Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Happy 2016!

Spannhake Orthodontics would like to wish you and yours a very happy holiday season as we approach the New Year! We hope that you are able to spend time with your friends and loved ones while enjoying full meals, big hugs, and lots of love and laughs.

If you are currently being treated and wear an orthodontic appliance, please be sure to make the proper choices when enjoying holiday treats that are sticky or chewy. Should you have any questions, please visit our website for common questions and answers regarding appliances.

Remember New Year's celebrations tend to have treats we don't usually indulge it, so be sure to brush and floss after your special countdown!

Happy New Year!

What are your holiday plans? Share your holiday activities with us by commenting below or by sharing on our Facebook page.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Spannhake Orthodontist Holiday Hours

Spannhake Orthodontics will have special holiday hours the last 2 weeks of December.  As we make time to spend with our families during the holidays, we hope you will note the following days:

December 24 & December 25

December 31 & January 1

All other dates not mentioned will remain open during our regular business hours. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, and we appreciate your understanding. From our staff, we wish you Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Look Younger with Orthodontic Treatment

Did you know braces aren’t just for straightening teeth? Most people don’t know this, but braces can actually improve the shape and structure of your entire face.  This can take years off of your appearance and is a great alternative to cosmetic surgery.  A lot of adults are starting to utilize orthodontics for altering their facial structure, or simply to help reduce wrinkles, as it is less invasive and more affordable.

Facial tissues and bone structures determine the shape of our faces, this includes your teeth. As the facial tissue loses elasticity throughout the years, and teeth sink in towards the tongue naturally, orthodontic treatment can help reverse these natural gravity changes.   When teeth start to lean in, orthodontists can use braces to help correct alignment and provide support for the lips. Ultimately, this can eliminate the fine lines around the mouth, depending on the treatment.

Obviously, the more orthodontic treatment you have done, the more visible and dramatic effect your appearance will have.  Simple, regular procedures such as straightening a few teeth will not result in the same effect as those who have more extensive work done.   Basic treatments too, can greatly impact your appearance.  Whitening and rebuilding worn teeth can give you a big leap in your overall appearance and are less drastic.

Remember, when you feel good you smile more, and when you smile more you look younger.Contact Spannhake Orthodontics for more information or to get your orthodontic treatment started.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

It's National Pastry Day

Did you know today is National Pastry Day? Every year on December 9th we recognize these tasty baked goods and have yet another excuse to indulge in the deliciousness. The word pastry itself was given to the various yummy treats made up of ingredients of milk, sugar, flour, baking powder, shortening, and eggs; all which create dough.

These doughs can be used as a base to create several different goods or desserts, all with the same end result of yummy treats that your taste buds will love. Being that there are so many different types of pastry, we thought we’d share a few of our favorites with you.

The Flaky Pastry
 Flaky Pastry
Flaky Pastry Recipe
The Puff Pastry
Puff Pastry Recipe
The Shortcrust Pastry
Shortcrust Pastry Recipe

If you’re anything like us, these pictures will make your mouth water and your inner Martha Stewart come out. That being said, we linked the pictures to the recipes so you can kick start National Pastry Day with our recommended favorites! Leave a comment below telling us what your favorite pastry is!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Crowding Of The Teeth

One of the most common problems several of our patients get treated for at Spannhake Orthodontics is crowded teeth.  We actually see this problem on a daily basis, and this term is defined just like it sounds, either the teeth are too big for the patients jaw size, or the mouth has too many teeth and is overcrowded. The problem with too many teeth in the mouth is the lack of space, as the teeth are shifted out of place resulting in a crooked position. Unfortunately, this can occur in both adult orthodontic patients as well as children.

It is pretty easy for us to determine this problem for our patients as an examination of the patients’ mouth can lead to a diagnoses. The teeth typically appear crooked and jammed in an unnatural way, causing teeth that can lead to future dental problems because they’re harder to clean. Another result of crowded teeth is the obvious fact of a smile that may not be considered cosmetically appealing and can lead to self-consciousness.

Depending on the severity of the overcrowded teeth, Spannhake Orthodontics can determine which method of treatment will work best.  Sometimes having excess teeth extracted helps with expansion of teeth. Other times, palate expanders are used in the mouth to help widen the jaw; this method is only used on children, not adults; their jaws have already stopped growing.  Also, several types of braces give amazing results for adults and children with overcrowded teeth. It all really comes down to the individual being treated when we determine how to correct the crowding.

If you suffer from this condition, please call us to schedule your first visit to learn about your orthodontic treatment options.

Visit our website for more information:

Monday, November 30, 2015

Common Reasons To See The Orthodontist

Our orthodontic office is not your regular dental facility as we specialize in treatments that you cannot have done at your regular dentist. We help patients with teeth that are misaligned, have eating difficulties, and also treat patients for cosmetic reasons. Almost all age groups need to visit an orthodontist for one reason or another.

Below Dr. Spannhake has listed the most common reasons each age group might have to visit an orthodontist.

A lot of pediatricians refer children to orthodontists for a variety of reasons. The first and foremost reason is crooked teeth, leading to 'bad bites' or difficulty in chewing. However the age by which referred to an orthodontist is considered is usually after 7 years as the jaw is still developing and teeth are setting in accordingly.

Another reason is crooked or overlapping teeth, which can cause the child to be bullied in school, and thus lead to a lot of distress. This is when we start to consider what interventions should be taken and at what age.

Adults up to the age of 60 and sometimes even up to 70 years are treated by orthodontists. Here the presenting complaint may either be chronic misaligned teeth since childhood, or smaller issues like recurring mouth ulcers or gum diseases among others.

The most popular reason for most adults is cosmetic as many people wish for their teeth to be straightened, and the growing gaps to be lessened. Other reasons adults seek orthodontists is due to over-biting due to crowded teeth resulting in oral injuries, gingivitis and miscellaneous issues presented at times of adulthood.

Do you want to know more about getting started at the orthodontist? Make sure you visit us at Spannhake Orthodontics  as we have good reviews about our treatments and friendly staff.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

It's About Gain, Not Pain

When thinking about orthodontic treatment the first question people usually have is, "Will it hurt?”. There seems to be a common fear amongst everyone with regards to the pain orthodontic treatment might bring. Well Dr. Spannhake has some good news…orthodontic treatment is not as bad as you think it is.

Orthodontic treatment has improved dramatically over the years. But as a general rule, initially, braces do make your teeth tender and sore for the first few days after having them placed. But the soreness is not unbearable. The slight soreness you feel comes from the fact that your teeth are beginning to move and they are not used to the pressure the arch wire and brackets are causing. As time goes by, your teeth will get use to the braces and your soreness will go away.

It is important to know that today’s braces are more comfortable than ever. But if you still think braces might hurt more than we are letting on, here are a few tips that will help reduce any soreness you may feel:

    Take an over the counter Advil.
    Rinse your mouth with warm salt water.
    Eat soft foods like yogurt and mash potatoes.
    Place heating pad or warm was rag on jaw.
    Avoid acidic drinks; those drinks with acid can irritate a sore mouth.
    Use over the counter oral anesthetic like Orajel.
    Apply wax to any bracket or wire bothering your cheek, tongue or lips.

If you have any questions about starting orthodontic treatment at our office, please feel free to give us a call anytime, or leave a question on our Facebook page!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving Foods Healthy For Teeth

It’s pretty safe to say the words Thanksgiving and Healthy don’t pair up when you think about the delicious foods flowing around the table on Turkey Day.  But, believe it or not, you’ll have reason to feel less guilty when you indulge in the feast this season because of the benefits some of these traditional foods will have on your teeth.

Dr. Spannhake wants you to know you can now be extra thankful for pumpkin pie and turkey!

Pumpkins aren't only decorative and delicious, they’re filled with magnesium too! Magnesium is a nutrient known for strengthening teeth. Also, pumpkin pulp is a good source of Vitamin A, potassium, and fiber, all which help build enamel.

Not only is turkey the main attraction at the table on Thanksgiving Day, but it benefits your body and teeth in several ways due to the high protein content. Protein helps build strong bones and healthy teeth; just another reason to keep smiling!

So when it’s time to sink your teeth into your holiday meal, go ahead and grab a big helping of turkey and an extra slice of pumpkin pie, as these are great foods in achieving a healthy smile.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

National Orthodontic Health Month

Every year, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recognizes October as a time to raise awareness of the benefits of orthodontic treatment. 

If you have never been to an orthodontist before, you might not know what to expect. Meeting with Dr. Spannhake and her staff is a great way to find out what kind of people you’ll be seeing during your treatment. This is also a time to get your questions answered and to learn more about what an orthodontist can do for you and your family.

In a month full of sweet treats, it’s more important than ever to be mindful of your braces and/or your orthodontic appliances. Try to avoid hard and sticky candy. If you can’t keep yourself away from the sugar, choose soft candies that melt-in-your-mouth. As always, remember to brush and floss after eating sugary foods. Exposing your teeth to sweets increases your risk for cavities…and allowing sugar to sit on your teeth can lead to decalcification (permanent white discoloration of the teeth).

If you have any questions about what foods are best during orthodontic treatment, feel free to ask during your next visit! We look forward to seeing you and your family this October!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

NO Yuck Mouth

Did you know that even when you make all your scheduled with Dr. Spannhake you still have to visit the your general dentist?

Orthodontists and dentists specialize in different things, but work together to help keep your oral health on the right track. Your orthodontist is not in charge of cleaning your teeth or checking for cavities, tooth decay and gum disease. It becomes a little more difficult to keep clean your teeth while appliances and wires are in place, which is why dentist at least twice a year.

Having braces provides additional nooks and crannies where food particles and bacteria can hide. Plaque and tartar can form around your brackets and bands which can lead to cavities. Having your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year can help ensure that plaque and tartar are removed.

Visiting your dentist regularly will also help protect your teeth from decalcification. Decalcification is a condition in which white spots form on your tooth surfaces and decalcification is irreversible.
So without regular dental examinations and necessary treatment, it is possible to end up with straight teeth and good bite, but with decayed teeth and unhealthy gums. We want to make your smile is not only straight, but healthy as well.

Remember, you can still get cavities when you are wearing braces so always brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and to floss daily.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Is My Toothbrush Too Old?

The toothbrush is your number one oral hygiene accessory.  Toothbrushes help keep your teeth and mouth clean, but how long should you a keep a toothbrush?

It is recommended that ever 3 to 4 months you switch out that old toothbrush for a new fresh one. But if you’ve been sick lately change it even sooner. Replacing your toothbrush is essential since they are constantly being exposed to germs and bacteria. If you notice the bristles of your tooth brush have become worn out that is a sign that you need a new toothbrush. For example, People who wear braces should change their toothbrushes frequently because braces break down and fracture bristles and the toothbrushes lose their effectiveness.

It is helpful to keep a pack of toothbrushes available in your household at all times for easy replacement. So mark those calendars for every 3 to 4 months and it’s out with the old and in with the new.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Start The School Year Off Right

This summer we ran our back to school contest and gave away a backpack full of school supplies. The winner was announced yesterday, if you didn't win no worries this blog will let you know exactly want you need to get this school year.

Classrooms are stocked with supplies needed to assist in learning, but most students are still required to have their own personal items. Depending on the age of your child some supplies are more necessary than others. We’ve compiled a list the top 5 supplies need in categories by level of education.

Elementary: K-5th grade

  • Colored penciels
  • Glue
  • Safety scissors
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Pink eraser

Middle School: 6th-8th grade

  • Supportive backpack
  • Stock pencil case
  • Binder with dividers
  • Ball point pens
  • Calculator

High School: 9th-12th

  • College ruled paper
  • Agenda calendar
  • Combination lock
  • Hole puncher
  • Highlighters

Don’t forget to make an appointment with us to be sure your child’s teeth are in great shape for the new school year.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Common Problem: Excessive Gingival Display

Have you ever seen a smile where the gums stand out more than the teeth? This is called Gummy Smile.

Formally known as “Excessive Gingival Display”, this orthodontic problem gives the appearance of overly exposed gum on the upper arch. Not only does this problem cause issues with how the smile looks, but it can also reveal underlying orthodontic problems.

Gummy smile occurs when teeth, gums and the upper jaw are not proportional to one another.
This is caused by:
Abnormal eruption of teeth
Upper lip positioned higher than normal
Position of the upper jaw in relationship to the skill

There are several treatment options available for this problem. In minor cases laser treatment to remove excess gum tissue is an option. Braces treatment to move teeth is an option as well. In severe cases surgery may be necessary to reduce the vertical length of the upper jaw. Treatment options vary depending on what is causing gummy smile.

If you have questions regarding Excessive Gingival Display do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with us so we can give you all the information you need.

Friday, July 17, 2015

No Reason To Worry

Is your child nervous about getting braces, let them know they have no reason to be worried.

spannhake orthodontics

Nerves about visiting dental offices are very common at all ages, but children are more likely to have fears about visits. The main reason for the nerves is fear of pain and the unknown, don’t worry parents we have some tips for you to calm down that anxious kiddie.

5 Tips for a Fear-Free Orthodontics Visit:

  • Don’t go over details: Going too much into detail could scare your child even more. If your child has to have any type of procedure done going into detail can lead to questions like, “Will it hurt?”, “How bad will hurt?” Just leave the explaining to the doctor, they’re trained to handle your child. 
  • Watch words: “It’s only going to hurt a little bit” Words like hurt, pain, and shot can cause panic.
  • Have you child ask the questions: Before  your visit to the orthodontist have your child make a list of questions to ask Dr. Spannhake. Having your child ask questions get the answers they want and will make them feel more comfortable.
  • Bring a distraction to the office:  Make sure your child brings something to kid their mind off of the fact that they are at the orthodontist office. For example, an iPad or mobile gaming device.
  • Parents DON’T pass on your fears: There are plenty of adults who have their fears about visiting the dentist. If you a dentist phobia make sure your children don’t pick on it, if mom or dad is scared they will be too. Also don’t share your bad experiences, you are there to comfort not cause worry. 
  • So remember to ensure your child that everything will be okay and let them know we are here to help keep their smiles safe. 

Around 15% of the U.S population is afraid of visiting a dental office. Our goal is our office to make sure all of our patients are as comfortable as possible. We strongly endorse interceptive care for our younger patients. The goal of interceptive care is to address and treat a problem before it gets out of hand, so be sure your child knows they are in good hands with the smile experts! 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Be Kind To Your Braces

braces maryland

Braces are used as a treatment to bring out your best smile. And with that comes a lot of changes to your mouth including your daily oral hygiene activities and eating habits.

While you have braces you will want to avoid certain types of foods, basically anything sticky, chewy, hard and crunchy.

Here’s a list of foods and treats you will need to avoid during your braces treatment.
  • Gum
  • Hard Candy
  • Sticky Candy
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Ice
  • Taffy
  • Hard Chips
  • Carrots
  • Apples
  • Hard/Thick Bread
  • Large/Hard Pretzels
  • Corn on a cob

It is important to not consume these foods, because eating anything sticky, chewy, hard or crunchy can damage your braces which could make your treatment longer than expected. We want you to have the best experience during your treatment, the wrong food can lead to a sooner than expected visit to our office. If you have any questions about what you should or should not be eating don't hesitate to give us a call.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Common Problems: Crowding

On average kids have 20 teeth and adults have 32 teeth in their mouths, but when you don’t have enough space teeth the result is crowding.

Crowding of the teeth is one of the most common orthodontic problems. Dental crowding occurs when there is not enough space to fit teeth within the jaws. There are other factors that can contribute, but this problem typically stems from a discrepancy between the space in each jaw and the size of teeth.

When crowding occurs teeth may be overlapping and displaced, which can cause a number of functional and cosmetic issues. Crowding can be the cause or result of other problems, such as impacted teeth, retained teeth or teeth that do not naturally fall out. Depending on the severity of the crowding determines which treatment option is best for you. Some cases call for extractions or surgery, but the most common treatment for crowding is braces.

If you think you may be experiencing crowding schedule a consultation today and we can determine what treatment is best for you!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

It Just Takes 2 Minutes 2 Times a Day

Seeking orthodontic treatment is a great way to make sure your oral health is in good shape. However, there are other factors that affect the status of healthy teeth. Brushing, flossing and eating habits are just as important.

When treating your teeth Dr. Spannhake and her staff want to be sure they are working with healthy teeth and developing healthy habits start at a young age.

Did you know that the baby teeth that appear in the first 3 years of a child's life have been there since birth, in the baby’s jawbones? Those baby teeth are key for chewing, speaking and appearance. They also hold space in the jaws for upcoming adult teeth. Even though they fall out, baby teeth are important and you need to take good care of them.

In an effort to help keep kids' mouth's healthy, The Ad Council has started the 2min2x Children's Oral Health Campaign. For healthier teeth, good breath and fewer cavities kids need to remember to brush their teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day. Adopting these healthy brushing habits can help save children from a lifetime of tooth pain.

Helpful Brushing Tips:

  •     Brush with a fluoride toothpaste. 
  •     Place the toothbrush at an angle against the gums. 
  •     Move the toothbrush back and forth, gently, in short strokes. 
  •     Brush the tongue to remove germs and freshen breath. 

At Spannhake Orthodontics we care about the overall oral health of all of our patients. If you have any questions about your oral health, please contact our office today. For more tips please visit

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Super Summer Smiles

Summer vacation is the best time of year for most kids. The weather is great here in Maryland and it's time to get out and have some fun in the sun. For the kids this means slumber parties, staying up late, playing video games, visiting the orthodontist. Yes, you read that right we did say visiting the orthodontist.

Healthy teeth do more than provide your child with an opportunity to show off their smile. Healthy teeth enable your child to be more confident, allow for easier social development and help to promote over-all good health.

Most orthodontic problems are inherited, and therefore cannot be prevented. However, early diagnosis and treatment by Dr. Spannhake can often guide facial development and tooth eruption, and thereby prevent more serious problems from occurring. While your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect.

The upcoming school year is like a clean slate just waiting to be filled with good memories and opportunities for growth and adventure. So embrace the summer months and give your child a happy, healthy smile!

Just the Facts: 
According to surveys taken by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
9 out of 10 Americans agree that an attractive smile is an important social asset.
3 out of 4 Americans agree that an unattractive smile can hurt a person's chances for career success.
1 out of 2 Americans are satisfied with their smile.

To schedule an appointment this summer click here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Seven is the Magic Number

It seems like braces and teenagers go together like peanut butter and jelly. But did you know that children should really be seen by an Orthodontist as early as age seven for an evaluation? 


We know seven sounds crazy and way too early to be thinking about braces. However, early diagnosis and treatment by Dr. Spannhake can help guide facial development and tooth eruption, thereby preventing more serious problems from occurring later in your child's life. And treating children during these early growth stages allows Dr. Spannhake  to achieve results that may not be possible once facial bones have fully developed.

A check-up may reveal that your child’s bite is fine. Or it may determine that early treatment is indicated to prevent or intercept more serious problems from developing as Dr. Spannhake can detect subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present. While your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only Dr. Spannhake  can detect.

Through an early orthodontic evaluation, you will be giving your child the best opportunity for a beautiful, healthy smile.

Now...don't worry if your child is older than's not too late for a check-up, especially if you or your family dentist notice a problem.

All patients differ in both physiological development and treatment needs, at Spannhake Orthodontics, our goal is to provide each patient with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time.

Schedule an appointment today! 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

What's Your Emergency?

Did you know this week is EMS Week? National Emergency Medical Services Week brings together local communities and medical personnel to publicize safety and honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine's "front line." This information can be used throughout the year for public education and safety programs.

As we acknowledge National EMS Week we want to take the time out to let you know about some emergency situations you may face while under orthodontic treatment. What you may not have realized is that many problems faced while under treatment can actually be resolved at home. Most orthodontic concerns, like, poking wires and mouth soreness can be fixed without scheduling an emergency appointment.

Here are some of our helpful emergency tips:

Poking Wire - Sometimes a poking wire can be safely turned down so that it no longer causes you discomfort. Try to tuck the wire back in and out of the way with the blunt end of a toothbrush, pencil eraser or Q-Tip. Orthodontic wax can always be used to cover any archwires that might be sticking out. Also...nail clippers can be used to clip a broken archwire that may be poking out if wax doesn't ease you comfort.

Loose Wire - Use Tweezers to re-insert archwires that have slipped out of the molar bracket. Place wax over it if there is any remaining discomfort.

Soreness - Warm salt-water rinses are helpful in relieving soreness. You may also take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Tylenol or Advil as you would for a headache or similar discomfort. Carefully chewing on a half piece of sugarless chewing gum will help alleviate the pain and help your mouth feel "back to normal" much more quickly.

Even though you are careful, you may occasionally damage your appliances. We want our patients to be informed of problems that may occur, and understand how to solve them, at least temporarily, until it is possible to return to our office.

Our office is generally open Monday through Friday and emergency time is held open during each day so that we may schedule you as soon as possible during normal clinic hours. 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.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Welcome to Our Blog!

We want to welcome everyone to our new blog! We are super excited to finally have an outlet to keep our patients, their families and their friends up to date on all of the new and amazing things happening at Spannhake Orthodontics!

Here, within this blog, we will do our best to keep you posted on office news, contests and events, education information…and just the fun things that happen along the way. So be sure to check back often.

We hope you enjoy getting to know Spannhake Orthodontics. Please feel free to leave comments here or on our Facebook Page…we would love to hear from you!