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The Retainer Who Thought He Was Human

August 15th, 2019

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.

Here's Our Latest Story . . .

Upon situating itself in my mouth for extended periods of time, my retainer (who I called Gerald) was subjected to the rigorous curriculum that my high school had to offer. There were, of course, obvious upsides to this including a world class education for close to nothing. However, there were a few adverse side effects. Gerald’s thoughts surpassed that of your average retainer. Soon enough, Gerald could compete with the PSAT scores of many high school freshman. The quality of Gerald’s thoughts began to progress so rapidly that he became self aware. He was no longer regurgitating simple facts, but began to function as if he were human.

In a few short weeks, Gerald was struggling internally with issues regarding his identity, and as such, began to rebel against the hand that fed him. No longer would he stand to represent a role of enforcement, making his position as a retainer and his identity as a person the basis of a strong conflict of interest. Sadly, his duty as retainer fell by the wayside, and he was frequently trying to escape the quite literal jaws of conformity. It  wasn’t long before I  could barely keep my mouth open without Gerald trying to escape.  Long “o” sounds were almost impossible, and I was forced to keep Gerald under lock and key.

Several days after the initial escape attempts, I awoke to find Gerald’s padlocked cage open and no retainer to be found. I made a mental note to take out future retainers before attending burglary club, then set off to find Gerald. On my bedroom door, scrawled in messy font on a post-it, was a note from none other than Gerald himself.  The note said that he had gone to follow 50 Cents to his summer “In da club” tour across the United States. With a heavy heart, I picked up the phone and called my orthodontist.

Braces Care On The Go

August 5th, 2019

Wearing braces can 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.

The Seemingly Perfect Pitch . . . A Retainer Story Out of Left Field

July 24th, 2019

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. Here's this month's story . . .

A Seemingly Perfect Pitch

I was standing on the pitcher’s mound, ready to deliver the perfect pitch to my younger  cousin, David. He lifted his bat with confidence, and with my eyes glued to the catcher’s glove, I threw the first pitch. WHAM, the ball soared high, stretching across the clear blue sky. It looked so gracious gliding into the horizon until we realized that the ball was heading straight for our neighbor’s yard. David and I exchanged  worried looks. “This is bad,” I said. The expression on David’s face said it all.

“What are we going to do?” David said abruptly. I looked around for a second, before making a brave decision.

“I guess I’ll have to climb the fence,” I croaked. I started for the fence, trying to conceal the fear within my body. When I finally reached the fence and started climbing, I remembered that our neighbor had huge dogs that he kept outdoors. It’s not that I have anything against large dogs, but these dogs have had a long history of abuse from what I’ve heard. As soon as I got to the top of the fence, my jeans  got caught on a strip of metal. I fell to the opposite side putting a minor tear in the left leg of my jeans. To my surprise, the dogs were nowhere in sight. I got up slowly and started creeping up to the baseball, only to trip on an old galvanized bucket that was lying in the yard. I held my breath, but there was still no sign of the dogs. “I was one lucky duck” I thought.

I shot right back up, brushed the dirt off my jeans, and trudged toward the ball. I picked it up and took a deep breath. I found it hard to suppress a triumphant smile.  I decided that it was time to leave, but as I took my first step toward the fence, a rubber ducky toy was waiting beneath my foot. QUACK! “You’ve got to be kidding me,” I mumbled.

The jingle of dog tags filled the air, followed by agile footsteps. That’s when David yelled, “RUN!” I launched myself toward the fence as the dogs followed a little bit too closely for comfort. I was just about to throw myself onto the fence, when one of the dog’s teeth sank right into my behind. I yelped as a surge of pain swept through me. Not only did the dog bite my rump, but it tore the back of my jeans open causing my retainers to fall out of the pocket. The dogs were distracted by the strangle plastic objects so that was my cue to make an escape. I hopped over to the other side of the fence where David welcomed me with open arms and a worried look.

“C’mon David,” I said, “I’ll tell you all about it when we get inside. I think my retainers just saved my life!”

Help Us Stuff A Bus With School Supplies

July 15th, 2019

Stuff the BusBel Air Orthodontics is a proud partner and official drop-off location for Harford County Education Foundation's 2019 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 13th, 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!

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