Oral Health

 

Teeth Friendly Halloween Treats

October 6th, 2019

Halloween is Dr. Barden’s favorite holiday! Dressing up in costumes, hanging spooky decorations, pumpkin picking and carving, and trick-or-treating are fun, family friendly activities. But, the Halloween candy gives Dr. Douglas Barden and his staff a real scare.

A friendly reminder for our patients: if you have braces be sure to avoid any candy that is sticky (gum, taffy, caramel) or hard (hard candies or candy with nuts). These can damage your brackets and wires. This will require an extra appointment and can slow down your treatment progress. This means caramel apples are a real danger! If you are being treated with Invisalign® you will be happy to know you can eat anything you want as you will take off your aligners while eating.

Everyone should be careful about the amount of candy that they eat. The sugar on your teeth can cause cavities. So, please eat in moderation and then brush and floss thoroughly!

Here is our challenge to you for this year. Instead of handing out candy for trick-or-treating, how about trying some teeth-friendly alternatives? Here are some of our favorite ideas:

  • Stickers
  • Balloons
  • Stamps
  • Glow in the dark wands
  • Halloween themed pencils
  • Bat shaped rings
  • Vampire teeth
  • Mini coloring books and crayons

Barden Orthodontics will be participating again in the Merchants of Whitefish Bay trick-or-treating event on Saturday October 26 from 10am-noon. We hope you stop by for some teeth-friendly treats!

Happy Halloween!

Orthodontic Back-to-School Checklist

September 6th, 2019

Hooray the kids are headed back to school! The summer activities and trips are over and now everyone has their days filled with reading, math, science….and dental health!

Make sure your children are ready for any orthodontic situation that might occur during the school day! Dr. Douglas Barden recommends that your student pack a small travel orthodontic supply kit in their backpack.

  • Travel toothbrush and floss sticks. It’s important that food doesn’t get stuck in braces or orthodontic appliances and sit on teeth all day long! If your child isn’t able to brush during the school day, teach them to rinse their mouth with water after eating to remove the food particles and dilute the sugar on their teeth.
  • Wax to cover any poking wires.
  • Mouth guards are essential for students who are playing sports. Be sure to get a mouth guard that works with braces. We can custom make a mouth guard for maximum protection.
  • Storage Case. Bring along a retainer or clear aligner storage case. Teach your children put their retainers or clear trays in the storage case when they eat. Never store a retainer or clear aligner in a napkin –it’s too easy to toss it accidentally! Retainers that are put in a pocket or backpack without a case can become damaged.

 If your child has braces, or other orthodontic appliances, avoid packing gum, sticky candy or treats, or hard fruits and veggies in their lunch box. Fruits and veggies are a healthy lunch choice but cut apples and carrots into bite size pieces or else choose softer options (think bananas, oranges, tomatoes, cucumber slices etc). For some other lunch ideas, check out our blog on healthy snacks.

 Life gets busy during the school year, but it is important that you continue to monitor your child’s brushing and flossing. Remember to brush 2 times a day for two minutes each time. Don’t forget to floss daily! Great dental hygiene should become a normal part of your child’s routine and the reward is a beautiful, healthy smile.

Be sure to ask Dr. Barden and his team at their Whitefish Bay office if you have any questions about making sure your child is ready for any orthodontic situation during the school day. We hope all of our patients and their families have a great school year!

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What is Gum Disease?

August 2nd, 2019

What is gum disease? It’s also called Periodontal Disease and it is an infection of the tissues and bones around your teeth. Periodontal disease is caused by plaque. Infected gum tissue pulls away from your tooth and as the disease progresses the tissues and bones around your teeth are destroyed. This can result in teeth falling out or needing to be removed! Unfortunately, periodontal disease is common and can affect people regardless of age or gender.

Here are a few of the signs of possible periodontal disease:
- Red, swollen gums, or pus between teeth
- Bleeding after brushing or flossing
- Bad breath that doesn’t seem to go away even with brushing and rinsing
- Loose teeth

If you notice these signs, or have concerns about your teeth and gum health, make an appointment to see your dentist.

Things that may increase your risk of periodontal disease:
- Use of tobacco products
- Diseases that weaken the body’s immune system
- Pregnancy or changes in female hormone levels
- Certain medications
- Stress
- Genetics

The best way to prevent periodontal disease is to practice excellent dental hygiene. Please ask Dr. Douglas Barden or any of his dental assistants if you have questions about flossing and brushing while receiving orthodontic care. Finally, remember that regular dental exams and cleanings are important and can find signs of periodontal disease before it becomes a serious problem!

Teaching Kids to Brush Teeth

June 7th, 2019

Are you having trouble getting your kids to brush and floss their teeth regularly and thoroughly? We understand – little kids wiggle, don’t open wide, and it can be tough to get them to brush. Don’t stop trying: brushing and flossing are important for preventing cavities and maintaining good oral health.

Parents often ask why it’s important to brush “just baby teeth”. They might be baby teeth, but some of these teeth will be in your child’s mouth until they are 12 years old. Cavities in baby teeth will need to be taken care of which can be painful and expensive. Infections in teeth can also cause other health problems in your child.

Teaching your child good brushing and flossing skills takes time. But, if you start at a young age they will develop an important lifelong skill.

Dr. Barden’s advice on teaching kids to brush and floss:

  • Start when your child is a baby! Before the first tooth even erupts gently wipe your child’s gums with a soft, wet washcloth.
  • Once the first tooth erupts continue to wipe the tooth and consider getting a soft bristle baby brush. You don’t need to use any toothpaste yet.
  • As your child gets more teeth use a tiny bit of children’s fluoride toothpaste. Think the size of a piece of rice. Gently brush the child’s teeth using a rotation.
  • Around the age of 2 your child will likely want to brush their own teeth. Great! Let them brush their own teeth but the parent should do a second brush until the child is able to clean the teeth well on their own (around age 12!)
  • Use special children’s mouth wash that shows areas missed when brushing. This can help the child (and parent) learn how to brush more thoroughly.
  • Floss using floss sticks. They are easier to use than string. Children should floss daily.
  • Do you have a reluctant brusher? Use a sticker or reward chart. Every time your child brushes without a struggle—they earn a sticker on the chart. After a set number of stickers, they earn a desired prize. Just make the reward isn’t candy-related!

We recommend that children start to see a family dentist or pediatric dentist around their first birthday. This dentist will closely monitor your child’s teeth, check for cavities, and determine if treatments, such as sealants, would be beneficial for your child.

Dr. Barden and his team provide every patient with a chart that gives feedback on their brushing and flossing.  We are happy to work with you to teach your child good brushing and flossing skills.

Do you have any creative suggestions that helped your child learn to brush and floss? Share them with everyone on our Facebook page!

Tips for Great Dental Hygiene

March 8th, 2019

Great dental hygiene is essential while in orthodontic treatment. This includes brushing the surface of the teeth as well as flossing to get in between the teeth and along the gums. Brushing can be a little more difficult if you have braces so be sure to ask Dr. Barden and his assistants about the best methods to keep your teeth clean.

At Barden Orthodontics we recommend patients use an electronic toothbrush. Electronic toothbrushes have a special orthodontic brush head specifically designed for use with braces (ask us at the front desk if you need a replacement head). Patients should brush, using fluoride toothpaste, for at least 2 minutes, after each meal. Carry a travel toothbrush so that you can brush while on the go! If you can’t brush right after each meal, then you should rinse with water to dilute any sugar and remove food particles from your teeth. The most important time of day to brush your teeth and braces is at night, before you go to bed, so that the food doesn’t stick to your teeth all night long.

If you are being treated with clear aligners, such as Invisalign, be sure to remove the aligners when you eat and then brush your teeth before putting them back in your mouth.  Brush the aligners clean each night.  

Don’t forget to clean in between your teeth! Every night you should floss or use an interproximal brush to clean under the arch wires and clean between your teeth. Brushing often misses these tight spaces where plaque likes to build up and cavities can develop. When you floss be sure to clean along and under the gum line. With practice, flossing with braces gets easier.

Finally, rinse with a fluoride-based mouthwash to maximize fluoride protection on your teeth.

Parents of our younger patients (about age 12 or younger) should monitor their child’s brushing and double check to make sure that the teeth are clean. A good tip-- use a mouth rinse that has been designed to show food particles left behind after brushing. This way children (and their parents!) can see which areas might be getting missed and adjust their brushing.

Good dental hygiene takes time and effort – especially with braces. However, failure to properly care for your teeth can result in plaque build up, cavities and white spots, and gum disease. Your brushing and flossing effort is worth it to ensure that you have beautiful, healthy teeth.

Be sure to ask Dr. Barden and his team if you have any questions about brushing and flossing. We love healthy smiles!

 

Resolutions for a Beautiful Smile

January 3rd, 2019

The start of the year is a great time to renew your commitment to maintaining your beautiful, healthy smile with great dental hygiene.

You have chosen to get orthodontic treatment because you value having a beautiful, healthy smile.  Dr. Barden and his team are working with you to improve your teeth positioning and jaw alignment.  To ensure a beautiful smile you will also need to do your part -- it is important that you follow all instructions about wearing your appliances and rubber bands. It is also important that you have excellent dental hygiene to keep your teeth clean and cavity free.  Below are some of our top tips for a healthy smile!

New Year's Resolutions for a Healthy Smile

  • Follow the 2-2 rule.  Brush your teeth 2 times a day for 2 minutes each time. Use a timer to make sure you don’t cut the time short.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss, or use an interdental brush, to clean in between your teeth. Floss every day!
  • Rinse with a mouthwash designed to show missed food particles.  This way you are sure to get everything clean and improve your brushing skills!
  • Visit your dentist for an exam and cleaning every 6 months, or more regularly as directed by the doctor.
  • Choose healthy foods and beverages.  Limit sugary foods and snacks to special treats and then brush after eating!

Remember to ask Dr. Barden and his team if you have any questions about what you can do to keep your teeth healthy and clean to ensure a smile that you will love for a lifetime!

Everyone at Barden Orthodontics wishes you the best in the New Year. We hope this year is filled with lots of love, good cheer, and happy, healthy smiles!

Holiday Treats and Healthy Teeth

December 7th, 2018

Dr. Barden and his team love this time of year! Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s there are so many reasons to celebrate with family and friends. And, yes, we LOVE the many delicious, holiday treats!

We get it – holiday treats are delicious! The holidays are a time when we cook our favorite desserts and share them with family and friends. Just remember - if you have braces avoid sticky candy (such as caramel), nuts, and hard candies or appetizers that could break your orthodontic appliances and bend the wires. If you have Invisalign aligners you will be happy to learn you can eat whatever you want because you can remove your aligners while you eat. Just be sure to brush before putting the aligners back on.

In order to keep teeth healthy while also enjoying the many delicious holiday treats we suggest the following things:

• Everything in moderation – some treats and sweets are fine but be cautious about the amount of sugary foods that you eat.
• Don’t snack on sweets all day – that just extends the amount of time for the sugar to be on your teeth. Pick your time to eat the sweets and then brush your teeth clean!
• Pick sweets that are not sticky. Chocolate is a better choice as it is easier to rinse from your teeth.
• Take a travel toothbrush with you! After eating the sweets be sure to give your teeth a brush to remove the sugar
• Forgot your toothbrush? Drink some water to rinse your teeth and dilute the sugar.
• Be sure to brush 2 times a day for 2 minutes each time! Floss and use a fluoride rinse at night to be sure you have a sparkling, clean smile!

The holidays are a great time to schedule your 6 month check up and cleaning with your dentist. They can also work with you to whiten your teeth if you want to have an extra bright smile for those holiday photos.

Happy Holidays to everyone from Barden Orthodontics. We wish you all a season filled with love, friendship, and good cheer.

A Great Partnership for a Beautiful Smile

November 7th, 2018

A Healthy Smile requires a Partnership between You, your Orthodontist, and your Dentist.

Did you know all orthodontists are dentists, but only 6% of dentists are orthodontists? Becoming an orthodontist requires 2 to 3 years of training in addition to dental school. Dr. Barden is an orthodontist who specializes in the movement of teeth and dentofacial development. Dr. Barden will provide the expertise and a treatment plan to straighten your teeth and align your jaws.

While in Dr. Barden’s care he will work in close cooperation with you and your family dentist to ensure the development of a healthy, beautiful smile.

Why do you need to continue seeing your general dentist while in the care of Dr. Barden? Your family dentist will continue to monitor that your teeth and gums stay clean and healthy. Dental hygiene is especially important during orthodontic treatment as it can be more difficult to keep teeth clean while in braces.

What is the patient’s role?
• It is essential that patients (you!) follow your dentist’s instructions on how to keep your teeth clean and visit every six months for a dental cleaning (or more often as instructed).
• You must also follow Dr Barden’s instructions and wear your appliances and bands as instructed so that your teeth and jaws move in the way desired and on schedule.
• It is important that you avoid hard and sticky foods that can damage your orthodontic appliances. Broken brackets and bent wires will slow down treatment progress.

Working together results a healthy, beautiful smile that you will have for a lifetime!
If you have questions be sure to ask Dr. Barden or his staff.

Post-Braces Care: Wear your retainer!

September 6th, 2018

Many patients underestimate the importance of wearing their retainers after their braces come off, but it is one of the most critical post care practices to keep your teeth in alignment. Why spend all that time, energy, and money to straighten your teeth when you don't plan to keep them straightened after treatment?

What is a retainer?

As the name implies, a retainer keeps teeth from moving back to the positions in which they started before treatment was administered; they "retain" your smile and bite. There are many different types of retainers—some are removable and some are permanent. Some retainers are made of plastic and metal (known as Hawley retainers) and others are all plastic or all metal. Some retainers can even be bonded to the back of your teeth!

How long do I need to wear it?

If you've been given a removable retainer by Dr. Douglas Barden, you may be wondering how long you need to wear it. It takes time for the tissues and bones around your teeth to reorganize and set into place after braces treatment.

The amount of time you’ll need to wear your retainer depends on your unique situation, but typically, retainers should be worn at least as long as the time you spent in braces. You might need to wear them full-time for a while, and then transition to wearing them only at night. Dr. Douglas Barden will have a treatment plan especially for you, and if you stick to it, you'll always have a straight smile.

Nothing is forever (at least without retainers!)

Research has shown that there is no “permanent” position for your teeth to remain in. In fact, some studies say upward of 70% of patients will see a change to their bite and tooth alignment as they get older. This applies to people who have had orthodontic treatment and those who have not. Of course, some people's teeth never seem to shift—you can consider them the lucky ones, as most people's teeth do.

And this is precisely where retainers come in. The only way to ensure your teeth stay in alignment long-term is by wearing your retainers. If you have any questions about retainers or your treatment plan, please ask any member of our Milwaukee, WI staff.

Summertime Beverages and your Teeth!

July 6th, 2018

It’s Hot, Sunny, and you are Thirsty!

Summertime means lots of sun and enjoying outside activities. All of this time in the sun gets you thirsty! Before you grab something to drink-- stop and think about your teeth! Coffee and tea can stain your teeth. Soft drinks, sports drinks, and vitamin waters often contain a lot of sugar and acid. This can result in tooth decay. Even diet or “sugar free” sodas contain acid that also attacks your teeth enamel. Ongoing acid on your teeth weakens the enamel and can result in cavities.

What can you do to reduce tooth decay? Drink soda, sport drinks, and flavored waters in moderation. Even juice contains a lot of sugar and should be consumed in limited amounts. Don’t sip for extended periods of time as the ongoing sipping prolongs the time for the sugar and acid attacks on your teeth. After drinking sweet drinks, be sure to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water to dilute the sugar.

Plain tap water is an even better choice!! It has no sugar, no acid, and no calories! In many communities the tap water has fluoride to help protect your teeth. Plus, if you use a refillable water bottle you are helping to protect the environment!

Remember: healthy teeth require healthy food and beverage choices, regular brushing and flossing, and regular checkups with your dentist. The reward is a beautiful, cavity free, smile!

Be sure to ask Dr. Barden and his team if you have any questions about brushing and flossing with braces or retainers!

We hope everyone is having a great summer!!

Importance of Oral Hygiene with Braces

June 27th, 2017

 

Proper oral hygiene techniques are always worthwhile, but they are especially crucial when you’re wearing orthodontic appliances such as braces. When you don’t maintain an effective oral hygiene routine, you can be more susceptible to gum disease as well as tooth decay, cavities, decalcification, discoloration, and/or staining of the teeth.

Braces themselves don’t cause these issues, but since they create spaces that are difficult to clean, they provide extra sources of food (dental plaque and food debris) for the bacteria that do. Bacteria create a biofilm on the surface of a tooth that can spread if not addressed. That bacteria food can only be removed by a mechanical action: brushing and flossing your teeth!

Here’s a list of smart hygiene steps to follow for the duration of your braces treatment:

Proper tooth brushing technique: Make sure to brush your teeth thoroughly (for a total of about two minutes), but not too hard. Point the head of the toothbrush at the gum line and brush just hard enough so that you feel slight pressure against the gums. Use a soft, small-headed toothbrush or an electric toothbrush if you’d like. Try your best always to clean on and around every tooth, bracket, and wire in your mouth!

Flossing: Braces can make flossing a chore, but it’s an essential adjunct to proper tooth brushing. Make sure to floss between all your teeth and brackets. Dr. Douglas Barden can provide you with braces floss threaders and interproximal toothbrushes (small brushes used to clean areas under wires and between brackets) to make the task easier. You might also consider purchasing an oral irrigator that uses a stream of water to blast food particles and debris from between teeth and gums.

Rinse with water: This may sound slight, but it’s a good idea, especially if you aren’t able to brush. Rinsing your mouth with water throughout the day helps to dislodge the decay-causing food particles that become lodged in braces.

Hygiene away from home: It’s a good idea to have a kit with a toothbrush, floss, floss threaders, mirror, and small water cup on hand at school or work. That way, you’ll be sure to have all the tools you need to keep your mouth clean.

Regular professional cleanings: As always, it’s best to visit your dentist regularly to verify everything in your mouth is in order and your oral hygiene routine is effective. Twice a year is sufficient, unless the dentist recommends more frequent visits.

It's vital to keep your teeth and gums clean during your braces treatment, and that requires your care and attention. If feel like you need help with any of the techniques above, a member of our Milwaukee, WI team can demonstrate them for you!

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