For many, the month of October means the beginning of fall, the start of football, and preparing for the upcoming holidays. However, at Alameda Pediatric Dentistry, we know that October also stands for National Orthodontic Health Month. This month, we want to talk to you about the importance and benefits of orthodontic care and ways to protect your smile this month.
During October, orthodontic offices across the nation work together to celebrate healthy smiles and educate their communities about the benefits and importance of orthodontic treatment. A healthy smile is for everyone, and you are never too young or old to start your journey towards obtaining a beautiful smile.
This October, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) has teamed up with the national organization Stand for the Silent to fight against bullying. This year’s theme is #bullyingbites as 7/10 people admit to being self-conscious of their teeth as it has been a common target for bullies over the years.
Signs and Symptoms
Common warning signs that you or a loved one may need orthodontic care can include the following:
- Clicking or popping of the jaw joints
- Crossbite, overbite, and protruding teeth
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Grinding or clenching of teeth
- Mouth breathing
- Speech problems
- Teeth that don’t come together
The Importance of Orthodontic Care
The AAO recommends parents and caregivers bring their children to the orthodontist between the ages of 7-8 for their first examination. During this time, children undergo major growth spurts that can affect the development of their teeth and jaws. By visiting the orthodontist early on, your child’s growth can be monitored, and our team can determine if early treatment is necessary. Early treatment can prevent conditions from worsening and lower the risk for more complex and costly procedures.
Orthodontic care does more than straighten misaligned teeth to improve the appearance of your smile. An improper bite or misaligned teeth can result in an increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss as well as affect your jaw’s ability to function properly.
Though many imagine orthodontic care to be mostly for children and teenagers as their bones and teeth are still developing and adjusting, orthodontic care is for everyone regardless of age. In fact, many adults seek treatment to correct long-standing problems or fix changes that may have occurred later in life.
Though we may spend the month celebrating healthy smiles in October, we know many of our patients may be getting ready to celebrate Halloween at the end of the month. We have a few tips and recommendations to help you navigate the holiday so that you can keep your smile happy and healthy.
If you have orthodontic appliances such as braces or a retainer, be mindful of sticky, crunchy, chewy, and hard snacks and candies. Treats such as caramel, gummies, taffy, gum, and jellybeans may damage or become stuck in between your appliances. We also recommend patients be wary of hard treats like Jolly Ranchers, nuts, chips, and popcorn that put pressure on your appliances causing them to break, damage brackets or bands, or injure the soft tissues in your mouth.
With all the excitement during the fun-filled night, please remember to brush and floss. You should take extra care during this sugary month by drinking plenty of water, brushing twice a day, and flossing before bed. For more information on orthodontic care and how to keep your teeth healthy this month, please contact our office at (510) 521-5437.