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Five New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthy Mouth

January 1st, 2020

Here at Hutta & Price Orthodontics, we want to wish you a Happy New Year! 2020 is a blank slate, a fresh start, and the perfect time to step up your game when it comes to your oral health! Taking care of your teeth should always be a priority, but it’s especially important when you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment.  

If you found yourself falling behind on your oral hygiene or orthodontic routine last year, Dr. Hutta and Dr. Price have some suggestions for your New Year’s resolutions:

1. Brush after every meal.

When you have braces, it’s so important that you’re keeping your teeth clean. Food debris is easily caught in the wires and brackets of your braces, and this can cause plaque to develop on the teeth. Over time, plaque can cause you to develop cavities and discolor your smile. You certainly don’t want to find out that your teeth have been discolored on the day you get your braces removed. So, brush every time you complete a meal—it will keep your breath fresh and your braces pristine!

2.  Remember to drink water.

In addition to being a hydrating, sugar-free beverage, water helps keep your braces clean and your mouth (and body) healthy. If you aren’t in the habit of carrying around a water bottle, make 2020 the year of healthier habits!  

3. Follow instructions from your orthodontist.

If our orthodontists ask you to wear headgear, put in rubber bands, wear your Invisalign® trays, or to turn your palate expander—listen! If you want to complete your orthodontic treatment in a timely fashion, it is vital that you follow any instructions from your orthodontist. If you follow directions, 2020 might even be the year you get your braces off! 

4.  Wear a mouthguard.

If you play any sports, you should be wearing a mouthguard any time you practice or play. When you have braces, your mouth is at an increased risk of injury, as the sharp edges of your braces can cut your inner mouth, cheeks, lips, and tongue upon impact. A mouthguard is a simple fix that can save you from a world of hurt. In fact, the American Dental Association reports that mouthguards prevent an estimated 200,000 injuries each year. Don’t get benched because of a painful mouth injury this year. Instead, invest in a mouthguard!

5. Wear your retainer.

If you’ve already had your braces removed, make sure you keep wearing your retainer this new year. Your teeth have a memory, and if you neglect to wear your retainer on a nightly basis, your teeth will shift. Don’t regress in 2020—make this a year of progress!

Commit to these resolutions to keep your teeth and orthodontic appliances happy and healthy! For more information about caring for your oral health and safety while wearing braces, contact our office.

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.

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