Why We Are Thankful for Orthodontic Care

Every November, we take time for gratitude. We are so thankful to be able to help you transform your healthy, happy smile. In honor of Thanksgiving, we’re spreading the word about everything you need to know when it comes to orthodontics! Whether you’ve never received orthodontic care or are quite seasoned in the world of braces, aligners, and retainers, we are here to help educate you on how vital orthodontia is and how it can positively impact your life.

For the orthodontic newcomer

Many people, especially adults, are intimidated by the prospect of beginning orthodontic treatment. While it may seem like a big commitment, we want to assure you that there is nothing to worry about. You will have to make some lifestyle changes when adjusting to your appliances, but these will soon become ingrained in your day-to-day routine. Listening to your orthodontist and committing to a simple, step-by-step plan for your treatment will help make the process more streamlined than ever!

Health benefits you may not have considered

Many people think braces’ sole purpose is to straighten misaligned teeth. While this is often a primary focus of orthodontic treatment, aesthetics are just one of many perks that come along with treatment.

Some of the issues we treat include malocclusions (bad bites), crowding, and even poor mouth function when eating, breathing, and speaking. How your upper and lower teeth rest against each other, the position of your tongue, and your palate’s size all impact your health. Correcting these problems can prevent or treat things like sleep apnea, snoring, and labored breathing during exercise. We’re grateful to be able to make such a difference in our patients’ lives!

Thinking of coming back for more?

As long as you follow our orthodontists’ instructions, you’ll enjoy a healthy, aligned smile for life. However, if you skip wearing retainers, orthodontic treatment is something that you may need more than once. If your teeth have shifted since your last round of orthodontic treatment, it may be time for a touch-up. There are many ways that we can treat specific sections of your teeth, correct bite issues, or refit you for a retainer if you stopped wearing yours for a while! Long story short: your smile deserves a second chance, and orthodontic treatment isn’t necessarily a one-and-done experience.

For more information, or if you would like to book an appointment, call Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics at 614-423-8177!

Halloween Candy and Braces

With Halloween around the corner, you may be thinking all things candy! However, if you have a child with braces this year, you will need to adjust what candies you hand out and have in the house.

We know it can be difficult for kids—after all, Halloween is the one day a year when they get to collect free sweets from neighbors, friends, and family.  However, with plenty of braces-friendly options, there are so many treats to spread healthy smiles! Here is our official list of the candies to avoid and ones to enjoy.

THE BAD:

Chewy, sticky, hard candies can damage appliances and wipe the smile off your child’s face. Potential issues include bent wires, broken brackets, damaged appliances like palatal expanders, or even chipped teeth! Steer clear when it comes to these types of treats and take a look at our list of alternatives.

  • Chewy and gooey: Think Laffy Taffy or Tootsie Roll. These candies are notorious for getting stuck in braces (and taking their time getting out). They can bend and fully lodge themselves into appliances—leading to damage and decay.
  • Hard and sticky: This includes lollipops, JOLLY RANCHERS, Werther’s Original, or LIFE SAVERS—anything that could potentially break an appliance when chewed. Even if your child doesn’t bite down, these suckable sweets expose teeth to sugar for long periods, leaving their teeth and appliances coated in sugar.
  • Crunchy chocolate: SNICKERS, ALMOND JOYS, and Peanut M&Ms are all good examples of candies to avoid. Biting down on a hard, crunchy layer of nuts, toffee, or caramel can pop off a bracket or chip a tooth.
  • Sour and acidic: These days, sours are all the rage! However, fruity, sour flavors come with lots of acids. Acidic candies like WARHEADS or sour gummies expose teeth to plenty of cavity-causing acids. If they also are chewy, it’s an automatic no for anyone with braces.

THE GOOD:

Even with some braces restrictions, there are plenty of delicious candies to enjoy! All of these options are safer alternatives to the sticky, hard, and chewy options above. However, with all sweets, it’s still important to brush and floss thoroughly after enjoying your night of trick-or-treating. For our patients in aligners, brushing and flossing should happen after ANY food or drink before putting trays back in.

  • Chocolate galore: We love chocolate at Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics! Whether you opt for a plain bar that melts in your mouth, a minty fresh YORK Peppermint Patty, a soft nougat like 3 MUSKETEERS, a wafer chocolate like a KitKat, or a REEESE’S Peanut Butter Cup, you have plenty of options! These will not break appliances and are easy to brush away since they melt quickly.
  • Other sugary treats: If you want something non-chocolatey, try Pixy Stix, Fun Dip (don’t bite the stick!), or soft cookies. While some of these options are certainly high in sugar, they won’t threaten your appliances as long as you practice excellent oral hygiene after enjoying them.

Remember to have fun this Halloween! Indulging in braces-friendly treats with proper oral hygiene won’t harm your child’s smile. If you have any questions or want to set up your next appointment, call Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics at 614-423-8177.

Braces vs. Invisalign®: Which is Right for You?

Considering transforming your smile but don’t know where to begin? Deciding which orthodontic treatment is best for you depends on your unique needs! Our experts pride themselves on offering the most advanced, aesthetic, and healthy options—customized to you.

Self-ligating (Damon) braces are excellent for many patients and achieve extremely precise, healthful results. On the other hand, Invisalign is a flexible, subtle, and modern way to receive orthodontic care. In reality, there is no “better” option—only a better option for you, your lifestyle, and your orthodontic needs! Here are some of the main differences between braces and Invisalign.

Aesthetic considerations

One of the main differences between braces and Invisalign is their appearance. While self-ligating braces require brackets and wires, Invisalign aligners are clear and fitted to the teeth, which makes them nearly “invisible.” For teenagers and adults who likely care more about their appearance, the aesthetic advantages of Invisalign may be a big factor in their decision.

However, if you aren’t a good candidate for Invisalign, you can smile wide and proud. Damon Braces are more aesthetic, discreet, and streamlined than traditional metal braces of the past. They even come in clear for a more discreet look!

Lifestyle and convenience

When it comes to braces vs. Invisalign, the question of convenience is very subjective. Braces are fixed to your teeth, while aligners are removable for eating, brushing, and drinking. While the removable aspect of Invisalign simplifies eating and oral hygiene (just pop them out for food, then brush and floss thoroughly!), patients must be diligent with the care and wear of their aligners. For patients who think they might lose removable aligners, forget to wear them, or eat and drink with them on, braces may be a better option. With braces, patients cannot derail their treatment by forgetting to wear appliances, though they must commit to excellent oral hygiene habits.

Time in treatment

The duration of orthodontic care really varies from person to person. Those who qualify for Invisalign may have a milder case than someone undergoing a plan, like two-phase treatment. At the end of the day, the timeline of your care will be very specific to you and your teeth! With Invisalign, patient compliance will also dictate how quickly we can transform your smile.

There are many factors to take into consideration before braces or Invisalign. However, we are happy to walk you through the details—call Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics at (614) 423-8177 to schedule an appointment today!

Tackling Back to School With a Smile

The back-to-school season means cooler temperatures, a new routine, and a fresh start for everyone after three months! What better way to kick off the new school year than by beginning a smile transformation? Here is why the back-to-school season is a great time to start an orthodontic journey, plus some tips for returning to school with braces.

Take advantage of new routines

Starting the school year comes with all sorts of changes: new teachers, new people, and new classes—why not utilize this time for orthodontics, too? Both braces and aligners require changes to oral hygiene routines and eating habits. For student-athletes or wind musicians, there may also be a short period of adjustment with braces and aligners. By starting treatment in the fall, kids will grow accustomed to their appliances as just another element of the new school year. 

More flexibility at the start of the year

Get orthodontic care sorted out before the school year gets busy! Most fall sports and other extracurricular activities won’t begin right away. Before your child gets bogged down with activities and homework, get them in to see us.

The first few weeks of school are usually reserved for review and lessons that will help students ease back into the academic mindset. This may be a good time to transition to braces or aligners. When starting treatment, teeth and gums can be sore. Plus, kids may need extra time mastering oral hygiene for braces and aligners. Because of this, it’s wise to begin treatment early in the school year—rather than during a busy finals season or when an essay is due.

New school year, new me!

A new school year is a fresh start, which means something different for everyone. While braces don’t alter your appearance drastically, kids may see them as a “new look” or a mark of maturity. Let them smile with pride, rocking school colors on their o-rings or with nearly invisible aligners!

Going back to school with braces

Though braces and aligners sometimes require extra care, having them at school shouldn’t be difficult! Pack your child a kit with a toothbrush, toothpaste, orthodontic wax, floss, and mouthguard to keep in their backpack or locker. Make sure kids brush their teeth after lunch and tell them to reach out to a school nurse if they have a persistent problem or need some TYLENOL® for soreness!

The back-to-school season is a great time to start orthodontic care! Commit to a smile transformation and call Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics at (614) 423-8177 to schedule an appointment today.

Orthodontic Survival Guide for Summer

Summer is here, which might mean you’re swapping some indoor activities for more time in the sun. With the rising UV index and fun get-togethers that come with the heat, it might be hard to stay committed to your orthodontic routine. However, it’s more important than ever to maintain your regular appointments and oral hygiene habits to avoid slowing your smile’s progress. Follow these tips to have a great summer with your braces, aligners, or retainers!

Vacationing and camping

If you’re going on vacation or headed to a summer camp, it’s always important to pack the essentials for your appliances. Poor oral hygiene could lead to cavities, discoloration, or extra time wearing your braces or aligners. And forgetting your aligners or skipping a retainer could lead to regression and longer treatment. Be especially mindful of packing the following tools if you are headed somewhere remote:

  • Toothbrush 
  • Floss and floss threaders
  • Toothpaste
  • Orthodontic wax
  • Plastic case with your aligners or retainer
  • TYLENOL® for potential soreness (aspirin and ibuprofen can impact your treatment)
  • Mouthguard for sports

Braces-friendly summer treats

There are many foods that we associate with summer. But not all of them are braces-friendly. If you’re wearing braces, choose soft treats that won’t get stuck in your teeth, such as popsicles, smoothies, or watermelon (be mindful of the seeds!). Avoid all things hard, sticky, or chewy (think: caramel corn, corn on the cob, and hard pretzels). With Invisalign®, you’ll have more flexibility since you can remove your aligners before eating. However, no matter what kind of treatment you’re undergoing, always be sure to brush, floss, and clean your appliances for a healthy smile.

Outdoor orthodontic care

With the summer comes more outdoor activities. If you’re spending hours out in the sun, apply sunscreen to your face and a lip balm with SPF to your lips. Stay hydrated with plenty of water and limit sugary drinks, like Gatorade, lemonade, or soda. If you play sports, like beach volleyball or basketball, wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and braces. Oral injuries are preventable but can often lead to high dental bills, lots of pain, and broken orthodontic appliances.

This summer, keep up with your normal oral hygiene routine, continue visiting us for appointments, and be mindful of your treatment. Follow these tips, and you’ll be smiling even brighter by the end of the summer! Call our Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics team at 614-423-8177 for questions or to begin your smile journey.

Help Your Child Feel Comfortable at the Orthodontist

The journey to a healthy, happy smile is certainly an exciting one! However, for young children, any new doctor’s appointment can be intimidating. It’s essential that all of our patients feel comfortable in our office, and we work hard to make sure your kids enjoy every trip to see us. In preparation for your child’s first visit, there are several things you can do to keep them confident and smiling. Read on for our top pre-visit tips!

Be optimistic about visits to the orthodontist.

As parents know, attending appointments can seem scary, especially for younger children. But in reality, it is just the opposite! When you mention visiting our office to your child, let them know how excited we are to see them and remind them that coming to Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics is a positive experience. Be sure to make every visit an exciting part of their routine. Something simple—like going out for braces-friendly ice cream after appointments—can make kids eager to see our team.

Start visiting early.

Seven is the recommended age for children to see an orthodontist. Even if they don’t need treatment quite yet, we will screen for potential issues and see if early treatment is beneficial. In some cases, interceptive care allows us to treat problems less invasively or even prevent issues from developing altogether. Bringing your child at this age also acclimates them to our office, helping them feel comfortable with orthodontic appointments and our team. We love when our youngest patients look forward to seeing us as much as we look forward to seeing them!

Help them learn the facts.

When preparing your child for their first appointment, they should know what to expect. And make sure to focus on the positives! When kids and their peers start getting braces, misinformation and pessimism can spread quickly. We will give your child all the correct information about their treatment. It is helpful for them to get reminders at home as well. For example, many kids bemoan food restrictions that go along with braces. Remind them of the countless options they still have while emphasizing the importance and benefits of orthodontic care.

Stay up to date with our rewards, contests, and events.

Here at Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics, we love creating fun opportunities for our patients! Patient Rewards Hub points, exciting contests, and events help kids feel more enthusiastic about taking care of their teeth and orthodontic appliances. To help facilitate their excitement, follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@huttaandhutta) for all the latest—from contests and giveaways to fun happenings in the office. 

Getting Your Best Smile With Invisalign!

The school year is coming to a close, and summer is just around the corner. For many families, this time of year means graduations, summer parties, family gatherings, and more! Now is the perfect time to start your alignment journey so that you can have a lifetime of beautiful smiles.

Are you worried about shiny braces showing up in photos, restricting your food, or getting in the way of life? Invisalign® could be your answer! Read on to discover how Invisalign works and why patients and orthodontists love it.

How Invisalign transforms smiles

Invisalign uses a series of clear, retainer-like aligners to guide the teeth into place—tray by tray and week by week. These plastic aligners are made with advanced 3D computer imaging technology to fit your smile perfectly. Aligners are worn 20-22 hours every day during treatment, and every week or two, you’ll swap trays and get one step closer to your dream smile!

As much as we love seeing our patients, we know you are busy—especially during this time of year. Invisalign means fewer trips into our office and more flexibility within your schedule. With Invisalign, you will visit us for periodic checkups. We will ensure treatment is going smoothly during these visits, make any adjustments to your plan if needed, and provide the next batch of aligners.

Why patients and orthodontists love Invisalign

Just like the name implies, Invisalign is nearly invisible! You can undergo orthodontic treatment and achieve a straighter smile without noticeable brackets, wires, or metal. Discreet treatment means you can take all your graduation, summer, and party pictures without worrying about braces taking center stage. Since aligners are removable, you can take them out to enjoy any foods you want at the community barbecue, summer wedding, or pool party. (Always brush after snacking and pop your aligners right back in!) 

With braces, patients may find brushing and flossing more difficult as bits of food become lodged or stuck in the appliances. Having fully removable aligners makes oral hygiene a breeze so that you can enjoy a healthy, happy, and beautiful smile journey.

Start your orthodontic transformation

Having an aligned smile can change your life! A study conducted by Invisalign found that 92% of respondents felt much more confident after they transformed their smiles. If you or your child are ready to achieve a healthy, happy grin without braces this summer, book your appointment with our team and ask us about Invisalign!

Don’t Be Fooled By These Myths

This month, don’t be fooled by orthodontic misconceptions! Though pranks and jokes may be fun, believing smile misinformation is no laughing matter. Here are five common myths about orthodontic treatment and the truth from our team.

MYTH: You’ll give up all your favorite foods with braces

Many patients think that they’ll have to give up all of their favorite foods when they get their braces on. It is important to keep in mind that certain foods can be troublesome. Foods like popcorn, hard candy, corn on the cob, etc. should be avoided, as they can damage brackets and wires. Fortunately, there are so many foods patients can enjoy! Cut up fruits and veggies, chocolates, ice cream, or peanut butter sweets are some of the many safe-to-eat snacks. Enjoy foods you love and maybe even find a new favorite!

MYTH: Braces are always very painful

Another common misconception is that braces are very painful. Here at Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics, that is not the case! We use only the most advanced technology, making treatment more comfortable and streamlined. For instance, we are proud to transform smiles with self-ligating Damon Braces. There are no elastics or metal ties and no need for tightening. While patients should expect some mild discomfort, braces’ painful reputation is outdated with our new technology.

MYTH: Once braces come off, treatment is over

Even after your braces or Invisalign® come off, your orthodontic journey is not over. Continue wearing your retainer as instructed by Drs. Hutta and Hutta to ensure the longevity of your smile. Otherwise, your teeth may shift and regress. Think of it like the dentist—you get your teeth cleaned twice a year, but you still have to brush your teeth every day to stay healthy! Make sure not to underestimate the importance of wearing your retainer. 

MYTH: Braces are bulky and clunky

In the past, many found braces to be bulky and too noticeable. These days, that isn’t the case! We’re pleased to offer options that provide effective treatment while fitting our patients’ lifestyles. With Invisalign, patients wear invisible aligners that gradually move the teeth into place. Damon Braces are also discreet, offering clear brackets for a less visible, clean look.

MYTH: Braces and aligners are just for kids

Unfortunately, many adults who need orthodontic treatment do not seek it out since they think braces are just for kids. This is not true! Patients can achieve an aligned smile at any age. Not only does treatment help boost confidence and satisfaction with your smile but getting treatment can also help prevent further issues down the line.

This April, know the facts about orthodontic treatment! Ready to start your journey? Schedule your appointment today. 

Sleep Better—Starting With Your Mouth!

Did you know that March is Sleep Awareness Month? We know that sleep supports a healthy immune system, combats disease, and boosts your mood. But did you realize that orthodontic treatment could be a solution to some sleep woes? In fact, orthodontists can help you catch up on z’s by correcting issues with your teeth and bite. In honor of the month, we’re raising awareness about how your sleep and smile are interconnected.

Sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common but serious condition where a person repeatedly stops breathing during sleep due to their airway collapsing. In response, the body wakes up so breathing can resume. This cycle continues to repeat itself upwards of 400 times per night. Over time, sleep apnea is dangerous for heart health and leads to daytime fatigue. Fortunately, orthodontics can treat and sometimes prevent this serious condition!

Orthodontists don’t just move teeth. In addition to correcting the position of teeth, they also guide facial growth, including the jaw and palate. Orthodontics can positively impact sleep apnea by influencing facial growth to ensure the airway stays open.

Nighttime bruxism

Have you ever woken up with a sore jaw? Bruxism could be to blame! With nighttime bruxism, a patient will grind or clench their teeth as they sleep. This habit wears down enamel, weakens teeth, and can lead to soreness or headaches. The pressure can also cause chipping, fracturing, tooth attrition, and misalignment.

Fortunately, orthodontics may be a suitable treatment, depending on the causes of your grinding. A misaligned bite or crooked teeth can exacerbate damage from bruxism and increase the likelihood of it happening. Treating those orthodontic issues with braces or aligners can help you enjoy a healthier smile and better quality of life.

Mouth breathing and snoring

Like sleep apnea, mouth breathing or snoring could indicate a constricted airway. When someone breathes through their mouth, the mouth dries out and prevents saliva from washing away bacteria. A dry mouth can cause several oral health problems, including a higher risk of inflammation, dental decay, and bad breath. Even snoring is connected with your smile! Overbites are a common cause of snoring. Orthodontists can open up the airway and nasal passages, correct your bite, and promote healthy nighttime breathing by using appliances like braces or aligners.

Get the smile (and sleep) you deserve!

Our orthodontists can set up healthy smiles and healthy nights with advanced treatment options! Interested in getting a healthier smile? Call our Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics team. Until then, sweet dreams!

Orthodontic Tips for When You’re Sick

The brutal February weather is taking hold, and as we take refuge indoors, colds are circulating schools and workplaces. We are all experts in giving people space, not going out when we are sick, and always having hand sanitizer at the ready (thanks, social distancing!). But sometimes, getting sick isn’t avoidable. If you become sick during orthodontic treatment, there are a couple of things you should be extra conscious of to avoid bacteria building up and slowing down your progress. We’ve compiled a quick list of orthodontic tips for when you’re under the weather to help you make a swift recovery.

  • Stay hydrated: Water is essential when you are sick, but it is even more so if you have braces or clear aligners. Colds often go hand in hand with stuffy noses, which increase mouth breathing. This dries out your mouth and increases the risk for cavities and gum disease as the harmful bacteria are left undisturbed. You can protect your mouth and rinse away bacteria by drinking lots of water.
  • Maintain your routine: It can be very tempting to skip steps in your oral health routine when you are sick, but don’t get into this habit. You need to brush, floss, and wear your retainer as usual, even if you are tired. Trust us—you’ll feel much better with a clean smile!
  • Gargle saltwater: An old-school tip—put a teaspoon of salt in a cup of water and gargle. Gargling saltwater helps decrease inflammation while flushing away bacteria in your mouth, and it’s also great for any post-adjustment soreness. By removing these bacteria, you also protect your teeth from plaque buildup.
  • Replace your toothbrush: If you’ve been sick, go ahead and toss your toothbrush. Your toothbrush can hold onto bacteria, slowing down your recovery or reinfecting you!
  • Sugar-free cough drops: When you have a cough that won’t leave you alone, there is nothing wrong with using a cough drop to soothe your throat and quiet your cough. However, you should make sure that whatever cough drop you use is sugar free, as the sugar can lead to plaque buildup or possible staining. And be sure not to bite down. Doing so can cause damage to your appliances!
  • Pay attention to medications: Certain medications (like Advil) reduce inflammation and may impact your orthodontic treatment. Ask your orthodontist to check your medicine to ensure it won’t affect your orthodontic progress. 

Stay healthy

Remember to take care of yourself and your teeth this cold and flu season. If you happen to get sick, we wish you a speedy recovery! Have any questions about tackling a cold with braces? Call us and speak with one of our experts at Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics.