Whitefish Bay Wi

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!

Follow us on Facebook or twitter (x) for more orthodontic information.

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.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to stay up-to-date on Barden Orthodontics!

Loaded Potato Casserole: Braces Friendly Recipe

September 10th, 2021

Are you looking for a new braces friendly dinner recipe? How about “Loaded Baked Potato Casserole? It’s perfect for a weekday dinner, soft enough to eat with braces (and even sore teeth), and packed with healthy ingredients.

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

  • 6 to 8 cups mashed potatoes (or try mashed cauliflower for a fun alternative)
  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 6 slices bacon (cooked and chopped)
  • 1 onion and 2 cloves of garlic (chopped and sautéed in olive oil)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Toppings: salsa, sour cream, fresh parsley, chives, or jalapeños.


In a large, buttered casserole dish, layer mashed potatoes, onions, chicken, cheese, and bacon. Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes until cheese is melted and dish is heated through.  Serve hot with toppings of choice and enjoy!

Check out some of Dr. Douglas Barden's other braces friendly recipes including garden veggie chilistew, and fun appetizers. Share your favorite braces friendly meal suggestions with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram

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.

Follow us on TwitterInstagram, or Facebook  for more helpful dental information!

Stress and your Teeth

April 10th, 2020

Stress can cause teeth-related problems including bruxism (grinding), which can lead to jaw and facial pain, and headaches.

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

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

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

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!

Why choose an orthodontic specialist over a general dentist?

July 25th, 2017

Patients have so many choices for straightening their teeth nowadays — clear aligners, ceramic braces, lingual braces, self-ligating braces — but who is best suited to guide them through orthodontic treatment? Well, an orthodontist like Dr. Douglas Barden in Milwaukee, WI of course!

This may seem obvious, but there’s misinformation circulating with regard to the roles dentists and orthodontists play in treating patients’ oral health.

Dentists are trained to clean teeth, fill cavities, perform certain dental surgeries, and examine overall oral health. Many dentists now offer braces to their patients, but according to the American Association of Orthodontists, it’s better to consult an orthodontist if you need to straighten teeth or fix a bite.

Why an orthodontist? Because they are...

  • Specialists in straightening teeth and aligning jaws, even advanced cases
  • Required to study an additional two to three years after dental school
  • Trained to choose the correct treatment option because they have worked with all the available options
  • Trained to recognize the potential pitfalls with certain treatments and cases, which means there’s less chance of problems after treatment has started or been completed
  • Familiar with emerging treatments and technologies so they can make the best choice for a patient’s case

Some dentists claim to have taken enough continuing education or additional training to offer braces to their patients. But this can't compare to the advanced training an orthodontist receives during his or her education.

Ideally, dentists and orthodontists work hand in hand to make sure oral health and the alignment of teeth and jaws are the best they can be. Think of a dentist as the one who is there for a lifetime, to make sure teeth and gums are healthy.

In contrast, an orthodontist is the highly skilled teammate who helps the dentist by straightening teeth and aligning the jaws over the course of a few years. Instead of one replacing the other, they work together for the health and benefit of their patients.

Learn more about Dr. Douglas Barden's commitment to orthodontics and his continuing education to deliver the best, most up-to-date treatment options for his patients at Douglas Barden, DDS, MS | Whitefish Bay WI Orthodontist (bardenortho.com)

Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen®

May 16th, 2017

There are so many adults and teens in our Milwaukee, WI office who would love to have their teeth straightened but that are unwilling to go through the long and unsightly process of traditional metal braces. Well, that's where Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen® come to the rescue; the most advanced clear aligner systems in the world!

There are several reasons why, if you're considering getting braces, you should consider Invisalign too. Here are some of them:

  • You can eat whatever food you'd like, without worrying about it getting caught in wires or breaking brackets.
  • Most people won't even know you're wearing them!
  • If you need to, you can remove your aligners at any time.
  • The removable aligners let you brush and floss as you normally would, making for better overall oral health.
  • Since they are made of a smooth BPA-free plastic, Invisalign aligners are simply more comfortable to wear than traditional braces. No metal means no more roughed up gums or irritated tongue!
  • You'll need to visit our Milwaukee, WI office less often — only once every six weeks or so.

Before you get started with treatment, you’ll have a consultation with Dr. Douglas Barden to see if Invisalign or Invisalign Teen is right for you. If your case is a good fit, then you’ll have X-rays, pictures, and impressions of your teeth taken. That information will be used to make the 3D models of your teeth that let Dr. Douglas Barden see how they will move throughout the entire treatment and approximately how long it will take.

After that, you’ll receive your aligners based on the treatment plan we recommend. You’ll get a new set of aligners every two weeks. Then all you need to do is wear your aligners 22 hours a day and you’ll be on your way to a straighter healthier smile.

Learn more about Invisalign with Barden Orthodontics. Don’t hesitate to a member of our Milwaukee, WI team for more information about Invisalign!

Follow us on TwitterInstagram, or Facebook  for more helpful dental information!