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Beware of Mewing

January 29th, 2024

Social media's latest viral trend, known as "mewing," is raising concerns within the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) due to its potential for causing unintended, and potentially harmful, side effects. 

Mewing, named after controversial orthodontist John Mew, a British Orthodontist, who lost his license due to unsupported claims, refers to a set of oral and facial exercises proposed by Dr. John Mew, a British orthodontist. The technique is primarily focused on tongue posture and facial muscle exercises with the goal of achieving proper tongue posture and encouraging facial development. The term "Mewing" itself comes from Dr. Mew's last name.

The central idea behind Mewing is that maintaining the correct tongue posture, which involves placing the tongue against the roof of the mouth, can positively impact facial appearance and contribute to overall health. Advocates of Mewing claim that it can potentially lead to benefits such as improved facial symmetry, jawline definition, and even changes in the appearance of the nose over time. However, it's important to note this unregulated practice lacks scientific backing and carries risks of: 

  • Dental Issues: Chronic pressure from mewing can loosen teeth, misalign bite, and contribute to tooth wear and tear.
  • Speech Impediments: Altered tongue placement can affect speech patterns and clarity, causing slurring or pronunciation difficulties.
  • May require complicated treatment to resolve issues caused from mewing

"While proper tongue posture plays a role in oral health and development, mewing oversimplifies the complexities of facial structure," emphasizes Myron Guymon, DDS. MS, AAO President. "There's no scientific evidence to support its claims of reshaping the jawline, and the potential risks outweigh any unproven benefits."

The relationship between tongue posture, facial development, and overall health is a complex and multifaceted topic. It's crucial to approach these ideas with caution and to recognize that the scientific evidence supporting mewing and its specific impact on dental health is not established. If you have concerns about your oral health, dental alignment, or facial development, it is recommended to consult with a qualified orthodontist. These professionals can provide personalized advice and guidance based on a thorough assessment of your specific situation.

The Best Way to Take Care of Your Braces

January 9th, 2024

Taking care of braces is essential to ensure that your orthodontic treatment is effective and that your teeth and gums remain healthy. Here are some tips on how to take care of braces:

  • Oral Hygiene:

    • Brushing: Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth after every meal and before bedtime. Brush gently but thoroughly, making sure to clean around the brackets and wires.
    • Interdental Brush: Consider using an interdental brush to clean between the wires and brackets.
    • Flossing: Floss daily using a floss threader or a special orthodontic floss designed for braces. This helps remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth and under the wires.
    • Mouthwash: Rinse with an antimicrobial or fluoride mouthwash to help reduce bacteria and strengthen your teeth.

  • Diet:

    • Avoid hard, crunchy, sticky, and chewy foods that can damage your braces. These include popcorn, nuts, hard candies, chewing gum, and sticky candies.
    • Cut fruits and vegetables into small, manageable pieces to prevent damaging your braces.

  • Orthodontic Wax:

    • Keep orthodontic wax on hand to cover any sharp or irritating edges of your braces. This can help prevent sores and discomfort in your mouth.

  • Regular Orthodontic Appointments:

    • Attend all scheduled appointments with your orthodontist for adjustments and check-ups. These appointments are crucial for the success of your treatment.

  • Mouthguard:

    • If you play contact sports or grind your teeth at night, consider using a mouthguard to protect your braces and teeth from injury.

  • Avoid Bad Habits:

    • Avoid habits like nail biting, chewing on pens, or chewing on ice, as they can damage your braces.

  • Pain Management:

    • It's common to experience some discomfort or soreness when braces are first put on or after adjustments. Over-the-counter pain relievers and orthodontic wax can help manage this discomfort.

  • Stay Hydrated:

    • Drink plenty of water to help prevent dry mouth and maintain oral health.

  • Maintain Good Habits:

    • Be consistent with your oral care routine and follow your orthodontist's instructions. Compliance with wearing rubber bands, headgear, or other appliances is crucial for the success of your treatment.

  • Emergency Care:

    • In case of a broken bracket, wire, or any other issues, contact your orthodontist immediately for guidance and repairs.

Remember that proper care of your braces not only ensures a successful orthodontic outcome but also promotes good overall oral hygiene. Neglecting your braces can lead to complications and prolong the treatment process. If you have any concerns or questions about caring for your braces, don't hesitate to ask your orthodontist for guidance.

5 Steps To Getting Braces On and Off

November 8th, 2023

Putting on and taking off braces refers to the process of orthodontic treatment, which is commonly used to straighten and align teeth. Here's an overview of how this process works:

Putting on Braces:

  • Consultation: The orthodontic treatment begins with a consultation with an orthodontist. During this appointment, the orthodontist will examine your teeth, take X-rays, and create a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
  • Preparing the Teeth: Before braces can be applied, your teeth need to be thoroughly cleaned and dried. Your orthodontist may also apply a special conditioner to the teeth to help the adhesive bond better.
  • Applying Brackets: Small metal or ceramic brackets are attached to the front surface of each tooth using a dental adhesive. These brackets serve as anchors for the wires that will guide your teeth into their desired positions. In some cases, clear aligners are used instead of traditional braces, and these are custom-made to fit over your teeth.
  • Wires and Bands: After the brackets are in place, archwires are threaded through them. The archwires apply gentle pressure on the teeth, gradually moving them into the desired alignment. Rubber bands may also be used to help with specific tooth movements.
  • Adjustments: You will need regular appointments with your orthodontist for adjustments. During these appointments, the orthodontist may tighten the wires or make other modifications to ensure your teeth are moving as planned.

Taking off Braces:

  • Assessment: When your teeth have moved into their desired positions and the orthodontist determines that treatment is complete, it's time to remove the braces. Before doing so, the orthodontist will assess your teeth to ensure they are properly aligned.
  • Brace Removal: The orthodontist will use special tools to carefully remove the brackets and bands from your teeth. This process is usually painless, but there may be some pressure or discomfort.
  • Cleaning: Once the braces are removed, your orthodontist will clean any residual adhesive from your teeth. This may involve scraping and polishing your teeth to remove any remaining glue.
  • Retainers: In most cases, after the braces are removed, you will be given retainers. Retainers help to maintain the new position of your teeth and prevent them from shifting back. There are different types of retainers, including removable and fixed ones.
  • Follow-up Appointments: You'll have follow-up appointments with your orthodontist to monitor the progress of your teeth with the retainers and make any necessary adjustments.

The process of putting on and taking off braces can take several months to a few years, depending on the complexity of your orthodontic issues. It's essential to follow your orthodontist's instructions carefully during this time to achieve the best results and maintain your oral health.

How to Afford Braces

October 9th, 2023

Holt Orthodontics is committed to making a healthy and beautiful smile affordable to all.  We offer any types of payment plans individually tailored to you.  The affordability of braces can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the type of braces you choose, your dental insurance coverage, and the severity of your orthodontic issues. Here are some considerations:

  • Type of Braces:

    • Traditional metal braces: These are often the most affordable option and are widely used.
    • Ceramic braces: These are less visible than metal braces but may be more expensive.
    • Invisalign or clear aligners: Invisalign tends to be more expensive than traditional braces but offers greater comfort and discretion.

  • Orthodontic Needs:

    • The complexity of your orthodontic needs can affect the cost. More severe alignment issues may require longer treatment, which can be more expensive.

  • Dental Insurance:

    • Dental insurance plans often cover a portion of orthodontic treatment, which can make braces more affordable. However, the extent of coverage and specific terms can vary widely among plans.

  • Payment Plans:

    • Holt Orthodontics offers flexible payment plans with 0% interest to help make braces more affordable. These plans can spread the cost over time.

  • Discounts and Promotions:

    • Some orthodontic offices may offer discounts or promotions, especially for new patients or families with multiple members receiving treatment.

It's essential to consult with Holt Orthodontics for a comprehensive evaluation and cost estimate tailored to your specific needs. They can provide you with a treatment plan and discuss financing options, including any available discounts or insurance coverage.

Keep in mind that the affordability of braces is relative, and what is affordable for one person or family may not be the same for another. It's crucial to consider your budget and options to make an informed decision about orthodontic treatment.

Tips to Find the Right Orthodontist

September 27th, 2023

Finding the right orthodontist is essential for achieving a healthy and beautiful smile. Here are some steps to help you find the right orthodontist for your needs:

  • Ask for Recommendations:

    • Start by asking your family, friends, and colleagues for recommendations. Personal referrals are often the best way to find a reputable orthodontist.

  • Consult Your Dentist:

    • Your regular dentist can be a valuable source of information. They can recommend orthodontists they trust and have worked with before.

  • Check Online Reviews:

    • Look for online reviews and ratings of orthodontists in your area. Websites like Google, Yelp, and Healthgrades can provide insights into patient experiences.

  • Credentials and Experience:

    • Ensure the orthodontist is properly licensed and board-certified. Check their credentials and education. Experience matters, so inquire about their years of practice.

  • Specialization and Treatment Options:

    • Orthodontics covers a wide range of treatments, from traditional braces to Invisalign and other advanced options. Make sure the orthodontist offers the treatment you're interested in.

  • Initial Consultation:

    • Schedule an initial consultation with the orthodontist. This is an opportunity to meet them in person, discuss your concerns, and ask questions about your treatment plan.

  • Ask Questions:

    • During the consultation, ask about their treatment approach, the estimated timeline, costs, and any potential complications or alternatives. Make sure you feel comfortable with their explanations.

  • Visit the Office:

    • Pay a visit to the orthodontist's office to get a sense of the environment. It should be clean, organized, and have a friendly and welcoming staff.

  • Cost and Payment Plans:

    • Orthodontic treatment can be expensive, so inquire about the cost upfront. Ask about payment plans or financing options to make it more affordable.

  • Emergency Care and Follow-Up:

    • Understand the orthodontist's policies for handling emergencies or unexpected issues during your treatment. Also, ask about the follow-up appointments required for your treatment.

  • Trust Your Instincts:

    • Ultimately, trust your instincts. Choose an orthodontist with whom you feel comfortable and confident in their ability to provide the care you need.

Remember that orthodontic treatment can span several months or even years, so it's crucial to find an orthodontist who not only has the necessary expertise but also makes you feel at ease throughout the process. Taking the time to research and choose the right orthodontist can lead to a successful and satisfying treatment outcome.


April 12th, 2023

I had metal braces as a child and waited 30+ years before deciding to invest in my teeth again with Invisalign. As I reflect on my Invisalign process, I have found myself asking the question, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”.  If I would have known what I know now I would have done Invisalign sooner. 

I have realized 3 things about Invisalign as an adult:


I think one of the things that kept me from doing Invisalign for so many years was thinking it would be an inconvenience to my lifestyle. Anytime we make a change it takes some getting used to. After a few weeks or a month of getting down the routine of Invisalign it has become very easy to integrate into my daily routine. I also thought it would be a big time investment with a lot of appointments to the orthodontist every few weeks. I have only needed check ups at the orthodontist about every 6 weeks. It really requires very little time investment. Invisalign is much easier than I thought. 


Three decades had passed from the time I got out of braces as a teen to when I chose to do Invisailgn. I had become accustomed to the way my smile looked and the way my teeth and jaw felt because the changes that had happened over time were gradual. Although my smile wasn’t perfect, for a long time I didn’t think it was bad enough to do something about. 

What I didn’t know was the difference that Invisalign can make is way beyond just the look of your teeth. Yes, it will change the look of your teeth but it can also have a great impact on your bite, teeth alignment, chewing, jaw muscles and overall health of your mouth. Over the process of Invisalign, I experienced how great the positive changes could be and how much better my mouth could feel.  The first changes were in the look of my teeth as my teeth began to spread out and become less crowded. Then, I began to notice changes in the alignment of my jaw. Once the jaw had become aligned,  I began to notice less tension in my jaw muscles and more ease with chewing.  Because the changes in my mouth were gradual over time I didn’t realize how much better my teeth and jaw could feel once they were in more optimal alignment. Invisalign really makes a big difference. 


As a physical therapist and pilates instructor, I have always valued the time and energy I put into the health and fitness of my body. I believe that any worthwhile results require work and effort. If I want to get a lifetime of health out of my teeth it was time to start investing in them. A 9 month to year course of Invisalign has proven to be a very worthwhile investment for the future of my teeth. 

Top 5 Reasons to Choose Invisalign

February 13th, 2023

Kristen - Holt Orthodontics Invisalign Patient

Have you looked in the mirror and noticed that with time your smile has slowly started to change? Maybe your teeth have begun to shift or maybe you have noticed changes in your bite or jawline. These are just a few of the reasons that caused me to start thinking, “Should I consider braces again as an adult?”  Here are my top 5 reasons I chose to get Invisalign:


I had braces as a child and did not follow through with wearing my retainers. Over the years I have noticed a slow, progressive shifting of my teeth, much worse on the bottom teeth than the top. The first sign that I began to notice was overcrowding of my bottom teeth and specifically one tooth on the bottom that started tilting inward significantly. Parts of the tooth and gum were exposed in a way I knew was not normal. I realized that if I didn’t do something to stop the progression now my teeth would continue worsen.


Have you begun to notice tension in the muscles around your jaw? Have you noticed that you tend to chew more often on one side of your mouth? This might be an indicator that your jaw has become misaligned.  As my teeth have shifted this has also affected my jaw alignment.  My bottom teeth began to narrow and the mandible, or the bottom jaw began to recede. I also began to notice some irregularity with the TMJ joint from side to side as I opened my mouth.  One side of the temporomandibular joint was more prominent than the other when opening and closing my mouth with some intermittent clicking. These changes happen fairly slowly over years or even decades so it is easy to let things go unnoticed.  


I work with people closely everyday and want to have a professional smile helping me to feel the most confident I can. It was important to me to maintain a professional look while I am in braces. With invisalign, I am able to continue my work without interruption and many people do not even know that I have braces. As my treatment progresses I am starting to see more of my bottom teeth in my smile as my bottom teeth become less crowded and overall a bigger, brighter smile.


Due to the overcrowding and shifting it has become more difficult to keep my teeth clean with brushing and flossing. At regular cleanings I was noticing more plaque building up between my teeth despite consistent efforts on my part to keep my teeth clean. Since beginning Invisalign I have noticed that I am able to floss easier in between my teeth and I don’t get as much build up between my teeth. 


With the changes that have occurred in my teeth and jaw, I have occasional neck or jaw pain that I want to correct with the help of braces. Getting invisalign to help improve my bite and jaw alignment will relieve strain on my temporomandibular joint that can contribute to headaches, neck pain or jaw pain. In my early stages of treatment I am already beginning to feel that my teeth come together better, my teeth are less crowded and I am chewing more evenly. 

Choosing invisalign over metal braces allows me to be correcting my teeth while still having the freedom to take off my braces. It also allows me to have no restrictions on foods that I eat and the ability to keep my teeth and gums cleaner than with metal braces. I never have to worry about dental emergencies from wires coming out or brackets falling off. I am so happy to  be on my way to a straighter, healthier smile with the ease Invisalign offers. 

Kristen's Story of Invisalign Treatment

December 15th, 2022

We are following one woman's story as she tells us about her experience with Invisalign in an effort to take you step-by-step through the experience. Kristen, pictured here, with her husband (who also had braces as an adult with Dr. Holt) decided to get Invisalign as an adult to straighten her teeth and improve her bite.


Recently, I had a dentist appt to get my teeth cleaned and had all good reports. No cavities and gums look great! I guess there are advantages to brushing and flossing so many times in a day. I also had my first check up with Dr. Holt at 7 weeks. They checked the fitting of my invisalign, and looked at my teeth compared to the corresponding week on the initial scans that were taken. This allows him to see if my teeth are moving as predicted. Dr Holt and I talked about the  process going forward. I will finish out the trays that I have ( total of 14) and come back to see him near the 14th week. Another scan will be taken of my teeth at that time and I will stay in tray 14 for about 3 weeks while I wait for the next set of aligners to come in.

Thanksgiving was just a few days ago and this was the first time that I took my aligners out for an extended period. I had them out for about 5-6 hours. At the end of the evening, the inside of my cheek was pretty irritated due to the “buttons” that are on my teeth. The buttons had rubbed against my cheek while talking and chewing. Once I put the aligners back in that helped to ease the pain on the inside of my cheek but it has taken several days to completely heal.


So what made me decide to get invisalign? Well…. I had braces as a kid and at one point had beautiful, straight teeth. Once I was finished with my braces I got plastic retainers for the top and bottom but don’t recall hearing about the importance of wearing the retainer. My teenage brain must have tuned that part out! As a result, I think I was pretty quick to stop wearing the retainers.

Through the years I have had my share of cavities. I have 2 crowns, 1 root canal and multiple fillings. Despite taking better than average care of my teeth, cavities regularly show up on my routine xrays at my dental cleanings. As I have gotten older I have tried to improve the health of my teeth in order to prevent cavities by making sure I have both good nutrition and tooth care. I have gotten to the point where I finally found a good pattern with brushing, flossing and rinsing that translated to less cavities.

As I have been paying more attention to how I care for my teeth I have noticed shifting of my teeth that has progressively gotten worse. My bite no longer was aligned and I had some occasional discomfort and tension on the right side of my jaw because I seemed to be chewing mostly on the right side. This began to concern me as I thought about the long term health of my teeth and gums. It only makes sense to me that if my jaw and teeth are not lined up optimally it may result in uneven wear and tear on my teeth, gums and jaw.

I am a physical therapist and pilates instructor and I work in close proximity with people all day. I want to have my best smile and I want to take care of my teeth now and prevent problems in the future. This is why I chose to do Invisalign.


I have finished my first set of trays and have been in the 14th week tray for 2 weeks. I had a follow up appt with Dr Holt today to look at my progress. Overall, he is very pleased with my progress thus far.  Dr Holt said that I can now switch to “retainer mode”, which means that I only need to wear the invisalign at night since we are just holding the teeth in position at this time. He took another scan of my teeth and I will wait another 4-6 weeks to get my next set of aligners. I have to say it is a welcome break to be able to go without wearing the invisalign in the day.


The last 6 weeks I have been in the 14th week retainer and I have enjoyed having the freedom to eat and drink when I want without having to brush and floss throughout the day. I am surprised that my teeth did not shift back at all despite cutting back to only nighttime wear. I picked up the 12 new trays today.. At my appointment, I was fitted with the first tray without any problems.

I have noticed a spot between my last 2 teeth that has a filling and seems to be a food trap. I asked Dr Harris if I should get the filling redone at this time but she advised me that I should wait until I am done with this set of trays as my teeth may close together more and I may not need to get the filling redone. Well, here we go with the next stage of this journey….


 I am getting closer to being finished with my invisalign. YAY! I am currently in tray 11/12 in my second set of trays. Since my last entry I have had another dental cleaning and things looked great. I was relieved to find out that I did not have any cavities and the dentist felt that things were looking great. I also had seen Dr Holt a few weeks ago and he felt that my teeth were moving really well toward our long term goals. At that time I was feeling good contact with the back teeth on both sides and I continue to be amazed at how much more effective I am with chewing when my teeth are aligned. The front left side of my teeth are still not where we want them so that is what we are going to address with the next set.  One more week until the next scan….


I have been in “retainer mode” for the last 6 weeks waiting for my next set of trays to come in. I just picked them up today and there are 12 more. I was anticipating that there would be less than that but I would rather have more trays and the best result possible so I am ok with 3 more months. I have still been wearing them as many hours as I can but I don’t worry about it as much if I have them out for a couple hours in the day.  Once I am done with this set it puts me at the end of September which will be almost a year since starting this process.

Invisalign - What to Expect the First Two Weeks

November 29th, 2022

We are following one person's story of Invisalign. Kristen had braces as a child but found that her teeth moved as she aged, which left her thinking about options to straighten her teeth and align her bite again as an adult. She chose Invisalign and here's what happened as she gets started -

Week one in the books. I’m so excited!I am already starting to feel and see a lot of positive changes in the way my bite fits together and my teeth are aligned. The hardest adjustment for the first few days was weighing out if it was worth it to eat what I wanted knowing I would need to brush, floss and rinse afterward. I think after a week I have come to a happy medium where I snack less and try to eat more at meals while still giving in to some of my snacking or drinking desires outside of meal times. I have learned to make things the most convenient and put a travel toothpaste, toothbrush, and an extra case for the trays in my purse, car, and at work.  This helps me have easy access to what I need no matter the location. I have been wearing my aligners about 22 hours/day taking them out only to eat/drink. I did have a party to go to last night and left them out for 3 hours. I didn’t have any trouble getting them in afterward. This morning I put in the week 2 trays and I felt a little more pressure on my teeth but not pain and no trouble getting them in. I’m excited to see the changes the week brings.

Being a foodie on vacation is a bit of extra work with invisalign. I was in the mountains for the weekend and I had my list of all my favorite restaurants that I like to eat at for breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner and dessert. I was not about to miss out on any of my favorites. I did a lot of brushing! One day I brushed my teeth 6 times. Even though I took the invisalign out a lot, I didn’t have them out for long periods. I was able to stay on track and still move up to my 3rd week aligners on time. Something I have noticed is that each week I change the aligners out I notice a new area of focused movement or soreness. This is keeping me excited to see what will change from the new aligners. After completing my first 2 weeks my bite is significantly improved and my teeth are widening out and closing together better.


One Woman's Story of Invisalign After Braces

November 14th, 2022

Did you have braces as a kid and now things have shifted or moved as an adult? Maybe you removed that little silver retainer that was behind your bottom teeth or maybe you didn't wear your top retainer as your orthodontist suggested?  You are not alone! A lot of adults had braces as a young child and now that they are older they have experienced some changing and shifting of their teeth and their bite.

Don't worry - there is help. We are going to be following one woman's story of Invisalign to learn about her experience and see, in her words, how easy it is to get that great smile back!

Day 1 -

Here we go! Today starts the first day of my Invisalign treatment. I am officially the last of 4 in my family to get orthodontic treatment with Dr Holt. Moms are always last, right? My oldest son went off to college this year so I have a little time to focus on myself :)

My aligners had arrived and I went in for my first appointment which was scheduled for 1 hour. The hygienist glued 10 “buttons” on my teeth and used a light to cure the glue. Once they were in place they put my week 1 aligners on to make sure they fit and then taught me how to take them out and put them back in.. My initial response was  “these are not that bad, I can do this.” I received 14 aligners to change out weekly. After completing the first 14 aligners, Dr Holt will re-evaluate and decide how much more treatment I need.

One of my concerns before getting treatment was not being able to snack whenever I want because on the days I am home from work I like to snack and am not always a standard three-meal-a-day kind of eater. We will see how this goes…… Once I got home from my appt I made myself a complete lunch, brushed my teeth, flossed and rinsed before putting my aligners back in. Off to a good start! I want to do this well so I can get the best result, the quickest possible.

Stay tuned for the next chapter ...


HOLT Orthodontics Supports Kids & Communities!

September 26th, 2022

While Dr. Holt has always been quiet and modest about his philanthropy, he supports and donates to a lot of super cool causes! HOLT Orthodontics is committed to supporting the communities they serve. In fact, Dr. Holt has personally contributed more than $100,000 dollars to local schools. In addition to the local schools, he has hand-picked some amazing charities to support with his time and money

Backpack Society – HOLT Orthodontics was the first corporate sponsor for Backpack Society, a local organization that raises funds, collects food donations and partners with local schools to fill food pantries and provide both weekday and weekend food for kids and families in need in Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Sedalia, and Littleton. Their work means kids don’t go hungry and can focus on growing, learning, and thriving in school.

YANAM2M - You Are Not Alone – Mom 2 Mom - Dr. Holt is passionate about supporting mental health and donates his time, professional services and monetary contributions to this non-profit organization that is focused on supporting and providing mentors to moms in our community who are struggling or any mom who can reach out a helping hand and let another mom know that they are NOT alone. This support group and mentorship program helps moms in the Highlands Ranch area, so they have a strong support system during the ups and downs of motherhood!

Douglas County Education Foundation (DCEF) – As a proud parent with children in the Douglas County School District, Dr. Holt is dedicated to helping support and enrich the student experience. He supports and donates to this organization that works to promote innovation in the schools and provides development and encouragement for teachers and students across the district.  They raise money to help provide scholarships to high school seniors to attend college, and provide grants for the classroom, STEM programs and provide technology for students with sight, hearing or orthopedic challenges.

Start your Invisalign® journey, just in time for back-to-school.

August 8th, 2022

Invisalign is a series of clear aligners that are designed to gently move your teeth one clear tray at a time.  You wear the trays every day and night and the teeth will gradually align into a beautiful smile.  It is easy to get started.  You meet with Dr Holt and have a consultation and get a sneak peek at what your new smile could look like--how fun and exciting!  You can see the simulated outcome.  Dr Holt uses the latest technology with a 3D iTero scanner that takes little pictures (no radiation) and creates a 3D model of your teeth.  From there he can map out the best treatment plan for you and show you the end result.  Easy as that.  Then you start transforming your smile at the next visit when your aligners arrive (usually in 3-4 weeks).  Dr. Holt will ensure that they fit well and are moving the teeth correctly and from there  you are on your way to a beautiful new smile. :)

Those all-night study sessions might be painful, but at least Invisalign® aligners are more comfortable than braces.* AND you can eat whatever you want to stay awake. It’s the little wins that matter ... right?? Pop quizzes? Yes (unfortunately.). Popped brackets and snapped wires? Not today.  Start smiling today with a Top Level Certified Invisalign Orthodontist, Dr Holt.


Honored to Be Featured in 5280 As Top Orthodontist

June 1st, 2022

5280 Top Dentist awards  hit the newsstands recently.  This is a list of fellow dentists ranking other docs and their practices.To create its list, topDentists asked dentists and specialists a personal question: “If you had a patient in need of a dentist, which dentist would you refer him or her to?” The nomination pool comprised all active dentists listed online with the American Dental Association as well as with dental academies and societies. Respondents were asked to consider experience, continuing education, manner with patients, use of new techniques and technologies, and physical results. After the responses were compiled, dentists were checked against state dental boards for disciplinary actions to make sure they have active licenses and are in good standing. We realize there are many fine dentists who are not on this list; a dentist’s inclusion is based on the subjective judgments of fellow dentists.

Dr HOLT has been selected as the Top Orthodontist in 5280 Magazine every year since 2008.  HOLT Orthodontics is honored to be named the top orthodontist in Denver.  Thank you to all of the dentists that recognized the excellent clinical outcomes and outstanding patient care we provide.



Concerned About Your Tongue Placement?

April 11th, 2022

Despite popular opinion, the internet might not have all the answers…especially when it comes to your facial structure. The new online do-it-yourself facial restructuring trend known as mewing (which, by the way, is not a medical term) suggests that tongue placement can define your jawline. While proper tongue alignment could alter your facial structure, theres much more to it.

Facial restructuring is a complex process. It that involves changes in jaw bones, facial bones and soft tissue. The natural resting position of your tongue is an important clue to whats going on in your mouth. It could lead to tongue thrusting, or the tongue can even push teeth out of alignment causing bite problems or speech and swallowing problems.  That is why a consultation with an orthodontic specialist is so important —to get you all the information, the proper diagnosis and all your treatment options.

What should you do if youre concerned about your tongues resting position? Consult with Dr. Holt who can evaluate your tongue position. Orthodontists are trained in understanding the structure of your teeth, jaw bones and facial bones. They can also properly evaluate how changing one part of the mouth may impact other parts—for example, how the natural resting position of your tongue may be affecting your speech or causing bite problems.

Trust an AAO orthodontist. Orthodontists are the only dental specialists who have additional education and training focused exclusively on the movement of teeth, jawbones, facial bones, and soft tissue–3,700 hours of specialized training to be exact. They understand growth and development and are also called dentofacial orthopedists.

Before considering a DIY treatment, patients should consider the potential irreversible and expensive damage if not done correctly.

More Adults Than Ever Before

March 3rd, 2022

It’s a new year, you have made your resolutions, and on the top of your list is looking (and feeling) healthy!  As a part of looking healthy you may be curious about straightening your teeth. You are not alone,  according to a recent study conducted by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), adult (18 years+) patients now outweigh teens/kids in treatment.

A common misperception is that you may be too old for orthodontic treatment or your situation is too difficult but this is NOT the case. The deciding factor on whether a patient is a good candidate for treatment is the health of their teeth and gums, NOT their age.

An in-person consultation is the best way for you to get the proper diagnosis and treatment plan which will be customized just for you. You get to meet the board certified doctor and ask questions, review treatment plans, discuss pros and cons of different treatment plans, and design a plan that works for you.  In short, when you come to Holt Orthodontics you will love the personalized and customized treatment plan.  Also, being actively monitored by a board certified orthodontic specialist throughout your treatment will help to ensure that your treatment goes smoothly.  Along the way you will see either Dr Holt and Dr Jena  and have the opportunity to discuss the progress, ask questions, and modify the treatment plan as needed.  You will see Dr Holt or Dr Jena at every visit—that is a HUGE benefit.  You have a board certified doctor working diligently to ensure the best possible outcome at every visit.   

Your health history and habits should be discussed with the doctor so that you receive the best treatment possible.

Items to think about when meeting with an Dr Holt or Dr Jena:

  • Fillings
  • Missing Teeth
  • Misshapen or worn teeth
  • Dental disease
  • Periodontal disease
  • Medications
  • Habits like smoking, clenching or grinding teeth, or tongue thrusting

All of these items can affect the outcome of your treatment.  Plus, for some adults to reach optimal dental health, your dentist and orthodontist will work in partnership and may need to call in other dental specialists such as oral surgeons, periodontists, and endodontists.    Dr. Holt and Dr. Jena work closely with many of the area’s top dentists to design the most ideal treatment plan for you.  In fact, when dentists are looking for an orthodontist, they choose Holt Orthodontics.  

In short, NO, you are never too old for orthodontic treatment as long as you have healthy teeth and gums. Orthodontists are experts in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics – properly aligned teeth and jaws – and possess the skills and experience to give you your best smile. The best way to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile at any age is to seek out treatment with Holt Orthodontics.

4 New Year’s Resolutions for People with Orthodontics

January 3rd, 2022

And just like that, 2021 is out the door—bring on 2022! People have likely started asking you about your New Year’s Resolution, and if you haven’t come up with one yet, we’re happy to share a few ideas! For people with braces or Invisalign, a few small changes in the coming year can make a big difference for how their treatment goes, so here are 4 resolutions to consider.

1. I will brush after every meal

Yes, you’ve probably heard that you need to brush at least twice a day, but for people with orthodontics, it’s better to do so after each meal and snack. Why? Because braces can easily trap food in the brackets and wires, and with Invisalign, any leftover debris can become pressed against the teeth when the aligners go back in. Both increase the risk of tooth decay and bad breath. That’s why it’s better to brush throughout the day.

2. I will wear my elastics as much as I should

Elastics allow your bite to line up while straightening your teeth at the same time, but they only work when you wear them! Many orthodontic patients “forget,” which ultimately slows down their treatment. By wearing them as much as your orthodontist recommends, you can ensure that your new smile is ready as quickly as possible, and you can get your braces off. : )

3. I will wear my retainers as much as I should

After a braces or Invisalign treatment concludes, a patient will be asked to wear retainers to help their teeth stay in their new positions. At first, a patient will need to wear them 12 hr per day, and after 3 months they can switch to only using them at night. Not wearing them can cause the teeth to actually drift back to where they started, so be sure to follow your orthodontist’s recommendations so you don’t accidentally undo all of the progress you made with braces or Invisalign.

4. I promise to keep up with progress checks

Regular progress checks enable your orthodontist to make sure your teeth are moving as planned and that everything is alright. If you tend to miss them, this can allow a small problem to pop up, and eventually, it can turn into a big issue that potentially derails your treatment. Usually, these appointments only happen every 6-10 weeks, but they can make a huge difference in how smoothly your treatment goes.

And just like that, you have a New Year’s Resolution! Of course, if you ever have any questions about your orthodontic treatment or what you can do to help it be faster and easier, all you have to do is talk to your orthodontist, and they’ll point you in the right direction.  Wishing you all a Happy and Bright New Year.  :) Dr Holt and Dr Jena.

Halloween Is Coming!

October 20th, 2021

You know I love sweets—take a look around my pantry and you would see a who’s who of the candy world! :)  But it is all about moderation, especially with braces in place.

Worried your braces might ruin your Halloween fun? Spooky thought – but never fear! Enjoying good candy with braces is still an option. But first, avoid damaging your braces and risking your successful orthodontic treatment by learning which candy might loosen the brackets attached to your teeth.

Candies to avoid with braces

These candies may damage orthodontic appliances and can really set your orthodontic treatment back. Steer clear of:

  • Caramels
  • Taffy
  • Hard candy
  • Chewy candy
  • Jellybeans
  • Licorice
  • Bubble gum
  • Suckers
  • Sour candy
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts

Candies you can eat with braces

Softer, melt-in-your-mouth candies tend to be less risky when it comes to keeping your braces intact. Enjoy these treats in moderation:

  • Chocolate (without caramel or nuts)
  • Peanut butter cups
  • KitKats
  • 3 Musketeers
  • Marshmallows
  • Cookies

Be mindful, that in excess, candy of any kind can accumulate around your braces and lead to permanent white marks (decalcification), cavities or gum disease (gingivitis). Make sure to brush thoroughly around your braces especially after indulging in sugary snacks!

No need to miss out on the trick-or-treating fun but enjoy candy in moderation and snack wisely! If you do find a bracket not attached to the tooth, call me (Dr Holt)  as soon as possible to make an appointment to repair the loose bracket so your treatment is not delayed.  Now get out there and have a spooktacular Halloween! :)

Using Your Health Savings Account or Flex Plan for Braces!

October 4th, 2021

As Fall approaches we get a lot of people asking if they can use their HSA / FSA account for orthodontic treatment at Holt Orthodontics.  The short answer is yes . . . so get on your way to a better smile!

What is an HSA or FSA account?

Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), often offered by your employer, allow you to set aside money for qualifying health care expenses for yourself, your spouse and eligible dependents.

Can I use my HSA or FSA for orthodontic treatment? 

In most cases, yes, you can use your HSA or FSA for eligible orthodontic treatment. Only the portion of your orthodontic payments(s) not paid by your dental insurance or any other plan may be considered an eligible expense.

How can my HSA or FSA help save me money?

HSA and FSAs are types of savings account that let you set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses. By using untaxed dollars in an HSA or FSA to pay for your orthodontic treatment, you save money.

Contact your HSA or FSA provider or your HR specialist for specific details.

Trust Holt Orthodontics

You can work with Dr Holt to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile at any age. Orthodontists are experts in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics – properly aligned teeth and jaws – and possess the skills and experience to give you your best smile. Start smiling now! 

The Benefits of Seeing an Orthodontist by Age 8

September 2nd, 2021

Much like laundry, orthodontic health can be more manageable if you get ahead of it.

You wouldn’t skip a well-check at the pediatrician, and you shouldn’t skip an early trip to the orthodontist either. A visit to your orthodontist by age 8 will help keep your child’s oral health in check. And it may help you avoid more costly or more invasive treatments down the road.

How so?

Palatal expander – Your child may be a good candidate for palatal expansion, which can make the upper jaw wider and help to reduce crowding in abnormally narrow arches. Ideally, a palatal expander is used when a patient is still growing. Expansion occurs when the growth plate or suture in the middle of the palate is stretched and the two halves are pushed apart. As the two halves are spread, new bone is added.

In younger patients, palatal expansion may reduce the need for extractions or prevent impacted teeth. Cases not corrected in growing patients may require surgery for correction in adulthood and may lead to abnormal wear or bite problems if not corrected at all.

Early interceptive treatment–Sometimes a short time in braces can correct problems early on to prevent larger problems later.  An example of interceptive treatment is correcting an anterior cross bite or severe crowding or severe buck teeth.

Tooth removal – Sometimes removing baby or impacted teeth can help permanent teeth emerge better and encourage them to come in closer to their ideal position even without an orthodontic appliance. Dr. Holt will suggest the best time for extractions to take advantage of your child’s growth and development. Getting them into the orthodontist early allows you to receive the optimum treatment for them.

Not all early visits result in orthodontic treatment

One of three things could happen following your child’s first appointment at Holt Orthodontics. 

  • There may be no need for treatment at that time. We are thrilled when we can pat the kiddo on the back and tell them they will go on observation for another year or so. 
  • Treatment may be necessary in the future, so the child will be followed periodically while the face and jaws continue to develop.
  • A problem already exists that would benefit by early treatment, and you are in the right spot to get started!

Holt orthodontics offers free consultations, so there’s no reason to wait. We are very conservative and ONLY recommends treatment when it is clinically indicated and when it is the best time for your child.  Hope to meet you soon! :)

Where Should You Go for Braces – Your Dentist or Orthodontist?

May 4th, 2021

People may think that orthodontists are for kids, but orthodontists are actually specialists in straightening teeth and correcting the bite in patients of all ages. Today, many dentists offer some kind of treatment for better aligning and straightening the teeth. So, with both dentists and orthodontists offering tooth alignment how do you know where to go?  It is important to understand the differences in care or treatment you may receive by a dentist versus an orthodontist.

What is the difference in training for a dentist and an orthodontist?

Dentists and orthodontists specialize in different things. Dentists are experts at keeping the mouth clean and the gums healthy. They are experts in providing restorative care such as fillings and crowns and even some cosmetic dental procedures such as bonding or veneers.  An orthodontist is a specialist in straightening teeth and aligning the bite.

It’s like many other areas of medicine, the patient has the choice to go to a generalist or a specialist. If you think you have skin cancer – do you want to see your family medicine doctor or do you seek out a dermatologist, someone who is a doctor first and then had specialty training in the skin?  If you have a heart issue, do you want to see a generalist or a cardiologist who has trained for many years in specific, accredited residencies, fellowships, etc.

Orthodontists first become dentists by attending four years of dental school and then go on to complete another two and a half to three years of specialty training in a recognized and accredited residency.  During that training they look at orthodontic cases every day – working with mentors and faculty to learn the best techniques to align teeth in a comfortable, efficient, and esthetic manner.  They also study journal articles, conduct research projects, and read literature reviews on straightening and aligning teeth and improving bites. Through this training, that takes place both in a classroom setting and in a clinic setting, orthodontists learn to treatment plan the best outcome for each individual patient.  Only orthdontists can say they have been trained specifically to obtain the most ideal esthetics and bite for each patient.

Through this extra specialty training an orthodontist hones their skills and ability to diagnose and treatment plan the complex issues associated with bite fit and tooth alignment. That expert skill comes from the repetition of treating only orthodontic cases plus the expertise from large amounts of research and literature study.  The thought is, do you want a doctor that does 5 knee repairs a year or a doctor that does 5 knee repairs a week operating on your knee?  The same is true in orthodontics—they only do braces and Invisalign and retainers so they are the experts at tooth alignment.

General dentists, on the other hand, do not have any formal orthodontic training. They are usually trained on using clear aligners to straighten the teeth through a weekend course or by a sales rep for the product they are selling. They do not have detailed training in smile design or bite alignment and the techniques necessary to get the teeth to come together properly, whereas an orthodontist has gone through rigorous training and testing as a part of their education.

What is the difference in treatment?

While all patients expect the end product of orthodontic treatment, whether by a dentist or an orthodontist to be a beautiful, confident smile and straight teeth, they do not always understand or value the importance of treating those things that are not seen outwardly. Ultimately the alignment of the bite is important for the longevity of that beautiful smile and helps to prevent uneven wear or cracking or chipping teeth as you age.  An orthodontist is an expert in assessing and correcting bite issues and the way the teeth fit together, and treating issues such as a crossbite, overbite or underbite, this helps to keep teeth healthy for years to come.

Orthodontists are also true experts in what is known as the “detailing phase” of treatment - the last six months of treatment. At this point they are working on the micro level – fine tuning and detailing each tooth in this finishing phase. They look at each tooth three dimensionally and make sure it has the very best placement. They assess the tip, torque, and angulation, of every tooth and insure it is positioned correctly next to its neighboring teeth as well as the opposing tooth.

An orthodontist has several types of braces available to them -  metal braces, ceramic braces, and Invisalign, also known as clear aligners.  An orthodontist assesses each patient individually and recommends the type of braces necessary to achieve both the bite corrections and have a great looking smile. Dentists, on the other hand, primarily stick to the Invisalign or a generic version even if the patient would benefit from traditional braces. While many patients are good candidates for clear aligners, there are certain cases where it is not the right product and will not provide the proper correction of the teeth. Only an orthodontist who is specialty trained is  able to offer all options and decipher which treatment modality is best for the individual patient.

Understand Your Insurance Coverage for Braces

One thing that is often misunderstood is how dental insurance companies help to pay for orthodontic treatment. Insurance companies usually have a lifetime maximum benefit for orthodontic treatment. So once you use that benefit for orthodontic treatment, it does not renew. For most other dental benefits you have a preset amount for the year and that renews with each year. For orthodontic treatment insurance companies consider it a one-time benefit, regardless of where you seek care.

Orthodontists commonly see patients in their office who have started by seeking treatment from their family dentist or even have tried ordering clear aligners on-line for a discount, who come to realize that they are not happy with the end result.  These patients usually need additional treatment. In these cases, their insurance benefit for orthodontics has already been used and these patients then need to pay out-of-pocket for any additional treatment necessary to straighten or correct their teeth.  So, it is always  more economical for the patient to start with a specialist and get the right result the first time.

If you are interested in straightening your teeth and want an excellent result, start with an orthodontist. Dr Holt and his team offer a complimentary visit (worth $300) that includes a set of 8 photos, a digital panoramic x-ray, and a personal consultation with Dr. Holt.


Buyer Beware of Direct-to-Consumer Orthodontics

March 22nd, 2021


If you’ve seen advertisements or considered programs where you can straighten your teeth by buying clear aligners on-line or through the mail, think again. The American Association of Orthodontists ("AAO") recently issued a consumer alert for direct-to-consumer orthodontics and has raised serious concerns about this service because there are over 1000 customer complaints and consumer horror stories on the Better Business Bureau's website for SmileDirectClub and other companies that sell options to straighten teeth by ordering clear aligners through the mail.

Consumers are often lured into these programs by the lower cost or convenience, but unfortunately, they don’t often understand how it works and they are unaware that there is no oversight by an orthodontist. In fact, unless you live in an urban area where you can go in and have a tech provide a scan of your teeth, you will most likely take your own impressions of your teeth with a putty at home.  Once you do that and mail it in, they ship you a set of plastic trays that you wear to align your teeth.

There are several problems with this model:

  • There is no dental assessment to see if you are a good candidate for clear aligners to straighten the teeth. Some individuals with more complex issues need metal braces to achieve a well-aligned bite and a healthy smile
  • There is no exam to assess dental, periodontal, jaw or joint health to determine if you will do well with the treatment. Additionally, there is no oversight of changes that may occur over the course of treatment.
  • There is no tracking or monitoring of progress or the movement of the teeth, which means there is not an opportunity to make needed adjustments along the way.
  • When the treatment time is up and you have cycled through all the sets of aligners, that’s the result you get, and it is a result that many people are unhappy with.

While people are often unhappy with the end result because their teeth are not straight or they didn’t achieve the result that they had hoped for, it’s important to note that the consequences can be even more serious. When you are moving teeth, if not done correctly, it can lead to potentially irreversible and expensive damage such as tooth and gum loss or a misaligned bite.

Who is the right candidate for straightening teeth with clear aligners?

 When people want straight teeth one of the first things that an orthodontist will do, beyond a dental health assessment, is to determine the best method or technique to use to straighten the teeth. Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, are not always the right option for every person. An underbite or overbite, jaw or joint pain, uneven tooth wear or a misaligned bite are all signs that metal braces may be needed to achieve an optimal result. These individuals with more complex cases or bite-related problems would not be ideal candidates for clear aligners.  Orthodontists would instead recommend regular metal braces, because they can be more aggressive with the treatment, predict the outcome more accurately and achieve a more optimal result.

The right candidate for clear aligners is often someone in their thirties, fourties or fifties who had braces when they were younger and may have had some movement in their teeth.  Sometimes this is because they didn’t wear their retainer or as they have aged the jaw has changed shape which has caused some aesthetic shifting. Clear aligners are ideal for these patients who have a good bite and generally well-aligned teeth.

Benefits of seeing an orthodontist

If you want to achieve the best result, you best see an orthodontist.  Orthodontists attend dental school and then complete another three years of training beyond that specifically in orthodontics, facial development and the biomechanics of the jaw. They are uniquely qualified and dedicated to getting the best possible outcome.  When seeing an orthodontist you can expect:

  • That you will have a complete and thorough oral health assessment to determine if you are a good candidate for orthodontic treatment and identify any underlying periodontal concerns.
  • To form a relationship with your doctor and create mutually agreed upon goals for straightening your teeth.
  • You will receive the right kind of braces for your individual treatment plan – sometimes that is clear aligners, other times it may be metal braces, or some combination of both.
  • Your progress will be monitored every step of the way. The doctor will monitor your teeth to ensure they are tracking with the digital treatment plan and a 3D model of what the teeth are supposed to look like at each stage of the process. As they compare the teeth in the mouth and the bite to that digital model, they make necessary adjustments, because sometimes additional techniques or modifications in the treatment plan are needed to achieve the optimal result.

Keep in mind that even though some cosmetic dentists now offer clear aligners, they still do not have the additional years of specific orthodontic training that is critical for treating complex cases and achieving superior results.  An orthodontist is not just focused on the aesthetic look of the smile, but rather the underlying health of the jaw, the bite and the alignment.  It’s proper alignment that helps to maintain a healthy jaw and avoid problems with sore joints and chipped or broken teeth from uneven wear you age. The truth is, good orthodontic care keeps you mouth not only looking great, but feeling great for a lifetime!





Brushing with Braces

January 17th, 2021

While you have braces, it’s important that you brush your teeth regularly. We recommend four times daily to avoid the accumulation of food particles in your teeth and braces.  Ideally, it is best to follow the schedule below: 

  • In the morning after breakfast 
  • After lunch or right after school 
  • After dinner 
  • At bedtime

Flossing while Wearing Braces

Flossing takes more time and patience when you are wearing braces, but it is very important to floss your teeth every day. We recommend flossing at night to make sure your teeth are clean before you go to bed.

Use a floss threader to get the floss under your archwire. Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser through the threader and slide it up and down along the front of each tooth. Use care around your archwire, and do not floss too aggressively around it or put too much pressure on it.

Rinsing with an Antibacterial Mouthwash

To reduce inflammation to your gums and cheeks, we suggest using a hydrogen peroxide antiseptic mouth rinse. This rinse will help prevent infection and decrease irritation that may develop from your braces. Rinse your mouth with two teaspoons of the hydrogen peroxide rinse for one minute, and then spit it out. You may use it up to four times daily following brushing. Just like using peroxide for a scrape on your skin, this hydrogen peroxide mouth rinse helps the inside of your mouth heal. It can be used for general irritation caused by your braces or for canker sores, cheek bites and other minor injuries to the gums.

Using an Interdental Toothbrush

An interdental (between the teeth) toothbrush is used to clean underneath and around your archwires and braces. Please use the interdental toothbrush gently to avoid damaging your wires.

Topical Fluoride

We recommend using a sodium fluoride gel to help prevent tooth decay while you are wearing braces. This gel kills bacteria and replaces minerals in the tooth enamel that have been removed by harmful acids. Using a fluoride gel does not replace daily brushing and flossing, but it should be applied following your daily schedule at bedtime. Place a small strip of the gel on a toothbrush and apply it to your teeth for one minute. Then spit it out. Do not eat or drink for 30 minutes afterward. It is important for the active ingredient to stay on your teeth for 30 minutes, so do not wash it away by eating, drinking or rinsing.

Cleaning Your Removable Appliance or Retainer

If you have a removable appliance, brush it every day as a part of your regular brushing and flossing schedule. Because food particles and plaque can accumulate on your appliance just as they do on your teeth, soak it daily in water with a dissolved denture-cleaning tablet at room temperature.

The Dangers of Thumbsucking

January 17th, 2021

At one time or another, anyone may pick up a bad habit. But there are some situations where a bad habit can actually have a negative impact on their health and influence the development and function of his or her teeth, jaws and mouth. Some examples of these bad habits are:

  • Persistent thumb sucking
  • Tongue thrusting
  • Mouth breathing

The sucking reflex is natural in early childhood and it usually disappears between ages 2 and 4. But if it persists much longer than that, the pressure of the thumb on the front teeth and the upper jaw can actually cause the teeth to move apart and the jaw to change shape. This can lead to the orthodontic problem known as an “open bite,” and may even effect speech. An open bite can also be caused by the force of the tongue pushing forward against the teeth, also known as tongue thrusting.

Mouth breathing — an abnormal breathing pattern in which the mouth always remains open, passing air directly to the lungs — is related to alterations in the muscular function of the tongue and face. It may cause the upper and lower jaw to grow abnormally, which can also lead to serious orthodontic problems. Although mouth breathing may start from a physical difficulty, it can become a habitual action that's hard to break.

Unfortunately, these potential problems aren't always easy to recognize on your own, but your orthodontist will be able to spot them. Fortunately, there are several orthodontic treatments that are available to help correct these bad habits and the sooner they're taken care of, the less damage they may cause.

Foods to Avoid When You Have Braces

January 17th, 2021

While you are wearing braces, please avoid eating hard foods, sticky foods and foods high in sugar. Hard foods can break or damage the wires and brackets, and sticky foods can get caught between the wires and brackets. Minimize the amount of sugary foods you eat, as the sugar can cause tooth decay and other related problems.

Examples of Sticky Foods to Avoid:

  • Gum (sugar-free or regular)
  • Licorice
  • Sugar Daddies
  • Toffee
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Caramels
  • Starburst

Examples of Hard Foods to Avoid:

  • Ice
  • Nuts
  • Hard taco shells
  • French bread crust/rolls
  • Corn on the cob
  • Apples and carrots (unless cut into small pieces)
  • Bagels
  • Chips
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Pizza crust
  • Uncooked carrots (unless cut)

Minimize Sugary Foods like:

  • Cake
  • Ice Cream
  • Cookies
  • Pie
  • Candy

Only Once a Day:

  • Soda
  • Sweetened tea
  • Gatorade
  • Kool-Aid
  • Drinks with sugar

When you have braces it is very important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen throughout the length of your treatment. Braces, wires, bands and retainers can all trap food particles and make it difficult to brush or floss away plaque. Careful brushing and flossing, preferably after every meal and snack, is the best way to prevent plaque build-up, tooth decay and gum disease.

We encourage patients to quit bad habits, such as fingernail biting, pencil and pen chewing and chewing on ice or other objects, as all of these activities can break or damage your braces. It's also important to regularly check your braces for bent or loose wires and brackets. If you have a loose/broken wire or bracket, please call our office immediately to arrange a time to have it repaired.