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How To Choose Healthy Foods While You're in Braces

After a visit to the dentist, choosing foods that are easy to eat will help to keep you well-fed and pain-free.

Whether it’s a routine cleaning or you’ve just had your braces adjusted, your mouth can feel very sensitive after a visit to the dentist. When it comes to braces, the soreness can linger for a couple of days. Warm salt water rinses and wax (provided by your orthodontist) can help to manage any tenderness of the lips, cheeks and gums and an over-the-counter analgesic will help to manage pain. And as far as staying well-fed during those tender days, there are several good food options:

• yogurt

• soft cheese

• soft tortilla wraps

• muffins

• rice and pasta

• mashed potatoes and steamed veggies

• scrambled eggs

• ice cream and milkshakes

We often recommend healthy smoothies for our patients after they’ve had an appliance fitted, braces put on for the first time, or just had an adjustment. There are a lot of recipes available online or you can make-your-own with the fruits (and, veggies too!) that suit your taste buds. At our house, we pre-fill baggies with frozen fruit, spinach, and avocado cubes. It makes it easy to grab a serving, add your liquid of choice, and hit spin on the blender. Smoothies are great for breakfast (especially if you’re taking it to go) or as an after school snack.

Here’s our favourite Britton Orthodontics mix:

• ½ cup of frozen fruit (we mix sweet fruits with some sour like cranberries)

• 3 tbps of Greek yogurt

• ¼ cup of spinach leaves or a couple of frozen cubes

• 1 tbsp of frozen avocado cubes (or ¼ diced fresh avocado)

• 1 cup of rice/almond/cashew/dairy or water/juice

**if you’re using fresh fruit instead of frozen, add some ice to give it some crunch and keep it cool**

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Is there a right way to brush your teeth?

The answer is yes, and it’s even more important if you are in orthodontic treatment.

In order to keep your teeth and mouth really healthy, you should be brushing for a full two minutes. That’s 120 seconds and longer than most people usually spend on cleaning their teeth.

When you’re wearing braces or an orthodontic appliance, brushing your teeth can be harder and take a bit more time, but it’s also very important for avoiding other dental problems like cavities, tooth discolouration, and inflamed gums.

Here are some tips for brushing well and keeping your mouth healthy, whether you’re wearing braces or not:

1) Gingivitis can form in less than 48 hours, so brushing every day (at least twice) is so important. When you’re wearing braces, you have even more places that food and plaque can get stuck. Rinse your mouth with water first to loosen any food, and then run your toothbrush under hot water to remove any food particles. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and go back and forth with short strokes on the outer, inner and chewing surfaces. Then brush your tongue (either with your brush or with a specialized tool). Set a timer or play one of your favourite songs, so you know you’re spending enough time every time you brush.


2) Choose the right toothbrush. When you have braces, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent damage to your gums and teeth. At Britton Orthodontics, we will also provide patients with a proxy brush (provided with your starting kit) that helps to clean underneath the wire and around the brackets. Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months.

3) Don’t forget to floss. Your orthodontist will provide you with specialized floss that has a threader to help you get the floss underneath the wire.

4) Avoid using any whitening products (toothpaste or mouthwash) as they work on the areas they come into contact with and will cause uneven colour once you have the braces removed.

5) Keep going to your general dentist for cleanings while in braces. If recommended by your orthodontist, you may need to do this more frequently while in treatment. And make sure not to miss your regular appointments with your orthodontist, so your treatment stays on track.



Tips For Dealing With Bad Breath

Oral hygiene is very important when you are going through orthodontic treatments. Here are some remedies for bad breath.


When you’re going through orthodontic treatment, oral hygiene is more important than ever. Keeping teeth clean and healthy can help to prevent the common and embarrassing problem of bad breath.

Here are some other helpful tips to keep your breath fresh.

1. Brush and floss regularly

Bacteria in your mouth will stick to plaque build-up. Brush your teeth at least two times per day and floss at least one. If you’re concerned about your breath, you can even increase this frequency.

2. Rinse your mouth

A mouthwash can provide extra protection for your breath by helping to get rid of the bacteria. When you choose one, it should be targeting the germs that cause that bacteria. Water is a good substitute to help remove food particles, if you don’t have access to mouthwash after a meal.


3. Brush or scrape your tongue

The coating on our tongues is also a place that bacteria likes to settle. You can help remove it by gently brushing it off. If your toothbrush isn’t comfortable, you can purchase specifically-designed tongue scrapers in the oral hygiene aisle. These scrapers apply even pressure across the surface of your tongue and remove food debris and bacteria.

4. Chew gum

Bacteria love sugar and they use it to make acid that contributes to bad breath. Choose a sugarless gum, which can help to stimulate saliva production and naturally protects the teeth and mouth against that acid. If you are using an appliance or wearing braces, use sugarless gum and only in moderation.

5. Keep your mouth hydrated

If you don’t have enough saliva in your mouth and it becomes dry, it can also cause bad breath. Drink plenty of water during the day and use sugarless gum to promote saliva production.

If you are still experiencing problems with bad breath after trying these strategies, it’s a good idea to bring it up with your orthodontist and/or family doctor to rule out other medical conditions.

Britton Orthodontics is a specialized orthodontic practice that provides a complete range of orthodontic treatment options for children and adults in Burlington and the surrounding area. Initial consultations are complimentary and will address the unique goals and needs of each patient. You can book your consultation by calling 905-336-9916 or by visiting our website at www.brittonortho.ca.



Why Do You Need A Retainer

You’ve been going to appointments, brushing carefully, turning down popcorn and candy for months and months while wearing braces. They’re finally off, and your smile is looking great. So why, after all that hard work, do you still need to wear a retainer?

When you commit to orthodontic treatment, it’s very important to understand you are also going to need retainers to hold the final result. As we continue to age, our gums and lips will undergo changes, which can impact the position of our teeth over time. Our teeth also have a strong memory and, because of the fibres that hold them in place, they may try to return to their previously crooked or crowded position.

A retainer, which is provided by your orthodontist as part of your initial treatment plan, will be custom designed to hold your smile in its optimal position. It’s very important to use your retainer as instructed by your orthodontist to ensure you won’t need further orthodontic treatment to deal with relapse.


There are two types of orthodontic retainers: fixed and removable. Removable retainers can be taken out when you need to eat or brush your teeth. Fixed retainers are permanently glued to your teeth and should only be removed by your orthodontist.



If you’re wearing a removable retainer, it’s important to keep it clean between usages. And when it comes to the fixed retainers, it’s very important to brush and floss around it to prevent plaque build up. If you encounter any problems with your retainer, you normally return to your orthodontist. But if it’s not possible to do so, you can check in with your general dentist for immediate concerns like broken wires.

To ask any further questions about retainers and orthodontic treatment, feel free to get in touch with our practice. Initial consultations at Britton Orthodontics are complimentary.

You can learn more about our office on our WEBSITE

You can also book a visit online, or call 905-336-9916.



What You Need To Know About Invisalign

For many reasons, such as playing competitive sports or being an adult, Invisalign® is a great fit for lifestyle. Just ask Justin Bieber and Oprah Winfrey, who both used Invisalign® to improve their smiles while keeping up their busy schedules.


Here are some FACTS ABOUT INVISALIGN that can help you make a good decision about whether Invisalign® is the right fit for you.

1. Your teeth will be moved using a series of clear, removable aligners created with 3D imagining technology, which allows you to see what your smile will look like at the end of treatment.

2. You must maintain regular visits with your orthodontist to ensure your treatment is going as planned. Though every aligner in the series is meant to be worn for a two-week period, there can be some variability in that length of time. It’s important to be checked.

3. The aligners are removable when you eat, drink, and brush your teeth meaning you don’t need to add any extra tools to your oral hygiene care.

4. Toothbrushing is still extremely important. You must brush and floss every time you eat, to avoid trapping food between your teeth and aligner (which can lead to tooth decay).

5. Invisalign® treatment is close to the cost of traditional braces. The exact cost of any orthodontic treatment is always dependent on your individual case and needs.


6. Your treatment success is 100% dependent on compliance. Though it’s an advantage that you can remove the aligners, you must also be diligent about wearing them for a minimum of 22 hours a day.

7. After using your final Invisalign® aligner, it’s important to remember that your treatment isn’t finished. You will need to wear a retainer to maintain your teeth in their new locations. The proper use of a retainer will be explained to you at the end of your treatment.

At Britton Orthodontics, we will provide a thorough examination of your teeth to determine whether or not it is the right treatment option and when you would be ready to begin. We will also present other options to help you to make a decision that suits both your lifestyle and individual orthodontic needs and concerns.

Invisalign® can straighten teeth just as successfully as traditional metal braces, if it’s determined to be a viable treatment option. If you feel you are a good candidate, we would be happy to meet with you and discuss aligners as an option.

Your initial consultation is complimentary and can be booked by calling 905-336-9916 or visiting our website.

Justin Bieber used Invisalign®

Justin Bieber used Invisalign®



Teen Invisalign



Invisalign® is an orthodontic option that uses clear aligners to straighten your teeth instead of the more traditional bracket-style braces. Although it’s an option that’s often sought out by adult patients, Invisalign is gaining attention as an orthodontic option for teens — especially when it comes to those who are active in sports and other activities. There are several advantages, such as fewer appointments, an easier ability to floss and brush, and not having to deal with any discomfort from brackets and wires that make it an appealing choice for some of our patients.

There are several factors to consider when deciding if Invisalign is right for your teen.

Personal Responsibility

Regardless of the type of orthodontics used to straighten one’s teeth, there is always a level of responsibility required to ensure a good outcome. All orthodontic treatment requires attention and care by the patient, and this is especially important when it comes to removable aligners. It’s a good idea to be sure your teen is ready to take on that level of responsibility.

In addition to being invisible, one of the most significant advantages of Invisalign is the fact that it is removable. Teens enjoy this aspect of the treatment because they can easily remove the aligners for eating or drinking. However, the fact that the aligner can be removed means your teen must remember to put it back in. Treatment won’t progress as predicted by your orthodontist, if the aligners aren’t worn as directed.

The Best Age For Invisalign Teen

At Britton Orthodontics, we will provide a thorough examination of your teen to determine whether or not it is the right treatment option and when they would be ready to begin. We will also present other options to help you and your teen to make a decision that suits both their lifestyle and individual orthodontic needs and concerns.

Teen Invisalign can straighten teeth just as successfully as traditional metal braces, if they are determined to be a viable treatment option. If you feel your teen is a good candidate, we would be happy to meet with you and discuss Invisalign as an option.

Your initial consultation is complimentary and can be booked by calling 905-330-1116 or visiting our website.





Now that spring is here and summer is not far away, it's time for our kids to shift into outdoor mode, with sports like soccer, baseball, field hockey, lacrosse, and rugby. Though each of those sports has required safety equipment, mouth guards are not always mandatory and usually left to the parents’ discretion.

According to DentalCare.ca more than 5 million teeth are damaged or lost each year; often during sports activities, resulting in nearly $500 million spent on replacing these teeth each year

Any activity that involves or has a risk of contact is one that can benefit from protecting the mouth. It is estimated that mouth guards prevent between 100,000 and 200,000 oral injuries per year in professional football alone. The Canadian Association of Orthodontists and The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association recommend mouth guards be used in both competitive and non-competitive sports.


Removable mouth guards protect the teeth, as well as the gums and jaw while playing contact or ball sports. Mouth guards have also been shown to reduce the effect of concussions by stabilizing the jaw during impact.

Protection of the teeth is especially important if a player is wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances. During treatment, we recommend pre-made mouth guards to allow for ongoing teeth movement. After braces are removed, we provide our patients with customized mouth guards as part of their treatment.

You can find out more about our mouth guard program on our website and we welcome you to book an appointment for a customized mouth guard fitting, even if your child isn’t currently in treatment.

We hope your families have a fun and active summer. Let’s work together to keep our kids and their smiles safe!



When Does My Child Need To Be Seen By An Orthodontist?


My friend's son is already in braces and he's only 10, why did he get them so early?

This is a very common question, as we now see younger children beginning orthodontic treatment. Let's take some time to explain why that's happening.

The Canadian Orthodontic Association's current guidelines recommend all children be seen by an orthodontist between the ages of seven and nine. Some children require and can benefit from early intervention treatments. One of the telltale signs that it's time to see an orthodontist is crowding of the emerging adult teeth or a misaligned bite. Parents will either notice themselves or their general dentist may recommend the child be seen by an orthodontist.

Another reason for a range in the age kids begin orthodontic care is that a child's chronological age may not match their dental age, which is measured by how many adult teeth have come in. 

Orthodontists can screen your child before all of their adult teeth have come in, because their specialized training allows them to predict growth patterns. This screening allows for a more proactive approach to treatment, and it's the reason orthodontic interventions are happening earlier than they used to.

In other words, early treatment may mean that a patient can avoid more complicated treatment later. If there are serious orthodontic issues occurring at a young age, the orthodontist can address them immediately and then continue to follow the child until all the adult teeth have come in. At that point, it can be determined if any further orthodontic care will be needed.

At Britton Orthodontics, all initial consultations are complimentary. Dr. Britton and his staff will take an initial set of photos and do a thorough exam before discussing a proposed treatment plan with the patient (and their guardians, if they are under the age of 18). If Dr. Britton determines that more growth time is needed, his practice will continue to follow the patient at no extra cost until such a time as treatment is recommended. 

If you'd like to book your complimentary consultation with Dr. Britton, click here for online booking. A referral from a general dentist is not required.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to send us an email at info@brittonortho.ca or give the office a call at: 905.336.9916.




How To Enjoy Halloween With Braces

How to keep your braces safe at Halloween (1).png

We know this is the one time of year when our patients want to pretend not to know about the rules for safe food choices and braces. We get it — we love candy, too!

But being wise about your candy choices at Halloween is not only good for your overall dental health, it also prevents the possibility of broken brackets and dislodged wires and saves you an extra trip to the orthodontist for a repair. 

Here are some foods that patients wearing braces and appliances should avoid:

Sticky Candy

  • caramels

  • gum

  • taffy

  • licorice

Hard Candy

  • lollipops

  • candies

  • candy apples

  • nuts

  • pretzels

  • popcorn

It's also important to be thinking about sugar content when wearing braces. Sugar increases the bacteria and acidity in your mouth, which can ultimately lead to decay as well as discolouration of your teeth around the brackets. Avoiding citrus drinks and soda pop is a good idea. 

But wearing braces doesn't mean not being able to enjoy some sweet treats this Halloween. Soft chocolates (without candy or nuts), rice krispie treats, baked goods, and ice cream are all good options. If you want to plan ahead, you can check out some of these suggestions so that you have some Halloween-themed treats on hand and ready to munch on. 

We understand that even with the best of intentions, orthodontic mishaps can still happen. If you need to be seen for any discomfort concerns, please call our office and we'll be happy to help. 

We wish all our patients and their families a safe and happy Halloween!