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Quick Fixes for Orthodontic Mishaps over the Holidays 

December 12th, 2019

The holiday season can pose a challenge if you have braces. It can be especially hard to follow your orthodontic dietary guidelines when you’re surrounded by tasty temptations at the holiday dinner table. If you do happen to slip up and damage your braces, there’s no need to panic. Just schedule an appointment with our orthodontists as soon as possible! In the meantime, follow these tips to repair the most common problems we see here at James T. Hutta Orthodontics: 

Broken brackets

It’s easy to break a bracket—especially if you eat hard or chewy holiday foods. When a broken bracket is causing discomfort, try applying orthodontic wax to the rough edges of the appliance. You could also remove the bracket from the wire as long as you make sure to keep track of the bracket and bring it in during your next orthodontic appointment. 

Poking wires

When your teeth are moving, it’s perfectly normal for wires to shift. This is a sign that your braces are doing their job! If wires are causing you pain and you can’t make it to our office to get them clipped, use orthodontic wax. Placing wax over the end that is poking you should relieve your discomfort. But, if this doesn’t work, wires can also be cautiously clipped with a pair of nail clippers and covered with orthodontic wax until you can come by the office. 

Wire out of place

When you eat sticky or crunchy foods, wires can pop out of the back brackets of your braces. First, use your fingers or tweezers to try to slip the wire back into the bracket hole. If that doesn’t work, you can also apply orthodontic wax or clip the wire. If you decide to clip the wire, make sure to schedule an appointment to get it repaired as soon as possible!

Lost aligner tray

If you wear a clear aligner, like Smile Envy 3D or Invisalign®, be extra cautious with your aligners over the holidays! When you get out of your normal routine, it’s easy to misplace a tray. If you’re leaving town, you should bring your case with you at all times and put your aligners in the case whenever you take them out to eat or drink. However, if you accidentally lose an aligner, it’s not the end of the world. Don’t try to skip ahead—trying to move the teeth too quickly can cause more pain. Simply put in your previous tray and call us so we can order you a new set.

Never let orthodontic discomfort get in the way of your holiday fun! If you follow these simple tips, you should be able to minimize any discomfort until you can come in for an appointment. Here at James T. Hutta Orthodontics, we want to wish you and your braces a safe and happy holiday season!  

Delicious and Braces-Friendly Thanksgiving Recommendations  

November 14th, 2019

Here at James T. Hutta Orthodontics, we want to wish you a happy Thanksgiving! We hope you will have the opportunity to enjoy some quality time with your friends and family, and also eat some delicious food! If your child has braces, you might be worried about prepping a meal that will be safe for them to consume. Luckily, with plenty of delicious braces-friendly foods, you won’t have to leave anyone out of the Thanksgiving Day feast. Here are some safe-to-eat holiday classics recommended by Dr. Hutta and Dr. Price:

  • Sweet potato casserole: Everyone loves this classic holiday dish smothered with brown sugar, or perhaps even marshmallows! Because it’s so soft, this casserole is perfectly safe to consume with braces. Feel free to let your child indulge in this sweet treat—just make sure they brush and floss afterward.
  • Mac and cheese: Another delicious and soft food, mac and cheese is a great addition to your braces-friendly Thanksgiving feast.
  • Stuffing: A holiday classic, stuffing is great for a child with braces. Just be sure to leave out any walnuts or pecans this year. Biting into one of those crunchy nuts could damage your child’s brackets or wires.
  • Turkey and ham: As long as turkey and ham are removed from the bone and cut into small, bite-sized pieces, these tender and juicy meats should be perfectly fine to consume with braces.
  • Mashed potatoes: Another indulgent Thanksgiving dish, soft and delicious mashed potatoes won’t cause any damage to your child’s orthodontic appliances. So, bring on the gravy!
  • Pie filling: Just because your child has braces doesn’t mean they’ll have to miss out on everyone’s favorite part of Thanksgiving—dessert! Although they’re better off avoiding the crispy crusts, they can still enjoy the sweet filling of pumpkin pie.

As with any meal, it’s important that your child brushes and flosses after finishing up at the Thanksgiving table. If you’re going to be eating at a friend or relative’s house, remind them to pack a travel toothbrush. No one wants to have leftovers caught in their brackets and wires!

If you have any questions or concerns about cooking for the upcoming holiday, give our office a call. And from all of us here, we wish you a happy Thanksgiving!

Don’t Get Tricked! How to Enjoy a Halloween Treat Without Harming Your Braces

October 1st, 2019

Just because your child is undergoing an orthodontic treatment, doesn’t mean they should have to miss out on the fun of Halloween! However, it’s important to be cautious during this festive season—Halloween candy can cause spooky damage to the wires and brackets of your child’s braces. Here are Dr. Hutta and Dr. Price’s best tips for keeping braces safe and happy this Halloween season:

  1. Bring a water bottle when you go trick or treating. Staying hydrated is one of the easiest ways to flush leftover candy debris from the teeth and braces, keeping your mouth healthy and fresh.
  2. Avoid chewy candy (i.e. Milk Duds, Tootsie Rolls, Laffy Taffy) and hard candy (i.e. Jolly Ranchers, Life Savers, Lemon Heads) at all costs. These are our top offenders when it comes to Halloween-related braces damage! If a child bites down on a hard candy at the wrong angle, it can easily bend the wires or break brackets. And the sticky consistency of chewy candies often results in bent wires or brackets pulled off of the teeth. Best to steer clear of these options in your candy bag!
  3. Enjoy some braces-safe treats. You can still allow your child to indulge this Halloween! Soft chocolate candies (Hershey’s bars, Kisses, or 3 Musketeers) are completely safe to consume while you have braces! Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are also a safe bet. If your child doesn’t like chocolate, offer to bake some soft sugar cookies or have some ice cream on hand at home so they’ll have a braces-safe treat to enjoy in place of damaging candies.
  4. Make sure your child brushes and flosses as soon as they get home. This is particularly important when your child has braces since particles of candy tend to stick and hide between brackets and wires. However, by brushing and flossing as soon as possible, they can minimize the damage to their oral health.
  5. Donate your leftover candy. If your child has braces, they’ll likely accumulate lots of candy that won’t be safe for their teeth. Look into donating this candy to an organization like Operation Gratitude—a nonprofit that sends candy care packages to our troops overseas. This is a great way to give back and get your child involved in a charitable action!

Here at James T. Hutta Orthodontics, we wish you a Happy Halloween! If you have any questions or concerns, please give our office a call.

5 After-School Snacks That Won’t Damage Braces

September 9th, 2019

It’s hard to believe it’s already September! We’ve officially passed Labor Day, so it’s time to put away those white pants and get back into the swing of the school year. One of the most important things you can do to ensure your child’s success this academic year is to provide them with healthy and nutritious meals and snacks! Food nourishes us physically and mentally, and it helps your child focus and learn in the classroom. However, if your child has braces, it might seem difficult to find foods that are both nutritious and safe for their braces. That’s why Drs. Hutta and Price have compiled a great list of braces-friendly after-school snacks to fuel your child through all their homework and extracurricular activities!

1. Bananas and peanut butter

Bananas are soft enough to bite into with braces, and the addition of peanut butter packs in that protein punch to help your child power through their busy schedule.

2. Yogurt

Delicious yogurt won’t cause any damage to the wire or brackets of your braces. Additionally, yogurt is rich in calcium, which can help strengthen your child’s teeth. Best of all, yogurt comes in convenient, portable packaging—great for a kid who is on the go!

3. Lunch meat slices

Although your child shouldn’t be biting into steak or chicken legs during their orthodontic treatment, that’s no reason to miss out on protein-filled meat. Let your child snack on some thin slices of chicken, turkey, or ham from the deli. They’ll still be able to absorb all that protein without risking damage to their braces!

4. Smoothies

Smoothies are a nice, refreshing treat for those September days when it still feels like summer outside! Throw some fresh or frozen fruit, veggies, and yogurt into the blender to make a delicious, nutritious, and drinkable snack for your child with braces. Just be careful with seeded fruits like raspberries—those seeds could easily get caught in braces.

5. Applesauce

Applesauce is a great treat for a child with braces! It’s easy to eat and is a tasty alternative to sugary sweet pudding cups (which might leave your child crashing too quickly). Always check to make sure your applesauce isn’t full of added sugar, which provides an environment for bad bacteria to thrive in the mouth.

We hope you’re enjoying the school year. If you have any questions or are looking for more snack suggestions, give our office a call today!

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