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3 Unknown Benefits of Orthodontic Care

While orthodontic treatments are primarily used to treat bite problems, straighten teeth, and improve the structure of your mouth, that is just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, there are many benefits to your overall health that stem from proper orthodontic care that many people aren’t aware of! Because your mouth and teeth are so interconnected with other parts of your body, orthodontic treatment can have numerous other positive effects on your health. Here are some of the lesser-known benefits of orthodontics:

1. Stronger jaw

While orthodontics definitely make your teeth stronger, as you may have guessed, did you know that they also improve your jaw strength? As you age, you may experience natural jawbone loss, but this can be worsened by misaligned teeth. Teeth with too much of a gap between them can wear down the jawbone, whereas aligned teeth and a bite with evenly distributed pressure can help maintain the structure of the jawbone.

Not only will this improve the strength of your jaw in the long term, but it may aid present jaw problems such as TMJ and bruxism (grinding/clenching the teeth). Overall, preserving your jawbone through orthodontic care is important for preventing and aiding current issues, as well protecting you down the line.

2. Better breath

Did you know that misaligned teeth can contribute to bad breath? Bad breath is caused by the growth of bacteria from food particles and plaque in the mouth. Misaligned teeth may be interfering with your dental hygiene, as crowded or crooked teeth are often more difficult to clean. Therefore, when you receive orthodontic treatment to align your teeth, it is easier to keep the bacteria growth at bay and your breath will likely improve.

Of course, bad breath isn’t the main scare of bacterial buildup in the mouth–it’s just an unpleasant symptom, but it can lead to issues far more concerning such as cavities, enamel decay, and gum disease. Therefore, it’s safe to say that better breath is merely a perk of having straighter, cleaner teeth.

3. Improved digestion

Because the mouth is where digestion begins, orthodontic treatment can actually have a direct impact on your digestive health. Misaligned teeth can lead to bite problems, which often make chewing food uncomfortable or even painful. If this is the case, you may end up swallowing pieces of food that are too large, which can hurt your throat, stomach, and digestion. Chewing improperly could also lead to swallowing problems and chronic stomachaches, both of which are contributing factors to indigestion.

Additionally, having aligned teeth can aid your sleep, which is a very important element of digestion. If your sleep becomes interrupted by breathing problems (which are often caused by misaligned teeth), your digestion may be disrupted even more since this is a key time when digestion slows down to allow the body to rest.

Orthodontic care is–literally–beneficial to how you feel inside and out! For more information or to book your next appointment, call Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics at 614-423-8177.

Bad Breath and Braces: Tips for a Fresh Smile

Bad breath is one of the unfortunate side effects of eating food. And, depending on your oral hygiene habits, it can be especially difficult for those with braces. This is because it’s easier for food particles to get stuck in the brackets and wires, building up bacteria that make your breath smell. However, there are several tools you can use to ensure that your breath is as fresh as possible while you undergo orthodontic treatment. Here are our favorites:

Different flossing options

Brushing and flossing are the best ways to remove plaque and prevent tartar buildup. These days, floss comes in all shapes and sizes! If you’re finding it difficult to floss with braces, there are many options:

  • One is using a plastic thread needle. This tool helps you get floss underneath or around your braces, making cleaning the food particles and debris from between your teeth and appliances much more manageable. Though they may take a little practice to use, fresh breath is worth it!
  • If a threader isn’t your thing, try swapping it for a floss pick. These are especially good for children and young adults, as they do not require threading or focused dexterity and are easy to grip.
  • Consider interdental brushes for a targeted clean between regular brushing and flossing. Depending on their size and crowding in the mouth, these little brushes can fit between teeth, wires, and brackets to brush away leftover food.
  • Looking for an easier alternative? Try a WaterPik® flosser. Water flossers use a concentrated jet of water to cleanse the teeth, clear out plaque, and stimulate the gums—all of which will help ward off bacteria and improve your gum health.

Fresh breath snacks

Some foods can promote healthy, fresh breath—especially ones that stimulate saliva production, like cut-up apple slices or veggie soups. Steer clear of sugary or acidic foods. If you choose something that may get stuck in braces, be sure to have oral hygiene tools on hand. When in doubt, a mint can temporarily freshen up your breath. Just make sure that the mints are sugar free and that you don’t chew them. Doing so can be damaging to orthodontic appliances!

Keeping your smile clean with mouthwash 

If you’re jonesing for gum or mints but have been warned not to have them, look no further than mouthwash! This is great for your dental health because it contains fluoride and no sugar, and it’s easy to take with you on the go. If you’ve been feeling self-conscious about your breath, we recommend gurgling with mouthwash after brushing your teeth at home and carrying a travel bottle around at work or school, just in case.

For more tips on combatting bad breath or to schedule your next appointment, please call Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics today at 614-423-8177.

Athletics & Orthodontia: A Guide for Everyone

Should I wear my retainers in the gym? Does my child with braces need a mouthguard? We love when our patients stay active—so long as they’re keeping their smiles safe! Here are some healthy considerations for patients of all ages.

Protecting sporty kids

While you shouldn’t be too concerned about your kids playing sports while they have braces, they should wear a mouthguard. This will ensure their safety and protect their teeth, tongue, and appliances simultaneously. There are a few types of mouthguards to consider:

  • A standard athletic mouthguard, which can be purchased at any sports store, is cheap and convenient—though not as perfectly fitted or protective as other options.
  • For more protection, an over-the-counter mouthguard can be molded to the teeth for extra comfort and a better fit.
  • An orthodontic mouthguard is custom built for a patient’s mouth and will fit perfectly around their braces. These offer the most protection and are a proven investment for many young athletes. For those in contact-heavy sports, the extra cushioning is a must that keeps appliances, teeth, and soft tissues safe. Our Hutta & Hutta team can help create the perfect mouthguard for your child and their needs.

Orthodontic options for athletes

If you’re an athlete starting orthodontics, your sport may be a deciding factor in your choice of treatment. Fortunately, there are many options to choose from, and our orthodontists will help you make the best decision. To start, Invisalign® is a popular choice among athletes, as the aligners are removable. This can be convenient if you choose to swap your aligners for a mouthguard during a big game, as you’re only required to wear the aligners 22 hours per day. However, with advanced orthodontic mouthguards, even self-ligating braces can be easily and safely integrated with your sport of choice.

During a grueling session or big game, sports drinks and snacks may help you fuel up. However, try to stick with water versus sugary sports drinks. Not being able to brush and floss right away means putting your smile at risk for cavities. If you do choose a sports drink, remove aligners if you wear Invisalign and rinse out your mouth with water.

Tips for gym rats 

For any standard gym session of weightlifting, cardio, or resistance training, you should be safe to wear your appliances without mouth protection. However, if you’re doing advanced gymnastic or calisthenic movements that may result in a fall, talk with our team about mouthguards. These can mean the difference between broken brackets and lacerations or a happy, protected smile.

For more information about athletics and mouthguards or to set up your next appointment, call our team!

Love Your Smile for Life

Have you recently gotten your braces off? Chances are, you’re familiar with retainers. But what exactly do they do, and why are they so important? Here are some commonly asked questions about retainers.

Why are retainers important?

After finishing treatment, you may be ready to dive into forbidden foods or slack on your oral hygiene. But think again! Getting your braces off doesn’t mean that your orthodontic journey is over. Retainers play a crucial and active role in your smile.

Immediately after removing appliances like braces, teeth are especially prone to shifting. Retainers hold your teeth and bite in place, allowing that smile to stay as healthy and aligned as ever. Every retention plan is different, and we can tailor appliances to your lifestyle needs and goals. From permanent and removable options to plastic and metal materials, we have a retainer and retention plan for you!

How long will I wear a retainer?

Every patient’s plan is unique; some may even opt for permanent retainers, which they wear 24/7. However, most patients will wear a removable retainer full time for the first few months after completing treatment. Once the tissues holding your teeth in place strengthen, patients may switch to nightly wear.

Should I clean retainers?

Just like braces or teeth, retainers can accumulate bacteria during the day or night. Regular cleaning is crucial to ensure a healthy, cavity-free smile.

Can I eat with my retainers?

Always remove your retainer (if it’s not permanent!) before eating or drinking. Not mixing food with your retainer will avoid damaging the appliance and keep it clean. For those with permanent retainers, pay extra attention to your oral hygiene, as food can quickly become stuck in your appliances.

Can retainers cause oral hygiene issues?

With proper care, retainers are an asset to your oral health. Keeping your teeth and bite in place can prevent crowding, relapse, and related issues like temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Always follow our orthodontists’ instructions to ensure your smile is set for life!

If you have any more questions or would like to schedule an appointment, call our team!

Top 5 Reasons to Start Orthodontic Treatment This New Year!

Happy New Year from everyone here at Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics! This time of the year is all about new starts, resets, and resolutions. If you’re looking for something to add to your own New Year’s agenda, consider starting your orthodontic journey. There are so many benefits when it comes to smile transformations. Here are just a few of our favorites!

1. Make breathing and sleeping easier

Some people experience a disruption of their airway due to orthodontic issues. Essentially, this means that the positioning of your teeth, tongue, and jaw hinders your breathing. This can lead to mouth breathing, sleep apnea, or other nighttime breathing problems. Orthodontic treatment can prevent and aid these problems by opening your airway. Who wouldn’t want great sleep in 2023?

2. Correct chewing and speaking issues

Misalignment can cause problems with your breathing and sleeping, and in some cases, with eating and talking, too. This is especially prevalent for those who suffer from malocclusion (a bad bite)—when the upper and lower teeth do not line up correctly. Orthodontic treatment can treat or prevent these issues by expanding the dental arch and properly aligning your teeth and bite.

3. Boost your dental health

Did you know that poor dental health is linked to everything from heart disease to poor brain function? One of the long-term health benefits of braces is improving oral hygiene. Crooked teeth are more likely to trap food and promote plaque and bacteria buildup. Therefore, by straightening teeth, orthodontic treatment can make it easier to practice excellent oral hygiene, lowering your risk of cavities, gum disease, and whole-body health concerns stemming from oral bacteria.

4. Treating TMJ

Have you ever noticed jaw pain, popping, headaches, or bruxism? In some cases, orthodontic treatment can address temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) and bruxism (grinding/clenching). We can keep pain, discomfort, and other symptoms at bay by realigning your bite and ensuring proper tooth alignment.

5. Get your most confident smile in 2023

One of our favorite benefits of orthodontic treatment is confidence! A boost of self-confidence can help reshape your mindset and improve your overall self-image. There’s no better way to kickstart your healthy New Year’s resolution goals than doing something for your health and happiness.

Don’t wait to get started on your smile transformation! For more information or to book an appointment, call Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics at 614-423-8177.

Braces for Christmas? Book Your Consult This Winter

Have you been putting off getting your child braces? During the hectic school year, finding time to begin a new treatment and routine can be challenging. However, this is why we at Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics recommend winter break as the perfect time to get your child in for their first orthodontic appointment. While homework, sports, and clubs take a break, you can watch your child’s smile transform!

Make use of time off school

We understand that school (and all the work, activities, and driving accompanying it) can prevent you from committing to other appointments. Sometimes, there barely seems to be enough time for grocery shopping—let alone braces. However, with time off of school, this is the perfect opportunity to schedule your child’s first orthodontic appointment.

During this time, we can assess your child’s smile needs, create a custom plan, and fit them for appliances. By the time the school year picks up in January, they’ll already be in the middle of treatment.

Help them adjust during their break

Braces may be slightly uncomfortable at first and take a few days to get used to. It’s easiest to deal with this short adjustment period from the comfort of your home. Your child may need you to administer TYLENOL® for soreness, remind them to choose braces-friendly foods, and help them place orthodontic wax over places where their braces may be poking or prodding them. While at home, it’s also easier for them to get used to new oral hygiene routines—like brushing and flossing after every meal. It may be tempting for children to sneak non-braces-friendly snacks or skip brushing or flossing. Having adult supervision during the day can be a great help as they adjust to life with orthodontic treatment.

Get in the “new year, new me” mindset

If your child is apprehensive about braces, helping them get into the mindset of the new year may be precisely the push they need. If they have had time to grow accustomed to the feel and look of their new appliances, the transition back to school after winter break will likely be much easier.

Thinking about orthodontic care as a New Year’s resolution can help make the process more fun. Plus, returning to school with a shiny, new smile accessory or fun colored o-rings can help them ring in 2023.

Book your appointment today

If you’re ready to make the most of your child’s winter season, schedule an appointment with our team at 614-423-8177 today. We can’t wait to meet them and get started on their healthy, new smile!

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.


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.


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.