Dr. Doug Barden

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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Braces Friendly Pumpkin Dessert

October 6th, 2023

We love autumn in Whitefish Bay, WI. The leaves are changing into their beautiful fall colors and the fall harvest means lots of pumpkins for carving! Did we mention that we love the Whitefish Bay Pumpkin Festival?

In honor of all things pumpkin related, we wanted to share our favorite braces friendly pumpkin recipe. It's soft and easy for teeth that might be sore from an adjustment and healthy (because it is made with pumpkin, right?) Enjoy!

Pumpkin Custard

15 ounce can of pumpkin

2 large eggs

1 cup half-and-half cream

2/3 cup brown sugar

2 teaspons pumpkin spice

Instructions

Blend ingredients until smooth and then pour into 4 custard cups. Bake in a water bath for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Top with whip cream. Eat warm or chilled. Enjoy!

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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!

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.

How much do you know about your toothbrush?

October 22nd, 2012

Taking care of your smile is nothing new! People have been brushing their teeth for thousands of years. In fact, the first “toothbrush” was created around 3000BC! Ancient civilizations used a thin twig with a frayed edge to rub against their teeth for cleaning.

The first toothbrush with bristles – similar to today’s toothbrushes – was invented in 1498 in China. Brushes were made out of bone or bamboo with bristles made from the hairs on the back of a hog’s neck.

It wasn’t until 1938 that the first nylon bristle toothbrush was introduced and people quickly became aware of practicing good oral hygiene.

Here are some other interesting facts about your toothbrush (and toothpaste):
• Most people are said to use blue toothbrushes over any other color
• The first toothpaste was used in 500 BC in China and India
• On average, children smile about 400 times per day
• Your toothbrush should be replaced every two months
• The first known toothpaste was used in 1780, Crest was introduced in 1955 and Colgate in 1873

October is National Orthodontic Health Month!

October 2nd, 2012

Happy October! For those who don't know, it’s National Orthodontic Health Month.

Our team realizes that this month-long event is a great opportunity for us to raise awareness about the importance of oral hygiene. National Orthodontic Health Month also aims to recognize the dedicated work of orthodontists and other dental professionals.

To avoide orthodontic emergencies, our team recommends that patients avoid the following Halloween treats, or recipes with these ingredients:

• Caramel
• Nuts
• Popcorn (including un-popped kernels)
• Taffy
• Jelly beans
• Hard pretzels
• Licorice
• Bubblegum
• Ice

Avoiding the above will help ensure that you don't encounter any unwanted orthodontic issues! If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call, ask us on Facebook, or ask our team during your visit this month!

Looking for a delicious braces-friendly fall dessert? We’ve got a great recipe!

September 25th, 2012

You have braces, and you’re probably wondering what to eat. You can’t have gum, popcorn or other delicious but braces-unfriendly foods. But fear not! Our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists have a delicious recipe that will satisfy both your sugar craving and hunger when the weather gets cold.

Apple Bombolini
Ingredients:

Rustic dough
• 9 ounces cake flour (about 3 cups)
• ½ cup all purpose flour
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• Pinch sea salt
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into large pieces
• 1 tablespoon vanilla
• 2 tablespoon cold water

Apple sauce filling
• 4 Granny Smith apples
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 vanilla bean, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 1 tablespoon water

Diced apples:
• 4 Granny Smith apples
• ¼ cup sugar
• ½ teaspoon vanilla
• ½ lemon, juiced

Directions:

For the dough: In a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, add the dry ingredients and mix for 5 seconds to blend. Add the butter and vanilla and mix until the butter is about the size of peas. Add the cold water and blend until the dough just comes together. Form the dough into a roughly shaped ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
Applesauce filling: Peel, core, and slice the apples. Put the apples with the rest of the ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and cook until the apples are very soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool, and refrigerate.

Diced apples: Peel, core, and cut the apples into large slices. Toss with the sugar, vanilla and lemon juice and set aside.

Assemble the bomboloni: Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Roll out to1/4-inch thick round. Cut into 6-inch rounds. Place about 1/4 cup of the Apple Sauce Filling onto the center of each round. Top with a few pieces of the Diced Apples. Pull the sides up towards the center to form a bundle, pinching the dough together towards top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour before baking

You're Never Too Old to Treat Yourself to a New Smile!

September 18th, 2012

Did you know one in every five orthodontic patients is an adult? We’re living longer and technology is improving, making orthodontic treatment an appealing and safe option for patients of all ages. As the trend toward treatment later in life grows, we’re seeing braces on parents as well as children – and even adult celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Gwen Stefani and Nicholas Cage have shown off their braces. It’s never too late to look and feel your best!

Can Braces Work for Adults?

People of all ages can benefit from orthodontic treatment. The physical process for moving teeth is the same, young or old, which means it’s never too late to address issues such as an overbite or underbite, crooked or crowded teeth, or jaw disorders.

How Do I Get Started?

If you’re considering orthodontic treatment, we’ll make a consultation appointment with you. During this meeting we will perform a general assessment of your oral health, discuss options for treatment, and answer any questions you may have. We will also discuss matters of cost and insurance. The next step is an orthodontic records appointment in which we take x-rays, photos, and an impression of your teeth. This information drives your unique treatment plan.

What Are the Benefits?

Straightening your teeth can improve your smile, your self-esteem, and your dental health. Technologically advanced new treatments make it easier to identify the option that best fits your lifestyle. Modern techniques and materials have made braces and aligners more effective, comfortable and unobtrusive than ever.

If you think you might benefit from orthodontic treatment, give our team a call, so we may set up a consultation to determine what type of treatment best meets your needs.

When Should My Child See an Orthodontist?

September 12th, 2012

Orthodontic treatments vary from dental treatment, in that they primarily address malocclusions, jaw spacing and tooth alignment, rather than the actual health of the teeth. That is why it is often more difficult for parents to determine when a child needs orthodontic treatment rather than dental treatment. So how can you know it is time to take your child to the orthodontist?

Bad Bite - As the adult teeth begin to replace primary teeth, bite occlusions can develop. These often become visible to parents between middle childhood and the pre-teen years, although an orthodontist can identify a bad bite with early evaluation.

Visible Tooth Crowding - If your child's newly emerging teeth are already crowded, you should make an appointment with our office to discuss braces.

Tooth Grinding (Bruxism) - Children who grind their teeth at night may do so unconsciously, but the condition requires treatment to prevent the development of headaches, TMJ, and tooth damage. Oral appliances are available to correct nighttime tooth grinding.

Difficulty Chewing, Biting, or Speaking - If your child is displaying difficulty speaking or eating, or if he or she often experiences cheek biting, schedule an orthodontic consultation.

Asymmetry - If your child's face is asymmetrical, or if his or her teeth do not meet together in a natural way, orthodontic treatment may be necessary.

Evaluation and Preventive Care
Even if your child has no visible tooth or jaw alignment problems, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child visit the orthodontist for an initial examination no later than age seven. The reason for early evaluation is because orthodontists are capable of finding subtle problems with the jaw and teeth growth and spacing before they become more pronounced and also more difficult to treat. By bringing your child in for an evaluation, you may be able to treat orthodontic conditions with shorter and more simplified treatments that are also more affordable than treatment during the teenage and adult years.

When Should I Schedule an Orthodontic Evaluation for My Child?

August 13th, 2012


Most parents know that routine dental care should begin during the toddler years. But many are unaware of when orthodontic treatment should begin. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, the ideal age for an orthodontic evaluation is age seven or before, when children usually have a mixture of adult and baby teeth. Although treatment usually will not begin until one to five years after the initial evaluation, the evaluation is helpful in determining whether your child has any problems with emerging teeth -- regardless of how subtle.

Children have more formidable bone structures than teenagers and adults, and as they grow, orthodontic appliances can help guide jaw growth, which may prevent the development of an overbite or under-bite, as well as tooth crowding due to space limitations. Orthodontic treatment is also helpful for guiding newly emerging adult teeth into a proper alignment, which is not only aesthetically advantageous, but also helpful in preventing tooth decay.

Why Early Evaluation?
Taking your child to the orthodontist for an evaluation means that you may be able to identify problems with the jaw and teeth early when they are still easy to treat. Early treatment often equals a more simplified treatment plan, which is beneficial to both children and their parents. Often, earlier treatment can cost less to correct a problem than delayed treatment.
If a problem is detected, our team will discuss corrective options and provide a recommended treatment schedule. Depending on your child's orthodontic needs, he or she may benefit from:

• Palatial Spacers - Helpful for correcting a crossbite by expanding the width of the upper jaw.
• Fixed Functional Appliance - Helpful for correcting severe upper tooth protrusion.
• Headgear - Helpful for guiding healthy growth of new teeth and the jaw. Headgear is removable, but usually must be worn at least 10 hours per day.

If your child is approaching the age of seven, or has already surpassed his or her seventh birthday, it is time to schedule an appointment for an initial examination.

Burning Invisalign questions, with Dr. Barden

July 23rd, 2012


Are you wondering what Invisalign treatment is really like, and what effect it will have on your day-to-day activities? Will it slur your speech? Will people know you're in treatment? You're not alone in your concerns!

Dr. Douglas Barden, and our team thought we’d share this list of questions and answers for anyone pondering Invisalign treatment at Barden Orthodontics.

How exactly does Invisalign work?
Using 3-D computer imaging technology, Invisalign creates a series of custom-made, clear aligners exclusively for your teeth, based on the treatment plan that we specify for you. Each aligner moves teeth incrementally and is worn for about two weeks, then replaced by the next in the series until the final position is achieved.

Will I experience pain during treatment?
Most people experience temporary discomfort for a few days after a new aligner is placed. This feeling of pressure is normal and is a sign that Invisalign is working by sequentially moving your teeth to their final destination.

Can other people see that I'm in treatment?
One of the benefits of Invisalign is that the aligners are clear. You can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing.

Can I smoke during treatment?
We discourage smoking while wearing the aligners as they may become discolored.

Are there any foods I shouldn’t eat while in treatment?
You can eat normally during the entire course of treatment. One of the advantages of Invisalign is that the aligners are removable. Simply take the aligners out before each meal, brush when you're finished eating, then reinsert the aligners afterward.

What about chewing gum?
We recommend removing your aligners for all meals and snacks, as gum and other chewy substances can stick to the aligners.

How often must I wear my aligners?
Aligners should be worn all day, except when eating, brushing, and flossing.

Will my speech be affected by the aligners?
As with any orthodontic treatment, aligners may temporarily affect your speech. If this does happen, your tongue will adjust within a day or two and your speech should return to normal.

How do I clean my aligners?
The best way to clean your aligners is by brushing and rinsing them in lukewarm water.

How often must I visit the office during treatment?
For most patients, visits every 4-6 weeks are frequent enough for us to determine that your treatment is progressing properly. We will provide you with a specific schedule that supports your individual treatment plan.

If you have additional questions about the Invisalign treatment, please give our office a call, or visit us on Facebook!

Top ten tips for keeping your BRACES sparklin’ clean!

July 13th, 2012




Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever when you have braces! Food bits have more spots than usual to hide in your mouth, so you must be diligent in order to avoid bad breath, swollen gums, discolored teeth and cavities. If you remove plaque regularly during treatment, you'll experience better results and shorter treatment time. Keep plaque at bay with these top ten tips:


1. One tooth at a time. When you brush, take time with each individual tooth – at least 10 seconds each – and pay careful attention to the spots where your teeth touch your braces.


2. It’s all about the angles. Brush the tops of your teeth and braces with your brush angled down toward where they meet. Brush the bottoms of your teeth and braces with your brush angled up.


3. The tooth, the whole tooth, nothing but the tooth. While the front surface of your teeth may seem like the most logical to clean, it’s equally important to clean the inner surface of your teeth (tongue side) as well as the chewing surface. And be sure to clean along your gum line – a key spot for plaque buildup.


4. Step 1: eat, step 2: clean. While you’re in treatment, it’s important to brush after every meal. Bits of food can easily get caught between braces and teeth, and these food bits interact with bacteria in your mouth to cause decay. The longer food is in contact with your teeth, the greater opportunity for plaque to form. If you are eating somewhere that you can’t brush, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.


5. Like a Boy Scout, always be prepared. The easiest way to be sure you can brush after every meal is to get in the habit of taking a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss with you wherever you go. Designate a special container just for your teeth-cleaning tools and keep it in your purse, backpack, or laptop case.


6. Remove the moving parts. If you have elastic bands or headgear, remove these parts before you brush or floss.


7. Fluoride is your friend. Fluoride helps prevent cavities. Be sure to brush with fluoride toothpaste, and rinse with fluoride mouthwash.


8. Pointy brushes reach tiny places. Interproximal brushes (sometimes called proxa brushes or interdental brushes) are cone-shaped and come in very handy for reaching spots around your braces that standard brushes can’t.


9. Find the floss for you. Regular floss works for some patients, but others find it easier to work with a floss threader, which helps you get the floss into tight places. Other patients like an all-in-one product called Superfloss, which comes with a stiff end for easy threading, a spongy section for cleaning wide spaces, and regular floss for narrow spaces.


10. Make time for the pros. It’s your job to take care of the everyday cleaning. But make sure to visit your dentist regularly while in treatment, to get the deep, thorough cleaning that only a professional can provide. If you need help finding the right Dentist for you, feel free to contact our office - we’d love to help!

We hope this helps, and remember to give our team a call if you ever have any questions!