The time has come for Santa’s scout elves to leave the North Pole and make their way to homes around the world.  We are so excited to have Dash and Clementine with us again here at Hatcher Orthodontics for the holiday season!

For any who do not know the story, the “scout elves” hide in people’s homes to watch over events. Once everyone goes to bed, the scout elf flies back to the North Pole to report to Santa the activities, good and bad, that have taken place throughout the day. Before the family wakes up each morning, the scout elf flies back from the North Pole and hides. By hiding in a new spot each morning around the house, the scout elf and the family play an on-going game of hide and seek.

The Elf on the Shelf explains that scout elves get their magic by being named. In the back of each book, families have an opportunity to write their elf’s name and the date that they adopted it. Once the elf is named, the scout elf receives its special Christmas magic, which allows it to fly to and from the North Pole.

The book tells how the magic might disappear if the scout elf is touched, so the rule for The Elf on the Shelf states, “There’s only one rule that you have to follow, so I will come back and be here tomorrow: Please do not touch me. My magic might go, and Santa won’t hear all I’ve seen or I know.” Although families are told not to touch their scout elf, they can talk to it and tell it all their Christmas wishes so that it can report back to Santa accurately.

The story ends on Christmas Day with the elf leaving to stay with Santa for the rest of the year until the following Christmas season.



The Best Way to Show You Care is With a SMILE!

Nothing makes us feel quite as good as laughing and smiling. It releases endorphins and just makes us feel good all over! Whether we are walking into a place of business, a store, a place of worship or just into our own homes, being greeted with a smile makes us feel wonderful.

At Hatcher Orthodontics, giving patients a wonderful, welcoming, friendly smile is one of the most important things we do. We have so much fun getting to know our patients and their families. This means that we strive to take care of our community friends and families by making community service a large part of our mission. In the past, we have participated in Family Day at the YMCA, the Duck Race, collecting food for the Portsmouth Social Services food pantry and sponsoring various sports teams. Dr. Hatcher also enjoys speaking to school groups about teamwork and leadership. He also addresses tough issues like drugs and bullying. Seeing so many of our patients at these community events just reinforces the fact that we are all truly one BIG FAMILY.

Our Hatcher Orthodontic team family is also very close. We know we can always count on each other and we always have a great time together. Our team family is also very aware of how important a warm, friendly smile can be. We love seeing the look on our patient’s faces when they have their braces removed and they see their new smiles for the first time. It is truly a universal language and when a smile is given, usually a smile is received. So, please remember to give away your smile as much as possible, not only to strangers, but also to your friends and family. You never know who really needs a smile and the difference it can make is immeasurable.

Creating Smiles is our Specialty
Building Relationships is Our Passion

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Timing is Everything
Is it Time for Your Child’s First Visit to the Orthodontist?

Just as feeding and fertilizing your lawn for the spring and summer has to be timed just right, your child’s first visit to the orthodontist should be timed just right.

At Hatcher Orthodontics, we are always asked “when would you like to see my child for their first visit”? The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first visit with an orthodontist by age 7. Although every child’s development is different, in most children the first molars have typically started to emerge by age 6. This, along with other developmental markers, lets us see the basic alignment of the teeth, from front to back and side to side. While treatment for common orthodontic problems typically begins around age 9-14, when all the baby teeth are gone and many of the permanent ones are in place; there are some conditions that are much easier to treat if they’re caught early, when a child’s natural growth processes are going full speed ahead.

One of the most common conditions treated early is a severe crossbite, where the upper teeth close inside the lower teeth. To treat this problem, a device called a palatal expander can be used, which gradually and painlessly widens the upper jaw; it’s especially effective when the jaw itself hasn’t fully developed. If we wait too long, a more complicated treatment – or even oral surgery – might be required to correct the problem.

It is important to note that in most cases, an early evaluation isn’t necessarily followed by early treatment. Intervention or first phase cases account for only about 10% of most orthodontic practices total active patients. We recognize if orthodontic treatment isn’t needed early, we simply monitor your child’s growth patterns until we see that it is time for treatment to begin. This is why Dr. Hatcher believes in providing a complimentary orthodontic initial consultation and complimentary visits to monitor children’s growth. These visits also build trust and rapport between the child and the doctor and the orthodontic team. This has always been one of the best things about orthodontics, besides playing a role in a beautiful smile, we get to know our patients and families over the years and consider them all a part of our Hatcher Orthodontics Family.

So remember, when considering a first time orthodontic consultation – timing is everything!

kid with braces

YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day


On Saturday, April 25, the YMCA of South Hampton Roads is holding a free community event to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active. YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day®, the Y’s national initiative to improve health and well-being for kids and families, features activities such as games, obstacle courses, camp activities, arts and crafts, and water safety to motivate and teach families how to develop a healthy routine at home.

Once again Hatcher Orthodontics will be participating in our local Great Bridge/Hickory Family YMCA’s event.  Here at Hatcher Orthodontics we strive to make a difference in children’s lives and we are thrilled to participate in our community event.

Daylight Savings Time is Coming

Most of us know that getting a good night’s sleep is important, but too few of us actually make those eight or so hours between the sheets a priority.  Sleep needs vary across ages and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health.  The National Sleep Foundation has a recommended sleep  scale that can help you determine how much sleep you actually need.

Sleep Recomendation

Also healthy sleep habits can make a big difference in your quality of life.  Here are 10 tips to healthy sleep.

  1. Stick to the same bedtime and wake up time, even on weekends.
  2. Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual.  (No cell phones people)
  3. Avoid naps, especially in the afternoon
  4. Exercise daily
  5. Evaluate your room, Cool temperature between 60-67, noise free and finally keep it dark
  6. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows
  7. Use bright light to help manage your circadian rhythms (Avoid bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning)
  8. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals in the evening
  9. Wind down.  Your body needs time to shift into sleep mode, so spend the last hour before bed doing a calming activity such as reading.
  10. If you can’t sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired

So as we lead up this week to Daylight Savings Time beginning, and we all know we hate loosing that extra hour of sleep, take a look at your own sleep patterns and think about making some positive changes toward a healthier you.