Most people associate October with Halloween, falling leaves, and pumpkin spiced lattes. As an orthodontist, I associate October with National Orthodontic Health Month. An entire month dedicated to learning about the benefits of orthodontic treatment on not only your dental health but overall wellbeing.
Orthodontic treatment helps align the teeth in the best possible position to aid in function and aesthetics. Orthodontists are also trained to assess the bones and structures of the oral cavity and help to guide growth in children and teens and to help re-establish correct bony relationships in adults.
Most people seek orthodontic treatment because their teeth are crowded or they have an incorrect bite, i.e. underbite, overbite. Left untreated, these issues can result in more oral and systemic health problems, including tooth decay, tooth loss, gum disease or even joint/jaw problems.
Expanders, braces, Invisalign aligners, rubber bands, headgear, are all appliances that are used to help correct the bite and alignment of the teeth.
If you’re one of the millions of people currently undergoing orthodontic treatment, the AAO (American Association of Orthodontists) has shared these tips for the sweet treat month of October!
1) Stay away from hard, sticky, crunchy or chewy Halloween candies and snacks. Take a pass on things like caramel, gummies, licorice, gum and jelly beans. Chocolates like Hershey kisses or peanut butter cups are a better option!
2) Avoid hard treats. Nuts and nut-filled treats, chips and popcorn – all of these could break braces and/or hurt the wires.
3) Brush! Sweets and treats can cause cavities. Brushing and flossing are especially important after eating candy or other sweets.