October is Orthodontic Health Month which is the perfect time to celebrate healthy smiles. There are obvious aesthetic benefits to perfecting your smile, but properly aligned teeth also affect a person’s overall general health as well as help to improve self-esteem.
Did you know?
- Only 6 percent of dentists are orthodontists but 100 percent of orthodontists are dentists—Orthodontists specialize in straightening and perfecting your teeth. On top of their dental degree, they’ve finished an extra two-to-three years of training to qualify to be able to treat misaligned teeth. This training allows orthodontists to detect any problems at a very young age and potentially avoid long-term issues.
- Orthodontists recommend that children start orthodontic treatment by age 7—At this age, any problems with teeth that can be solved with orthodontics are apparent. Early treatment is a great way to prevent further issues as children grow.
- Straight teeth are linked to higher self-esteem—Patients undergoing orthodontic treatment often feel an improvement in their self-confidence. Self-image is important to people of all ages.
- Over 4 million adults in the US are currently wearing braces—While braces may seem most common for children, 25% of braces-wearers are actually adults. A healthy smile has no age limit.
- Studies have shown people with straight teeth are perceived as successful, healthy and smart—First impressions are important, and people often make quick judgments about a person based on the way they look. More often than not, people remember pleasant features in people they meet more than unpleasant features.
- The most common reason for needing braces is to treat an overbite or an underbite—Over and underbites can actually affect facial features like making the chin look small or the face to look short.
- The wires used for braces were developed by NASA—The materials used in dental wire are very reliable. They are strong enough to move around in space. NASA developed the material to maintain their shape after being bent which is perfect for braces!
- Braces have been around for hundreds of years; the first pair were designed in 1728—The first device was called a “Bandeau,” which acted like a mouth guard. However, some archaeologists have even found evidence of the attempts at straightening teeth on mummies in Egypt.
So while most people use October to celebrate Halloween (and Halloween candy), the Texas Association of Orthodontists uses Orthodontic Health Month to spread the word about the importance of oral health. Make a commitment to your health and schedule an appointment with an orthodontist. Visit texasortho.org to find an orthodontic specialist near you and for more information on maintaining healthy teeth.