal was to bring together a group of girls who were all in treatment for severe life-limiting or terminal illnesses. Many of them were dealing with serious stages of cancer, or awaiting organ transplants. To provide them a safe space where they could hang out, talk, and offer each other support. These girls, due to their medical conditions, were not able to engage in traditional ‘teenage girl’ activities, like hanging out at the mall or going to a friend’s house. With over 15 Spa Day Programs completed in the past four and a half years, we have added several other programs to provide to the adolescent community. This past fall we took our spa days national by launching our Glam Teen Tour, which will bring spa days to teens around the country.

Our Design My Room ™ program went national this year and we are thrilled to offer it in over 47 hospitals across the country. Design My Room ™ is a hospital room-decorating program for teenagers undergoing long-term hospitalizations (two weeks or longer).  Most of our teens are in the hospital 6 weeks or longer which makes this program vital to the adolescents we serve. Design My Room ™ gives the teen the ability to take back some of the control that they have lost while hospitalized which will give a domino type of effect by aiding in a more positive outlook, which can then help recovery time and the need for lower pain meds. It’s such a fun program to put together as we follow the teen’s lead with the theme that they choose. They get new bedding, instead of those scratchy hospital sheets and blankets. We put fun wall decals up in their room. They get cozy blankets and pillows to cuddle. Picture frames, rugs, lamps and anything else to bring the element of home to their hospital room.

Design My Room Collage

I am so excited to see where the year will take us and our teens and families we serve. It’s been such a fun ride so far! If you or someone you know is either interested in the programs we provide or becoming a sponsor or donor, please email us at

Learn more about us at and be sure to follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Michelle Soto


Wish Upon a Teen

261 E. Maple Rd

Birmingham, MI 48009

248-792-2938 office

631-356-4066 cell