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Welcome to Holistic Happenings in Orthodontics! 
In Harmony Orthodontics - Dr. Catherine Murphy, DDS, MSD 

This month’s topics:

  • Trunk or Treat @ Bridges' Scoreboard
  • Guest Column: Chew on this! by Diane Bahr
  • Health tip of the month
  • Making a custom splash!
  • LeAnn Stutler - proud of my past patient's ALBUM DEBUT!
  • Baby break is almost over
  • In Harmony patients are the BEST!




Trunk or Treat was Fun!

Thank you to Bridges Scoreboard for hosting Trunk or Treat and also to Kelly Bennet for organizing this great event, six years in a row! Thank you to Laura and daughter Payton for decorating their van and handing out treats for In Harmony Orthodontics.















The squishies that Payton picked were a big hit!  

Guest Column by Diane Bahr

You may remember the author, Diane Bahr, from our first newsletter which featured her participation in Dr. Murphy’s professional book club, Connection Book Club. The group met with Diane to discuss her book titled Nobody ever told me or my mother that! Take a look at her guest column below.

Chew on this! The connection between how babies chew and their health

By Diane Bahr, MS, CCC-SLP, CIMI

Most babies are born with good upper- and mid-face structures (e.g., nice wide eye area, good nose angle, broad mouth roof, open nasal area, and a straight lip line). The best way to keep these structures in shape from birth is through good nose breathing and breastfeeding. 

Breastfeeding engages important jaw, lip, and tongue muscles needed for all mouth processes. Bottle feeding mostly uses the lips and cheeks. Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding are very different processes, so babies who are bottle fed or those having difficulty with breastfeeding may need some extra help.

If parents choose or it becomes necessary to bottle-feed, the good news is that there are activities to help keep the mouth in shape! This includes chewing on the fleshy side of the parent’s index finger at the molar areas and tongue walking to encourage crucial tongue cupping for good feeding and eventually speech. This is done in mouth play with the baby. 

Sometimes babies are born without adequate fat pads in the cheeks which usually causes the baby to have difficulty breastfeeding. The fat or sucking pads keep the cheeks against the gums until the baby acquires this skill at 4 to 6 months. Breastfed or bottle-fed babies may hump and thrust their tongues to compensate for missing sucking pads. This can become a difficult habit to change. 

If a baby has missing or limited sucking pads, lactation consultants often recommend a Dancer Hand Position (i.e., carefully applied cheek support). At other times, babies are born with tongue, lip, or buccal ties that impact feeding. It is a good idea for a baby to be evaluated for any tethered oral tissues at birth so these can be released. 

Most people know something about teething, but they don’t know that biting and chewing from birth are important for jaw growth and development. Even in utero babies are mouthing their hands, fingers, feet, and toes. At 3 to 6 months, babies will gently bite on and explore their own fingers. This usually occurs when babies are lying on their stomachs or sides. It can be hard to bring the hands to the mouth when a baby spends too much time on the back or in containers (e.g., car or infant seats). 

A great amount of jaw development occurs in the first year of life through biting and chewing on appropriate mouth items such as Beckman TriChews, Baby Grabbers, and Chewy Q’s. These are all made in the United States with FDA-approved materials. 

Teething and jaw development go together. We want teeth coming in on time, in the appropriate sequence, and fully formed. Biting and chewing on appropriate mouth toys and foods are crucial for this process. 

It is also important to begin appropriate open-cup feeding, spoon-feeding, and straw-drinking around the 6-month-level. Many early feeding and speech details are found in my books and on my website. Here is one example: Questions & Answers on feeding, eating, and drinking. 

For more information see blogs and podcasts at www.agesandstages.net. Email: dibahr@cox.net

About the Author

Diane Bahr, a certified Speech-Language Pathologist and Infant Massage Instructor, is a visionary with a mission. For almost 40 years she has treated children and adults with feeding, motor speech, and mouth function problems. While she is a Speech-Language Pathologist by training, she has also honed her skills as a feeding therapist, published author, international speaker, university instructor, and business owner. She maintains a private practice, writes articles appearing in a variety of publications, and is interviewed frequently on radio and for magazines. Diane is the author of the textbook Oral Motor Assessment and Treatment: Ages and Stages and two parent-professional books Feed Your Baby and Toddler Right: Early Eating and Drinking Skills Encourage the Best Development and Nobody Ever Told Me (or My Mother) That! Everything from Bottles and Breathing to Healthy Speech Development


Health Tip of the Month

As many of you know, I have a three-year-old son at home. We are currently encouraging potty training. If you've had the responsibility of helping a child through this stage, you understand that there are MANY additional lessons to be taught while training. 

This leads me to this month's tip: Put the toilet lid down, always!

Toddlers are curious which creates some challenges. I'm trying to teach my son to put the lid down before every flush. It's there for a reason!  You may not know this, but it is important for your health, especially in small bathrooms when often toothbrushes are located near the toilet. 

Here’s why: There is a mist that sprays into the air with each flush. This mist can go FAR! You don’t want it to land on your toothbrush, eww!

So here is the easy and free tip to be healthier: Put the toilet lid down. It is there to help, not as a back rest. 

Keep toothbrushes, towels, and other products away from the toilet if possible, especially if your toddler is very curious and doesn't always close the lid.

Check out these sites for more information:

https://dengarden.com/misc/The-Toilet-Lid-Must-Be-Put-Down-Heres-Why

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/brushing-and-flossing/safe-storage-for-family-toothbrushes-0413

Making a Custom Splash with Mermaid Straws


Our new custom order of Mermaid Straws is here!! Check out the video on IGTV.

Are you looking for a unique gift for the eco-friendly person on your list? Pick up some beautiful Mermaid Straws, pouches and reusable bottles.
It's a gift to them and to the planet, as well as their teeth! (So many colors to choose from! Check them out.)

 



 

LeAnn Stutler - proud of my past patient's ALBUM DEBUT!

"I became one of Dr. Murphy’s patients when I was 15 years old, a sophomore in high school. I’ve always had big dreams, and surrounding myself with supportive people was necessary, especially at that age. Not only did that network include family and friends, but also teachers and mentors both in my personal and spiritual lives. 

 

Over the years, I’ve belonged to different music groups through my middle school and high school. I was the founder of a local country/ rock band called Capernaum when I was 16 years old. We went on to headline local venues and festivals until the group disbanded in 2018. I started writing my own songs when I was 16, too. My songs are about the faith, hope, and love that I wish people can witness in their lives. I was fortunate enough to have people show me those things, even when I was at my lowest points. 

My parents have always been supportive, and I’m lucky for that. They’re in the front row at every show, have encouraged me to put my best foot forward, and held me accountable for my actions in ALL areas growing up. (Yes, this also included wearing my aligners and retainers when I was under Dr. Murphy’s care!)

I went on to study at Columbia College Chicago where I graduated in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Music Degree with a minor in Music Business. Right now, I’m flying solo and playing acoustic gigs in the Region. I released my first full-length solo album titled “Keeps Getting Better” on November 15, 2019! Things are always changing, but my support system has continued to grow. That’s the beautiful thing about music: it connects you to new people, keeps you active in their lives, and re-connects you to old friends too. It just keeps getting better."


*** I have purchased the album and it's wonderful! We will be playing it at the office! Not on when you're there? Just ask Laura and she will be happy to play it for you! ***
 

Baby Break is Almost Over!

There are still a couple of appointments available in Dr. Murphy's schedule during the schools' winter break.
Please call 219.924.4031 to make an appointment while some time slots are still available.  


In Harmony Patients are the BEST!

I am sending a special thank you to all of my wonderful patients who have been so supportive while I prepare for the newest addition to my family. I have been touched by your kindness and generosity. Thank you for your thoughtful gifts, notes of encouragement, and advice. (I had forgotten all about the pregnancy tea in my cupboard until a patient's mom kindly reminded me!)



AND  thank you for helping our talented front office coordinator Laura celebrate her birthday in October.

We all love Laura and the office wouldn’t be the same without her. Thank you for helping to make her birthday even more special. 




Laura has a sweet spot in her heart for Elvis! 

 
Thank you for reading Holistic Happenings in Orthodontics Newsletter! 

What topics are of greatest interest to you? Please let us know by emailing: contactus@inharmonyorthodontics.com

Reminder, your first consultation is free! Call 219.924.4031 or email: contactus@inharmonyorthodontics.com
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In Harmony Orthodontics

2025 W. Glen Park Ave. (45th St)
Griffith, IN 46319

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In Harmony Orthodontics · 2025 W Glen Park Ave · Griffith, IN 46319-3704 · USA

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