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National Children’s Dental Health Month

February 3rd, 2019

While many people consider braces to be a teenage rite of passage, early intervention innovations like two-phase orthodontics are promising young patients fewer extractions and better oral health. This February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and we’re urging parents to rethink braces. By bringing your child to an orthodontist before all of their permanent teeth have erupted, you can set their smile up to be healthier and happier through proactive treatment.

How Early Intervention Benefits Smiles

Most professionals recommend that patients see an orthodontist when they are as young as 7 years old. This proactive visit can be incredibly beneficial for your child’s overall health. By evaluating your child’s teeth, jaw, and mouth, your orthodontist will be able to anticipate future orthodontic issues, and if necessary, treat them in a two-phase process.

Because many parents underwent one prolonged orthodontic treatment in their own youth, using more than one phase for their child’s treatment may seem unnecessary. With two distinct treatment phases and a rest period in between, orthodontists use early intervention during Phase I to tackle jaw, palette, or other mouth problems, correcting them before they might develop into a serious issue. After Phase I is complete, patients are given a rest period as their permanent teeth finish erupting. Patients then begin Phase II, which is the final stage of fine tuning that creates a perfectly aligned, healthy smile. 

If your child is a good candidate for early intervention, Phase I orthodontics can correct jaw alignment and create more space for permanent teeth, leading to less crowded and straighter adult teeth. Treatment may consist of a palette expander, partial braces, or an active retainer—all of which offer a number of health benefits for young patients including, but not limited to:

  • Fewer extractions of permanent teeth. All teeth serve a vital purpose in the mouth, operating as tools for digestion, chewing, and speaking. Early intervention helps the mouth accommodate adult teeth, eliminating the need for multiple extractions or oral trauma.
  • Healthier permanent teeth. When permanent teeth are crowded or misaligned, it can be substantially more difficult for patients to remove plaque by brushing and flossing, and substantially easier to grind teeth or wear them down.
  • Simplified Phase II orthodontics. Early intervention eliminates the need for many invasive or painful treatments later on, making Phase II a more streamlined process.

Early intervention through a two-phase orthodontic program can save children from needing more intense and invasive treatment in their teens and can correct a number of issues that sometimes interfere with oral health. If you are interested in learning more about early intervention or want to know if your child is a good candidate for a two-phase orthodontics plan, call us today to schedule an appointment. Our friendly staff is happy to answer any questions you may have and can’t wait to help you make your child’s smile as healthy and happy as possible.

 

Winter Braces Survival Guide

January 6th, 2019

Winter is the perfect season for building snowmen, dusting off the sleds, and making holiday memories with friends and family. However, sensitive teeth and poor oral hygiene can also come alongside the winter months, leading to pain and discomfort during an otherwise cheerful season. Fortunately, there are many ways you can protect against seasonal problems and enjoy the winter wonderland while wearing orthodontics. Read on for our best tips to help you care for your smile all winter long!

Remember Your Routine

During the holidays, many of us may switch up our schedules by sleeping in, traveling, and spending more time sipping warm drinks. However, don’t neglect good dental habits just because the season is bustling with activity. Remembering to brush for two minutes twice a day, flossing daily, and consistently wearing any removable retainers or aligners will ensure that you can enjoy your healthiest smile.

Be Sensitive to Your Teeth’s Needs

The drop in temperatures and harsh winds can leave your teeth more sore or sensitive than usual. Luckily, there are several strategies you can use to combat pain. If your sensitivity is mild, breathing only through your nose when outside may be effective enough to minimize any soreness. For more intense sensitivity, consider brushing teeth with desensitizing toothpastes, which can dramatically ease discomfort and help with tooth sensitivity.

Don’t Forget Your Lips

Wind, sun, and cold temperatures can harm the delicate skin on your lips, so be sure to protect them from damage. If chapped lips bother you this season, petroleum jelly is a cost-effective option that locks in moisture. You can also combat both the cold and UV rays by wearing a daily lip balm with SPF 15 or higher. To improve your skin overall, drink plenty of water and consider installing a humidifier in your home to provide extra moisture to help keep your lips healthy this season.

Treat Yourself and Your Smile

While it may be tempting to indulge in a variety of seasonal foods during the holidays, it’s best to avoid hard and sticky foods that can damage your braces, get stuck in your teeth, and promote tooth decay. Be sure to also limit sweet drinks since they are high in acidic content, can damage your tooth enamel, and expose your teeth’s inner layers to the cold. Regardless of the weather, there are plenty of braces-friendly, holiday treats like pumpkin pie, ice cream, pudding, and sliced fruits that are sure to keep you happy and your teeth, healthy.

Winter Can Create Positive Change for Your Teeth

Don’t let the weather impact your smile’s health. Be sure to maintain daily routines of brushing and flossing while keeping up with your orthodontist appointments to get your best smile this season and beyond!

Celebrate the Holidays with Braces-Friendly Beverages

November 30th, 2018

With the holidays here, it's time to start prepping for holiday parties and gatherings. But if you’re looking for fun and braces-friendly holiday drinks, we’ve got you covered.

Spiced Mexican Hot Chocolate

If you enjoy cinnamon-flavored, wintery drinks, then this is perfect for you! Add some marshmallows for extra sweetness.

Find the recipe here.

Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

If you are in the holiday mood and love gingerbread, try this twist on frozen hot chocolate!

Find the recipe here.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

This is one of the more famous drinks around the holidays. Experiment with this healthier version that uses real pumpkin puree and honey in the recipe.

Find the recipe here.

Spiced Vanilla Pear Apple Cider 

This easy-to-prepare cider recipe combines both pear and apple for a holiday favorite.

Find the recipe here.

Ginger Latte

This minimalistic recipe is perfect if you have ginger, sugar, and almond milk around the house.

Find the recipe here.

Caramel Vanilla Bean Hazelnut Milk

This holiday drink gets you in the festive spirit with its hazelnut and vanilla bean combo. Even better, it substitutes dates for sugar to make the drink sweeter. (Blending the dates makes them braces-safe!)

Find the recipe here.

Cherry Bombs

This drink is a play on the kid-favorite Shirley Temple.

Find the recipe here.

Iced Mint Protein Mocha

This sugarless recipe combines mint and coffee to make a refreshing caffeinated drink. It’s also a great pick-me-up for winter mornings.

Find the recipe here.

As always, we recommend foods and drinks with little to no sugar.  Not only are they better for your dental health, but minimizing your sugar intake is better for the rest of your body, too. These drinks are some fun ideas to get you started with your holiday planning, but there’s one more thing to remember: keep up with your regular dental hygiene to ensure you maintain that sparkling smile!

All About TMJ for National TMJ Awareness Month

November 4th, 2018

If you experience throbbing headaches, pain and tenderness in your jaw, or have difficulty chewing, you may be one of the millions of Americans who suffer from a TMJ disorder. This November is TMJ Awareness Month, and we’re breaking down the causes, symptoms, and treatments of TMJ disorders so you can learn the most effective ways to stay pain-free year -round. 

What is TMJ?

Every person has two temporomandibular joints (TMJ) that rest in front of each ear. These joints allow your jaw to move in hinge and sliding motions so you can talk, chew, or swallow. When TMJ disorders strike, they can cause pain and restriction of the jaw, along with a myriad of other unpleasant side effects that can critically damage quality of life, including:

  • Difficulty opening and closing the mouth (jaw locking)
  • Tenderness and pain in the jaw
  • Pain in or around the ears
  • Migraines and tension headaches
  • Neck and shoulder pain

Oftentimes, there are a number of factors that can contribute to painful TMJ disorders, ranging from stress, to teeth grinding, to a bad bite. Most of these factors place undue pressure on your jaw’s joints, leading to the characteristic symptoms of pain, tightness, and restricted range of motion.

Treatment Options for TMJ

Because TMJ disorders can affect your ability to speak, eat, and even sleep, managing the pain and discomfort brought on by TMJ problems can feel overwhelming. However, regardless of stage, there are a number of effective treatments for patients to try. While most TMJ disorders are resolved with conservative treatments, surgical intervention is sometimes needed to relieve discomfort and pain. Some conservative treatments include an adjusted diet, bite realignment, wearing a mouth guard, or restorative dentistry. Patients with stress-induced TMJ may find counseling and exercises to be helpful.

If patients have TMJ caused by malocclusion (an improper bite), one of the most effective treatments is orthodontics. Orthodontic treatment can correct the improper bite and ensure that the jaw functions without compensating for misaligned teeth. In many cases, orthodontics can also reduce rates of jaw clenching or teeth grinding, since misaligned teeth are more prone to these TMJ-inducing habits.

If you routinely suffer from painful TMJ disorders, take the first step toward a pain-free life by scheduling an appointment with us today. By determining the causes of your pain, we can discuss treatment options that will transform the way you feel and leave you with your happiest, healthiest smile yet.

Be Picky If it's Sticky! Halloween Advice for Your Best Smile Yet

October 10th, 2018

Halloween is right around the corner and many Americans are eagerly awaiting the festivities, candies, and sweets that the holiday brings. While families are stockpiling their sugary treats, it’s crucial to be extra mindful of orthodontic and dental care this season to keep your teeth healthy, clean, and pearly white. In preparation for the sweet season, we’ve compiled these expert tips that will keep your smile looking its best during Halloween and beyond!

Do remember to maintain regular dental care routines.

It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene when you have braces— especially during a season known for candy consumption! Remember to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste, replacing your toothbrush every three to four months (or sooner if you notice the bristles are fraying). Continue to floss once a day as it will help remove plaque and food particles stuck in your braces or teeth.

Don’t snack on and off throughout the day and night.

It’s best to have Halloween candy or other sugary foods around mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals, which helps maintain the pH balance in your mouth and rinse away food particles. Snacking, especially on sugary snacks, can increase your risk of cavities because there is less saliva to mitigate the bacteria or acid in the mouth.

Do choose candy carefully.

Although reducing your sugar intake is a safe way to lower your risk of developing cavities, you can still satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your dental health or braces! Soft chocolates like Hershey Bars, Reese’s Cups and Three Musketeers make excellent choices for a healthy smile this Halloween. Just be sure to avoid chocolates that have nuts or caramel inside (Snickers…we’re looking at you!)

Don’t get into a sticky situation.

Sticky, chewy, and gummy candies are the most difficult to thoroughly remove from your mouth—plus they put your braces (specifically wires and brackets) at risk. These candies additionally stick to the grooves of teeth and increase risk of tooth decay, making them the worst candy for both your oral health and orthodontic treatment.

Do treat yourself to sweet options beyond the candy bag.

While candy is certainly in abundance during the Halloween season, encourage your family and friends to enjoy more braces-friendly treats like fruit, milkshakes, or cookies since they tend to stick to braces and teeth less than candy.

Don’t forget to drink water.

Water is a dental superhero, loosening food that gets stuck in braces and washing it away. Fluoridated water can even help prevent tooth decay, so be sure to stay hydrated for better oral health.

By establishing healthy braces habits this season and beyond, you can enjoy your healthiest and happiest smile yet. If you have any questions about orthodontic care or want to schedule an appointment, call us today. From all of us, we wish you a happy and safe Halloween!

Braces-Friendly School Lunch Ideas

August 8th, 2018

In the whirlwind of shopping for school supplies, clothes, and groceries, a balanced braces-friendly lunch can fall to the sidelines. So to help you make back-to-school a little less overwhelming, we’ve searched high and low to bring you four mix-and-match  brown bag lunch ideas that will keep students smiling and their braces safe.

Lunch #1: PB&J on whole wheat bread with sides of cucumber slices, yogurt or ranch dip, and string cheese

Peanut butter is a great source of protein and fiber, while cucumber is one of nature’s toothbrushes. Cheese is high in calcium and phosphorus, which promote strong tooth enamel. For an added boost, whole wheat bread contains more natural vitamins, minerals, and fiber than white bread. Pro tip: toasting your bread slightly may make your sandwich less crumbly and less likely to stick to braces!

Lunch #2: Turkey and cheese rolled together with sides of apple slices and Greek yogurt

Turkey, cheese, and Greek yogurt power this protein-packed meal. We advise patients to avoid whole apples to protect braces, but cutting up these fresh fruits makes them braces-friendly. Apple slices are high in fiber and fun to eat, while still providing a braces-safe crunch.

Lunch #3: Bean salad with sides of melon wedges, blueberries, banana, and reduced-fat cheddar cheese cubes

Beans can provide the foundation for a balanced lunch with their high density of protein, and melons and bananas contain fiber.

Lunch #4: Sliced hard-boiled egg with sides of bell pepper, strawberries, and a mini corn muffin

For this lunchbox, eggs provide the protein, bell pepper and fruit contain fiber, and a mini corn muffin is a teeth-friendly alternative to packaged sugary desserts.

A nutritious midday meal ensures students have the energy and focus needed for the entire school day and it can even have a positive impact on their report cards. Packing a braces-friendly school lunch doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive as long as you plan ahead and encourage the entire family to help choose from a variety of healthy options. You’re well on your way to that perfect smile!

Beat the Heat with 5 Braces-Friendly Snacks for Summer

June 4th, 2018

Before braces, most of us were used to reaching for our favorite crunchy snacks and chewy candy without a second thought. But once we get braces, most of these foods are off the menu, as we now have to consider snacks that won’t be painful or damage new orthodontic devices. Although wearing braces limits some of the foods you can eat, there are still plenty of choices for safe and tasty snacks.

We suggest enjoying these fun summertime snacks that won’t harm your braces.

Fruit salad

There are few things more refreshing than a ripe, juicy berry! Bananas, blueberries, and grapes are good examples of fruits soft enough for you to chew easily and confidently. (It's always a good idea to have bite-size pieces and brush after you eat.)

Cucumber slices and ranch dip

Kick off summer with this seasonal spread, perfect for outdoor fun at the beach or park! Cucumbers can be helpful for those wearing traditional braces or Invisalign® due to their anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

Ice cream

A cold, creamy classic, ice cream is sure to satisfy anyone with a sweet tooth—and cool you off, too. Just remember that your teeth are more susceptible to cavities when you have braces, so always brush after eating sugary foods.

Seedless watermelon

Watermelon slices are a summer picnic staple. You can even insert a popsicle stick and freeze them for a healthy twist on the traditional popsicle!

Pita bread and hummus

Serve this tried-and-true combination as an easy and healthy snack or party appetizer bursting with fresh Mediterranean flavor.

Spring Braces-Friendly Recipe Everyone Will Love!

April 10th, 2018

Just because you wear braces doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a delicious springtime treat. We understand the struggle you feel when surrounded by sticky, gooey, and crunchy candies throughout the different seasons and holidays. That’s why we have searched high and low for the perfect springtime recipe that the entire family can enjoy!

Triple Berry Trifle

Who doesn't love a fresh berry treat during the spring? Whether you're making it for your family or bringing it to a gathering, this is a recipe that's sure to please everyone at your table.

Ingredients:

  • Two 3.4 oz. packages instant cheesecake flavored pudding mix*
  • 4 cups milk
  • Angel food cake (about 12 oz.), cut into pieces
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup chopped raspberries
  • 12 oz. Cool Whip (or homemade whipped cream)

Directions:

  1. Add pudding mix and milk to a large bowl and make according to package directions.
  2. Add about half of the angel food cake pieces to the trifle dish.
  3. Top with about 1/2 of the prepared pudding.
  4. Top pudding with about 1/2 cup of each kind of berry.
  5. Top berries with about half of the cool whip.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5.
  7. Finish with additional berries on top.
  8. Refrigerate for about 2-3 hours, until ready to serve.

*could be replaced with vanilla flavored pudding if you can't find the cheesecake flavored pudding

Open up and say, “Om”: Stress and its Effects on your Mouth

February 7th, 2018

When it comes to stress, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is that our bodies have the perfect response system to help us survive life-threatening situations. Our “fight or flight” mechanism helps us react when a toddler runs toward the road or when we accidentally touch a hot stove. The bad news is that our bodies are not designed to tolerate the ongoing psychological stress that more of us are affected by (e.g., those work emails you’re still reading at night and on weekends or the constant pondering how to pay off your student loans). Because of prolonged exposure to life’s modern day stressors, our body’s stress hormones tend to stay at high levels, and this is a recipe for disaster— not only to our immune system, but also to our mouths.

The link between stress and dental health is undeniable. Because stress affects our immune system, the risk of periodontal disease increases as the immune system fails to keep bacteria at healthy levels. Not only does stress make us more prone to infection, it causes us to hold tension in our mouth, too. So while some of us may need our shoulders rubbed at the end of a stressful day, others may need to release our jaw muscles.

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, along with temporomandibular disorders (TMD) involving the joint where the jaw and skull meet, are two of the most common and serious mouth conditions reported by people living with chronic stress. Bruxism can damage tooth enamel leading to painful nerve exposure and tension headaches. TMD can also cause painful popping of the joint and difficulty chewing and swallowing. Other annoying oral side effects of stress include canker sores and dry mouth syndrome.

If you’re experiencing symptoms like increased tooth sensitivity, headaches, jaw popping or other mouth pain, we certainly want to discuss it with you and your dentist. Together we can figure out whether you’d benefit from something like a nighttime mouth guard to keep you from clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth. In the meantime, and in addition to any interventions like this, we’d like to share a few tips for overall stress management.

  1. Figure out what you can control and what you can’t. Make a list of the circumstances in life that cause the most stress. Determine which of them you can actually influence, and which you can’t. For those that you can change, do so! Even small changes can add up to make a difference on your stress levels. Notice how many things you don’t have control over, and then consider how to pay less attention to them. When they come to mind, make a habit of shifting your focus onto memories or circumstances that bring you joy and comfort. We suggest keeping a list of things you are grateful for in your purse/wallet. (Try pulling that list out instead of going onto Facebook when you’re looking for a distraction!)
  2. Protect your sleep! Sleep is undervalued in our culture as a protective factor for our mental health. If you’re experiencing extra stress in life, do not be afraid to prioritize your sleep like it’s your job. Those eight hours of high quality rest will improve your emotional stability and help you make better decisions throughout the day.
  3. Learn how to surf the waves of life circumstances. Every one of us experiences ups and downs in life until our last day on earth. Sometimes simply accepting that fact and choosing not to push away from difficulty and disappointment can be enough to help us relax, go with the flow, and ride the ups and downs with grace and, even, joy!

We all experience stress, but if you find it affecting your teeth, mouth and jaw, you do not have to handle that alone. Talk to us and together we’ll find coping methods that keep you flashing that beautiful, healthy smile.

Loves Your Smile and the Technology that Builds it!

February 7th, 2018

We’ve heard so many reasons why our patients love us: our friendly, knowledgeable staff; our beautiful office; our flexible appointments; and the time we take to really explain the treatment options and processes. We know that every interaction matters—from that first phone call to the moment we say, “Congratulations on your new beautiful smile!” The time we spend face-to-face with our patients is absolutely invaluable.

But what you may not realize is the priority we place on what happens behind the scenes, too. There are so many fascinating and innovative tools available in orthodontics today. We work hard to stay educated on what’s most effective and bring the best of those options to our offices. In fact, whenever possible, we avoid using outside labs for orthodontic appliances. Our cool technology distinguishes us from other orthodontists.

iTero Element Intraoral Scanner

The journey to a beautiful smile begins by obtaining an accurate picture of the current state of your jaw and teeth. Many providers do this by having you bite into putty-filled trays and creating physical models of your teeth. These trays of goo can create a lot of anxiety for patients and sometimes cause a gag reflex. We’ve eliminated this anxiety by offering a much more accurate option in the iTero Element intraoral Scanner.

With iTero, we can digitally capture a detailed 3-D model of your teeth and gums. First, we scan your teeth and then we perfect those files with our imaging software, Netfab. Not only is a digital scan far more comfortable than the old putty-based impressions, it’s faster and provides images that are more precise.

But that’s just the beginning of the list of benefits. Here are some other things our patients love about the iTero Scanner:

  • The Invisalign Outcome Simulator. How much more motivated would you be to start treatment if you had a picture of what the results will be? The iTero works with the Invisalign system to do just that! Our patients love getting a sense of what their beautiful smile may look like after a successful course of Invisalign treatment.
  • Versatility. The iTero launches the work of an array of our orthodontic interventions: retainers, clear aligners, and appliances.
  • Quick and accurate. With the iTero, our patients get to instantly see a 3-D model of their teeth before and after treatment. Also, research shows a digital model re-creates your teeth with more accuracy than impressions, which helps get better results faster.

3-D Printing with the JUELL 3D-2

Did you know that James T. Hutta Orthodontics was one of the first practices in Ohio to use a 3-D printer in-house? It’s definitely a point of pride for us. We’re also excited to share our most recent upgrade to the JUELL 3D-2 printer. Among other 3-D printers in its class, the JUELL ranks the highest on both resolution and accuracy.

So what does owning the JUELL 3D-2 mean for our patients? Check out this list of awesome advantages:

  • Faster turnaround time. By having a 3-D printer in our office, we bypass the middle man. This allows our experienced lab technicians to fabricate your custom retainers, clear aligners, or appliances faster than using an outside lab.
  • Easily replaced retainers. No more panicked digging in the trash when you accidentally throw away your retainer. Well, okay, go ahead and take a look for it—but skip the panic because we can print you another one easily! Remember those iTero scans? They’re all still on file! You don’t even need to come in for a new scan if you inform us right away that another retainer is needed.
  • Quality assurance. Your appliances are made with the highest level of precision, accuracy, and comfort by our own staff to save you time and money.

Drufomat Press Machine by Dentsply

One of our favorite machines in the office, the Drufomat Press Machine, gives us the power to create clear retainers, bleaching trays, athletic mouth guards, and clear aligners for our patients. We love having the ability to press, trim, and polish your new appliances ourselves. It not only allows us to assure the quality of your new mouthpiece, it also saves you time and money by reducing lab costs.

Instrumentarium 3-D CBCT X-ray Unit

We recently invested in a brand new Instrumentarium 3-D CBCT X-ray unit. We love it for its high quality 2-D and 3-D diagnostic images and its “Low Dose Technology” (LDT) scans. LDT delivers optimized cone beam scans at a radiation dose up to five times lower than typical 2-D panoramic x-rays. Having the Instrumentarium on site also means no extra trips to an imaging center, and it allows us to provide full and accurate assessments of our patients’ teeth and jaws.  We are able to catch disease and pathology that a 2-D x-ray may have missed. We are also able to capture high-quality images of the airway and TMJ to address any concerns our patients may be having.

EasyRx Orthodontic Prescriptions

With all this awesome technology comes the need to properly store our patients’ electronic files and lab prescriptions. The extensive information acquired by our scanners and printers must be easily accessed again if, for example, we need to make a replacement retainer. As we progress through your treatment, your files are safely and efficiently stored by the EasyRx electronic system. EasyRx also allows us to communicate with our in-house and outside labs digitally. This means better communication and less paper waste!

Excited yet?

We hope you are impressed by the advantages that come with keeping so much technology within the walls of our practice. Investing the time and money to equip ourselves with the skills and machinery to make your appliances on-site was an easy decision for us—there’s just no better way to assure quality products and outcomes for each of our patients. There is, however, one thing we love more than that technology—your smile! Thank you for trusting us with it.

Holiday Naughty & Nice Foods List

December 6th, 2017

This is the time of year to gather with family, cherish those close to you, and eat giant helpings of food. But as you know, not all those foods are friendly to your braces. We’re here to help you navigate those waters, because even though we love seeing you in the office, we’re quite sure you don’t want to make an appointment for a broken bracket.

Here’s our holiday food Naughty & Nice list:

NAUGHTY

  • CANDY CANES: Licking is fine, but biting is not. Hard and sticky is a bad combo for your lovely smile.
  • CARAMEL: If that brownie or fruit is topped with caramel, it’s best to avoid it. And, if it’s any kind of brittle—run for the hills.
  • NUTS: Nuts are delicious, but tend to get stuck where you don’t want them. Crunchy, hard bits are not friendly to your braces.
  • POPCORN: Popcorn husks can really be a pain if they get stuck in your braces. And be sure to steer clear of caramel corn.

NICE

  • ICE CREAM: As long as it doesn’t have nuts or sticky things swirling through it, you’re good to go.
  • PIE: Pumpkin pie, apple pie, cherry pie or any of the fruit pies are fine. Just make sure you stay away from pecan pie, or any pie with a sticky filling.
  • FUDGE: Yes, please.
  • CAKE: Beware of spice cakes, including carrot cake. They have a tendency to contain nuts.
  • MEAT & THINGS: Most of the food you’ll see on your holiday table is perfectly fine to eat with your braces. Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, or stuffing—no worries. Just try not to gnaw on the drumstick bone.

Remember, it’s perfectly fine to indulge a bit during the holiday season, but don’t neglect your teeth! Continue to brush and clean those braces regularly. You can dive into that vat of caramel next year.

Happy Holidays!

 

Braces-Friendly Halloween Treat

October 9th, 2017

We know how tempting Halloween candies are around this time of year. Hard, chewy, sticky, and crunchy candies are tough on your braces and teeth in general. That’s why we want to share our favorite braces-friendly recipe with our patients: the Halloween Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies! The orange cheesecake swirled on top of rich, dark chocolate brownie gives off a creepy, spidery look—but don’t worry, this is one “spider” that won’t bite back!

Brownie Layer

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Cream Cheese Layer

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Orange food coloring

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 x 8-inch baking pan, and set aside.
  2. Brownie layer: Add melted butter to a large bowl and add the sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, warm water, and vinegar, in that order, mixing between additions.
  3. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and stir it into the cocoa mix.
  4. Fold in the flour until lightly combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, saving 1/4 cup of the batter for the top.
  6. Cream cheese layer: Blend together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla, and food coloring in a medium bowl. Then gently spread the cream cheese layer on top of the brownie batter in the pan and dollop the remaining brownie batter over the cream cheese layer.
  7. Using a skewer or the tip of a knife, drag the tip through the cream cheese mixture to create a swirl pattern.
  8. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before cutting.
  9. ENJOY! And always remember: rinse your mouth with water after eating sugary food.

Improve Your Smile. Improve Your Life.

July 17th, 2017

If you think braces are only for kids, think again! A growing trend in the United States points to the fact that more and more adults are getting braces to improve their personal and professional careers—and being rewarded for it. The Academy of General Dentistry reported that over one million Americans and Canadians over the age of 18 have braces. According to the American Association of Orthodontics’ (A.A.O) report 75% of the surveyed adults report improvements in their career or personal relationships after getting braces, and attribute their success to their post-orthodontic smile. (92% of them also recommended orthodontic treatment to other adults).

Not only are braces for adults socially and professionally beneficial, the social stigmas attached to adults getting braces have greatly diminished. At age 61, Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globes, and BAFTA award winner, Faye Dunaway, wanted a more glamourous smile and decided to get braces! Tom Cruise wore braces when he was 40 years old to improve his smile on the big screen. And Country music singer Faith Hill was spotted wearing braces at the Grammys at the age of 45. (Hill actually had braces as a kid, but never wore her retainer. So make sure you don’t make the same mistake!)

You don’t have to be a big movie star or a singer to get braces, just the desire to have a better smile. According to the same A.A.O. report, 71% of the surveyed adults had concerns before the treatment: “What will others think?”; “How will I look?”; “Am I too old?” But an overwhelming majority said their concerns dissipated once the treatment actually began.

With the advances in orthodontic technology, you can expect shorter treatment times and longer periods between appointments. Moreover, we can recommend different types of braces that fit your needs. Invisalign are custom-made aligners that are invisible and removable. This lets you eat, drink, brush, and floss while in treatment. They are also more comfortable than traditional braces because they have no metal or wires, plus, that means less time in your doctor’s office!

So what are you waiting for? BRACE yourself for a fresh, new, and better smile!

25 Years of Loving That Smile

June 13th, 2017

To my James T. Hutta Orthodontics family,

I am excited to celebrate 25 years of creating beautiful smiles throughout the Central Ohio area this month, and I know this milestone wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my incredible staff and wonderful patients like you.

When I opened my orthodontic practice 25 years ago in Gahanna, I could not have predicted that I would now be treating the children of some of my very first patients. Treating generations of families is an honor I do not take lightly, and I thank you for entrusting me with your smiles.

I want to be able to give each and every one of my patients the best and most personalized experience possible. Throughout these last 25 years, I have been lucky enough to utilize the latest and greatest technology available in orthodontics. Most recently, our office began using a 3D printer to create highly customized aligners for our patients to help straighten their smiles without braces. It has been incredible to watch how the field of orthodontics has changed since I opened this practice. My staff and I can’t wait to see how technology continues to evolve and improve over the next 25 years so we can be even better equipped to help you attain your best smile.

Thank you to my extremely supportive staff. Your commitment to providing the very best care to our patients is extraordinary, and I couldn’t do it without you. To my patients and their families—watching you and your smiles grow over the years has been a privilege that I appreciate daily. Every single appointment and smile makes my day that much better. Thank you for making it easy to love what I do and for bringing a smile to my own face for the last quarter century. I love being a part of this wonderful community, and can’t wait to celebrate many more smile milestones with you and your family over the next 25 years.

All the best, and we’ll continue to Love That Smile!

Warmest,

Dr. James T. Hutta

Easy Ways to Achieve a Bright, White Smile

February 6th, 2017

One of the first things that people notice about you is your smile. Having a bright, white smile is an easy way to make a wonderful first impression. And it’s not just whitening trays or products that can give you a brighter smile. Here are a few easy ways to keep your smile luminous once your braces come off.

  1. Floss Every Day. For a white smile, great oral hygiene is a must. Healthy pink gums are the backdrop of a beautiful smile and will make your teeth appear brighter. Also, if you don’t floss, you actually miss 35% of each tooth surface! Allowing food, plaque, and bacteria to build up between your teeth will make it easier for food and drinks to stain your teeth.
  2. Watch Out for Food and Drinks that Stain. If you do decide to use whitening products, be carful what you eat and drink during treatment. Carbamide peroxide and similar whitening agents open up pores in your teeth, which means they will easily absorb anything. Stay away from coffee, red wine, tea, ketchup, mustard, and chocolate during your whitening regimen. Once you’ve reached your ideal shade, you may resume your normal eating and drinking habits. But remember, these foods and drinks do still stain and avoiding them will keep your teeth whiter for longer.
  3. Don’t Guzzle Energy Drinks. If you need an afternoon pick-me-up, you are doing damage to your teeth with energy drinks. The acid they contain can have the same eroding effects as eating citrus fruits but this time, your teeth are bathing in all that acid! If you can’t get through the day without an energy drink, make sure to consume it through a straw to help protect your teeth.
  4. Choose Crunchy Foods & Snacks. Obviously, crunchy foods are something we ask you to avoid while you have your braces on for fear they’ll damage your brackets. But once your braces are off, snacking on hard, raw fruits or vegetables (like apples and carrots) helps produce more saliva. Saliva helps wash away food and bacteria from between your teeth. Saliva battles the effects of acidic foods and beverages, keeping your teeth looking bright.
  5. Swap Out Your Toothbrush. A whiter smile might be as easy as throwing your old toothbrush in the trash. It’s recommended you replace your toothbrush every three months as worn down bristles cannot properly clean your teeth.
  6. Brush Your Tongue. Brushing your tongue doesn’t just help give you fresher breath, it helps prevent staining. Your tongue accumulates bacteria which can lead to discoloration.
  7. Rinse Your Mouth After Eating Acidic Foods. We know you’re not always near your toothbrush, but if your go-to snack is citrus fruits such as oranges, you could be eroding your tooth enamel quickly. Eroded enamel means your teeth will stain more easily. To fix this, make sure to rinse your mouth out with water after eating your favorite citrus fruits to wash away that destructive acid from your teeth.

You’ve got a gorgeous, straight smile now! Just follow these tips to enhance it even more and keep that glowing grin bright and white

Braces-Friendly Thanksgiving Treat

November 16th, 2016

Pass the treats please! At the end of your holiday dinners, who doesn’t love a crave-settling sweet? But some desserts like pecan pie are out of the question for those with orthodontia. Here is one of our favorite, braces- safe treat that the entire family can enjoy!

Bubbly Brown-Sugar Bananas

Pieces to the whole!

  • 4 large ripe/firm bananas cut into thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Vanilla ice cream (optional)

Where do we go from here?

  • In a large bowl, toss bananas with lemon juice
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat
  • Stir in brown sugar with butter until dissolved
  • Add bananas to skillet and cook until bananas are softened on edges (3 mintues)
  • Sprinkle cinnamon on top
  • Serve bananas slightly cooled
  • Add vanilla ice cream (optional)

Considerations!

This scrumptious simple treat is a quick and easy add to the holiday dinners. Let’s be mindful that the sugar may stick to the teeth and braces. Be proactive and brush your teeth and tongue to avoid these dangers. From all of us at Dr. Hutta and Dr. Price’s office, a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Halloween Candy: Which Treats are Safe for Braces?

October 25th, 2016

With Halloween quickly approaching, we want to remind our patients to be cautious when choosing candy and treats on trick-or-treat night or at Halloween parties! We encourage our patients to stay away from sticky sweets because it could damage your braces, and we would hate to see patients return from Halloween with missing brackets and wires. To ensure that your braces stay on and intact for the shortest time possible, we highly encourage avoiding these candies and sweets:

  1. Gum
  2. Taffy
  3. Hard candy (jaw breakers, Jolly Ranchers)
  4. Sticky candy (caramels, Sugar Daddies, Starbursts, caramel apples, Tootsie Rolls)
  5. Popcorn
  6. Nuts

Hard and sticky candies can take a huge toll on your braces because of the additional force to the brackets and bands, as well as your teeth. If there is too much pressure, the bracket is at risk of breaking off. But don’t worry! There are still plenty of candies and Halloween treats you can enjoy. Here are our top 10 recommendations for super safe and sweet eating:

  1. Soft chocolates like Hershey’s Kisses, Reese’s Cups and Hershey’s Bars
  2. Pudding or Jell-O
  3. Ice cream
  4. Cake
  5. Doughnuts
  6. Cookies
  7. Pie
  8. Cereal
  9. Cotton Candy
  10. Candy Corn

We highly advise our patients who plan on eating Halloween treats to brush their teeth thoroughly afterward. This allows braces and teeth to stay healthy and clean and will keep you on the right track toward completing your smile journey! Brushing your teeth also helps to clear away lingering sugars that create cavities. Once your braces are removed, you will be left with a beautiful smile to last a lifetime. So giving up sticky and hard candies for the holiday will be well worth it in the end!

Orthodontists Offering "Pink Smiles" to Support Breast Cancer Research

October 6th, 2016

Columbus, OH, October 2016: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the Hutta brothers are coming together to help fight this disease with Pink Smiles! For the entire month, all three practices are donating $5 to the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research for every patient that requests pink bands on their braces. The fund supports cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics, Hutta & Cook Orthodontics, and James T. Hutta Orthodontics are excited to be a part of this incredible cause and are happy to have found a unique way to donate thousands of dollars toward breast cancer Research.

“We have been deeply touched by this cause, and are determined to do our part for our global community to find a cure” says Dr. James T. Hutta. “We know so many families affected by this disease, and feel we have found a great way to help. We love that our patients are rallying around this cause and so many of them have requested a pink smile to do their part in the fight.”

Last year, patients—young and old, male and female—were proud to wear pink bands and participate in this great cause. Its impact reached far and wide, and created a strong enthusiasm that involved the entire community. It was such a success and moved so many people that Dr. Hutta’s brother and fellow orthodontist, Dr. J. Lawrence Hutta, wanted to adopt the Pink Smiles charitable campaign in his offices.

“We are so excited to have our practice involved in this year’s Pink Smiles campaign,” says Dr. J. Lawrence Hutta. “We really wanted to do something to help make a difference. We love seeing all of our patients with Pink Smiles!”

“All of our patients are so engaged in making a difference by sporting their pink in October,” echoes Dr. James T. Hutta. “We really feel proud knowing that we’ve inspired our community to learn more about this disease and how they can help.”

The Pink Smiles campaign runs through the end of October, and speaks to the incredible power of community engagement.

“We are so happy to help our many patients and friends impacted by this illness” says Dr. Brandon Cook of Hutta & Cook Orthodontics. “We are very much looking forward to carrying the tradition into the future, until we can find a cure.”

Think Pink to End Breast Cancer

October 2nd, 2016

Dear Patients,

The autumn season is full of football Friday nights, crunchy leaves, and pumpkin scented everything. Unfortunately, many people won’t be able to enjoy these simple pleasures.

Rather than stressing over which fresh-off-the-rack sweater to wear to the community bonfire, victims of breast cancer are thinking about their next round of chemo treatment or radiation.

Breast cancer affects so many people in our community, which is why our practice is going the extra mile to make a difference. During the entire month of October, for every patient who requests pink bands for their braces, we will donate $5 to the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research. The Stefanie Spielman Fund at OSU helps further support breast cancer research and aids in finding a cure.

So many people each year are affected by breast cancer, and we wanted to find a way to contribute to the fight to find a cure. Not only are our doctors and staff motivated to make a difference, but we have loved seeing our patients rally for this amazing cause by requesting a pink smile. This involves the community at large, while supporting everyone affected by this destructive disease.

Won’t you join us in the fight to end breast cancer by requesting a pink smile? Many of our patients, families, staff members, and friends have been deeply impacted by this disease and we feel privileged to help any way we can. So this October, I hope that when you visit our practice, you will “Think Pink.”

Warmest,

Dr. James T. Hutta & Dr. Jeffery A. Price

Healthy & Braces-Friendly Lunch Ideas

August 28th, 2016

As summer draws to a close, we’re all getting into the swing of back to school! Shopping for new supplies and getting ready for upcoming soccer games are both important, but making sure your child gets to school with a nutritious lunch is crucial to their ability to focus and learn. However, if your child has braces, making sure lunch is both healthy and braces-friendly can be difficult. Fear not—small adjustments to a child’s school lunches can ensure nutritious, safe options.

Eggs, seafood, and chicken are easy ways to provide your child with protein without damaging his or her teeth. Your child can get calcium from yogurts and puddings, and their daily intake of fruits with soft ones such as tangerines, oranges, or kiwis. Steamed vegetables are an excellent option as well.

A healthy lunch might include a soft sandwich, paired with a soft, peeled fruit (think orange or banana), and a small treat, like pudding or applesauce. Hard foods, such as pizza crust, should not be in your child’s lunchboxes. If possible, harder foods can be safe if they are cut up into small pieces to prevent any damage to braces. Apples, pears, and other hard, crunchy fruits should be cut up as well.

If your child bites into hard foods while wearing braces, the brackets can easily pull away from teeth and break, which can be incredibly painful. By putting careful thought into what your child eats, you can save the time and money it would take to repair damaged brackets.

As a general rule of thumb, avoid any foods you consider hard or chewy. Hard candies or gooey caramels are a nightmare for braces, and breakages they might cause can extend the needed time for braces to stay on. So be sure to pack braces-friendly desserts for your kids like soft chocolates, brownies (without nuts) and soft cookies. Be thoughtful about those school lunches and it will all be worth it once a beautiful smile is in place!

Summer Treat Your Smile Will Love

July 11th, 2016

Summer is finally here, and that means more time for families to swim and run outside with the hot sun beating down them. And what better way to cool off than with a healthy, braces-friendly treat the whole family will enjoy? If you have a child with braces who is getting annoyed when told they can’t eat certain foods that might ruin their brackets, then this is a treat that is perfect for them. While they might not be able to have hard or sticky foods like popcorn or caramel, they can have refreshing treats like watermelon, sorbet, and even delicious homemade ice cream like the recipe below—a delicious dessert every member of the family will enjoy!

3-Ingredient Banana Nutella Ice Cream

You’ll need:

  • 5 bananas
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup Nutella
  1. Cut bananas into 1-inch slices. Place on a cookie sheet and freeze for 20-30 minutes until completely frozen.
  2. Transfer to food processor. Turn on, scrape down sides every 30 seconds. Process until mixture becomes completely smooth and looks like ice cream.
  3. Add nutella and vanilla. Pulse until combined.
  4. Eat right away or store in airtight container.

Although people with braces can have delicious treats such as this, they need to watch out for certain foods that are usually served at summer parties and barbeques. Corn on the cob is a treat at nearly every summer get-together and it can easily damage or break braces brackets. Chips (potato, tortilla, corn) can also wreak havoc on braces. Thankfully, biting into fruits such as strawberries, watermelons, or bananas will do no harm to your teeth. But be careful of some tempting fruits. Bite into a juicy, ripe apple without cutting it up first and you might be visiting your orthodontist a little sooner than expected.

While there are rules for keeping your teeth healthy during your orthodontic treatment, it will be worth it once its time for your braces and brackets to come off and a brand new smile is unveiled!

Why Choose An Orthodontist for Your Smile

June 13th, 2016

Having a beautiful smile is always in high demand. There is a team of people who work together to keep your smile shiny bright—your dentist, your orthodontist, and you. You brush and floss your teeth regularly, your dentist watches for general tooth and mouth health concerns and thoroughly cleans your teeth, and your orthodontist ensures your oral health by realigning your teeth to further improve your smile. However, some dentists have lately been taking quick courses in an attempt to learn how to fit their patients with teeth realigning devices like Invisalign. This is a dangerous trend, because while dentists are qualified to take care of your overall oral health, orthodontia is a highly specialized field that requires more education and training in order to take care of the alignment of your smile.

In order to learn this specialty, orthodontists must go to school for over 10 years after they graduate from high school. After completing their undergraduate degree, they must apply for and be accepted to a four-year dental school. After successfully earning their dentistry degree, orthodontists must then complete two or three more years of training specifically in orthodontia practice. In comparison, some dentists who want to offer services like Invisalign, simply take a quick online tutorial accompanied by a ½ day class. This method of training cannot compare to the extra two or three years of experience and training orthodontists receive to realign your teeth. In order to properly take care of your smile, it is necessary to make sure that a certified orthodontist provides any orthodontic treatment you receive.

Many people view orthodontia as simply a cosmetic improvement to your smile, but having orthodontic work done is often necessary to maintain health of your smile. Having correctly aligned teeth makes it easier to clean them, reduces the risk of gum disease, can reduce chronic headache and jaw pain, and improves the overall health of your mouth. Because the alignment of your teeth is so connected with the rest of your body, realigning your teeth is not as simple as it sounds; it requires a thorough knowledge of how the teeth fit into the gums so that the gums are not damaged when the teeth are moved. If someone without proper training and knowledge realigns your teeth, your gums may become irreparably damaged and you could experience major health concerns in the future.

While straighter teeth can give you an even more beautiful smile, correctly aligned teeth are essential to a healthy mouth. Don’t leave the health of your smile in the hands of anyone who is not properly trained. Your dentist and orthodontist should work together to give you a beautiful and healthy smile.

White Smiles for Spring

April 24th, 2016

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you, so you want to make sure to always put your best and brightest smile forward. This spring, keep your smile shining bright with just a few simple tricks and tips.

  • Maintain good oral hygiene. There are a million reasons why keeping up your oral hygiene is extremely important, especially when you have braces, but good hygiene also leads to a more beautiful smile. Always make sure you brush your teeth twice a day, and don’t skip out on flossing! Braces can make it difficult to clean your teeth and gums that are in between brackets and wires, so at your next appointment make sure we show you the most effective ways to get at these hard to reach spots.
  • Skip that extra cup of coffee or glass of red wine. Coffee, tea, red wine, and soda can all stain your teeth. In order to keep your pearly whites pearly and white, cut back on consumption of these beverages.
  • Use a straw when consuming the above beverages. Sipping through a straw allows you to consume your favorite drinks without the liquid touching your teeth. This way you can enjoy any beverage without worrying it will stain your teeth. They even make straws that are specially designed for the consumption of hot beverages.
  • Quit smoking. Besides taking an enormous toll on your health and causing severe problems like gingivitis and lung cancer, smoking cigarettes can stain your teeth brown. The more you smoke, the harder it is to remove these stains. Simply brushing is often not enough to get rid of the discoloration, so if you have stains from smoking you should consult one of our physicians on the best options to remove tobacco stains.
  • Try teeth-whitening toothpaste. Ask Dr. Hutta for his suggestions on toothpaste that thoroughly cleans your teeth and helps prevent stains and discoloration.

Whether you have just had a teeth-whitening procedure and want to maintain your results or you want to keep your gorgeous smile beautiful, these tips will help brighten your smile. The best part of working to keep your teeth white is that you will also be protecting them at the same time!

The Perfect Treat to Keep You Warm and Smiling This Winter

February 18th, 2016

The winter months can be long and cold, but here is our favorite winter treat to warm you up after shoveling the driveway, a long day of sledding, or just dashing from your heated car seats into your house. Whether you’re home on a snow day or just looking for a fun activity this weekend, this hot chocolate recipe is a treat to make, as well as eat.

Hot Cocoa

Everyone loves a steaming cup of chocolaty hot cocoa, and you’ll love these fun twists on this old staple! Hot cocoa is also one of the friendliest treats for your braces.

Ingredients for your hot cocoa:

  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • Lots of whipped cream

Directions:

Simmer ¾ cups of water in a saucepan over medium heat, and then blend in the cocoa powder until there are no lumps. Add milk, and then whisk in the sugar and chocolate chips until they are melted and you have a smooth mixture. Top with as much whipped cream as you want.

Plain hot chocolate is always good, but you can try spicing up your cup with these additions. And if you don’t have time to make hot cocoa from scratch, these are the perfect ways to quickly improve on instant hot chocolate:

  • Salted Caramel – add a swirl of caramel in your hot chocolate and sprinkle of salt to give your taste buds a tingle.
  • Maple Syrup – a squirt of maple syrup is perfect for a breakfast of hot chocolate and pancakes on a cold, snowy morning.
  • Coffee or Espresso – a home made version of a mocha, this spin on hot chocolate is sure to give you a jump start before you take on the sledding hill.
  • Orange Zest – throw some orange rind (the skin of the orange that you peel off) into your mug for a few minutes before drinking. You’ll get some nice fruity flavors, and you’ll have an orange peeled and ready to eat.
  • Peppermint Sticks – drop some peppermint sticks or a small peppermint into your cocoa for a great smell and minty taste. Just remember to not eat the peppermint so it doesn’t hurt your braces!
  • Peanut Butter – thanks to Reese’s, we know peanut butter and chocolate go together like braces and a perfect smile, so why not try adding some creamy peanut butter into your hot chocolate. Make sure you stir long enough to get the peanut butter fully blended into the cocoa.
  • Ice Cream – this might not sound like an addition to hot cocoa that will warm you up, but it’s the perfect way to avoid burning your tongue as you curl up by a crackling fire.

The Perfect Treat to Keep You Warm and Smiling This Winter

February 16th, 2016

The winter months can be long and cold, but here is our favorite winter treat to warm you up after shoveling the driveway, a long day of sledding, or just dashing from your heated car seats into your house. Whether you’re home on a snow day or just looking for a fun activity this weekend, this hot chocolate recipe is a treat to make, as well as eat.

Hot Cocoa
Everyone loves a steaming cup of chocolaty hot cocoa, and you’ll love these fun twists on this old staple! Hot cocoa is also one of the friendliest treats for your braces.

Ingredients for your hot cocoa:

  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • Lots of whipped cream

Directions:

Simmer ¾ cups of water in a saucepan over medium heat, and then blend in the cocoa powder until there are no lumps. Add milk, and then whisk in the sugar and chocolate chips until they are melted and you have a smooth mixture. Top with as much whipped cream as you want.

Plain hot chocolate is always good, but you can try spicing up your cup with these additions. And if you don’t have time to make hot cocoa from scratch, these are the perfect ways to quickly improve on instant hot chocolate:

  • Salted Caramel – add a swirl of caramel in your hot chocolate and sprinkle of salt to give your taste buds a tingle.
  • Maple Syrup – a squirt of maple syrup is perfect for a breakfast of hot chocolate and pancakes on a cold, snowy morning.
  • Coffee or Espresso – a home made version of a mocha, this spin on hot chocolate is sure to give you a jump start before you take on the sledding hill.
  • Orange Zest – throw some orange rind (the skin of the orange that you peel off) into your mug for a few minutes before drinking. You’ll get some nice fruity flavors, and you’ll have an orange peeled and ready to eat.
  • Peppermint Sticks – drop some peppermint sticks or a small peppermint into your cocoa for a great smell and minty taste. Just remember to not eat the peppermint so it doesn’t hurt your braces!
  • Peanut Butter – thanks to Reese’s, we know peanut butter and chocolate go together like braces and a perfect smile, so why not try adding some creamy peanut butter into your hot chocolate. Make sure you stir long enough to get the peanut butter fully blended into the cocoa.
  • Ice Cream – this might not sound like an addition to hot cocoa that will warm you up, but it’s the perfect way to avoid burning your tongue as you curl up by a crackling fire.

New Year, New Smile

January 12th, 2016

As we start off the New Year, many of us are making New Year’s resolutions; promises to ourselves to be better in 2016. The most popular New Year’s resolution without a doubt is to better our health. And while many join gyms or cut back on fried foods, you don’t have to just keep an eye on the scale to improve your health. A straight, aligned smile can better your health as well!

Aligned teeth can reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Swollen, red gums can often be the result of having teeth that are crowded or too widely spaced. Braces align your teeth to correct this problem by helping gums to fit more securely around teeth and allowing for the strongest defense against periodontal issues and gum disease.

Another major health benefit is hygiene. Crooked teeth can be incredibly hard to clean and floss. Bits of food can become trapped in those hard-to-clean spots, leading to tooth decay, cavities and other oral health problems. When teeth are straight, it’s much easier to floss and brush thoroughly, removing food particles and plaque that can ultimately lead to tooth decay.

Oral health problems can cause mouth sores, tender or bleeding gums, bad breath and possible tooth loss. Crooked teeth problems can lead to other health issues including TMJ, jaw and neck pain, even migraines. Studies by the American Dental Association have shown oral infections can lead to heart disease, stroke, pneumonia and diabetes.

The benefits of braces extend far beyond a vibrant smile. Correctly aligned teeth can alleviate oral and overall health issues. So while you look for new ways to be healthy in 2016, consider braces and a straight, beautiful smile. It’s a New Year’s resolution that will increase your confidence while keeping you healthy. Call our office to schedule a complimentary consultation. It’s never too late to get the perfect, healthy smile you always wanted.

"Naughty" and "Nice" Holiday Foods for Your Smile

December 9th, 2015

It’s the season for parties, family dinners and great food. But while most of us may be worrying about our pants getting too tight, you should also be paying attention to your gorgeous smile. The holidays can take a toll on your pearly whites, so what are the top naughty and nice foods for the holidays? Here’s our list!

Our Holiday Food “Nice” List
1. Cheese
When that cheese platter gets passed around, go ahead and chow down! Cheese is an antibacterial and its lower pH levels help make your mouth a less acidic environment.

2. Turkey

Turkey is non-fermentable and won’t stimulate cavity-causing responses in the mouth! This holiday staple is packed with protein and phosphorus which works with calcium to produce strong teeth.

3. Sugar-free gum
Have a piece of sugar-free gum once you’re done with the holiday spread. Chewing gum increases saliva, washing away the acids that are produced when food is broken down by the bacteria in your mouth.

Our Holiday Food “In-between” List

1. Nuts
If you have braces, nuts are something you need to stay away from because they can break a bracket. But if you’re braces free, nuts can stimulate saliva which keeps away harmful bacteria. They also contain a wide array of nutrients like magnesium and iron and supply a healthy dose of calcium to help keep your teeth strong. So take a handful at your next holiday gathering!

2. Veggies
No braces? Head for the veggie tray!  Fibrous vegetables like raw celery and carrots act as nature’s toothbrush. These tiny, delicious toothbrushes remove plaque and contain lots of vitamins and nutrients.  So load up on veggies at your next gathering. But if you still have your braces on, go for soft broccoli or cauliflower instead to avoid damaging your brackets.

Top Holiday Food “Naughty” List


1. Candy canes

Candy canes are some of the naughtiest of the holiday candies. If you suck on them, you are getting a longer exposure to sugar, increasing your risk of cavities. If you crunch on them, they get lodged in your teeth and your braces and can even cause tooth fractures!

2. Egg nog
It’s the most popular drink of the holiday season, but the high sugar content in egg nog makes it a bad choice for your teeth. If you really need your fix, try making it yourself with no added sugar and little-to-no alcohol. Your teeth will thank you!

3. Carbonated beverages
Want to keep your teeth as white as the winter’s snow? Avoid sodas at your next holiday party or dinner. Carbonated drinks can wreak havoc in your mouth. The acid from these drinks can dissolve the enamel of your teeth making them sensitive and prone to cavities, and it can even start turning them yellow.

4. Chocolate
Lighter colored milk chocolates contain a lot of sugar, producing acid which can dissolve the protective layer of tooth enamel and can cause cavities. But there is good news! Pure dark chocolate is ok to eat: the higher the cocoa content, the better it is for both you and your teeth.  So search for a great dark piece of chocolate for your holiday dessert.

We hope your smile stays as bright as the holiday season!

"Naughty" and "Nice" Holiday Foods for Your Smile

December 9th, 2015

It’s the season for parties, family dinners and great food. But while most of us may be worrying about our pants getting too tight, you should also be paying attention to your gorgeous smile. The holidays can take a toll on your pearly whites, so what are the top naughty and nice foods for the holidays? Here’s our list!

Our Holiday Food “Nice” List
1. Cheese
When that cheese platter gets passed around, go ahead and chow down! Cheese is an antibacterial and its lower pH levels help make your mouth a less acidic environment.

2. Turkey

Turkey is non-fermentable and won’t stimulate cavity-causing responses in the mouth! This holiday staple is packed with protein and phosphorus which works with calcium to produce strong teeth.

3. Sugar-free gum
Have a piece of sugar-free gum once you’re done with the holiday spread. Chewing gum increases saliva, washing away the acids that are produced when food is broken down by the bacteria in your mouth.

Our Holiday Food “In-between” List

1. Nuts
If you have braces, nuts are something you need to stay away from because they can break a bracket. But if you’re braces free, nuts can stimulate saliva which keeps away harmful bacteria. They also contain a wide array of nutrients like magnesium and iron and supply a healthy dose of calcium to help keep your teeth strong. So take a handful at your next holiday gathering!

2. Veggies
No braces? Head for the veggie tray!  Fibrous vegetables like raw celery and carrots act as nature’s toothbrush. These tiny, delicious toothbrushes remove plaque and contain lots of vitamins and nutrients.  So load up on veggies at your next gathering. But if you still have your braces on, go for soft broccoli or cauliflower instead to avoid damaging your brackets.

Top Holiday Food “Naughty” List


1. Candy canes

Candy canes are some of the naughtiest of the holiday candies. If you suck on them, you are getting a longer exposure to sugar, increasing your risk of cavities. If you crunch on them, they get lodged in your teeth and your braces and can even cause tooth fractures!

2. Egg nog
It’s the most popular drink of the holiday season, but the high sugar content in egg nog makes it a bad choice for your teeth. If you really need your fix, try making it yourself with no added sugar and little-to-no alcohol. Your teeth will thank you!

3. Carbonated beverages
Want to keep your teeth as white as the winter’s snow? Avoid sodas at your next holiday party or dinner. Carbonated drinks can wreak havoc in your mouth. The acid from these drinks can dissolve the enamel of your teeth making them sensitive and prone to cavities, and it can even start turning them yellow.

4. Chocolate
Lighter colored milk chocolates contain a lot of sugar, producing acid which can dissolve the protective layer of tooth enamel and can cause cavities. But there is good news! Pure dark chocolate is ok to eat: the higher the cocoa content, the better it is for both you and your teeth.  So search for a great dark piece of chocolate for your holiday dessert.

We hope your smile stays as bright as the holiday season!

Have a Happy Halloween with Braces

October 26th, 2015

Halloween: It’s your kids’ favorite time of year, complete with costumes, jack-o’-lanterns, and candy. But when your child (or you!) has braces on, that candy can do much more damage than just giving them a sugar high. Extra sticky, chewy, and hard candy wreak havoc on your wires and brackets. Wires can bend or break when food is too chewy or tough, and a loose wire in your mouth can really hurt. Brackets have also been known to pop off when eating something tough. Whenever there is a major problem with your orthodontic equipment, progress can be set back by days or weeks. You definitely don’t want to have to halt trick-or-treating to call our office and make an appointment to get it fixed! To avoid having a braces scare this Halloween, make sure to avoid the following candies:

  • Anything with caramel
  • Hard candies
  • Taffy
  • Licorice
  • Candy corn
  • Popcorn balls
  • Jelly beans
  • Carmel/candy apples
  • Candy bars with nuts

Don’t let this list daunt you—you don’t have to tell your kids (or yourself) no to all candy! There is plenty of braces-friendly candy out there to enjoy, although avoiding caramel and nuts is a good rule of thumb. Even some of our favorite candies make the list of candy that is safe to eat with your wires and brackets. Have your kids collect plenty of the following in their pillowcases this year:

  • Peanut butter cups
  • Kit Kats
  • Regular M&Ms
  • Oreos
  • Chips Ahoy and other soft cookies
  • Hershey’s Kisses
  • Plain Hershey’s Bars
  • 3 Musketeers
  • Mound Bars (and any candy bar that doesn’t have caramel or nuts!)

By following these tricks, you will still be able to have lots of treats this Halloween while keeping your smile sweet too! No matter if you are dressed as a ghost, a witch, or even as an orthodontist, you can still successfully keep working toward your ideal smile this Halloween.

Play Hard. Save Teeth.

August 11th, 2015

Playing a sport is one of the great joys of growing up. Sports can build confidence, develop character and create an unbreakable bond for a team of players. We love hearing about our patients’ amazing sports accolades and wins during their appointments. And we also love helping them stay safe on the field. That is why we offer to create mouth guards for our patients and their entire team free of charge.

Whenever an athlete hits the field or court, there are risks that go along with the fun. A blow to the mouth could result in chipped or broken teeth or a cut to the lip. With the right protection, we’ll ensure you can play hard while keeping that beautiful smile intact.

At our office, we can create the right protection for your sport, whether it’s a custom made mouth guard (perfect for patients who have their braces off) or a store-bought mouth guard that we’ll help fit (perfect for patients with braces). We can even create mouth guards in your school colors for extra school spirit.

Whatever your needs, we’ll make sure you hit the field without hurting your teeth. Call our office at 855-8800 to schedule an appointment for yourself or your entire team. We cannot wait to see you and wish you good luck on your season!

Summer Snacks that are Good for Smiles

July 13th, 2015

Summer is here and with it comes trips to the pool, the beach, and the park, which are all great settings for family picnics and barbecues. But some of the treats our kids like to snack on in the summer can be harmful for their teeth and braces. So what types of foods are safe for your kids’ teeth, and still enjoyable too? while being enjoyable too? Here are some of our favorite recipes that will add to your kids’ summer fun, while keeping their smiles healthy!

  • Fruit salad that’s good for your smile! All of the fruit used is great for the health of your teeth:
    • Grapefruit
    • Orange slices
    • Tangerines
    • Kiwi
    • Bananas
    • Combine in a large bowl for your family’s next picnic!
  • Smoothie recipes – a yummy treat. Try substituting a strawberry puree instead of the berries to minimize seeds that could get stuck under your wire!
    • Triple-Berry: Blend 1½ cups mixed blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries with 1 cup each of milk (or yogurt) and ice.
    • Strawberry Shortcake: Blend 2 cups strawberries, 1 cup crumbled pound cake, 1½ cups of milk (or yogurt) and ice. Top with whipped cream and more strawberries.
    • Pineapple-Mango: Blend 1 cup each chopped pineapple and mango, 1 cup coconut water, a dash of ground allspice and 1 cup ice. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.
  • Soft Tacos – let your kids assemble their own tacos; that way dinner is fun and delicious!
    • Soft tortillas
    • Shredded cheese
    • Braised chicken or beef
    • Pico de Gallo
    • Guacamole
  • BBQ Meatballs – perfect for summer barbecues out on the deck!
    • You’ll need:
      • 1½ lbs. of ground beef
      • 1 egg, lightly beaten
      • 1 cup cooking oats
      • 6 ½ ounces of evaporated milk
      • ¼ cup chopped onion
      • 1 cup ketchup
      • 1 cup brown sugar
      • 1 tsp. salt
      • ½ tsp. pepper
      • ¼ tsp. minced garlic
      • ½ tsp. garlic powder
      • 1 tablespoon chili powder
      • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke flavoring
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
    • In a bowl, mix beef, egg, oats, evaporated milk, salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, and ¼ cup onion. Form into 1½ inch balls and arrange in a single layer in the baking dish.
    • In a separate bowl, mix ketchup, garlic, sugar, ¼ cup onion, and liquid smoke. Pour evenly over the meatballs.
    • Bake uncovered 1 hour in the preheated oven, until the minimum internal temperature of a meatball reaches 160 degrees F (72 degrees C).
  • Breakfast for dinner ­– pancakes and eggs! Your kids will love this twist on meals, and the soft pancakes and eggs are safe for their appliances.

These recipes should bring smiles to your kids’ faces, and fill their bellies too!

Braces Super Powers

June 9th, 2015

Everyone thinks of braces as being a rite of passage for adolescents. They have graced the yearbook photos of elementary and middle school aged students for decades, but we are seeing more and more adults in our exam chairs lately. Why is this? Lots of adults think that it doesn’t matter if they have perfectly straight teeth for the rest of their lives, but not having straight teeth can bring on a multitude of problems you might not expect. Braces can help correct any discomfort you have when you chew, chronic headaches and other chronic bodily pain, trouble breathing through the nose, irregular tooth erosion, and they can help prevent premature aging of the entire face. Furthermore, straightened, non-crooked teeth are easier to clean so you will have a reduced risk of contracting gum disease, and you will have better breath. Clearly braces are a win across the board!

Are you suffering with any of these issues? Are you unsure of why you’ve been experiencing pain or discomfort? It might not be hunching over a desk, lawn mowing, child carrying, exercise, or other daily activities that are causing you chronic pain. The fix you need might come from orthodontic treatment. An article on the DailyMail.com tells the story of actor Nigel Planer who suffered from symptoms like these for most of his life. After being examined by his orthodontist and fitted with a special brace for one year his pain virtually vanished. If this story reminds you of yourself, make an appointment with our office to see if your problems could be fixed this easily.

How do you know if you should visit us to correct any of these issues? Do a little self-evaluation; if your teeth aren’t straight that is always a good reason to come into our office, but if you are suffering from any of the previously mentioned problems you should still call for a consultation! Your dentist will also be able to determine if you should start visiting our office. Because our consultations are complimentary, there is no loss to making an appointment and getting checked out.

Technology in the orthodontic field has improved in leaps and bounds over the past few years, with more comfortable and effective treatment options that lead to lasting results. The old, standard length of treatment deters many people from pursuing treatment, but these new technologies have drastically cut down on this time, meaning you could get your new beautiful smile more quickly than ever before. With a treatment method like Invisalign, your life would be virtually uninterrupted by your treatment – you would still be able to eat any foods you want, and because Invisalign is practically invisible, no one would be able to tell you were receiving treatment. Today’s braces fit in so much better with your daily routine; they are more comfortable than ever, with far less frequent visits to the orthodontist. There is even braces-friendly popcorn now so you don’t have to give up your favorite snack. The benefits of treatment far outweigh any costs. If you are experiencing any of the issues outlined in this post, call our office at 614-855-8800 to book your appointment today and see the super healing power of braces for yourself!

5 Reasons I’m Glad I Chose Invisalign

May 4th, 2015

At 27, I looked in the mirror after brushing my teeth one day and to my great disappointment, I realized my teeth had really shifted. My amazing orthodontist, Dr. James Hutta, had warned me about this when I was done with treatment. “Your teeth have memory. Always wear your retainer,” he told me. I started out with the best intentions. But a missed night here and there turned into many missed nights until I gave up all together.

I knew getting traditional braces was out of the question for me but I had seen commercials for Invisalign and was intrigued by the idea of invisible braces. So I made a call to Dr. Hutta’s office and scheduled a consultation. Dr. Hutta and his staff were as warm, friendly and knowledgeable as I remembered from my teenage years and I felt I was in the right hands to bring back my confident smile. He created the Invisalign trays for me and in a matter a few months, my smile was really beginning to take shape.

Here are the top 5 reasons I’m so glad I chose Invisalign with Dr. Hutta and why you should consider it too!

1)    Invisalign is invisible
I did not want to relive my awkward teenage braces years as a career-driven woman. I was so happy to find that Invisalign really did become completely invisible to people around me. My husband, co-workers and friends could never tell when I had the trays in or when I had them out. And most people never even noticed! I once spent a long-weekend with my in-laws and had to point out at the end of the visit that I was even wearing Invisalign. They had no idea.

2)    I could eat what I wanted
My number one passion in life is food and with Invisalign, I was able to eat anything I wanted. All the caramels and hard candies that were off limits during my first round with braces were fine to eat with Invisalign! I was free to take my trays out and eat normally.

3)    Less trips to the orthodontist
I absolutely adore Dr. Hutta and his wonderful staff, but it was so freeing to not have to come into their office every few weeks for tightening. Once the trays were made, I was on a schedule to trade out my trays every two weeks. I only had to go into the office to make sure my progress was on track. This was incredibly helpful since I’m a busy professional with a jam-packed schedule.

4)    Invisalign is comfortable
I had very little pain or discomfort with Invisalign. No brackets scraping against my gums or wires hurting my teeth. With Invisalign, I can honestly say that I only had a little bit of soreness when I would change the trays but that only lasted for 24 hours. After the first day of a new tray, it was always smooth sailing!

5)    Maintained good hygiene
I’m big on dental hygiene. I literally cannot even think about falling asleep at night without brushing and flossing my teeth and with Invisalign, I was able to keep up my dental hygiene routine with ease. Food particles can get caught in braces but with the Invisalign trays, I would eat and then brush my teeth before reinserting the trays.

For me, Invisalign was the “clear” choice for my second round of teeth straightening and I’m so glad I went through treatment at Dr. Hutta’s office. His level of care and the results I got are second to none. I absolutely love my smile and I’m so happy that I chose to straighten my teeth with Dr. Hutta.

My Invisalign Journey

April 5th, 2015

Are you thinking about getting Invisalign? We know you have many questions on your mind like: Is it painful? Will I talk funny? What's it really like to have Invisalign? We asked our patient Kristen to share her Invisalign journey:

The only time I ever felt pain during my braces and Invisalign journey was way before the first bracket went on my tooth. I was 10 and Dr. Hutta had taken x-rays of my teeth. Through his x-ray, he was able to estimate how tall I would be. I was excited as I sat in the waiting room, awaiting the results. I adored the supermodels of the 90s; Cindy Crawford, Kathy Ireland and Naomi Campbell were my idols and I had far-fetched dreams of walking the runways in Paris or saying the words “Easy, breezy, beautiful Cover Girl” at the end of a commercial. How tall would I be? 5’9’’! Maybe 5’10’’! The verdict: 5’4’’. My heart sunk. Okay I’m not going to lie. At 10, I was a little devastated that my dreams of supermodel stardom were categorically over. But my life as a writer and marketing executive has worked out pretty well. (Plus, I really like food. I would never have had the discipline to eat salads for the rest of my life.)

After my x-rays, I went through many phases of orthodontia treatment. First a palate expander, then braces, and a herbst appliance to correct my overbite. Years later, Dr. Hutta took off my braces to reveal a smile I was so proud of. He made me an awesome retainer that looked like a watermelon and told me it was important to wear it every single night to keep my teeth from moving. “Teeth have a memory,” he told me as he put my cool, new retainer in a pink case. I promised to wear it and at first I did! I wore it every night. Then at a sleepover I forgot it at home. Then I started wearing it just during the week and not on weekends. A few nights each week turned into only a night or two and by college, the retainer didn’t fit and I gave up all together. “Oh well,” I thought. “I have permanent retainers. My teeth will stay put.” I was wrong. One morning, I looked in the mirror and Dr. Hutta’s words came back to me: “Your teeth have memory.” He was right. They did. And I shook my head at my 16-year-old self for forgetting to wear my retainer all those nights.

I knew that at 27, getting traditional braces again was just not something I wanted to do. So I called Dr. Hutta’s office and scheduled my free consultation for Invisalign. At my appointment, Dr. Hutta and his wonderful staff put me at ease and said Invisalign was absolutely a possibility for me. And better yet, it would take only a few months to straighten my teeth! I was elated and scheduled my appointment to make my trays.
Once the trays came in, Dr. Hutta’s staff placed a couple tiny, white brackets on my back teeth to keep the trays in place and popped the first one in. I was surprised by how great the trays looked on my teeth. I was so worried they’d look like I was wearing a big, bulky retainer. But you could barely even tell that there was anything there.

The first few hours of the first day were a little awkward. I felt like I was talking different (I wasn’t) and that people were looking at my trays (they weren’t). By day two, I was good to go. Invisalign really did become completely invisible to people around me. My husband, co-workers and friends could never tell when I had the trays in or when I had them out. And most people never even noticed! I once spent a long-weekend with my in-laws and had to point out at the end of the visit that I was even wearing Invisalign. They had no idea!

There was very little pain with Invisalign. Every two weeks, I’d switch my trays to continue to slowly move my teeth into the right spots. The first day of each tray was the only time my teeth were sore, but it was nothing I couldn’t handle. Every month, I’d go in to see Dr. Hutta and have him check my status and within a few months, I was completely done! My smile looked amazing and I couldn’t be happier with my results. Invisalign was so incredibly easy and virtually painless. It was also really affordable. Your smile is one of the first things people see when they meet you so I knew it was an important investment worth making that has paid dividends.

I’m so happy I chose to do my Invisalign with Dr. Hutta. He and his staff truly care about their patients and their results. They take the time to get to know you and your smile goals, they are kind and make you feel extremely comfortable when you’re in their office. I highly recommend Dr. James T. Hutta to all my friends and family and to you! So if you’re thinking about getting Invisalign, stop dreaming about it! Call Dr. Hutta’s office at 855-8800 to schedule your free consultation. And one last word to the kids: WEAR YOUR RETAINER!

What is a water pick and do I need one?

March 27th, 2015

Water picks, sometimes called “oral irrigators,” make an excellent addition to your regular home care regimen of brushing and flossing. Especially helpful to those who suffer from periodontal disease and those patients of ours undergoing orthodontic treatment with full-bracketed braces, water picks use powerful tiny bursts of water to dislodge food scraps, bacteria, and other debris nestled in the crevices of your mouth. Children undergoing orthodontic treatment may find using a water pick is beneficial if their toothbrush bristles tend to get caught on their wires or brackets.

When you use a water pick, you’re not only dislodging any particles or debris and bacteria you might have missed when brushing, you are also gently massaging the gums, which helps promote blood flow in the gums and keeps them healthy. While water picks are an excellent addition to your daily fight against gingivitis and other periodontal diseases, they are incapable of fully removing plaque, which is why Dr. James T. Hutta and our team at James T. Hutta DDS want to remind you to keep brushing and flossing every day.

If you have sensitive teeth or gums and find it uncomfortable to floss daily, water picks are a good alternative to reduce discomfort while effectively cleaning between teeth. Diabetics sometimes prefer water picks to flossing because they don't cause bleeding of the gums, which can be a problem with floss. If you have a permanent bridge, crowns, or other dental restoration, you may find that a water pick helps you keep the area around the restorations clean.

So how do you choose the right water pick?

Water picks are available for home or portable use. The home versions tend to be larger and use standard electrical outlets, while portable models use batteries. Aside from the size difference, they work in the same manner, both using pulsating water streams. A more crucial difference between water picks is the ability to adjust the pressure. Most home models will let you choose from several pressure settings, depending on how sensitive your teeth and gums are. Most portable models have only one pressure setting. If you want to use mouthwash or a dental rinse in your water pick, check the label first; some models suggest using water only.

Please give us a call at our Gahanna, OH office if you have any questions about water picks, or ask Dr. James T. Hutta during your next visit!

Creative Treats for Easter Morning

March 24th, 2015

We all love candy. Even us orthodontists. But if you or your kids have braces or other orthodontia work, there are some candies you’ll want to avoid in your Easter basket this year!

Easter baskets are full of caramel bunnies, chocolate covered nuts and chewy candies that can wreak havoc on braces. So here are the candies to stay away from:
•    Hard candies
•    Nuts
•    Caramels
•    Licorice
•    Jelly beans (so hard, we know!)
•    Taffy
•    Bubble gum

But don’t worry. There are still braces-safe treats and Easter basket ideas for your kids to enjoy. Here are some ideas that will spark a happy and healthy smile come Easter morning:

Themed Easter Baskets

Does your child love sports? Painting at the kitchen table? Baking and cooking? Or maybe they love nature? Whatever your child’s personality, create a basket with a fun theme.

For kids who love nature, create an Easter basket with spring flower bulbs, seeds, gardening gloves and a colorful shovel.

If your kid loves arts and crafts, fill a basket (or even a paint bucket!) with sketch pads, pencils, paint brushes and paints.

If they love sports, fill a basket with baseballs, tennis balls, a new basketball net or even some new work out gear.

If your kid is a chef in training, find a colorful mixing bowl and fill it with family recipes, an apron, mixing and tasting spoons and a few ingredients to make a spring treat.

Whatever their hobbies or passions, creating a themed basket will help them forget about all the sweet treats they cannot eat.

Toys or Games Instead of Candy

Replace treats with non-edible presents like a favorite toy or game. For older kids, swap jelly beans and caramels for iTunes and Amazon gift cards or even a bright spring nail polish. Find little gifts that fit their likes and personality.

Make a Homemade Treat

While there still are some candies kids can enjoy come Easter morning (soft chocolates like Hershey Bars, Hershey Kisses, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Mounds and 3 Musketeers are perfectly fine), try making a homemade treat! A baked good is a great and fun alternative to the sticky stuff and you can ensure everything that goes into it won’t hurt their braces. Create spring-themed cupcakes by topping white icing with coconut dyed a bright green to look like grass. And there’s always the classic bunny cake! A homemade treat will keep kids busy baking and decorating instead of looking for candy that can damage their braces.

We hope the Easter Bunny is good to you and you don’t have to “hop” into our office for a repair.

Helpful Hints for Dealing with Braces Pain

March 20th, 2015

Your first few days with braces will feel rather odd, awkward, and even painful. The day you get your braces you will probably just feel weird, like you have something in your mouth – because you do. You are most likely to feel pain and soreness during the second and third days. After that, you should be fine. If you experience any pain with your braces, there are a few things you can do to get some relief.

Home Remedies

Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water will soothe it and promote healing. Rinse several times a day or when your mouth, particularly mouth sores, are hurting. You can also take some Tylenol every four hours. Dr. James T. Hutta and our team advise against products that contain ibuprofen because it slows down the movement of your teeth.

You can also eat cold foods like ice cream or yogurt. The cold of the food will help dull the pain. Ice packs applied to your mouth help as well. You can also swish ice water around your mouth, but DO NOT eat ice!

Cool Products

Products for canker sores can be applied to the mouth sores you develop from your braces. There are also various rinses you can use that act as a shield or barrier in your mouth, and protect your mouth sores from further irritation.

Dr. James T. Hutta and our team may have given you some dental wax to put on the abrasive areas of your braces to protect your mouth. Putting dental wax on the brackets creates a barrier that keeps your mouth from getting scraped and sore.

Bite wafers are another great pain relief too. When you bite down on the wafer, it increases circulation in your gums, which can ease the pain a bit. Just a little pressure will work; you don’t want to bite too hard. And they usually come in cool colors, too!

The pain won’t last forever. One day you will wake up and you won’t have any pain. In fact, you probably won’t even notice the braces in your mouth at all!

Go Green for St. Patrick’s Day

March 13th, 2015

Millions of people, around Gahanna, OH and beyond, wear green on St. Patrick’s Day so they can show their spirit for the holiday and avoid getting pinched. While it may be easy for you to throw on a green shirt, sport a St. Patrick’s Day button, or wear a pair of emerald-hued shoes, if you’re an avid St. Patty’s Day enthusiast you may want to try something different this year. Dr. James T. Hutta thought of a few ideas that will help you take your holiday spirit to the next level:

Visit Chicago’s Green River

If you happen to be near the Windy City during St. Patrick’s Day or you’re thinking of planning a trip, don’t miss out on going downtown to watch the large-scale celebration that kicks off when the city dyes the river bright green. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago has been celebrating the holiday with this tradition for more than 50 years, with tens of thousands of people gathering annually to witness the mysterious dying process and the stunning result.

Don Green Face Paint

Just like an avid sports fan on game day, you can use green face paints to showcase your enthusiasm for this holiday. Avoid breakouts or allergic reactions by only using paints that are specifically meant to be applied to the skin. A little bit of face paint can cover a large area, so feel free to get creative and decorate the whole family on St. Patrick’s Day.

Eat Green All Day

Not a fan of green eggs and ham? With the increasing popularity of green smoothies, there’s no better time to get in on this health craze. To create a green smoothie without the aid of food coloring, you can simply blend a generous amount of a leafy green vegetable, such as spinach or kale, with the ingredients that you would typically use to make a smoothie, like fruit, ice, milk, or juice. Keep the trend going throughout the day by using those same vegetables to create a green soup, egg salad, or a batch of bright green pastries. As an added bonus, you’ll get a healthy dose of vitamins without changing the taste of most of these foods.

If your old holiday routine has gotten stale, leave your green T-shirt in the drawer and try one or all of these tips. Don’t be surprised if you have so much fun that you decide to start a new, annual St. Patrick’s Day tradition! Have a happy St. Paddy’s day from James T. Hutta DDS!

Why Damon® Smile braces?

March 6th, 2015

A lot of our patients, (especially you parents!) come to James T. Hutta DDS convinced that traditional braces are the only answer to straight teeth. We are proud to offer Damon Smile in our Gahanna, OH office, which can give you better results in less time than traditional orthodontic treatment! Damon Smile braces also allow your teeth to move more comfortably and easily than traditional braces. With  Damon Smile, achieving that perfect smile will be faster and easier than you ever thought possible.

Some questions we will go over at your initial consultation include:

Are you right for Damon Smile?

Our team at James T. Hutta DDS will evaluate your eligibility for treatment with Damon Smile, and the procedure can be performed for kids and adults alike!

What makes Damon braces better?

Probably the biggest advantage of Damon braces over traditional brackets is the amount of time and effort involved. We can often cut months off of the total treatment time for patients using Damon Smile, and less visits to our office are necessary to make adjustments.

In addition, the Damon Smile brackets are cleaner and do not use the elastic traditional brackets do. They are also less prone to plaque buildup. In addition, Damon braces are smaller and have fewer parts than traditional brackets, making them less noticeable and more comfortable. With Damon Smile, you will not experience any tightening, unlike with traditional braces. Dr. James T. Hutta can position your teeth and avoid frequent adjustments, which also reduces the need for complicated tooth extractions or surgery.

If you have been thinking about obtaining a dazzling smile, please give us a call at James T. Hutta DDS for an initial consultation to see if Damon Smile is right for you!

Eating and Invisalign®

February 27th, 2015

One of the greatest advantages to using Invisalign is that it provides maximum results with minimal impact on your everyday life. Invisalign is comfortable, easy to insert, and simple to remove. Because you can remove Invisalign aligners, you can enjoy all your favorite foods and beverages without worries about getting food stuck in the wires and brackets of traditional braces.

Eating and Invisalign

While the aligner is durable and strong, you should remove it before you eat or drink beverages, as the chewing action inside your mouth can break, crack, or distort the aligner. Even minute damage to the Invisalign tray will prevent it from aligning your teeth properly. Furthermore, eating with Invisalign in your mouth can be quite messy.

Beverages and Invisalign

Repeated exposure to hot liquids may also cause the Invisalign aligner to distort. This distortion changes the shape of your aligner in a way that will affect how it straightens your teeth. Contact our Gahanna, OH office if your Invisalign aligner has distorted after consuming a hot beverage.

Fluids can settle inside the aligner to “bathe” the teeth. Bathing teeth in acidic fluids can be especially problematic, as the acids can wear away tooth enamel. Exposure to acidic fluids is not normally a problem, as saliva neutralizes and buffers the acid then washes it away. Wearing an aligner, however, prevents the saliva from doing those jobs, increasing your risk for tooth decay.

Colored drinks may also change the color of your teeth. Most discoloration is temporary but stubborn stains may occur.

To prevent discoloration and tooth decay, brush your teeth after every meal or beverage before putting in your Invisalign aligners. If you do not have access to clean water, chew sugar-free gum to remove bacteria, acid, and food particles from your teeth. As a last resort, you may leave your aligners out for an hour or two until you can brush and floss properly. Before inserting Invisalign, rinse the aligner in lukewarm water or use the Invisalign cleaning kit.

Contact our Gahanna, OH office for more information about eating and Invisalign.

Caring for Your Smile after Invisalign® Treatment

February 20th, 2015

You have done a lot of work to get the perfect smile. You wore your Invisalign aligner trays and cared for your teeth, and now your treatment is done. You still need to take care of your teeth to keep your beautiful smile. Keeps these things in mind when you think about your oral care routine.

Retainers

Many patients do require a retainer after Invisalign treatment. This will be based on your unique situation. If a retainer is recommended by Dr. James T. Hutta, use it as directed. Retainers prevent your teeth from shifting back into their original position. You should also avoid hard, crunchy foods for the first couple of weeks as your teeth adjust. For younger patients, retainers are normally used until the wisdom teeth come in or are extracted.

Brushing and Flossing

Brushing and flossing must be part of your daily oral care. Flossing helps remove the plaque, which becomes tartar or calculus. This build up can lead to gingivitis and gum disease. Your gums may be more sensitive for a week or two after your orthodontic work is completed. A warm salt water rinse may relieve discomfort.

Your teeth may be slightly sensitive for a short time. They have been protected by your Invisalign aligner trays and now are fully exposed. You might want to try a sensitive toothpaste to get through the transition. Just ask; we will be glad to recommend the best type for your needs. If your teeth are stained, a professional whitening treatment can be considered.

Regular Dental Checkups

You still need to have regular dental exams. Professional cleanings and X-rays make sure that both your teeth and gums stay healthy so you can keep your teeth for life. If cavities or other problems are found, they can be taken care of quickly.

If you have any questions about how to care for your teeth after your Invisalign program, please ask our Gahanna, OH team. We want you to keep your healthy smile and enjoy the results of your Invisalign treatment.

Valentine's Day History

February 13th, 2015

Valentine’s Day is best known as a celebration of love in all its forms. Pink hearts, red roses, and cute greeting cards adorn every surface you see. What many people don’t realize is that the modern Valentine’s Day celebration arose from a religious holiday.

St. Valentine’s Day was originally celebrated as a religious feast day in honor of early Christian martyrs. Three martyrs named Valentine were honored: a priest in Rome, the persecuted bishop of Interamna (a town in central Italy), and a saint martyred in Africa. This saint’s day was celebrated throughout Christendom, although it was removed from the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints in 1969.

The origin of Valentine’s Day as a holiday for lovers began with Geoffrey Chaucer in his 1382 poem “Parlement of Foules.” Chaucer wrote, “For this was on Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate,” and the modern romantic holiday was born. William Shakespeare and other writers mentioned Valentine’s Day as a day of love.

Valentine’s Day as we know it came about in the early 19th century. In Victorian England, printers began manufacturing small numbers of cards with romantic verses, lace, ribbons, and other frills. Anonymous Valentine’s Day card were a popular way for young lovers to exchange romantic sentiments in an otherwise prudish time. As the 19th century progressed, printers began mass manufacturing Valentine’s Day cards. People in the United States give an estimated 190 million valentines every year, and up to one billion if you count children exchanging cards at school! With the rise of the Internet, Valentine’s Day e-cards have become a popular mode of communication, with millions of e-cards sent each year.

The other items associated with Valentine’s Day include chocolate and flowers. The tradition of giving chocolates has been around for decades, and Richard Cadbury created the first box of Valentine’s Day chocolates nearly 150 years ago. Today, purchases of chocolate total over $1 billion in the United States alone, with 35 million heart-shaped boxes sold each year. Loved ones also exchange flowers, with red roses being associated with Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. On Valentine’s Day itself, florists sell nearly 200 million stems of roses.

Although many people dismiss Valentine’s Day as a commercialized “Hallmark holiday,” it is beloved to couples and romantics across the United States and other countries. The team at James T. Hutta DDS wants to remind all patients that no matter what your celebratory plans, February 14th can be a wonderful day to celebrate the loved ones in your life. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Myths of Orthodontics

February 6th, 2015

The stereotypical braces wearer – in middle school, with a mouth full of metal brackets – has led to numerous myths about orthodontics that discourage many people from getting the dental care they need. Dr. James T. Hutta and our staff would like to put some of these myths to rest.

Myth 1: Orthodontic treatment is for kids. Although teenagers often visit the orthodontist to get braces, adults represent a growing proportion of orthodontic patients. Whether you’re eight or 80, a consultation with an orthodontist can identify problems with your teeth, jaws, or bite that can be corrected by orthodontic interventions.

Myth 2: Traditional, metal braces are my only option. Advances in orthodontic technology have rendered improved braces and other orthodontic appliances that are much less noticeable than the braces of yesteryear. Ask Dr. James T. Hutta about Invisalign® braces and other options that make sense for your situation.

Myth 3: Orthodontic treatment is only helpful for crooked teeth. Sure, a crooked smile is a common reason that patients seek orthodontic care. However, orthodontic interventions help with a range of dental health problems. From missing teeth to overbite to jaw misalignment, your orthodontist can help with many problems associated with the teeth, gums, and jaws.

Myth 4: Orthodontic treatment is too expensive. As with any medical procedure, orthodontics can be pricey. However, our Gahanna, OH team works with patients to find payment plans, insurance coverage, or other payment options that reduce the financial burden.

Five Tips in Caring for Your Braces During Orthodontic Treatment

January 30th, 2015

After getting your braces, it is important to know how to take care of your teeth in order to ensure that your braces stay intact and do their job so that your teeth are in top-notch condition after you complete your orthodontic treatment. Today, our team at James T. Hutta DDS thought we would provide you with five tips you need to know to ensure you undergo successful treatment at our Gahanna, OH office.

Flossing
Flossing twice a day or after every meal can help you clean areas between teeth and other places a toothbrush can miss. We also recommend using a floss threader, which can be used to help you navigate safely around your braces and brackets. It is vital to floss twice a day, preferably after lunch and before bedtime to keep gum disease and tooth decay at bay.

Brushing
Teeth and appliances should be brushed after every meal and before bedtime using fluoride toothpaste and gentle, soft strokes. We recommend using an interdental toothbrush, which can help you clean the hard-to-reach areas under wires better than an ordinary toothbrush.

Using Elastics
This phase of orthodontic treatment requires cooperation and consistency on your part. If your orthodontist has prescribed elastics, make sure they are worn at all times, except when eating meals or brushing teeth. It’s important that you wear the correct size elastics and have extras in case they are misplaced. By failing to wear your elastics for even one day, you run the risk your teeth moving back toward their original position.

Addressing Damage to Your Braces
In case your appliances are damaged, we ask that you call our team at James T. Hutta DDS immediately to set up an appointment.

Eat Friendly Foods
When undergoing treatment, there are certain foods you must avoid. Foods that are hard, sticky, chewy or sour can add months to your treatment time. These includes gum, caramels, taco shells, nuts, ice, chips or hard candies.

We hope that helps! If you have any questions, please give us a call at our Gahanna, OH office or ask us during your next adjustment appointment!

Caring for Your Smile While Wearing Invisalign®

January 23rd, 2015

Getting your braces off is exciting. You’ve been working on your new smile for months or years, and it’s time for the trips to our Gahanna, OH office to pay off. Can you imagine how bad it would be to discover that your teeth are straight, but that there’s decay?

Caring for your smile while wearing Invisalign goes beyond just waiting for your teeth to get straighter. It involves cleaning your teeth regularly and thoroughly to prevent tooth decay. That way, your smile will be more beautiful than ever when you’re done with your Invisalign treatment.

Take Your Trays Out

The first difference you may notice between Invisalign and traditional metal braces is that Invisalign aligners are invisible, but there’s another important distinction as well. Invisalign braces are removable. You can take the trays out, and you should. Remove the trays while you’re eating so you don’t get food stuck in them. Also, remove them while you’re cleaning your teeth so that you can have full access to all the nooks and crannies in your mouth.

Brush Normally

The guidelines for brushing your teeth with Invisalign don’t change compared to braces. Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a soft toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste, being sure to get all surfaces of your teeth. If possible, brush after each meal.

If you can’t, be sure to drink some water and swish it around in your mouth when you’re done eating to get rid of the extra food on your teeth. Leaving carbohydrates, such as sugar and starch, on your teeth opens the door to tooth decay.

Floss and Wash

Flossing your teeth gets out the bits and pieces stuck between them. It’s a time-consuming task when you need to navigate the wires of traditional metal braces, but thanks to Invisalign’s removable design, flossing is no problem. Rinsing your mouth with a fluoride antibacterial mouthwash also helps clean your teeth because it gets into all of the spaces. Floss and rinse one or two times daily.

Cleaning Your Trays

Cleaning your Invisalign trays keeps them from getting riddled with bacteria, and it helps keep your teeth free from excess food. You can use the Invisalign cleaning system, which involves placing the trays in a tub with cleaning crystals. The plastic trays are clean after 15 minutes. You can also ask Dr. James T. Hutta for other ways to clean your trays.

Rubber Band Horoscopes: What your color says about you

January 16th, 2015

One exciting part about wearing braces from James T. Hutta DDS is getting to choose the colors of your rubber bands. Orthodontists place elastic bands, or ligatures, over each bracket to secure the archwire in place. These rubber bands may be individual or connected, depending on your mouth’s needs. From Dr. James T. Hutta, you have the option of choosing the color of your elastics, which are changed about once every month at every visit. Our offices keep a color wheel handy to help you choose which ones suit you best!

Children and teens often enjoy picking different colors each month to express their creativity and coordinate their braces with outfits. Decorating your mouth with your favorite colors is fun for kids and takes some of the stress out of wearing braces. Adults who wish for subtlety have color options that blend in with the metal brackets and archwire. Common choices for adults include silver, clear, and gray tones.

Common Color Combinations for Rubber Bands

With individual ligatures for each bracket, you may choose different color combinations for special events. You can have alternating colors or place an entire rainbow over your teeth. Here are a few options to consider:

  • School spirit colors
  • Favorite sports team colors
  • Patriotic colors
  • Holiday themes

Some patients choose only one color to match their mood, personality, or favorite outfits. The palette of choices allows you to make bold statements with your braces or go for subtler tones that blend in with the metal structures. Keep in mind that bright colors make your teeth look whiter, while lighter shades, such as yellow and white, may cause your teeth to appear less bright.

What Your Rubber Band Color Says About You

  • Red tones indicate that you are ready for action and take charge of your life with aggressive, forward-thinking steps.
  • Blue tones are calm and relaxing. You are conservative and exhibit integrity when dealing with situations.
  • Green tones represent growth and balance. You are level-headed and look for opportunities to grow emotionally and spiritually.
  • Purple tones attract creative energies. You like to have fun and use your imagination in every aspect of your life.
  • Orange tones indicate that you are optimistic and thrive in social situations where communication is open.
  • Pink is a romantic color that represents a caring personality. You also enjoy having fun with silly games and endless laughter.

The Damon® Smile Treatment Process

January 9th, 2015

Damon Smile braces have quickly become one of the most popular orthodontic treatments at our Gahanna, OH office. Offering a more comfortable and hygienic treatment, many patients now prefer this over all other available braces. Unlike traditional braces, Damon Smile does not have wires or brackets. It works with self-ligating braces that actually remove the need for the rubber bands and metal wires that come along with more traditional styles of braces.

What makes Damon Smile different?

The number one reason many patients prefer Damon Smile is because there is the option of getting them in clear! This reduces the problem of being self-conscience and gives the patient a more aesthetically pleasing smile while going through years of treatment. Also, patients who wear Damon Smile versus the traditional braces will have less pain since there are no bands that have to be tightened every month. There is often no need to extract teeth to make extra room in the patient’s mouth.

Oral hygiene can be a real problem for many teens wearing traditional metal braces. However, with the reduction of moisture and no metal brackets to trap food in, your teeth are able to stay cleaner easier.

What is the estimated treatment time?

Since Damon offers a more advanced technology that straightens teeth faster with less pain the treatment time can be drastically reduced. This is another reason Damon is preferred over other types of treatment. The treatment time will vary from patient to patient depending on what your individual goals are, so you need to make an appointment with Dr. James T. Hutta to get an estimate of what will benefit you the most.

Overall Success

Overall, patients are very happy with Damon Smile. With less irritation, less treatment time, as well as better-looking aesthetics, patients love all of the bonuses that come along with this style of treatment. Call our Gahanna, OH office and set up an appointment today with Dr. James T. Hutta to find out if this popular option will work for you.

Damon® Smile vs. Traditional Braces

January 2nd, 2015

Orthodontics researchers continue to innovate and develop the best ways to improve patients’ smiles. The latest generation of orthodontics includes Damon Smile, an advanced form of braces that improve upon the metal brackets of earlier generations. Talking to Dr. James T. Hutta can help you decide if Damon Smile braces are appropriate for your orthodontic needs.

What are Damon Smile braces?

Traditional braces require a series of brackets to be bonded to each tooth. Then, a thin metal wire connects the brackets. These wires are immovable and are firmly connected to the brackets. With Damon Smile, a special “invisible” bracket is placed on the teeth. Unlike with traditional braces, wires pass through these brackets but can slide within the bracket. This reduces friction and may result in a more comfortable process than traditional braces.

Aesthetic Considerations

Both teens and adults often hate the look of traditional braces, with their clunky metal brackets and wires. Additionally, rubber bands may need to be worn to hold brackets closed. With Damon Smile braces, none of these concerns apply. The brackets are clear and no rubber bands are needed, meaning that few people will notice your orthodontics unless they look closely.

Differences in Cost

Traditional braces tend to be the most cost effective orthodontic option available. Because of their specialized equipment, Damon Smile braces do cost more than traditional alternatives. It’s worth checking with your insurance company to determine whether both types of orthodontics are covered.

Length of Treatment

Another benefit of Damon Smile braces is a decreased length of treatment. Compared to traditional braces, individuals who opt for Damon Smile braces typically experience significantly lower treatment time. Particularly for those with complex orthodontic problems, shaving even a few months off of treatment may be worth it.

Less Irritation of Gums

Some people report that they experience sores or gum pain after implementation of traditional braces. Damon Smile braces are specially formed to be smooth and less invasive. This may result in diminished pain and a lower rate of gum problems. The differences are particularly noticeable in the first weeks of treatment.

To find out if Damon Smile braces can meet your smile needs, contact our Gahanna, OH office and schedule an appointment!

It's a Wrap: Ending the year with a smile!

December 26th, 2014

People have been ushering in the New Year for centuries but it became an official holiday in 1582 when Pope George XIII declared January 1st to be the day on which everyone would celebrate the New Year. At midnight people would yell, holler, and blow horns to scare away the evil spirits of the previous year so the New Year would be joyous and filled with opportunity. Nearly 500 years later, we still greet the New Year by whooping and hollering, but in a celebratory manner instead. Whether you intend to ring in the New Year quietly at home in the Gahanna, OH area or have plans to join the countdown at a gala extravaganza, these tips can help you ring out the old and usher in the new with a smile.

Tips for a Happy New Year's Eve Celebration from James T. Hutta DDS

  • Be Safe. There's no way to predict the behavior of others on New Year's Eve, but you can be responsible for your own behavior to keep yourself safe. If adult beverages will be part of your celebration, plan on spending the night wherever you are or line up a designated driver to bring you home after the party is over.
  • Enjoy Family and Friends. Spending time with the important people in your life is what makes the holidays enjoyable. Coordinate your schedules and choose New Year's Eve activities that everyone in the group will enjoy. You don't have to go to a party to ring in the New Year; some people like to go bowling, see a movie, or have a great meal at home.
  • Accessorize with a Smile. Whether you dress up or have a quiet dinner with family and friends, one of the best accessories you can add to your attire is a beautiful smile.

New Year's Eve is a time to gather with friends and family, reflect on the year that's coming to an end, and look forward to the new one with anticipation. Enjoy this transitional holiday in a way that's safe, healthy, and fun. After all, counting down until the clock strikes 12 marks the beginning of a full year of opportunity ahead of you. From Dr. James T. Hutta, have a great new year!.

I got my braces. Now what?

December 19th, 2014

You’ve taken the first step toward a healthier and more beautiful appearance by getting braces at James T. Hutta DDS, and you’re probably wondering what comes next. The first week is the period of biggest adjustment, and there’s a lot to learn in this short time. Don’t worry; in a few short days your braces will feel completely natural.

The first week

On the first day, your braces will probably feel very odd in your mouth; it will take time to get used to them. By the second day, you may feel some soreness or pain. If you are going to experience any pain, the second and third days are when it will happen. Most pain can be dealt with by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as Tylenol.

What about sore spots?

Your cheeks and tongue are getting used to your new braces, just like your teeth are. You may develop sore spots where this soft tissue rubs against the harsh metal of your braces. The best way to avoid this and allow your mouth to heal is by covering the metal spot with orthodontic wax. Break off a small piece and roll it into a ball in your hands. Dry the metal of the braces with a cotton swab, then wrap the wax around the sharp spot to create a cushion.

What if they break?

Braces are held onto your teeth with special orthodontic glue. Once in a great while, part of your appliance may come loose from the surface of a tooth. This won’t harm anything; it will just be slightly inconvenient. Call our office right away and we will be able to glue the bracket back on.

Make sure you avoid hard items such as ice, brittle, and other hard candies, and don’t open packages with your teeth. These habits can contribute to braces popping off. Even fairly innocent-sounding items like popcorn or French bread can be a culprit, so avoid eating any hard foods, or cut them up into small pieces before consuming.

If you have questions about which foods to eat and avoid, or if your braces are more sore than expected, feel free to contact our Gahanna, OH office and ask Dr. James T. Hutta and our team. We’re more than happy to help!

Keep that candy at bay during your treatment!

December 12th, 2014

Now that you have braces, it is more important than ever to maintain good oral hygiene during your treatment, as Dr. James T. Hutta will tell you. While we trust you will continue brushing and flossing on a regular basis throughout your treatment at James T. Hutta DDS, you also have to mindful of what you eat. While all those sweet, sour, and sticky candies may taste great, these treats can actually damage your teeth and braces!

Sour candies  can be acidic to your teeth, and actually wear down the enamel that protects them, resulting in tooth decay and cavities. If you do indulge in eating these candies at some point during your treatment, be sure to wash your mouth out with water, drink milk or eat a few slices of cheese. These foods will help neutralize the acid in your mouth.

Besides cavities and tooth decay, many people do not realize that good oral health and hygiene are important to your overall health, too; researchers have discovered the connection between periodontal disease and other major health concerns, such as heart disease. Therefore, it is important to maintain a good oral hygiene routine just as you did before your braces. This includes visiting your dentist here in Gahanna, OH every six months, brushing and flossing daily, and using an antibacterial mouthwash, as well as visiting Dr. James T. Hutta for your regular adjustment appointments.

For more questions about foods you should avoid while wearing braces, or if you have any general questions about your treatment, we encourage you to give us a call, ask us at your next adjustment appointment or ask us on Facebook!

Should I use a water pick during my treatment?

December 5th, 2014

Dr. James T. Hutta and our team at James T. Hutta DDS know that for some of our patients wearing braces, it can be difficult to weave through those wires and brackets as you brush and floss during your treatment.

Some of our patients use a water pick to flush out food and other particles and bacteria stuck between their teeth as the water can reach behind the metal wires and hit spots where your floss simply cannot reach. People suffering from gum disease also find water picks quite effective because of their ability to flush out bacteria from inside the deep pockets.

Water picks are friendly to braces and are also gentle on the gums. They are less likely to cause bleeding for people with sensitive teeth or gums. But as many benefits as they may have, Dr. James T. Hutta and our team want you to know that water picks should never be used as a substitute for flossing. Though they are great tools for helping improve oral health while you are in treatment, they are just not a good enough tool on their own to keep your mouth and gums gingivitis- and decay-free. Water picks are also incapable of removing plaque from teeth as effectively as floss can. While water picks rinse the sticky bacteria off your teeth, flossing is actually more effective as it actually scrapes the bacteria off of your pearly whites.

If you have any questions about water picks or any general questions or concerns about your orthodontic treatment, we encourage you to please ask us below or give us a call!

What should I ask during my orthodontic consultation?

November 28th, 2014

If you have been thinking about undergoing orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth or correct jaw alignment, the first step is scheduling an orthodontic consultation at James T. Hutta DDS. During the consultation we will actively listen to your concerns and address all of your questions, as well as discuss a treatment options that would best suit you or your child's situation.

Here are the top five questions that most patients want answered during their initial orthodontic consultation:

  • Can I benefit from orthodontic treatment, and if so, how long will it take?
  • How frequently will my appointments be scheduled?
  • Can I expect any pain when getting braces? (Ask Dr. James T. Hutta about the ways we address pain management).
  • Will I need to have teeth extracted, headgear, expansion appliance, etc.?
  • How much will it cost and what payment options do you offer?

Visit our website for more answers to your questions prior to your initial consultation. Dr. James T. Hutta and our team at James T. Hutta DDS are happy to answer all your questions and concerns, and excited to explain all aspects of your treatment plan, as well as the expected outcome. We believe your orthodontic experience should be comfortable, hassle-free, and most importantly, leave you with the smile you've always wanted.

Thanksgiving Trivia

November 21st, 2014

At James T. Hutta DDS we love learning trivia and interesting facts about Thanksgiving! This year, Dr. James T. Hutta wanted to share some trivia that might help you feel a bit smarter at the holiday dinner table and help create some great conversation with friends and family.

The Turkey

There is no historical evidence that turkey was eaten at the first Thanksgiving dinner. It was a three-day party shared by the Wamponoag Indians and the pilgrims in 1621. Historians say they likely ate venison and seafood.

According to National Geographic, the dinner at the Plymouth colony was in October and included about 50 English colonists and 90 American Indian men. The first Thanksgiving dinner could have included corn, geese, and pumpkin.

Today, turkey is the meat of choice. According to the National Turkey Association, about 690 million pounds of turkey are consumed during Thanksgiving, or about 46 million turkeys.

The Side Dishes

The green bean casserole became popular about 50 years ago. Created by the Campbell Soup Company, it remains a popular side dish. According to Campbell’s, it was developed when the company was creating an annual holiday cookbook. The company now sells about $20 million worth of cream of mushroom soup each year, which is a major part of the recipe.

While there were likely plenty of cranberries for the pilgrims and Indians to enjoy, sugar was a luxury. What we know today as cranberry sauce was not around in those early Thanksgiving days. About 750 million pounds of cranberries are produced each year in the US, with about 30 percent consumed on Thanksgiving.

The Parade

Since Thanksgiving did not become a national holiday until Lincoln declared it in 1863, the annual parades were not yearly events until much later. The biggest parade that continues to draw crowds is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Beginning in 1924 with about 400 employees, they marched from Convent Avenue to 145th Street in New York City. Famous for the huge hot-air balloons today, it was actually live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo that were the stars of the show then.

However you choose to spend your Thanksgiving holiday, we wish you a safe, happy and healthy holiday with those you love.

Damon Smile®

November 14th, 2014

Damon Smile braces are passive, self-ligating braces, which means they don’t need elastic o-rings to keep the wires in their desired position. This system uses small sliding doors to allow the wires to slide freely through their slots instead of the o-rings used by traditional braces.

Stops on the wires prevent them from moving out of position over time. The absence of o-rings in Damon Smile braces also allows you to maintain better oral hygiene, since o-rings can trap bacteria. These braces are suitable for both adults and children.

Construction

The first set of wires in Damon Smile braces are composed of a metal alloy that contains copper, nickel, and titanium, commonly abbreviated as CuNiTi. These wires have a curve that’s wider than your natural arch, and that allows them to apply the necessary pressure against your teeth. The wires are very thin, beginning with a diameter of 0.014 inches.

Dr. James T. Hutta will replace this initial set of wires with a series of successively larger ones as your teeth move into their desired alignment. Your teeth will be ready for the next set of wires when Dr. James T. Hutta can passively place them into their brackets. Heavier wire may be composed of other materials such as a titanium molybdenum alloy (TMA) or stainless steel.

Cost

Dr. James T. Hutta and our team will determine the cost of your braces, depending on a variety of factors such as the difficulty of your case and the length of time required for treatment. Another factor that can influence the cost of Damon Smile braces is your insurance coverage. Dental insurance plans often cover orthodontic treatments such as Damon Smile braces, so you’ll need to check with your insurance provider.

James T. Hutta DDS also offers a variety of payment plans, so be sure to ask our Gahanna, OH team about making your orthodontic treatment with Damon Smile affordable.

Adults

Adults often use Damon Smile braces to obtain a more youthful appearance in addition to correcting specific malocclusions. The cosmetic benefits of these braces include:

  • Straighter teeth
  • Improved facial balance
  • Smoother cheek contours

Many patients with Damon Smile braces begin to see results after about ten weeks.

If you’re interested in Damon Smile braces, please contact James T. Hutta DDS and schedule an appointment!

How to Care for Your Invisalign® Aligners

November 7th, 2014

Is it possible to straighten the teeth without braces? Yes, it is. Welcome to the world of Invisalign aligners. Invisalign aligners are made from a clear, thermoplastic material that is custom made to fit your teeth. Unlike conventional braces, Invisalign aligners are removable. More importantly, the clear thermoplastic material makes the aligners invisible, which is ideal if the thought of metal braces and elastics make you self-conscious. For the best results, proper handling and care of your Invisalign aligners is important. Follow these steps to take care of your aligners:

1. Do not eat or drink hot beverages while wearing aligners. It's a good idea to get in the practice of removing the aligners before eating and drinking. Because the aligners are made of plastic resin, heat can distort and damage them. Also, eating while wearing the aligners will cause sugar and other food particles to stay on your teeth, which contributes to plaque and tooth decay.

2. Clean the aligner trays regularly. Invisalign aligners are exposed to the same bacteria and plaque that your mouth is, so you need to clean them as regularly as you clean your teeth. However, avoid cleaning the aligners with harsh chemicals. We recommend using a cleaning kit or some other type of specific solution. When it comes to cleaning Invisalign aligners, carefully follow the instructions given by Dr. James T. Hutta.

3. Store aligners in a cool, dry, safe place. When you’re not wearing the aligners, store them in the case provided by our office. If you don’t use the case, they can easily be lost. Keeping them out of reach of small children and pets is also a good idea. The last thing you want is for Fido to think your Invisalign aligners are chew toys.

4. Don’t chew gum while wearing aligners. There’s one thing that conventional braces and Invisalign aligners have in common: chewing gum damages both of them.

5. Don’t soak aligners in mouthwash. Many popular mouthwashes contain a color pigment. It’s possible that soaking Invisalign aligners in mouthwash will tint or stain them.

For more tips and tricks for a successful Invisalign experience, contact our Gahanna, OH office!

Halloween: Candy, costumes, and more!

October 31st, 2014

All Hallows' Eve, more commonly known as Halloween, is a yearly event celebrated on October 31, and one that is anticipated by the young and young at heart all over the world. Some scholars claim that Halloween originated from Celtic festivals that honored the dead or that celebrated the harvest, while others doubt that there's any connection at all to Samhain (a Gaelic harvest festival.) Regardless of its origin, our team at the orthodontic office of Dr. James T. Hutta hopes that Halloween is fun and enjoyed by all of our awesome patients!

Trick or treat?

In North America, Halloween is predominantly celebrated by children who dress up in costumes, which range from scary to cute, who then go around the neighborhood knocking on doors asking "trick or treat", and they are given candy in return. Trick-or-treating is a time honored tradition, and though many parents groan at the pounds and pounds of candy collected by youngsters and fear for the health of their teeth, there are a few things you can do to help their teeth stay in great shape until the candy is gone:

  • Limit the amount of candy they can consume each day
  • Have them brush their teeth after eating candy
  • Avoid hard, chewy candies as they can stick in hard to brush places
  • Keep candy out of sight to reduce temptation
  • Don't buy candy too far in advance to limit pre-Halloween consumption
  • Help or encourage your children to floss

Halloween Fun

Halloween isn't just about gorging on candy; there are other events associated with this festive day including carving jack-o'-lanterns, painting pumpkins, decorating sugar cookies, bobbing for apples, going to haunted houses, or just curling up on the couch with a bowl full of popcorn and watching some classic, scary movies.

Halloween Around the World

Some countries, like Australia, frown upon Halloween, claiming it is an American event and not based in Australian culture, while others like Italy have embraced the fun and celebrate much as Canadians and Americans do. Mexicans have been celebrating this fun day since around 1960, and it marks the beginning of the Day of the Dead festival. Some countries in Europe have come late to the party, but since the 1990s, countries like Sweden, Norway, and Germany have started celebrating Halloween as well, and finding children in costumes or having ghosts hanging in windows has become commonplace.

Halloween is about fun; stepping outside our normal lives and donning a costume or gathering with friends to knock on doors and ask for candy is as much a part of our culture as hot dogs and barbecue on Labor Day. Have a safe and happy Halloween from the team at James T. Hutta DDS!

What is Damon® Smile?

October 24th, 2014

Many patients ask Dr. James T. Hutta and our team about the differences between Damon Smile braces and regular braces. Today we thought we'd share some information on Damon Smile.

A lot of our patients, especially adults, come to Dr. James T. Hutta thinking traditional braces are the only answer to straight teeth. Here at James T. Hutta DDS, we offer Damon Smile, a revolutionary new braces system that can give you better results in less time!

Am I right for Damon Smile?

Dr. James T. Hutta will evaluate your eligibility for Damon Smile, as it can be used for children and adults alike!

What makes Damon Smile braces better?

Probably the biggest advantage to Damon braces versus traditional brackets is the amount of time and effort involved. Treatment with Damon Smile can often cut months off of the total treatment time and fewer visits to our office are necessary to make adjustments.

If you have any questions about Damon Smile or your treatment here at James T. Hutta DDS, please post a comment here or give us a call!

Electric Toothbrush: How do you choose?

October 17th, 2014

Since the introduction of the power toothbrush in the 1960s, this tool has undergone many technological advances, from design and bristle motions to rotation oscillation and sonic vibration.

What is rotation oscillation? That’s when the head of the toothbrush alternately rotates in one direction and then the other. Power toothbrushes can deliver up to 50,000 strokes per minute, which is much more effective than the average 300 strokes per minute with a manual toothbrush.

A smaller brush head is available for hard-to-reach areas, which is a good alternative for small mouths. The brush heads are replaceable and should be changed every three to six months. Each family member should have his or her own brush head while sharing the base motor. What a great deal! Check the handle size. A large handle is better for members of the household with arthritis, children, or family with other physical disabilities.

A rechargeable toothbrush is ideal. It should deliver enough power on a full charge for one week of brushing.

We recommend you brush for a minimum of two minutes. Some electric toothbrushes include a signal you can hear, such as a beep every 30 seconds, to indicate it's time to switch to a different area of the mouth. Others sound an alert after the full two minutes has elapsed.

Will an electric toothbrush harm the teeth or gums? Studies indicate that people tend to apply more damaging pressure to their teeth and gums during manual brushing than when they use an electric toothbrush. If you experience tooth sensitivity, choose a model with pressure sensors that stop the toothbrush any time you press too hard.

Who would benefit from an electric toothbrush? Everyone! Consumers with a physical disability may have specific needs that power toothbrushes can address. Children also tend to maintain better oral health hygiene when they use an automatic toothbrush. Plus, many of them find it fun to brush!

Automatic toothbrushes really do remove debris better than the old-fashioned way. You may have heard the term “biofilm.” Better known as plaque when it occurs in the mouth, biofilm is the debris and bacteria that cause infections to your teeth. It regenerates quickly, so healthy habits are the best defense for a healthier you! With a healthier mouth, you face a lower risk of gum disease and other conditions like heart disease: mouth health has been linked to heart health.

When you're ready to make your decisions, be a wise comparison shopper. Consult with Dr. James T. Hutta at James T. Hutta DDS to decide what is best for you!

What is so different about Damon® Smile braces?

October 10th, 2014

Damon Smile braces, with their self-ligating technique, have made the orthodontic treatment process more comfortable and faster than ever before. Damon Smile braces require elastic ties to hold the wires in place, which helps in alleviating pressure while your teeth move into their desired position. Therefore, both treatment time and follow-up visits to James T. Hutta DDS are reduced.

Damon Smile braces often times do not require the extraction of healthy teeth or other techniques to make space in your mouth before treatment begins. Traditional braces often require metal or elastic ties to hold wires together, typically resulting in a feeling of pressure and discomfort among the teeth while they are moving into an ideal position.

Damon Smile uses a technology called self-ligation, a process that eliminates the need for the ties and lessens the feeling of tightness during your treatment with Dr. James T. Hutta. Plus, Damon Smile braces use shape-memory wires that are able to move the teeth into position faster, ultimately cutting treatment time. Damon Smile braces also diminish the amount of food and debris that can become trapped along the brackets, allowing for more efficient teeth cleaning. Damon Smile braces are also available with clear brackets to lessen the visual impact and give you a more aesthetically pleasing smile during treatment.

Dr. James T. Hutta and our team at James T. Hutta DDS can meet with you to discuss all aspects of treatment. With this innovative technique, you can take advantage of many of the same benefits of traditional braces only with greater comfort, less self-consciousness, and in less time.

Please give us a call at our Gahanna, OH office for more information on Damon Smile, or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. James T. Hutta.

What's on your fall reading list?

October 3rd, 2014

How better to spend the fall months than inside by the fireplace with a warm cup of cider and a book in hand? Dr. James T. Hutta and our team at James T. Hutta DDS encourage you to warm up your mind this fall season with a few great books. Sure it may be easy to put off reading when balancing a hectic schedule, but reading is vital to brain development. Besides, reading is always a blast!

This week, we thought we’d ask what you or your child are reading this fall. Do you have any suggestions for must-read books this year? Out of ideas for great fall reads? Ask us for suggestions, and we would be happy to provide a few. You may also ask a local librarian here in Gahanna, OH for some ideas.

Happy reading! Be sure to share with us your fall picks or your all-time favorites below or on our Facebook page!

What’s so great about self-ligating braces? Five things you need to know

September 26th, 2014

Parents of a certain age will no doubt remember the teen comedies of the 1980s. These movies typically included a character so wired up with orthodontic apparatus (elaborate metal braces, rubber bands, a mountain of headgear) that he or she looked like some sort of electrical machinery. In recent years, the technological advancements in braces have not only made this character a thing of the past, but if your child needs braces to fix crooked teeth, you no longer need to worry about him or her being called “brace face” with a “tin grin.”

Traditional braces use a system of archwires, brackets, and rubber bands to straighten and realign crooked teeth. Self-ligating braces that Dr. James T. Hutta and our team at James T. Hutta DDS provide, by contrast, use specialized clips to hold the archwires in place instead of rubber bands. But what makes self-ligating braces so good?

  1. Self-ligating braces make it easier to keep your teeth clean because there are no rubber bands. Rubber bands collect food particles, and this can lead to an increase in plaque and decay. Have you ever tried to brush for two minutes with a mouth full of rubber bands? It’s tricky. Self-ligating braces improve oral health.
  2. Self-ligating braces are smaller and less noticeable than conventional braces. Most kids are self-conscious about how they look (flashback to those 1980s comedies), so braces that are subtle and less conspicuous are a huge draw.
  3. Self-ligating braces are more comfortable than traditional braces. Less pressure and friction are placed on the tooth. These types of braces also need fewer alterations and adjustments, so chances are you will save money by making fewer appointments with our office.
  4. Self-ligating braces move crooked teeth into place more quickly than conventional braces. In other words, you’re going to wear self-ligating braces for a shorter amount of time than traditional braces.
  5. Orthodontic work can be expensive. Self-ligating braces, however, cost about the same amount of money as traditional braces.

Dr. James T. Hutta and our team are proud to offer self-ligating braces as an alternative to traditional metal braces. Ask our team if they are right for you by giving us a call at our Gahanna, OH office!

Kristin Cavallari and Palatal Expanders

September 19th, 2014

It’s no easy feat to have one of the best smiles in Hollywood. The reality TV starlet Kristin Cavallari attributes her gorgeous smile to routine oral hygiene, the removal of two impacted wisdom teeth, and having undergone orthodontic treatment. Kristin’s treatment began in sixth grade when she was fitted with a device Dr. James T. Hutta and our team call a palatal expander, which is used to guide upper jaw growth in our younger patients.

What is a palatal expander?

A palatal expander “expands” (or widens) your upper jaw by applying gentle pressure on your upper molars, and is used to make the bottom and upper teeth fit together better. In addition, palatal expanders work to create more room for teeth, as well as promote a broader, more appealing smile.

Do palatal expanders hurt?

Palatal expanders are usually not painful, however you may experience difficulty speaking and swallowing for the first few days. Adjusting your palatal expander as instructed by Dr. James T. Hutta will ensure there are no delays in regards to your treatment plan.

Typically, it takes a few weeks to achieve the desired amount of expansion, after which you will keep wearing your expander for about six months, giving time for the new bone to form and stabilize. Dr. James T. Hutta and our team at James T. Hutta DDS will give you detailed instructions about how to adjust your appliance and can answer any questions you may have about your palatal expander.

If you have any questions about your palatal expander or your treatment plan with Dr. James T. Hutta, please give us a call at our Gahanna, OH office!

How much do braces cost?

September 12th, 2014

This is one of the most common questions that is asked at James T. Hutta DDS and, unfortunately, it does not have a simple answer. Just as every patient we see is unique, so is their treatment plan. Some patients have very simple problems which require less appliances and time, while other cases are much more complicated and may require multiple appliances and phases.

The treatment fee usually reflects the amount of orthodontic work required to complete the treatment plan. The only way to find out how much braces will cost is to schedule a consultation with Dr. James T. Hutta. During your consultation, we will perform a complete oral examination, listen to your concerns, and explain how we will address your needs.

Our findings will include the cost of orthodontics and how long the treatment will take to complete. Give us a call today at our convenient location in Gahanna, OH for a consultation and discover how quickly we can make you smile!

What was your favorite part of summer?

September 5th, 2014

It's the end of summer, and fall is just around the corner. Soon the temperatures will cool down, the leaves will start to change, and Dr. James T. Hutta and our team at James T. Hutta DDS are sure that you’ll soon be thinking about Halloween costumes and Thanksgiving plans in no time. But wait! First, we want to know about your favorite parts of the summer! Did you go on a wonderful family trip? Did you pick up a new hobby? Did you try to spend as much time outside and in the sun as possible?

Share your favorite memories, stories, or photos with us by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Celebrate Labor Day by Getting Away

August 29th, 2014

Labor Day honors the contributions that workers have made to this country, and for many Americans, the holiday is a great time to relax at home with family and friends. But there are quite a few people who celebrate the holiday by getting out of town, with an estimated 33 million people traveling more than 50 miles over Labor Day weekend each year. If you’re dreaming of a great Labor Day escape but you’re not quite sure where to go, here are a few ideas from our team at James T. Hutta DDS to give you some travel inspiration.

Explore a National Park

On a national holiday like Labor Day, it’s only fitting to experience the beauty of America’s landscapes by heading to the nearest national park. If you’re confined to an office most days of the year, national parks can provide a relaxing and scenic escape, whether you’re by yourself, traveling with a group of friends, or bringing the whole family along. Depending on how close you live to the nearest park, you can stay for an afternoon or for longer than a week. With 58 parks located in 27 states, there are plenty of beautiful areas to choose from.

Chow Down in a BBQ Haven

Barbecuing is a popular Labor Day activity, but instead of sweating over your own grill or oven, try visiting one of the country’s BBQ capitals. U.S. News and World Report names Memphis as the top BBQ destination, with more than 80 BBQ restaurants in the city, most notably Corky’s BBQ and Central BBQ. Kansas City is also known for the sweet taste of its sauces, while central Texas is said to have perfected the technique of smoking tender and flavorful brisket.

Relax on the Beach

Many people think of Labor Day as the unofficial start of fall, which brings cooler temperatures, more rain, and for many people, an end to lazy days at the beach. End your beach days with a bang by taking a trip to one of the coasts or to a lakeside beach. For an added dose of festivity, find a city or town that celebrates the occasion with a fireworks display over the water.

Whether you’re looking to turn your getaway into a full week affair or you simply want to experience a quick escape, make the most of your holiday by changing your surrounding scenery. Happy Labor Day from the orthodontic practice of Dr. James T. Hutta!

Is Damon® Smile right for you?

August 22nd, 2014

Dr. James T. Hutta and our team at James T. Hutta DDS are pleased to offer Damon Smile to our patients. This treatment is a faster and more comfortable way to straighten teeth and can improve your smile at any age, often without tooth extractions. Damon Smile braces not only help straighten your teeth, but their use can also lead to greater confidence, a better self-image, as well as personal and professional advancement.

Traditional orthodontic treatment often requires the removal of healthy teeth and/or the use of palatal expanders to make space for braces, which usually means treatment takes longer, is more uncomfortable for the patient and can leave a narrower arch and a flat profile.  

When using Damon Smile, however, straight teeth are achieved with light, biologically-sensible forces, and are specifically designed to improve each patient’s overall facial result. The system uses unique self-ligating braces, in which a specialized clip with a “door” replaces elastics or other ties. The “door” guides the archwire and allows the teeth to move gently into the proper position. Because of the increased flexibility of the self-ligating brace, it exerts less pressure on the individual tooth; this means you won’t have to get adjustments as frequently.

Another advantage is the gentler, low-friction force means you won’t experience the long-term discomfort from intense pressure on your teeth, or the tight wires that are so common with traditional braces.

If you have been thinking about an orthodontic procedure, come see us at James T. Hutta DDS for an assessment to see if Damon Smile is right for you! Give us a call today at our convenient Gahanna, OH office!

Do I really need to wear my rubber bands with my braces?

August 15th, 2014

Most of our patients at James T. Hutta DDS will need to wear rubber bands at some point during their orthodontic treatment. The main reason our patients are instructed to wear rubber bands is to correct their bite. If your teeth do not fit together properly, Dr. James T. Hutta will recommend that rubber bands be used. Dr. James T. Hutta may also recommend using rubber bands to close or open spaces.

Rubber bands are a critical part of your treatment, and wearing them as Dr. James T. Hutta and our team recommend will help move your teeth into the desired position. Dr. James T. Hutta may ask you to wear your rubber bands full time, meaning that they should only be taken out when you brush and floss your teeth three times a day. Other times, you may be asked to only wear them part-time, like only during the day or only during sleep.

If you still have any questions about orthodontic rubber bands, we invite you to give us a call or ask us during your next adjustment appointment. Remember, wearing rubber bands as prescribed by Dr. James T. Hutta is an important step during your treatment, and can reduce the time you have your braces. If you lose your rubber bands or run out, stop by our Gahanna, OH office and pick up more!

Why Damon® Smile?

August 8th, 2014

Dr. James T. Hutta and our dedicated team at James T. Hutta DDS are pleased to offer Damon Smile for our patients. Damon braces allow your teeth to move more comfortably and easily than do traditional braces. Thanks to these innovative new braces, achieving your perfect smile will be faster and easier than you ever thought possible.

You're probably saying, “Okay, how are Damon braces an advantage over regular braces?”

Time Saving

Damon's innovative technology of self-ligating braces saves you time in orthodontic treatment at James T. Hutta DDS. Damon Smile allows for fewer trips to our office, and faster movement of your teeth than do traditional braces. The light forces applied by Damon braces are “biologically compatible,” meaning that they work with your body for gentler and quicker tooth movement. Finally, Damon braces diminish the amount of food and moisture that can become trapped along the brackets, allowing for more efficient teeth cleaning.

Comfortable

Damon Smile braces have a unique slide mechanism that allows Dr. James T. Hutta to use lighter forces to move your teeth to their correct positions. That makes your treatment at James T. Hutta DDS not only shorter, but also far more comfortable. Because of its unique sliding door, the Damon Smile bracket allows us to use high-tech, light-force wires to achieve tooth movement. That means less pressure on your teeth for more comfortable treatment.

To learn more about Damon Smile, or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. James T. Hutta, please give us a call.

Dr. Hutta's Patient Appreciation Party

August 4th, 2014

What better way to show our appreciation for our patients and their families than to throw a party! After all, that's what you do for your friends, and we feel like all of our patients and their families are our friends. We hope if you are our patient you will come party with us compliments of Dr. Hutta. We appreciate each and every one of you being part of our practice. You can also meet our new associate, Dr. Jeff Price! See you at the Plain Township Pool on Saturday, August 16th, from 7:30pm-10:00 for an evening of food, fun, and more fun! ! If you haven't already, call our office to RSVP today.

Patient Party

Why is flossing so important when I have braces?

August 1st, 2014

You've made an investment on spending money on getting braces, so why not keep your teeth in good health while undergoing orthodontic treatment?  Dr. James T. Hutta and our team at James T. Hutta DDS will tell you it is just as important to develop a regular hygiene routine while you're wearing braces as you did before proceeding with treatment.

Flossing is essential to the health of your teeth and gums when you're wearing braces. Because braces may hold food, sugars and liquids upon eating, it is very important to keep on top of your brushing and flossing, as well as visiting our office for regular adjustments.

While we know it's tough enough to get kids to floss daily without braces, that battle becomes even tougher when braces are involved. Remember that by not flossing, you will become more prone to cavities and gum disease during your treatment.

When flossing, remember to gently massage your gums in between the teeth. You will find that flossing with braces takes extra time, as you will have to weave the floss through each bracket. When flossing, there should be no signs of blood. If you see blood, you are not flossing enough or properly.

Using an electric toothbrush is also a good idea to massage your gums before or after flossing as electric toothbrushes can help remove any harmful bacteria that are lingering in your mouth. And don't forget to add a mouthwash to your routine to break up any bacteria that has formed. A good mouthwash will help keep your teeth and gums in good shape during your treatment.

If you have any questions about flossing or your orthodontic treatment at James T. Hutta DDS please don't hesitate to give us a call or during your next adjustment appointment!

What’s the advantage of Invisalign®?

July 25th, 2014

Dr. James T. Hutta and our team know it is natural for you to feel some concern when you need to wear any type of dental device to correct a problem with your teeth. Both braces and Invisalign can produce good results in giving you the smile you’ve always wanted. Both methods can straighten your teeth and alleviate such issues as crowding, spacing, cross bite, overbite, and underbite. Both methods of treatment have a similar cost.

You can take a cross-country road trip in a ten-year-old economy car or you can make the trip in a brand-new luxury sedan. Both will get you to your destination, but you will be far more comfortable traveling in the luxury sedan. Similarly, your journey to a great smile is much more comfortable and convenient with Invisalign as opposed to braces.

Comfort

Some of the discomfort you may experience with braces is greatly reduced with Invisalign. Because Invisalign is custom-fit to your mouth and made of plastic, you will feel less pain, irritation, and soreness. Unlike braces, there are no food restrictions; you can eat anything that is on your diet.

Brushing and flossing

Of course you will want to brush and floss your teeth to prevent plaque buildup, tooth discoloration, and dental decay. If you wear braces, these simple tasks can become quite a challenge. Invisalign aligners are very easy to remove and replace, so you can brush or floss like normal without having to work your way around any metallic framework covering your teeth.

Appearance

You do not have to be embarrassed to show your teeth when you are using the Invisalign system. Since the aligners are practically invisible, no one will even notice you are wearing them! Whether you are a teenager or an older adult, you can live your life normally.

If you want to learn more about Invisalign, or are wondering what your treatment options are at James T. Hutta DDS, feel free to give us a call at our convenient Gahanna, OH office!

How does wisdom tooth removal affect orthodontic care?

July 18th, 2014

The purpose of braces and other forms of orthodontic treatment at James T. Hutta DDS is to correct malocclusion, also known as crooked or crowded teeth, or “bad bites.” Past orthodontic practice dictated that wisdom teeth be removed, especially in cases of crowding.

The wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come in, and are officially known as the third molars. The teeth typically erupt, or break the surface of the skin, in young people between the ages of 13 and 20.

Sometimes, wisdom teeth are impacted. That means they cannot break through the gum tissue. This typically happens when the mouth or jaw is too small to accommodate the teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth can become infected, and some dentists and orthodontists may want to remove them as prophylaxis to prevent possible future infection.

Justification for removing wisdom teeth

Dr. James T. Hutta will tell you that in some cases, wisdom teeth attempt to come in the wrong way, either tilting in the jaw, or sideways. If the mouth is too small to accommodate these additional teeth, they inevitably become impacted. Swelling or infection of the gum flap above an impacted wisdom tooth may cause pain. The greatest danger is pericoronitis, a potentially dangerous infection that can occur in the gum area around an impacted wisdom tooth, or around a wisdom tooth that has erupted.

Orthodontists base their decision to remove wisdom teeth on each patient's individual circumstances. To learn more about the impact wisdom teeth have on orthodontic treatment, or to schedule a visit with Dr. James T. Hutta, please give us a call at our convenient Gahanna, OH office!

Helpful Hygiene Tips for Patients Who Wear Braces

July 11th, 2014

Today, Dr. James T. Hutta and our team thought we would offer a few tips for our patients currently undergoing orthodontic treatment. For those of you wearing braces, it’s important to be even more dedicated to good oral hygiene than those not currently in treatment.

After getting your braces, it is important to know how to take care of your teeth in order to ensure that your braces stay intact and do their job so that your teeth are in top-notch condition after you complete your orthodontic treatment.

Braces are known to trap food, which contributes to plaque formation. If it is not carefully removed from the teeth and gums, plaque will develop into decay or gum disease, leading to costly delays during your treatment. It is important to practice good oral hygiene by following instructions from Dr. James T. Hutta during your treatment.

We are proud to offer supplies to help fight plaque, such as a proxabrush, dental floss, and floss threaders. The use of an electric toothbrush and or a water pick can also be helpful in combating cavities and decay. And, of course, our team at James T. Hutta DDS suggests brushing at least twice a day.

We hope that helps! If you have any questions, please give us a call at our Gahanna, OH office or ask us during your next adjustment appointment!

Happy Fourth of July!

July 4th, 2014

Happy Independence Day from Dr. James T. Hutta and team! The Fourth of July celebrations in America may have changed a lot over the years, but there is no doubt that we Americans love to celebrate the anniversary of our country's independence! Today we're devoting the James T. Hutta DDS blog to some fun facts about the Fourth!

  • My, how we have grown! This year the United States Census Bureau estimates that our country has 313.9 million residents celebrating the Fourth of July this year, but back in 1776 there were just 2.5 million members of the country.
  • Our country loves to show how proud that we are of our independence. Did you know that there are 31 United States places with the word “Liberty” in their names? The state of Iowa actually has four towns with the word Liberty in the name: Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty, and West Liberty.
  • The United States loves Fourth of July food! It is expected that around 150 million hot dogs are eaten on the Fourth each year. One of the Fourth's most popular sides, potato salad, goes just perfectly with the hotdogs and hamburgers that are standard Fourth of July fare. Some people choose potato chips instead, but we wouldn't have such a plethora of potatoes if not for the prodigious production of the states of Idaho and Washington -- they provide about half of all the potatoes in the United States today!
  • Americans love celebrating the Fourth outdoors: About 74 million Americans fire up their BBQ grill every Fourth of July.
  • The Chinese contribution: Did you know that Americans have spent more than $211 million on fireworks that were imported from China?

No matter how your family chooses to celebrate the Fourth, stay safe, take precautions, and don't forget to brush after your fabulous Fourth feast!

Is adult orthodontic treatment for you?

June 27th, 2014

Adult patients who seek orthodontic treatment usually fall into one of two camps: those who did not undergo orthodontic treatment as a child or those who had braces at one point but stopped wearing retainers for one reason or another.

At James T. Hutta DDS, we are happy to offer a variety of treatment options to straighten our patients’ teeth. Dr. James T. Hutta and our team believe you’re never too old to straighten your teeth. And we have many adult patients who are currently undergoing treatment. In fact, did you know that roughly 30 percent of all orthodontic patients these days are adults?

Invisalign® is a great treatment option for adults. The Invisalign aligners are easy to wear and are not visible to most people. Plus, Invisalign's clear aligners are removable, so there are no restrictions on what you can eat during treatment. When considering Invisalign, we tell adults to determine if they can be diligent about wearing the aligners at all times and make them part of their lifestyle for the duration of treatment.

If you have been thinking about obtaining a beautiful smile, please give us a call at our convenient Gahanna, OH office for an initial consultation. Dr. James T. Hutta and our team welcome children, teens, and adults alike. Call us today for an appointment!

Dr. Hutta's Patient Rewards Hub!

June 23rd, 2014

We are so excited to announce our Patient Rewards Hub!  This is our way of saying THANKS for being such a fantastic patient.  Earn points for having excellent oral hygiene, arriving on time for your appointment, wearing your Dr. Hutta t-shirt to your appointment, liking us on Facebook, participating in contests, and much more!  Rack up the points and turn them in for really cool gift cards!  Just pick up your customized Hutta Orthodontics rewards card at your next appointment!  You can then sign into your account online to keep  up with your points and rewards.

You can also play games and enter contests online, and you will be surprised how easy it is to earn points!  Dr. Hutta’s team will be happy to explain how the Patient Rewards Hub works.  Have fun!

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What is a palatal expander?

June 20th, 2014

If Dr. James T. Hutta and our team at James T. Hutta DDS have recommended a palatal expander, you might be wondering what it is and how it will help you. A palatal expander is a small appliance fitted in your mouth to create a wider space in the upper jaw. It is often used when there is a problem with overcrowding of the teeth or when the upper and lower molars don’t fit together correctly. While it is most commonly used in children, some teens and adults may also need a palatal expander.

Reasons to get a palatal expander

There are several reasons you might need to get a palatal expander:

  • Insufficient room for permanent teeth currently erupting
  • Insufficient space for permanent teeth still developing which might need extraction in the future
  • A back crossbite with a narrow upper arch
  • A front crossbite with a narrow upper arch

How long will you need the palatal expander?

On average, patients have the palatal expander for four to seven months, although this is based on the individual and the amount of correction needed. Several months are needed to allow the bone to form and move to the desired width. It is not removable and must remain in the mouth for the entire time.

Does it prevent the necessity for braces?

The palatal expander doesn’t necessarily remove the need for braces in the future, but it can in some cases. Some people only need braces because of a crossbite or overcrowding of the teeth, which a palatal expander can help correct during childhood, when teeth are just beginning to erupt. However, others may eventually need braces if, once all their permanent teeth come in, they have grown in crookedly or with additional spaces between.

If you think your child could benefit from a palatal expander, or want to learn about your own orthodontic treatment options, please feel free to contact our Gahanna, OH office!

How to Avoid Delays During Your Orthodontic Treatment

June 13th, 2014

Our patients at James T. Hutta DDS hate the thought of delaying their treatments and often ask us what they can do in between their adjustment visits to help. Today, Dr. James T. Hutta and our team thought we would provide some tips on how you can stay on track in regards to your treatment plan time.

The first thing we want you to do is keep your adjustment appointments. Each visit with Dr. James T. Hutta is carefully planned to move your teeth a specific way in a certain time frame. It’s important to note that missing an appointment can add weeks or months to your treatment time.

Next, we want you to let Dr. James T. Hutta and our team know right away if your experience any problems with your braces or appliances. A missing wire, rubber band, or broken bracket can delay treatment time, so we ask that you please give us a call right away to report any issues rather than waiting until your next visit.

Make sure you wear your rubber bands as prescribed by Dr. James T. Hutta. Most, if not all, of our patients will need to wear elastics or rubber bands at some point during their treatment. Not wearing the bands or elastics, or not wearing them enough, can slow down your treatment time. Rubber bands are critical in aligning your bite and are important for the bite-fixing phase of your treatment.

Finally, we want you to maintain good oral hygiene, just as you did before your treatment began. In addition to flossing regularly, we encourage you to brush your teeth several times a day. Not brushing will allow sugar to wear away the cement on the braces, making them less effective in moving your teeth, as well as elevate your risk of developing cavities or tooth decay, which will inevitably delay treatment time.

If you have any questions about any of these tips, or if you have any general questions about your treatment, please give us a call at our convenient Gahanna, OH office, or ask Dr. James T. Hutta during your next adjustment visit!

Tips to Help You Beat the Heat This Summer

June 6th, 2014

The dog days of summer are upon us, and with the temperatures soaring, our team at James T. Hutta DDS wants you to be extra careful about sun safety when you’re out and about. Check out this incredibly helpful article on the Ten Summer Safety Tips for Kids, courtesy of Discovery.

Dr. James T. Hutta and our team also encourage you to always have a bottle of water handy when heading out into the sun.

We hope you’re having a great summer! Let us know what you're up to below or on our Facebook page!

Invisalign® Q&A

May 30th, 2014

It’s estimated that up to four million people at any one time are wearing braces in the United States and Canada. But Dr. James T. Hutta and our team at James T. Hutta DDS know that braces have come a long way from the early days of orthodontics, so much so that these days, options are available that are not visible to onlookers. The most popular of these “invisible” braces is Invisalign. Here’s a list of FAQs regarding Invisalign:

Are they really invisible?

Yes, the clear liners are virtually invisible, so they enable patients to feel good about themselves and their appearance, while getting the orthodontic treatment they need.

Are there wires, rubber bands, and brackets with Invisalign?

Nope. Invisalign is truly an alternative to conventional braces. The treatment consists of clear liners that can easily be removed and cleaned throughout the day. There are no wires, so there’s less poking and mouth irritation compared to braces. There’s also no wire tightening at adjustment appointments, so patients don’t have to worry about a sore mouth in the days that follow in-office visits.

I’ve heard that if I get braces, I won’t be able to eat certain foods like popcorn and hard candy. Is this true with Invisalign too?

No. With Invisalign, there are no food restrictions. You simply remove your aligners when you’re eating, and replace them after you’ve finished and brushed any leftover food particles away.

Does Invisalign cost more than braces?

While overall cost varies on a patient-by-patient basis and is based largely on the level of treatment, Invisalign costs about the same as traditional braces, which makes this treatment option a truly affordable alternative.

How does brushing compare with conventional braces?

Brushing your teeth while wearing conventional braces takes some getting used to. Patients have to brush around the metal brackets and floss with a specialty tool to get into the hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. By contrast, Invisalign can be removed at any time to permit regular brushing and flossing.

Every patient is different and Invisalign might not be the best course of orthodontic treatment for everyone, but it's an option that's gaining more and more popularity, and it's an orthodontic alternative that doesn't sacrifice comfort and convenience for results. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, please give us a call at our convenient Gahanna, OH office!

Memorial Day

May 23rd, 2014

Memorial Day is not only a federal holiday in the United States, but it is a day of observance and remembrance of those who died in service. Originally known as Decoration Day, this solemn day has been marked on calendars since the end of the American Civil War as a day to commemorate both the Confederate and Union soldiers who fought and died in the war.

Marking the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers, wreaths, or other tokens has been practiced throughout history, but it wasn't until the mark of the end of the Civil War that a special day was decided upon as the one to spend in remembrance. By 1890, every state in the country was observing Decoration Day. It wasn't until 1967 when the name formally changed from Decoration Day to Memorial Day, in order to encompass all fallen American soldiers in all wars and conflicts. In June of 1968, Congress moved the official date of Memorial Day to the last Monday in May in order to create a three day weekend.

Today, while there is certainly an air of remembrance on Memorial Day, it has become more a day of spending time with family, friends, and other loved ones. This day is also heralded as the start of summer, with many schools finishing for the year around this time. Our team at James T. Hutta DDS remembers it as a day to take solace and remembered those lost.

Traditional observances of Memorial Day are still held, and they often involve raising the American Flag then lowering it to a half-staff position until noon, and then raising it once again to its full height afterwards. The flag is lowered to remember those who've lost their lives while in service to their country, and then it is raised to signify our willingness to not let their sacrifice be in vain.

From community parades in the Gahanna, OH area, backyard cook-outs, and fireworks to formal ceremonies, Memorial Day is commemorated in many different ways. No matter how you choose to spend this day, take a moment to remember those who've lost their lives in an effort to preserve our freedom.

Tips for Using Invisalign®

May 16th, 2014

More than one patient has come into our office and asked, “What can I do to help my teeth when wearing Invisalign?”

While everyone’s teeth and dental needs are different, there are certain things everyone can do to make wearing their Invisalign aligners a more rewarding experience. Always follow the list of instructions and tips from Dr. James T. Hutta, and add the following advice to your daily routine.

Always ask us about teeth whitening. Our team at James T. Hutta DDS knows how important it is for you to keep your teeth white and stain-free from the foods and drinks you consume daily. If you have attachments to your teeth, they will not whiten properly. Ask our office about teeth whitening when wearing your aligners; it might be best to wait until your treatment is complete.

Continue flossing every day. You should be flossing in any case. But it can be easy to assume that Invisalign will protect your teeth from bacteria. This is not true. Bacteria can get behind the aligners and affect the health of your teeth and gums, so keep up with your flossing schedule.

Follow the 48-hour rule when wearing your aligners. When you insert every new set of aligners, you should leave them in as much as possible during the first 48 hours. Your teeth will move more during this timeframe, and the aligners do the most good during this time.

You may experience slight discomfort while wearing your Invisalign aligners. You can take a pain reliever to help with the discomfort, but if you experience too much pain, please give us a call at our convenient Gahanna, OH office to schedule an appointment!

Wishing all our moms a happy Mother’s Day!

May 9th, 2014

"Motherhood: All love begins and ends there." - Robert Browning

We would like to take this moment to thank all the great moms out there for being so great during their child’s visits to James T. Hutta DDS. Whether it’s driving their kids to regularly scheduled appointments or for “being there” while their child is treatment, the moms who come to our office are all stellar individuals, so Dr. James T. Hutta and our entire staff would like you to know that we appreciate you all!

Happy Mother’s Day and enjoy your special day!

May Marks National Physical Fitness and Sports Month!

May 2nd, 2014

The merry month of May also happens to be National Fitness and Sports Month, so take advantage of the warmer days to get outside and exercise! Bringing a friend, family member, or coworker with you when you go for a brisk walk during a lunch break can provide an opportunity to socialize as well as health benefits. If you need a little more motivation, here are some good reasons to stay active and fit.

Exercise provides:

  • Improved stamina and energy as well as toned muscles and bone strength and density
  • Improved circulation and breathing for a healthier heart and lungs
  • Reduced risk for Type 2 diabetes and certain forms of cancer
  • For older adults, regular exercise may help improve balance and reduce the risk of falls as well as improved cognitive abilities

Children and Teens

Children and teenagers spend long hours at their desks in school, on the computer, watching television, and involved in other sedentary activities that result in obesity and poor health later in life. Getting them engaged in school or community sports teams can help them form good life-long exercise habits. One important note: If they are participating in contact sports, Dr. James T. Hutta and our team at James T. Hutta DDS recommend your kids wear an approved mouthguard to protect those valuable teeth from injury! Ask us for a proper fitting of your safety appliance during your next visit!

A gym membership is nice but not necessary to stay fit; try these easy ways to work some exercise into your daily routine.

At Home

  • Take a friend along for company on a walk through your neighborhood.
  • Pursue gardening or other yard work, including mowing or raking.
  • Take your kids on a bike ride or have them push a baby stroller around the block.

Couch potatoes take note: simply moving from the sofa to the floor for some sit-ups, leg-lifts, or push-ups while you’re watching television can help you get in better shape in no time.

At Work

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Take exercise breaks for walks around the building or parking lot.
  • Walk or ride a bike to work.

So what are you waiting for? Get moving!

For more information on exercise techniques, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. James T. Hutta, please give us a call at our convenient Gahanna, OH office!

Who benefits from Invisalign®?

April 25th, 2014

One problem with trying to answer the question as to who benefits from Invisalign is that the simple answer is “almost everyone.” The see-through, almost invisible aligners for straightening teeth are specifically molded to fit each individual’s mouth. Unlike conventional braces, they can be removed when eating and when cleaning the teeth. Because they use less force in straightening teeth than metal braces, the risk of harm to teeth is lessened.

Benefits to adults

Traditional braces are associated with children and teenagers. Many adults want to have their teeth straightened but cannot decide which is worse: having crooked teeth or wearing metal braces. They also worry about having to change their diet by not being able to eat the foods they normally enjoy.

If you are an adult considering braces, our team at James T. Hutta DDS will tell you Invisalign aligners will give you the best of all worlds. Your teeth will be straightened with virtually invisible braces. You can remove your aligners when you eat so you can enjoy any food you normally would consume. You do not have to worry about embarrassing yourself by getting food stuck in your braces. You simply clean your teeth normally after eating and replace your aligners. If there is a special occasion during which you do not want to have any braces at all, you can remove the aligners for a few hours without causing any damage.

Benefits to teenagers

Dr. James T. Hutta and our team know that teenagers are often involved in contact sports or gymnastics. Others find that having metal in their mouth interferes with their ability to play a musical instrument. Traditional metal braces contain wires and brackets that can cause damage to the mouth and gums; this is not a risk with Invisalign aligners.

For sports that require players to wear mouthguards, the expense of specially constructed mouthguards to fit over braces is avoided. The aligners can be removed during sports activity, and a normal mouthguard is worn. Teenagers who play musical instruments simply remove the aligners when practicing or playing in the band or orchestra.

Teenagers often feel they are too busy to spend time and trouble flossing teeth between the wires and brackets of traditional braces. Since the Invisalign aligners are removable, brushing and flossing are simpler and more likely to be performed.

For more information about Invisalign or Invisalign Teen, or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. James T. Hutta, please give us a call at our convenient Gahanna, OH office!

Earth Day

April 18th, 2014

The idea for Earth Day was the brainchild of Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin. He envisioned an Earth Day that would be a kind of environmental teach-in. The first Earth Day celebration took place on April 22, 1970, and a surprising 20 million people participated on that day. Ultimately, it became the largest organized celebration in US history.

Earth Day Over the Years

Over the years, the recognition of the day, and the number of people celebrating it all over the world, turned Earth Day into an international celebration. Because it is celebrated throughout the world, it is not only the largest international environmental observation, but it is also more widely celebrated than any other environmental event in the world. Today, Earth Day is celebrated in 175 countries where over 500 million people participate in celebrations.

The Earth Day Movement

The Earth Day movement is credited with developing the idea that people should “think green”. It encouraged congress to enact laws, including one that resulted in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. It also inspired the passage of the Endangered Species Act.

The Five R's and Their Importance

  • Reduce – Reduce by avoiding unnecessary purchases. Reduce your use of materials that wind up in landfills. Reduce the use of chemicals around your house. Reduce your use of disposable bags, plates, cups, eating utensils, and batteries.
  • Reuse – Instead of using plastic bags for your groceries or purchases, bring your own reusable bags. When you go to buy coffee at Starbucks, take a travel mug so you don't have to get your coffee in a disposable paper cup. Instead of storing food in disposable refrigerator containers, buy containers that can be washed and reused. Don't use regular batteries. Whenever possible, opt for rechargeable batteries that you can reuse.
  • Recycle – Most cities offer a recycling program to collect used bottles, cans, and newspapers. Recycling includes collecting recyclable materials that would otherwise be considered waste, sorting and processing recyclables into raw materials such as fibers and manufacturing raw materials into new products.
  • Re-buy – Make an effort to purchase things that are made through recycling. When purchasing furniture, look for items that are made from reclaimed wood. When buying paper for kids school work, computer printer paper, holiday cards, or anything else, make a point of purchasing recycled paper products. Instead of buying clothing at full retail price, shop for second hand clothing. You will save a lot of money by doing so!
  • Rethink – Rethink the way you do things so that you do them in an eco-conscious way at all times. Instead of driving to work alone, consider taking the bus or going in a carpool. Walk or ride your bike when you're only going a short distance. Plan your shopping trips and errand runs so that you can do everything on one day, and do it in a way where you can save time and gas.

Other ways to "think green" include growing your own food, composting yard waste and food scraps, or by participating in local recycling programs. Join a group like Freecycle so you can share your unneeded and unwanted possessions with people who can use them. Likewise, you'll be able to get things you need or want for free.

Earth Day teaches people that the planet belongs to everyone, so everyone is equally responsible for protecting it. Although Earth Day is an environmental celebration, our team at James T. Hutta DDS wants to remind you that you don't have to wait until then to make changes that will allow you and your family to live a greener life.

Happy Earth Day from the team at James T. Hutta DDS.

Early Orthodontics

April 11th, 2014

The average age of individuals who get braces is between nine and 14, although it is appropriate for younger children to visit James T. Hutta DDS for a consultation with Dr. James T. Hutta. While parents may be concerned about the efficacy of early orthodontics, research suggests that early intervention can prevent greater dental health problems later in life.

What types of conditions require early intervention?

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, 3.7 million children under the age of 17 receive orthodontic treatment each year. Early intervention may be appropriate for younger children with crooked teeth, jaw misalignment, and other common issues. Early orthodontic treatment may be of use for several types of problems:

  • Class I malocclusion. This condition is very common. It features crooked teeth or those that protrude at abnormal angles. In general, early treatment for Class I malocclusion occurs in two phases, each two years long.
  • Class III malocclusion. Known as an underbite, in which the lower jaw is too big or the upper jaw too small, Class III malocclusion requires early intervention. Because treatment involves changing growth patterns, starting as early as age seven is a smart choice for this dental problem.
  • Crossbite. Crossbite occurs when the upper and lower jaws are not properly aligned. An orthodontic device called a palatal expander widens the upper jaw, allowing teeth to align properly. Research suggests that early treatment may be beneficial in crossbite cases, especially when the jaw must shift laterally to correct the problem.
  • Tooth extraction. That mouthful of crooked baby teeth can cause problems when your child’s permanent teeth erupt. For kids with especially full mouths, extracting baby teeth and even permanent premolars can help adult teeth grow in straight.

Considerations when thinking about early intervention

Early intervention isn’t helpful for all conditions. For example, research suggests that there is little benefit to early orthodontics for Class II malocclusion (commonly known as an overbite). Instead, your child should wait until adolescence to begin treatment. Scheduling a visit to our Gahanna, OH office when your child is around age seven is a smart way to create an individualized treatment plan that addresses unique orthodontic needs.

April is National Facial Protection Month

April 4th, 2014

The Importance of Facial Protection

Americans from all walks of life should mark April as National Facial Protection Month on their calendars. The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry, Academy for Sports Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons have combined forces to sponsor this annual campaign, which aims to educate and remind us of the importance of protecting our face and teeth against impacts and injuries.

Wearing a helmet can save your life and prevent devastating physical damage in a variety of situations, from playing football to riding a bicycle. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, helmets reduce the risk of various head injuries by as much as 85 percent. Whether helmet laws apply in your area or not, Dr. James T. Hutta and our team at James T. Hutta DDS want you to make sure you and your loved ones wear helmets with the appropriate safety ratings for specific activities. (A sticker on or inside the helmet will usually indicate this rating.) Helmets can also help save your teeth if they come with an attached faceguard, an essential addition for football players and others involved in contact sports.

Preventing Dental Injuries

A mouthguard can protect you against a variety of dental injuries, such as cracked, broken, or knocked-out teeth. The American Dental Association states that mouthguards play an essential role in preventing up to 200,000 dental injuries each year, and many states mandate their use for sports activities such as football and hockey. The Academy for Sports Dentistry warns, however, that these mouthguards must be custom-fitted as precisely as possible to prove effective. Have a professional-quality mouthguard molded and fitted by our team at James T. Hutta DDS for better protection than a generic store-bought or “boil-and-bite” variety can offer. These cheaper versions tend to wear out quickly, interfere with proper breathing, and provide uneven degrees of cushion against impacts. Always have a fresh mouthguard fitted for each new sports season.

Choose the right combination of helmet, faceguard, and mouthguard to protect your teeth and face this April, and tell your friends to do the same! To learn more about mouthguards, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. James T. Hutta, please give us a call at our convenient Gahanna, OH office!

What causes crooked teeth?

March 28th, 2014

Crooked teeth, more correctly called malocclusions, have reached epidemic proportions in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, approximately 80 percent of American teenagers are currently undergoing orthodontic treatment. Although advances in orthodontic devices and increased availability of such devices explain part of this increase, it still means there are a lot of crooked teeth in the world.

The theories about what is causing so many crooked teeth range from the ridiculous to the scientific. For years, oral health professionals believed that crooked teeth were an evolutionary result of the change in Western diets from raw, wild foods to soft, processed foods. That theory has since been debunked.

The truth is that crooked teeth can be caused by a number of things. Crooked teeth can be an inherited trait. Parents with crooked teeth and malformed jaws are more likely to have children with malocclusions. Ill-fitting or poorly-executed dental restorations, such as fillings and crowns, can also cause teeth to become crooked. Baby teeth that fall out early, gingivitis, and even a jaw that is too small to accommodate all of a person’s adult teeth are additional causes of crooked teeth. In addition, thumb sucking and the use of a pacifier for too long can contribute to crooked teeth.

What to do about crooked teeth

Fortunately, modern orthodontics offers a number of solutions for crooked teeth. Traditional metal braces are the most popular, though our Gahanna, OH office provides a number of clear, aesthetic options as well. If you’re tired of hiding your smile because of crooked teeth, contact Dr. James T. Hutta and our team at James T. Hutta DDS and set up an appointment. We’ll have you showing off your straight pearly whites in no time!

What are the advantages of Damon® Smile?

March 21st, 2014

At James T. Hutta DDS, we are pleased to offer our patients Damon Smile braces, which allow your teeth to move more comfortably and easily than traditional braces. Thanks to this innovative system, achieving your perfect smile will be faster and easier than you ever thought possible! Here's how:

Better Results in Less Time

With Damon Smile, Dr. James T. Hutta and our team can achieve great results and finish your treatment faster. Depending on your case, of course, this may mean a savings of many months. After reviewing your specific needs, we will be able to provide you with a treatment plan.

Simplified Procedures

Damon braces are very precise and effective. In fact, with this system, Dr. James T. Hutta and team can reduce the need for many of the time-consuming and complicated procedures that are used with traditional braces.

Fewer Visits to James T. Hutta DDS

Because Damon braces work more efficiently, fewer adjustments at our Gahanna, OH office are needed. The result? Your adjustment appointments will be quicker and fewer in number.

Greater Comfort

Due to the unique design of this new braces system, we can move your teeth into their correct position with much less discomfort than is experienced with traditional braces. Also, Damon braces are small, comfortable, and easy to keep clean.

If you have been thinking about straightening your smile, visit us at James T. Hutta DDS for an assessment to see if Damon Smile is right for you! Give us a call today at our convenient Gahanna, OH office!

St. Patrick's Day: Celtic pride, green shamrocks, and lucky charms!

March 14th, 2014

“St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time -- a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic.” Adrienne Cook

Lucky green shamrocks, leprechauns, and pots of gold – it must be St. Patrick’s Day! If you’re not Irish, how do you go about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? It’s easy: You just put on one of those tall leprechauns hats, dress in green from head to toe, and wear one of those carefree pins that say “Kiss Me, I’m Irish”. On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish, and that is the universal beauty of the holiday. Celtic pride does not discriminate.

Wondering what our team at James T. Hutta DDS is doing to celebrate March 17th? Well, we’ve thought about doing everything from handing out lucky gold coins (you know, the fake ones that are made of chocolate) to shamrock stickers. Maybe we’ll even give away green toothbrushes and floss! You’ll never know unless you come in to see Dr. James T. Hutta !

All kidding aside, St. Patrick’s Day is an important cultural and religious holiday. There are lavish parades and church services across Ireland on March 17th. Over time, however, the holiday has developed into a day to observe Irish culture in general. In places like England and the United States, where there is a large Irish Diaspora, the holiday has greater significance than other countries. From the streets of Boston to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, it is a day of celebration, and many Americans of Irish descent will cook up a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage.

So, to all of you with Irish ancestry, and to all of you who have decided to be Irish for the day, our office wishes you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Good luck looking for a pot of leprechaun gold, which is said to exist at the end of the rainbow. However, keep away from those sugary Lucky Charms; sweet cereals might taste good, but your kids’ teeth might not be feeling too lucky if they eat it for breakfast every day. Have a great St. Paddy’s Day!

How is Damon® Smile different than regular braces?

March 7th, 2014

Great question! Dr. James T. Hutta and our team at James T. Hutta DDS are happy to offer the self-ligating Damon Smile braces.

Damon Smile braces use a slide mechanism to hold the archwire in place, thus reducing the amount of pressure exerted on your teeth. In the process, this allows your teeth to move more freely, quickly and comfortably during your treatment with Dr. James T. Hutta. Thanks to these innovative new braces, achieving your perfect smile can be faster and easier than you ever imagined.

So, what are the main differences between Damon braces and regular braces?

Damon braces reduce the amount of pressure being placed on your teeth, requiring fewer adjustments at our Gahanna, OH office because there are no elastics to replace. Damon Smile facilitates healthy tooth movement with complete control by combining tie-less brackets and high-tech archwires.

Comfort

Even though Damon Smile works so quickly, the use of gentle, low-friction force means less discomfort for you.

Convenience

Damon braces are designed to be discreet, comfortable and are easy to keep clean during treatment. Without the elastic ties, which attract and collect plaque, Damon braces make dental hygiene easy during treatment. Plus, Damon Smile is available in clear brackets for patients who want a great smile without sacrificing aesthetics.

Less Time in Braces

While the time needed in braces will vary on an individual basis, treatment time with Damon Smile is typically faster than with traditional braces. Also, far fewer appointments with Dr. James T. Hutta are required during treatment, making your Damon experience convenient and hassle-free.

If you have been thinking about improving your smile, please visit us at James T. Hutta DDS for an initial consultation to see if Damon Smile is right for you! Give us a call today at our convenient Gahanna, OH office!

A Personal Reflection

March 6th, 2014

I met Dr. Hutta 20 years ago when I brought my daughter to his office for an orthodontic consultation.  What I didn't know at the time was how my life would change as a result of that visit.  Not only did I find Dr. Hutta to be kind, personable, and professional, but he provided the best treatment for my daughter and gave her a beautiful smile.  When my son was ready for some “help“ I had complete trust in Dr. Hutta and his treatment plan.  At college in Virginia he was known on campus as “Mr. Perfect Smile”!  Fast forward 7 years and I found myself a part of Dr. Hutta’s team, and I have now been his Office Manager for almost 15 years!  He is still the kind, personable, and professional doctor that I met 20 years ago, and I am so grateful to be part of something so rewarding.  What we do is life changing for our patients, and I am excited to be a part of their journey to the smile they want and deserve.  I just hope Dr. Hutta is around to treat my grandchildren when they need a new smile!

--Cindi Fisher

Is orthodontic treatment just for straightening teeth?

February 28th, 2014

A lot of patients ask us why Dr. James T. Hutta and our team at James T. Hutta DDS work tirelessly to give our patients straight teeth. Of course it’s nice to have a smile full of evenly-aligned teeth, but did you know that straightening your teeth can keep them healthier as well? Straight teeth lead to better oral hygiene, increasing your chances of keeping your own natural teeth for a lifetime!

Straight teeth are also less prone to decay, because they collect less plaque, that sticky colorless substance that forms on our teeth. When you visit James T. Hutta DDS for your initial consultation, Dr. James T. Hutta will examine all aspects of your teeth, face, smile, and jaw.

If you’re wondering whether your teeth might cause problems because they are out of alignment, please give us a call to set up an initial orthodontic consultation at our convenient Gahanna, OH office. Dr. James T. Hutta can help you decide whether or not you will benefit from orthodontic treatment.

Questions? Give us a call, ask us below or on our Facebook page!

The Effects of Biting Your Nails

February 21st, 2014

Also known as onchophagia, the habit of nail biting is one of the so-called “nervous habits” that can be triggered by stress, excitement, or boredom. Approximately half of all kids between the ages of ten and 18 have been nail biters at one time or another. Experts say that about 30 percent of children and 15 percent of adults are nail biters, however most people stop chewing their nails by the time they turn 30.

Here are four dental and general reasons to stop biting your nails:

1. It’s unsanitary: Your nails harbor bacteria and germs, and are almost twice as dirty as fingers. What’s more, swallowing dirty nails can lead to stomach problems.

2. It wears down your teeth: Gnawing your nails can put added stress on your pearly whites, which can lead to crooked teeth.

3. It can delay your orthodontic treatment: For those of our patients wearing braces, nail biting puts additional pressure on teeth and weakens roots.

4. It can cost you, literally: It has been estimated that up to $4,000 in extra dental bills can build up over a lifetime.

Dr. James T. Hutta and our team recommend the following to kick your nail biting habit:

  • Keep your nails trimmed short; you’ll have less of a nail to bite.
  • Coat your nails with a bitter-tasting nail polish.
  • Ask us about obtaining a mouthguard, which can help prevent nail biting.
  • Put a rubber band around your wrist and snap it whenever you get the urge to gnaw on your nails.
  • Think about when and why you chew your nails. Whether you are nervous or just bored, understanding the triggers can help you find a solution and stop the habit.
  • If you can’t stop, behavioral therapy may be an effective option to stop nail biting. Ask Dr. James T. Hutta and our team for a recommendation.

The Transformation of Valentine's Day

February 14th, 2014

Did you know the actions leading to the beginnings of Valentine's Day were actually centered on the avoidance of war? A Catholic priest named Valentine defied the orders of the Emperor Claudius II and secretly married young men and their brides after the emperor had declared it illegal because only single, young men could be sent to war. Rather than lose potential soldiers to fight his war, Claudius attempted to hoard them by proclaiming marriage illegal.

Valentine continued to marry young couples anyway and, eventually, was put to death for it in 270 AD. Before his death, he sent a letter to a secret love and signed it “From your Valentine”. Nearly 1,800 years later, people are still signing letters and cards in this manner. This year, carry on the tradition started long ago, while adding your own twist. Here are a few suggestions.

Simple and Creative Valentine's Day Ideas

  • Memorialize it with a Photo. Couples often have photos taken around Christmas, but Valentine's Day photos allow you to capitalize on romance. Famous couple Julia Child and her husband, Paul, had their picture taken together every Valentine's Day and included their sense of humor with silly props.
  • Return to Your First Date Location. Even if your first date together was at a local hotdog stand, its sentimental value can make it a fun part of your Valentine's Day agenda. Be creative and make a treasure hunt with clues that lead your partner to the original date location, where you can express your love with flowers or a gift.
  • “From Your Valentine” Messages. Deliver your message in a creative way to make this Valentine's Day stand out from the others. Bake your partner's favorite treat and write a message on it with a tube of icing, or draw a note on the steamed up mirror so it shows up when your partner takes a shower.

Although Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate love, it doesn't have to be a special day only for couples. If you're single, use this special day to shower yourself with love, because you're worth it! After all, the priest Valentine believed so strongly in the sanctity of love that he was willing to risk his life for it. Whether you're in a relationship or single, young or old, romantic or not, Valentine's Day is for you. Happy Valentine’s Day from the orthodontic office of Dr. James T. Hutta.

How Braces Can Work at Any Age

February 7th, 2014

Are you an adult who is considering getting braces? Perhaps you’ve had them before, but over the years that dental work has been reversed. Or maybe you’ve never had any orthodontic work done, but are considering braces for the first time. In either case, James T. Hutta DDS can help you enjoy straighter teeth, an improved bite, and a more beautiful smile. If you are considering getting braces, here is what you need to know about adult orthodontic work from Dr. James T. Hutta.

Can braces work for adults?

Absolutely! Braces work for just about anyone. However, there are several different types of braces, and not all of them may work for you. Different types of orthodontic treatments include:

  • Ceramic braces
  • Metal braces
  • Self-ligating brackets
  • Lingual brackets (braces behind the teeth)
  • Invisible braces
  • Rubber bands for bite correction
  • Headgear and other appliances

By scheduling a consultation, we can determine which treatment or combination of treatments would be best for your specific needs.

How do I get started?

Getting braces can be a little bit daunting. At first glance, the process may appear expensive and time-consuming. However, if you take it step by step, getting braces can be a simple and relatively pain-free experience. Here are the first steps you need to take to get on the road to straight teeth:

First, you need information. If you are nervous about getting braces, or are having trouble getting started, learning more about the process can help ease your mind. Here are a few sample questions to ask:

  • What kind of braces do you recommend for my teeth?
  • How long will the treatment take?
  • How often will I need to come in for adjustments?
  • What is the total cost of the treatment? Do you accept insurance? Will you require the full amount up front, or do you have payment plans?

Asking these types of questions will help you understand what to expect during the entire process, which can aid your decision on the proper course of action.

The next step is to complete any prerequisite treatment. During your first meeting with Dr. James T. Hutta, we’ll need to take some X-rays and molds of your teeth, and then help you determine an appropriate treatment plan. Recommendations may include some preliminary dental work before you get your braces, which can be an important step in making sure your orthodontic treatments are effective.

Once you have completed these steps, you are ready to get started! After you’ve chosen a treatment plan and undergone any necessary prerequisite dental work, you’ll be able to get your braces. Just like that, you’re on your way to a better smile! If you’d like to get started right away, call our Gahanna, OH location today!

The Importance of Wearing Your Retainer after Orthodontic Treatment

January 31st, 2014

It's the big day and your braces are finally coming off! Does that mean you are completely done? Not so fast! After you complete your treatment here at James T. Hutta DDS, Dr. James T. Hutta and our team will recommend you wear a retainer, which must be worn routinely after treatment in order to hold your teeth in their proper, new position while your gums, ligaments and bones adapt. Most patients are required to wear their retainer every night at first, with many also being directed to wear them during the day. It's important to know there are different kinds of retainers, and today we thought we would explain the differences between them.

Hawley Retainers

The Hawley retainer is one of the most common types of retainers. It is a removable retainer made of a combination of a metal wire that typically surrounds the six anterior teeth and is designed to keep your teeth in place. This retainer is made from impressions of your teeth so that it fits snugly and comfortably in the roof of your mouth, while the wire and acrylic framing keeps your teeth in an ideal position. The acrylic can also be personalized with a large number of colors or patterns.

Essix (Clear) Retainers

The Essix retainer is a transparent removable retainer that fits over the entire arch of your teeth. This clear or transparent retainer fits over the entire arch of teeth and is produced from a mold. Similar to Invisalign’s clear aligner trays, Essix retainers have no metal or wires. They can also be used to produce minor tooth movements and can be helpful in prevention of tooth wear due to tooth grinding at night.

Bonded Retainers

Bonded lingual retainers are cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower canines. Dr. James T. Hutta and our team at James T. Hutta DDS encourage our patients with bonded lingual retainers to be careful with their bite as the bonding material may break due to incorrect biting and cause your teeth to shift. As with removable retainers, it is important to keep your bonded retainers clean. When brushing, make sure to carefully clean the inside of your lower teeth, as well as the wire itself.

The retention phase of treatment begins when the patient’s braces are removed. Retainers are worn full time, typically for the first nine months, except while eating. Retainers should also be removed before brushing your teeth.

If you have any questions about the retainers we offer or to learn more about post-orthodontic treatment, please feel free to contact us at our convenient Gahanna, OH office and we will be happy to answer any of your questions!

Dreaming of a stunning smile without using braces?

January 24th, 2014

Most of us aren’t born with a red carpet smile. And if you’ve thought about straightening your teeth but are apprehensive about doing so with traditional orthodontic treatment, Dr. James T. Hutta and our team at James T. Hutta DDS want you to know there is another option – Invisalign®!

Invisalign is an ideal solution for most adults looking for a less noticeable way to achieve a better smile. In fact, Invisalign has increasingly become a very popular choice for adults looking for a more comfortable, convenient and cosmetically-appealing treatment for straightening their teeth.

Our team at James T. Hutta DDS is proud to offer Invisalign, which uses a series of invisible, removable and comfortable aligners that no one can tell you’re wearing, which allows you to smile more during treatment, as well as after. Not only are the aligners invisible, they are also removable, so you can eat and drink what you want; brushing and flossing is easier with Invisalign than with traditional braces.

Invisalign’s aligners are also comfortable, with no metal to cause mouth abrasions during your treatment. And no metal and wires usually means you spend less time at our office getting adjustments. Invisalign also allows you to view your own virtual treatment plan when you start, so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete!

A consultation with Dr. James T. Hutta can determine if Invisalign is right for you. We encourage you to give us a call at our friendly Gahanna, OH office if you’re interested in learning more about Invisalign or if you are ready to visit us for an initial consultation! We look forward to seeing you!

When You Need Immediate Care, We are Here for You

January 17th, 2014

At James T. Hutta DDS, we know orthodontic emergencies are neither convenient nor timely. If you are a patient of record, Dr. James T. Hutta and our team are more than willing to see you after hours or over the weekend. As a general rule, you should call our Gahanna, OH 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 and follow the emergency prompts to contact one of our doctors.

Damon® Smile Patient Spotlight: Pro Surfer Bethany Hamilton

January 10th, 2014

In Hollywood, a world where image and beauty is just about everything, many celebrities take the time to fix flaws in their appearance that make them feel uncomfortable. One of those such celebrities is soul surfer Bethany Hamilton, who chose to straighten her teeth using Damon Smile braces, an orthodontic treatment we proudly offer at James T. Hutta DDS that combines patented "tie-less" braces with advanced memory wire.

Hamilton, who overcame an injury from a horrific shark attack to return to professional surfing, chose Damon Smile to perfect her smile. With her choice, she showed children, teens, and adults who are apprehensive about orthodontic treatment that even celebrities get braces.

At age 14, Hamilton began her orthodontic treatment for a severe underbite with significant crowding and a narrow arch. She also had an open bite, which meant there was an open space between her upper and lower teeth when her jaw was closed. These types of cases are typically among the most difficult to treat and often require surgery. Hamilton relied on Damon Smile rather than traditional braces for her treatment.

If you have been thinking about an orthodontic procedure, come see us at James T. Hutta DDS for an assessment to see if Damon Smile is right for you! Give us a call today at our convenient Gahanna, OH office!

Tips to Avoid Common Problems Associated with Braces

January 3rd, 2014

While braces play an important part in helping to create a healthy mouth and teeth, you might experience a few side effects while wearing them that are common and can be easily treated.

Even with the best of care, braces can cause soreness to your mouth. As your teeth begin to move, it is natural for your teeth to feel aches and your jaw to develop soreness.

If there are broken wires or loose bands on your braces, a sore tongue, mouth, or canker sore will occur. Canker sores are a common occurrence when braces rub inside the mouth. There are ointments available to reduce the pain and irritation associated with mouth sores. We urge those who experience a sore mouth or any of the following problems to call our office to schedule an appointment.

  • Loose brackets: Apply a small amount of orthodontic wax to the bracket temporarily. You might also apply a little between the braces and the soft tissue of your mouth.
  • Loose bands: These must be secured in place by your orthodontist. Try to save the band for repair.
  • Protruding or broken wires: The eraser end of a pencil can be used to move the wire carefully to a less painful spot. If you are unable to move it, apply orthodontic wax to the tip. If a mouth sore develops, rinse with warm salt water or antiseptic rinse.
  • Loose spacers: These will need to be repositioned and sometimes replaced.

Foods to Avoid

Some foods can also help or hurt you while you’re wearing braces. Remember to cut your food into small pieces that can be easily chewed. You will want to avoid hard and chewy foods that can break your hardware. Foods such as corn on the cob, nuts, carrots, apples, ice, and bubble gum should be avoided.

Braces, rubber bands, springs, and other mouth appliances associated with braces will normally attract food particles and plaque. Without the proper care, this could cause staining of your teeth.

Our staff at James T. Hutta DDS recommends brushing after every meal or snack and carefully removing any food that might be lodged in the braces. A fluoride mouthwash might be helpful as well as flossing. At your next appointment, Dr. James T. Hutta can advise you how to floss with a brush specially designed for braces!

New Year's Eve

December 30th, 2013

Watching the clock tick down the final seconds until midnight, many of us- James T. Hutta DDS included- feel nostalgic about the passing year and hopeful about the new one to come. New Year’s Eve is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in the world, with over-the-top celebrations taking place in dozens of countries. The Gregorian calendar, which is widely used in Western nations and around the world, was implemented in 1582. Since that time, December 31st has marked the final day of the year, with midnight heralding the beginning of a brand new year. In the United States, New Year’s Day is a public holiday; government offices, schools, public organizations, and many businesses are closed for the day. Ponder the following fun facts as you think about your plans for the holiday:

  • Approximately one billion people watch the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square, New York City. This televised event is one of the most iconic New Year’s celebrations in the world. For many years, watching the ball drop meant tuning in to Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve, an iconic television special dear to the hearts of many viewers.
  • The idea for the New Year’s Eve ball came about because of a citywide ban on fireworks. Before 1907, when fireworks became illegal in New York City, celebrations included an elaborate fireworks show. The large, glittering, illuminated ball was developed as an alternative. Although the first ball was heavy at 700 pounds, the modern New Year’s Eve ball is made of Waterford crystal and tips the scale at six tons!
  • The top five New Year’s resolutions are: to lose weight, quit smoking, get a new job, return to school, or increase personal savings. However, approximately 88% of New Year’s resolutions fail. But don’t let that discourage you! Resolutions are most likely to succeed when they are clear, achievable goals. Setting out a concrete plan to achieve your resolution also boosts your chances of success.
  • Eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is said to bring good fortune in the new year. Collard greens, cabbage, and ham hocks are also considered lucky foods to enjoy. Just steer clear of the chicken or turkey dinners; eating poultry is a bad omen for the year to come.

Whether you plan to stay in Gahanna, OH, or head out into the crowds to watch the ball drop in Times Square, New Year’s Eve is a time to enjoy friends and family. Send your loved ones well wishes for the New Year, and look for that special someone to share a midnight kiss with for good luck!

Fluoride and Your Orthodontic Treatment

December 20th, 2013

Our team at James T. Hutta DDS knows that there are many ways you can protect your pearly whites throughout your orthodontic treatment. If you follow the rules and brush your teeth twice a day, floss often, and protect your appliances from damage, you should have a successful treatment.

But did you know there’s another way to keep your teeth sparkling and healthy during your time wearing braces?

Fluoride, the mineral that helps you prevent cavities and tooth decay, can also help keep your teeth strong. Fluoride comes in two varieties: topical and systemic. Depending on your oral health or the recommendation of Dr. James T. Hutta, you may be required to have a fluoride treatment every three, six, or 12 months. We may also prescribe a fluoride product such as a mouthwash, gel, or antibacterial rinse for at-home treatment to keep your teeth happy in between visits.

If you have any other questions about fluoride or your treatment, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!

What are the benefits of Invisalign®?

December 13th, 2013

A popular option for straightening teeth at James T. Hutta DDS, Invisalign can be a great method for improving your smile, and can help patients with crowded teeth, crossbites, overbites, underbites, and more.

Invisalign, which is different from traditional braces, works by applying a series of clear, retainer-like aligners in order to eventually move your teeth into their ideal positions. Patients typically swap aligners approximately every couple of weeks.

At James T. Hutta DDS, we have lots of experience using this technology to give our patients the beautiful and healthy smile they’ve always wanted. During your initial visit at our Gahanna, OH office, the first thing we do is take an impression of your teeth as they are now and digitize it. Using special software, we look at the current positioning of your teeth and compare it to the way your teeth should look.

Not only are the aligners invisible, they are also removable, so you can eat and drink what you want, and brushing and flossing are easier. Invisalign’s aligners are also comfortable, with no metal to cause mouth abrasions during your treatment. And, no metal and wires usually means you spend less time at our office getting adjustments. With Invisalign, you can view your own virtual treatment plan when you start, so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete!

Depending on the severity of the problem, Invisalign treatment may take anywhere from three to 18 months to complete. You should be aware that Invisalign is not as effective as traditional braces in treating bite problems, teeth that are lower or higher than others, or severely overcrowded teeth. Both teens and adults are now great candidates for Invisalign, so we invite you to contact our Gahanna, OH office to set up an initial consultation and learn more on how Invisalign can give you the smile you’ve always wanted!

What’s the deal with bottled water?

December 6th, 2013

As more people turn to bottled water and away from the tap, they may be missing out on one important ingredient that most brands of bottled water fail to include: fluoride! Because fluoride helps strengthen teeth, it is an important component of maintaining good oral health. Our friends at the American Dental Association have endorsed both community water fluoridation and the use of fluoride-containing products as a safe means of preventing tooth decay.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also warned that “bottled water may not have a sufficient amount of fluoride, which is important for preventing tooth decay and promoting oral health.” If you are avoiding fluoridated tap water in favor of ever-more-popular bottled water, you could be missing out on the levels of fluoride necessary to make a difference in your oral health. One 2012 study in the Journal of Pediatric Dentistry found that more than 65 percent of parents using bottled water did not know what levels of fluoride it contained.

If bottled water happens to be your or your children’s beverage of choice, check the label to make sure your brand contains fluoride. Of course, simply drinking fluoridated water is not a magic ticket to perfect teeth. To keep your pearly whites in tip-top shape, it’s important to brush and floss daily and avoid sugary sweets, in addition to maintaining your fluoride intake.

Questions about fluoride? Give us a call at our convenient Gahanna, OH office! We look forward to hearing from you!

Going Beyond Braces

November 29th, 2013

At James T. Hutta DDS, we aren’t just concerned with straightening your teeth and giving you the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. We are also committed improving the oral health and the well-being of all our patients. Dr. James T. Hutta and our team strive to serve our patients by educating them about their treatments, as well as making them feel as comfortable as possible during their initial consultations up until the day they complete their treatments.

Making our patients more comfortable with taking care of their braces in between visits increases the likelihood that they will complete their treatments successfully. We want you to know that if you should ever have any questions about your orthodontic treatment, whether it’s during your adjustment appointment or after hours, we are always here for you and your family.

Please do not hesitate to give us a call at our Gahanna, OH office or ask us any questions you may have on our Facebook page! We can’t wait to hear from you!

Thanksgiving in North America

November 22nd, 2013

Thanksgiving marks the start to the holidays; a season filled with feasting, indulging, and spending time with family and friends are always special. Thanksgiving is a holiday meant for giving thanks, and while this may seem like such a natural celebration, the United States is only one of a handful of countries to officially celebrate with a holiday.

Unlike many holidays, Thanksgiving is a secular holiday, and it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States. In Canada, it is celebrated on the second Monday of October, which is, oddly enough, much closer to a time when harvests were likely gathered. In addition to the different dates, the origins of the celebration also share different roots.

Thanksgiving in the United States

Giving thanks for a bountiful harvest are not new, but the modern day holiday in the US can be traced to a celebration at Plymouth in Massachusetts in 1621. This feast of thanksgiving was inspired by a good harvest, and the tradition was simply continued on. At first, the colony at Plymouth didn't have enough food to feed everyone present, but the Native Americans helped by providing seeds and teaching them how to fish, and they soon began to be able to hold a feast worthy of the name. The tradition spread, and by the 1660s, most of New England was hosting a Thanksgiving feast in honor of the harvest.

Canadian Thanksgiving

An explorer of early Canada named Martin Frobisher is accredited for the first Canadian Thanksgiving. He survived the arduous journey from England through harsh weather conditions and rough terrain, and after his last voyage from Europe to present-day Nunavut, he held a formal ceremony to give thanks for his survival and good fortune. As time passed and more settlers arrived, a feast was added to what quickly became a yearly tradition. Another explorer, Samuel de Champlain, is linked to the first actual Thanksgiving celebration in honor of a successful harvest; settlers who arrived with him in New France celebrated the harvest with a bountiful feast.

A Modern Thanksgiving

Today, Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated with the best of Americana. From feasts and football games to getting ready for the start of the Christmas shopping season, Thanksgiving means roasted turkey, pumpkin pie, and green bean casserole. No matter how you celebrate this momentous day, pause for a moment to give thanks for your friends, family, and all the bounties you’ve received. Happy Thanksgiving from James T. Hutta DDS!

Braces-Friendly Recipe: Breakfast

November 15th, 2013

Kids can be picky eaters. How many times have you seen your child try to hide the peas under a mound of mashed potatoes?

At James T. Hutta DDS, Dr. James T. Hutta and our team understand how hard it can be to get your child to eat the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables. The task of providing fun, nutritious meals becomes even more challenging if he or she wears braces. It's an age-old saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. These five braces-friendly recipes are not only nutritious, but they will have little Jimmy flashing his “tin grin” when he sits down at the kitchen table in the morning.

  1. Scrambled eggs are soft and easy to eat if you have braces. If you drown them in ketchup (which many kids love to do), eggs become even mushier. Minimal chewing is required, and that’s the key to a braces-friendly recipe.
  2. A healthy breakfast provides energy and jump-starts metabolism. A smoothie is not only a good source of fruit, but it’s also gentle on braces. More importantly, smoothies are fun to create. You can toss anything in the blender (bananas, mangoes, strawberries, spinach) and create a drink that’s loaded with vitamins and antioxidants.
  3. If you wear braces, eating crunchy cereals or granola for breakfast is out of the question: Bite down the wrong way and you might snap the wires or dislodge the brackets. However, you can get your grains and oats by substituting oatmeal for cereal. This mushy breakfast treat has a host of health benefits.
  4. Pancakes are not the healthiest breakfast choice. Still, this Sunday morning favorite is braces-friendly. The idea is to make it healthier by hiding blueberries in the pancake batter just like your child hides peas in the mashed potatoes.
  5. Toast with jam is ok, but skip slathering peanut butter on the bread. If you have braces, the general rule of thumb is to steer clear of foods that are hard or chewy. These types of foods can break wires. Of course, most kids will agree that toast isn’t the most exciting breakfast recipe. Make it a Pop-Tart instead!

For more braces-friendly recipes, please give us a call at our convenient Gahanna, OH office!

Braces-Friendly Recipe: Dinner

November 8th, 2013

Wearing braces during your treatment at James T. Hutta DDS presents some unique challenges in the types of food you can safely eat. The wrong items can be difficult to remove from between your teeth and the appliance. Other foods may even break or loosen your braces.

Dinner recipe ideas

Lasagna is a great dinner choice because it provides you with several food groups in one easy dish.

  • 1 ½ pounds ground hamburger
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 pound diced tomatoes — canned is fine
  • 12 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 package of dry spaghetti sauce mix for seasoning
  • 10 oz. box dry lasagna
  • 3 cups ricotta or cottage cheese or 1 ½ cups each mixed
  • ½-cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pound sliced or shredded Mozzarella cheese

Brown and drain your hamburger meat. Dice the garlic and simmer the hamburger, garlic, basil, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and powdered sauce mix for ½ hour.

Cook the lasagna noodles as directed on the package and drain.

Beat the eggs and combine them with your ricotta or cottage cheese.

Layer ½ of the noodles in a 13 x 9 pan. Spread ½ of your cottage cheese mix on top of the noodles, then layer ½ of the mozzarella on top. Finish this layer with ½ of your hamburger mix. Repeat the layering with the other half of your ingredients. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.

Meats

You can enjoy ribs and chicken wings as long as you cut the meat from the bone before you eat. The same rule applies to turkey legs; do not gnaw on bones, because this can damage your braces.

Vegetables and fruits

You still need to include fruits and vegetables in your daily meals. Skip corn on the bob, whole apples, and raw carrots. Broccoli is soft but particles can become stuck in your braces, so be sure to brush and floss after your meal.

Desserts

Avoid caramel, taffy, and hard candies for dessert. Pudding and ice cream are fine, but low-sugar versions are best.

Remember that your mouth will be sore after adjustments with Dr. James T. Hutta. Stick to softer foods until the sensitivity is reduced. Please do not hesitate to ask our team for recipe and meal ideas. We will be happy to take the time to explain which foods items are the best choices and why.

If you have any questions about these recipes, or if you have any questions about eating with braces, please give us a call at our Gahanna, OH office!

The Clear Benefits of Invisalign®

October 18th, 2013

Invisalign clear aligners can be a great option for improving your smile. At our office, we have lots of experience using this technology to give our patients the beautiful and healthy smile they’ve always wanted. Plus, because it’s so convenient, Invisalign rarely interferes with your daily life.

  • Invisalign aligners are clear, discrete and effective at moving your teeth into their ideal positions.
  • You don’t need to change your eating habits because your aligners can be easily removed.
  • Invisalign aligners are made of comfortable, smooth plastic, so you don’t have to worry about wires or braces sticking you.
  • Invisalign aligners make daily oral hygiene easier, therefore ensuring you have a beautiful smile without white spots.
  • Like traditional braces, Invisalign treatment is covered by most insurance providers.

A straight smile makes you look great, but it can also keep the rest of your mouth healthy. Properly-aligned teeth and jaws can greatly improve one’s bite, which reduce problems such as speech or chewing difficulties, TMJ or jaw problems as well as protect the integrity of the tooth enamel from excessive wear.

Both teens and adults are now great candidates for Invisalign, so we invite you to contact our Gahanna, OH office to set up an initial consultation and learn more on how Invisalign can give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

How to Protect Your Braces During Sports Activities

October 11th, 2013

Proper mouth protection is recommended by our office when you participate in any sports activities. If you wear braces, this protection becomes essential. Injuries to your mouth can not only damage your teeth, but your braces could break and cut open your lip.

Full Facial Guards

Full facial guards are often used in football and offer protection to your mouth from most injuries. Even with full facial protection, you may benefit from additional mouth protection. While your face is protected from outside impact, you could still suffer from cuts or damage to your braces from internal impact.

Mouthguards

Mouthguards referred to as boil-and-bites can be purchased at many retail stores. As the name implies, these guards are boiled in water to heat and soften the material. While the guard is still warm, you place it in your mouth and bite down gently. This causes the guard to form to the shape of your mouth. Unfortunately, these guards do not necessarily offer the best protection or fit.

Dr. James T. Hutta can make custom mouthguards specifically for you. The custom fitting ensures you of better protection and a comfortable fit. Custom guards are also built in layers for durability. The American Dental Association recommends custom guards for orthodontic patients. Your mouthguard will be designed to provide proper protection for both your teeth and your braces.

No matter what type of sport you participate in, a mouthguard can protect your braces. Even an activity as seemingly harmless as table tennis can result in a contact injury. The Academy for Sports Dentistry states that a properly fitted mouthguard should not interfere with any athletic activity.

our office will provide you with properly-fitting mouth protection to ensure the safety of your braces and your teeth. We will be glad to answer any questions you have so you can continue the activities you enjoy with little concern. If you do suffer any injuries to your mouth or braces during sporting activities, please contact us immediately. The sooner we can care for your mouth, the better the results will be.

Giving back has never been easier!!!!

October 11th, 2013

From now until the end of the year, Dr. James T. Hutta is donating $1 to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank for every new “like” we get on our Facebook page.

One dollar provides four nutritious meals for the hungry in Columbus, so giving about 30 seconds of your time can have a bigger impact than you might have thought.

All money donated to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank is used to buy and distribute food to local member agencies, including food pantries, hot meal programs, shelters, children’s programs, institutions for the mentally challenged and rehabilitation centers.

Almost one-third of the people who receive meals through the Mid-Ohio Foodbank are under the age of 18, and 15% are over the age of 65.

Your “like” can make an impact. If you’re looking for a simple way to give back to the truly needy in our community, head on over to Dr. Hutta's Facebook page and “like” us. Just click on the Facebook icon located above and on the right side of the page.  It’s fast, it’s easy, and it will make a difference.

Halloween Guidelines from the American Association of Orthodontists

October 4th, 2013

Fall can be a really enjoyable time of the year for you and your family. The kids are back in school, the leaves are changing, and Halloween approaches. This holiday is a lot of fun for kids, but our office wants to remind you it can also be risky, especially for your child’s braces. If you have kids with braces, take a look at the following tips from the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) on how to keep your kids and their teeth safe this Halloween season.

Important Safety Tips

Trick-or-treating is a favorite Halloween activity for kids everywhere. While it is a great holiday tradition for children, it comes with some potential risks. To keep your kids safe while trick-or-treating, try following these simple guidelines:

  • If you have young children, make sure they are accompanied by an adult at all times.
  • You or your kids should always carry flashlights.
  • For costumes, try to include a light-colored or reflective element that can be easily seen by oncoming traffic.
  • Avoid costumes that include a mask, especially for younger children. These can pose a safety hazard for both the wearers and the people around them.
  • Tell your kids not to eat any of their candy until they arrive home. Be sure to inspect all treats carefully before letting them dig in.

Following these guidelines can help you keep your kids safe on Halloween.

Halloween Treats to Avoid if Your Child Has Braces

If your kids have braces, you’ll want them to steer clear of certain treats on Halloween. Many candies can cause damage to braces, so it’s wise to avoid them while you’re celebrating this fun holiday. Here is a list of treats to stay away from:

  • Hard candies
  • Chewy candies
  • Nuts
  • Caramel
  • Licorice
  • Jelly beans
  • Taffy
  • Bubblegum
  • Hard pretzels
  • Popcorn

Some of these treats may seem harmless, but all of them have the potential to bend or break your child’s braces. So it’s best to avoid eating them altogether.

Braces-Friendly Halloween Treats

If your children have braces, they may feel like they can’t enjoy any treats on Halloween. However, there are plenty of braces-safe treat options for them to choose from, including the following:

 

  • Soft chocolate
  • Peanut butter cups
  • Gelatin treats
  • Ice cream
  • Smoothies
  • Root beer floats
  • Apple cider

These are just a few braces-friendly alternatives to traditional Halloween candy. Helping your kids have a fun and safe Halloween—while at the same time protecting their braces—can be easy if you follow these simple tips and guidelines. Help your kids enjoy the holiday without having to visit Dr. James T. Hutta for repair work on damaged braces!

What’s the advantage to Invisalign?

September 27th, 2013

Invisalign, which we happily provide at our office, is a great alternative to traditional orthodontic treatment if you've been apprehensive about the thought of metal braces. During your initial visit, the first thing we do is take an impression of your teeth as they are now and digitize it. Using special software, we look at the current positioning of your teeth and compare it to the way your teeth should look.

Invisalign treatment, which consists of a series of aligners that you switch out approximately every couple of weeks, can help patients with crowded teeth, crossbites, overbites, underbites and more. Invisalign gradually shifts your teeth into place, creating the dazzling smile you’ve always wanted. During treatment with Dr. James T. Hutta, patients wear the aligners all day and night, except for during meals and when they’re brushing and flossing; cleaning your teeth and eating are a snap since you can easily remove your aligners! And because they’re clear, no one will know that your teeth are steadily straightening!

To find out if you are the right candidate for Invisalign treatment, we invite you to give us a call at our convenient Gahanna, OH office and schedule a consultation.

What Role do Elastics (Rubber Bands) Play in Orthodontics?

September 20th, 2013

Wearing orthodontic braces may be the best choice for correcting your teeth and improving your smile, and that's why you've come to see Dr. James T. Hutta at our office. Braces, which consist of brackets and wires, work by gently applying pressure to the teeth, and that pressure causes them to move into the correct position. In some cases elastics, or rubber bands, are used to apply additional pressure needed to move your teeth.

The Purpose of Elastics Customized for each patient, the rubber bands typically stretch over tiny loops on the top and bottom brackets. If worn consistently, and every day, these tiny elastics will apply the steady pressure needed to guide your teeth into the correct position.

These elastics are crafted from medical-grade latex, which is safe to be in contact with your mouth. It's common to remove the elastics during meals if opening your mouth wide enough to eat is difficult. Our staff will demonstrate how to affix the elastics so it will soon become second nature to replace them.

The Do’s and the Don'ts

DO - Get in the habit of carrying around extra rubber bands and replace them as soon as one breaks. By consistently wearing the elastics, you may shorten the overall time needed to wear braces.

DON'T - Double up on elastics as this will cause too much pressure on the tooth or teeth and can actually harm the root of the tooth.

DO - Always wash your hands before removing or replacing the rubber bands.

DON'T - Overstretch the rubber band or it will lose its strength and it will be ineffective.

DO - Call us if you run out of rubber bands.

DO - Have fun with your braces and elastics. There are many different colors available that can let you show off your soon-to-be perfect smile.

Rubber bands are a key part of your orthodontic treatment, and learning how to remove and replace them is an important part to maintaining your braces. Before we set you on your journey to a perfect smile, we'll make sure you understand all there is to know about how to take care of your braces. Of course, if you have any questions about your orthodontic treatment, or orthodontics in general, be sure to contact our Gahanna, OH office, and our staff will be happy to assist you!

Permanent or Removable Retainers: Which is Right for You?

September 13th, 2013

When the time comes for Dr. James T. Hutta to remove your braces, it is very exciting. Unfortunately, it can be somewhat confusing, too, because you are faced with choosing between two kinds of retainers. Should you go with permanent, removable, or a combination of the two? It is always wise to follow our office recommendations, but knowing more about the two types of retainer beforehand can be helpful.

Removable Retainers

Removable retainers offer the advantage of easy use: you will generally put a removable retainer in at night and take it out in the morning. Regardless of your retainer schedule, you'll be able to enjoy some time with no retainer. However, a removable retainer can easily be forgotten at times, and this means you won't be taking full advantage of teeth retention.

Another potential advantage of a removable retainer is that you can take it out and brush and floss your teeth with ease, which is more of a challenge with a permanent retainer. Although removable retainers can be very effective, they don't tend to be as effective as permanent retainers, especially if they are not used as directed.

Permanent Retainers

Permanent retainers are the clear choice for patients who want to “get it and forget it.” Once your permanent retainer is placed in your mouth, you won’t need to worry about daily retainer schedules, since it is permanently affixed to your teeth.

Because teeth begin to shift naturally as we age, a permanent retainer typically offers better long-term results for teeth straightening than a removable one. You can't forget to put it in — it's already there! Temporary retainers get lost or are forgotten on trips, and often fail to get used as often as they should be.

One drawback to permanent retainers is flossing. Some patients find it more difficult to floss with a permanent retainer, but we can show you effective ways to floss fairly quickly with your permanent retainer.

Some orthodontists may recommend a combination of the two; for example, a removable retainer for the top teeth and a permanent one for the lower ones because the lower teeth are smaller and tend to shift more.

Ultimately, the most important thing to remember is that wearing your retainer as directed is extremely important. As long as you follow our orthodontist’s advice, you will get the best results from your retainer, regardless of its type. If you’re still not sure whether the choice you’ve made is truly right for you, get in touch with us at our Gahanna, OH location right away!

September is National Childhood Injury Prevention Month!

September 6th, 2013

This month, our staff at our office want you to be extra careful with your braces and appliances. After all, September marks the start of fall sports and an increased risk to mouth injuries. September also happens to be National Childhood Injury Prevention Month, and Dr. James T. Hutta thought it’d be a good idea to share a few sobering facts about sports and facial injuries, courtesy of our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).

*More than half of the seven million sports and recreation-related injuries that occur each year are sustained by youth between ages five and 24. Collision and contact sports have higher injury rates; baseball, soccer, basketball, and football account for about 80% of all sports-related emergency room visits, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

*Sixty-seven percent of parents say their child does not wear a mouthguard, yet, 70 percent say their biggest fear when their child plays is that they will get hurt.

*Of the parents whose children do not wear a mouthguard, 84 percent say it’s because the league or coach does not require it.

*The average high school baseball pitcher can throw a fast ball between 75 and 85 miles per hour. This compares to being hit in the mouth by a speeding car!

We hope this helps you remember to wear a mouthguard and other forms of protective gear when participating in fall sports around Gahanna, OH! We encourage you to give us a call if you have any questions!

Labor Day: Our Favorite Holiday to Rest!

August 30th, 2013

Labor Day, celebrated on the first Monday each September here in the United States, is a holiday devoted to the American working community. The purpose of the holiday is honoring the country's workers and their contributions to the strength of our country as a whole.

How Labor Day Started

There is actually some debate as to the origins of Labor Day. It is uncertain whether Peter McGuire, a co founder for the American Federation of Labor, or Matthew Maguire, who was the secretary of Central Labor Union of New York, had the great idea. However, the Central Labor Union's plans were what launched the first Labor Day in America.

The First Labor Day

The very first Labor Day was celebrated on September 5th, 1882. The Central Labor Union then held annual celebrations on September 5th for what they called a working man's holiday. By the year 1885, the Labor Day celebration had spread to many different industrial areas, and after that it began spreading to all industries in the United States.

Labor Day Today

Labor Day today is a huge United States holiday during which we honor the country's workers with a day of rest and relaxation or a day of picnics and parades. This holiday is truly one to honor the many people who work hard to contribute to the economic well-being of our great country!

Our team at our office hope all of our patients celebrate Labor Day, and every holiday, safely and happily. Whether you stay in the Gahanna, OH area, or travel out of town, have fun, and don't forget to brush!

Thanks to Invisalign®, you can have a perfect smile without metal wires or brackets!

August 23rd, 2013

At our office, we know that image is everything. For many people, the thought of having metal brackets and wires attached to their teeth for two or more years may be more than enough to reconsider orthodontic treatment.

If you’ve been considering straightening your teeth but are apprehensive about metal wires and brackets getting in the way of your smile, Invisalign treatment at our office may be a great solution.Using special software, we look at the current positioning of your teeth and compare it to the way your teeth should look. Then, as your treatment begins, Invisalign straightens teeth through a series of clear, custom-fit removable aligners, and does so in a way that is discreet and hardly noticeable.

If you have questions about Invisalign, or would like to find out if you are a candidate for Invisalign treatment at our Gahanna, OH office, please give us a call to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. James T. Hutta.

Feeling Confident at your Orthodontic Consultation

August 16th, 2013

How You Can Start Preparing Now

When you first start thinking about going to the orthodontist, it is normal to feel apprehensive. What will your orthodontic experience bring? Whether you have been advised by a dentist or chosen to seek out orthodontic care from Dr. James T. Hutta on your own, there are a few things you can do to prepare for your initial consultation at our office.

One of the best ways to prepare for an orthodontic consultation is to understand your options. With so many choices available today, orthodontic care is a lot more versatile than in the past. You can start preparing now by seeking out and understanding those options. With a few specific things in mind, you can be totally confident and prepared for your consultation.

Questions To Ask During the Consultation

As you consider orthodontic care, it is likely that a few questions may naturally arise. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions you might have. Our orthodontic team is here to help. Here are just a few examples of questions you may want to ask at your consultation.

  • Is there an estimated length of time that I will likely require braces?
  • How much should I expect to pay for my treatment? What are the payment options?
  • Does getting braces hurt? Is there anything I can do to prevent or minimize pain?
  • Is it likely that I will be wearing extra appliances in addition to braces to correct my overbite or other problems?
  • Are there specific foods I will need to avoid when I get braces?
  • Will braces prevent me from playing my favorite sport or musical instrument?
  • How can I keep my teeth clean with braces?
  • How often will I be expected to come in for checkups and other appointments?

Once your consultation is over, you don’t have to feel like your options are exhausted. If questions arise after the consultation, don’t be afraid to ask. Our orthodontic team will be here to help throughout the entire process.

Confidence throughout the Process

With answers to your questions, and an orthodontic team on your side, you can be confident about any necessary orthodontic treatments. From the initial consultation to the day your braces come off, your orthodontic treatment at our office can be a smooth and simple process. The moment you see that beautiful smile, you’ll know it was all worth it.

We love bringing nothing but the most amazing smiles to our patients!

How Long After My Braces Come Off Should I Wear My Retainer?

August 14th, 2013

Braces are an investment in your smile. When your teeth reach a desired straightness, you’ll have a beautiful smile, but it’s important to keep it that way! You can accomplish this with a retainer provided by our office.

A retainer is a small, custom-fit device that reinforces the new position of your teeth after your braces are removed. But for many patients, especially the youngest ones, wearing a retainer may seem like an annoyance. So exactly how long after your braces come off should you wear your retainer?

Graduation of Wear Time

When we remove your braces, Dr. James T. Hutta will evaluate the condition of the bone structure surrounding your teeth and determine how well it is adjusting to the new position of your teeth. For the first few months, we may require you to wear your retainer both day and night, except during meal times and for brushing and flossing.

As the bone and gum tissues adjust to your new smile, we may determine that you need to wear your retainer only at night. After about one year of wearing the retainer every night, you may be able to take a couple of nights off each week.

However, we do not recommend ever stopping permanently. To best secure the position of the teeth, especially through future extractions and oral health changes, wearing your retainer a few nights a week will be necessary for many years.

Considerations

If you are concerned about your appearance when you wear a retainer, there are many that can be worn discreetly. You could choose a clear plastic one that is less obvious during the months immediately following removal of your braces. When you change to night wear only, clear wire retainers are available for minimal visibility as well.

Another option is a lingual retainer. It is placed on the back sides of your teeth so no one will ever know it is there! Lingual retainers are also permanent, so there’s no risk of losing them.

Remember, wearing your retainer is an investment in your smile. If you fail to wear it consistently, the tissues that support your teeth will be unsupported, and you may begin to experience noticeable shifting. You’ve worked hard to get that beautiful smile — your retainer will let you keep it! Remember to call our Gahanna, OH office if you have any questions about your retainer!

Foods that are Safe for Braces

August 14th, 2013

Orthodontic braces are used to straighten the teeth, which not only creates a more pleasing appearance, but also helps prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems. Braces are only effective when they are properly cared for, however. Certain foods, for example, are better suited for individuals who have braces, as opposed to hard and sticky foods that can cause damage. So, what types of foods should you or your kids eat to protect dental appliances?

The best foods to eat with braces are those that are not high in sugar and do not require excessive chewing. For breakfast, try eggs, yogurt, bacon, wheat toast, or oatmeal. Lunch may steer toward a banana rather than an apple, a salad without nuts, and a glass of water. If you are looking for some after-school snacks for your kids, consider baked tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole, or try string cheese with fruit.

A healthy dinner can include most types of vegetables, so long as they are cooked to an appropriate softness. Pair that with a lean protein, such as fish or chicken, and follow up with dessert. Just be sure to brush afterward!

Post-Tightening Foods

As braces begin to adjust the alignment of the teeth, our team at our office will periodically tighten them to continue the alignment process. After tightening occurs, the teeth may be sore and sensitive to certain foods. During this time, it is best to eat soft foods. Examples include:

  • Pudding
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soup
  • Ice cream
  • Cottage cheese
  • Peas
  • Pancakes
  • Pasta

Foods to Avoid

According to the American Dental Association, anyone who wears braces – whether fixed or removable – should avoid excessive snacking and should aim to eat a healthy and balanced diet. It is also important to avoid foods that could cause damage to the braces, such as:

  • Hard candies
  • Gum
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Certain raw vegetables (for example, carrots)

Considerations

Regardless of what types of foods you eat with braces, it is important to keep the crevices between the teeth and around the braces very clean. That means brushing and flossing after meals to prevent the build-up of plaque and decay. Not only can failing to do so damage the teeth, but it can also cause discoloration.

Have more questions about orthodontic treatment? The our office staff is always ready to answer all of your questions and help you get the most out of the treatment plan prescribed for you by Dr. James T. Hutta!

Brushing teeth with braces

August 2nd, 2013

This is a great video showing how to brush and floss your teeth with braces using the Ortho Essentials system that Dr. Hutta provides for his patients. Correct brushing is so important when you have braces!

Meet Mike

July 18th, 2013

Do you have any memories to share about Mike, Lab Technician at Dr. Hutta's office? Get to know more about Mike!

Mike has been Dr. Hutta’s lab technician for 12 years, but has 15 years experience in making orthodontic appliances.  He has 2 sons, Matteo and Geno, and is married to Kylie.  He enjoys working out and spending time with his family.

The advantage of Invisalign Teen™ with Dr. James T. Hutta

June 28th, 2013

Dr. James T. Hutta knows image is everything. At an age when image is so important, the thought of having metal brackets and wires constantly attached to teeth may intensify the already-delicate confidence of today's teens. But... not to worry! There is a clear alternative to traditional braces! Dr. Hutta and his team thought we'd remind you that Invisalign Teen™ gives you a whole new way to wear braces for a "clearly" amazing smile!

So how does Invisalign Teen work, you ask? Much in the same fashion as Invisalign, but with a few added characteristics tailored specifically to teenagers’ lifestyles. For instance, Invisalign Teen is designed with “compliance indicators” that fade from dark to light during the two week period that particular tray is used and once it has faded teens know to change trays. Each aligner comes with up to six free individual replacement aligners in case the original aligner ends up lost or broken. Another big benefit for the patient!

The treatment period for Invisalign Teen varies from nine to 18 months. If your teen is considering orthodontic treatment, please contact us and we’ll answer any questions you may have about Invisalign Teen.

Meet Shelly

June 14th, 2013


The team at Hutta Orthodontics are enjoying share more about ourselves with you. Today we're showcasing our amazingly talented teammate Shelly.

Shelly has been an orthodontic assistant for 17 years and has been part of Dr. Hutta’s team for almost 3 years. She has 3 sons and loves nature, summer time, travel, and animals.

Dreaming of a dazzling smile this summer? We can help!

June 8th, 2013

The fact is, most of us aren’t born with a red carpet smile. And that’s where Dr. Hutta and our team can help. Of course, braces help make your teeth stay strong, healthy and become perfectly-aligned. But we’d like you to know orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, and we know you adults especially appreciate the benefits of a beautiful smile.

In fact, we are proud to offer an adult-friendly option for straightening teeth called Invisalign, which uses a series of invisible, removable and comfortable aligners that no one can tell you're wearing. So, you can smile more during treatment as well as after.

If you’ve been thinking about getting that perfect smile, we would love to have you visit for a consultation at our office. Please give us a call to set one up!

Meet Sheri

May 31st, 2013


Sheri and her family recently moved to Columbus and she joined Dr. Hutta’s team in September, bringing with her many years of experience in the orthodontic field. She loves spending time with her husband and 2 children, Kennedy and Garrett. They love Columbus! Go Bucks!

Ask Dr. Hutta: What’s the advantage of Invisalign?

May 20th, 2013

Invisalign, which Dr. James T. Hutta happily provides, is a great alternative to traditional orthodontic treatment if you are hesitant about the look and feel of metal braces. During your initial visit, the first thing we do is take an impression of your teeth as they are now and digitize it. Using special software, we look at the current positioning of your teeth and compare it to the way your teeth should look.

Invisalign treatment, which consists of a series of aligners that you switch out approximately every couple of weeks, can help patients with crowded teeth, crossbites, overbites, underbites and more. Invisalign gradually shifts your teeth into place, creating the dazzling smile you’ve always wanted. During treatment, patients wear the aligners all day and night, except for meals, brushing, and flossing—when you can easily slip them out to make eating and cleaning a snap! Also, because they're clear, your teeth will be steadily straightening—and no one will know it but you!

To find out if you are the right candidate for Invisalign treatment, we invite you to give us a call to schedule a consultation.

Meet Cindi

May 9th, 2013


Cindi has been Dr. Hutta’s office manager for 13 years. She enjoys reading, crafting, photography, singing in her church choir, bargain shopping, and Pinterest! But mostly she enjoys spending time with her husband of 42 years, Tom, her children, Libby and Jeff, and her 2 granddaughters, Emma and Brooklynn. Her son is getting married in June!

Do you have any memories or experiences with Cindi from our practice? Share them with us on our Facebook wall and don't forget to connect with us on Pinterest!

With Invisalign, you can have a perfect smile without wires or brackets!

May 2nd, 2013

Dr. James T. Hutta knows image is everything. For many people, the thought of having metal brackets and wires attached to their teeth for two or more years may be more than enough to delay orthodontic treatment.

If you’ve been considering straightening your teeth but are apprehensive about metal wires and brackets getting in the way of your smile, Invisalign treatment may be a great solution. Invisalign, which straightens teeth through a series of clear, custom-fit removable aligners, does so in a way that is discreet and hardly noticeable.

If you have questions about Invisalign, or would like to find out if you are a candidate for Invisalign treatment at our office, please give us a call to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hutta.

Meet Beth, Treatment Coordinator

April 26th, 2013

Beth has been a dental hygienist for 26 years and loves her profession! She also has a degree in health education. She is married to Joe (22 years) and has 2 sons, Patrick (20) and Preston (16). She loves her dog, Miley, and enjoys shopping. But mostly she enjoys spending time with her family.

The Clear Benefits of Invisalign®

April 18th, 2013

Invisalign clear aligners can be a great option for improving the look of your smile. At the practice of Dr. James Hutta we have lots of experience using this technology to give our patients the straight, beautiful smile they’ve always wanted. Plus, because it’s so convenient, Invisalign won’t interfere with your daily life.

  • Invisalign aligners are clear, discrete and effective at moving your teeth into their ideal positions.
  • You don’t need to change your eating habits, because your aligners can be easily removed.
  • Invisalign aligners are made of comfortable, smooth plastic, so you don’t have to worry about taking care of metal brackets.
  • Invisalign aligners make daily oral hygiene easier, reducing the risk of possible problems.
  • Invisalign treatment is covered by most insurance providers, just like traditional braces.

A straight smile makes you look great, but it also can help you keep the rest of your mouth healthy. Correctly aligned teeth can decrease health issues that can be caused by an improper bite, speech or chewing difficulties, jaw problems, and increased wear on the tooth enamel.

Invisalign can be used by teens and adults, so whether you want to improve your own smile or need more information about your teen’s orthodontic options, contact our office to learn more.

Meet Teresa

April 12th, 2013

Teresa is one of Dr. Hutta’s treatment coordinators and has been part of his team for 10 years.  She has worked in the orthodontic field since 1990.  She enjoys gardening, quilting, cooking, and reading.  Teresa has been married for 37 years to husband, Jim, and has 2 daughters, Lisa and Sindee, and a grandson, Charlie.

Meet Karen

March 29th, 2013

We are having a lot of fun introducing each of our team members and hope you're enjoying getting to know us better. Today we are introducing Karen, our Financial Coordinator.

Karen has been Dr. Hutta’s financial coordinator for 6 years, and has been in the financial field for 30 years. She has 3 children, Meghan, Emily, and Zach, a granddaughter, Addy, and 2 dogs, Nala and Ollie. In her free time she loves spending time with her family.

Meet Amy

March 22nd, 2013

Amy has been an orthodontic assistant for 16 years, and part of Dr. Hutta’s team for 13 years. She has 2 daughters, Alexus and Taylor, and a son, Tristen, and is married to husband, Travis. She holds a certificate in Expanded Functions Dental Auxillary (EFDA). In her free time she enjoys drawing and spending time with family.

Do you have any memories or experiences with Adrian from our practice? Share them with us on our Facebook wall!

Wishing you a safe and happy St. Paddy's Day!

March 17th, 2013


"St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time -- a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic.” Adrienne Cook

Lucky green shamrocks, leprechauns, and pots of gold: It must be St. Patrick’s Day! If you’re not Irish, how do you go about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? It’s easy: You just put on one of those tall leprechauns hats, dress in green from head to toe, and wear one of those carefree pins that say “Kiss Me, I’m Irish”. On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish, and that is the universal beauty of the holiday. Celtic pride does not discriminate.

St. Patrick’s Day is an important cultural and religious holiday. There are lavish parades and church services across Ireland on March 17th. Over time, however, the holiday has developed into a day to observe Irish culture in general. In places like England and the United States, where there is a large Irish Diaspora, the holiday has greater significance than other countries. From the streets of Boston to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York to the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Montreal, it is a day of celebration, and many people of Irish descent will cook up a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage.

So, to all of you with Irish ancestry, and to all of you who have decided to be Irish for the day, we wish you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Good luck looking for a pot of leprechaun gold, which is said to exist at the end of the rainbow. However, keep away from those sugary Lucky Charms; sweet cereals might taste good, but those teeth might not be feeling too lucky if they eat it for breakfast every day. Have a great St. Paddy’s day and remember to keep your oral health in check!

What does a beautiful smile mean to you?

March 10th, 2013

We know that having an attractive smile puts a spring in your step—or two—as well as increases your self-confidence, no matter if you’re 14 or in your late thirties. Smiling not only makes people happy and puts them in a good mood, doing it often can even help you live longer, according to previous studies!

If you’ve been hiding your smile because you have crooked teeth or gaps between your teeth, it may be time to consider orthodontic treatment. You will be pleasantly surprised to learn how quickly and efficiently today’s most advanced correction techniques can straighten your smile!

Don’t hide your smile any longer — give us a call today to schedule your or your child’s initial orthodontic consultation.

Meet Emily

March 4th, 2013

Dr. James T. Hutta and the entire team are so grateful for Emily, our Records Specialist.

Emily has been with Dr. Hutta for almost 3 years. She loves animals, especially her 2 dogs, Nala and Ollie. She also enjoys music, going to concerts, and spending time with her family and friends.

At your next visit, be sure to say hello to Emily!

Patient question: "What is malocclusion?"

March 3rd, 2013


This is a question we hear all the time. Malocclusion, or what we call having a “bad bite,” is the improper alignment of teeth and/or jaws. When your teeth and jaws are not properly aligned, it may impact your bite, the ability to properly care for your teeth, your gum tissue health and even your appearance. Most people will experience some degree of malocclusion, but it generally is not severe enough to require orthodontic treatment. If your malocclusion is serious enough, however, treatment may be necessary to correct the issue.

Untreated malocclusion can lead undesirable mouth problems, including tooth decay, gum disease, or chipped and cracked teeth. The most common solution for malocclusion, of course, is orthodontic treatment. The actual course of treatment, including the length of time you will require braces, will be determined by severity of your malocclusion. The goal of your treatment is to move your teeth into the proper position and correct any misalignment in the jaw.

We use the most advanced technology in the field in order to ensure that you receive the best possible results. If you have any questions about malocclusion or about starting your orthodontic treatment, please give us a call!

Patient question: "What is malocclusion?"

March 3rd, 2013


This is a question we hear all the time. Malocclusion, or what we call having a “bad bite,” is the improper alignment of teeth and/or jaws. When your teeth and jaws are not properly aligned, it may impact your bite, the ability to properly care for your teeth, your gum tissue health and even your appearance. Most people will experience some degree of malocclusion, but it generally is not severe enough to require orthodontic treatment. If your malocclusion is serious enough, however, treatment may be necessary to correct the issue.

Untreated malocclusion can lead undesirable mouth problems, including tooth decay, gum disease, or chipped and cracked teeth. The most common solution for malocclusion, of course, is orthodontic treatment. The actual course of treatment, including the length of time you will require braces, will be determined by severity of your malocclusion. The goal of your treatment is to move your teeth into the proper position and correct any misalignment in the jaw.

We use the most advanced technology in the field in order to ensure that you receive the best possible results. If you have any questions about malocclusion or about starting your orthodontic treatment, please give us a call!

"I'm 28—are orthodontics right for me?"

February 24th, 2013


Thank you for the question. In an age—and society—where looks matter as much as anything, and at a time when evenly-aligned teeth might be the difference between getting a job or a promotion, adults are choosing—wisely, we think—to invest in orthodontics. Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, and we know that adults especially appreciate the benefits of a beautiful and healthy smile.

If you are still apprehensive about getting braces as an adult, there is another straightening teeth option called Invisalign, which uses a series of invisible, removable and comfortable aligners that no one can tell you’re wearing. If you’ve been thinking about getting that perfect smile, we would love to have you visit for an initial consultation! Please give us a call to set one up!

"I'm 28—are orthodontics right for me?"

February 24th, 2013


Thank you for the question. In an age—and society—where looks matter as much as anything, and at a time when evenly-aligned teeth might be the difference between getting a job or a promotion, adults are choosing—wisely, we think—to invest in orthodontics. Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, and we know that adults especially appreciate the benefits of a beautiful and healthy smile.

If you are still apprehensive about getting braces as an adult, there is another straightening teeth option called Invisalign, which uses a series of invisible, removable and comfortable aligners that no one can tell you’re wearing. If you’ve been thinking about getting that perfect smile, we would love to have you visit for an initial consultation! Please give us a call to set one up!

What's on your mind?

February 18th, 2013


By now, you’re probably familiar with our blog-writing process: Each week, we write about important orthodontic topics and your well-being, including the treatments we proudly offer.

This week, though, we thought we’d step back and ask you, our amazing patients: what’s on your mind? What would you like to know about the always-changing and exciting field of orthodontics? What would you like us to focus on our blog? Perhaps there’s something you’ve wanted to ask us for a while now? Here’s your chance! Let us know by posting here or on our Facebook page! Give us your best shot, and we’ll try to answer any question you may have!

Meet Adrian

February 11th, 2013

Meet Adrian, our wonderfully talented and lovely Insurance Coordinator. Adrian has been with Dr. Hutta for 9 years. She has one daughter, Cicely, and 2 dogs, Harley and Yankee. She has been married for 10 years to her husband, Gabe. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family and doing “house projects”.

Do you have any memories or experiences with Adrian from our practice? Share them with us on our Facebook wall!

February is also Heart Month!

February 10th, 2013

You may remember our post from last week, when we discussed February being “National Children’s Dental Health Month.” But did you know February also marks American Heart Month?

It’s a great time to take notice of the health of your heart as cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the world, according to the American Heart Association. Studies have shown a correlation between gum disease and heart disease, underscoring the importance of good oral health care, especially while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Visiting your dentist on a regular basis during your orthodontic treatment not only ensures a successful outcome, but can also help prevent gum disease or at least catch it in its early stages. In observance of Heart Month, it’s also important to know your numbers: blood pressure (less than 120/80), cholesterol (less than 200) and BMI (less than 25).

If you have any questions about heart health, about the importance of visiting your dentist or about your treatment at our office, please give us a call today!

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!

February 5th, 2013

Each February for the past 63 years, our friends at the American Dental Association have sponsored National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health at a young age, and especially during your orthodontic treatment. Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular visits with your dentist—even while you’re wearing braces—helps our young patients get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

For kids wearing braces, brushing and flossing can become more difficult, requiring extra time and effort to remove food particles that accrue on and between your teeth and braces. If you ignore your oral health during your treatment, the results can be significantly compromised. We are happy to explain why effective brushing and flossing is so critical during orthodontic treatment. If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call, ask us on Facebook or ask us at your next adjustment appointment!

The myths and facts about braces

January 27th, 2013

Some folks believe your chances of being struck by lightning increases when you have braces, while other folks believe having braces interferes with romance, and even metal detectors as you try to make your way through the airport for a much-needed vacation. Trust us when we say we know there are quite a few myths about braces out there these days. But before you buy into those myths, we think you should get the facts first! To help set the record straight, here is some great information on the myths and facts of orthodontics. We encourage you to check them out today!

If you have any questions about braces or your orthodontic treatment, please feel free to give us a call or ask us on Facebook! Smile bright!

Patient question: What can I eat with braces?

January 20th, 2013

We love when patients ask us this question! Now that you’re wearing braces, it’s just as important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen as you did before your orthodontic treatment began. The first few days in braces are going to be more difficult to eat than normal. There will be a slight discomfort when you first get your braces on, so the act of chewing will make it slightly more painful.

Here are a few soft foods that do not require you to do much chewing and are easy to chew on when your teeth are sore:

Ice cream, yogurt, pudding, cool soups, Jell-O, scrambled eggs, cream of wheat, baked potatoes, soft cooked pasta, soup, bananas, cottage cheese, smoothies, macaroni and cheese, pancakes, soft cheeses, and milk are all foods you can eat safely without having to worry about pain or breaking your brackets.

Be sure to always check with us if you have questions about a particular food item by either giving us a call or asking us on Facebook!

Six oral hygiene tips for our patients

January 13th, 2013

If you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, brushing and flossing after every meal and snack is the only way to prevent plaque build-up, tooth decay and gum disease. Your teeth will need extra care, especially during treatment at our office. Our goal is for you to have a beautiful healthy smile, and in order for us to achieve this good hygiene on your end is very important. Food and particles are known to get trapped by brackets, wires, bands and appliances, and this can make it difficult to keep your teeth clean. Using a Waterpik is another great way to clean teeth and gums. Here are a few tips to help with keeping your teeth clean and healthy during your orthodontic treatment:

1. Brush after every meal or snack

2. Floss daily to remove trapped food and particles

3. Rinse after eating with mouthwash to kill any bacteria

4. Brush with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled tooth brush

5. Clean teeth with a proxabrush

6. Maintain regular check-ups with your general dentist throughout your treatment

We hope these tips help. For more information, we encourage you to give us a call, ask us on Facebook or ask us during your next adjustment visit!

Do germs really live on my toothbrush?

January 6th, 2013

The dreaded cold and flu season is here again! After recovering from your cold, one of the most important steps you can take to avoid becoming reinfected is replacing your toothbrush!

Germs can linger on the bristles, and you risk prolonging your sickness by continuing to use the same toothbrush. Be smart - keep a spare, just in case! To protect your toothbrush from bacteria all year long, consider the following tips:

• Wash your hands before and after brushing
• Allow the brush to air dry after each use, harmful bacteria dies after being exposed to oxygen
• Store the toothbrush in an upright position to allow water to drain and dry faster
• 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!

We hope these tips help! Feel free to give us a call or ask us on Facebook if you have any questions!

Happy New Year!

December 30th, 2012

With the year almost over, we thought we would ask you, our dear patients: what was memorable about 2012 for you, and what are you looking forward to in 2013? Do you have a new year's resolution, or any exciting plans for the coming year?

We want to wish all our patients, friends, family and all our dental and medical colleagues a happy and healthy New Year!

When you have an orthodontic emergency, we are here for you

December 23rd, 2012

Millions of patients undergoing orthodontic treatment will not be smiling this holiday season, and not because they didn't get the gift they wanted. These are people whose teeth and/or braces fall victim to the hard, chewy, gummy or sticky holiday treats.

We know orthodontic emergencies are never convenient nor timely. If you are a patient of record, we are committed to your oral health and are available to you. As a general rule, you should call our office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can't take care of yourself. You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you schedule an appointment. When working with your appliances, you need to know the names of the parts of your appliances so you are able to identify what part is broken or out of place. After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions in your treatment plan.

If you have a orthodontic emergency after regular office hours, please give us a call and follow the emergency prompts to contact our team! We hope you're having a great holiday season!

Season's greetings!

December 17th, 2012


In this season given to tidings of comfort and joy, and as we reflect on the year that was, we’d like to ask you, our wonderful patients: What do you love about the holidays this year? Being with your loved ones? A clean slate for 2013? Opening presents by the fireplace? All the delicious food? Also, what gift are you most looking forward to getting this year?

We’d love if you shared with us all the things you love about the holidays. Stay warm, and don’t forget to stay away from those sweets!

Need a New Year’s Resolution? How about a healthier, more beautiful smile?

December 12th, 2012

2013 is almost here, and it's a great time of year to get started on a lifetime of straight, dazzling and confident smiles. We are proud to offer some of today's most innovative orthodontic technologies that can straighten your smile in less time than you ever imagined. Not only do today’s braces and other orthodontic treatments straighten your teeth quicker, they also offer greater comfort for you, and require fewer visits to our office.

So if obtaining a healthy, beautiful smile is one of your New Year’s resolutions, we invite you to give us a call to schedule an initial orthodontic consultation. Happy holidays!

Where’s your bite? The differences between crossbites, overbites, and underbites

December 2nd, 2012

Did you know there is a direct correlation between your bite and your overall health? When your teeth and jaws are not properly-aligned, it may affect your breathing, speech, and, in extreme cases, even affect the appearance of your face. As a result of malocclusion, also commonly referred to as “bad bite,” your teeth may become crooked, worn or protruded over time. Most people experience some degree of malocclusion, but it is generally not severe enough to require corrective measures. If your malocclusion is serious enough, however, orthodontic treatment may be necessary to correct the issue.

Malocclusion may also be referred to as an underbite, crossbite or overbite. So, what, exactly, is the difference between the three?

· Crossbites, which can involve a single tooth or a group of teeth, occur when your upper and lower jaws are both misaligned, and usually causes one or more upper teeth to bite on the inside of the lower teeth. Crossbites can happen on both the front and/or the sides of the mouth, and are known to cause wear of the teeth, gum disease and bone loss.

· Overbites, also known as “overjet,” occurs when your upper teeth overlap considerably with the lower teeth. Overbites can lead to gum issues or irritation and even wear on the lower teeth, and are known to cause painful jaw and joint problems. Overbites can usually be traced to genetics, bad oral habits, or overdevelopment of the bone that supports the teeth.

· Underbites, which occur when the lower teeth protrude past the front teeth, are caused by undergrowth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of the lower jaw, or both. Underbites can also be caused by missing upper teeth, which can prevent the normal function of front teeth ( molars). This in turn leads to tooth wear and pain in your joints and jaw.

Fortunately, we are able to treat bite problems. If you suspect you or your child has a bite misalignment, we encourage you to be examined at our office as early as possible. By starting early, you can make sure you or your child avoid years of pain and self-consciousness.

Make 2013 the year to improve your oral health!

November 27th, 2012


Many of our patients consider the beginning of a new year a time to not only reflect on the year that was, but also to set personal goals for the upcoming year. How are you planning to improve your health and happiness in 2013? Because it's never too early to start thinking about New Year's resolutions, we recommend that you make a New Year’s resolution to benefit your oral health!

It’s important that New Year’s resolutions are reasonable and attainable, and that they improve your overall quality of life—for example, did you know that flossing every day is the very best way to prevent periodontal, or gum disease during your orthodontic treatment? Using a straw when drinking sugary beverages can also help prevent cavities while you’re wearing braces. There are many small steps that you can take to prevent cavities, oral infections and bad breath.

Be sure to give us a call if you need a few suggestions on ways to improve your oral health. After all, oral health is about more than just a beautiful smile.

If your resolution is to attain a great-looking smile, we’d love to help! Please give us a call and schedule your initial consultation. We look forward to working with you and your family!

Happy holidays!

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 19th, 2012

With Thanksgiving almost upon us, it’s a great time to ask ourselves what we’re thankful for. With our friends and family around us, we celebrate the blessings given to us in the past year. Our staff thought we’d ask: What are you thankful for this holiday season? Do you have any Thanksgiving wishes or recipes you would like to share?

Our entire team would like to wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving. It’s a big food holiday, so be careful what you eat with those braces! If you have any stories or photos to share with us, we’d encourage you to send them along or post them below or on our Facebook page!

Gobble Gobble!

Permanent or Removable Retainers: Which is Right for You?

November 12th, 2012

When the time to remove your braces finally arrives, it is very exciting. Unfortunately, it can be somewhat confusing, too, because you are faced with choosing between two kinds of retainers. Should you go with permanent, removable, or a combination of the two? It is always wise to follow your dentist’s recommendations, but knowing more about the two types of retainer beforehand can be helpful.

Removable Retainers

Removable retainers offer the advantage of easy use: you will generally put a removable retainer in at night and take it out in the morning. Regardless of your retainer schedule, you'll be able to enjoy some time with no retainer. However, a removable retainer can easily be forgotten at times, and this means you won't be taking full advantage of teeth retention.

Another potential advantage of a removable retainer is that you can take it out and brush and floss your teeth with ease, which is more of a challenge with a permanent retainer. Although removable retainers can be very effective, they don't tend to be as effective as permanent retainers, especially if they are not used as directed.

Permanent Retainers

Permanent retainers are the clear choice for patients who want to “get it and forget it.” Once your permanent retainer is placed in your mouth, you won’t need to worry about daily retainer schedules, since it is permanently affixed to your teeth.

Because teeth begin to shift naturally as we age, a permanent retainer typically offers better long-term results for teeth straightening than a removable one. You can't forget to put it in — it's already there! Temporary retainers get lost or are forgotten on trips, and often fail to get used as often as they should be.

One drawback to permanent retainers is flossing. Some patients find it more difficult to floss with a permanent retainer, but we can show you effective ways to floss fairly quickly with your permanent retainer.

Some orthodontists may recommend a combination of the two; for example, a removable retainer for the top teeth and a permanent one for the lower ones because the lower teeth are smaller and tend to shift more.

Ultimately, the most important thing to remember is that wearing your retainer as directed is extremely important. As long as you follow our orthodontist’s advice, you will get the best results from your retainer, regardless of its type.

How to Protect Your Braces During Sports Activities

November 9th, 2012

Proper mouth protection is recommended when you participate in any sports activities. If you wear braces, this protection becomes essential. Injuries to your mouth can not only damage your teeth, but your braces could break and cut open your lip.

Full Facial Guards
Full facial guards are often used in football and offer protection to your mouth from most injuries. Even with full facial protection, you may benefit from additional mouth protection. While your face is protected from outside impact, you could still suffer from cuts or damage to your braces from internal impact.

Mouth Guards
Mouthguards referred to as boil-and-bites can be purchased at many retail stores. As the name implies, these guards are boiled in water to heat and soften the material. While the guard is still warm, you place it in your mouth and bite down gently. This causes the guard to form to the shape of your mouth. Unfortunately, these guards do not necessarily offer the best protection or fit.

Our dental office can make custom mouthguards specifically for you. The custom fitting ensures you of better protection and a comfortable fit. Custom guards are also built in layers for durability. The American Dental Association recommends custom guards for orthodontic patients. Your mouthguard will be designed to provide proper protection for both your teeth and your braces.

No matter what type of sport you participate in, a mouthguard can protect your braces. Even an activity as seemingly harmless as table tennis can result in a contact injury. The Academy for Sports Dentistry states that a properly fitted mouthguard should not interfere with any athletic activity.

Our office will provide you with properly fitting mouth protection to ensure the safety of your braces and your teeth. We will be glad to answer any questions you have so you can continue the activities you enjoy with little concern. If you do suffer any injuries to your mouth or braces during sporting activities, please contact us immediately. The sooner we can care for your mouth, the better the results will be.

Besides Straight Teeth, What are the Benefits of Braces?

November 2nd, 2012

Everyone wants a naturally aligned and beautiful smile, and it is no secret that orthodontic braces can help deliver one. However, there are greater benefits to wearing braces than just having straight teeth. You’ll gain many oral health benefits in addition to the cosmetic ones.

Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
Crooked or crowded teeth may overlap each other and create tight spaces in between. These can make it very difficult to brush and floss effectively, allowing bacteria and plaque to build up, and eventually leading to tooth decay and gum disease. With orthodontic treatment, your teeth will become properly aligned and spaced, which allows for more effective brushing.

Difficulties with Speech

Your teeth play an essential role in speech. When they are out of line or lean too far forward or backward, this can affect your speaking patterns, and possibly cause embarrassment and frustration. Braces can readjust the positioning of the teeth to allow for clearer, more professional speech.

Bone Erosion

Bone and gum tissues begin to erode when there are no teeth to support. This is also true for poorly aligned teeth that leave gaps and spaces or place too much pressure on the jawbone due to a bad bite. With braces, the bones and tissues are less likely to erode and can continue to support the teeth in their new alignment.

Digestion
Your teeth play an important role in digestion. Before food ever enters your stomach, it has been partially digested by the teeth. If teeth are severely out of line, however, they may not play their role in breaking down food as effectively as they should. With braces, your teeth will be straightened into optimal alignment for eating and chewing.

Adults and Braces - Not Just for Kids Anymore

October 26th, 2012

Just hearing the word “braces” can take many of us back to junior high — that painful era when we wore unattractive glasses, endured unflattering haircuts, and carried a mouthful of braces to complete the awkward adolescent look. Despite the common assumption that braces are for kids, more and more adults are choosing to pursue orthodontics to correct their smiles.

Braces for Adults
Perhaps you never had braces as a kid and you are embarrassed by your crooked teeth. Or you went through a round of braces a decade ago and stopped wearing your retainer, which allowed your teeth to shift. Whatever your personal history, wearing braces in adulthood is an excellent way to create the straight, beautiful smile you deserve.

What Are My Options?
With recent advances in orthodontic medicine, there are numerous options for adults who need braces. The basic option is traditional metal braces. These are best for individuals who have severely crooked teeth or a significant bite problem, or require other major orthodontic changes. Metal braces are typically the least expensive option. The greatest drawback to wearing metal braces as an adult is aesthetics. Many people find them unattractive and distracting.

If you are a professional who is worried about your personal appearance, clear ceramic braces may be a better choice. Clear braces are capable of handling very crooked teeth or bite issues, but they cost more than metal braces. You also have to be careful about smoking or drinking red wine, soda, and other dark beverages while wearing clear braces. These items may stain the adhesive that binds the brackets to your teeth.

Although you may be nervous about the prospect of getting braces as an adult, you should not let your fears stop you from talking to your orthodontist. A consultation at our office will address your concerns and provide information about the best course of treatment for you. No matter what your personal situation, adult braces can be a great way to boost your confidence and create the smile you’ve always dreamed of.

Rubber Band Horoscopes: What Your Color Says About You

October 19th, 2012

One exciting part about wearing braces is getting to choose the colors of your rubber bands. Orthodontists place elastic bands, or ligatures, over each bracket to secure the archwire in place. These rubber bands may be individual or connected, depending on your mouth’s needs. You have the option of choosing the color of your elastics, which are changed about once every month at every visit. Our offices keep a color wheel handy to help you choose which ones suit you best!

Children and teens often enjoy picking different colors each month to express their creativity and coordinate their braces with outfits. Decorating your mouth with your favorite colors is fun for kids and takes some of the stress out of wearing braces. Adults who wish for subtlety have color options that blend in with the metal brackets and archwire. Common choices for adults include silver, clear, and gray tones.

Common Color Combinations for Rubber Bands

With individual ligatures for each bracket, you may choose different color combinations for special events. You can have alternating colors or place an entire rainbow over your teeth. Here are a few options to consider:

  • School spirit colors
  • Favorite sports team colors
  • Patriotic colors
  • Holiday themes

Some patients choose only one color to match their mood, personality, or favorite outfits. The palette of choices allows you to make bold statements with your braces or go for subtler tones that blend in with the metal structures. Keep in mind that bright colors make your teeth look whiter, while lighter shades, such as yellow and white, may cause your teeth to appear less bright.

What Your Rubber Band Color Says About You

  • Red tones indicate that you are ready for action and take charge of your life with aggressive, forward-thinking steps.
  • Blue tones are calm and relaxing. You are conservative and exhibit integrity when dealing with situations.
  • Green tones represent growth and balance. You are level-headed and look for opportunities to grow emotionally and spiritually.
  • Purple tones attract creative energies. You like to have fun and use your imagination in every aspect of your life.
  • Orange tones indicate that you are optimistic and thrive in social situations where communication is open.
  • Pink is a romantic color that represents a caring personality. You also enjoy having fun with silly games and endless laughter.

Foods That are Safe for Braces

October 12th, 2012

Orthodontic braces are used to straighten the teeth, which not only creates a more pleasing appearance, but also helps prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems. Braces are only effective when they are properly cared for, however. Certain foods, for example, are better suited for individuals who have braces, as opposed to hard and sticky foods that can cause damage. So what types of foods should you or your kids eat to protect dental appliances?

The best foods to eat with braces are those that are not high in sugar and do not require excessive chewing. For breakfast, try eggs, yogurt, bacon, wheat toast, or oatmeal. Lunch may steer toward a banana rather than an apple, a salad without nuts, and a glass of water. If you are looking for some after-school snacks for your kids, consider baked tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole, or try string cheese with fruit.

A healthy dinner can include most types of vegetables, so long as they are cooked to an appropriate softness. Pair that with a lean protein, such as fish or chicken, and follow up with dessert. Just be sure to brush afterward!

Post-Tightening Foods

As braces begin to adjust the alignment of the teeth, our office will periodically tighten them to continue the alignment process. After tightening occurs, the teeth may be sore and sensitive to certain foods. During this time, it is best to eat soft foods. Examples include:

• pudding
• mashed potatoes
• soup
• ice cream
• cottage cheese
• peas
• pancakes
• pasta

Foods to Avoid

According to the American Dental Association, anyone who wears braces – whether fixed or removable – should avoid excessive snacking and should aim to eat a healthy and balanced diet. It is also important to avoid foods that could cause damage to the braces, such as:

• hard candies
• gum
• nuts
• popcorn
• certain raw vegetables (for example, carrots)

Considerations

Regardless of what types of foods you eat with braces, it is important to keep the crevices between the teeth and around the braces very clean. That means brushing and flossing after meals to prevent the build-up of plaque and decay. Not only can failing to do so damage the teeth, but it can also cause discoloration.

Celebrate National Orthodontic Health Month This October!

October 4th, 2012

We love October, and not just for the changing weather and Halloween excitement! It’s National Orthodontic Health Month.

Every year, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recognizes October as a time to raise awareness of the benefits of orthodontic treatment. The AAO is the largest, oldest professional association for orthodontists in North America, and is comprised of more than 16,000 members.

In a month full of hard, sticky, crunchy, and chewy treats, it’s more important than ever to encourage patients to be kind to their teeth during treatment. If you have braces, try to avoid caramel, taffy, bubblegum, and candy with nuts. If you can’t keep yourself away from the sugar, opt for softer candy such as peanut butter cups or other melt-in-your-mouth treats.

As always, remember to brush and floss after consuming sugary foods. Exposing your teeth to sweets increases your risk of cavities, and allowing it to sit there can lead to decalcification, the loss of calcium from the teeth.

If you have any questions about what foods are best and worst during orthodontic treatment, feel free to ask during your next visit!

Foods That are Safe for Braces

September 28th, 2012

Orthodontic braces are used to straighten the teeth, which not only creates a more pleasing appearance, but also helps prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems. Braces are only effective when they are properly cared for, however. Certain foods, for example, are better suited for individuals who have braces, as opposed to hard and sticky foods that can cause damage. So what types of foods should you or your kids eat to protect dental appliances?

The best foods to eat with braces are those that are not high in sugar and do not require excessive chewing. For breakfast, try eggs, yogurt, bacon, wheat toast, or oatmeal. Lunch may steer toward a banana rather than an apple, a salad without nuts, and a glass of water. If you are looking for some after-school snacks for your kids, consider baked tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole, or try string cheese with fruit.

A healthy dinner can include most types of vegetables, so long as they are cooked to an appropriate softness. Pair that with a lean protein, such as fish or chicken, and follow up with dessert. Just be sure to brush afterward!

Post-Tightening Foods

As braces begin to adjust the alignment of the teeth, our office will periodically tighten them to continue the alignment process. After tightening occurs, the teeth may be sore and sensitive to certain foods. During this time, it is best to eat soft foods. Examples include:

• pudding
• mashed potatoes
• soup
• ice cream
• cottage cheese
• peas
• pancakes
• pasta

Foods to Avoid

According to the American Dental Association, anyone who wears braces – whether fixed or removable – should avoid excessive snacking and should aim to eat a healthy and balanced diet. It is also important to avoid foods that could cause damage to the braces, such as:

• hard candies
• gum
• nuts
• popcorn
• certain raw vegetables (for example, carrots)

Considerations

Regardless of what types of foods you eat with braces, it is important to keep the crevices between the teeth and around the braces very clean. That means brushing and flossing after meals to prevent the build-up of plaque and decay. Not only can failing to do so damage the teeth, but it can also cause discoloration.

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

September 19th, 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.

Cold season is here, be prepared!

September 14th, 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!

Are checkups part of your back to school checklist?

September 6th, 2012

Now that many of the schools are back in session, we would like to remind all of our patients about the importance of scheduling appointments in advance. With school, clubs, sports and family duties to consider, we know that it can be challenging to find time this fall.

Here are some important things you can do to prepare for the new school year:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Limit sugary snacks that cause tooth decay

In order to accommodate all of our patients’ busy schedules, it is important that you plan ahead for your appointments so that we are able to provide you with an appointment time that is convenient for you.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

August 30th, 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 24th, 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 17th, 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:

• Palatal 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 10th, 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!

Join Dr. James T. Hutta on Pinterest!

August 1st, 2012

There’s been a lot of buzz about Pinterest, a social media platform that allows you to share ideas on a virtual pinboard. This new social network is growing quickly and receiving a lot of media attention, so Dr. Hutta and our team thought we’d give it a try.

If you’re on Pinterest be sure to follow our boards and share your favorite things with us. We look forward to sharing with you on Pinterest!

Elements of Braces

July 27th, 2012

When coming to our office to have braces put on, you may find yourself feeling a bit intimated and nervous about the experience. We hope to help you feel more at ease by explaining exactly what the different parts of braces are, and what they do.

Parts of Braces

  • Elastic Tie — This is a very small rubber band, and it holds the archwire in place.
  • Archwire — This is the main part of the braces. It is a wire guide that tracks the teeth. The wire may be moved from time to time during treatment to continue straightening a patient's teeth.
  • Loop in Archwire — This is not in all braces. If it is used, it is to close a gap left from a tooth extraction.
  • Bracket — This piece of equipment holds the archwire in place. Formerly, many patients used colored rubber bands to keep the brackets in place, but now since most brackets are cemented on, this is no longer necessary.
  • Headgear Tube — This is a hollow area near the back bands, which allows the headgear to fit into the braces. This is only used on patients who require headgear.
  • Coil Spring — If needed, this would fit between a bracket and the main archwire. Its purpose is to open up the space between the teeth. This is not necessarily used on all patients.
  • Tie Wire — This is another piece of equipment that is used to keep the archwire in place. It is a thin wire that wraps around the bracket.
  • Band — This is a metal band that fits completely around a tooth. It is used to help adhere brackets to the tooth.
  • Hook — This is the piece of equipment that is used to attach the elastics, also known as rubber bands, around the bracket.
  • Elastic — These elastics are used to connect one point of the appliance to another. The purpose is to apply pressure, and encourage the teeth to move into the proper positioning.

By defining each appliance we hope you or your child will be less apprehensive about getting braces put on. At the end of your treatment, you will have a bright, straight smile to show off to all of your friends.

What's a palatal expander and why would I need one?

July 19th, 2012

A palatal expander "expands" (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars and is used to make the bottom and upper teeth fit together better. It also makes more room for teeth and helps to promote a broader, more aesthetic smile.

Palatal expansion is usually not painful, but you may feel some minor discomfort. It’ll take a little time for you to get used to your appliance, so you may experience difficulty speaking and swallowing for the first day or two.

Adjusting your appliance as directed will ensure you keep on schedule with the rest of your orthodontic treatment plan. It takes about a few weeks to achieve the desired amount of expansion, after which you’ll keep wearing your expander for about six months, giving time for the new bone to form and stabilize. Our team at will give you detailed instructions about how to adjust your appliance and can answer any questions you may have about your palatal expander.

Top ten tips for keeping your BRACES sparkling clean!

July 9th, 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!

Independence Day Facts, Tips, and Party invitations!

July 4th, 2012



It’s hard to believe, but July is already here and half of 2012 has already passed! As July 4th approaches, our team thought it would be fun to share some facts and safety tips for celebrating our country’s independence day.

Fun Facts:
• Betsy Ross, according to legend, sewed the first American flag in May or June 1776, as commissioned by the Congressional Committee.
• The major objection to being ruled by Britain was taxation without representation. The colonists had no say in the decisions of English Parliament.
• The word ‘patriotism’ comes from the Latin patria, which means ‘homeland’ or ‘fatherland.’
• The first public Fourth of July event at the White House occurred in 1804.
• And what could be more fitting than spending the day in a place called “America”? There are five such places in the country, with the most populous being American Fork, Utah, with 21,941 residents. Check out American Fact Finder.

Safety Tips:
• Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
• Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
• Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
• To prevent a trash fire, be sure to douse the spent fireworks with plenty of water from a bucket or hose after fireworks complete their burning and before discarding them.
• Make sure fireworks are legal before buying or using them.

What are your plans this 4th of July? Share them with us! We’d love to hear what you and the rest of the community will be doing to celebrate! (Don’t forget to make sure there are no restrictions on fireworks! Check out this link to see if fireworks might be an issue for you this year.)

Also, check out these 4th of July party invitations, eGreeting cards, and delicious recipes!

July 4th eCard invitations!

Happy Independence Day eCards

Independence Day Recipes

Photo by shawnajean
Photo by shawnajean

Stay Cool with a Braces-Friendly Summer Treat!

June 28th, 2012

Summer is here! Kids and adults alike will now be spending more time outside being active and enjoying the hotter temperatures. What’s better on a hot summer day than a delicious treat that will cool you down after doing something active in the summer sun? Luckily, our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) have just the thing, Watermelon Sorbet! You can find the complete recipe below:

Watermelon Sorbet

Ingredients
• ¾ cup water
• ¼ cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon lime juice
• 2 to 3 cups watermelon, diced, no seeds or rind
Directions
In a small saucepan, heat the water, sugar, and lime juice on medium high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Chill this “syrup” at least 20 minutes. In the meantime, place the watermelon chunks in a food processor or blender and liquefy them. Add the chilled syrup to the watermelon puree and blend. Freeze sorbet in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately.

Happy Summer!

Orthodontic Emergency? We can help!

June 20th, 2012

True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available to you. 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 with our office.

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you get in to see us…

The following solutions may help you relieve your discomfort:
Poking Wire: Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.
Loose Bracket or Band: If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. If the wire comes out entirely, wrap the bracket with a tissue.
Loose Wire: Using a tweezers, try to place your wire back into place. If doing this and using wax does not help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If your discomfort continues, place wax on it.
Loose Appliance: If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part of your appliance.
Headgear Does Not Fit: Sometimes headgear discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by your orthodontist. If the facebow is bent, please call our office for assistance. Surprisingly, headgear becomes more comfortable the more it's worn, so be sure you’re getting in the prescribed hours.
General Soreness: When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.
Remember, after alleviating your discomfort, it is still very important that you call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem.

Making Your Life Better with Orthodontics

June 14th, 2012

The number one goal of orthodontic treatment is to give you or your child a good bite, meaning straight teeth that work well with the teeth in the opposite jaw. A good bite makes it easier for you to eat, chew and speak. It can enhance your dental health and your overall health, and may well improve your self-esteem. As a part of your comprehensive dental health care plan, orthodontic treatment can help you retain your teeth—and your smile—for a lifetime.

Let your smile express yourself! Nothing can show the world how happy you are quite like a beautiful smile. In fact, it’s one of the first things others notice about you, too. With orthodontics, you can be proud to flash your smile, because you’ll know that your smile truly represents your positive attitude.

Make your mouth healthy! Straight teeth aren’t just pretty, they’re healthy as well. Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to clean, reducing the amount of plaque buildup and risk for gingivitis. The cleaner you keep your teeth, the longer they’ll last!

Feel free to live your life! Orthodontics is easier today than ever before, with treatment options that fit your lifestyle and schedule. We can personalize your treatment to suit all of your needs!

June marks National Dairy Month!

June 6th, 2012

In honor of June Dairy Month, our team would like to thank all of our hard working families in the Dairy Industry. You make us proud!

In fact, dairy is important to your overall health! A 2008 study from the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) found that regular consumption of dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt, can lower your chances of contracting periodontal disease (also known as gum disease).

Results of the study show that adults who consume at least 55 grams of lactic acid a day are less at risk for gum disease. Eating dairy is not just healthy for building strong bones, but is essential for maintaining a strong, healthy mouth.

Getting social with Dr. James Hutta

May 31st, 2012

At our practice, we embrace technology, whether it’s through the innovative treatments we offer, our high-tech web site or our Facebook fan page.

As you can probably tell, we love connecting with our patients online, whether it’s by sharing news on our blog or communicating ideas on our fan page. For social media to work, we understand that conversation is vital, and that’s why we invite you to join in and tell us what’s on your mind. Although social networks are hugely popular these days, we know they’re unpredictable and ever-changing.

While our team takes the time to research how to best use social media, we thought we’d ask you, our loyal patients: How would you like us to use our social networks? What would you like us to share on our blog? Please post your thoughts or give us a call!

Wishing you a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend!

May 23rd, 2012

Memorial Day weekend, a time to remember and honor the men and women lost while serving for our country. Memorial Day is also the unofficial start of summer, and for many folks getting out of town for three days after being cooped up in the classroom or the office spells sweet, sweet relief.


What about you? What are you up to this Memorial Day weekend? Whether you are headed to a barbecue, a camping trip, or just hitting the great American open roads, we’d like to hear all about it!


Our entire team wishes you a happy, safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend!

“Am I Too Old for Braces?”

May 14th, 2012

Absolutely not! Orthodontic treatment for adults is becoming more and more common. In fact, the number of adults getting braces has actually climbed 24 percent since 1996! More adults than ever are realizing that orthodontic treatment is not just for kids, and can help improve the aesthetics and health of a smile of any age! In a society where appearance matters and can help make the difference between getting a job or a promotion, adults are choosing wisely to invest in orthodontic treatment.

Some of the most common reasons our adult patients come to us considering orthodontic treatment include:
• Teeth that are crowded or spaced apart, sometimes as a result of tooth decay or gum disease
• Pain or pressure from crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw
• A bad bite or malocclusion, causing teeth to fit together incorrectly

Most of all though, adult patients come to our office seeking a healthier mouth and a more confident smile! Orthodontic treatment at our office can be successful at any age, and adults especially can appreciate the benefits of a beautiful smile.

As an adult patient, we recognize that you have different needs than our younger patients, and we will work with you to ensure you receive the most appropriate treatment and that your needs are met with understanding and respect from us.

If you’ve been thinking about getting that perfect smile, we would love to have you visit for a consultation. We understand you have a busy schedule, and will work with you to find a time that is convenient for you. Please visit our website or give our office a call to schedule your appointment today!

Ask Dr. Hutta: What should I expect during my initial consultation

May 10th, 2012

Great question! When you first come in for your initial consultation, the Doctor will conduct a comprehensive examination to assess your oral health. This will better enable us to determine the best treatment method for you.

Your orthodontic evaluation will consist of an oral and facial examination to assess your oral health. We will have you take intraoral and facial photographs as well as panoramic and cephalometric X-rays to help determine the proper orthodontic treatment method. Then, an impression of your teeth and bite will be taken to construct a model of your mouth. (This will help us when examining your diagnostic records).

At your second appointment, the Doctor will discuss your options with you. Our team feels it’s important to take the time to carefully examine your diagnostic records after your consultation so that we can more thoroughly prepare for your treatment. This additional preparation will ensure that you receive the best orthodontic care possible. At this time, we encourage you to ask us any questions you may have about your treatment.

If you are seeking orthodontic treatment for your child, our staff asks that both you and your child attend the initial consultation. We feel it is important that both you and your child completely understand the doctor’s recommendations before we proceed with treatment.

Give us a call today and schedule a consultation! We look forward to hearing from you!

May is National Teen Self-Esteem Month!

May 2nd, 2012

Dr. James Hutta knows image is everything. At an age when image is so important, the thought of having braces may intensify the already-delicate confidence of today's teens. Well, May is National Teen Self-Esteem Month, and during this time, parents are encouraged to act as positive role models, help stop negative self-images, and improve confidence and security among teenagers.

One of the great ways to improve your confidence is to improve your smile. And that begins with an orthodontic consultation. After all, what better time to avoid having crooked teeth in your adulthood than coming in to discuss your treatment options?

We invite you to give us a call to schedule an appointment or ask us on Facebook!

Celebrating Earth Day by Doing Our Part to Help the Planet!

April 25th, 2012

We are living in an age with a renewed commitment to conservation, and are frequently reminded to recycle, reduce and reuse. Last Sunday marked Earth Day, so today we thought we would discuss some of the things we do to conserve our natural resources and the environment.

Our office is digitalized, which means we can operate without the use of large amounts of paper and printing materials. The information in our office can be sent and processed digitally, which is also more efficient. We take all of the steps possible to be a 'green' office, making us better for the planet and more convenient for our patients.

We would love to hear how you minimize your impact on the environment. Leave us a comment below or post on our Facebook page!

Making Your Life Better with Orthodontics

April 17th, 2012

The number one goal of orthodontic treatment is to give you or your child a good bite, meaning straight teeth that work well with the teeth in the opposite jaw. A good bite makes it easier for you to eat, chew, and speak. It can enhance your dental health and your overall health, and may well improve your self-esteem. As a part of your comprehensive dental health care plan, orthodontic treatment can help you retain you teeth—and your smile—for a lifetime.

Let your smile express yourself! Nothing can show the world how happy you are quite like a beautiful smile. In fact, it’s one of the first things others notice about you, too. With orthodontics, you can be proud to flash your smile, because you’ll know that your smile truly represents your positive attitude.

Make your mouth healthy! Straight teeth aren’t just pretty, they’re healthy as well. Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to clean, reducing the amount of plaque buildup and risk for gingivitis. The cleaner you keep your teeth, the longer they’ll last!

Feel free to live your life! Orthodontics is easier today than ever before, with treatment options that fit your lifestyle and schedule. From clear braces to removable aligners and totally invisible lingual (behind the teeth) braces, we can personalize your treatment to suit all your needs.

Spring is here! Do we have your current contact info?

April 10th, 2012


Spring is in the air! As you probably know, you can always connect with us on our Facebook page, but we invite you to please contact our office with any updates to phone numbers and addresses, so that we may be able to reach you.

We also encourage you to call us and let us know if you have any new phone numbers or if your contact information has changed!

Thank you! Have a great week!

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April 5th, 2012

Visiting your dentist during your orthodontic treatment will not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy while you have braces, but will also help keep the rest of your body healthy. The fact is, every hour of every day in the U.S., someone dies of oral cancer, which is the sixth-most common diagnosed form of the disease. The five-year survival rate is only 50 percent, and oral cancer is one of the few cancers whose survival rate has not improved. Since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, we would like to take this opportunity to remind all of our patients about the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene while you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Your dentist is specifically trained to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health problems. Please let us now if you have any questions about your oral health during your next adjustment appointment. Take care of your teeth!

Am I Too Old for Braces?

March 26th, 2012

Orthodontic treatment for adults is becoming more and more common. In fact, the number of adults getting braces has actually climbed 24 percent since 1996! More adults than ever are realizing that orthodontic treatment is not just for kids, and can help improve the aesthetics and health of a smile of any age! In society where appearance matters and can help make the difference between getting a job or a promotion, adults are choosing wisely to invest in orthodontic treatment.

Some of the most common reasons our adult patients come to us considering orthodontic treatment include:
• Teeth that are crowded or spaced apart, sometimes as a result of tooth decay or gum disease
• Pain or pressure from crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw
• A bad bite or malocclusion, causing teeth to fit together incorrectly

Most of all though, adult patients come to our office seeking a healthier mouth and a more confident smile! Orthodontic treatment at our office can be successful at any age, and adults especially can appreciate the benefits of a beautiful smile.

As an adult patient, we recognize that you have different needs than our younger patients, and we will work with you to ensure you receive the most appropriate treatment and that your needs are met with understanding and respect from us.

If you’ve been thinking about getting that perfect smile, we would love to have you visit for a consultation. We understand you have a busy schedule, and will work with you to find a time that is convenient for you. Please visit our website or give our office a call to schedule your appointment today!

What do rubber bands do?

March 21st, 2012


Rubber bands, or elastics, can be an integral aspect of orthodontic care, so if Dr. James Hutta has prescribed elastics as a part of your treatment, it’s important to follow the directions fully. Elastics help to align your bite or cause teeth to move in different directions and straighten more quickly. We will instruct you how to hook one end to an upper bracket and the other end to a lower bracket so the rubber band goes vertically or diagonally from one bracket to another. The tension of the rubber band produces pressure on the bracket, which causes the teeth to move and straighten. This tension is also sufficient to correct an overbite or an under bite in the jaw.

If rubber bands are a part of your treatment plan, there are a few things to keep in mind. With rubber bands, you won’t be able to open your mouth fully, so they will have to be removed when you eat and reapplied after meal time. Many times, rubber bands are only needed at night, so you won’t need to worry about eating with them. Also, if you try to open your mouth too wide, your rubber bands might snap – so be careful!

Failure to wear your elastics full time or as instructed can lengthen your treatment time and may make it more difficult to achieve an optimal result. But don’t worry; your time in elastics will be well worth it when you see your beautiful, new smile.

Connect with us on Facebook!

March 12th, 2012


We will be rolling out our new Facebook Timeline page soon and would love for you to check it out! You’ll find all the useful information that was there before, but now in a fun, new layout. When you Like us on Facebook, you’ll be able to check out photos of our office, find out about new events and contests, or you can even leave a note about how much you enjoyed your visit at our office. We love hearing your feedback to make our practice serve you and your family even better. To make life even easier, if you “Like” us on Facebook, you’ll automatically receive updates from our office right on your own news feed!

See you on Facebook!

Which questions should I ask during my orthodontic consultation?

March 7th, 2012

When you visit Dr. James Hutta's office for your orthodontic consultation, you’ll probably have a lot of questions. We want you to be prepared for your appointment and feel in charge of your orthodontic treatment decisions, so keep these questions in mind to ask when you come in for your appointment:

• How long will I have to wear braces?
• Will getting braces hurt?
• Will I have to wear additional appliances to correct jaw problems while I have braces?
• What can I eat when I have braces?
• Are there certain things, like playing sports or playing an instrument, which I won’t be able to do?
• How can I make sure my teeth stay clean and healthy while I have braces?
• How often will I need to come in for appointments?
• How much will my orthodontic treatment cost?

The team at Dr. Hutta's office is here to answer all your questions and concerns, and we’re happy to explain all aspects of your treatment plan and expected outcome. Your orthodontic experience should be comfortable, hassle-free, and most importantly, leave you smiling!

The Clear Benefits of Invisalign

March 1st, 2012

Invisalign clear aligners can be a great option for improving the look of your smile. Dr. James Hutta has lots of experience using this technology to give our patients the straight, beautiful smile they’ve always wanted. Plus, because it’s so convenient, Invisalign won’t interfere with your daily life.

• Invisalign aligners are clear, discrete and effective at moving your teeth into their ideal positions.
• You don’t need to change your eating habits, because your aligners can be easily removed.
• Invisalign aligners are made of comfortable, smooth plastic, so you don’t have to worry about taking care of metal brackets.
• Invisalign aligners make daily oral hygiene easier, reducing the risk of possible problems.
• Invisalign treatment is covered by most insurance providers, just like traditional braces.

A straight smile makes you look great, but it also can help you keep the rest of your mouth healthy. Correctly aligned teeth can decrease health issues that can be caused by an improper bite, speech or chewing difficulties, jaw problems, and increased wear on the tooth enamel.

Give us a call to schedule your consultation!

What causes crooked teeth?

February 24th, 2012

There are several reasons why some people's teeth grow in crooked, overlapping, or twisted. Some people's mouths are too small for their teeth, which crowds the teeth and causes them to shift. In other cases, a person's upper and lower jaws aren't the same size or are malformed. Most often, crooked teeth are inherited traits just as the color of your eyes or hair. Other causes of crooked teeth are early loss of baby or adult teeth, undue pressure on the teeth and gums, misalignment of jaw after facial injury, or common oral health problems in children such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, or prolonged use of a bottle or pacifier.

Having crooked teeth isn’t just a cosmetic issue; it can lead to serious health problems as well. Crooked teeth can:

• interfere with proper chewing
• make keeping teeth clean more of a challenge, increasing the risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gingivitis
• strain the teeth, jaws, and muscles, increasing the risk of breaking a tooth

There are several orthodontic procedures that can help correct crooked teeth, and at Dr. James Hutta's office we have many services that we can customize to meet your needs. We want you to be proud to show off your smile!

Ask Dr. Hutta: How long does orthodontic treatment take?

February 17th, 2012

Your smile is totally unique, so the time you’ll need to spend undergoing orthodontic treatment will also be unique. Generally, orthodontic treatment will take about two years, and this is for good reason. During this time, your teeth will slowly move into their desired positions, leaving you with a great smile with as little discomfort as possible. Rushing treatment can result in a less than perfect smile with a greater chance of tooth movement after your treatment is complete. Dr. James Hutta doesn’t want to waste your time with treatment that won’t retain your smile for the rest of your life.

Of course, treatment time will vary depending on your specific situation. Very minor tooth movement may only take a few months to correct, while serious malocclusion (poor bite) may need more than two years to correct. Only Dr. Hutta will be able to accurately estimate the time your treatment will take. But trust us—it’ll all be worth it in the end!

Welcome to Our Blog!

February 7th, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog. Please check back often for weekly updates on fun and exciting events happening at our office, important and interesting information about orthodontics and the dental industry, and the latest news about our practice.

Feel free to leave a comment or question for our doctor and staff – we hope this will be a valuable resource for our patients, their families, and friends!

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