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!


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Spotlight on This Months Check-In 4 Charity: Breast Cancer Research Foundation




This month with your help, we are supporting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

The mission of the BreastCancer Research Foundation (BCRF) is to prevent and cure breast cancer by advancing the world's most promising research. The only way to achieve this goal is through research. Research is revolutionizing our understanding of cancer. Research is leading us to the core of this insidious disease. Research is transforming lives every day as women and men get the help they need. They believe research—and research alone—has the power to bring an end to cancer. They have more than 275 researchers urgently working on solutions to one of the world’s greatest problems.

Since their founding in 1993 by Evelyn H. Lauder, BCRF has raised more than half a billion dollars for lifesaving research. Through a unique and streamlined grants program, they seek out the brightest minds in science and medicine and give them the necessary resources to pursue their best ideas. As a result, researchers are able to make discoveries and design new approaches to address all aspects of breast cancer—and do so in record time.

Breast cancer knows no age, gender, or race. As the most common cancer in women worldwide and the second most common cancer overall, it remains a fact of life. The thousands of women and men suffering from breast cancer today depend on us. No institution can conquer this disease alone. Together, we can. 

JOIN US IN SUPPORTING THE BREAST CANCER RESEARCH FOUNDATION

Spannhake Orthodontics takes part in the Check-In 4 Charity program. Whenever you check-in at our office on Facebook, a donation will be generated for the charity of the month. Be sure to check-in at your next appointment and together we can give back to this amazing charity during the month of October.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Spotlight On This Months Check-In 4 Charity: Smile for a Lifetime


Just like that the warm summer months are winding down and September is here! For all of us at Spannhake Orthodontics, this also means a new charity of the month! With your help we will be supporting Smiles for a Lifetime.

ABOUT THE CHARITY
The Smile for a Lifetime Foundation is a charitable non-profit organization that provides orthodontics to individuals, ages 11-18, who may not have the opportunity to acquire assistance any other way. Launched in 2008, Smile for a Lifetime aims to reach individuals with financial challenges, special situations, and orthodontic needs. The Foundation sponsors the orthodontic care of hundreds of patients each year through local chapters. To date, they have donated services totaling more than $35 million dollars.

JOIN US IN SUPPORTING SMILE FOR A LIFETIME
Spannhake Orthodontics takes part in the Check-In 4 Charity program. Whenever you check-in at our office on Facebook, a donation will be generated for the charity of the month. Be sure to check-in at your next appointment and together we can give back to this amazing charity during the month of September.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

What Age For Orthodontics?

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends an orthodontic evaluation at the age of 7. This is the recommended age because typically the first of the adult teeth appear, and when some of the more important problems of dental development can require treatment. Treatment for young children is usually aimed at dealing with functional problems that immediately threaten the health of the teeth. The conditions that we treat in early childhood are problems of tooth eruption, crossbite, overcrowding, jaw growth problems, snoring, thumb sucking, tongue thrust and open bite.

Orthodontic issues can develop very early in childhood, which is why early treatment is important for a number of specific conditions to prevent damage to the adult teeth or to limit the effects of a developing growth problem. One of our guiding principles at Spannhake Orthodontics is to keep the amount of treatment required to produce a great smile to an absolute minimum. For more information on orthodontic treatment for children, click here to visit our website or give us a call.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Affording Smiles


Some people hesitate to get braces because paying for them can be surprisingly difficult.  For most families, paying for braces can be a significant investment. That investment can become even larger when multiple family members need braces. At Spannhake Orthodontics our goal is to provide you and your family with affordable, high-quality orthodontic treatment that fits your budget.

Quality orthodontic care is about more than just aesthetics, a mouth that is crowded or contains crooked teeth can hamper your overall dental health. That's why we offer competitive pricing with a variety of payment options. If you have dental or orthodontic insurance we will work with you and your insurance company to obtain your maximum benefit. Our financial coordinator will assist you with your insurance forms and payment plan options.

The cost of orthodontic treatment varies depending on the length and complexity of your treatment.  But with some smart planning and budgeting, the cost of orthodontic treatment will be easier to manage.

  • Get Covered - If you don’t have dental insurance, look into plans that include orthodontics. A good resource to help you get started is www.deltadental.com.
  • Know Your Insurance Policy - If you have health insurance, it may include dental treatment, and possibly, orthodontic treatment. So contact your insurance company to check your benefits. 
  • Establish a Payment Plan - Most orthodontists offer monthly payment plans extended over the time of treatment with no interest or other charges.
  • Consider Credit – In many cases, the fee for orthodontic treatment can be paid via Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express. 

While braces can be a significant investment, understanding the various payment options available can help families to finance orthodontic treatment while looking forward to a bright future with a beautiful smile.