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!

Braces-Friendly Food Swaps

October is Eat Better, Eat Together Month! This month is all about making smart food choices as a family. For people with braces, this means eating healthily and enjoying braces-friendly foods. While braces help patients get their healthiest smiles, there is still work to be done at home! 

Making sure that you are cooking, buying, or providing braces-friendly foods is a simple way to ensure a smooth and safe orthodontic treatment. If you have someone in your family who is beginning their braces journey, here are some simple food swaps you can make for their best braces and healthiest smile:

  • Swap out candy for other desserts: With Halloween coming up, it’s important to make sure your child isn’t choosing hard, sticky, and chewy candies as a dessert or snack. While candy on occasion is a special treat, only soft candies (like chocolates) are ever braces-friendly. Try desserts such as pudding, soft cookies (avoid ones with crunchy nuts), or chocolate as a sweet braces-friendly indulgence.
  • Get rid of chewy and sticky food: Candy isn’t the only sticky or chewy food. Things like dried fruit (raisins or dates) and chewy or hard dinner rolls can easily get stuck in wires and brackets. Instead of dried fruit, choose fresh fruit options. And, rather than cooking up chewy rolls, opt for softer biscuits or breads.
  • Find a nut alternative: Many nuts are hard and can cause trouble when eating them—even without braces. That is why most nuts should be approached with caution, as these crunchy foods can easily bend a wire or pop off a bracket. For a protein-packed snack, choose a soft egg instead. And, if you use nuts as a topping for ice cream or baked into a brownie, look into alternatives like chocolate sauce or whipped cream for a braces-friendly finishing touch.
  • Soften your veggies: While hard raw veggies, such as carrots are healthy foods, they easily damage braces and wires. Make sure that the veggies you choose are soft—like bell peppers. Or, simply steam your vegetables to make them braces-friendly.
  • Stop chewing on ice: Chewing on ice has a lot of potential drawbacks on your teeth and braces. From chipping or fracturing teeth to breaking your orthodontic appliances, ice is better enjoyed in a drink than as a snack! Instead of chewing on ice, enjoy a low-sugar frozen yogurt or the occasional scoop of ice cream to satisfy your mouth with something cool.
  • Eliminate tough meats: Big steaks, meat jerky, and other tough meats also pose a threat to braces. Stick to softer meats, like chicken, fish, or ground beef as an alternative source of protein.
  • Choose the right pizza crust: Crust can be soft, but it can also be hard and crunchy. Opt for a soft crust or cut off the crust altogether for a braces-friendly pizza. 

With a few simple tweaks to your family’s diet, you can set any member of your family up for successful orthodontic treatment! If you have any questions about what is safe to eat with braces, call us at Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics at 614-423-8177.

Taking Care of Your Tongue With Braces

You floss diligently. You brush as instructed. But, do you take proper care of your tongue? The answer is probably not! While many people may think they are taking great care of their smiles and braces, many leave out this important step in their oral hygiene routine. Here are some reasons why you should practice excellent tongue care during orthodontic treatment!

1. Poor tongue hygiene causes bad breath. When you wear braces, you can easily get food caught in brackets, wires, or o-rings. This leads to an increased risk of bad breath. However, if you practice excellent oral hygiene—flossing, brushing, and rinsing with water—poor tongue hygiene could be causing your halitosis. Like your braces, your tongue easily gathers bacteria. If you don’t remove it, it will build up over time and become a smelly problem due to the sulfur compounds produced by oral bacteria.

2. Bacteria will spread from your tongue. Any bacteria in your mouth will spread. Don’t render your excellent brushing or flossing routines ineffective because of your tongue! Removing bacteria on your tongue will keep your entire mouth healthier.

3. Bad tongue health can worsen periodontal disease. If bacteria from the tongue travels to the gums, it can worsen gum disease. Gum disease leads to swelling, inflammation, bleeding, and bad breath. It is a serious concern—especially when you have braces—since it can impede your healthy smile transformation. To avoid periodontal disease or to manage it most effectively, you must be extra thorough with your oral hygiene—including your tongue hygiene.

Keep your tongue clean

Keeping your tongue clean is simple! Just add a 30-second step to your oral hygiene routine. Using your toothbrush bristles or the tongue cleaner side of your toothbrush (if you have one), brush your tongue gently. The most effective way is to brush from the back of your tongue to its tip. After 30 seconds, rinse your mouth and spit.

For extra help, you can also use a tongue scraper. These devices remove the mucus layer on your tongue where bacteria gather. A word of caution: Be gentle with your tongue scraper. Scraping too hard or aggressively can cut your tongue, so be careful!

With these tips in mind, you can boost your overall dental health and help your orthodontic treatment go smoothly! For more tips about life with braces or if you are ready to book an appointment with our team, please call us today.

Man with adult Damon Braces

5 Signs You Might Need Orthodontic Treatment

Braces straighten teeth, improve your jaw’s alignment, and give you a confident smile…but how do you know if you need them? At Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics, we are proud to offer our patients a variety of orthodontic treatments, including Damon Braces—the cutting-edge technology that does much more than just align your teeth. Below are five signs that you may need orthodontic treatment.

  1. You have regular headaches.

Headaches can stem from a myriad of sources, and one of them is from jaw problems. Misaligned teeth can directly affect the jaw and lead to headaches. TMD refers to dysfunction in your temporomandibular joints (TMJ). This dysfunction in your jaw joints can cause pain to radiate through your face, head, and neck. Depending on your situation, braces can sometimes fix the underlying cause of TMJ —misaligned teeth—and cure those pesky headaches!

  1. Cleaning your teeth is difficult.

Have you ever found out that you have another cavity despite taking great care of your smile? With straight teeth, it is easier to remove debris, food particles, and plaque from teeth with brushing and flossing. If it’s not an easy process for you to thoroughly clean all surfaces of your teeth, misalignment could be to blame. With a straighter smile, your teeth will be healthier. Why not get rid of misalignment? Your dentist will thank you!

  1. You often bite your tongue or cheek.

If you constantly deal with annoying self-inflicted biting injuries, braces might be for you! If you have misaligned teeth or a misaligned bite, you may be likely to accidentally bite down on your tongue or inner cheek—no matter how coordinated your eating habits are. Get braces and say goodbye to biting your tongue!

  1. Your teeth do not fit together comfortably when closing your mouth.

If your teeth do not seem to fit together upon closing your mouth, your bite is likely misaligned. This has a significant effect on your jaw’s appearance and your ability to chew and speak properly. A set of braces could reveal a jawline you did not know you even had. A more comfortable, healthy, and beautiful smile is waiting for you on the other end of your treatment! 

  1. You dont love your smile.

Even without other health issues present, if you wish you had a better smile, braces are for you! Using braces will deliver that extra confidence boost you’ve been wanting. Imagine going out and having the smile you’ve always wanted, taking great photos, and receiving compliments…that sounds like a win-win to us!

If you are interested in learning what orthodontic treatment could do for you, feel free to contact us at 614-423-8177 to schedule your appointment. At Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics, we are proud to help patients get their best smile, and we look forward to meeting you!

Girl eating a braces-friendly recipe.

Braces-Friendly Recipes for Culinary Arts Month

July is Culinary Arts Month! So, in honor of the culinary arts, we’re taking a look at a few foods that you can enjoy—whether you’re wearing braces or Invisalign®. Though you may have some restrictions regarding what you can and can’t eat during your orthodontic treatment, there are still many healthy and delicious food options to cook and indulge in. 

Below are fun recipes from each region of the United States that you can try cooking all month long. See the links below them for more information on the recipes. Then, go ahead and cook up some healthy, delicious, and braces-friendly meals!


American Chop Suey: This Italian-American dish consists of elbow macaroni, ground beef, tomato sauce, seasonings, and sometimes grated cheese. It’s soft and braces friendly!


Shrimp Creole: This braces-friendly dish has cooked shrimp in a mixture of tomatoes, onions, celery, and bell peppers, spiced with hot pepper sauce or cayenne-based seasoning, and served over steamed or boiled white rice. 


Mission Burrito: This very large burrito is filled with meat, beans, rice, and additional flavor-enhancing ingredients such as cheese, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, or jalapeños. Enjoy this tasty, braces-friendly option, and be sure to load up on all the healthy add-ons!


Detroit-Style Pizza: This square pizza is similar to Sicilian-style pizza. It has a deep-dish crust, toppings, such as pepperoni and olives, and is served with marinara sauce on top. If you have braces, just remember to cut off the crispy crust!

We hope you have a happy Culinary Arts Month and try out some of these popular dishes from across the United States! Who knows? Maybe you’ll find your favorite, new braces-friendly meal! If you have any questions about what foods you can or can’t enjoy during your orthodontic treatment or if you are ready to book your next appointment, call our team at 614-423-8177.

Get Back Your Best Smile!

While many things have been shut down for the past few months, we know the desire for a better smile does not go away! If you’ve been putting off getting your best smile (especially amid social distancing), now is the time to commit to your healthiest, happiest teeth! While this can be done by incorporating healthier habits into your life, like better brushing and flossing, trips to the orthodontist can improve your smile even more. 

At Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics, our orthodontic professionals are here to give you the smile you deserve. We offer two primary treatments for straight and healthy teeth: Damon Braces and Invisalign®

Damon Braces are the state-of-the-art braces for smile correction, through which one can achieve a straighter, more aligned smile. They not only align teeth, but they also enhance facial features as well. Fortunately, Damon Braces are also free of painful tightening processes, giving you a comfortable and effective smile transformation!

Invisalign® is an alternative to braces that is not as detectable thanks to its clear aligners. These aligners are also removable and result in the same effect as braces: a healthily aligned smile. You can use Invisalign® aligners to straighten your teeth—without having to commit to small, additional lifestyle changes, like dietary restrictions, necessary with braces.

Having a straighter smile has a large list of benefits, including:

  • Improving your ability to chew food
  • Helping you speak clearly
  • Making brushing and flossing easier
  • Reducing your risk of cavities and tooth decay
  • Reducing your risk of grinding your teeth and sustaining tooth damage
  • Reducing your chance of sustaining an injury from protruding teeth

Ready to get your best smile? 

Aside from these very practical reasons, we all know how aesthetically pleasing a straightened smile can be and how much confidence it can give you. At Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics, we are committed to aiding you on your journey to your best smile! 

We know our cutting-edge techniques lead to priceless boosts in confidence. We love seeing our patients’ amazing transformations, and we take great pride in the raving reviews we get from our smile family. If you are ready to join us on your smile journey, call our office today at 614-423-8177.

Our NEW Health & Safety Protocols

Dear patients,

We hope that this letter finds you healthy and well. The past few weeks have been challenging, but by working together, we have done an excellent job flattening the risk curve! In light of Governor DeWine’s announcement last week, we are reopening on May 4 and are happy to welcome you back through our doors.

We are calling patients to reschedule appointments. To expedite this process, please wait for our call rather than calling yourself as we have limited phone operators.

Your health and safety have always been our top concerns. Rest assured, we will be taking every possible precaution to keep you and our Hutta & Hutta team safe! Some of our new safety protocols include the following:

  • We will screen patients/employees with a Health Questionnaire and check temperatures.
  • We will ask patients to wash hands upon arriving.
  • We will ask patients to brush teeth at home or work before their appointment.
  • We will employ social distancing best practices.
  • We will reduce office capacity by staggering appointment times.
  • We will ask parents/siblings of current patients to wait in the car.
  • We will fill out exit treatment reports for each patient. Parents can call in with any questions about their child’s treatment.
  • For patients/parents who are in the office for initial treatment consultations, we will use a private room with our orthodontists.
  • We will have hand sanitizer and face masks available.
  • We have installed a screen guard around our front desk.
  • We will sterilize treatment and high-touch areas.
  • We will cease use of our coffee machine temporarily.

With these precautions in place, we look forward to delivering healthy, happy smiles while keeping you and your family safe. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this transition back to regular care. Our team looks forward to seeing you back in our office!


The Team at Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics

Spreading Smiles at Home

Missing our amazing team? We miss seeing you, too! Remember, even though we’re temporarily closed, we’re still here for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out—we will be checking our messages frequently in case you have any orthodontic emergencies.

In the meantime, keep up with us on social media (@huttaandhutta) and make the most of your days at home! Here are some of our favorite ideas to put a smile on your face while you practice social distancing.

Share smiles at home!

Your kids may not be at school, but they can still learn so much while enjoying their downtime. We recommend the following apps and websites:

Storyline Online: On this website, your child can enjoy some of his or her favorite picture books while actors, like Betty White, Kristen Bell, or Chris Pine, read them aloud. Complete with immersive video graphics (and in some cases, words to help your child follow along), each story has an accompanying activity guide for extra learning.

NSF Science Zone: Download this app designed for teachers and students. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, it has informational videos, pictures, and news.

Duolingo: Have you always wanted to learn a new language? Duolingo is the perfect appfor kids and adults, alike. With language options from Italian and Spanish to Japanese and Irish, Duolingo makes it easy (and free!) to learn a new skill.

Looking for some family fun? We’ve got a few ideas!

Heads Up! and Heads Up! Kids: A fun game that combines charades and guessing, you can enjoy classic Heads Up! or a picture-only version with Heads Up! Kids.

Finders Seekers Mystery Box: With this subscription box service, you’ll receive a box of exciting puzzles shipped to your door. These mysteries are family-friendly and great for kids ages 10+.

Keep up those good smile habits!

As always, use this time to keep your braces extra clean and healthy. Commit to these three brushing habits for your best smile in the upcoming weeks:

  1. Brush often enough. Since you’re home, brush after every single meal—for two minutes without appliances or four minutes with appliances.
  2. Use the right technique.  When you brush, be sure to use a 45-degree angle and don’t brush too hard. Improper brushing is not only less effective but can also be harmful.
  3. Know when to throw out your toothbrush. If bristles are bent or frayed or if you’ve recently been sick, it’s time to throw away your toothbrush! Damaged bristles work less effectively, and after being sick, you can reinfect yourself via a bacteria-filled toothbrush.

No matter how well you brush, brushing alone will not remove all plaque on your teeth! So, be sure to pair these habits with daily flossing for your best smile.

Want more tips? Follow us on social media (@huttaandhutta) to see how our staff members, orthodontists, and patients are spending their time at home! From all of us at Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics, we wish you another healthy and safe week of social distancing.

Healthy, Spring Break Smiles

We’ve finally made it to March, and you know what that means… it’s spring break season! We hope you get the opportunity to leave chilly Ohio and enjoy some fun and relaxation time during your time off.  

If you’re traveling this spring break, it’s important to take a few extra precautions to guarantee that your orthodontic appliances stay safe, healthy, and clean! Try to follow these simple instructions from Drs. Hutta & Hutta to ensure a great vacation—free from any orthodontic mishaps.

Stick to your dental hygiene routine

When you’re traveling, we know it can be easy to fall out of your healthy dental hygiene habits.  You’re in a new place and following a new schedule, but it’s so important that you keep up with your dental habits. Even if you have a jam-packed itinerary, brushing twice a day and flossing daily are vital to prevent tooth decay. Keep your teeth safe this spring break and keep up those good habits!

Carry a braces toolkit

If you’re on the go, you might not have all of your regular dental and orthodontic resources accessible. It’s a great idea to assemble a mini braces toolkit for your travels. Pack a travel toothbrush and toothpaste, nylon floss picks, and orthodontic wax to keep on hand. You can also throw in a pair of small nail clippers—they’re a great resource if you have a broken wire poking out of place! That way, you’re always prepared—even on a faraway vacation.

Stay hydrated 

When you’re traveling, drinking water and staying hydrated are important! Flights and long car rides can dehydrate you, which isn’t good for your body or your teeth. Water helps irrigate the mouth, rinsing away damaging leftover food debris. Always try to keep a water bottle on hand. Just remember to empty it before you go through TSA security!

Schedule a checkup before you leave town

Drs. Hutta and Hutta would be happy to see you before you head out on your spring break adventures! That way, we can check in to make sure your braces are in good shape, your wires are tight, and you’re ready to travel.

If you are ready to book your appointment, call us today! And, if you do happen to experience any issues with your braces during a vacation, be sure to get in contact with us. We’re always happy to respond to any questions or concerns.