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Age Seven - The Magic Number For An Orthodontic Check-up

May 6th, 2019

Many parents assume they must wait until their child has all of his or her permanent teeth to see an orthodontist, only to discover that treatment would have been much easier if started earlier. Did you know that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child have an orthodontic check-up no later than age seven?

That's right - age seven.

Okay, so what's so important about age seven, you ask? By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth making it an ideal time for evaluation. With early screening, Dr. Godwin can spot subtle problems with emerging teeth and jaw growth. The first molars have typically come in, providing an opportunity to check for malocclusion, or "bad bite." Also, the incisors have begun to come in, and problems such as crowding, deep bites, and open bites can be detected.

While many young patients may not be ready to start treatment, early evaluation allows Dr. Godwin to choose the optimal time to begin treatment. For some children, early evaluation may signal a need for early interceptive treatment.  Early identification of problems often leads to easier or shorter orthodontic treatment in the future. Studies also show that early treatment can prevent physical and emotional trauma. Aside from spurring on years of harmful teasing, misaligned teeth are also prone to injury and are detrimental to good oral hygiene.

Good dental health starts early. To learn more about the benefits of early treatment, visit our website or download this brochure, courtesy of the American Association of Orthodontists.

If your child is nearing his or her seventh birthday or you have concerns about your child's dental development, give Bel Air Orthodontics a call to schedule your complimentary initial consultation.

The Price of Stardom - Not Your Typical Retainer Story

April 25th, 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. We hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we have!

The Price of Stardom

There I was, standing on a stage in front of thousands of screaming fans. I, Daniel Star, am the lead singer and guitarist of my angst-y-teenage boy band, I Hate My Dad.  I was about to start my first set with my number one smash hit, “Being A Freshman Sux”.   As I began to sing, I accidentally spat out my retainers into the massive crowd of adoring and hormonal fans. As soon as they realized that a piece of Daniel Star paraphernalia was up for grabs, a massive fight broke out.

So there I was, wading through the hordes of fan-girls in a petty attempt to recover my lost retainers. As I approached the center of the horde, I could see my precious retainers being grabbed and passed around. While the hair and punches flew and fights ensued over who was going to keep the retainers of the legendary lead singer of their favorite boy band, I tried in vain to catch the retainers as they bounced around the crowd. As soon as I got within arms reach of my teeth-saving retainers, I heard a shout off my left . . .  “OMG Guys, It’s Him!!!!” Crap! One of my fans noticed I had made my way off the stage and away from my security detail. At that moment, I was hit by a tidal wave of screaming female fans, all begging me for my autograph, a date, or a lock of hair. The last thing I remember was crowd surfing over the masses before I blacked out.

I awoke in my hotel room smelling like 20 different kinds of Hollister perfume. I was missing a shoe, my hair was messed up, and worst of all, my life-saving retainers were utterly gone! I used the sadness and soul-crushing depression I felt from the loss of my treasured retainers to write another number one chart-topping song. The song was a huge success, but it could never fill the void left in my heart that was created by the loss of my beloved retainers. Oh well, I guess that’s the price of stardom.

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.

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