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Barden Orthodontics Responds to COVID-19

May 1st, 2020


Everyone at Barden Orthodontics is looking forward to resuming treatment of patients in our office and doing what we do best - creating beautiful smiles. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety and health.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice. Our infection control processes ensure that when you receive care, it is both safe and comfortable. Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new guidance that may be issued.

We have taken additional, preventive steps to ensure the health of patients and staff. You will see some changes when it is time for your next appointment.

For your appointment

  • Prior to the day of the appointment, our office will email you two forms (COVID-19 Supplemental Informed Consent and Supplemental Health Questionnaire). Please have the forms completed by the patient or guardian prior to coming to the appointment.
  • Please brush and floss prior to your appointment. The tooth brushing station will be closed following recommendation by the AAO.
  • To minimize use of the waiting room, please call us at 414-962-1281 when you have arrived at our building. We will let you know if we are ready for your appointment. If not, we will ask you to wait outside, or in your car, and we will text when we are ready.
  • We ask that only the patient, and a maximum of one guardian, come to the appointment to reduce the number of people in the office.
  • Someone from our office will greet you at the door and take your temperature using a touchless thermometer. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will have their appointment rescheduled for a later date.
  • Please wear a cloth mask or face covering as you enter the building.
  • Please use the hand sanitizer available when you enter the office.

Changes in the office:

  • Multi-stage air purifiers have been ordered from Surgically Clean Air. These purifiers remove particles and destroy small particles in the air, including viruses.
  • You may notice that our reception area looks different. There are Plexiglas shields in place at the reception desk and social distancing reminder stickers. For now, the waiting room will no longer offer magazines, beverages, or the use of arcade games.
  • Our clinical staff will be using N95 or KN95 respirator masks and face shields in addition to the usual personal protective equipment.
  • We have increased routine cleaning and disinfection of the waiting room and common, high touch areas (door handles, etc).
  • Any orthodontic procedures that create significant aerosols will be avoided.
  • Appointments will be scheduled to allow for social distancing and reduce waiting time for patients. That might mean fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
  • Rather than schedule future appointments while in the office, we will contact you by phone to set up your next appointment.
  • We will continue to offer virtual appointments via the SmileSnap and Zoom (accessible via http://www.bardenortho.com/).

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. Our staff is in the process of contacting patients to set up their appointments. If you are having an orthodontic emergency, please call (414) 962-1281.

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors, and friends.


Dr. Doug Barden and the Barden Orthodontics Team

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Teledentistry Appointments Available

April 14th, 2020

During the “Safer at Home” mandate, Barden Orthodontics is maintaining an office presence for you. We have been and will continue to see patients for emergencies. We are now offering teledentistry visits to help monitor the progress of treatment. We remain committed to your dental health. Dr. Barden is now able to see you from the safety of your homes.

Dr. Barden would like to monitor the treatment progress of both patients in active treatment and in retention. Dr. Barden would like all of his patients who have missed or will miss their appointments, to please do the following:

  • Go to bardenortho.com, please click on the link at the bottom of the COVID-19 Update banner.
  • This will take you to a consent form for virtual services. Please read and consent to virtual treatment.
  • You will then be taken to a widget for SmileSnap. Please follow the directions and answer the current patient questions.
  • You will be instructed to take pictures of your teeth using a cell phone. Please try your best, I realize that the conditions for taking pictures are not ideal. Most people will benefit from someone else taking the pictures instead of using selfies.
  • If you are wearing retainers or aligners, please try to take the pictures with the appliances in the patient’s mouth.
  • Next, you will be asked a few more questions. If you are having problems or concerns, please fill that out under “What is your biggest concern regarding your teeth?”
  • Once you have finished filling out the information on SmileSnap, Dr.Barden will review the pictures and concerns and get back to you shortly.

For patients who want to meet via videoconference, please click on the link on the website “For current patients who would also like to schedule a virtual visit using a video conferencing platform (Zoom), please click this link after completing the SmileSnap form.” This will send you to the Calendly app to set up a 15 minute appointment to meet with Dr. Barden via Zoom. Please only set up an appointment after completing the SmileSnap widget. Dr. Barden would like to review static pictures and read through any concerns, prior to meeting over Zoom. We know that not everyone needs or want to do a Zoom meeting. We are offering it as an option for those who do.

If you have questions or problems, you can send an email to info@bardenortho.com.

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Stay safe and healthy!

Dr. Doug Barden and staff

Stress and your Teeth

April 10th, 2020

If you are like most people, you are feeling increased stress right now. Stress can cause teeth-related problems. This includes grinding (bruxism) that can damage teeth, as well as cause jaw and facial pain, and headaches.

Here are some suggestions on Healthy Ways to Manage Life Stress based on psychological research.

  • Manage your stress around the COVID-19 media coverage with helpful recommendations from the American Psychological Association. Their suggestions include keeping things in perspective and getting the facts from reputable media sources. Learn more at https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/pandemics
  • Engage in activities that you enjoy. Even while social distancing, you can still engage in pleasurable activities. If you enjoy listening to music, a number of musicians are streaming their concerts online. We love that the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra is streaming concerts online. Try watching a movie or reading a good book. The Milwaukee Public Library has online books and movies to check out.  Or, you could try cooking a new "braces friendly" recipe.
  • Find ways to relax. The internet is filled with yoga and meditation videos. Psychologists recommend these activities to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.
  • Stay connected to friends and family. Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation. Chat on the phone, text, or use video calls to talk with friends and family members.  Social relationships are important for reducing loneliness and maintaining a positive attitude.
  • Focus on behaviors that promote your overall health.  Continue to eat healthy, exercise the best you can in your home or go for walks outside (staying 6 feet from others), and try to maintain a regular sleep pattern.
  • Don’t forget to brush and floss your teeth daily! You might be social distancing, but good oral hygiene is still necessary.

We miss seeing our patients in our office. We hope you are all well and we look forward to seeing you in our Whitefish Bay, WI office when it is determined safe.

Like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on what is happening in the office and for orthodontic tips and information. Facebook.com/bardenorthodontics

Handling Orthodontic Issues at Home

April 2nd, 2020

At Barden Orthodontics we have made the difficult decision to close our office due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is following guidance from the CDC, American Dental Association, and Wisconsin Dental Association. We will begin seeing patients as soon as we are able to safely do so.

You will be happy to hear you may be able to handle many minor orthodontic issues at home. The following information is provided by the American Association of Orthodontists.

Due to COVID-19, your orthodontist’s office is currently be postponing any non-emergent appointments and you may be wondering how to handle potential orthodontic issues at home. While there are steps you can take to temporarily fix or alleviate discomfort and prevent additional damage, your orthodontist should always be notified. Contact them if you have any concerns during this time.  Many times, they may be able to handle the issue over the phone or virtually through video communication.

During this time, make sure to stay in contact with your orthodontist about when they plan to reopen if you need to have any appointments rescheduled. For many offices, information regarding this is available on practices’ Facebook pages and/or websites.

Tools + Supplies

With these tools and supplies on hand, you will be prepared to handle the most common orthodontic issues

  • Orthodontic relief wax
  • Dental floss
  • Disinfected tweezers
  • Q-tips
  • Salt
  • Interproximal brush
  • Toothpicks
  • Non-prescription pain reliever (acetaminophen or ibuprofen)
  • Topical Anesthetic (such as Orabase or Ora-Gel)

Lost O-ring

An “O” ring is the tiny rubber band or sometimes a very thin wire (ligature), that holds the orthodontic wire in the bracket/brace. If a rubber o-ring should come off, you may be able to put it back in place using disinfected tweezers. If a wire ligature comes loose, simply remove it with the tweezers. If the wire ligature is sticking out into the lip but is not loose, it may be bent back down with a Q-tip or pencil eraser to eliminate the irritation.  Should this happen, be sure to contact your orthodontist to notify them and come up with a plan for repair. Note: self-ligating brackets don’t use o-rings.


It’s normal to have some discomfort during orthodontic treatment as your teeth move however it should not last longer than a couple days. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water and over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, may alleviate some discomfort.  If the discomfort lasts longer than a couple days, be sure to call your orthodontist to discuss.

Mouth Sores

Some patients are susceptible to episodes of mouth sores. While braces do not cause them, they may be precipitated or exacerbated by an irritation from braces. One or several areas of ulceration of the cheeks, lips or tongue may appear. This is not an emergency but may be very uncomfortable. Prompt relief may be achieved by applying a small amount of topical anesthetic (such as Orabase or Ora-Gel) directly to the ulcerated surface using a cotton swab – reapply as needed.  If after a couple days the discomfort does not resolve, call your orthodontist to discuss.

Irritation in Mouth

Sometimes braces or wires can be irritating to the mouth, especially when eating. A small amount of orthodontic relief wax makes an excellent buffer between metal and mouth. Simply pinch off a small piece and roll it into a ball the size of a small pea. Flatten the ball and place it completely over the area of the braces causing irritation.  Wax can be purchased at any drug store if you are unable to get some from your orthodontist during this time.

Protruding Wire

Occasionally the end of a wire will work itself out of place and can irritate the mouth. Use a Q-tip or clean tweezer and try to push the wire so that it is flat against the tooth. If the wire cannot be moved into a comfortable position, cover it with relief wax. Should changes with your wires occur during this time be sure to contact your orthodontist to make them aware of the issue.

Loose Braces or Bands

If the braces or bands have come loose in any way, call your orthodontist to determine appropriate next steps.

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