Austin, TX, September 29, 2021 — Most kids associate the month of October with Halloween candy, but did you know it’s also National Orthodontic Health Month?
The Texas Association of Orthodontists (TAO) would like to take this opportunity to remind kids and their families of the importance of orthodontic health as well as offer the community some timely tips to protect braces, aligners, and other orthodontic appliances during the Halloween season.
- Avoid sticky situations with your braces and aligners. Stay away from hard, sticky, crunchy or chewy candy and snacks. These include caramel, gummies, licorice, taffy, bubble gum—even the sugarless kind—and jelly beans.
- Say “boo” to hard treats – including hard-shelled peanut candies, nuts or nut-filled candies, taco chips and popcorn—especially unpopped kernels. And whether in orthodontic treatment or not, no one should ever chew ice.
- Brush up! Sweets can cause cavities, which means brushing and flossing are more important than ever during the Halloween season. Orthodontic patients should be especially vigilant about brushing and flossing after consuming sugary or starchy foods.
- Spooktacular news: Not all Halloween candy is off-limits. Good alternatives include soft chocolates, peanut butter cups or other melt-in-your-mouth varieties, cookies, powdery candy such as Sweet Tarts or Pixie Stix, candy-coated chocolates like M&Ms or nougat filled candies like Three Musketeers. The American Association of Orthodontists even offers orthodontic-friendly recipes for Halloween on its website at http://www.mylifemysmile.org/pressroom
- Make a commitment to oral health. Deciding to avoid hard and chewy sweets before the Halloween season increases your rate of success and reduces the likelihood that you’ll break braces.
With all the excitement and free candy on Halloween, it is easy to get carried away on a sugar high. The good news is that your local TAO orthodontist will always be available to answer questions about how to maintain stellar oral health all year long. That’s just one of the advantages of seeing a professional orthodontist in-person.
Nothing can replace that one-to-one interaction with a healthcare professional who knows you and is committed to giving you a brilliant, healthy smile. When you visit your local orthodontist’s office, there’s a team of people there who care about you as a whole person, not just a set of teeth.
Not only that, orthodontists are uniquely qualified to treat your teeth and jaw because their specialized training requires additional years beyond that of general dentistry. Orthodontists have access and training to many of the newest technologies that are not even available to general dentists. How do you know that your doctor is an orthodontist? Only orthodontists can belong to the Texas Association of Orthodontists (TAO).
Many problems with oral health have roots in orthodontia, and in order to treat the cause rather than the symptoms of what ails you and your smile, the best option is a specialist.
In the words of one of our board members, Dr. Andrea Font Rytzner “Orthodontics is healthcare. Whether it’s conventional braces, clear aligners, or a host of other scientifically proven effective options, only an orthodontic specialist is qualified to diagnose and deliver the highest quality treatment for patients. If it’s early treatment on kids as young as 4 or 5 years old, teenagers, or adults with complex issues, orthodontic specialists are the right choice for your care.”
So this October, avoid scary Halloween surprises by following the above tips. While you’re at it, celebrate National Orthodontic Health Month with us by finding a local orthodontist in TAO’s online directory. You’ll be on your way to a healthy smile faster than you can say “trick or treat!”
Media is encouraged to share or reprint the following articles to educate the public about oral health:
About Texas Association of Orthodontists
The Texas Association of Orthodontists (TAO) is a chapter of the American Association of Orthodontists. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) encourages and sponsors key research to enable members to provide patients with the highest quality of care, and is committed to educating the public about the need for, and benefits of, orthodontic treatment and choosing an orthodontist for your care. An orthodontist is a specialist and must complete two-to-three years of additional schooling beyond dental school at an accredited residency program to achieve this distinction. For more information go to mylifemysmile.org.