Orthodontics on Silver Lake!

(302) 672-7776

“Ortho: The Next Generation”

Orthodontic education at Augusta University (my alma mater) is alive and well.

It was an honor to meet with and present to the resident doctors this month. These doctors have completed dental school. They are spending an additional 3 years as orthodontic residents to master the intricate details of jaw growth and development, biomechanics, and esthetics.

The Augusta University ortho clinical environment is very cutting edge and uplifting. Every patient is examined and has diagnostic records taken. The records are studied by the residents and their faculty. Treatment options, pro’s and con’s of each option are discussed and a plan is confirmed with the patient in mind.

Some plans seem so straightforward and easy. It’s generally because the plan has been detailed before the start and the patient and doctor communicate well. In reality, most plans are complex, and require attention to multiple details consistently.

The patients at Augusta University Dept of Orthodontics benefit from the faculty supervising the resident doctors for optimum outcomes. Kudos to program chair Dr. Eladio DeLeon, Professor Dr. Weston Fortson, Dr. Levy and the 6 part time faculty for their dedication.

My advice to the residents included:
Know your patients
Listen to your ortho team
Study hard
Be grateful you’re an orthodontist!



Orthodontics: Rethinking Your Future in 2018…and beyond!

A healthy bite and good looking smile is as important at age 60 as it is at age 16. Even though adults are no longer growing, they can also enjoy improvements that come from orthodontic treatment. Your age is not a consideration for orthodontic treatment. Healthy teeth can be moved at any age. 

Some teeth conditions are “urgent” and are better corrected sooner such as 

  • Difficulty chewing, biting your cheek, clenching, speech difficulties, protruding teeth
Other teeth conditions are “important” to correct such as
  • Crowded teeth, gapped teeth, early loss of teeth, esthetic concerns
Finally, consider your motivation and desire for a beautiful smile. 
At OSL/ARO in Dover, DE we plan your treatment with your input
We believe in realistic plans and we encourage you at every step. 
We provide the value you’re looking for to finish your plan, on schedule. 
At OSL/ARO we go beyond to make sure your experience and results are fantastic!
1. What do you want to change? 
2. Are your gums in good shape? Are your teeth cavity-free? 
And, importantly:
3. Are you ready to make the lifestyle changes needed to ensure the outcome you desire?
In 2018, there are a variety of orthodontic “braces” (clear and metal and removable), thanks to the ongoing research in orthodontics. Ask us and we’ll show you what is possible!
Call us today at 302-672-7776 or go to our mobile-friendly websitedoverorthodontics.com
#720smiles  #excellentresults  #silversmiles  #AROsmiles 
Ref: AAO info.org/ why you should get orthodontic-treatment#investment

“ Never Say Never…Never Say Always? ”

As an orthodontist for 23 years in Dover, DE,  I have counseled many of our patients against oral habits- namely to reduce the risk of impacting the normal development of their teeth and jaws. Those patients with persistent habits- with sufficient frequency and intensity, may see the development of open-bite and/or protruding teeth that usually requires orthodontic treatment to correct.
Well, an absolute such as ‘Never Say Never’ can be challenged with new information. A recent published study offers consolation to parents who struggle with helping their child break his/her habit. The study concluded that children who suck their thumb or bite their nails past preschool age may be less prone to allergic reactions, with these benefits lasting into adulthood.
The researchers accounted for a range of things that can influence a child’s odds of sensitization. After this they said it’s difficult to imagine what other factors would explain the findings. Dr. Mika Kiramatsu, a pediatrician who reviewed the study, offered this is another piece of evidence in support of the “Hygiene Hypothesis.”
“Hygiene Hypothesis”: Exposure to bacteria and other microbes early in life helps steer the immune system toward infection-fighting mode, and away from a tendency toward allergic reactions.
The study is based on 1000 New Zealand children who entered the study at birth, and followed into adulthood.
Based on their parents reports: 31% of the children were either sucking their thumbs or biting their nails “frequently” between the ages of 5-11. These children were one third less likely than their peers to develop allergies by the time they were 13. The same pattern was still apparent at age 32!
So Dr. Steckel offers this new information as a form of a “silver lining” – while Dr. Steckel will encourage your child to phase out the habit for dental development, you can remember the potential future health benefits of the habit.
Ref: American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology, 2016. Dr. Robert Hancox, University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand

We wish you Straighter, Whiter Teeth this Christmas!

Recent research results* published by the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) provided an update on the benefits of baking soda toothpastes and dental health.
Toothpastes are known to help prevent decay and reduce periodontal disease when used as instructed. Toothpastes can also act as a “carrier” of ingredients that can reduce tooth sensitivity and stain.
Toothpastes with baking soda are safe to use, less abrasive than other toothpastes regularly sold, and with recent improvements to the formulas they taste better too!
Research results include:
1. The abrasiveness of baking soda toothpastes is low, when compared to other toothpastes that contain calcium carbonate, anhydrous dicalcium phosphate and calcium pyrophosphate
2. The plaque acidity in our mouths is reduced when patients brush with baking soda toothpaste, so this reduces the chance of cavities developing
3. The bacteria in our mouths that can cause gingivitis and periodontal disease are weakened, and cause less plaque to form when patients brush with baking soda tooth paste.
4. The effect of baking soda toothpastes has been shown to be beneficial to our gums, however “clinical data have shown variable results because of variation across studies in baking soda formulations…” Additional studies would be helpful here to confirm how helpful baking soda can be in gingival health.
5. The safety of baking soda toothpastes have been well-documented, in laboratory and clinical studies. They are safe to use for those on low-salt diets, and they do not contribute to tooth-sensitivity.
6. The esthetic benefit- stain reducing and whitening properties (when used as instructed by your friends at ARO-OSL!)
For all our patients and families-stuff your stockings with toothbrushes, floss, and toothpaste! See you at your next visit!
*Ref: JADA 148 (11 supp) http://jada.ada.org November 2017

Ortho Mythbusters #3 :



MYTH: Patients LOVE their retainers

FACT: Patients are happier with straight teeth




We are passionate about excellent results!

Retainers are planned for our patients to reduce the the chance of relapse after orthodontic treatment. Alpine & Rafetto Orthodontics (ARO) – formerly OSL- provide retainers based on the doctors’ recommendations, and original diagnosis of the case. Our patients like their teeth to stay as straight as possible. Stability post-treatment is based on 4 factors: periodontal, occlusal, soft-tissue, and growth.*

Fixed retainers: Maintain your result better, and are difficult to lose.

We review instructions on wear and care the day the retainers are placed. Our ARO-OSL doctors lecture to local hygienists so they know how to help you keep your retainers intact as long as possible.

Removable retainers: Are made to fit well and we instruct on proper wear and care. This retainer can be lost at school, at a friend’s house, a restaurant… We go over ways to avoid this!

One study showed 86% of patients will experience various amounts of relapse if they do not wear retainers.

So LOVE your retainer, wear and care for it, and enjoy your orthodontic results!

*Evidence-Based Orthodontics,” Huang, Richmond, Vig, Wiley-Blackwell 2011
** Relapse and the Need for Permanent Fixed Retention,” Durbin,D. JCO Volume XXXV No.12 2001


Orthodontic Mythbusters #2

MYTH: The Best Time to Begin Orthodontic Treatment is the Same for Everybody…

FACT: Dr. Steckel and the American Association of Orthodontists’ (AAO) recommend that a child should receive his or her first orthodontic evaluation by age 7 years. For some young children, NOT ALL, early orthodontic treatment can reduce the time spent in braces and possibly eliminate the need for future tooth extractions. A thorough evaluation can help determine if treatment would be beneficial for the child now or when to start in the future. These days, braces aren’t just for kids, and Invisalign isn’t just for adults!
Fun Bonus– Our new patients will have a great time at their first visit with Dr. Steckel and our OSL team.
While starting orthodontic treatment at a young age can be very beneficial in many ways, it is never too late to achieve a healthy, straight and beautiful smile!

Individualized Treatment Based on Evidence 

At Orthodontics on Silver Lake, we believe in evidence-based treatment, meaning that we follow clinical evidence to identify the best treatment options and techniques available for every patient. For each patient we see, we provide a clear explanation of his or her specific orthodontic needs, detailed information about the patient’s options, and expert guidance in making the right decisions.

It’s Never Too Late for Orthodontic Treatment- if you have healthy teeth and gums, and an interest in improving your smile. Call Anna or Annabel today at OSL at (302)672-7776 or visit us at doverorthodontics.com to find out more. 

photo credit: Columbia Pictures




MYTH: Orthodontists run behind schedule and keep you waiting for your appointment.

FACT:  There can be orthodontic emergencies that change and slow the schedule. However, those should be few and far between.

OSL patients in Dover, DE can rely on us to see them at their appointment time IF

They arrive 5 mins before their appointment to brush their teeth, and then we’ll get started for their planned adjustment.

In fact, patients and parents frequently compliment us at OSL and appreciate our efforts to see them on time!  #betteratthelake #teamosl

IF our patients cannot arrive on time, then we ask them to communicate this change as soon as possible so we can find an appointment option to accommodate them.

A recent study of orthodontic patients showed that those patients with good oral hygiene and shorter treatment times had better attendance at appointments than those who did not brush well and/or who had longer treatment plans.*

So -if you’re a good brusher, and you are ready to start your orthodontic treatment with Invisalign®, then call Team OSL at (302)672-7776, doverorthodontics.com



*Ref: “Factors affecting patients’ adherence to orthodontic appointments” Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2016 Mar;149(3):319-24. doi: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2015.07.040.

If You See Pink…Go to the Sink!

If you see pink…go to the sink!
All of our patients at Orthodontics on Silver Lake (OSL) in Dover,DE share one common goal: “White, straight teeth” 
And all of us at OSL love helping our patients get there.

Whether you use a power or manual toothbrush or interdental brush; rubber tip or dental floss, or water pik; mouthrinse, each of these oral hygiene products have instructions to follow for the best results.

Optimum Results=Plaque-free teeth, non-bleeding gums, and fresh breath
Poor Results=Plaque and food particles left on the teeth and surface of your tongue. The bacteria in your mouth then break down the food particles, releasing chemicals that have a strong odor leading to bad breath.
One way to check that your oral hygiene efforts are working is to use a pink disclosing tablet after brushing and flossing. This tablet produces a harmless pink stain that clings to plaque, the film of bacteria that is always forming on the teeth and gums. It is a built in check for the user to see where he/she missed brushing.  If you see pink…go to the sink, and brush off the plaque to reveal your clean teeth.
If Dr. Steckel recommends a mouth rinse for you, then it’s best used after your teeth are completely clean.
Any questions? Call us at (302)672-7776 to speak with Anna or Annabel to take the first step to your “White, straight teeth” 

Ref: JADA, Vol 135, December 2004

“I have 2 rows of teeth”

Baby teeth are great space holders for our permanent teeth… until they are not!
We generally lose all of our baby teeth by age 12 years of age.
If they are not lost on schedule, eruption problems with our permanent teeth can occur.
Dr. Steckel sees patients starting at 7years of age and older to evaluate growth, jaw patterns, function, baby teeth, and esthetics to properly time the start of orthodontic treatment.
The patient below  was 15 years old at his first appointment and he had 2 baby teeth.
The baby teeth blocked the permanent teeth and forced them to erupt on his palate. The baby teeth were removed and then the patient started Teen Invisalign therapy. He wore his aligners and finished with all permanent teeth aligned, and a
great smile!
The patient’s comments: “Getting braces was tough at first, but after a while you get used to it. I developed good oral hygiene habits. The appointments are relatively quick and simple with friendly service.” -D.H.
Take HomeTiming is everything- especially with baby teeth. If you have any questions about baby teeth and Teen Invisalign treatment, call us at OSL (302)672-7776.


11 Tips for Successful Invisalign/Teen Invisalign Treatment

  1. You are beginning a new daily experience in your life- expect things to be a little awkward at first- this is normal!
  2. Wear your aligners as instructed- usually 20-22 hrs/day.
  3. Expect some discomfort, as you would have with braces for a few days.
  4. To remove the aligners use the “peel” method from one side to the other.
  5. Always put your aligners in the case we give you- not in your pocket, or paper towel, or any other place!
  6. Remove your aligners for meals and brush them before you reinsert them.
  7. When re-inserting the aligners push them over your front teeth. Then apply equal pressure using your fingertips to the tops of your right and left molars.
  8. If recommended, use chewies, elastics to ensure you get the best results with each aligner set!
  9. Drink water with aligners in, and only drink water when you are wearing aligners. Avoid sodas, sugary beverages in general as they are damaging to your teeth.
  10. (As said in #1)-Expect things to be a little awkward at first-this is normal! Stick with the plan and you will see improvements in your smile before you know it!
  11. Enjoy the Invisalign ® experience!

Call us: (302) 672-7776 | 42 Hiawatha, Lane, DE 19904 View Map