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.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Tooth Truth

Our dedication to providing extraordinary personal service with compassion and consideration to the unique needs of each of our patients is our top priority. We feel open communication is extremely important in creating a positive environment for our patients and insuring a successful treatment outcome. Here at Spannhake Orthodontics, we consider dental health to be an integral part of overall good health. We believe that good dental health can instill a sense of well-being, provide a lifelong smile, and promote good overall health.

To that note, let’s talk about the truth about our teeth. Our bone and gum tissues are supported by our teeth. If this support is lost or is poorly aligned, then our bone and gums can begin to erode. If the teeth are properly aligned the bone and gums are less likely to erode.

Your teeth play an important role in digestion. Before your food ever enters your stomach, it has to be chewed by your teeth. This process is called mastication. The food has to be partially broken down before entering your stomach to be properly digested. Braces straighten your teeth and give you the alignment you need to properly chew your food. 


If you are concerned about your alignment, or simply have questions on how to improve your dental health, let’s talk! Our caring team takes pride in providing exceptional care to patients of all ages. We have great information right at your fingertips 24 hours a day right on our website. Take a look at the NEW PATIENTS section as well as TREATMENT section. You can also request an appointment right on our website, by clicking here.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thanksgiving Countdown!

It seems like the month of November has really flown by! Thanksgiving is just a week away and we’re all looking forward to time with family and friends – not to mention all of the delicious food! While some holidays spotlight foods that might traditionally be a challenge to manage when you have braces, Thanksgiving is typically filled with foods that are braces approved!

If you’re looking to add a new side dish or two to your Thanksgiving table this year, we’ve found two contenders that will not only look spectacular but might also become a new favorite for your family. Both of these would be perfect to bring to a potluck meal since they can both be assembled in advance and each takes less than 30 minutes to heat.  

Maple Cranberry Sweet Potatoes
  • 4 lbs. sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 ½ cups fresh cranberries
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt

Place whole sweet potatoes in a large pot with just enough water to cover and one teaspoon of salt. Heat to a rapid boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered about 30 minutes or just until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat maple syrup to boiling on high. Reduce heat to medium, and boil gently for 10 to 15 minutes or until reduced to 1/2 cup. Stir in cranberries, butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook just until cranberries pop, typically about 5 minutes.
When ready to bake:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut cooled sweet potatoes into 1-inch-thick slices and arrange in shallow 3-quart ceramic or glass baking dish, overlapping slices if necessary. Spoon maple-cranberry syrup evenly over potatoes and bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until hot.
Green Bean Cheddar Casserole
  • 3 lbs. green beans
  • 2 cups stale bread
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Bring a large saucepot of salted water to boil. Add green beans to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
In a food processor, pulse bread into coarse crumbs. Transfer to a bowl and add olive oil and sliced green onions. Toss to combine and set aside.
In a saucepan, whisk cornstarch and 1/2 cup milk until all cornstarch is dissolved. Add nutmeg and a little salt and pepper. Heat slowly over medium heat, and slowly whisk in remaining 2 cups of milk. Allow sauce to boil for 2 minutes, keep whisking! Reduce heat to low, and add in cheeses one handful at a time, waiting until cheese melts before adding the next handful. Once all cheese has been added and the sauce is smooth, remove from heat. Toss with green beans until well coated with sauce. Transfer mixture to a 3-quart baking dish until ready to bake.
When ready to bake:
Sprinkle reserved breadcrumb mixture over green beans. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.
Recipe Swaps:
·         To save time, purchase fresh green beans in a microwaveable bag and skip the boiling all together!
·         Use your favorite store-bought breadcrumbs to save additional time in lieu of making them yourself. Panko breadcrumbs are also an excellent substitution, adding even more crunch to the topping of this dish.


We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! All of us at Spannhake Orthodontics are thankful for each and every patient we’ve had the pleasure of serving. Now, what are you going to make with all of the leftovers?


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Out With The Old & In With The New

With cold and flu season starting, germs seem to be lurking everywhere! While it’s difficult to avoid catching the office cold or flu bug, you can help keep your number one oral hygiene accessory in great shape by replacing your toothbrush regularly. Toothbrushes help keep your teeth and mouth clean, but how long should you a keep a toothbrush? It is recommended that you switch out that old toothbrush for a fresh new one every 3 to 4 months, and directly after any cold or flu. Replacing your toothbrush is essential since they are constantly being exposed to germs and bacteria. If you notice the bristles of your toothbrush have become worn, that is a clear sign that you need a new toothbrush. People who wear braces will likely need to replace their toothbrushes frequently, as braces break down and fracture bristles which makes the toothbrush lose its effectiveness.

It's helpful to keep a pack of toothbrushes available in the house at all times for easy replacement. You may be thinking "My toothbrush is fine, I have it broken in just the way I like it”. While that could be true, did you know that your old toothbrush could actually be harming your mouth?

3 Reasons to Change Out Your Old Toothbrush
1.     Bacteria - Your toothbrush is a tool for removing bacteria from your teeth…but it doesn’t actually kill bacteria. Some of the bacteria from your teeth stay on your toothbrush after you are done brushing. Now, this isn’t a problem initially, but imagine three to four months of bacteria build up on your toothbrush. That old bacteria ridden toothbrush is in your mouth at least twice a day…yuck.
2.     Bristles - Like any tool, a toothbrush wears down. Worn bristles are tough on your enamel and can wear it away over time. Not only that… an old, worn toothbrush can be up to 95 percent less effective at removing plaque.
3.     Illness - Always change your toothbrush after you’ve been sick, even if it’s not “technically” time to switch out your toothbrush. Germs and bacteria in your mouth require you to brush twice a day, every day.

If you feel like changing your toothbrush every three months is wasteful, we’ve got a solution! Put that old toothbrush to work doing odd jobs around the house. Old toothbrushes are great for cleaning around facet fixtures and tile grout. They can even be used to clean tools, computer keyboards, and tennis shoes! Make sure to mark your calendar as a reminder to replace your toothbrush at least every 3 to 4 months. If you need a few tips on keeping your smile in tip-top shape, make sure to ask at your next appointment at Spannhake Orthodontics

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Four Flavorful Fall Smoothies

With Fall in full swing and with it the hectic holidays just a step further down the road, we thought we’d put together a list of a few fall-themed smoothies that can serve as a great (and easy!) breakfast or after school snack.
Pumpkin Banana Smoothie
If you’re a pumpkin fan, this smoothie is for you! While pumpkin is a trendy item, especially this time of year, what you might not know is pumpkin has both fiber and protein which makes for a healthy and filling smoothie.
  • 2 tablespoons canned pure pumpkin
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • ¼ cup ice 

Helpful tip: If you’re finding that you have several over ripened bananas that you aren’t able to eat in time, toss them in a freezer bag! Frozen bananas are the perfect addition to smoothies and help make preparation even easier for those hectic weekday mornings. 


Cranberry, Pear, & Orange Smoothie
That’s quite a mouthful, and trust us, you’ll love this nutrient-packed smoothie!  It chocked full of filling fiber from the pear, Vitamin C from the orange, and antioxidants from the cranberries. If you’re using whole cranberries for the first time, this smoothie might be a bit tart! Add a bit of extra honey to tone down the tart zing.
  • ¾ cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 pear, core removed & chopped
  • 1 small orange
  • ½ cup low-fat plain yogurt (or Greek yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon honey 
Feeling adventurous? Add in any of the items below to give this smoothie even MORE flavor!
  • A handful of fresh spinach
  • A frozen or fresh banana
  • A few frozen strawberries, blueberries, mango, or pineapple
  • 1 teaspoon of chia seeds


Caramel Apple Smoothie
This smoothie is a great alternative to the traditional sticky treat and delivers all of the delicious flavor! Smoothie staples Greek yogurt and almond milk add filling protein and frozen banana adds plenty of sweetness.
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ¼  tsp caramel extract
  • Caramel sauce & cinnamon for topping 
Recipe swap: This recipe is very adaptable - the trick is to use what you have! Experiment with different types of milk and yogurt. If you don’t have caramel extract on hand, add a bit of caramel sauce right to the blender! Many of the applesauce pouches that are so popular with kids come in fun flavors too. The options are endless, have some fun with it!


Green Monster Smoothie
When you are ready to move on from using spinach in your green smoothies, Swiss chard is a great next step. Swiss chard has a delicate flavor and softer leaves that blend well in most blenders. It is actually in the same family (amaranthaceae) as spinach and beets!
  • 2-3 cups Swiss chard, destemmed and roughly chopped
  • 2-3 ripe bananas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 tart green apple, chopped
  • 1 medium whole grapefruit, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup white cranberry juice or water
  • 2 cups ice 
This recipe makes plenty, so freeze individual portions for those extra hectic mornings!