October is National Orthodontic Health Month!

ortho-pumpkinOctober may be a time for witches’ brew, miniature superheroes, goblins, and ghouls, but it is also National Orthodontic Health Month. It is no coincidence that it happens to fall in the same month as Halloween, which means candy candy candy. We want our patients to enjoy this treat-filled holiday without worrying about the damage those sticky-snacks will do to their braces. There are many brace-friendly treats out there, such as peanut butter cups and peppermint patties. Rule of thumb, stay away from candy that is hard, chewy, gummy, or sticky. They can easily cause damage, which may prolong treatment.

Even though soft treats are the best choice to indulge in when you have braces, keep in mind that the sugar they contain can also cause damage to your oral health. When sugar remains on your teeth it creates a perfect breeding ground for cavities and decay. It becomes even more important to keep up with good dental hygiene habits during this month of brace-damaging snacks, treats, and candies. This means paying extra special attention to the area around the brackets, wires, and gum line while brushing and flossing.

Orthodontic Health Month and Soft Drinks

Soft drinks contain acid, which pulls calcium out of the enamel. This is called “decalcification.” Enamel is a one-time thing. Once it is gone, you can’t get it back. Raising awareness about this problem is something we try to do every day, with all of our patients, but this month we want to make an emphasis on just how destructive soft drinks can be when you have braces. Decalcification will erode the enamel around your brackets, once removed you are left with unsightly, discolored, bracket-shaped squares on each of your teeth. Don’t let you love for soft drinks ruin all your hard-earned orthodontic work.

Why We Love Orthodontic Health Month

Orthodontic Health month is a time when we have the opportunity to celebrate the impact that orthodontic care has on our patient’s lives. Young or old, it is never too late to improve the appearance of your smile, which can boost self-esteem and have a positive impact on your overall wellbeing. We love being a part of improving our community’s ability to smile with confidence.

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that everyone should at least be evaluated for orthodontic treatment and that parents bring their kids in for evaluation during their growing years of 7-10. Growth spurts can directly impact the development of the jaw and the pattern in which teeth erupt. Our office can determine if your child is a candidate for treatment, when to begin treatment and the best course of action to prevent long-term or laborious future treatment by addressing fixable problems before they become bigger issues.

The Need for Orthodontics Warning Signs

  • Grinding or clenching of teeth
  • Misplaced or crowded teeth
  • Difficulty biting or chewing food
  • Late or early loss of baby teeth
  • Missing permanent teeth
  • Thumb sucking
  • Overbite, underbite, or protruding teeth
  • Inability to comfortably close lips
  • Problems with speech
  • Misaligned bite
  • Clicking of jaw joints and TMJ problem

Regardless of age, if any of these symptoms are present, we recommend coming in for a free evaluation, but this is especially important for your child’s dental growth during pivotal developmental years. Contact our office today to learn more about National Orthodontic Health Month and how we can help you get the smile you’ve always dreamed of.

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