When most people think of October, they envision cooler weather, changing leaves, and Halloween. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) celebrates October as National Orthodontic Health Awareness. During this month, many orthodontists will help educate the public about the types of braces, adult orthodontic treatment, and other important orthodontic issues.
Having a straight smile can boost confidence and improve oral health. Crooked and crowded teeth are harder to clean, which makes you more susceptible to issues like gum disease and tooth decay. If you have concerns about the alignment of your teeth, contact your orthodontist.
Another big event during October called Halloween, can present challenges for those with braces. To enjoy the holiday and protect your orthodontia, consider these helpful hints:
• Choose wisely. Avoid sticky candies like gummy bears, taffy, or caramel because these treats can pull off brackets and damage wires. Stick with milk chocolate, sucking candies or sugarless gum instead.
• Don’t overdo. Too much candy will not only give you a stomachache, but it can also create problems for your teeth. The sugar in the candy feeds the bacteria in your mouth and increases the chances of developing decay.
• Remember to brush. As soon as you finish your treats, brush and floss your teeth to remove food particles from your teeth and in between brackets.
• Try healthy alternatives. Have a piece or two of candy but consider celebrating the holiday with apple slices, grapes, or other nutritionally sound options.