October brings lots of changes and new experiences…cooler weather, crackling leaves, cozy fires, and Halloween! For orthodontists across the country, October brings National Orthodontic Health Month and an opportunity to remind patients of some care and safety basics for their orthodontia.
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) has provided 4 ways to protect braces, aligners, and other orthodontic appliances for patients to keep in mind all year round.
Avoid Sticky Snacks
This includes hard candy, sticky foods, crunchy or chewy snacks, and candy. Bubblegum, taffy, caramel, gummies, and jelly beans can all become stuck in appliances and cause damage to orthodontia. Opt for a healthier alternative instead, such as fruit cut into bite- size pieces.
Hard Treats are a No No
Crunchy treats, such as tortilla chips, nuts, popcorn, and even ice are all foods that can cause traditional braces to break. Breaking the brackets or wires on braces causes damage to the appliances and requires an appointment to repair.
Make Sure to Brush
All the extra sweet stuff can cause cavities, so make sure to brush and floss regularly. When wearing orthodontia, patients need to be especially careful about brushing and flossing after every meal and after having a sweet treat. Braces wearers can ask their orthodontists about the right tools for caring for and cleaning their appliances.
Find an Alternative to the Sticky Stuff
Not all treats are off limits to orthodontic patients. Soft chocolates, peanut butter cups, and candies that don’t contain nuts are a good alternative for a sweet treat. Just make sure to follow the guidelines given by the orthodontist.
If all else fails, consider participating in a candy buy back program at your local orthodontist’s office. Many providers participate in candy buy back programs in order to provide their patients with a fun, healthy alternative to the sugary treats that abound during the season.
Reach Orthodontics wants our patients to have a fun and healthy Halloween! If you forget any of these tips and tricks and need to see us for any reason, contact us at 256-772-0041 for an appointment. We hope to see you soon!