Milwaukee Orthodontist

 

Thanksgiving Recipe: Braces Friendly Food

November 8th, 2019

Everyone at Barden Orthodontics is looking forward to Thanksgiving! It’s a day to show appreciation for the many wonderful things in our lives. It’s also a chance to share our favorite foods with family and friends.

Traditional Thanksgiving foods also happen to be Braces-Friendly Food. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy are all soft and easy to eat with braces. If you have braces, be sure to avoid any hard foods that might bend wires or break the brackets and orthodontic appliances. If you have Invisalign® you can eat whatever you want because you remove the aligners while eating!

If you are looking for a new recipe that is braces-friendly, here is one of Dr. Douglas Barden’s favorite Thanksgiving dishes. It’s packed with vegetables that are cooked soft, sure to please everyone, and easy to eat even with sore teeth!

Creamy Vegetable Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 large package of frozen broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower combination
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • In a large bowl combine vegetable, mushroom soup, 1/2 cup cheese, sour cream. Salt and pepper to personal preference. Transfer to a baking dish.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake 5 minutes longer.

You can easily double this recipe if you are serving a big crowd!

Share your favorite braces-friendly recipe with us on our Facebook page.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone from Barden Orthodontics!

Teeth Friendly Halloween Treats

October 6th, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Halloween!

Orthodontic Back-to-School Checklist

September 6th, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Camping with Braces

July 5th, 2019

Kohler Andrae State Park, Wisconsin. Photo by D. Barden

Summertime in Wisconsin is wonderful. The weather is (finally!) warm and sunny. The beautiful nature, lakes, and State Parks are perfect for exploring. It’s a great time to go CAMPING! In addition to packing your tent, sleeping bags, and other camping gear-- don’t forget to pack for good oral hygiene!

Here are Dr. Barden’s suggestions for maintaining good dental hygiene while camping:

  • Get all in one tooth brushes. These come with toothpaste and a flosser built in!
  • Bring safe-to-swallow toothpaste.
  • Buy light, travel size toothbrush and toothpaste kits.
  • Consider using environmentally friendly substitutes like baking soda.
  • If all else fails, brush and rinse with water.

Dr. Barden also recommends packing the following if you are currently in treatment with braces, clear aligners, or retainers:

  • Bring an emergency kit in case of orthodontic situations such as poking wires. Having some wax can solve minor emergencies until you return from your trip.
  • Don’t forget your retainers and storage case. Be sure to put them in a safe place so you don’t lose them among your camping gear.
  • Bring a storage case for your clear aligners if you are being treated with Invisalign ®

We hope you enjoy your time camping and exploring the great outdoors in Wisconsin and other parts of the United States. Happy Camping!

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“Braces Friendly” Winter Dinner

February 8th, 2019

“What’s for dinner?” Are you looking for a healthy dinner recipe that is also “braces friendly”? In the wintertime, a Barden family favorite is this easy, slow cooker beef stew. It’s packed with healthy vegetables and everything cooks soft, so you don’t need to worry about breaking wires or brackets. Even people with sore teeth can enjoy this meal! The recipe is easy to make and can be adjusted to include vegetables that your family loves!

Easy slow cooker beef stew
2 lbs beef stew meat
¼ cup flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1 clove minced garlic
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 onion chopped
2 cups beef broth
3 diced potatoes
4 sliced carrots
1 cup peas

Directions
Place meat in slow cooker and stir in the flour. Add the other ingredients. Cook on low for 10-12 hours or high for 4-6 hours. If desired, or needed, you can thicken the stew with tomato paste. ENJOY!

What are some of your family's favorite dinners? Share them with us on our Facebook page!

Resolutions for a Beautiful Smile

January 3rd, 2019

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

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

New Year's Resolutions for a Healthy Smile

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

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

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

Holiday Treats and Healthy Teeth

December 7th, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Great Partnership for a Beautiful Smile

November 7th, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brace Friendly, Garden Chili Recipe

October 5th, 2018

Fall is a great time for fresh, healthy vegetables. Whether you grow them in your garden or get them at a local farmer’s market, they are tasty and full of vitamins that are essential for healthy teeth. Are you looking for a delicious healthy recipe that uses garden vegetables and is “brace friendly” food? Below is a Barden family favorite recipe. It is perfect for a cool fall day and since the veggies are cooked soft they won’t damage your brackets or wires.

Easy Garden Vegetarian Chili

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
5 cloves of minced garlic
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cups juicy chopped fresh tomatoes
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1 cup chopped zucchini
1 cup corn kernels
1 can kidney beans
2 cups water or vegetable stock
tomato paste as needed to thicken as preferred
salt and pepper to preference

Directions
Heat oil in pot. Add onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin. Sauté until onion is soft. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Bring to boil and then simmer over low until vegetables are soft. Enjoy!

Share your family favorite recipes on our Facebook page.

Post-Braces Care: Wear your retainer!

September 6th, 2018

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

What is a retainer?

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

How long do I need to wear it?

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

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

Nothing is forever (at least without retainers!)

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

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

Healthy Summertime Snack Recipe

August 5th, 2018

Looking for a healthy summertime snack that is sure to please your child who is wearing braces? We recommend smoothies! Packed with healthy fruits (and even vegetables) a smoothie is a tasty cool treat, can feel good when teeth are sore, and is sure to make everyone happy.

We are happy to share a Barden family favorite smoothie recipe.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
1 banana
1 cup milk
½ cup vanilla or plain yogurt
2 tablespoons peanut butter (try sunflower seed butter if allergic to peanuts!)
1 cup of ice cubes

Directions: Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

When making smoothies you can get creative with fruits and find the combination that you like the best!

Share your favorite smoothie recipe with everyone on our Facebook page!

Is Invisalign® Right For You?

April 24th, 2018

When patients ask Dr. Douglas Barden about who benefits from Invisalign clear aligners, the simple answer is this: almost everyone. Unlike conventional braces, they are removable, which makes eating and cleaning your teeth much easier.

They are molded to fit each patient’s mouth and are practically invisible. Because aligners apply less force in straightening teeth than metal braces, the risk of harm to your teeth is reduced.

Benefits to adults

Traditional braces are associated with children and teenagers. Many adults want to have their teeth straightened but hesitate to wear metal braces. They also worry about having to change their diet and not be able to eat the foods they normally enjoy.

If you are an adult who’s considering braces, our team at Barden Orthodontics will tell you Invisalign aligners is a great option for discreet teeth straightening. Your teeth will be straightened with virtually invisible braces.

The aligners are easily removable when you eat, so you can enjoy any food you normally would consume. You simply clean your teeth normally after eating and you won’t have to worry about getting food stuck in your braces.

If there is a special occasion during which you do not want to have any braces in your mouth at all, you can remove the aligners for up to four hours without causing any damage.

Benefits to teenagers

Dr. Douglas Barden and our team know that teenagers are often involved in sports and other after-school activities, and generally lead pretty busy lives. If your teen plays a musical instrument, you may be concerned that having metal in his or her mouth will interfere with ability to play. Invisalign aligners avoid the damage that can happen with traditional metal braces.

For sports that require players to wear mouthguards, the expense of specially constructed mouthguards to fit over braces is also eliminated. The aligners can be removed during sports activities and teens can easily wear a mouthguard. Teenagers who play musical instruments simply remove the aligners while practicing or playing in the band or orchestra.

Teenagers routinely have trouble flossing teeth between the wires and brackets of traditional braces, but Invisalign allows for easy dental cleaning. Since Invisalign aligners are removable, brushing and flossing are simpler and more likely to be performed.

For more information about Invisalign or Invisalign Teen® treatment, or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Douglas Barden, please give us a call at our convenient Milwaukee, WI office!

Emergency Orthodontic Care!

October 29th, 2012

Our team knows that orthodontic emergencies are never convenient nor timely. If you are a patient of record, our team is committed to your dental health and we are more than willing to see you after hours or over the weekend. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can’t take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem. If you have an orthodontic emergency after regular office hours, please give us a call. If you are calling us after hours, please follow the emergency prompts to learn how you may be able to solve the problem yourself, or, if you cannot, how to get in contact with our team.

Common issues include:
*Broken Brace
*Broken Wires
*Tie has come off of a Brace
*Loose Expander
*Poking Wire Tie
*Sharpness Felt on the Tongue Side of a Brace
*Loss of a Separator
*Initial Soreness
*Wire Poking

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you visit our office, but please never hesitate to call!

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

Cold season is here, be prepared!

October 15th, 2012

Cold and flu season is here yet again. The folks at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that a common cold usually includes sneezing, runny nose, sore throat and coughing. Symptoms can last for up to two weeks.

To promote a healthy and clean environment, our entire staff give a great deal of attention to sanitation and sterilization in our office at all times, as well as following all requirements for sterilizing instruments and work surfaces. 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.

And remember to constantly wash your hands and avoid contact with those who are ill! Stay Healthy!

Don't forget your mouth guard for this fall’s sports season!

October 8th, 2012


At our office we know how important it is to protect your face while playing sports. Fall brings an increase in outdoor activities and a greater chance of damaging your precious mouth and pearly whites. Our team also knows sports-related injuries are common among children. It’s been found that 70 percent of parents said their biggest worry is that their child will get hurt while playing sports. Another 67 percent admitted their child doesn’t wear a mouth guard when playing sports such as football, basketball, baseball and soccer.

That’s why we’re doing our part to spread the word that facial sports injuries can be avoided simply by reminding your kids to wear mouth guards. Ask us—Our team will provide a mouth guard for any patient in active treatment.

In addition, the following tipscan help your kids stay safe on the field. Please remind them to:

• Wear mouth guards during contact sports
• Wear a helmet
• Stretch before and after a game or practice
• Wear protective eye wear
• Wear a face shield to avoid scratched or bruised skin
• Be observant—even as a spectator

All of these can reduce injuries. Only by using a mouth guard and other forms of facial protection can kids with and without braces avoid serious sports injuries. Lastly, please give us a call if you have any questions about mouth guards or your treatment with our team!

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.

What questions should I ask during my orthodontic consultation?

September 4th, 2012

Are you thinking about orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth or correct jaw alignment? Consider making your first step an orthodontic consultation. During the consultation we will address your questions, concerns, and talk about a treatment plan that would best suit your situation.

We want you to feel prepared and in charge of your orthodontic treatment decisions, so keep these questions in mind when you come in for your appointment.

• If I do need some adjustments to my teeth, what options will I have besides braces?
(This will help you determine what approaches we use to straighten your teeth.)

• What kind of preparation is needed to get braces? How many visits will it take?
(It’s important to know how many appointments may be needed and what you will need to do between appointments to be ready for braces.)

• Can I expect any pain when getting braces?
(Ask about the ways we address pain management.)

• What determines how long I have to wear braces?
(The length of treatment will vary from patient to patient. During your consultation we can evaluate your teeth and jaw alignment to determine the correct course and length of treatment.)

• How will braces affect my lifestyle? Foods I can eat? Activities I can do?
(You may find that little needs to change in your daily routine to have a successful orthodontic outcome. We can discuss and address any changes so you can be prepared before you get your braces.)

• Who will be involved in the orthodontic work? Whom can I expect to see during my adjustment visits?

• What will my orthodontic work cost? What is the ”average” cost and what could be the maximum?
(Make sure you are clear about what your insurance covers, who contacts the insurance company for pre-authorization, who files the insurance forms, and what flexibility there is to pay the remaining amount not covered.)

Your initial orthodontic consultation may just be the first step in relieving a lot of pain and discomfort in your life. Going in with the right questions will help you to understand the entire process and prepare you to do your part for your own dental health. Be sure to bring a list of your questions!

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

August 29th, 2012

Orthodontic treatments are used to correct malocclusion, a condition more commonly known as a bad bite. The length of treatment time varies depending on the severity of the bite problem.

What is a "bad bite"?
A bad bite occurs when spacing or alignment problems are present. This often includes teeth that are protruding, crowded, or crooked. Sometimes teeth appear straight, but have an uneven bite because the upper and lower jaws do not align properly. Teeth that are irregularly spaced - either too far apart or too close together - can also cause bite problems.

Frequent causes of bite problems:

  • Heredity
  • Thumb-sucking
  • Premature tooth loss
  • Accidents

Benefits of orthodontic treatment:

Appearance -
Correcting a bad bite often creates a more attractive smile, which frequently raises the patient's self esteem.

Preventing Decay -
It also results in a healthier mouth. It is much more difficult to thoroughly clean teeth that are crooked, protruding, overlapped, or crowed. This may allow plaque to build up, which can lead to gum disease, tooth decay and even tooth loss. Orthodontic treatment corrects these conditions, so cleaning can be more efficient.

Avoiding Alignment Issues -
An uneven bite can interfere with the motions of chewing and speaking. This can cause abnormal wear to tooth enamel, which may require pricey cosmetic restorative treatments, such as crowns or veneers, to correct. It can also lead to problems with the jaws. Orthodontic treatment lessens the likelihood of those issues, as well.

 

Types of orthodontic treatment:

- Braces: Metal or ceramic brackets are bonded to the front of teeth. Wires and elastics are attached to the brackets to straighten teeth.

- Invisalign®: Advanced 3D computer images of the patients' mouth are used to create clear, custom aligners that slowly move teeth. They are nearly invisible and are more comfortable than traditional braces. They are also removable, which makes it possible to continue with normal brushing and flossing.

- Retainers: A retainer is a removable piece worn inside the mouth that uses pressure to force teeth to move into proper alignment. They are used after braces are removed.

 

Length of orthodontic treatment:
Treatment typically ranges from 12 - 36 months. Factors include the age, cooperation level, and growth occurrence of the patient. The complexity of the case also impacts the treatment time.

 

 

Preventing Decay While Wearing Braces

August 20th, 2012


Having braces can present some new challenges when it comes to oral hygiene. Preventing tooth decay can be a big challenge simply because of the tendency for braces to trap food under the wires and between the teeth and the brackets. Here are a few tips to keep your teeth healthy while wearing your braces:

1. Eat Braces-Safe Foods
Keeping your teeth from decay starts with a proper diet. Foods that are high in sugar or starch can cause more plaque which is difficult to remove during your brushing. There are certain foods that should be avoided while wearing your braces. First, sticky foods like caramel or gum can get stuck in your braces and be difficult to remove during brushing. Next, hard foods such as nuts and candy could bend wires or even break a bracket. Foods that are firm or hard to bite into like apples, carrots, or corn on the cob should be avoided. As much as we like to snack on them, those crunchy treats can harm your braces. Things like chips, ice, popcorn can also bend or break your braces.
On the other hand, bananas, mangoes, milk, water, poultry, and pasta all tend to be low in enamel-busting acids.

2. Proper Brushing
You want to place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums in order to clean the whole tooth, and brush gently in the area between the wiring and the teeth. Use a softer toothbrush with fluoride paste for best results. Rinsing every day will help, too. Rinsing is important regardless, but especially important when you have braces as you need to disinfect the entire mouth, including those spots under the braces where your brush can't always reach.

3. Ask About Special Cleaning Tools
There are also special brushes, or other tools, to get under and clean your braces. You can also find many of these items at your local pharmacy.

4. Regular Teeth Cleaning
It's important to keep your routine appointments with your dentist and dental hygienist for a thorough cleaning twice a year or as directed. The exact frequency of these visits will be up to your dentist as some types of braces are more demanding of a regular cleaning than others.
As long as you practice good oral hygiene and follow these basic tips, you should have no problem keeping your teeth from decaying while you wear braces.

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.

What are the Early Signs of Orthodontic Problems?

August 8th, 2012


Visibly crooked teeth are not the only reason to take your child into the orthodontist. There are some subtle things to look for as well, which may indicate the onset of more serious orthodontic issues. Many orthodontic issues are much easier to address if treated and corrected during a child's development.

Waiting until facial development is complete or until the permanent teeth have come in can make correction of many orthodontic issues more challenging. Both children and adults can benefit from orthodontic care at any age, but addressing issues early is almost always the ideal choice.

If you're wondering if you or your child might have need for orthodontic care, there are some things you can be on the lookout for. Here are some of the most common warning signs of orthodontic issues:

• Difficulty when chewing or biting
• Chronic mouth-breathing
• Sucking the thumb, the fingers, or any other oral sucking habits that continue after the age of six
• Overbite - when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth by more than 5mm
• Top front teeth that cover more than 25% of the bottom teeth while biting
• Underbite - when the top front teeth go behind the bottom row of teeth when biting
• Crowded, crooked, overlapped, misshapen, misplaced teeth or extra teeth of any size
• Crossbite - when one or more teeth tilt toward the cheek or toward the tongue causing excessive stress on the jawbone
• The center of the top and bottom teeth don't line up
• Uneven teeth-wearing
• Baby teeth coming out too early for the child's age
• Pain in jaws
• Clicking in the jaw joints
• The jaw shifts off-center while chewing or biting
• 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 of the teeth

If you notice that either you or your child has one or more of these conditions, they could be signs that there is a risk of orthodontic or health problems. The sooner these problems are addressed, the wider and brighter you will be able to smile going forward!

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!

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