5 Tips to Keep Your Retainer Safe

June 11th, 2024

Consistently wearing your retainer is essential for maintaining your beautiful smile as teeth can move out of place without the retainer's support. You should wear the retainer as directed by Dr. Barden.

Losing a retainer can be a costly and frustrating experience. It also means having to pay for a replacement retainer. However, with a little diligence and some smart habits, you can significantly reduce the risk of misplacing your retainer. Here are five foolproof tips to keep your retainer safe and sound:

Here are 5 suggestions to keep your retainer safe until you place it on your teeth again.

Designated Storage Space: Allocate a specific spot for your retainer when you're not wearing it. Whether it's a retainer case on your bedside table or a compartment in your bag, having a consistent storage location reduces the chances of forgetfulness or misplacement.

Always Use the Case: Never wrap your retainer in a napkin or tissue or leave it lying around unprotected. Invest in a sturdy retainer case and make it a habit to store your retainer in it whenever you're not wearing it. This not only protects it from physical damage but also makes it easier to locate.

Establish Routine Checks: Incorporate retainer checks into your daily routine. Before and after meals, take a moment to ensure your retainer is safely stored away. Similarly, make it a habit to check for your retainer whenever you leave a location or remove it for any reason.

Consistency is key: Build a habit that you always put the retainer in a same place when you take it out. This way you will know where it is at all times.

Backup Plan: Consider having a backup retainer, especially if you're prone to misplacing things. Having a spare can save you from the inconvenience of waiting for a replacement if one goes missing. Keep the spare in a safe place, following the same guidelines for storage and care as your primary retainer.

By incorporating these simple yet effective tips into your daily routine, you can minimize the risk of losing your retainer. Remember, a little vigilance goes a long way in safeguarding your orthodontic investment and ensuring a smooth treatment journey.

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Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

May 10th, 2024

Orthodontic treatment goes beyond just straightening teeth; it's about enhancing oral health, boosting confidence, and improving overall well-being. While the aesthetic benefits are certainly appealing, the true value of orthodontic treatment extends far beyond a beautiful smile.

First and foremost, orthodontic treatment corrects misaligned teeth and bite issues, which can contribute to a host of oral health problems. Crooked or crowded teeth are more difficult to clean, increasing the risk of cavities, gum disease, and other dental issues. By straightening the teeth and aligning the bite, orthodontic treatment helps maintain optimal oral hygiene and prevents future dental problems.

Beyond oral health, orthodontic treatment can have a significant impact on an individual's self-esteem and confidence. A straight, beautiful smile can boost self-confidence, improve social interactions, and even enhance career prospects. Studies have shown that people with straight teeth are perceived as more attractive, trustworthy, and successful, highlighting the psychological benefits of orthodontic treatment.

Moreover, orthodontic treatment can alleviate various functional issues, such as difficulty chewing or speaking, jaw pain, and even headaches caused by misaligned teeth or jaw discrepancies. By improving the function of the teeth and jaws, orthodontic treatment enhances overall comfort and quality of life.

Additionally, investing in orthodontic treatment early on can prevent the need for more extensive dental work in the future. Addressing orthodontic issues promptly can help avoid costly and invasive dental procedures down the line, saving both time and money in the long run.

In summary, the value of orthodontic treatment extends far beyond cosmetic improvements. From promoting oral health and boosting confidence to enhancing overall well-being, orthodontic treatment offers invaluable benefits that can positively impact every aspect of a person's life.

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Fascinating Orthodontic Facts

February 2nd, 2024

Advances in medical technology are amazing. Orthodontic treatment is no exception. Check out these fun facts about braces (and teeth)!

  1. Braces Are Ancient: Orthodontic treatment is not a recent invention. Archaeologists have found mummies with metal bands wrapped around their teeth, suggesting that braces or some form of orthodontic treatment may have been used in ancient times.
  2. George Washington and His Wooden Teeth: Contrary to popular belief, George Washington did not have wooden teeth. However, he did wear a set of dentures made from various materials, including human teeth, animal teeth, and ivory. We are glad that dental treatment has advanced to avoid these types of dentures!
  3. The First Official Orthodontist: Pierre Fauchard, a French dentist, is often called the "Father of Modern Dentistry" and is credited with introducing orthodontics as a dental specialty. He published a book in 1728 that included methods for straightening teeth.
  4. Invisalign Innovation: Invisalign, the clear aligner system, was developed with the help of computer technology. It uses 3D imaging and modeling to create custom aligners for each patient, making it a more discreet and comfortable alternative to traditional braces.
  5. Orthodontics in Hollywood: Many actors and actresses have worn braces or undergone orthodontic treatment to perfect their smiles. Some even wore them during movie roles, making braces a popular fashion statement in Hollywood

Remember, orthodontic treatment can be a fascinating journey to a healthier and more beautiful smile! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or X (Twitter) for more helpful orthodontic tips from Dr. Douglas Barden and his team at his Whitefish Bay, WI office.

Top 10 Reasons for Orthodontic Treatment

January 5th, 2024

Orthodontic treatment plays a significant role in improving oral health, overall well-being, and self-confidence. Here are some of the key reasons why orthodontic treatment is important:

  1. Alignment of Teeth: Orthodontic treatment, such as braces or aligners, helps correct crooked, crowded, or misaligned teeth. Properly aligned teeth are easier to clean, reducing the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues.
  2. Improved Oral Function: Correcting misaligned teeth can enhance the overall function of the mouth, making it easier to chew, speak, and bite properly.
  3. Prevention of Dental Issues: Orthodontic treatment can prevent or minimize dental problems that may arise from misaligned teeth, such as excessive wear on tooth surfaces or jaw joint issues (TMJ disorders).
  4. Enhanced Aesthetics: Orthodontic treatment can significantly improve the appearance of the smile.
  5. Facilitates Proper Growth and Development: In children and teenagers, orthodontic treatment can guide the proper growth and development of the jaws, ensuring a balanced facial profile.
  6. Reduces Risk of Injury: Protruding or misaligned teeth can increase the risk of dental injuries in case of accidents. Orthodontic treatment can help reduce this risk by properly aligning the teeth.
  7. Addressing Jaw Misalignment: Orthodontic treatment can address issues related to malocclusion, where the upper and lower jaws do not fit together correctly, improving the bite and reducing discomfort.
  8. Long-Term Cost Savings: Addressing orthodontic issues early can prevent more extensive and expensive dental treatments later in life. It can also lead to fewer dental visits for repairs and treatments caused by misaligned teeth.
  9. Boosted Self-Confidence: A beautiful smile resulting from orthodontic treatment can significantly impact a person's confidence and social interactions. Straight, well-aligned teeth can boost self-confidence and self-esteem, leading to a more positive self-image.
  10. Better Overall Health: Good oral health, which can be achieved through orthodontic treatment, is linked to better overall health. Dental issues, when left untreated, can lead to systemic health problems.

It's essential to seek guidance from an orthodontist to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for individual needs. Contact Dr. Douglas Barden and his team at our Whitefish Bay, WI office at 414-962-1281 to schedule your consultation and start on your journey to get a "perfect 10" smile!

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Smile and Feel Confident

December 11th, 2023

At Barden Orthodontics we love healthy smiles!  This means not only having straight, well aligned teeth, but also teeth that are healthy and well cared for with brushing and flossing.

Great oral hygiene (brushing, flossing and rinsing with fluoride mouthwash) is important for a number of health outcomes.  Oral hygiene is important to reduce dental issues such as cavities, gum disease and bad breath. Oral hygiene is also important for overall health. People with great oral hygiene even have a longer life expectancy than people who do not take good care of their mouth and teeth!

There are also numerous psychological benefits to having great oral hygiene. Psychologists at Lancaster University found that people who recently brushed their teeth, compared to those who had not brushed their teeth, reported:

  • Greater confidence in social interactions
  • Fewer nervous behaviors (such as fidgeting) when interacting with other people.

Looking for a quick confidence builder? It’s as easy as taking 2 minutes to Brush, Floss, and Rinse!  Knowing you have a beautiful smile (and fresh minty breath) is an easy way to feel comfortable and confident when interacting in any social situation.  

Dr. Barden recommends that you always carry a travel toothbrush and floss for a quick brush after meals while at work or school. Follow his advice and you will be confident in any social situation!

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Cold Season and Your Health

November 10th, 2023

This time of year people start sneezing and getting seasonal colds. What is the difference between a seasonal cold and the flu? The experts at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that a common cold usually includes sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, and coughing. These symptoms can last for up to two weeks. The flu has many similar symptoms but can be more serious. Check out this helpful chart with the differences between the cold and flu from the CDC.

At Barden Orthodontics we take prevention of the spread of germs and viruses very seriously. We follow strict sanitation and sterilization guidelines in our office at all times, as well as following the requirements for sterilizing instruments and work surfaces. We follow all CDC and OSHA guidelines to ensure that when you receive care it is both safe and comfortable. Our office was designed so that all treatment chairs are physically separated by walls, unlike most orthodontic offices that have an open treatment area. This minimizes the spread of airborne viruses.

In the waiting room and every treatment area we have incorporated state-of-the-art multistage air filters that utilize UV lights to produce surgically clean air.

For the protection of other patients and our staff, we always ask that patients reschedule their appointments if they have any type of cold or illness that can infect others.

Being sick isn't fun. To prevent or minimize the chance of getting a cold or the flu, remember to wash your hands or use an antibacterial/antiviral sanitizing hand gel. Wash commonly touched surfaces in your home with soap and water (faucets, door knobs, counters etc.) frequently. Eat healthy foods and get plenty of sleep to keep your immune system working its best. Change your toothbrush after being sick. Finally, avoid contact with those who are ill so that you minimize the chance of getting sick yourself!

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Toothbrush Tips

September 9th, 2023

A good toothbrush is essential to keep your teeth healthy and clean. Dr. Douglas Barden recommends using a new (replaced every 3 months!) toothbrush with soft bristles. Even better, use an electronic toothbrush with an orthodontic brush head. These toothbrushes provide the best brushing action to keep your teeth sparkling clean. Ask us if you have any questions about the best toothbrush for your unique dental needs.

It's important that you also take good care of your toothbrush. If you have been sick, be sure to replace your toothbrush as germs can remain on the bristles.

Checkout Dr. Barden's toothbrush tips:

• Wash your hands before and after brushing.
• Rinse the brush after brushing and then allow it to air dry after each use. Bacteria dies after being exposed to oxygen.
• Store the toothbrush in an upright position to allow water to drain. Do not cover it with a cap so that it can air dry more quickly.
• Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Worn bristles are less effective in properly cleaning your teeth, and can actually be damaging to teeth if used too long!

If you have any questions about how to brush and floss with braces check out these helpful instructions on our website!

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Braces Friendly Food Alternatives

August 11th, 2023

Congratulations on starting braces and orthodontic treatment! This is a big step, and we know patients often have many questions on how to take care of their braces.

During orthodontic treatment it is important that you select your food carefully. Hard foods can break brackets and bend wires resulting in additional appointments and delayed treatment times. Sticky foods can also damage orthodontic appliances. Sticky food can also be hard to clean off of appliances and teeth, resulting in food stuck on your teeth causing tooth decay.

Some foods to avoid and braces friendly alternatives:

  • Popcorn is a patient favorite, and many kids are sad when we warn them about eating popcorn with braces. The problem with popcorn is that the seeds can break brackets, bend wires and kernels get stuck in brackets, between teeth and gums. Try eating softer puffed rice or corn snacks. They are still salty and satisfying!
  • Nuts are in many baked goods and can be eliminated from the recipe or replaced with raisins. Try nut butter spread on a cracker for snack time if you miss the taste of nuts.
  • Carrots are a healthy snack but can cause damage to appliances. Cook carrots until they are soft or cut into small pieces.
  • Apples should be cut into small pieces, baked, or eat sugar free applesauce.
  • Caramel and other sticky candy such as taffy are dangerous to braces. Try caramel flavored ice cream.
  • Corn-on-the cob is a fun summertime food but can break brackets and wires. While in braces cut the kernels off the cob!

Check out these fun brace friendly recipes for dinner, dessert, and snack ideas! We know that skipping some of your favorite foods is hard, but the healthy, beautiful smile will be worth the effort!

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New Patient FAQ

July 13th, 2023

So many children, teens, and adults are starting their orthodontic treatment at Barden Orthodontics! One of the first questions patients ask is "What should we do now that we have braces?" This is a great question as you play a big role in ensuring a beautiful smile and successful treatment that progresses on schedule!

Here is Dr. Barden's top advice for new patients:

1. Your teeth might be sensitive the first few days after you get braces or have an adjustment. This mild discomfort can last for three to five days. Eating soft (healthy!) food can help by putting less pressure on your teeth. Some great food choices include soup, sugar free Jell-O, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, applesauce, baked potatoes, pasta, bananas, cottage cheese, smoothies, pancakes, soft cheese, and milk.

2. If you experience any soreness from the brackets and wires rubbing on your lips or cheeks, place some of the wax (provided in your starter kit) on the brackets or wires causing the problem. Rinsing with warm salt water can also reduce discomfort. This discomfort will also decrease as your mouth becomes use to the braces.

3. It is crucial to maintain good oral hygiene during your orthodontic treatment. Food can get trapped in braces and be more difficult to remove. We recommend that you brush and floss after every meal. A fluoride mouth rinse is recommended as well. There is some great information on brushing and flossing with braces on our blog and website. Ask Dr. Barden's team if you have any questions about oral hygiene with braces.

4. Avoid foods that can damage your brackets and wires. This includes hard foods such as apples, corn on the cob, popcorn, nuts, ice and more. Sticky foods such as gum and caramels can also damage the braces and wires, as well as stick to your teeth causing tooth decay. Damage to brackets and wires will result in additional orthodontic appointments and can lengthen your treatment time.

5. Regularly check your braces for bent or loose wires and brackets. In the event of a loose or broken wire or bracket, please call our Whitefish Bay, WI office during regular business hours to schedule an appointment. This doesn't require an after-hour emergency appointment though!

6. Wear your elastics or other orthodontic gear consistently and as instructed by Dr. Barden. Yes, this means headgear and rubber bands (elastics)! Learn more about the importance of these appliances on our website!

7. Always wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth when playing sports. Ask us if you need one that works with braces.

8. Be sure to schedule your appointments for adjustments at the intervals indicated by Dr. Barden. Skipping appointments will extend your treatment time. You should also visit your dentist for checkups and teeth cleaning appointments about every six months, or as recommended by your dentist.

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Orthodontic Treatment Time

June 10th, 2023

Patients always want to know how long treatment will take or "how much longer" until braces come off. We understand - we are excited to see your finished, beautiful smile too!

Your smile is unique, so your orthodontic treatment time will also depend on your specific treatment needs. On average, orthodontic treatment is typically around two years. Of course, treatment time will vary depending on your specific situation. Very minor tooth movement may only take a few months to correct, while serious malocclusion (poor bite) may need longer than two years to correct. Dr. Douglas Barden will estimate your treatment time after conducting an exam and a complete review of your dental records.

Treatment time will also depend on you! Yes - your effort can help to facilitate treatment staying on schedule or result in delays. This means you need to follow Dr. Barden's instructions on wearing elastics, headgear, expanders, aligners, or other appliances that you might be part of your treatment plan. Failure to use these appliances as instructed can result in delays in your treatment and a longer total time in braces. You also need to attend your appointments on the schedule outlined by Dr. Barden. Missing appointments can also result in longer treatment time.

Remember orthodontics is a medical procedure and each person is unique. While we can provide an estimate of treatment times, ultimately the final time depends on many factors. Trust us - your beautiful smile will be worth the effort and wait!

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Say No to Candy!

May 5th, 2023

Congratulations on starting your orthodontic treatment at Barden Orthodontics! With braces it is especially important to practice good oral hygiene during your treatment to prevent cavities, white spots, gum disease, and tooth decay.

You should continue brushing and flossing on a regular basis throughout your treatment at Barden Orthodontics. This means brushing for two minutes, at least 2 times a day. You should also floss and use a fluoride mouthwash every day!

Dr. Barden wants to remind you that you should be careful about what you eat while in orthodontic treatment. Candy is never a healthy choice for teeth, but it can be especially troublesome while in orthodontic treatment. Sweet, sour, and sticky candies may taste great, these they can damage your teeth and braces!

Here are Dr. Barden's top concerns with candy:

  • Sour candy, popular with many kids, is acidic to your teeth and can wear down the enamel. This results in tooth decay and cavities.
  • Sticky candy (gum, caramel, taffy etc) is difficult to clear off of your braces and other orthodontic appliances resulting in sugar sitting on your teeth for prolonged time and increasing your risk of cavities and tooth decay.
  • Hard candies or candy with nuts can bend and break wires and brackets resulting in extra emergency visits and delayed treatment time.

Candy can be a fun, special treat but you should eat it infrequently. Make sure the candy is soft and not sticky (yes, chocolate!). After eating candy, be sure to brush and floss. If you do not have a toothbrush available, wash your mouth out with water. Water will help to dilute the sugar in your mouth and clear off the braces.

Brusing and flossing can be a bit harder with braces. Check out this helpful information or ask Dr. Barden's team at your next visit if you have any questions.

Be sure to practice good dental hygiene every day! This includes visiting your dentist every six months, brushing and flossing daily, and using a fluoride-based mouthwash.

For more questions about foods you should avoid while wearing braces, healthy snack alternatives, dental hygiene tips, or if you have any general questions about your treatment, we encourage you to give us a call at 414-962-1281, or ask us at your next adjustment appointment.

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Spring is in the air at Barden Orthodontics!

April 7th, 2023

As the weather (finally!) gets warmer, patients and their families are enjoying more time outside.  This includes more time playing outdoor sports such as soccer, baseball, softball, and lacrosse.  We want to remind everyone that wearing a mouth guard is essential to protect your teeth and jaw from damage in a sport-related accident or facial injury.  Mouth guards should be worn at all times during practice and games. Please let us know if you need one that works with braces.

With more time spent outside people are also biking on the local trails and playing other non-contact sports. While chances of injuries are lower with these activities, we do see some emergencies still happen from unanticipated falls and accidents.  Check out this helpful information on what to do in case of a dental emergency or a sport-related dental emergency. If any of your orthodontic appliances, brackets or wires are damaged, please schedule an appointment with our team.

Please give us a call at Barden Orthodontics at 414-962-1281 if you have any questions about mouth guards. Check out our office and website for more information!

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Early Indicators of Orthodontic Issues

March 3rd, 2023

When people think about the need for orthodontics they first think about straightening crooked teeth. Did you know that there are a number of other reasons to visit an orthodontist? 

If you are wondering if you or your child might have need for orthodontic care, here are some of the most common indicators of potential orthodontic issues:

  • Difficulty chewing or biting.
  • Chronic mouth-breathing.
  • Sucking the thumb, the fingers, or any other oral sucking habits after the age of six.
  • Your dentist has told you that you have an Overbite (when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth by more than 5mm), Underbite (when the top front teeth go behind the bottom row of teeth), or a Crossbite.
  • Teeth that are crowded, crooked, overlapped, misshapen, or misplaced .
  • Extra teeth of any size.
  •  The center of the top and bottom teeth do not line up.
  •  Uneven teeth-wearing.
  •  Premature loss of baby teeth.
  •  Jaw pain.
  •  Clicking in the jaw joints or the jaw shifts off-center while chewing.
  • A jaw that protrudes, or recedes, too much.
  •  Difficulty speaking or enunciating clearly.
  • Chronic biting of the inner cheek or roof of the mouth.
  • Asymmetrical facial structure.
  • Grinding, or clenching, teeth.

Children, teens, and adults can all benefit from orthodontic care, but addressing issues early is almost always the ideal choice. Scheduling your child an exam with an orthodontist by the age of 7 will help ensure your child has a healthy smile as many orthodontic issues are much easier to treat and correct during childhood.

Call Barden Orthodontics at 414-962-1281 to schedule a consultation. Check out our office and website for more information!

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Mouthwash, Orthodontics, and your Health

January 6th, 2023

Your brush and floss daily, but do you also rinse?

At Barden Orthodontics we are passionate about good dental hygiene.  Without consistent dental hygiene you may begin to experience tooth decay (cavities), gum disease and bacterial infections. Brushing and flossing are essential, but patients often ask us if using mouthwash or mouth rinses are also a necessary part of that routine. The answer is YES! You should rinse with a mouthwash daily!

Patients frequently ask Dr. Douglas Barden about different mouthwash options while in braces and orthodontic treatment. Below are Dr. Barden's recommendations so you can decide which mouth rinse is best for your dental needs.  Your dentist can also provide helpful recommendations that are specific for your unique treatment issues or concerns.

Benefits of Mouthwash and Rinses

  • Gum Health. Antiseptic mouthwashes reduce bacteria on and near the gums. This can help to decrease your chances of developing gingivitis or gum disease. Use mouthwashes that have antibacterial and antimicrobial ingredients.
  • Fluoride.  Fluoride can help to preventive tooth decay and also builds stronger teeth. Fluoride is in most tap water, but if you drink well water or bottled water, a rinse with fluoride can be beneficial to your dental health.
  • Prevent Bad Breath. Mouthwashes also reduce the bacteria in your mouth that can cause bad breath. Most mouthwashes will help eliminate bad breath, but there are also mouthwashes specially developed for this problem if this is a chronic issue that you experience.

General recommendation: for most teenagers and adults a general antiseptic mouthwash is a great option if you want to promote the general health of your mouth. If you have specific concerns about your oral health, be sure to ask Dr. Douglas Barden or your general dentist at your next cleaning and checkup.

For children there are specific pediatric mouthwashes available.  Be sure to ask your pediatric dentist for their recommendation on what type is best for their specific dental needs.  Avoid letting children under age six use a mouth rinse, unless specifically recommended by their pediatric dentist. Finally, be sure to keep all mouthwashes out of the reach of children, because some contain alcohol and other substances that could be harmful. Never swallow or drink mouthwash.

Looking for more dental and orthodontic health tips and information? Follow us on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram to learn more!

Braces Friendly Baked Apple Recipe

December 2nd, 2022

This time of year, we love eating warm desserts that highlight the fall harvest. A favorite dessert is Dr. Barden’s Braces Friendly Baked Apple.

Braces Friendly, Baked Apples Recipe 


4 large apples

4 tablespoons of soft butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup oatmeal

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup raisins (or chopped nuts if you have clear aligners, otherwise nuts can damage brackets and wires!)


Wash the apples.  Cut the apple in half and remove the core using a spoon. Combine the other ingredients and fill the apples.  Place the apples in a casserole baking dish. Put ¾ cup water on the bottom and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes, until apples are soft and filling has browned.

Serve warm and top with whip cream.  Enjoy!

Check out some of our other braces friendly recipes for dinner here and appetizers here!  Follow us on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram to learn more about Barden Orthodontics and other dental tips!

Dental Hygiene for a Great Smile

November 4th, 2022

Great oral hygiene is important when you have braces and other orthodontic appliances.  When you have braces, food can get trapped under the wires and between the teeth and the brackets. This can result in prolonged time that food sits on the teeth and can cause tooth decay, cavities, and other damage.  Here are a few of Dr. Doug Barden's tips to keep your teeth healthy while wearing braces:

1. Brush, Floss, and Rinse
Careful brushing is essential with braces.  We recommend that you use an electronic toothbrush with a specific orthodontic head (ask us at your next appointment!) or else use a soft toothbrush. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth. Always use a fluoride-based toothpaste. We also recommend that you rinse with a fluoride mouth rinse to help clean around the brackets and wires.

Be sure to floss every day! Special flossers can be useful for getting around wires and brackets. If you are having trouble flossing, check out this helpful video on flossing with braces. It might take some time, but flossing is important to remove food that gets stuck in between teeth and under wires.

2. Visit your dentist for a cleaning
Even though you are seeing Dr. Barden regularly for orthodontic appointments, it is still necessary to see your dentist and dental hygienist for a checkup and cleaning every 6 months, or as directed.

3. Eat Braces (and Teeth) Friendly Food
Be careful to minimize or avoid foods that are high in sugar and acid. Sugary foods can cause plaque and be difficult to remove from your teeth. Be sure to avoid sticky foods (caramel, gum, taffy etc) as they can get stuck in your braces and are challenging to clean from your teeth.  Foods and beverages that are high in acid (coffee and sodas) can cause damage to tooth enamel. Check out this list of foods to avoid while in braces.

Dr. Barden recommends that you pick healthy foods that are soft and low in sugar and acid. Foods that are hard (nuts, ice and even healthy foods such as raw applies and carrots) can bend wires and damage brackets. Try to focus on foods such as bananas, grapes, milk, water, chicken, and pasta.  Cook hard vegetables and fruits until they are soft. Try sugar free apple sauce or a baked apple instead of a crispy, raw apple. Here are some other recommended braces friendly snacks or check out our blog for some healthy, tasty, braces friendly recipes.

Be sure to ask Dr. Barden and his team if you have any questions on how to keep your teeth clean and healthy.  It might take more work when you have braces, but careful brushing and flossing will promote a beautiful, healthy smile.

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Top Reasons to Smile

October 7th, 2022

At Barden Orthodontics we love beautiful, healthy smiles.  We are thrilled when patients finish orthodontic treatment and they have big, beautiful smiles that truly shine. We hope they continue to share these radiant smiles with everyone they see!

We want to highlight what we think are some fascinating reasons to show off your great teeth and smile:

  1. When people smile, they actually start to feel happier.
  2. Jokes (even Dr. Barden’s dental jokes) are funnier if people are smiling before they even hear the joke. Psychological research has found that if people hold a pencil in their mouth sideways (forcing a smile) they will rate a joke as funnier. Give it a try with our favorite dental jokes!
  3. Smiles make you more attractive to other people.
  4. Smiling is the universal language of kindness and they signal altruistic intentions to other people.
  5. Smiles are contagious. If you smile others will automatically smile back.
  6. Smiling can promote your physical health! Research shows that smiling can help to relieve stress and lower blood pressure.
  7. Smiling releases brain chemicals that can reduce perception of pain.

Learn more about the Science of Smiling from the Association for Psychological Science here: The Psychological Study of Smiling – Association for Psychological Science – APS

Dr. Barden wants you to smile more today! Follow us on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram to learn more about Barden Orthodontics and how we create beautiful smiles!




What is a "bad bite"?

September 2nd, 2022

Have you been told you have a "bad bite"?

A bad bite often refers to jaw alignment problems (such as an over or under bite). This could also indicate uneven tooth spacing or teeth that are protruding, crowded, or crooked.

What causes a "bad bite"?

A bad bite could  be due to heredity, thumb-sucking, early tooth loss, or tooth trauma/accidents.

What are the benefits of orthodontic treatment for a "bad bite"?

  • Correcting a bad bite creates a more attractive smile and is associated with increased self-esteem.
  •  Orthodontic treatment also results in a healthier mouth. Teeth that are crooked, protruding, overlapped, or crowed are more difficult to brush and floss. This can result in plaque, gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss.
  • Poor jaw alignment can interfere with proper chewing and speaking.
  • Poor jaw alignment can also result in uneven wear of tooth enamel and may ultimately require expensive cosmetic restorative treatments such as crowns or veneers.

If you have any questions about your bite, give us a call at 414-962-1281. Dr. Barden and his team are happy to schedule an appointment and answer your questions.

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Orthodontic Consultation Questions

August 5th, 2022

Are you thinking about orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth or correct jaw alignment? Dr. Douglas Barden offers consultations to meet with potential patients and answer their questions, concerns, and outline an individualized treatment plan.

At Barden Orthodontics we want you to feel comfortable and knowledgeable about your orthodontic treatment plan. Here are some common questions you might want to discuss with Dr. Barden during your consultation.

  • Do I need to visit my general or pediatric dentist to have any dental work done before I am ready for braces?
  • Will getting braces hurt or cause any discomfort?
  • How long I have to wear braces?
  • How often will I have to come in for appointments?
  • How will braces affect my lifestyle? Does it change the foods that I can eat and activities I can do?
  • What COVID and other infectious disease safety precautions do you take in your office?
  • What will my orthodontic work cost? Do you work with my insurance company?

Some other questions you might want to consider as you decide who will be your orthodontic treatment provider:

  • Does the doctor and dental office specialize in orthodontics or is this a general dental practice? What type of education does the doctor have in orthodontics?
  • Will I be treated by the same orthodontist or do multiple orthodontists work out of one office?
  • Does the doctor provide treatment for children, teens and/or adults?
  • Are comprehensive dental x-rays and other diagnostic records taken before treatment?
  • Is only one type of treatment offered (such as clear aligners)? Or, is the doctor trained in a variety of treatment options and the doctor indicates which one is most effective for your individualized dental needs?
  • If an emergency happens, how can you reach the doctor and when is help available?

Do you want to learn more about orthodontic treatment at Barden Orthodontics? Dr. Barden answers some Frequently Asked Orthodontic Questions on his blog!

Dr. Barden and his team are always happy to answer your questions and make sure that you are comfortable with the treatment plan.  Stop in for a visit to our office, give us a call at 414-962-1281, or request an appointment online and start your journey to a beautiful smile!

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Orthodontics and Jaw Growth Correction

July 8th, 2022



Have you been told that you (or your child) need orthodontic correction for jaw alignment or development issues? This could include issues such as:

  • Underdeveloped lower jaw
  • Protrusion of upper teeth
  • Malocclusions
  • Crossbite
  • Overbite

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children first visit to an orthodontist at the age of seven to identify any jaw issues early. Adults also experience dental changes throughout their lives and can benefit from dentofacial orthopedic appliances. The average treatment time for jaw correction is one year, so it won't be long until you have a beautiful smile!

Dr. Barden has a number of different orthodontic tools and appliances for jaw correction, and which one he uses will depend on your specific treatment needs.

Orthodontic Appliances

Jaw-correcting appliances are either fixed or removable. Fixed appliances remain in the patient's mouth until the correction is complete. In contrast, patients wear removable appliances as instructed. It is important to follow Dr. Barden's instructions as the plan was designed for your individualized needs.

Here are some of the most common appliances for correcting jaw growth problems.

  • Headgear: Headgear is used to treat patients whose teeth are in an overbite, with the upper jaw forward of the lower jaw, or an underbite with the lower jaw forward of the upper jaw. Headgear gently "pulls" on your teeth to restrict further forward growth of your upper teeth and jaw.
  • Herbst® Appliance: This appliance reduces overbite by encouraging the lower jaw to move forward and the upper molars backward. This fixed appliance is used mostly for younger children who are still growing. On average, this is worn for about 12-15 months.
  • Palatal Expansion: The palatal expander "expands" (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. Dr. Barden will instruct on how to adjust your expander. When you achieve the desired expansion, you will wear the appliance for several months to prevent regression

It might take some time to get used to the appliances (on average one month), and there might be slight discomfort during adjustments. However, wearing them regularly will keep your treatment on track and the adjustment period is easier if you follow Dr. Barden's treatment plan.

Dr. Douglas Barden is always happy to answer your questions about orthodontic treatment and the various appliances that he uses to give patients a beautiful smile that they will love to share!

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Braces Friendly Summer Snacks

June 3rd, 2022

Does it seem like your kids are always hungry for a snack?? If they have braces, be sure to have some braces friendly snacks available for them when they are hungry.  Keep in mind, anything that is hard (nuts, hard candy) or sticky (caramels, gum etc) can result in broken brackets and an emergency orthodontic appointment when you would rather be having fun!

Some healthy summer snack suggestions:

  • Fruit such as berries, oranges, kiwi and watermelon are refreshing, filled with vitamins and won't damage orthodontic appliances.
  • Smoothies are a healthy, cool, and refreshing treat!
  • Hummus served with pita bread or soft veggies (such as red peppers or mini tomatoes). Be sure to cut any hard veggies into small pieces.
  • Cheese sticks.
  • Ice cream, frozen yogurt, or sherbet are cool treats (but filled with sugar so be sure to brush after eating!)

If you have braces, please avoid eating some popular summer snacks such as corn-on-the-cob or popcorn. They can cause some serious damage to orthodontic appliances and brackets.

Be sure to brush 2x a day for 2 minutes each time and floss daily. We hope you all have a great summer break filled with lots of fun activities!

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Ask Dr. Barden!

May 6th, 2022

Dr. Douglas Barden is always happy to answer questions about orthodontic treatment. In this blog, Dr. Barden answers to some Frequently Asked Questions.

What age should my child see an orthodontist?

Children should see an orthodontist by age 7. This allows me to look for and correct any problems sooner and without surgery. Not all children will need early treatment. Some children will benefit from early phase treatment while others won’t need treatment for several more years.

Is it safe to do mail order aligners?

Orthodontics is a medical treatment that requires supervision by a trained medical professional and should be done in-person. The American Association of Orthodontists has issued a Consumer Alert warning patients about mail order orthodontic treatments that you can read here: Consumer Alert | American Association of Orthodontists (

How long do I need to wear my retainer for?

Once orthodontic treatment is finished to keep your smile looking its best, you will have to wear a retainer. Retainers are necessary to preserve and stabilize your results. Depending on your treatment plan you will either have a removable retainer or a fixed retainer. Fixed retainers are usually kept in for life. Removable retainers should be worn a set number of hours every day to keep your teeth from moving. We will let you know how to effectively use, and care for, your retainer when you complete treatment.

I broke/lost/my dog ate my retainer! What should I do?

Retainers are important for maintaining your beautiful smile! If you need a new retainer, call our office immediately to schedule an appointment to have a new one made. The sooner you call us the better as your teeth can move if you don't wear your retainer.

Do I need to see my dentist while in orthodontic treatment?

Yes! I will be focusing on orthodontics and moving your teeth and jaw for better alignment. You will still need to see your dentist and hygienist for regular cleanings, exams, and any other non-orthodontic dental work (such as filling cavities). l work in collaboration with your dentist to make sure you have a healthy, beautiful smile.

Do you work with adults who need orthodontic treatment?

Yes! Adults are a growing number of our patients. Some of our adult patients never had orthodontic treatment and are now looking to correct their jaw alignment or straighten their teeth. Other adult patients were treated as children but now need some smaller adjustments to their smile. We offer adults a number of cosmetically discreet treatment options so you can get the smile you want with minimal interruption to your lifestyle!

How much do braces cost?

The cost of treatment depends on the treatment plan and your individual needs. We are happy to coordinate with your dental insurance company and create a payment plan that works for your budget. You will know what to expect before you begin treatment so there are no surprise or unexpected costs.

 Do you have more questions?  We are happy to answer questions during a free consultation. Give us a call at 414-962-1281

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Children's Teeth Fun Facts

February 4th, 2022

Barden kids

It is Children’s Dental Health Month so we thought we would highlight some of our favorite fun facts about children’s teeth.

Did you know?

  • Children first smile around 2 months of age. While they may not have teeth yet, their gummy grin is a joy for parents to see!
  • Children’s teeth start to grow before they are even born.
  • On average, children start to get their first tooth between 4 and 7 months of age. The first teeth to appear are the lower central incisors.
  • Children lose their first tooth around the age of 6 years and will continue to lose teeth until about the age of 12 years.
  • The first baby teeth to fall out tend to be the lower central incisors (the first ones that came in!).
  • According to a U.S. poll, the tooth fairy leaves on average $3.70 per lost baby tooth.
  • Children have 20 “baby teeth.” The adult set will have 32 teeth in total.
  • Everyone’s teeth are different! You have a unique set of teeth, and you could even be identified by your dental records.
  • Children should see a pediatric dentist for an exam when their first tooth appears and no later than their first birthday.
  • Children should see an orthodontist for an evaluation by the age of 7. Learn about the benefits of an early orthodontic evaluation on this blog!

You should start to “brush” your baby’s teeth by wiping the gums with a wet washcloth. This practice helps your child to become comfortable with brushing and helps to build dental care into their daily routine. As your baby develops teeth, be sure to gently brush the teeth with a baby toothbrush.

Children should brush their teeth two times a day using fluoride toothpaste. Parents should watch and check their children’s brushing until they are certain children are effectively brushing their teeth clean. It is also important to floss one time a day to clean in between the teeth and remove any stuck food. If you have any questions about your child’s dental health, be sure to check with their pediatric dentist.

If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s needs for orthodontic treatment, contact Dr. Barden and his team for a consultation at 414-962-1281.

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Lost Tooth Traditions Around the World

December 3rd, 2021

What is the most exciting thing to happen to a child’s tooth? No, it’s not getting braces (although everyone at Barden Orthodontics thinks that getting braces is very exciting!).  It’s losing your first (and second, and third) baby tooth!

In the United States, children usually put their lost tooth under their pillow and a tooth fairy takes the tooth and leaves money or coins.  However, did you know these tooth fairy traditions vary around the world?

Here are some of Dr. Barden's favorite traditions from around the world:

  • Botswana - Children throw their lost tooth on the roof and say “Mr. Moon, Mr. Moon, please bring me a new tooth.”
  • Chili - Children give the tooth to their mother who makes it into a gold or silver charm that can be worn as a necklace or earing.
  • France - Children put their lost tooth under their pillow. A mouse, La Petite Souris, comes to take it and leaves a gift.
  • Guatemala – Raton Miguelito takes the tooth and leaves a coin.
  • Ireland – Leprechauns take the tooth and leave a gold coin.
  • Pakistan - Children wrap their lost tooth in cotton. At sunset they throw it in the water for good luck.
  • Sweden - Children put their lost tooth in a glass of water. In the morning, the tooth will be replaced with a coin.
  • Taiwan - Children throw their lost tooth on the roof.

According to a 2018 U.S. poll the average “Tooth Fairy Rate” for a lost tooth was $3.70. Although cash may be the most popular gift, gold dollar coins, dollar bills sprayed with glitter, and even small toys are fun things to exchange for the lost tooth.

Whatever tradition you follow, the loss of a child’s first tooth is a fun dental milestone to celebrate.

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"Fall Back" Dental Tips

November 5th, 2021

Daylight savings ends and we gain an extra hour of time!  Dr. Douglas Barden recommends these 5 teeth-friendly things to do with your extra hour.

  1. Whiten your teeth. Do your teeth look dull or have they lost their shine?  Try an at home tooth whitening strip or get it professionally done at your dentist’s office.
  2. As a family cook a braces friendly healthy meal together. Health nutrition = healthy teeth!
  3. Use this time to replace your toothbrush! Remember to switch your toothbrush every three months, after being sick, or when it looks worn.
  4. Read a good tooth book with your kids! Kids love to read stories with their parents and there are a ton of great books that teach children about good oral hygiene and dental health in a fun way.
  5. Watch a comedy show, funny movie, or have a family night of joke telling. It won’t improve your oral health, but it will give you a reason to show off your beautiful smile!
  6. Have you lost or broken your retainer? Use the extra time to schedule an appointment and have a new one made. Remember wearing a retainer is necessary to maintain your beautiful smile!

Don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour on Saturday!

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Tips for Sports-Related Dental Emergencies

October 8th, 2021

Sports are a great way for children and teens to exercise, learn the value of teamwork, and have fun.  Many of our patients play sports while in orthodontic treatment. Dr. Barden recommends that patients always wear a properly fitting mouthguard when playing sports, whether it’s for fun, during practice, or during competition.  Learn more about the importance of mouthguards when playing sports.

If a sports-related dental emergency occurs, here are some helpful tips provided by the American Dental Association.

Knocked out tooth. If the tooth is dirty, hold the tooth by the top (crown) and rinse gently.  If possible, you can try to insert the tooth back into the socket. Otherwise put the tooth in a container with milk. Contact your dentist immediately for an emergency visit.

Cracked or broken tooth.  Rinse your mouth with warm water and put a cold pack on the face to minimize swelling.  Save the broken part of the tooth in a wet cloth. Contact your dentist immediately for an emergency appointment.

Jaw possibly broken.  Apply a cold ice pack on the face to minimize swelling and contact your dentist or go to the emergency room immediately.

Bitten tongue or lip.  Clean the area gently and use cold packs on the area to minimize swelling. Contact your dentist or go to the emergency room if there is heavy bleeding that does not stop after a short period of time.

Mouthguards can prevent or minimize many sports-related injuries. Ask Dr. Doug Barden or his staff if you have any questions or need a mouthguard that works with braces. Check out more emergency care tips on our website.

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Food to Avoid with Braces

July 9th, 2021

Congratulations you have braces and are on your way to a healthy, beautiful smile! For your orthodontic treatment to be most effective, and stay on schedule, it is important that you follow Dr. Barden's instructions and take care of your orthodontic appliances. Breaking your brackets, arch wires, and other orthodontic appliances will slow down your treatment (resulting in wearing braces for longer time!) and result in more visits to fix and repair the damage.

This means that while you have braces, or other orthodontic appliances, you may need to make a few lifestyle changes and to be careful about what you eat. Eating the wrong foods can result in loose or broken brackets and bent arch wires.  Take care of your braces and appliances by avoiding hard or sticky food. This includes things like popcorn and nuts. Also avoid sticky candy  such as caramels, taffy, gum.

Hard vegetables and fruits like apples and carrots are healthy food choices, but eating them whole can cause broken brackets and bent arch wires. During orthodontic treatment we recommend cooking hard vegetables and fruits until they are soft or cutting them into small, bite size pieces.

Other things to avoid that can cause damage to your braces include chewing on ice or objects such as pencils (you should avoid doing these things even if not in braces as they can damage your teeth!)

Taking these precautions will reduce the number of broken brackets, reduce your number of emergency visits and help keep you on track to a healthy, beautiful smile.  Ask Dr. Douglas Barden and his assistants if you have any questions about what you can, and can’t, eat while in treatment!

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Children’s Thumb and Pacifier Use

May 7th, 2021

Young children commonly suck on their thumbs, fingers, or a pacifier. For babies and young children this action can be soothing and helps them to feel secure. At an early age, sucking habits are not something to cause concern. However, remember that pacifiers should never be dipped in sugar or other sweeteners as this can promote cavities.

By the age of two years, children should be encouraged to stop sucking on pacifiers and their thumb. This is because thumb and pacifier sucking can become problematic as children become older.  Continued sucking can cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and teeth alignment. It can also cause changes to the roof of the mouth.

Generally, by age of two to four years most children stop sucking behaviors on their own.  You can encourage your child to quit by praising and rewarding them for not sucking during times that they normally engage in that behavior (such as being away from you or during bedtime). You can also bandage your child’s thumb at night as a way to discourage them from sucking.

If your child has a favorite pacifier you might want to consider sewing it into a new stuffed animal so the pacifier is still there, but not in a way that can be used orally.  Some parents have found that a “pacifier fairy” who takes away a pacifier and leaves a “big kid toy” can also be effective at ending the pacifier habit. If these suggestions don’t work for you, be sure to check with your pediatric dentist for more ideas.

Starting at the age of one year, children should see a pediatric dentist who will monitor the child's dental health. Their dentist can also help you identify if there are problems from continued thumb sucking or pacifier use.

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Sports and Teeth

April 2nd, 2021

Patients often ask if they can still play sports while in orthodontic treatment. The answer is YES!  Many of our patients (children, teens, and adults) are active with sports.

Dr. Barden recommends that everyone always protect their smile with a properly fitted mouthguard when playing sports and there is the potential for injury to your mouth or jaw. This is true even if you are not in orthodontic treatment.

When should you wear a mouthguard?

  • Mouthguards should be used when playing any contact sport such as football, hockey, baseball, softball, wrestling, field hockey, boxing, martial arts, rugby, soccer, basketball, and lacrosse.
  • Mouth guards can also be helpful for non-contact sports such as gymnastics or skateboarding where falls and accidents can cause mouth and jaw injuries.
  • Wear the mouthguard for practices as well as games.

Mouthguard tips:

  • Mouthguards should have enough flex that they won’t break or tear.
  • Mouthguards should fit properly and be comfortable.
  • Mouthguards should not impair speech or breathing.
  • Custom made mouthguards often work the best and are the most comfortable. See your dentist if you need a custom fit mouthguard.
  • If you have braces you will need a mouthguard that fits with braces. See Dr. Barden if you need one.
  • Don’t wear orthodontic appliances, such as retainers, when wearing a mouthguard.
  • Rinse the mouthguard in cool, soapy water after each use.
  • Store the mouthguard in a hard case and away from the sun or in the heat. Sun and heat may melt or distort mouthguards.
  • Children and teens may need new mouthguards as they grow to ensure proper fit.

Sport-related dental injuries can be painful and expensive.  A quality mouth guard is a good investment to protect your smile.  Ask Dr. Barden if you have any questions about mouthguards and protecting your smile while in orthodontic treatment.

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Benefits of Reading “Teeth Books” with Children

March 5th, 2021

We love a good book – especially if it is a “tooth book”! No, we don’t mean a book from Dr. Barden’s time in dental school. We love books written for children about teeth and dental health. There are a number of excellent children's books with a tooth or dental theme. There are books that tell the story of the tooth fairy, demonstrate good dental hygiene, and teach about first visits to the dentist. Dr. Barden even has a book about how a moose brushes his teeth (which happens to be a favorite with his children)!

What are the benefits of reading a "tooth book" with your children?

  • For younger children, reading a book about their favorite character going to the dentist can help to reduce any nervous feelings they might have before their appointment. Children are afraid of things that are unfamiliar, so reading a book that explains what will happen during their visit can be very helpful.
  • Tooth books promote healthy teeth and good oral hygiene. In our office you can find books that highlight healthy eating and teach proper brushing and flossing techniques, in fun, age-appropriate stories.
  • Tooth books teach about teeth. Who knows - you might be raising a future dentist, hygienist, or orthodontist!
  • Reading with your children helps them develop a love of reading and is often a special bonding time.

There are so many reasons to read with your children. Do you recommend a good tooth book that your children  love to read? Share the title and author with us on our TwitterInstagram, or Facebook page!

Happy reading!

Recommended Valentine’s Day Treats

February 5th, 2021

At Barden Orthodontics we love Valentine’s day.  Especially during these challenging times, it is important to show your love and appreciation for your family, friends, and other special people in your life.

As you think about the different treats to share with these special people, don’t forget about your teeth. You want everyone to have a beautiful, healthy smile and too much candy can negatively impact your smile!

Dr. Douglas Barden’s Recommendations for Celebrating Valentine’s day:


  • Share your love with people you care about in your life. We can all use some cheer and appreciation!
  • If you have braces, pick treats that are soft and will not damage your brackets or appliances. Chocolate covered strawberries are a good choice. Dark chocolate even has some health benefits!
  • If you have Invisalign or clear aligners, you can eat whatever treats you want as you will take out your aligners. Remember, DO brush your teeth before putting them back in.
  • Show your love for someone with something other than candy or treats. Kids enjoy stuffed animals, balloons, stickers, and small toys. Adults might enjoy flowers, a special dinner delivered, or other things that show you care.


  • If you have braces or other orthodontic appliances Do not eat treats that are hard and sticky. That means candy with nuts, hard candy (sorry, but no Valentine conversation hearts!), and sticky treats such as gum, caramels or licorice should be avoided. These can damage your appliances and slow down treatment.
  • Do not eat treats all day long as that prolongs the amount of time the sugar is on your teeth. Pick one time for a treat and then brush and floss your teeth.

Show the people in your life some love this Valentine’s day. Then show your teeth some love too! Brush, floss, and use a fluoride rinse every day.  We love a beautiful, healthy smile!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Dr Barden and his team at Barden Orthodontics!

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Give Yourself a Gift - a New Smile!

December 6th, 2019

Let this be the holiday season that you get the smile you have always wanted!

Are you considering braces or clear aligners (such as Invisalign®) to improve your smile? Are you worried that your current lifestyle might not work with braces? Put your fears to rest! Dr. Douglas Barden will work with you to review your dental treatment goals, talk with you about your lifestyle, and outline a treatment plan that gives you a beautiful smile.

You will be happy to learn that braces will likely work with your current lifestyle. While wearing braces or clear aligners you can still do all your favorite activities -- whether it’s playing sports, playing instruments, singing, or speaking in public.

Today’s braces are much smaller than they used to be. The days of “metal mouth” are long gone! Metal brackets are much smaller, and many adults and teens prefer braces made of ceramic or plastic, which are barely noticeable. Clear aligners, such as Invisalign®, are also popular with our adult and teen patients because of the low visibility and ease of treatment.

What can’t you do with braces? Chewing on ice and hard, sticky food will damage your brackets. You might also have tender teeth after adjustments. But these are minor inconveniences in order to have a healthy, beautiful smile!

If you choose to have treatment with clear aligners, most people won’t even notice that you are wearing them. You can still eat all of your favorite foods because you remove the aligners while you eat.

A consultation with Dr. Douglas Barden at his Whitefish Bay, WI office will help you determine how you can benefit from orthodontic treatment and which method (braces, clear aligners etc) will work best for your lifestyle. Consultations with Dr. Barden are always free, and he is happy to answer all of your questions about orthodontic treatment. We can also coordinate with your dental insurance and develop a payment plan that works for your budget.

We look forward to welcoming you to our Whitefish Bay office and starting you on the path to the new smile of your dreams! Happy Holidays!

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. We hope you stop by for some teeth-friendly treats!

Happy Halloween!

Celebrating 7 Years of Barden Orthodontics!

May 10th, 2019

This month we celebrate 7 years of Barden Orthodontics in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. We love working with the many wonderful patients and excellent area dentists. We love what we do here – creating beautiful smiles with amazing people!

On our anniversary we want to celebrate some of our accomplishments and highlight what sets Barden Orthodontics apart from other orthodontic offices:

  • Dr. Barden was named a 2019 TOP ORTHODONTIST by Milwaukee Magazine. This honor is based on reviews from dental professionals in the community. We are so proud to have received this distinction that recognizes Dr. Barden’s expertise.
  • Dr. Barden is President-elect of the Wisconsin Society of Orthodontics. He has previously served as vice president, treasurer, and trustee to the organization. Service to the community is an important part of Dr. Barden’s professional commitment.
  • Our new, state-of-the-art office utilizes the newest technology. This provides patients with the most efficient and advanced care available. The digital x-ray is low radiation and provides an immediate x-ray for use during the appointment. Our iTero element scanner means no goopy, messy impressions!
  • Barden Orthodontics is FAMILY FRIENDLY and was designed to be fun and relaxing. Patients and their families can enjoy complementary gourmet coffee, wi-fi, and of course our very popular GAME ROOM and PHOTO BOOTH! We love seeing patients and their families enjoying their time together in the waiting room. Patients tell us that coming to an orthodontic appointment is a lot of fun at Barden Orthodontics!
  • The TEAM at Barden Orthodontics is the best! From the smile you receive at the front desk to the encouragement and gentle care from the assistants, we treat our patients like our own family.
  • Dr. Barden is proud to live and work in this wonderful community. He is honored to be a business sponsor for numerous community events and various area organizations.

Dr. Barden and his team want to thank you for your support. We love being part of the amazing Whitefish Bay and Milwaukee Northshore Community. We look forward to many more years serving the area and creating beautiful, healthy smiles!

Whitening Teeth with Braces

May 15th, 2018

Now that you are working hard to improve your dental health and appearance with your braces, it might seem like a logical time to whiten your teeth as well. But should you go ahead with home kits or a professional whitening? The answer might be yes, but not quite yet!


The easiest way to whiten teeth is regular use of a whitening toothpaste. But these do not make a major difference in tooth color and may also contain abrasives which can damage ceramic brackets and make them more likely to stain. And, whether you have metal or ceramic braces, the brackets used are bonded to your teeth. Any part of your tooth covered by a bracket will not be affected by the whitening paste. Ask our office if you are thinking of using one of these products. We will be happy to recommend the best toothpastes to use while your braces are in place.

Whitening Strips and Trays

Whiteners can be applied at home with strips or tray kits. Strips are coated with a whitening gel and then pressed around your teeth. Tray kits provide a mouthguard-like appliance, which is filled with whitening gel. But neither strips nor tray solutions will whiten any area covered by brackets. When your braces come off, there might be noticeable differences in color on each tooth. Strips are difficult to apply with braces, and trays need to be custom-designed to fit your braces and make sure they don’t disturb your orthodontic work. One size most definitely does not fit all! Finally, these whitening agents can cause tooth and gum sensitivity, especially around the time of adjustments. Many manufacturers do not recommend using their products while you have braces. Please talk to us if you are thinking of using them.

Professional Whitening

A dental professional can whiten your teeth in office for the best possible results. The most effective treatments for your unique teeth are combined with protective care of your gums and mouth. Whether this treatment is appropriate while you have braces is something we are happy to discuss.

The best way to keep your teeth bright is to keep up your regular dental routine! Brushing and flossing are more important than ever now, because plaque builds up around brackets. Avoid foods that stain teeth and rinse or brush after every meal and snack. Dr. Douglas Barden will show you the best way to take care of your teeth while your braces are on—and that includes the best way to keep them white and bright. Talk to us about the perfect time to whiten your beautiful smile during your next visit to our Milwaukee, WI office. And if you have to wait a few extra days for the smile you’ve been working toward, truly, the wait will be worth it!

Toothbrush Care

April 10th, 2018

You found the perfect toothbrush! The bristles are soft, to avoid irritating your delicate gum tissue. The angle of the bristles is perfect for removing plaque. The handle is durable and comfortable when you spend at least two minutes brushing in the morning and two at night. Why, you love this toothbrush and you’ll never let it go… for the next three or four months.

The life of a toothbrush is naturally a short one. Dr. Douglas Barden and our team recommend replacement every three to four months because the bristles become frayed and worn with daily use. They cannot clean as effectively when the bristles begin to break down, and, depending on your brushing style, may wear out even more rapidly. (Children will probably need to replace toothbrushes at least every three months.) But even in the short time you have your toothbrush, there are ways to keep it ready for healthy brushing.

  • Don’t share. While sharing is normally a virtue, sharing toothbrushes can lead to an increased risk of infections, especially for those with compromised immune systems or existing infectious diseases. Similarly, keep different brushes separate when drying to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Rinse thoroughly after brushing. Make sure to remove any toothpaste or debris left after you brush.
  • Store the brush upright. Air-drying is the preferred way to dry your brush, as covering the brush or keeping it in a closed container can promote the growth of bacteria more easily.

There are several products on the market that promise to sanitize your brush. The verdict is still out on its success, but if you or someone in your home has a compromised immune system, call our Milwaukee, WI office to see if it might be worth your while to check them out.

Even though your toothbrush won’t be with you long, make its stay as effective and hygienic as possible. And if you find a brush you love—stock up!

Halloween Fun with Braces

October 25th, 2016

Halloween is a favorite holiday among children due to the festive games, imaginative costumes, and candy. Modern celebrations stem from a combination of traditions from Pagan and Christian traditions throughout the centuries. The original holiday was called Samhain and derived from the ancient Druids of Ireland. In their belief system, November 1st marked the beginning of winter, and Pagans began their Samhain celebrations at sunset on October 31st.

Modern Celebrations of Halloween

Children and adults love dressing up for Halloween, and this tradition comes from the ancient belief in spirits. From sunset on October 31st until sunrise on November 1st, the souls of the dead entered the physical world. Some spirits were benevolent and wanted only to cross over to the afterlife while others harbored malicious intents of revenge and trickery. Pagans wore masks and disguised themselves so that the malevolent souls would mistake them as fellow spirits.

Families left food and ale outside of their doors to appease the spirits. With the rise of Christianity in Europe, the church encouraged its members to offer food and money to beggars. In exchange, the beggars would agree to pray for the family's deceased loved ones. Eventually these traditions led to the development of today's customs where children dressed up and received candy from their neighbors while circling the community.

Teeth-Friendly Treats

With all of the excitement and free candy on Halloween, it is easy to get carried away on a sugar high. Parents warn their children not to eat too many pieces in one night to avoid tummy aches and cavities. Our team at Barden Orthodontics especially wants to remind children with braces to be extra cautious about the treats they eat because some varieties can get stuck in between the brackets and damage the devices. Sticky candy, such as caramels, fruit chews, and gum should be avoided when wearing braces. Children can trade with their friends and siblings to get only safe candies. The following list offers some alternative treats that children with braces can safely enjoy.

  • Solid chocolate, including milk, white, or dark
  • Nougat-filled candy bars, such as Three Musketeers
  • Candy-coated chocolates like M&Ms
  • Powdery candy, such as Sweet Tarts or Pixie Stix
  • Mint-flavored candy
  • Malted milk balls
  • Cookies
  • Peanut butter crackers or cookies

When in doubt, children should ask their parents or Dr. Douglas Barden if a specific candy is safe. Halloween is a fun holiday for children, and having braces does not have to take away any of the excitement from tasty treats.

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