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Summer's Here - Is It Time For An Orthodontic Visit?

June 26th, 2017

Isn't it amazing how fast the school year flies by? Soon your summer calendars will be filled with summer camp and family vacations, and you may have forgotten all about your orthodontic appointment.

Please make sure you put Bel Air Orthodontics on your summer calendar.

Summer's a great time to start orthodontic treatment, schedule a growth and development checkup, or make an appointment for that overdue adjustment or retention exam.

Our summer schedule is filling fast, so before heading off on your next summer adventures, give us a call. We hope you're having a fun-filled summer season!

Gone Fishing . . . A Fishy Retainer Story

June 13th, 2017

Have you ever wondered where all those missing retainers go?

Well, our patients have some amazing stories to tell. Fact, fiction or just plain silly . . . only our patients know for sure. All we ask is that the stories entertain us, and many of our patients deliver just that. We thought we’d share a few of the stories we have received as a regular Blog feature. We hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we have!

This is the story of Albert Elvis Renaldie the 4th, but you can call me Joe. It is the tragic story about how I got separated from my girlfriend, Sue. Let me tell you a little about how Sue and I met before starting this story. Being retainers, Sue and I were made together and therefore became life partners, a bit like an arranged marriage. On April 28th, Sue and I were sent to a lovely home in the mouth of a girl named Rachel. Rachel was a one-room apartment kept at about 98.7 degrees Fahrenheit and came with a complete set of white, adult teeth that needed protection. In our home, Sue lived on the ceiling while I lived on the floor. We were lucky that Rachel cleaned herself twice a day because we had heard terrible stories of homes that built up with germs and grime so much that . . . uhh . . it’s too nasty to talk about. Anyway, Sue and I lived happily in our home for about a month occasionally escaping into a larger world three times a day in order for Rachel to spice up our home. During that time, we were placed next to Rachel on some surface where we were able to see the world around us. This is where the story begins . . .

One bright and sunny day, Rachel decided to go fishing with her family. Being residents of Rachel’s mouth, Sue and I went along for the ride. At the lake, things were going pretty smoothly until Jodi, Rachel’s mother, offered her some gummy worms; appropriate, seeing as they were fishing. Before eating the gummy worms, Rachel took Sue and I out of her mouth and placed us on a small shelf in her brother’s tackle box. Sue and I were admiring the beautiful lake when all of a sudden, I was pickup and attached to the end of a hook.  “This is interesting bait,” Rachel’s brother, Drew, said as he tied me on tightly. “I wonder if the fish like it because it is shiny, sea weedy quality?”

And with that, I was cast out into the lake on the end of a fishing pole. Drew was wrong about me. The fish did not think that I was interesting or edible. Instead of being gobbled up by some massive, killer fish, the fishing line got caught on a stray log and they had to cut it loose, leaving me in the lake to fend for myself. I was just about to give up and think that this was the end, when a bald eagle flew down and picked me up in its talons. For a second, I thought by some strange fate that the eagle was going to drop me back into the tackle box, but the eagle kept on flying. It flew over hills and valleys . . . Okay, maybe just to the other side of the lake, but for a small retainer like myself, that seemed like forever. The eagle must of thought that I looked like a nice decoration for its home because it weaved me into its nest and that is where I have been ever since.

All I could think about is what Sue is doing without me. Does she miss me? Will she be given a new life partner? Is she even alive? Oh, what I would give to see her one last time before I die, or plummet 100 feet to the ground when its time for the eagles to do some house cleaning. Hours, then days passed. I guess I’ll never know Sue's destiny or my fate . . . So that is where my story ends.

Say Cheese . . . It's National Smile Month

June 5th, 2017

According to the American Dental Association, a person’s smile outranked eyes, hair and body as the most important physical feature. While smiling is a great way to get yourself noticed, it turns out that it can also help your body function better. Since June is National Smile Month, we thought it would be a great time to share some good reasons to show off your pearly whites:

Smiling Makes You More Attractive

Studies now support what we’ve long known . . . we’re more attracted to people who smile. Smiling, happy people are perceived to be more relaxed, confident and approachable—a characteristic that we’re naturally drawn to.

Smiling Changes Your Mood

There’s nothing quite like a cheerful smile for perking you up, as well as those around you. So next time you’re feeling down, try putting on a smile. There’s a good chance your mood will change for the better.

Smiling is Contagious

It turns out that emotions are catchy. When someone is smiling, they lighten up the room, change the mood of others, and make things happier. Dr. David Lewis, a psychologist and Director of Research at Mindlab International, says, “Seeing a smile creates what’s known as a halo effect, helping us to remember happy events, feel more optimistic, more positive and more motivated.”

Smiling Relieves Stress

According to a study at Columbia University, smiling can help to reduce symptoms associated with stress. Studies show that chronic stress does significant damage to the body and mind, so the next time you're stressed out, try to put on a smile. Better yet, find something to laugh about. Studies show that laughing reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and gives you a quick burst of energy.

Smiling Boosts Your Immune System

“The research is clear,” says Christopher Peterson, PhD, a University of Michigan professor. “There is a link between optimistic attitudes and good health.” His research supports that smiling, optimistic people have a more robust immune system. So, what are you waiting for . . . smile your way to better health!

Smiling Releases Endorphins, Natural Pain Killers & Serotonin

Studies show that smiling releases natural “feel good” brain chemicals which reduce pain and make us feel happy. So remember to smile every day. Not only will you be happier, you’ll be healthier too.

Smiling Makes You Look Younger

The muscles we use to smile lift the face, making a person appear younger. Don’t go for a face lift, just try smiling your way though the day. You’ll look younger and feel better!

Smiling Helps You Stay Positive

Try this test: Just smile for 30 seconds. Now try to think of something negative without losing the smile. It’s hard, right? When we smile, our body is sending the rest of us a message that “Life is Good!”

A smile is one of the most simple, inexpensive and wonderful things you can do . . . Share yours with the world today!

Sources: Abel, MH, Hester, R. (2002); The therapeutic effects of smiling; British Dental health Foundation (2005); Positive Psychology News (2008) Health & Emotional Benefits of Smiling.

The Dreaded Stink Bugs - Not Your Typical Retainer Story

May 30th, 2017

Have you ever wondered where all those missing retainers go?

Well, our patients have some amazing stories to tell. Fact, fiction or just plain silly . . . only our patients know for sure. All we ask is that the stories entertain us, and many of our patients deliver just that. We thought we’d share a few of the stories we have received as a regular Blog feature. We hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we have!

The dreaded stink bugs were everywhere! They were waging war with the restaurants, grocery stores, and even the neighbors. Then, alas, my very own home was part of their invasion. It seemed all of Maryland was in peril. I battled them mercilessly with my trusty flyswatter only to find five more take the place of the those I had just killed. Thick creatures these stink bugs are. The flyswatter was an inferior means to an end with them. SPLAT . . . SWAT . . . and a couple of crunches from the good old boot, only to have them explode in a gush of thick, tangy goo and splatter on my face and arms—YUK! The stench everywhere, my eyes stinging from their foul innards, and my mouth salivating to get the excess splatter out of my mouth. I decided it was time to take this fight to the next level. It was time to bring out the big guns against these smelly fools! That’s right, chemical warfare is what the fight had to come to.

Day after day, I used my chemical weapons to destroy them outright. We saw their numbers were dwindling. With the cold winter fast approaching, the great stink bug empire was scattering fast. They knew their defeat was nigh, and they had to think fast and strike hard in order to stay in the game. All their attempts were to no avail, until one day when they struck me in a means I could have never predicted.

On a cold snowy night when the air was still, a small regiment of stink bugs formed a stealth force and infiltrated my bedroom during my sleepy time. I awoke suddenly, sniffed and knew something was wrong. I immediately moved to stand up and turn on the light, but the blanket was strapped down tight. I was bound to the bed and could hear faint little chuckles. No doubt in my mind that it was the stink bugs. Then a strong scent came over me and knocked me out.

I awoke many hours later startled. I immediately pushed the blanket, and it lifted off of me without a struggle. I stood up and scanned the perimeter of my bedroom confused and thought it may have been a dream. I told myself I must be getting paranoid over these stink bugs. As I walked out of my room, I froze in place. Eyes widened in horror . . . jaw dropped in shock as the realization came over me  - My treasured retainers were no longer in my mouth! It looks like those dreaded stink bugs had their ultimate revenge!

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