Monday, December 18, 2017

Loose Bands, Broken Brackets, Poking Wires...Oh My


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.  

In the interim, the following are helpful hints to remedy some of the problems you may encounter until you can be seen in our office. 

  • Poking Wire: If a tie wire is irritating your mouth, cover it with orthodontic wax or tuck it under the archwire using a blunt object like a pencil eraser or a Q-Tip. 
  • Loose Bracket: A loose band or bracket can generally be left in place until seen in our office. Call the office as soon as you notice a loose band or bracket so we can schedule you to be seen to reattach the loose appliance. 
  • Broken Archwire: A broken archwire, or one that is irritating the gum or cheek tissue, needs to be seen as soon as possible for replacement or adjustment. 
  • Bent Appliance: A bent headgear facebow, or removable appliance that is not fitting well, is not to be worn until it can be properly adjusted in our office. Call the office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment to have the facebow or removable appliance adjusted. 
  • Soreness: Several days of soreness and sensitivity are common following an office visit. If you are experiencing abnormal pain or discomfort please contact our office. 

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. 

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.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

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 bad breath at bay, especially when you wear braces. Bacteria feeds on food particles leftover after you eat, and this bacteria creates an unpleasant odor. 

We understand that bad breath can be an uncomfortable thing to talk about, but it happens to the best of us. The important thing to do if you’re experiencing bad breath is to determine the root of the problem. The most common factor for bad breath is almost always 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 appliances (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!

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

Let's Talk About Floss


Image provided by toothwisdom.org
If you’ve visited the dental care aisle recently, the number of options available can be overwhelming. And because there are so many options available, it's hard to know which option is best.

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.  
  • Water Flossing: A water flosser, sometimes called a water pick, is a cleaning device that shoots a thin stream of water, and when aimed between your teeth or at the gumline it can remove food particles and plaque on or between your teeth.

Of all of the options, it is difficult to choose the absolute best type of floss. However, Dr. Spannhake and her team feel that the type of floss that gives 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 flossing both easy AND effective.








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.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Just Say No

Spannhake Orthodontics and the American Association of Orthodontists have a prompt announcement for consumers about “DIY” orthodontic treatment. It is with great urgency that we emphasize to you all to be cautious about the trending “DIY” orthodontic treatment because straightening your teeth on your own can lead to lifelong dental problems.

Do-It-Yourself videos and websites are popular among today’s culture, and while so many great ideas come from several of these outlets, there are some things that you just shouldn’t do yourself! Straightening your teeth or attempting to move your teeth as a “DIY” project is definitely one of the things you should not be doing.  Moving and straightening teeth is a medical procedure that needs to be supervised by an orthodontist.  It’s important for you all to be wary of any videos or websites that advise you to use objects such as rubber bands, dental floss, or anything else in order to get straight teeth.  According to the American Association of Orthodontists, “Moving teeth without a thorough examination of the overall health of the teeth and gums could result in the permanent loss of teeth, which may result in expensive and lifelong dental problems.”

If you have any further questions regarding “DIY” orthodontics, or are curious about straightening your teeth, please contact us at (410) 857-4700.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Does Spannhake Orthodontics Treat Adults?

Braces do the job of straightening teeth, regardless of age. More common than ever these days, you see adults wearing braces, and when you do, one question instantly pops into your head - do braces work for adults? The answer is YES. In fact, adults aged 20 to 40 years represent at least 40 percent of the population of people wearing braces. The reason why so many current adults skipped wearing braces during their youth is that they often feared of being bullied and teased because back in the 80's and 90's, braces we not as aesthetically pleasing as they are now. Trust us, braces have evolved since then now more than ever adults are wearing braces or aligners to get a picture perfect smile.

Nowadays, wearing braces has become more socially acceptable, affordable, and routine for our adult patients. We even have patients with close to straight teeth that want to try out braces just too perfect minor flaws. Adults can skip the traditional metal braces and opt for Invisalign clear aligners, ceramic braces, or other less obvious orthodontic treatment when being seen at Spannhake Orthodontics.

For more information about braces for adults, you can always contact Spannhake Orthodontics located in Westminster and Towson, MD.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Tips For Going Back To School

Caring for braces especially for students in school can be quiet hectic due to the restrictive devotions to maintain the braces and for this reason, Spannhake Orthodontics has decided to put up an article which will make caring for orthodontic braces easy in school. As a student who just had an orthodontic treatment, you should be rest assured that it is the best that can happen to give you the perfect smile again but the care for your teeth and gums help make it very effective. Take a look at your new braces, you can notice a lot of nooks and crannies that can trap food and plaque and that means a great risk of tooth decay is imminent if not properly cared for, therefore you need to pay special attention to cleaning your teeth. This might look hectic but right here the team of Spannhake Orthodontics has few great tips to keep your braces in top condition.

1. WATCH YOUR DIET

As an orthodontic patient with braces, it is very important for you to select your diet with caution. We know that there are several foods in school which tastes great but don't look great in your braces. Certain foods can either break a bracket or some foods are sugary and can have negative effects on the natural ability to brush behind the bracket. Be sure to make decisions on foods based on what is healthy, tasty, and won't harm your brackets.

Food to avoid: As an orthodontic patient we would advise that you desist from:
  • Sticky or gooey foods 
  • Hard foods 
  • Sugary foods 
  • Acidic drinks 

2. WEAR A MOUTHGUARD

With braces on your teeth, you might be wondering if you should desist from sports or retire from being the captain of your favorite sports team, but the truth is orthodontics does not affect your ability to play sports. You can keep on with your braces and sports if and only if you have your mouth guard on. Mouth guards are safety measures that can mean the difference between just a bruised, fat lips and thousands spent in orthodontics repair work. While you are in any kind of physical activity (including gym classes), it is advisable that you wear a mouth guard which can protect your teeth and braces from flying sports balls, swinging elbows or an accidental fall or hit.

3. BRUSH AND FLOSS REGULARLY
Braces can easily trap food, and this trapped food can lead to other inimical dental problems. Because of this, it is very important to brush your teeth after every meal and to floss at least once a day.

4. DON'T CHEW ON PENCILS
Pencils, pen, and rulers are all hard objects and most times when you get bored, anxious or plainly destructive you are tempted to chew on them in class. Obviously, this can be destructive in the moment and can be grossly inimical over time. It is important that you don't practice these habits while wearing braces.

We know that maintaining braces in school is can be tough. That is why we ensure to give you the best plans of action to help you out.

For more questions and inquiries that you may have, we are always at your service. You can always contact Spannhake Orthodontics.





Friday, July 21, 2017

Why Your Child Needs An Early Evaluation

Orthodontics deals with the correction of teeth and jaws that are not in the right position. Spannhake Orthodontics has been a versatile help in creating a straight and healthy smile to patients who are affected with crooked teeth and other oral problems such as:

• Overbite: In which the front teeth lie so much far forward, protruding quite the lower teeth.

• Underbite: In which the lower teeth lie too far forward, sticking out more than the upper teeth.

• Crossbite: In which there is a wide opening between the upper teeth and the lower teeth in front.

• Crowding: This is when there are too many teeth growing on a dental ridge more that it can accommodate

These problems are easily solved with orthodontics through the use of aligners, traditional braces, and various appliances to mention a few. It is factual that orthodontics effectively manages oral problems when discovered early, especially when the patient is a child and yet to develop a permanent tooth. A recommendation from the American Association of Orthodontists, the ideal age for a child’s first orthodontic exam is age seven when the orthodontist is fortunate enough to monitor closely the eruption of their permanent teeth and follow the growth of the jaws through its critical years of development. It is obvious that early evaluation enables us to catch the problem while it is at its metamorphosing stage, rather than after the patient has already developed, thus making it much more effectively managed with imminent invasive treatment needed in the future avoided.

For more questions and information, you can contact Spannhake Orthodontics today.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Choose Your Look

Orthodontic technology has brought us many options with regards to braces. These days, there are many types of braces, from metal braces to ceramic braces…even clear braces. But what braces are right for you?

spannhake orthodontics When it comes to braces, metal braces are the most commonly used. Metal braces involve brackets that are glued onto the front side of each individual tooth.  You may have heard the words “self-ligating" when people talk about metal braces. Self-ligating is an innovative technology that uses high-tech, light-force wires to achieve tooth movement with less pressure on your teeth for more comfortable treatment. 
westminister braces

Like metal braces, ceramic braces are glued onto the front of each tooth but are crystal-clear and blend with the natural color of your teeth so they are not as visible as metal braces. They are made of a strong, polycrystaline alumina that is more comfortable on your lips and cheeks. 
townson braces

A series of alignment trays are created from molds and can be removed for brushing and flossing. Each aligner works to straighten your teeth in small incremental movements until the desired results are achieved. Clear Aligners are made of lightweight, clear plastic in the shape of your dental arches and are virtually invisible. 

There are 2 basic types of braces patients can choose from, those that are attached to the teeth and those that are removable.  The type of braces you will need will be dependent on your specific orthodontic problem. Because each individual’s case is different, Dr, Spannhake cannot use the same treatment or braces on every person. However, if you are considering orthodontic treatment and have a specific type of bracket in mind, don’t be afraid to voice your opinion.  You never know what braces will be right for you until you ask.

To find out more about different options offered at Spannhake Orthodontics click here.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Charity of the Month | SPCA International

Did you know Spannhake Orthodontics is a member of Check-in 4 Charity? Check-in 4 Charity is a program designed to help businesses work together with their patients to make a difference. Every time you check-in on Facebook at our office, a donation is generated for the charity of the month! This month, we are supporting the SPCA International.

About the SPCA International
Spannhake Orthodontics is excited to encourage patients to check-in at our office this month to support the SPCA International. This charity has a mission to improve the lives of animals around the world and advance the safety and well-being of animals. With generous donations, the SPCA International works to save animals from cruelty and neglect. Won’t you check-in to help us support this cause?

Need Help Checking-In?
If you have any questions about checking-in on Facebook at Spannhake Orthodontics, please ask us at your next orthodontic appointment. Also, don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Seniors Can Get Braces Too

It's National Senior Health and Fitness day! Every year on the last Wednesday in May, it is estimated that 100,000 senior adults participate in health and fitness activities put on by several organizations nationwide. As we encourage senior citizens to be active today, we also want to remind you to stay current on your health visits and check-ups. This includes dental and orthodontics.

Are you a senior who has considered orthodontic treatment? You may be surprised to know that seniors can benefit from adult braces.  Keep reading to find out more.

If you are retired and considering adult braces in the Westminster, Mt. Airy and Towson areas, we encourage you to visit Spannhake Orthodontics. You may not be aware but retirement age is the perfect time to do things you’ve always wanted to do, including getting braces. If your smile has been something that’s bothered you throughout the years, the time to change that is now.

When you compare getting braces as an adult to getting them as a child or adolescent, there are benefits. One example is children typically must use metal braces due to restrictions and the simple fact that a child’s jaw hasn’t solidified. When you’re an adult, you have a much wider variety of treatment options from traditional braces to clear aligners.

If you are a senior and you’re interested in straightening your teeth, visit our office for a consultation to discuss adult braces. At Spannhake Orthodontics, we can help you understand all of the benefits that you will take away, aside from a picture perfect smile.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Tips For Invisalign Patients

Invisalign straightens your teeth without wires and brackets, using a series of clear, customized, removable appliances called aligners. It's virtually undetectable, which means hardly anyone will know that you're straightening your teeth. To ensure the best possible results we decided to compile a list of a few tips for our patients currently using Invisalign.

Wear your aligners for a minimum of 2 weeks, before moving into the next aligner.
  • Sharp or rough edges can be smoothed with an emery board. 
  • Change into your next aligner before going to bed so they settle in overnight. 
  • Keep your aligners in their case while eating to avoid losing them. Keep the out of reach of any household pets, especially dogs! 
  • If you need to, you can soak your Invisalign aligners in a mix of 50/50 white vinegar and cold water to brighten them. 
  • Wear your aligners for at least 20 hours a day. 
  • Always carry a toothbrush. 
  • Only drink water when you're wearing your aligners. 
  • Don't put your aligners in hot water. 
  • Don't use toothpaste to clean your aligners. 
If you have any further questions about Invisalign please don’t hesitate to call us at our convenient Westminster or Towson location.

Friday, June 16, 2017

3 Super Quick Smoothie Recipes

One of the most common questions we get from new patients is “what can I eat after I get my braces?”  Aside from the typical checklist of approved and nonapproved foods to eat during your orthodontic treatment at Spannhake Orthodontics, we like to go above and beyond and provide you with recipe ideas, too.  Yes, there are certain points in your treatment process when your mouth might be more sensitive than usual, but that doesn't mean you don't get to enjoy a delicious meal or snack. Smoothies are the perfect solution for when chewing just doesn’t sound all that fun!



You can prep and freeze these 3 super quick and easy smoothie recipes. Choose your own base of yogurt, juice, milk, tea, or water and some ice to blend these ingredients up into something spectacular for your tastebuds!


BERRY BLAST
  • 1C Raspberries
  • 1C Blueberries
  • 1C Strawberries
  • 1C Spinach


SWEET SUNRISE
  • 1C Raspberries
  • 1 Orange
  • 1/2 Banana
  • 1C Mango


GREEN MONSTER
  • 1 Grapefruit
  • 1 Banana
  • 1C Pineapple
  • 1C Spinach

Friday, June 9, 2017

Braces & Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that usually come in anywhere from 17 to 25 years old. Coincidentally, this age bracket is a popular time for orthodontic work, and many people are in braces or will soon have them taken off. It can be disconcerting in this time period to see completely new teeth emerging.

At Spannhake Orthodontics in Westminster and Towson, we offer orthodontic treatment to patients of all ages. Whether you’re looking for braces, Invisalign or other orthodontic options, we can help you get the smile you want. Contact Spannhake Orthodontics today to schedule your consultation. We can answer any questions you may have, including how wisdom teeth affect your treatment.

Wisdom teeth are a leftover trait from when humans had larger jaws and chewed hearty leaves. Wisdom teeth tend to overcrowd already corrected molars or emerge only half way. In fact, wisdom teeth statistically have the highest chance of growing in sideways, an issue known as an impacted wisdom tooth, which can affect the nearby teeth. However, wisdom teeth cannot cause front teeth to become crooked. From the back of the mouth, the pressure they exert on the other molars is not strong enough to reach the front.

This has led people to believe that wisdom teeth can ruin their current or previous dental work. There are a number of other factors that have led to this. Around 20 years old, the jaw performs its last growth spurt, which can leave teeth crooked. This is also the age when many former braces wearers begin to neglect their retainers at night.

Many people have their wisdom teeth emerge as healthy, effective back molars. In this case, the tooth has grown in straight and is not affecting the person’s bite and any dental work will be unaffected. There is nothing stopping a person with healthy wisdom teeth from getting braces either.

Each set of braces are unique for the wearer, as is the decision on what to do about wisdom teeth. Talk with Dr. Spannhake as soon as you notice any discomfort or wisdom teeth appearing. While they may not affect your braces, wisdom teeth can change your overall oral health.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Funfetti Dessert Pizza | SPRING RECIPE

This Funfetti dessert pizza is a giant sprinkle cookie pizza with a marshmallow buttercream and topped with sprinkles and fruit. Try it out this Memorial weekend!

INGREDIENTS
For the cookie:
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated Sugar
  • 1 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tarter
  • ½ cup sprinkles
For the frosting:
  • ½ c (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 oz marshmallow cream
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla
  • Toppings:
  • Sprinkles
  • Strawberries
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Combine butter with sugar and beat on medium speed until well creamed together.
  2. Add the egg, and vanilla extract. Mix into butter and sugar until egg is well beaten.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the batter and beat on medium low speed until well combined and dough forms. Add the sprinkles last and continue beating until the sprinkles are incorporated.
  4. Refrigerate dough for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  6. Roll out the cookie dough onto a lightly floured surface. It’s helpful to use parchment paper on the top and bottom so the dough does not stick. Roll the dough into a circle until it’s about a ¼” thick.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 15 to 18 minutes until the edges just start to turn golden brown. The center will still be a little bit soft but that’s okay.
  8. Allow the cookie to cool completely.
For the frosting: 
  1. Allow the butter to come to room temperature so it is soft but not melted. Beat butter in mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the marshmallow creme and containing mixing for another 2 minutes.
  3. Slowly add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time while continuing to beat on medium speed and then add the heavy whipping cream and clear vanilla extract. Beat until all ingredients are well combined.
  4. Spread the frosting over the cookie, leave about 1-inch around the outside edge. You may have a little leftover frosting.
  5. Top the pizza with sprinkles and strawberries and your toppings of choice. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

5 Tips For A Perfect Selfie

#Selfies have been popular for a few years now, but do you know how to take the perfect one? We know, at first it may have seemed a little ridiculous, all these people taking photos of themselves and posting them online. But did you know that taking selfies is a great way to show off your personality and confidence?

Taking a selfie is an art form in itself. A great selfie is more than just a quick camera click, it actually takes a level of skill to capture and edit the perfect one. After some practice and a few hundred captured pictures (we're only joking) these simple techniques we just know will make you a selfie master in no time at all.
  1. Capture Your Best Angle. Instead of taking the picture head-on, turn your head a little to the right or left, or maybe hold your camera a little higher. Try different angles to show off your best features.
  2. Show Off Something New. If you decide to take a selfie to show off something new, like…oh we don’t know, maybe your braces, make sure that you frame the photo in a way that highlights the new accessory that has you so excited.
  3. Have Expression. You can never go wrong with smiling! Play around with different smiles and expressions and have fun! No matter what, a smile is the best expression you can wear.
  4. Focus on Lighting. A great light source is an essential part of taking any photograph. Natural light is best, so start taking those selfies near a window or outdoors.
  5. Don't Use a Mirror. Just stretch your arm out, point the camera toward your face and click.You can use your face forward camera to make it easier!
Ok, now you’re ready! Upload those selfies to all of your feeds…Instagram, Facebook, anywhere and everywhere. Are you a patient of Spannhake Orthodontics? Then tag us in your selfies, we'd love to see your smiling faces! Use #SpannhakeOrthodontics!

Monday, May 1, 2017

MAY CONTEST ALERT | Can You Name That Smile?



Can you name the smiles of each character below? Check out the flyer for details and enter to win a brand new VR headset! Fill out your entry at your next appointment for a chance to win!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Fluoride During Orthodontic Treatment | Is It Important?


Spannhake Orthodontics wants you to know that there are several ways you can protect your smile throughout your orthodontic treatment. If you follow the rule of thumb and brush your teeth twice a day, floss often, and protect your appliances from damage, your treatment should be very successful.

One thing we’d like to add, is did you know there is another way to keep your teeth healthy and bright during your treatment with braces?

How is this possible? One word: fluoride. Fluoride is the mineral that helps prevent cavities and tooth decay. This mineral also helps keep your teeth strong. Fluoride comes in two varieties: topical and systemic. Depending on your oral health or the recommendation of Dr. Spannhake, you may be required to have a fluoride treatment every three, six, or 12 months.

If you have any other questions about fluoride or your orthodontic treatment, please don’t hesitate to give Spannhake Orthodontics a call!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Fun Spring Activities

Spring is in the air! As the flower buds are peeking out and birds are starting to chirp, it's time to leave those thoughts of snowstorms behind. Spring can be a wonderful time to explore the outdoors or go for a walk around town. Get your family moving together and establish some healthy habits, away from the electronics indoors. 

We have 5 fun ideas to get you in the mood for the loveliest season of the year.

1. Dust off the sports gear. Find a kick a ball, throw a Frisbee, shoot hoops, whatever sports activity that you and your family enjoy doing.

2. Get dirty in the yard. Mow the grass. Pull weeds. Till flower beds. Replant. Cut back. Find the fun in getting sweaty, and teach your kids how to manage the landscaping while you do it.

3. Explore the outdoors. Hike a trail and check out the plants budding out of the ground.

4. Go to a baseball game. The beginning baseball season is one of the annual markers that warm weather is just around the corner. If you don't have it in your budget for pricey pro tickets, look into local league games, college, or even high school games to watch.

5. Make Something. Whether you're experimenting with a new recipe or creating a new craft, making something new will give your kids a sense of satisfaction.

After being cooped up all winter, everyone's ready for some fresh Spring air. We hope you will step into the warm weather with suggestions of fun activities for the entire family.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Protect Your Braces

Mouthguards can be custom made for your mouth by your dentist or orthodontist. However, if you can’t afford a custom-made mouthguard, you should still wear a stock mouthguard or a boil-and-bite mouthguard from the drugstore.

Protect Your Braces


A properly fitted mouthguard may be especially important for people who wear braces. A blow to the face could damage the brackets or other fixed orthodontic appliances. A mouthguard also provides a barrier between the braces and your cheek or lips, which will help you avoid injuries to your gums and cheeks.

If you're an athlete and a patient at Spannhake Orthodontics, talk to Dr. Spannhake about selecting a mouthguard that will provide the right protection for you. Although some mouthguards only cover the upper teeth, Dr. Spannhake may suggest that you use a mouthguard on the lower teeth if you have braces on these teeth.

Also, be sure to remember if you have a retainer or other removable appliance, do not wear it during any contact sports. For more information give us a call at 410-857-4700 for our Westminster office or 410-321-5004 for our Towson office.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Picture Perfect Smiles

They say to celebrate good times, right? Well, we wanted to get into that phrase a little more by showcasing some of our patients who are celebrating their new smiles (whether it's freshly in braces or finally out)! At Spannhake Orthodontics our friendly staff develops a relationship with our patients on a more personal level, so our patients aren’t the only ones proud of their smiles but we are too.

Meet some of our patients that are looking picture perfect this month!





 Great results don’t just come from our efforts, but they are achieved by a team effort of our patients and staff combined. Are you ready to get the smile of your dreams? Request an appointment for a complimentary initial evaluation now by contacting our office.  

Friday, March 24, 2017

Easy Home-Made Pretzel Recipe | Braces Friendly

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 package (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • Coarse salt, optional
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the sugar, butter, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
  2. Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. In a large saucepan, bring 8 cups water and baking soda to a boil. Punch dough down; divide into 12 portions. Roll each into a log and then make into a regular pretzel shape. Add to boiling water, a few at a time, for 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.
  4. Place on greased baking sheets. Lightly beat egg yolk and cold water; brush over pretzels. Sprinkle with the salt. Bake 425° for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

More On Retainers

Several patients underestimate the importance of wearing their retainers after their braces come off, but it’s actually one of the most critical post care practices to keep your teeth straight. After all the time, money, and energy spent on braces, why spend all that when you don't plan to keep them straightened after treatment?

What is a retainer?

A retainer keeps teeth from moving back to the positions in which they started before you got braces. There are many different types of retainers—some are removable and some are permanent, some retainers are made of plastic and metal, and some are all plastic or all metal.

How long do you need to wear your retainer?
If you've been given a removable retainer by Dr. Spannhake you may be wondering how long you need to wear it. It takes time for your tissues and bones around your teeth to reorganize and set into place after braces treatment.

The amount of time you’ll need to wear your retainer depends on your unique situation, but typically, retainers should be worn at least as long as the time you spent in braces. You might need to wear them full-time for a while, and then transition to wearing them only at night. Dr. Spannhake will have a treatment plan especially for you, and if you stick to it, you'll always have a straight smile.