Cleft Palate Lecture Series with Dr. Flinn

May 27th, 2014

It was Dr. Wanda Flinn’s distinct pleasure to lecture to the Howard University orthodontic residents in January and February of this year, and to local Rockville and Olney dentists this past March about the team treatment of cleft lip and palate. She spoke on topics ranging from the specifics of orthodontic management for cleft patients to the importance of treating these patients with an experienced team of specialists to ensure that all issues are properly addressed (dental anomalies, facial cosmetics, hearing issues, psychological consequences, financial concerns, etc.).

Children who are born with clefts have always touched Dr. Flinn’s heart in a special way, ever since she became acquainted with the condition in dental school. She even decided to do her master’s thesis on cleft palate treatment in her orthodontic residency, and the research took her oversees for data gathering. The findings were eventually published in the Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal which is distributed internationally.

The director of the Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic, located in Lancaster, PA, invited Dr. Flinn to join his prestigious team in 2003, and she’s been going there monthly ever since. Dr. Flinn describes this opportunity as a “reality check.” She explains, “Whenever I complain about something going on in my life, I think about everything these kids have to go through from the day they’re born, and it puts my rather insignificant problems into perspective.”

Want to find out more about what you can do to help kids with clefts of the lip &/or palate? Just ask a member of our team. We’ll be doing a fundraiser soon and would love your help!

#NameThatSmile with Burk & Flinn Orthodontics!

May 14th, 2014

Can you feel that? It's the feeling of summer approaching so quickly! To celebrate winter being over and sunshine being a regular thing in all our lives, we're starting a #NameThatSmile contest!

To enter, draw a line matching the smiles to their celebrity owners at your next appointment. When you submit your entry form to us before July 7th, you'll be entered to win 4 tickets to Six Flags OR a family pack to the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring Friends School.

Want a SECOND chance to win either of those great prizes? Post a picture of your awesome smile on Instagram or Facebook and tag us, using the hashtag #BurkFlinnOrtho

We''ll be announcing the winner after July 7th, so good luck to everyone who enters!

Follow us on Instagram!

November 11th, 2013

Drs. Flinn and Burk and our team are pleased to announce we are now on Instagram, a social media service for sharing photos and short videos. Want to take a deeper look into the life of our office on a day-to-day basis? Follow us on Instagram at @BURK_AND_FLINN_ORTHODONTICS for the latest and greatest from our office!

Don’t have an Instagram account? It’s really easy!

  • Download the Instagram app in the App Store for your iPhone/iPad, or in Google Play for an Android device
  • Once the app is installed, tap the Instagram icon to open it
  • Tap “Register”
  • Create a username and password and fill out your profile info (ex: email, name)
  • Tap “Done”

Follow @BURK_AND_FLINN_ORTHODONTICS to see our selection of photos from the office and in the community.

Feel free to tag your photos @BURK_AND_FLINN_ORTHODONTICS and #BurkFlinnOrtho on Instagram

Enjoy and snap away!

Is adult orthodontic treatment for you?

November 7th, 2013

Adult patients who seek orthodontic treatment usually fall into one of two camps: those who did not undergo orthodontic treatment as a child or those who had braces at one point but stopped wearing retainers for one reason or another.

At Burk & Flinn Orthodontics, we are happy to offer a variety of treatment options to straighten our patients’ teeth. Drs. Burk and Flinn and our team believe you’re never too old to straighten your teeth. And we have many adult patients who are currently undergoing treatment. In fact, did you know that roughly 30 percent of all orthodontic patients these days are adults?

Invisalign® is a great treatment option for adults. The Invisalign aligners are easy to wear and are not visible to most people. Plus, Invisalign's clear aligners are removable, so there are no restrictions on what you can eat during treatment. When considering Invisalign, we tell adults to determine if they can be diligent about wearing the aligners at all times and make them part of their lifestyle for the duration of treatment.

If you have been thinking about obtaining a beautiful smile, please give us a call at our convenient Rockville and Olney, MD office for an initial consultation. Drs. Burk and Flinn and our team welcome children, teens, and adults alike. Call us today for an appointment!

The Intriguing History of Halloween

October 31st, 2013

Halloween is fast approaching, and Drs. Burk and Flinn wanted to be sure to wish our patients a happy day, no matter how you might celebrate this holiday. The Halloween that is familiar to most people today bears little resemblance to the original Halloween; back in the "old days" it wasn't even called Halloween!

Festival of the Dead

Halloween started out as a Celtic festival of the dead that honored departed loved ones and signified a change in the cycle of the seasons. The Celtic people viewed Halloween, then called "Samhain," as a very special day – almost like our New Years day in fact, as their new calendar year began on November 1st. Samhain was the last day of autumn, so it was the time to harvest the last of the season's crops, store food away for winter, and situate livestock comfortably for the upcoming cold weather. The Celts believed that during this day, the last day of winter, the veil between this world and the spirit world is the thinnest, and that the living could communicate with departed loved ones most effectively on Samhain due to this.

Modern Halloween

Halloween as we know it today started because Christian missionaries were working to convert the Celtic people to Christianity. The Celts believed in religious concepts that were not supported by the Christian church, and these practices, which stemmed from Druidism, were perceived by the Christian church as being "devil worship" and dangerous.

When Pope Gregory the First instructed his missionaries to work at converting the Pagan people, he told them to try to incorporate some of the Pagan practices into Christian practices in a limited way. This meant that November 1st became "All Saints Day," which allowed Pagan people to still celebrate a beloved holiday without violating Christian beliefs.

Today, Halloween has evolved into a day devoted purely to fun, candy, and kids. What a change from its origins! We encourage all of our patients to have fun during the holiday, but be safe with the treats. Consider giving apples or fruit roll-ups to the kids instead of candy that is potentially damaging to the teeth.

Remind kids to limit their candy and brush after eating it! Sweets can cause major tooth decay, so to avoid extra visits to our Rockville and Olney, MD office, make your Halloween a safe one!

Why Damon® System?

October 17th, 2013

Drs. Burk and Flinn and our dedicated team at Burk & Flinn Orthodontics are pleased to offer the Damon System for our patients. Damon braces allow your teeth to move more comfortably and easily than do traditional braces. Thanks to these innovative new braces, achieving your perfect smile will be faster and easier than you ever thought possible.

You're probably saying, “Okay, how are Damon braces an advantage over regular braces?”

Time Saving

Damon's innovative technology of self-ligating braces saves you time in orthodontic treatment at Burk & Flinn Orthodontics. The Damon System allows for fewer trips to our office, and faster movement of your teeth than do traditional braces. The light forces applied by Damon braces are “biologically compatible,” meaning that they work with your body for gentler and quicker tooth movement. Finally, Damon braces diminish the amount of food and moisture that can become trapped along the brackets, allowing for more efficient teeth cleaning.


Damon System braces have a unique slide mechanism that allows Drs. Burk and Flinn to use lighter forces to move your teeth to their correct positions. That makes your treatment at Burk & Flinn Orthodontics not only shorter, but also far more comfortable. Because of its unique sliding door, the Damon bracket allows us to use high-tech, light-force wires to achieve tooth movement. That means less pressure on your teeth for more comfortable treatment.

To learn more about the Damon System, or to schedule an initial consultation with Drs. Burk and Flinn, please give us a call.

Kristin Cavallari and Palatal Expanders

October 10th, 2013

It’s no easy feat to have one of the best smiles in Hollywood. The reality TV starlet Kristin Cavallari attributes her gorgeous smile to routine oral hygiene, the removal of two impacted wisdom teeth, and having undergone orthodontic treatment. Kristin’s treatment began in sixth grade when she was fitted with a device Drs. Burk and Flinn and our team call a palatal expander, which is used to guide upper jaw growth in our younger patients.

What is a palatal expander?

A palatal expander “expands” (or widens) your upper jaw by applying gentle pressure on your upper molars, and is used to make the bottom and upper teeth fit together better. In addition, palatal expanders work to create more room for teeth, as well as promote a broader, more appealing smile.

Do palatal expanders hurt?

Palatal expanders are usually not painful, however you may experience difficulty speaking and swallowing for the first few days. Adjusting your palatal expander as instructed by Drs. Burk and Flinn will ensure there are no delays in regards to your treatment plan.

Typically, it takes a few weeks to achieve the desired amount of expansion, after which you will keep wearing your expander for about six months, giving time for the new bone to form and stabilize. Drs. Burk and Flinn and our team at Burk & Flinn Orthodontics will give you detailed instructions about how to adjust your appliance and can answer any questions you may have about your palatal expander.

If you have any questions about your palatal expander or your treatment plan with Drs. Burk and Flinn, please give us a call at our Rockville and Olney, MD office!

October is National Orthodontic Health Month

October 3rd, 2013

What does the month of October mean to you? For people in the northern hemisphere, October is when the weather starts to get a little chilly: heavy jackets might come out of storage and the summer clothing gets packed away. You might start making plans for the upcoming holidays or looking at the beautiful and changing autumn scenery. October means something a little different to our team at Burk & Flinn Orthodontics because this is National Orthodontic Health Month. During October, orthodontic clinics all over the country work together to promote their services and inform the community about the important work we do.

National Orthodontic Health Month is an awareness campaign created cooperatively by orthodontists and other dental health professionals. During this month, we make a special effort to promote dental health and orthodontic health in particular. This is a great time to get your questions answered by dental professionals in your community and to learn more about exactly what an orthodontist can do for you and your family. Events held in connection with National Orthodontic Health Month are also an opportunity for us orthodontists to come out and meet community members. If you have never been to an orthodontist before, you might not know what to expect. Meeting one of us in person before your checkup is a great way to find out what kind of person you’ll be seeing during your appointment.

Meeting Drs. Burk and Flinn in a relaxed “meet and greet” atmosphere can be especially helpful for any young orthodontic patients in your family. Kids of all ages–and their parents!–can feel anxiety about going to the dentist. Getting to know the person you have an appointment with can make the experience a lot less stressful for everyone. We don't want anyone to avoid seeing a dental professional for regular checkups just because they don't know who we are. Just meeting and talking with the orthodontist you'll be seeing may be enough to make you feel more comfortable about your upcoming appointment.

Dental health is something that affects everyone; healthy teeth and gums contribute to a healthy smile and a lifetime of comfort and well-being. Orthodontists are just one of the various dental practitioners you could visit at some point in your life, so taking a little time to learn who we are and what we do is certain to be a helpful experience. We look forward to seeing you and your family this October at our Rockville and Olney, MD location!

Are You Joining Us for a Movie Party?

October 1st, 2013

One of our favorite things to do on blustery fall days is go out and see a movie! We're excited to invite our patients for a trip with our office to watch "The Greatest Turkey Movie Of All Time," Free Birds!

Stop by either of our office locations to pick up your free tickets - you can pick up one for YOU and one for a FRIEND (or family member)! To make the day even more fun, we'll be giving away some special prizes too, just make sure you come to the theater 20 minutes early to participate!

We look forward to seeing you at the Greatest Turkey Movie of All Time! Please see the flyer above for more details.

We proudly offer Invisalign Teen®!

September 26th, 2013

Drs. Burk and Flinn and our team are excited to offer Invisalign Teen, a clear alternative to braces that’s just for teens! With Invisalign Teen, we are able to straighten your teen’s teeth without the hassle, discomfort, and embarrassment of traditional braces.

Invisalign Teen’s clear aligners are virtually invisible. What's more, they are removable, which means your child is free to eat anything they choose, as well as brush and floss with ease! And best of all, Invisalign Teen uses no wires or metal to straighten your teen's teeth.

Invisalign Teen aligners are made from a lightweight plastic material and fit precisely on the teeth. Invisalign Teen has become a popular treatment here at Burk & Flinn Orthodontics because it helps our younger patients achieve a straight, beautiful smile without their friends noticing.

Our team at Burk & Flinn Orthodontics are aware that most teens today have a busy lifestyle, and sometimes, they tend to lose things, including their retainers or aligners. But with Invisalign Teen, if your child happens to lose an aligner, let Drs. Burk and Flinn and our team know as soon as possible and we will have the aligner replaced.

For more information on Invisalign Teen, please give us a call at our convenient Rockville and Olney, MD office today!

Patient question: What are the advantages of the Damon® System?

September 19th, 2013

At Burk & Flinn Orthodontics, we are pleased to offer our patients Damon System braces, which allow your teeth to move more comfortably and easily than traditional braces. Thanks to this innovative system, achieving your perfect smile will be faster and easier than you ever thought possible! Here's how:

Better Results in Less Time

With the Damon braces, Drs. Burk and Flinn and our team can achieve great results and finish your treatment faster. Depending on your case, of course, this may mean a savings of many months. After reviewing your specific needs, we will be able to provide you with a treatment plan.

Simplified Procedures

Damon braces are very precise and effective. In fact, with this system, Drs. Burk and Flinn and team can reduce the need for many of the time-consuming and complicated procedures that are used with traditional braces.

Fewer Visits to Burk & Flinn Orthodontics

Because Damon braces work more efficiently, fewer adjustments at our Rockville and Olney, MD office are needed. The result? Your adjustment appointments will be quicker and fewer in number.

Greater Comfort

Due to the unique design of this new braces system, we can move your teeth into their correct position with much less discomfort than is experienced with traditional braces. Also, Damon braces are small, comfortable, and easy to keep clean.

If you have been thinking about straightening your smile, visit us at Burk & Flinn Orthodontics for an assessment to see if the Damon System is right for you! Give us a call today at our convenient Rockville and Olney, MD office!

Parent question: “When is the best age to begin orthodontic treatment?”

September 13th, 2013

Most parents know that routine dental care should begin during their child’s toddler years. And many assume they must wait until their child has all of his or her permanent teeth to visit Drs. Burk and Flinn for an initial orthodontic consultation.

According to our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists, the ideal age for an orthodontic evaluation is age seven. At that age, your child will have a mixture of adult and baby teeth for Drs. Burk and Flinn and our team at Burk & Flinn Orthodontics to make a determination about whether any problems are present. Typically the first molars have come in by the time your child turns seven, giving us an opportunity to check for malocclusion, also known as “bad bite.” Also, by the time your child reaches the age of seven, the incisors have begun to come in, and problems such as crowding, deep bites, and open bites can be detected.

When Drs. Burk and Flinn performs an evaluation on your child at an early age, you get one of two positive outcomes. Although treatment usually will not begin until one to five years after the initial evaluation, it’s still helpful in determining whether your child has any problems with the jaw and teeth early when they are still easy to treat. Earlier treatment can also cost less to correct a potential problem than delayed treatment.

Early evaluation, of course, may signal a need for early treatment. For some children, early treatment can prevent physical and emotional trauma. Aside from spurring years of harmful teasing, misaligned teeth are also prone to injury and are detrimental to good oral hygiene.

If your child is approaching age seven, or has already surpassed his or her seventh birthday, it is time to schedule an appointment for an initial examination at Burk & Flinn Orthodontics.

AcceleDent™ helps you shorten time with braces!

September 3rd, 2013

Drs. Burk and Flinn and our team are excited to announce we offer the AcceleDent System! AcceleDent, the first and only orthodontic micropulse device of its kind, can actually reduce the time you spend wearing braces 38%-to-50% faster than usual.

Orthopedic doctors have been using micropulse technology for years, but it just recently became available for orthodontic treatment. The AcceleDent System consists of a light, comfortable, hands-free appliance that patients use for 20 minutes per day. Its gentle microvibrations help stimulate bone movement, resulting in the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted.

To learn if AcceleDent is right for you, please give us a call to schedule an initial appointment with your doctor.

For more information, we recommend you visit

Labor Day: Our Favorite Holiday to Rest!

August 30th, 2013

Labor Day, celebrated on the first Monday each September here in the United States, is a holiday devoted to the American working community. The purpose of the holiday is honoring the country’s workers and their contributions to the strength of our country as a whole.

How Labor Day Started

There is actually some debate as to the origins of Labor Day. It is uncertain whether Peter McGuire, a co founder for the American Federation of Labor, or Matthew Maguire, who was the secretary of Central Labor Union of New York, had the great idea. However, the Central Labor Union’s plans were what launched the first Labor Day in America.

The First Labor Day

The very first Labor Day was celebrated on September 5th, 1882. The Central Labor Union then held annual celebrations on September 5th for what they called a working man’s holiday. By the year 1885, the Labor Day celebration had spread to many different industrial areas, and after that it began spreading to all industries in the United States.

Labor Day Today

Labor Day today is a huge United States holiday during which we honor the country’s workers with a day of rest and relaxation or a day of picnics and parades. This holiday is truly one to honor the many people who work hard to contribute to the economic well-being of our great country!

Our team hopes all of our patients celebrate Labor Day, and every holiday, safely and happily. Whether you stay in the area, or travel out of town, have fun, and don’t forget to brush!

Now that I have braces, what can I eat?

August 23rd, 2013

You just got braces and the orthodontist has informed you that over the next several months you will want to avoid eating anything sticky, hard, crunchy, or chewy.  What does this leave for you to eat?  Lettuce?  Nothing?

Luckily, there was someone else wondering the same thing when she first got braces!  Brenda Waterman, 13, decided she was going to find a way to have her cake and eat it too, so she created a variety of “braces-friendly” recipes that allow you to enjoy your favorite treats without interfering with your orthodontic care!  Her cookbook, “The Braces Cookbook: Recipes you (and your Orthodontist) will Love,” gives patients a variety of delicious recipes, safe to eat with braces; plus additional tips and advice for packing lunches, what to eat at parties, and braces-friendly restaurant dishes!  There’s even a section with tips for dealing with the soreness that can occur when your braces or appliance are adjusted.  Enjoy the foods you love – even with braces!

Here is a delicious, sneak peek recipe from “The Braces Cookbook:”

Wonderful Waffles

Forget the recipe that came with your waffle iron – this recipe will redefine fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. The secret to delicious waffles is letting the batter "sit" for five minutes before pouring into the waffle iron. Top cooked waffles with syrup, jam, fresh fruit or even whip cream.  Makes about 5 servings!

Preheat your waffle iron according to the directions. You may want to lightly spray it with vegetable oil before heating.

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 Tbl + 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbl sugar
  • 4 cups milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

In a large bowl, whisk (or use electric mixer on low) together all ingredients. Let batter sit for about five minutes to activate the baking powder.

When waffle iron is ready, pour about 1/3 cup of batter onto each of the four squares (experiment with your iron – you don't want the batter overflowing). Gently close the cover and set your timer as the manufacturer suggests. Do not lift the cover while they bake. When done, carefully lift one edge with a flat spatula and pull the waffle away from the iron. Keep waffles warm on a plate under a clean dishtowel while the others bake.

Send us a "Smile on Location" Photo and You Could Win a $250 Visa Gift Card!

August 8th, 2013

Where in the world did you go this summer on vacation? Disney World? Europe? The Coast? To visit your Grandparents? Summer camp? We had a great summer, and we want to know how you spent your lazy, warm days in the sun!

Send us a picture to, post to Facebook, or bring us in a copy and you could win an awesome prize! Your back to school season would be a whole lot better with a $250 Visa Gift Card, and it could so easily end up in your wallet! So, send us your pictures from now through Sept. 23rd and you'll be eligible to win!

We can't wait to see how you spent your summer vacations, and take a look now to see what some of our other patients did this summer on our Facebook page!

Welcome to Our Blog

March 16th, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog. Please check back often for weekly updates on fun and exciting events happening at our office, important and interesting information about orthodontics, and the latest news about our practice.

Feel free to leave a comment or question for our doctor and staff – we hope this will be a valuable resource for our patients, their families, and friends!

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