October often symbolizes the start of fall and the holiday season, and for us orthodontists October means National Orthodontic Health Month! During this month, we raise awareness about the benefits of orthodontic treatment and how essential it can be to your overall dental health.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends parents have their child’s smile evaluated by an orthodontist by the age of 8. Between the ages of 7 and 10, children undergo growth spurts that are important to the development of their jaws and oral health. By coming in early, we can evaluate their oral health and ensure that as they grow their smile remains healthy.
Early treatment can prevent conditions from worsening and lower the risk for more complex and costly procedures. Orthodontic care does more than straighten misaligned teeth to improve the appearance of your smile. An improper bite or misaligned teeth can result in an increased risk of tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss as well as affect your jaw’s ability to function properly.
We want to also mention that we treat patients of all ages, and you are never too old or young to come in and start your journey to a brilliant smile.
Our October Orthodontic Tips
The month of October can be full of fun fall activities and events. If you are recently starting your orthodontic journey, you may find that life with an orthodontic appliance such as braces can quickly translate to treading carefully when it comes to food.
If you plan on attending any harvest parties or want to indulge in trick-or-treating, some may not be brace-friendly. Stay away from hard, sticky, crunchy, or chewy foods. This includes caramel, popcorn, chips, gum, taffy, toffee, lollipops, hard candies, and products with nuts. Hard vegetables and fruits such as carrots, corn on the cob, and apples should be cut into smaller pieces.
This may seem like a trick as many of the “good” treats need to be avoided if you wear braces, but it is important that you follow the dietary restrictions associated with orthodontic treatment. These foods could damage the brackets and wires of your appliance which may lead to injury, broken appliances, and emergency treatment, and can lengthen the course of your orthodontic treatment.
Taking Care of Your Teeth
Remember after you’ve had your fun, be sure to brush and floss after every meal and snack, especially after eating candy. Use interdental brushes and floss to clean between teeth, brackets, and wires. We also recommend rinsing your mouth afterward with an ADA-approved mouthwash. The last thing we want is a holiday cavity or dental emergency because of poor dental hygiene.
By following dietary restrictions and your orthodontist’s orders as well as remembering to clean your teeth properly, you can keep your treatment on track and reduce your risk for unexpected accidents afterward. If you have any questions about orthodontics and how we can help you or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. L’Tanya Joy Bailey, DDS today.