our blog

Our Blog

Easter Basket Do's and Don'ts For Kids In Braces

April 15th, 2019

With Easter just around the corner, you  may be daydreaming about all those delicious treats hidden in baskets and colorful plastic eggs. Unfortunately some of the most popular Easter candies are ooey, gooey, caramel-filled, and sticky sweet. They can get trapped in braces and possibly lead to tooth decay.

If you're worried that you won't be able to enjoy your favorite candies and treats this Easter, fear not! There are several traditional holiday options that are safe as long as you do some major brushing and flossing afterwards. Here are some helpful tips for a fun, braces-friendly Easter holiday.

What You Should Avoid

Anything that is hard, chewy and/or sticky may cause damage to orthodontic brackets and wires. Here are some specific examples of Easter candy that should steer clear of if you have braces:

  • Sticky Candy: Jellybeans, Starbursts, Tootsie Rolls, Taffy, Nerds
  • Caramels: Milky Ways, Snickers, Pay Day, Twix, caramel eggs
  • Gummy candy: Gummy Bears, chewing gum
  • Hard candy: Hard-shelled Easter eggs, Jolly Ranchers
  • Chocolate with nuts: Almond Joy Bars, Jordan Almonds

By keeping these candies away from kids, parents can avoid bent wires, broken brackets and extra trips to see Dr. Stephen Godwin and the team at Bel Air Orthodontics for repair. Damaged braces or appliances can increase treatment time, and no one wants that! Make sure to always keep your braces and your smile in tip-top shape.

Sweet Alternatives You Can Eat In Moderation

Kids (with or without braces) don’t have to avoid candy or sweets altogether! There are some better options that, with proper brushing, can make for a more braces-friendly basket. With a little creativity, you can still splurge during Easter without eating anything that's damaging to your braces. Here are a few examples of what you can eat this Easter:

  • Marshmallows: Peeps are an Easter classic! They're on our "Safe" list because they're a soft melt-in-your- mouth treat; however, the gooey marshmallow can get stuck in your braces. If you indulge, make sure you brush thoroughly immediately afterwards.
  • Soft chocolates: Just make sure they don't have any caramels, nuts or a hard shells. Look for melt-in-your-mouth options like peanut butter eggs, M&M's and chocolate bunnies or foil eggs.
  • Ice cream: Enjoy them in classic Easter colors like pink or blue.
  • Baked Goods: Cupcakes, cookies and brownies are the perfect canvas for Easter-themed indulgences.
  • Hard-boiled Eggs: Decorate the outside, then enjoy the soft center!

Healthier Options For Easter Fun

Instead of candy, there are lots of other things to place in Easter baskets that can make Easter morning just as special and fun for kids of all ages. Try creating a themed basket based on a favorite hobby, like art or craft supplies, books, or gardening tools.  You can also balance the yummy sweets with non-edible treats like games, movie tickets or gift cards.

Coming up with ideas for Easter basket treats while wearing braces can be half the fun, so use your imagination and have a great time.  Dr. Stephen Godwin and the Bel Air Orthodontics team wish you all a Happy Easter!

April is National Face Protection Month . . . Make Sure You Play It Safe

April 3rd, 2019

April is National Facial Protection Month, and Dr. Stephen Godwin and the team at Bel Air Orthodontics want to remind parents, coaches and athletes to play it safe as they prepare to suit up for recreational and organized sports. Whether at practice, at a game, or simply enjoying some fun in the neighborhood, a sports-related injury can happen in an instant. That's why it's important to take precautions to protect your face and teeth from injury. Dr. Godwin suggests that you take these simple steps to prevent injuries so you can stay in the game:

  • Wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports; if you are wearing braces, make sure you use a mouthguard designed specially for orthodontic patients;
  • Wear a helmet. Helmets reduce the risk of head injury by absorbing the energy of an impact.
  • Wear protective eye wear. According to the Coalition to Prevent Sports Eye Injuries, protective eye wear designed specifically for the sport can prevent more than 90 percent of all eye injuries.
  • Wear a face shield to avoid scratched or bruised skin;
  • Be alert - as a player or spectator!

Did You Know? . . .

Athletes who don't wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth;

Sports-related injuries are the leading cause of emergency room visits in children ages 12 to 17 according to the Center for Disease Control.

Whatever your sport, the right protective gear can save your teeth, your face, even your life. If you or your child suffers dental trauma such as a knocked-out or broken tooth, Dr. Godwin suggest that you contact your dentist for immediate attention. For those in braces, it's also important to contact our office to schedule an appointment for repair since damage to braces can lengthen treatment time and affect treatment results.

About National Facial Protection Month: Every April, the American Association of Orthodontists, the American Dental Society, the Academy for Sports Dentistry, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry team up to remind parents and parents, coaches and athletes about the importance of taking precautions to preserve their teeth and protect them from facial injuries.

What Is Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment?

March 25th, 2019

Although we can treat dental problems at any age, some developmental problems are best treated in two separate phases. That's why we follow the American of Association's recommendation that every child have an orthodontic evaluation at age seven. Two-phase treatment is a very specialized process designed for young children.  Because they are growing rapidly, children benefit enormously from orthodontic appliances that modify the relationship between upper and lower jaws, balance the face and develop room for erupting teeth.

Some of the major advantages of two-phase treatment are:

  • Reduces the need to remove permanent teeth
  • Improved self-image during the formative years
  • Lessens the risk of tooth fracture
  • Improves ability to bite and chew
  • Often decreases the time required in full braces
  • Improves speech development

First phase treatment is indicated in cases of:

  • Severely protruding upper teeth
  • Severe crowding
  • Crossbites
  • Lower teeth impinging on the roof of the mouth
  • Openbites
  • Jaw disharmony
  • Teeth not erupting and/or erupting out of normal position

This early intervention consists of a first phase of treatment when both permanent and baby teeth are present. Phase I treatment involves the patient's muscles and jaws more than the teeth, although some concerns regarding tooth positioning may be addressed.

The goal of this first phase of treatment is to create the healthiest environment possible for the eruption of permanent teeth. It is not intended to eliminate all future orthodontic needs. By starting early, your child has the best chance for good results. When all conditions warrant beginning a second phase of treatment, a re-evaluation is done and the necessary remaining treatment is determined and a plan established. The second orthodontic phase involves correction of tooth position, space closure, and other refinements which are important to function and stability.

If you have concerns about your child's dental development, call Bel Air Orthodontics at 410-838-2244 to schedule a complimentary initial examination with Dr. Stephen Godwin.

Rethink Your Drink For Better Dental Health

February 27th, 2019

We've all heard the old saying, "You are what you eat", but did you know that it's just as important for your teeth as it is your body? Your choice of drink has a big impact on your waistline as well as your dental health.  A study from the University of Maryland Dental School  found that soft drinks (diet or regular soda), fruit drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks weaken tooth enamel. They are even harder on your teeth if your are wearing orthodontic appliances such as braces, retainers or aligners.

According to the study, it's the acid in these drinks that dissolves tooth enamel. Once enamel dissolves, it does not come back. Having a sugary beverage every now and then isn't the problem. It's when you sip it continuously that you get the constant breakdown of enamel.  To keep your teeth healthy and strong, Dr. Godwin recommends that you avoid soda and sports drinks and reach for water to keep you hydrated.  If you do occasionally indulge in a soda or sports drinks, drink it quickly rather than taking a swig every few minutes. It's also a good idea to use a straw to reduce exposure to your teeth. Brushing your teeth afterwards, or at least swishing with water, can help remove the sugar from your teeth.

To learn more about the dangerous pH levels of soft drinks and what you can do to avoid damage to your teeth, download this flyer courtesy of the American Association of Orthodontists.

Soft Drinks + Orthodontic Treatment = A Recipe For Disaster

Top of Page