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Are You Brushing Your Teeth Correctly?

August 17th, 2017

You've been brushing your teeth most of your life,  but have you ever considered whether you’re brushing your teeth correctly? The importance of brushing teeth properly is often overlooked, but it's one of the most important things you can do to maintain your oral health. While brushing your teeth properly isn't rocket science, it does require a conscious effort to make sure it's done right. Here are some tips to make your brushing routine as effective and safe as possible:

  • The most common pitfall that keeps people from brushing properly is that they don't brush long enough. Dr. Godwin recommends that you brush for two minutes (that’s 120 seconds), twice a day, with a soft-bristled, small-headed toothbrush. As an alternative, you can use a powered toothbrush for increased cleaning efficacy. If you have braces, teeth are much harder to clean because food often gets trapped around your brackets and wires. That means you'll need to increase your brushing time to five minutes.
  • Brush the outside surfaces of your teeth using small, gentle, circular motions while positioning the head of the toothbrush at a 45° angle to the gum line. Concentrate on small areas at a time until you’ve cleaned your entire mouth.
  • Brush the inside surfaces of your teeth using the same motion, and chewing surfaces using short, gentle, back-and-forth motions.
  • Gently brush your tongue (or use a tongue scraper). This will remove bacteria and dead cells from your tongue and lead to fresher breath.
  • Pay particular attention to the gum line, hard-to-reach areas in the back of the mouth, around dental and orthodontic appliances, and near fillings, crowns, or any other restorative work.
  • Choosing a toothpaste depends on your individual needs and preferences. Many different types are available for oral health issues such as tartar, gingivitis, or sensitive teeth. But proper brushing technique is the most important tactic for removing tartar from your teeth.
  • We recommend that you replace your toothbrush every three months or when the bristles begin to wear, whichever comes first. It’s also advisable to replace your toothbrush after you’ve been sick, since the bristles of the toothbrush can trap bacteria and allow them to proliferate.

Along with flossing, proper brushing will keep your mouth healthy and beautiful. Please let the team at Bel Air Orthodontics know if you have questions about your brushing and/or flossing routine. As always, we're here to help!

Conspiracy Theory - Not Your Typical Retainer Story

August 10th, 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!

It’s a conspiracy, I tell ya—a conspiracy!! There is no way an observant guy like me could lose his retainer. It must have happened during third period lunch.  I was sitting down eating and talking to my friends, Billy and Bob, about where we were going to skate that day when out of nowhere that dreaded bell rang. It was time to go back to class.  I took my uneaten stuff and tossed it all in the trash.  Now, I know what you’re thinking . . . I took my retainer out, left it on the tray, and when it was time to go, I tossed it in the trash with everything else.  BUT NO, it’s not my fault. Here’s how it really happened:

While waiting in line to get me meatloaf surprise, I noticed that our lunch lady was giving me the eye.  Now, of course, I just caulked it up to the fact that I looked so good that day. You should have seen her eyes light up when I flashed my newly de-metaled smile. But what she was really checking out was whether or not I was wearing my new retainer. Ew, right! Why would she be checking that out, you must be asking yourself.  Well, this is where the conspiracy theory comes in.

Okay, we’ll start from the top. There is the good orthodontist, Dr. Godwin, or the Godfather, as I like to call him.  He is the one who set this whole deal in motion. Then there’s his Underboss, the receptionists, who help advise the Godfather and upset parents about the “missing” retainer.  Of course, we can’t forget his soldiers, the orthodontic assistants. They are the ones who get the goods from the associates (i.e. the lunch ladies) . . . do you see where this is going?

So this is how it goes down.  When a kid is distracted, the lunch lady swoops in with her wily ways and takes the retainer.  Since it’s not sitting on the tray, the kid totally forgets about it (you know . . . out of sight—out of mind).  She then cleans them and makes a note of who she stole which retainer from.  At the end of the week, one or two of the soldiers collects all of the retainers and brings them back to the headquarters—the orthodontic office. They clean them up and get ready for the phone call from the upset parents— “Kevin lost his retainer. Can I bring him in and get him fitted for a new one?”  The underbosses, being sweet as they are cunning, tell the parents, “It’s not a problem; just bring him in.”   That’s when they go in the back to find his lunch lady-delivered retainer so diligently marked and set aside.

When the kid comes in, the soldiers get to work making a fake mold (after all, they don’t need a real one when the old retainer is in the back), and they tell the kid to come back in a few days.  The Godfather (aka, Dr. Godwin) even comes in and pretends to poke around his mouth making it all seem like an authentic visit.  So, after a few days, the kid comes back and the Godfather gives him his old retainer without anyone being the wiser.  Once he’s gone, they all have a laugh and split the profits. (Cash and/or cookies, that is!)

Now, you’ll know this conspiracy theory is true if I’m found sleeping with the fishes with cement molds stuck to my feet . . Oh, that notorious Godfather!

Cool Off With A Braces-Friendly Frozen Treat

August 3rd, 2017

Summer's in full swing and it's hot! With temperatures in the 90's and humidity over 70 percent, it's no wonder that everyone is looking for some fun ways to cool off.

So, what's better on a hot summer day than a cool, refreshing summertime treat. Luckily, our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists have just the thing . . . a few Braces-Friendly Recipes to beat the heat. You can find the complete recipes below:

Watermelon Sorbet watermelon sorbet


  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 2-3 cups watermelon, diced, no seeds or rind

Directions:  In a small saucepan, heat the water, sugar, and lime juice on medium high for 1-2 minutes, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Chill this "syrup" at least 20 minutes. In the meantime, place the watermelon chunks in a food processor or blender and liquefy them. Add the chilled syrup to the watermelon puree and blend. Freeze sorbet in an ice cream make according to manufacturer's directions. Serve immediately.

Peach Frozen Yogurt

Want to eat something healthy and refreshing? This Peach Frozen Yogurt is easy to make and is braces-friendly as well. Ingredients you will need are:

  • 2-3 teaspoons of honey
  • Juice from 1/2 of a small lemon
  • 1 container of Vanilla Greek Yogurt (or Plain Yogurt)
  • 16 ounces of frozen peaches

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. THAT'S IT! You can serve it immediately like a soft serve right out of the blender or chill it in a container in the freezer and scoop it out later. You can also change it up a bit and make strawberry, pineapple, cherry or mango frozen yogurt. Combine a variety of frozen fruits and make mango-peach or strawberry peach yogurt for a refreshing summertime treat.

Whether you're making these refreshing treats for yourself or to take to a gathering with friends, they're sure to be a hit. Have a great summer!

Help Us Stuff the Bus

July 17th, 2017

Stuff the BusBel Air Orthodontics is a proud partner and official drop-off location for GEEF’s 2017 Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive. The annual Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive helps stock GEEF’s Tools for Schools Resource Center, a store where Harford County teachers can shop for free school supplies for their classrooms and students in need throughout the school year.

Here’s How You Can Help Us Stuff the Bus . . . We’ve set a goal to raise $1000 in school supply donations, and we need your help. We wanted to make donating easy and fun, so we’re kicking off the supply drive with our Fill Our Pool For Back to School Raffle. For all the Raffle details, visit our Contest page. As an official drop-off location, donations will be accepted from both our patients and the community, so please share this information with your family and friends.

School Supply ListLooking for items to donate? You can download this list of school supplies requested by GEEF's Tools for Schools Resource Center. All Fill Our Pool Raffle donations will go to GEEF’s Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive. To learn more about the Stuff the Bus Campaign and The Greater Excellence In Education Foundation, visit www.geefinc.com.

Together, we can make a difference!

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