Thursday, December 29, 2016

Start 2017 With A New Smile

Straightening your smile with orthodontic treatment imparts a host of functional benefits! You'll find that your teeth are easier to keep clean, your bite function will improve, and you'll experience a reduction in pain and discomfort from TMJ (jaw joint) issues. The real benefits, though, are psychological. That's because a new smile creates a boost of happiness, confidence, and self-esteem that radiates through every area of your life. Just think how much easier that upcoming presentation at work, neighborhood barbecue, or first date would be if you had a smile you were proud of and not afraid to show off!

Are you ready to start the new year with a new smile? Contact Spannhake Orthodontics to get started!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Spannhake Orthodontics would like to wish everybody a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. For all of our patients, referring doctors, friends and family, may this Christmas find you surrounded by those you love, filled with a lot of fun and cheer, and the New Year bring happiness, health, and prosperity.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

NEW RECIPE: M&M Christmas Cookie Bars

Do you enjoy making holiday treats for neighbors, co-workers, or loved ones? Then you need to make these M&M Christmas Cookie Bars! These cookie bars give you the classic chocolate chip cookie with a holiday m&m flare giving you two of America's favorite treats combined!

This is easy to make and the perfect holiday gift or hosting treat!

  • 2 sticks of butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar 
  • 1 cup of firmly packed golden brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of Christmas M&M's , plus more for topping
  • 1 cup of mini chocolate chips, plus more for topping
  • 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 9x13 baking dish with foil, leave some overhang to make removal easier.
  3. Spray foil generously with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together until fluffy.
  5. Add in eggs and vanilla extract and continue to beat.
  6. Lower speed of mixer and add flour, baking soda and salt and mix until combined.
  7. Add M&M's and mini chocolate chips and give a final stir, reserving some M&M's, mini chocolate chips and white chocolate chips for topping cookie bars.
  8. Transfer cookie dough to prepared baking dish.
  9. Press additional M&M'S, mini chocolate chips and white chocolate chips into top of cookie dough.
  10. Bake 35 to 40 minutes on oven rack in lower third of oven to prevent over browning.
  11. Let cool completely and cut.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

There is always something to be thankful for, and at Spannhake Orthodontics we are thankful for you! Thank you to our wonderful patients for letting us work on those gorgeous smiles!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

NEW RECIPE for National Sundae Day!

November 11th is National Sunday Day! Celebrate with us by adding s'more to your sundae! Check out this new recipe you MUST try!
HOW TO MAKE THIS: Before you start building the sundae, drizzle the glass with fudge sauce warmed up in the microwave. Then stack alternating layers of vanilla ice cream, marshmallow fluff, crumbled graham crackers, mini marshmallows, and of course more fudge sauce. If you have a kitchen torch, toast a few big marshmallows to take this to the next level. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Here is the ultimate list you need to have if you are a patient at Spannhake Orthodontics. Remember to stick to this as best you can throughout Halloween and the holiday seasons ahead!

Examples of Sticky Foods to Avoid:

  • Gum (sugar-free or regular)
  • Licorice
  • Sugar Daddies
  • Toffee
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Caramels
  • Starburst
Examples of Hard Foods to Avoid:
  • Ice
  • Nuts
  • Hard taco shells
  •  French bread crust/rolls
  • Corn on the cob
  • Apples and carrots (unless cut into small pieces)
  • Bagels
  • Chips
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Pizza crust
  • Uncooked carrots (unless cut)
Minimize Sugary Foods like:
  • Cake
  • Ice Cream
  • Cookies
  • Pie
  • Candy
Only Once a Day:
  • Soda
  • Sweetened tea
  • Gatorade
  • Kool-Aid
  • Drinks with sugar

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

We've Got A Treat For You

The Halloween spirit has arrived at Spannhake Orthodontics. To celebrate the spooktacular events that October brings, we decided to share a recipe for you to make for your Halloween festivities! Do you like the popular cheesecake desert? Then you have to try this Bloody Good Cheesecake recipe this month.

For the Crust:
  • 8 whole chocolate graham crackers, crushed into fine crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter
  • For the Cake:
  • 3 (8 ounce) blocks of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs, at rook temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • red icing color (from Wilton)
For the Gel Frosting:
  • ¼ cup COLD water
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch 
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • red icing color
  1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Line a 9" springform pan with parchment paper or foil, letting the paper cover the edges of the bottom of the pan and closing the springform edge around it (this makes for easy removal later on).
  2. Combine the crushed chocolate grahams and melted butter until the crumbs are evenly coated. Press into the prepared pan.
  3. Beat the softened cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Add the unsweetened cocoa and mix until combined, making sure to scrape down the sides and the bottom at least once.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. The mix in the vanilla, salt and heavy cream.
  5. Add the red icing color until the batter is a deep red color. ½ - ¾ teaspoon total.
  6. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it over the crust.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes ate 325F. Then reduce the oven temperature to 225F and bake for 30 more minutes. Turn the oven off and DO NOT open the oven door. Just let the cheesecake stay in there until the oven cools to room temperature. This prevents cracking.
  8. Use a knife to gently loosen the sides of the cake from the pan before popping the springform sides open.
  9. To make the gel frosting, stir together the cold water and cornstarch until smooth. Pour it into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Pour in the corn syrup and stir until the mixture is heated through and smooth. You will need to stir frequently; you can watch it thicken as it cooks.
  10. Remove the mixture from the burner after 1-2 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and red icing color. I used about ½ teaspoon of color to achieve the look here. Let the gel cool before spooning it over the cake.
  11. Refrigerate for 4 hours before serving.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

It's National Orthodontic Health Month

For so many people the month of October brings to mind pumpkins, the color orange, Halloween and spooktacular festivities, but to us at Spannhake Orthodontics it means a little more. October has been designated as National Orthodontic Health Month. This means, officially, October is a month that orthodontists promote orthodontic services, exams, and encourage current patients to practice healthy habits when wearing braces and orthodontic appliances.

National Orthodontic Health Month was organized to help raise awareness about taking care of your teeth beyond your general dentist, as well as emphasizing the importance of taking care of your teeth properly when being treated for braces. If you have any questions regarding orthodontics that you have yet to find answers for, we are here for you! This is a great time to get your questions answered by the Spannhake Orthodontics team of professionals. Also, if you have never been to an orthodontist before, now would be a great time to have an orthodontic evaluation exam. Children age 7 and up are encouraged to do so, as well as adults. 

For questions regarding orthodontic health, or how to care for braces, give us a call or post them on our Facebook wall.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Common Problem: "Gummy Smile"

Do you or someone you know have 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 options for treatment offered by Dr. Spannhake . In minor causes laser treatment to remove excess gum tissue is an option. Braces can be used as treatment to move teeth is an option as well.  In severe cases, corrective jaw surgery may be necessary to actually shift the jaw vertically upward, thus reducing the amount of exposure of the upper gum tissue. Treatment options vary depending on the cause of 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, September 16, 2016

Eating Habits With Braces

Braces are fragile, so it is important to avoid certain foods and drinks to protect the integrity of your braces. Avoid eating hard foods like nuts, ice, hard tacos, whole apples and carrots, hard French bread crusts and rolls, ribs, corn on the cob and popcorn! Sticky foods like taffy, caramels, bubble gum or any type of sticky candy should also be avoided. These foods can easily break the brackets and wires. Foods aren't the only thing that can damage your braces. Bad habits like nail biting and pen or pencil chewing can cause damage as well. Use common sense when eating and keep in mind that excessive broken appliances will only prolong your treatment and result in additional charges for repair.

For more questions about braces at Spannhake Orthodontics, you may visit our website or give us a call.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Why Choose Incognito Orthodontic Braces?

Incognito is a high-intensity orthodontic solution that can provide the same effectiveness for severe crookedness as traditional braces while still being cosmetic. Many adults prefer incognito to traditional braces as they’re completely hidden and they know for sure no one can see their aligners or metal covering their teeth. In this way, they are the perfect lifestyle-friendly solution to crooked teeth.

Lingual braces are also slightly different to Invisalign as they don’t rely on compliance to work. For some people, this is a benefit as they may forget to put their aligners back in which compromises treatment.

Why Choose Incognito Orthodontic Braces?
  • Completely esthetic, no one will know that you are wearing braces
  • Minimal discomfort and speech interference
  • 100% customized for the best results
  • Customized wires that do not require adjustments often mean fewer appointments and less discomfort throughout treatment
Incognito Orthodontic Braces are also 100% customized by Spannhake Orthodontics to meet the unique orthodontic prescription of every patient. Customization makes the difference and can lead to a more convenient and comfortable treatment experience. For more information about Incognito braces, please contact Spannhake Orthodontics. Dr. Spannhake's offices are located in Westminster, Mt. Airy and Towson, with convenient hours to serve you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Extra Features For Invisalign Teen

Teenagers are constantly on the move and require special options when it comes to their braces. Invisalign Teen utilizes the same technology as Invisalign for adults; they consist of a series of clear plastic aligners that gradually move the teeth. 

Extra features designed especially for teens include:
  • Blue wear-indicators on the aligners that gradually fade from blue to clear to help you, and our team, gauge wear time
  • Aligners designed to compensate for the growth of molars and new teeth
  • Customization to fit your mouth correctly and comfortably
  • Removable and nearly transparent to ensure you can eat with freedom and smile with confidence
  • Six free individual replacement aligners in the event that your aligners become misplaced or lost
Invisalign Teen introduces a whole new way to make your smile straight without the unappealing look and hassle of traditional metal braces. This revolutionary method of correcting smiles is being used by teens everywhere, including right here at Spannhake Orthodontics, to straighten their teeth with confidence.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

What is Interceptive Care?

Interceptive Care Orthodontics is a process where Spannhake Orthodontics intercepts an oral problem before it continues to get unmanageable. Typically, treatment starts with younger children in order to manipulate teeth and growth before it’s too late. The best age for this is between 7 and 10-year-old. With interceptive orthodontics, treatment is about 4 to 12 months with monitoring of the child after that to discuss is possible second phase treatment. 

The primary reasons for considering interceptive care are as follows:
  • To prevent improper growth of the jaws that may be causing an underbite, an overbite, crossbite or shifting bite.
  • To eliminate a destructive habit such as thumb/finger sucking or tongue thrusting.
  • To reposition one or more teeth that are occluding in such a way that they are damaging the enamel of other teeth.
  • To prevent trauma to teeth that are too far forward. This is especially true of the athletically inclined.
  • To reposition teeth that are cosmetically poor and the risk of peer ridicule and low self-esteem.
  • Interceptive care allows us to treat the patient most successfully: the best smile, facial profile and the most stable final result.
If you are interested in learning more about treatment at Spannhake Orthodontics, contact us to discuss it more. We love answering questions and providing a solid foundation of information to those who are interested in treatment for their children or themselves.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Make S'more Ice Cream Sandwiches

Did you know today is National S'mores Day? If you're not familiar with this delicious treat, traditionally s'mores is a popular dessert amongst campers. Typically, you camp, sit around a fire, and toast marshmallows that you use to create a gooey scrumptious sandwich combined with chocolate bars and graham crackers.

If you want to celebrate National S'mores Day today, we encourage you to do so! Want to try something different? Add some flare to your s'mores! Try out this new s'more recipe and let us know what you think!

S'more Ice Cream Sandwiches Recipe
  • Brownie (for Ice Cream Sandwiches)
  • 4 cups chocolate ice cream, softened
  • 1 cup marshmallow creme
  • Graham cracker crumbs
  1. Prepare, bake and cool Brownie for Ice Cream Sandwiches according to recipe directions. Cut brownie in half widthwise.
  2. Spread ice cream over one brownie half. Spread marshmallow creme over remaining brownie; place over ice cream, marshmallow side down. Cover and freeze for 2 hours or until firm.
  3. Cut into bars, squares or desired shapes. Dip sides of ice cream sandwiches in graham cracker crumbs. Wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze until serving. Yield: 12-15 servings.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Spannhake Smiles of the Week

At Spannhake Orthodontics, we pride ourselves in providing the best care to the best patients in the
Westminster and Towson areas. As we celebrate with our patients who just got braces put on, or just finished their braces and enter into retention, we love capturing every moment throughout the process and all the moments in between if we can!

Check out a few patients who flashed their #SpannhakeSmiles this week at the office.

Hannah W. has a beautiful smile!
Mikayla O. is flashing her super straight smile!
Samantha R. just got braced at Spannhake Orthodontics!
Do you want to be showcased on our blog? Take a picture at your next appointment at Spannhake Orthodontics and we will share it on our Facebook page or post it on our blog!

Friday, July 29, 2016

DIY: Cookies & Coconut Cream Popsicle

Are you tired of eating the same thing habitually? Then you've come to the right blog! Cool down this summer with this delicious braces friendly summertime treat. This Cookies and Coconut Cream Popsicle is sure to keep taste-buds happy at any age. Keep reading to get the ingredients and directions for this delightful summer treat.

  • 1 can coconut milk (you can also use coconut cream)
  • approximately 15 Oreo cookies
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Shake the can of coconut milk well. Pour it into a small mixing bowl and add the vanilla.
  • Take 6-8 cookies and crush them. You can do this by putting them in a small food processor, or into a baggie and then using a rolling pin to roll over it and crush the cookies. They don't have to be completely crushed, you can leave as much texture in as you like.
  • Fold the crushed cookies into the coconut milk, don't mix too much, just fold.
  • Spoon a small amount of the mixture into the bottom of 5 popsicle molds.
  • Insert a whole cookie into each of the molds. Carefully insert a popsicle stick into the molds, the stick will fit right into the filling of the cookie and stand by itself.
  • Fill the molds with the rest of the cookies and cream mixture.
  • Freeze until solid. This will take several hours.
  • To remove the popsicles, fill your sink with hot water, and immerse the mold up to, but not over the top lip and hold for 15 seconds. Remove from the water and then gently remove the popsicles.
  • To store for later, wrap each popsicle well with waxed paper, and then put in freezer baggies.
If you make this recipe please take pictures and post them on our Facebook wall! Don't forget to wear your Spannhake Orthodontics sunglasses to be entered in our current Summer contest. We hope you enjoy your summer and this treat!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

What's the Difference between a Dentist & Orthodontist?

Recently there has been a lack of understanding about who should be providing your orthodontic care. Most patients contemplate on whether they should seek treatment for braces or clear aligners from their general family dentist, or a certified orthodontic specialist. Making the decision to get orthodontic treatment is an important one that will affect your dental health for a lifetime, so it’s important that consumers are informed of the significant differences in care between a certified orthodontist and a general dentist.

In reality, just like not all doctors are the same, the same fact is true when it comes to dentistry. Did you know that all orthodontists are dentists, but only 7% of dentists are orthodontist? This is determined by training, as all general dentists complete 8,000 hours of dental training for their dental degrees, orthodontists start with this same training and continue on with over 4,000-6,000 hours in an accredited residency program to learn orthodontic basics. A general dentist is wonderful for routine dental work, but the scope of their practice is preventive, cosmetic, and restorative. Orthodontists, on the other hand, are trained specialist and have the expertise in smile and facial esthetics, jaw function, facial growth and development, tooth movement, alignment of teeth and jaws, and straightening of teeth. Thus, orthodontists have the best experience, judgement, and certifications to give the best orthodontic treatment for all patients with braces.

You will notice today several general dentists are advertising orthodontic care such as Invisalign, as well as offering special discounts for these treatments. We urge you to recognize that these general dentists are not orthodontic specialists recognized by the American Dental Association.

At Spannhake Orthodontics we understand that your smile is priceless and want you to be confident in knowing that our orthodontic office is the clear choice for braces.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Do You Want A Free Giftcard?

Did you know anytime you leave us a review, you can get a FREE $5 gift card to McDonald's, Starbucks, or Five Below? Just go to our website or our Google place page and submit a review, then drop by our office and pick up your FREE gift card! It's simple, easy, and FREE!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

June is Men's Health Month

June isn't just about Father’s Day, June is also Men’s Health Month. In honor of these occasions we are going to give you some dental health facts about the men in your life. Under certain circumstances, these facts can be helpful. Mostly, they should be entertaining.
  • Men have larger, longer tongues.
  • Healthy teeth are more important when dating than rock-hard abs. This is because a man who takes care of his smile is probably a guy who takes care of his whole body.
  • Beards may contain bacteria, but not to the extent that toothbrushes do. When the dentists recommends you change your brush out every three months, it’s a good idea. And storing your brush inside the medicine cabinet is also a good idea. Also, don’t use an old toothbrush to groom your mustache or beard. 
  • Half of all men only brush their teeth once a day. Allowing sugars and acids to sit on your teeth overnight by skipping the nightly hygiene routine encourages the decaying process. Encourage the men in your life to brush.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Is Invisalign Teen Right For Your Teenager?

Invisalign Teen is one the newer styles of braces, and perfect for those who do not like the standard metal braces. They are available in a clear material that is practically invisible called aligners that are replaced every two weeks. The aligners are custom made for each patient and gradually straighten teeth without all of the metal and rubber bands that come with traditional braces.

Is Invisalign as effective?
If your child will wear them as directed to, then the answer is yes, they are as effective as traditional metal braces. However, to make sure the child is actually wearing them correctly you will notice a small blue spot on the back of each aligner. This is called an indicator and if worn correctly will fade over a period of two weeks. Dr. Spannhake will be able to tell if the patient is not wearing them correctly.

Can Invisalign be removed?

Parents should be aware that the Invisalign aligners can be removed for up to four hours per day to eat, brush teeth, play sports, or play musical instruments. With the option of removing them it actually makes brushing and flossing easier and helps oral hygiene. The recommended time to wear them is at least 20 hours per day.

Invisalign Teen has had remarkable success because patients are happy to have the option of having clear aligners for treatment. With the child more confident they are actually more prone to keep up with their treatment and many do complete their treatment sooner. You should speak with Dr. Spannhake as soon as possible to learn about the benefits of Invisalign Teen.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Orthodontic Stereotypes

The stereotypical braces wearer – in middle school, with a mouth full of metal brackets – has led to numerous myths about orthodontics that discourage many people from getting the dental care they need.

Myth 1) Orthodontic treatment is for kids. Although teenagers typically have braces, adults represent a growing proportion of orthodontic patients. No matter your age, a consultation with an orthodontist can identify problems with your teeth, jaws, or bite that can be corrected with orthodontics.

Myth 2) Traditional metal braces are my only option. Advances in orthodontic technology have rendered improved braces and other appliances that are much less noticeable than the braces of yesteryear. Ask Dr. Spannhake about which option is best for you.

Myth 3) Orthodontic treatment is only helpful for crooked teeth. Sure, a crooked smile is a common reason for patients to seek orthodontic car. However, orthodontic interventions help with a range of dental health problems. From missing teeth to overbite to jaw misalignment, your orthodontist can help with many problems associated with teeth, gums and jaws.

Myth 4) Orthodontic treatment is too expensive. As with any medical procedure, orthodontics can be pricey. However, we are happy to work with patients and insurance companies to come up with a payment plan that helps to reduce the financial burden. Many people are very surprised at how affordable treatment can be!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Prom-tastic Photo Contest

Be sure to enter our Prom Photo Contest At Spannhake Orthodontics!
Upload your photo to our Facebook wall now & the photo with the most LIKES will win a $50 iTunes gift card! Last day to enter is June 15th!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wearing & Caring For Your Retainer

So you recently got your braces off and have begun the retention phase at Spannhake Orthodontics. Congratulations on having a straight Spannhake smile! Now that you're in rentention, it's important for you to know some basic tips for caring and wearing your retainer. 

Tips to remember during retention:
  • Wear your retainer at all times, until the doctor instructs otherwise.
  • Take your retainer out when eating, and always put it back in its case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants.)
  • Clean the retainer thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used but do not take the place of brushing.
  • When your retainer is not in your mouth, it should ALWAYS be in its case. Pets love to chew on them!
  • Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to it faster.
  • Retainers are breakable, so treat yours with care. If your retainer gets lost or broken, call us immediately.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your retainer, or you believe it needs adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust it yourself.
  • Always bring your retainer to your appointments.
  • Retainer replacements are expensive, but with proper care they will last for years!
  • Remove your retainer when you go swimming.
  • Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.
If you have any questions about your retention phase, please call the office you are seen at office. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Wearing Elastics

Braces are often the main line of treatment for most orthodontic problems and nearly always need to be augmented by elastic bands to help achieve perfect results. Elastics helps move your teeth so as to minimize the teeth gaps and cure the 'over-biting' complain.

At Spannhake Orthodontics we advise wearing the elastic bands in the following way:

From upper right canine to lower right first molar and from upper left canine to first lower left molar. You might face problems in placing these correctly initially, but don’t worry we will teach and help you accordingly.

You can follow this guide unless you are personally instructed to do yours a little differently by Dr. Spannhake.  The next time you visit Spannhake Orthodontics for the setting of your elastic bands, make sure you asks any questions that come to mind, and pick up a few extra bands to play it safe.