Is it Time for Your Child to Start Orthodontic Treatment?

Why it’s important to see an orthodontist early!

As back to school season approaches, now is a great time to consider starting your child on their journey to a healthier, happier smile. There are many questions that come along with beginning orthodontic treatment. No matter the question, Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics is here to help you understand the process and provide you with answers!

When should I bring my child in for a consultation?

While growth and development are different for every child, it is recommended children see an orthodontist for a preliminary checkup by the age of seven. Typically, by this age, orthodontists are able to identify issues with the jaw, bite, and teeth as children continue to grow. Even if a child’s smile appears to be aligned, there may be other issues that are only evident to an orthodontist’s trained eye.

Why does treatment need to begin this early?

Not every patient requires early treatment. Though a consultation is recommended early on, a child may not necessarily begin treatment then. When given the opportunity to spot and track issues, we can begin treatment at just the right time—preventing more serious problems and delivering results that might not be possible after bones are fully developed. Bringing your child in for a checkup at an early age allows your orthodontist to treat issues before they become a larger problem as opposed to correcting them after.

With early, interceptive treatment, our experts can guide jaw growth, prevent the need for tooth extractions, guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position, lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth, improve the way the lips meet, and correct harmful oral habits.

What can we expect from a first visit?

For a young child, visiting the orthodontist for the first time can be intimidating. Here at Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics, we strive to ensure that children feel welcomed, comfortable, and excited to come into our office! Your first consultation typically takes an hour or less. We will take digital photos of your child’s teeth as well as a digital panoramic X-ray to assess the teeth and jaw. After this examination, we will discuss recommended treatment options and timelines as well as any concerns or questions you or your child may have. Our goal is to help you and your child to feel comfortable and informed every step of the way!

This back-to-school season, book your child’s first trip to Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics! Before the summer ends and fall schedules become cluttered, schedule an appointment and get them started on their smile transformation.

Masks Are Coming Off, and Smiles Are Coming Back!

This summer, there are so many reasons to smile! As mask mandates continue to be lifted, there are more and more opportunities to put your smile on display as you enjoy all the activities you love during these sunny summer months. To prepare your teeth for the spotlight and make sure you feel confident, it’s important to keep up with your orthodontic care. Here are some tips from Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics to ensure that you’re ready to shine this summer!

Remember to keep up with brushing

Whether you have braces or not, it’s always important to brush every day. Cleaning your teeth helps to clear away nasty plaque buildup, which, if ignored, can lead to tartar. Poor oral hygiene can cause further issues like gum disease and inflammation, slowing down your treatment. If you don’t have braces or aligners, make sure to brush twice a day. If you do, brush morning, night, and after you eat.

Keep your tongue clean

With so much focus on keeping our teeth healthy, it’s easy to forget that the tongue is also very important for our oral health and cleanliness. Not only can the bacteria from your tongue spread around your mouth, but poor tongue hygiene can lead to bad breath! As you take off your mask this summer, make sure your mouth is looking and smelling good. 

Don’t forget to wear your retainer

If you’ve completed your orthodontic treatment, it’s important to continue wearing your retainer in order to keep your smile healthy and aligned. As your smile sees the sun again this summer, make sure it doesn’t regress. After all your hard work, you deserve to feel good about your grin for life!

Get on track for your best smile!

It’s never too late to invest in your orthodontic health! Whether it’s for you or your child, now is a great time to get an aligned smile. Book an appointment today, and we will help you find the best option on the path to a straighter smile. Whether it’s with Invisalign or braces, everyone deserves to love their beautiful smile when they smile without a mask!

From all of us, we hope you’re having a happy, healthy summer! Looking to start your alignment journey? Book your complimentary appointment with Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics today!

The Orthodontic Importance of Drinking Water

June 23 is National Hydration Day, the perfect time to drink up some new orthodontic facts! While you hear about the importance of drinking water often, it is easy to get dehydrated—especially if you don’t know why water is so important. Water has numerous oral health benefits, and we at Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics can’t wait for you to dive in.

1. Water prevents dry mouth.

Dry mouth is both uncomfortable and unhealthy. It can be caused by dehydration and results in many oral health problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Patients are more susceptible to cavities during orthodontic treatment, so healthy saliva is a must! In every drop of saliva, you’ll find minerals, like calcium, phosphate, and fluoride. These wash away leftover food particles (even the ones trapped in braces!), neutralize acids, and strengthen your teeth. Drinking water regularly can help minimize your risk of dry mouth and keep your smile healthy.

2. Water cleans your mouth and appliances.

Drinking water is also a great way to keep your mouth clean. A quick swish can wash away food particles that got trapped in your appliances or snuck between teeth. This is especially important since braces create plenty of hard-to-reach areas in the mouth where bacteria can hide and thrive. Increasing your water intake while undergoing orthodontic treatment is a simple, healthy way to preserve your oral health—especially in between brushes or while you’re on the go!

3. Water is the healthiest drink around!

Water is a calorie-free, neutral pH, fluoridated beverage. And, unlike any other drink, you can enjoy it without removing your aligners! It does not leave a sugar residue on your teeth, like juices, soft drinks, and milk—all of which expose you to tooth decay. Water does not wear down your enamel, like acidic and carbonated drinks. It also does not stain, like coffee and tea, which can make your aligners turn yellow or leave spots when your braces are removed. Plus, tap water is typically fluoridated, which means that it helps strengthen your teeth throughout the day!

Drink up and book your appointment 

This summer, choose water as your preferred drink! Hydrating yourself can greatly boost your health while you wear braces or aligners. If you or your children wish to undergo orthodontic treatment, call us today at 614-423-8177 to book your consultation.

5 Things No One Told You About Invisalign®

While many people know what Invisalign is, there are several misconceptions about this popular clear aligner treatment. Read on for our latest blog breaking down five facts you may not know about this orthodontic technology!

  1. People of all ages love Invisalign. Invisalign is loved by millions across the world, and it’s no wonder why! Whether you are someone who has always wanted a more confident smile, a teenager who prefers a discreet treatment, or an on-the-go adult who doesn’t want to make the small lifestyle changes that come with braces, Invisalign could be right for you. And, like other orthodontic treatments, you are never too old to get started!
  1. An Invisalign transformation is efficient. Invisalign uses nearly invisible aligners to gradually transform your smile tray by tray. Because of this advanced technology, the entire process is streamlined, so there is no need to fret about a long process! While some patients may finish their treatment in several months, others may need more time depending on their unique smile needs.
  1. You can keep eating all of your favorite foods. Invisalign does not stop you from living your life. When it comes time to eat, simply remove your aligners and get to eating! After, thoroughly brush and floss before putting your aligners back on. Unlike with braces, that special candy and crunchy snack you love are all smile-friendly options during your Invisalign treatment. Just make sure you wear those aligners for 20 or more hours a day and keep your smile clean to stay on track!
  1. Your Invisalign treatment is highly advanced. In the world of aligner technology, Invisalign trays are the best in class—with the capability of transforming teeth, bites, and health! By scanning your smile with our 3D imaging tools, we create the perfect, customized treatment plan for your needs. In some cases, this may require attachments, which are tooth-colored buttons fixed to your teeth. These can help aligners complete complex tooth movements for optimal results and your healthiest smile.
  1. Invisalign may not be suitable for everyone. If Invisalign isn’t right for your treatment goals, our orthodontists have many other options! At our office, we offer a number of advanced treatments—all of which are more discreet, comfortable, and effective than braces of the past. Even if you are not eligible for Invisalign, we will work with you to achieve the results you have been dreaming of. Whether we use self-ligating Damon Braces (which come in clear!) or aligners, we can deliver a smile you’ll love and an excellent experience you deserve.

At Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics, we offer the orthodontic care you need for a confident, lifelong smile. If you are interested in learning more or booking a consultation, contact us at 614-423-8177. We’d love to see you in the office!

Spring Candy Guide for Braces and Aligners

With warmer weather underway, the grocery stores are filling up with pastel, spring, and Easter-themed candies. As vivid colors and fun family activities take over, don’t get lured in by the wrong candies, especially if you are in the middle of orthodontic treatment. Follow our Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics guide to ensure you enjoy springtime candy—without compromising your oral health, braces, or aligners!

Candies with braces:

Braces and candy do not always go well together. Candies like butterscotch, jellybeans, toffee, and lollipops can damage brackets. These chewy and hard options, when bitten into, can cause lots of damage to your appliances. Your brackets and wires may even need to be repaired or replaced. If that happens, book an appointment with us as soon as you can. Even if you do not bite down on hard candies, sucking on them still exposes teeth to sugar for long periods of time, so they are not ideal for your teeth.

We always recommend soft, melt-in-your-mouth candies, like chocolate. There are plenty of great options this season. You will be fine eating most chocolate bunnies and peanut butter eggs. And, even though treats like Peeps® are soft, it’s best to avoid them since they get stuck in the hard-to-reach (and hard-to-clean!) grooves of your teeth.

Candies with aligners:

For those with Invisalign®, many of the restrictions that come with braces do not apply. This is because aligners must be removed before eating any food. Though there won’t be damage to your appliances, some basic precautions should be followed with aligners, too. Firstly, never eat anything (especially candy!) while wearing aligners, even if it’s something like a mint that doesn’t require chewing. Secondly, keep your aligners safely in their case to avoid losing them when you eat. Lastly, always remember to clean your teeth and aligners before putting them back on. Aligners cover teeth and will trap any cavity-causing bacteria that isn’t brushed and flossed away.

Enjoy your spring safely!

No type of candy is without risks. High amounts of sugar and acid in candies can make your mouth a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. These bacteria can act on sugar to form acids, which dissolve away the enamel on your teeth. So, always remember to enjoy your candies or sugary foods/drinks in moderation.

By following simple precautions, you can enjoy a fun and safe spring celebration. Have any questions or ready to book your appointment? Call our team today!

orthodontist adjusting braces

Happy National Dentist’s Day

Did you know that March 6 is National Dentist’s Day? Dentists—professionals who take care of dental health—have been around for thousands of years. In fact, humanity has recognized the need to care for teeth even since the time of ancient Egyptians! When you think about dentists, your general dentist likely comes to mind. But did you know that orthodontists are also dentists? Read on to learn why specialized dental care, like orthodontics, is so important!

Why does dentistry matter?

A trip to your general dentist helps keep your smile in tip-top shape. Seeing a dentist regularly allows patients to maintain healthy teeth and gums; spot issues, like oral cancer, early on; and prevent future problems, like decay, from arising. Importantly, dental hygiene feeds into all aspects of health—from boosting your immune system to improving brain function, and even reducing the risk of heart disease.

However, some patients face issues that require more specialized dental care than biannual appointments. Some dental issues, like misalignment, a bad bite, or a narrow airway, can lead to insecurity, pain, worn teeth, or poor oral function. This is where orthodontists come in!

Dentists vs. orthodontists

Orthodontists are a specialized subset of dentists. Both orthodontists and general dentists have a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry) degree. These degrees are identical. However, while a general dentist’s training can end here, orthodontists go on to complete an additional two-to-three-year residency program for specialized education.

Like general dentists, orthodontists are concerned about oral health. However, orthodontists use appliances, like retainers, palatal expanders, braces, and aligners to align teeth, bring the face, jaw, lips, and teeth into harmony, correct misaligned bites, and influence facial growth. These treatments boost aesthetics while reducing the chances of developing cavities, relieving bruxism, improving oral function, and treating issues, like TMJ disorders.

For your best smile, you need both a general dentist and an orthodontist. While dentists help keep our teeth clean and healthy, orthodontists go a step beyond. By improving facial structure, tooth alignment, and a patient’s bite, orthodontists set up your smile for life.

Book your appointment today

If you are interested in learning more about orthodontics and how treatment could help you, contact our team today. From all of us here, we wish you a happy Dentist’s Day!

Show Your Smile Some Love This Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a sweet holiday—filled with heart-shaped candies and love-filled hearts. But, what is often forgotten about amid all the fun and excitement is your teeth! This Valentine’s Day, our Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics team wants to remind you about the importance of good dental care. A healthy smile is what we love most of all! Read on for our top three tips for a braces- and aligner-friendly holiday.

1. Pick the right candy. Braces and many candies generally do not mix. However, you don’t need to kill the fun of Valentine’s Day and forego candy altogether! For those with braces, chocolate, soft cookies, and chocolate-dipped strawberries are smile-friendly options. Before you dive into the chocolates that your Valentine gave you, make sure you give them a look over. Nougat, caramel, nuts, and toffee are all bad ideas as they can easily get stuck in your brackets or break them.

Pro Tip: Life is not always like a box of chocolates. You can predict which chocolates you will get! Round or oval chocolates usually have soft cream or ganache fillings. Caramel and toffee are almost always cut into squares or rectangles to minimize waste during chocolate production. Chocolates with tin foil or wrappers around them tend to have liquid centers, and easy-to-avoid nut chocolates often have a bumpy appearance.

2. Love your appliances. Braces and aligners are a huge investment, so take good care of them. While wearing braces, avoid foods that are too chewy or have a tendency to get stuck in your teeth. Then, brush and floss after every meal or snack. We recommend that you rinse your mouth with water to get rid of all the small food particles beforehand.

For those with clear aligners, always remove them before eating or drinking. This helps avoid stains that can make your aligners less-than-clear and prevents tooth decay. Be sure to brush and floss thoroughly before putting aligners back in. While wearing aligners, your acid-neutralizing saliva cannot rinse away bacteria on your teeth, so thorough oral hygiene is extra important.

3. Keep your breath fresh. Sharing a COVID-safe Valentine’s Day smooch? Even if your Valentine’s date is virtual this year, no one wants bad breath! Halitosis is more common with braces since food particles can get stuck in your teeth. Regular, thorough cleaning is important to freshen up your breath. Drinking plenty of water and keeping sugar-free mints on hand are also smile-friendly solutions. If you are out of the house this Valentine’s Day, bring along a travel toothbrush!

We hope you have a sweet day—while keeping your smile pearly white and healthy. Practice moderation while you indulge in Valentine’s sweets, and be mindful of the amount of sugar you’re eating. The last things you want are tooth decay and plaque buildup! For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us today.

Braces Technology Over the Years

We can’t believe it’s already 2021! As we kick off this new year, we’re reflecting on the history of orthodontics over the years. At Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics, we carry cutting-edge teeth straightening technology, like Invisalign® and Damon™ Braces. While the technology of Invisalign and clear aligners is relatively recent, braces have developed over hundreds of years. Read on to find out a quick history about how innovative solutions like Damon Braces became possible.

Braces over the years

Damon Braces, a self-ligating technology, are the epitome of orthodontic development. And, we are proud to offer this technology at our practice. However, modern braces have come a long way—beginning with the bandeau in the 18th century! This arch expansion device was invented by Pierre Fauchard in 1728. The horseshoe-shaped device was crude, so it was necessary to advance this technology.

The next significant invention was the wire crib by Christophe-François Delabarre around the year 1819. The wire crib was the first real wire contraption. It was a precursor to many modern braces techniques. It worked by applying consistent force overtime—just like the braces of today.

Later in the 19th century, vulcanized rubber was discovered, which changed the way teeth were straightened forever. By the 1970s, braces changed from having wires harnessing brackets around each tooth to having brackets attached to the surface of teeth.

Damon Braces, invented by Dr. Dwight Damon at the turn of the century, have improved even further on those traditional metal braces. Dr. Damon increased comfortability and lessened the duration of treatment. While traditional braces have elastic ties, Damon Braces use a clip to hold archwires in place. This speeds up progress and improves oral hygiene. (Elastic ties have been known to collect bacteria as well as cause friction that can slow progress.) Now, Damon Braces have become one of the best technologies available to straighten teeth, improve oral health, and enhance facial aesthetics!

Fun Fact: Drs. Hutta & Hutta met Dwight Damon at a Damon conference last year. Even with an advanced technology like Damon Braces, continuing education conferences help us remain cutting-edge!

Dr. Minga, Dr. Hutta, and Dr. Hutta all met Dr. Dwight Damon.

Get your best smile

Ready to experience the difference of advanced orthodontic technology? Contact our Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics team at 614-423-8177 to book your appointment.

Woman holding clear retainer

Holiday Retainer Tips

With the holidays around the corner, we’re all looking forward to a season of festivity! However, amid all the excitement, don’t forget about the less fun, but equally important things. For example, if you have recently completed your braces or aligner journey, you still need to wear your retainer this holiday.

After you finish treatment, braces and aligners are no longer keeping your teeth in place. This can cause teeth to shift or regress if you don’t wear your retainer. While we help you get the gorgeous smile you deserve, you must do your part to keep it healthy and aligned long-term.

So, how long will you need to wear a retainer? This depends on many factors. Our team will customize a unique retention plan for each patient. Generally, you will need to wear retainers most often during the first few months after finishing treatment. This is the time when teeth are most likely to shift. Afterward, you may be able to wear your retainer less frequently. No matter what, follow the instructions from Drs. Hutta & Hutta for your best smile!

Retainer tips for the holidays

Wearing your retainer is important, but you must also take care of your retainer. If you are traveling this season, remember to bring your retainer and case with you. That way, you’ll be able to remove, store, and keep track of it—no matter where your holiday takes you.

In Ohio, it’s important to remember that cold or hot temperatures can damage some types of retainers. Leaving your retainer out in the cold may cause it to crack, while leaving it next to a fireplace or heater could cause it to melt and warp!

During the cold winter months, you may be tempted to take a sip of some hot cocoa and head off to bed—perhaps without brushing. Don’t make this mistake! You will need to remove your retainer before eating or drinking. Afterward, brush and floss to avoid tooth decay and cavities. It’s also important that you avoid hot drinks, like tea, coffee, or hot chocolate while wearing your retainer, as heat can cause it to melt or warp. It’s far safer to take out your retainer, place it in a clean case, and then feast on delicious food or drinks!

An orthodontic retention plan is part of your overall smile transformation. If you have any questions about retainers, braces, or aligners, feel free to reach out to Drs. Hutta & Hutta. From all of us, we wish you a happy holiday season!

National Brush Your Teeth Day!

As we pack away Halloween costumes and dig into some candy, it’s the perfect time to talk about brushing! November 1 is National Brush Your Teeth Day—a holiday all about keeping your teeth sparkling clean. Brushing has been an important part of healthy lives for thousands of years. In fact, early forms of toothbrushes have existed as far back as 3000 BCE! All pre-modern and modern civilizations knew about the importance of cleaning their teeth, and it is no different today. Read this complete guide for a refresher about brushing if you have braces or aligners!

Why should you brush your teeth?

Brushing is always important, but it is even more so when you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Brushing cleans plaque buildup, preventing it from hardening into tartar, which can lead to gum disease, inflammation, and a slower treatment. It also removes food particles that may be stuck between brackets or teeth. These can lead to cavities and decay if not removed.

Oral bacteria thrive on foods that are sugary or acidic (just like your Halloween candy!). Starchy foods, like bread, potatoes, and rice, break down into sugars and have a similar effect. No matter what you eat, brushing regularly is a must to maintain good oral health during orthodontic treatment.

When do you brush your teeth?

How often and how long you brush depends on your orthodontic appliances! People without orthodontic appliances only need to brush twice a day. But, if you have braces, we recommend that you brush after every meal for two to four minutes each time. If you have aligners, you must brush after eating or drinking anything other than water. This includes late-night snacks, coffee or tea, and regular mealtimes. Do not pop in your aligners after a candy snack or wear your nighttime retainer without brushing beforehand. Covering up bacteria with aligners is a recipe for decay!

How do you brush with braces?

Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and hold your brush at a 45-degree angle. Then, rub it against your teeth gently in a circular motion. Try to reach all the visible surfaces of your tooth. Get in between each bracket and clean any aligner attachments as well. If you wear braces, take extra care while brushing to prevent damaging your brackets or wires. Always brush gently and avoid scrubbing hard at the enamel or aggressively on your gums.

A soft-bristled toothbrush is ideal for most people. When you are finished brushing, store your toothbrush in a dry area without a cap, as moisture allows bacteria to grow. Remember to replace your toothbrush after three months of use or after getting sick, as reinfection is possible.

What is next?

Remember to keep your teeth clean—not just today, but every day! Even if you adhere to all the above-mentioned recommendations, brushing alone is not enough to maintain perfect dental hygiene during orthodontic treatment. Be sure to floss your teeth daily and visit your dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings.

And, if you choose to indulge in some braces-friendly candy today, remember to brush and floss after. Consistent habits lead to excellent smile transformations!