With October here, now is the time to talk about our two favorite subjects: candy and teeth. October is, of course, the month of Halloween, but it’s also National Orthodontics Month. Coincidence? We think not!
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recognized October as the time to raise awareness of the benefits of orthodontic treatment—just in time for you to bite into that delicious Halloween candy. This blog will provide tips on how to maintain your healthy smile, especially if you’re wearing braces, and what Halloween foods to watch out for. And what better way to go out trick-or-treating than with a big, beautiful smile?
In a month full of hard, sticky, crunchy, and chewy treats, it’s more important now than ever to take care of your teeth. Good oral hygiene is important to that end, especially if you are wearing braces. To make sure that your oral hygiene is in good shape, make sure you follow these tips:
· Brush at least twice a day
· Floss after every meal if possible (if not, after the last meal)
· If you have braces, use a special “flosser” that weaves dental floss under your wires
· Use mouthwash to remove any remaining food
Just as it is important to know what to do, it is also important to know what not to do. We know Halloween treats are tempting, but we encourage you not to indulge in too much candy and sweets. In most cases, just use your common sense: avoid hard, sticky, and high-sugary foods—in general, food that can damage or get caught between the wires in your braces. Also, remember to brush and floss after eating sugary foods! Sugar left on teeth makes a perfect breeding site for cavities and could cause damage to your teeth and gums. If you are wearing braces, brush carefully around all the brackets and wires, and concentrate on areas where the teeth meet the gums as well as where braces are attached to your teeth.
By now, if you are worried about finding braces-friendly Halloween treats for your kids, let us assure you: not all Halloween treats are off-limits. Look for foods that are soft and easy to chew (like melt-in-your-mouth chocolates, peanut butter cups, milk shakes, gelatin, thinly sliced apples, and ice cream).
A perfect smile is good for all occasions—interviews, jobs, Halloween, or just for fun with friends and family (believe us! Your smile can make someone’s day). If you follow these tips and our advice for Halloween candies, then you are that much closer to the smile you’ve always wanted. All this may sound like a chore, but remember: a sweet smile is sweeter than candy!