October is National Orthodontic Health Month

National Orthodontic Health Month was created as a way to raise awareness of the benefits of orthodontic treatment and the importance of good oral health. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends five timely tips to protect braces, aligners and other orthodontic appliances while protecting teeth from decay.

1. 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, bubblegum (even the sugarless kind), jelly beans and soft drinks.

2. Say “boo” to hard treats. These include hard-shelled peanut candies, nuts or nut-filled candies, chips and popcorn.

3. 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.

4. Spooktacular news: Not all Halloween candy is off-limits. Good alternatives include soft chocolates, peanut butter cups or other melt-in-your-mouth varieties. The American Association of Orthodontists even offers orthodontic-friendly recipes for Halloween on its website at www.mylifemysmile.org/recipes.

5. 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 or harm braces or fixed appliances.

OrthoAccel Technologies reminds orthodontic patients the importance of good oral health throughout October and all year around.