Friday, March 23, 2018

Which Type of Floss is Best?


If you’ve visited the dental care aisle recently, the sheer number of options available can be overwhelming. We often have patients ask us which floss is the “best” type of floss. In essence, all of the options on the market today do the same thing, and at the end of the day it comes down to personal preference. We’ve listed a few of the options below.  

Flossers: Flossers are small plastic instruments with a single floss strip and a pick on the opposite end. This option can be both effective at cleaning the areas in between your teeth and scraping off plaque. These flossers come in flavored varieties as well. They are a great “on the go” option.

Gentle Dental Floss:
Some people will find that regular dental floss is too harsh on their gums. For that reason, several options are available that have soft coatings that are less abrasive on the gums. Typically, gentle floss is just as effective as regular floss and an ideal match for anyone looking for a more sensitive approach to flossing.

Flavored Dental Floss: Flavored dental floss will freshen your breath while you floss! We suggest flavored dental floss if it prompts you to floss your teeth regularly.

Of all of the options, it is difficult to choose the absolute best type of floss. However, Dr. Spannhake and our team feel that the type of floss that works best for you, giving you the greatest chance of succeeding at regular flossing, is the ultimately best choice. For more information on floss, or flossing with braces, ask us at your next appointment. There are many ways to make it both easy AND effective.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Bad Breath & Braces


After getting braces, new patients may develop bad breath from not cleaning their teeth properly. Simply doing a quick job brushing your teeth is not enough to keep your teeth in great shape, especially when you wear braces. Bacteria feeds on food particles leftover after you eat, and this sneaky bacterium creates an unpleasant odor.


We certainly understand bad breath can be uncomfortable to talk about, but it happens to most of us. The important thing to do if you’re experiencing bad breath (or know someone who is) is to determine the root of the problem. The most common factor for bad breath our patients is almost typically caused by poor oral hygiene.  It's important to brush immediately after every meal or snack or at least rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash if you aren’t able to brush. Bad breath-causing odors and bacteria can also cling to removable orthodontics (like a retainer or clear aligners), so be sure to remove them before eating, even if you're only having a snack.

If you need a few pointers on how to keep your Spannhake Orthodontics smile looking it's very best, ask us at your next appointment! We're here to help!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Do You Have a Loose Wire or Bracket?



We know even despite your best efforts, the wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact Spannhake Orthodontics as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.

In an emergency, you can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain until your appointment.


Don't hesitate to reach out to us at (410) 321-5004 in our Towson office or at (410) 857-4700 in our Westminster office immediately if you experience any issue with your braces. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Eating With Braces



Now that you have your braces, what foods can you still enjoy? While some foods are off limits, don't worry, you'll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time! However, before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.

Foods to AVOID with braces:

Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots

Foods you CAN eat with braces:

Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice
Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats

Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Crowd Pleasing Braces-Friendly Game Day Recipes

If you're still searching for a few more snacks to add to your Super Bowl menu, we've got two that will be sure to score with your friends & family.

Hot Ham & Cheese Party Rolls

  • 1 can refrigerated pizza crust
  • 1 lb. deli ham (thinly sliced, but not shaved)
  • 12 slices Swiss cheese
Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray
  2. Unroll the pizza dough onto a cutting board. Press into an approximately 13x18-inch rectangle. Top with ham and cheese slices. Starting on the longer side of the rectangle, roll up the edge tightly. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face side down. Cut into 12 slices. Arrange in the prepared baking dish. 
  3. Next combine the butter, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and poppy seeds in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until the butter is melted and glaze is smooth. Pour evenly over the top of the rolls.
  4. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes until golden brown. 
Tip: Make these rolls a day ahead! Refrigerate rolls up to 24 hours before baking. Just make sure to warm up the glaze so you're able to pour it on top of the rolls!

Crockpot Cranberry Meatballs 
  • 1 bag frozen meatballs (any brand)
  • 1 jar chili sauce
  • 1 can jellied cranberry sauce
Directions:
  1. Add chili sauce and cranberry sauce to a medium mixing bowl. Use a whisk to mix ingredients until semi-smooth.
  2. Add half the bag of meatballs to your crockpot. Top with half of the sauce mixture. Repeat with remaining meatballs and sauce. 
  3. Cook on low until heated through, typically 3-4 hours. 

This crowd-pleasing favorite can easily be adapted for a larger group! Just double the recipe and increase your heating time to 5-6 hours. In a time crunch? Heat meatballs and sauce on your stovetop until warm. Transfer to your crockpot for a quick, delicious addition to your game day party!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Avoiding Orthodontic Emergencies

At Spannhake Orthodontics we know that even with the best of care, braces can cause soreness to your mouth. This soreness is the way your body reacts to your teeth as they begin to move. Your braces play an important part in helping to create a healthy and beautiful smile but you may experience a few side effects while wearing them that are common and can be easily treated.

Canker Sores
Canker sores are a common occurrence when braces rub inside the mouth. There are ointments available to reduce the pain and irritation associated with mouth sores. 

Loose Brackets
If you have a loose bracket you can apply a small amount of orthodontic wax to the bracket temporarily. You might also apply a little between the braces and the soft tissue of your mouth. Please call the office for an appointment.

Loose Bands
The band will need to be reattached. Please call the office for an appointment and remember to bring the band with you.

Broken or Protruding Wires
The eraser end of a pencil can be used to move the wire carefully to a less painful spot. If you are unable to move it, apply orthodontic wax to the tip. If a mouth sore develops, rinse with warm salt water or antiseptic rinse. Please call the office for an appointment to trim or adjust the wire.

Loose Spacers
If a spacer (separator) becomes dislodged it may need to be repositioned and sometimes replaced. Please call the office to see if they need to be replaced.

Our office is generally open Monday through Thursday with occasional Fridays. Should you have an emergency after hours or on the weekends, the office recording will give you instructions and provide you with a number to call. 


Remember, braces aren't forever but your smile is!

Monday, December 18, 2017

I just got braces - now what?

At Spannhake Orthodontics we believe you have taken the first step toward a healthier and more beautiful smile but you are probably wondering what comes next. The first week is the biggest period of adjustment, and there is a lot to learn in this short time. What to eat?  How to brush?  No worries, in a very short time your braces will feel completely natural.

On the first day, your braces will probably feel sort of like a mouthful and it may take time to get used to them. By the second day, you may feel some soreness or discomfort.   If you are going to experience any discomfort, the second and third days are when it will happen. If you do experience discomfort it can be dealt with by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as Tylenol.

Make sure you have an adequate supply of dental wax, special cleaning aids, elastic bands, or other related materials you may need between appointments. 


If you have any questions or concerns the team of Spannhake Orthodontics is here to help you! We are just a phone call away in Towson at (410) 321-5004 or Westminster at (410) 857-4700.