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Help Us Stuff The Bus With School Supplies

July 22nd, 2020

Stuff the BusBel Air Orthodontics is a proud partner and official drop-off location for Harford County Education Foundation's 2020 Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive. The annual Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive helps stock HCEF’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 want 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 through September 18th, 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 HCEF's Tools for Schools Resource Center. All Fill Our Pool Raffle donations will go to HCEF’s Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive. To learn more about the Stuff the Bus Campaign and The Harford County Education Foundation, visit www.harfordeducation.org.

Together, we can make a difference!


July 13th, 2020

Wearing braces can sometimes feel like a major lifestyle adjustment. Suddenly you're faced with situations you never really thought of before. What happens when you indulge in the spinach dip appetizer at your favorite restaurant? How do you handle lunchtime at school, when you're away from the comfort and convenience of your bathroom at home? Fortunately, adapting to life with braces isn't as overwhelming as it may seem. With a little preparation and a few handy supplies, you'll be a braces-wearing pro in no time.

To help make your orthodontic experience as convenient as possible, we'll send you home with a on-the-go braces care kit filled with essential orthodontic items for keeping your braces clean and comfortable.  We’ve also put together this list of helpful tips and additional dental items we recommend that will help you care for your braces while you’re at school or work.

Go Prepared

Remember to take your on-the-go braces care kit with you. It contains a toothbrush, floss, dental wax, interdental proxy brush and brushing timer. When you wear braces, it's much easier for food and bacteria to build up on the teeth throughout the day. Good oral hygiene is incredibly important to keep your smile looking as healthy as possible. You may also want to pack some toothpaste, floss threaders, a retainer case (if needed), and some OTC pain medicine. If your school nurse requires a permission form for over-the-counter medication use during the school day, our office will be happy to make that available to you.

Use Your Time Wisely

Take advantage of breaks and the lunch hour to give your braces and teeth a once over. Make sure you don’t have any food debris caught in your braces, and take the time to brush and floss. If you’ve just had your braces adjusted recently, you may feel some mild discomfort in your gums or cheeks. This is where the OTC medications and wax you packed will come in handy.

Eat the Right Food

You can prevent any possible mishaps or breakages with your braces by steering clear of foods that are sticky, chewy, and crunchy. Gum, candy, popcorn, hard chips, apples that aren’t cut into bite-sized pieces, nuts, beef jerky, and ice fall into this category. The last thing you want is to break a bracket in the middle of the day.

Choose a Removable Option

If you know before you begin orthodontic treatment that traditional braces will be a challenge due to employment and/or social situations, think about trying a removable option. For many adults with hectic schedules, clear Invisalign® aligners are convenient braces-free option. Clear aligners can be just as effective as braces for most teeth-straightening needs, and they can be removed while you’re eating, brushing, and flossing. They also tend to be more comfortable, since they don’t have metal brackets and wires to irritate your gums.

If you follow these tips and stay on your oral health routine at home, you’ll be maximizing the effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment but also keeping it as hassle-free as possible. For more information on caring for your braces while on the go, contact the team at Bel Air Orthodontics.

Top Ten Ways To Keep Your Retainer Safe This Summer

June 29th, 2020

Summer is in full swing! It’s time for lazy days on the beach, summer cookouts and family vacations. But before you rush out the door to your next summer adventure, the team at Bel Air Orthodontics wants to remind you about the importance of keeping your retainer and your smile safe this summer.

Here’s a fact: More retainers are lost over the summer that any other time of the year! Why, you ask? There a number of factors, but it comes down to the fact that your retainer is spending too much time out of your mouth! Summer fun brings a change in your daily routine, more meals with family and friends, and that usually means more opportunities to lose, break or forget your retainer.

Your retainer is an important part of your orthodontic treatment, so follow these tips to keep your retainer and your smile looking great:

  • Never Wrap It In A Napkin - While a retainer on the table might not be the most appetizing sight, hiding it in a napkin is a quick and sure way to accidentally send your retainer into the trash can!
  • Keep It Away From Fido – It’s a fact, dogs love the smell and taste of saliva on retainers and they’ll go to impressive lengths to get their canines on them. Never leave your retainers on a night stand, counter, or table where they can jump up and snag the appliance. Remember, dogs like to chew on things . . . this includes retainers!
  • Don’t Be Random – While spontaneity is a good thing in life, it’s a bad thing when it comes to storing your retainer. If you put your retainer in random places, you’re bound to eventually forget where it is. Instead, create designated spots to keep your retainer. Whether it’s the same spot in your purse or backpack, a special drawer in your bedroom, or a cabinet in the kitchen, you’ll always know where it is.
  • Take Them Out When Swimming – More than one retainer has ended up lost in the ocean surf, the bottom of a lake or public pool. Don’t let the next one be yours!
  • Don’t Put It In Your Pocket - Your retainer is more fragile than you think. Placing it in your pocket often leads to loss or breakage. Just imagine the look on your Mom’s face when she discovers that she tossed that pair of jeans or jacket in the washer and dryer without knowing the retainer is tuck away in the pocket. Let’s just say that story doesn’t end well.
  • Don’t Throw It In Your Sports/Gym Bag – Let’s face it, your smelly gym bag is no place for your retainer! Picture the contents of that gym bag . . . dirty sneakers, empty food wrappers, and a host of other undesirable things. Once your retainer is in there, you’re likely to damage, forget or misplace it.
  • Clean It With Luke Warm – NOT HOT WATER -  While keeping your retainer clean and bright is important, never use hot water to clean it or boil it to sterilize. Heat will distort and damage your retainers. Instead, soak your retainers in a denture cleaning product like Efferdent once a week to keep them clean.
  • Don’t Leave It In The Hot Car – Temperatures in a closed car during the summer can reach temperatures in excess of 130 degrees. Retainers will melt in these temperatures, so remember to take them with you.
  • Label Your Retainer Case – If you do happen to misplace your retainer, your chances of having someone return it are much greater if your name, phone number and/or email address are on the case.
  • Don’t Forget To Wear It – If you are wearing your retainer when you’re supposed to, you’re much less likely to lose it.  Make wearing your retainer as prescribed your new healthy habit!
  • Always Keep Your Retainer In Its Case When Not In Your Mouth – This is Dr. Godwin’s number one rule! Your case is designed to keep your retainer safe when it’s not in your mouth, so remember to use it.

If you do happen to have a retainer mishap over the summer, make sure you contact us as soon as possible so that we can schedule an appointment to make a replacement appliance. Remember, every day that your retainer is not being worn, tooth movement is occurring. So don’t delay, call us today if you have any questions about your retainer wear and care. We hope you have a safe, fun-filled summer!

A Better Smile . . . A Better World

June 17th, 2020

Panda bearDid you know that through proper orthodontic elastic wear you're helping both your treatment progress and helping save the Southern Bald Eagle, Gray Wolfe and other endangered animals?

Elastics (a.k.a. rubber bands) provide a gentle but continuous force to help individual tooth movement or the aligning of one arch to the other and are used periodically throughout orthodontic treatment.

wildlife elasticsDr. Godwin and the team at Bel Air Orthodontics use the "Wildlife Series" elastics manufactured by American Orthodontics who contributes to the World Wildlife Fund. By faithfully wearing your elastics, you'll be doing your part in preserving and protecting endangered and threatened animals all over the world. This additional incentive may be just the motivator you need to wear elastics as prescribed!

To learn more about the World Wildlife Fund Program, visit their website.

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