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Age 7- The Right Time For An Orthodontic Check-Up

October 4th, 2022

Every October, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) takes the spotlight during National Orthodontic Health Month. It’s a time when orthodontists reach out to patients and their community to increase public awareness about the benefits of orthodontic care.

As part of that effort, Bel Air Orthodontics is spreading the AAO’s message about the benefits of early orthodontic evaluation. Even though most people think of pre-teens and teens when they think of orthodontics, there are good reasons why all children should get an orthodontic evaluation much sooner. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child get an orthodontic screening no later than age seven.

Why is age seven considered the optimal time for screening?

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. While many young patients may not be ready to start treatment, early evaluation allows us to choose the optimal time to begin treatment and provides a greater opportunity for an effective treatment outcome.

What are the potential advantages of early interceptive treatment?

Early treatment allows Dr. Godwin to:

  • Correct and guide the growth of your child’s jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
  • Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
  • Create more space for crowded teeth
  • Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
  • Correct thumb-sucking and help improve minor speech problems

Problems to Watch for in Growing Children

If you notice any of the following in your child, it’s time to schedule an orthodontic evaluation:

  • Early/late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting food
  • Mouth breathing
  • Finger or thumb sucking
  • Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
  • Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
  • Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
  • Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
  • Crowded front teeth around age 7 or 8

Additional information on early treatment is available at the AAO’s website. To view and/or download their handout entitled “Problems to Watch for in Growing Children” click on this link 2020PTWF_Growing_Children-reduced 1MB.

Orthodontics does more than create beautiful smile – it creates a healthier you. If you have questions about your child’s dental development, contact Bel Air Orthodontics at 410-838-2244 to schedule an evaluation.

Do You Know The "Parts" Of Your Braces? (And Why It's Important)

September 14th, 2022

While you may just see a shiny smile full of metal or ceramic, the truth is that there is so much more going on beneath the surface of creating that beautiful new grin. Braces might just look like a bunch of metal parts, but each component is strategically placed to help guide your teeth into proper alignment. In fact, each of these components is designed to work so well together that you must immediately address any type of breakage to avoid delays in your treatment.

The good news is that all of the parts of traditional braces are durable. Occasionally however, loose and/or broken appliances may occur during your active orthodontic treatment. It is important that you contact the team at Bel Air Orthodontics as soon as possible so that we can evaluate the urgency of the problem and schedule you to be seen accordingly for repair. When making that call, it is helpful to know the various parts of your braces so that you can explain your concerns to us in a clear manner. So, lets review our diagram below to learn more about your braces.

  • Bracket - Small attachments that are bonded to your teeth. Brackets hold the archwire in place .
  • Band - Thin ring of metal fitted around the tooth and cemented in place. They carry tubes, hooks or rotating levers (in other words, they become a handle on your tooth).
  • Archwire - The main wire that acts as a track to guide the teeth along. It's changed periodically throughout treatment as teeth move to their new positions.
  • Ligature Tie - The archwire is held to each bracket with a ligature, which can be either a tiny colored elastic or a twisted wire.
  • Coil Springs: These small springs help to open spaces between the teeth as needed. They fit over the archwire and between the brackets. Depending on whether an open coil spring or a closed coil spring is used, the primary goal may be to create more space or maintain existing space between two teeth.
  • Hook - Welded or removable arm to which elastics (rubber bands) are attached.
  • Rubber Bands - Elastic bands that are used to help tooth movement.
  • Buccal Tube - Tube on the molar band that holds the end of the archwire.

If you have any questions about your appliances or your orthodontic treatment, we're here to help. Don't hesitate to give the team at Bel Air Orthodontics a call for additional

Back To School With Braces

August 24th, 2022

With the start of a new school year, parents and kids everywhere are heading out to stock up on back-to-school supplies. If you're undergoing orthodontic treatment, we'd suggest adding a few extra supplies to your backpack. Here's a list of items that will help make your school year braces-friendly and worry free:

Orthodontic wax - Sometimes braces can be irritating to the mouth. If you have a poking wire or a loose bracket, a small amount of non-medicinal relief wax makes an excellent buffer for your gums. It will keep you in school and out of discomfort until you can visit our office for repair.

Elastics (rubber bands) - If Dr. Godwin has prescribed elastics, they must be worn as instructed. Often, they are worn 24/7, except while eating and brushing your teeth. During the school day, you should remove the elastics for lunch, but don't forget to replace them with fresh, clean elastics when you are through. Packing an extra bag of elastics will ensure that you have them available at all times.

Travel toothbrush and Floss - Keeping your teeth and braces clean throughout orthodontic treatment is a priority. Besides that, your friends and teachers don't want to look at food stuck to your braces - Yuk!  Keep your teeth and Dr. Godwin happy . . . Remember to brush after every meal.

Floss Threaders and Interproximal Brushes -  Orthodontic appliances can often make flossing and brushing more challenging. Products like floss threaders and proxy brushes can help take the hassle out of cleaning around brackets and wires. Proxy brushes are great for removing trapped food particles that can get lodged in and around orthodontic appliances. Floss threaders and products like Oral-B Superfloss are made with special, rigid ends that make flossing with braces much easier and more effective.

Retainer case - If you are wearing removable orthodontic appliances, you'll need to take them out before eating lunch. When retainers or other removable appliances are not in your mouth, they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Most retainers are lost in school cafeterias or restaurants, so keep yours safe . . . Take your retainer case to school!

Braces-friendly snacks and/or lunches - Pack non-stick snacks and lunches that are easy to chew and won't damage your orthodontic appliances. Don't forget to stay away from sugary drinks and treats that can lead to cavities. There are lots of braces-friendly alternatives. For more ideas, visit bracescookbook.com

If you have any questions, or need any of the above items for your backpack, feel free to contact the team at Bel Air Orthodontics. We hope you have a fun and successful school year!

Stay Cool With These Braces-Friendly Summer Treats!

August 10th, 2022

Summer's in full swing and it's hot! With temperatures rising and humidity being high, it's no wonder that everyone is looking for some fun ways to cool off. Just because you are in braces doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy delicious summer treats – it just means you have to make sure they are braces friendly. The team at Bel Air Orthodontics gathered three delicious and simple recipes that are easy on your braces and taste delicious too!

Energy Boost Fruit Smoothie

fruit smoothieThis delicious fruit smoothie is a great summer snack because it’s refreshing, full of fruit and is super easy to make. The blended texture will be easy on your braces and your taste buds will be sure to thank you. Switch up the ingredients and experiment with different fruits or even try adding yogurt. You can never go wrong with a fruit smoothie, especially when it’s summertime! Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 cup of pineapple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium orange, peeled
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 medium banana, peeled
  • 1 cup almond milk (or any milk you prefer)
  • 1 cup crushed ice

Place all ingredients into the blender and blend on medium/high until it reaches your desired consistency. Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Peach Frozen Yogurt

Want to eat something healthy and refreshing? This peach frozen yogurt is easy to make and is braces-friendly as well. You'll need these four simple ingredients:

  • 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.

Key Lime Pie Bites

If smoothies or frozen treats aren't what you're looking for, these mini key lime pies are the perfect refreshing after dinner dessert on a hot day. Ingredients you will need are:

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 eggs, separated
⅛ teaspoon salt
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon flour

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two muffin tins with cupcake papers. Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and place one tablespoon of the mixture in each cupcake paper, pressing the mixture down. In a medium bowl, beat together egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. Then in a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, sugar, lime juice and flour, and beat until fluffy. Add the egg yolks and mix until blended. Then, gently fold in the egg whites. Place a tablespoon of the mixture in each paper and bake for 25 minutes. Once baked, allow them to cool for 20 minutes, then refrigerate until served.

Whether you're making these refreshing treats for yourself or to take to a gathering with friends, they're sure to be a hit.  If you have a favorite braces-friendly treat you'd like to share, send us the recipe. Stay cool and have a great summer!