It’s October, a special month that brings us candies, ghosts and witches. October also is the National Orthodontic Health Month. Let’s take advantage of this month to remember how it’s important to take care of our orthodontic health and how taking care of your braces ensures you a healthy smile and healthy teeth.

Taking care of your teeth can get more difficult once you get braces. Food and plaque can get trapped in the tiny spaces between braces and wires, causing decay and enamel stains. This is produced by the bacteria that react with the food in your mouth to produce an acid, which can cause small, permanent light spots on the teeth. This is why it’s important to keep your braces and your mouth clean. Here are some tips to help you keep your teeth and orthodontic appliances clean:
• To remove plaque, you should brush around all parts of your dental braces and all of the surfaces of your teeth. Ideally, you should brush after every meal or snack. If you can’t brush right away, rinse your mouth well with water.
• Using fluoridated toothpaste or adding a fluoride rinse to your routine can help prevent white spots (decalcification) and decay. It’s also important to continue your regular dental check-ups during orthodontic treatment.
• Whether manual or electric, a toothbrush with soft bristles and a compact head is best for cleaning teeth with braces. Always remember to remove elastics before brushing so hooks and wires are not disturbed.
• Avoid sweets, soda and other sugary and starchy foods because they can promote tooth decay and gum disease. Sticky and chewy foods like caramel, taffy, chewing gum, dried fruits can stick to braces and be difficult to remove. Biting and chewing hard foods, such as some candies and nuts, ice, beef jerky and popcorn, can break wires and loosen brackets. Avoid damaging wires on the front teeth by cutting carrots, apples and other crunchy, healthy foods into bite-sized chunks before eating them.

Generally speaking, soft foods are best for brace wearers. Candies that melt in your mouth tend to be gentlest on braces. Orthodontic patients can enjoy chocolates (such as chocolate kisses and M&Ms), gelatin, ice cream, peanut butter cups, powdered candy and more.

In honor of ‪National Orthodontic Health Month‬‬‬, we will be buying your‪ Halloween‬‬‬ candy back from you! Come to our office on November 2nd from 7:00am to 5:00pm and we will buy your candy! For every pound, we will give you 1$ and also donate 1$ to the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa. Also, for every pound you will receive 1 ballot to be entered into a draw to win a new iPad mini!

Beware of those nasty cavities that sugar can cause during the ‎Halloween‬ season. It is important to brush and floss every day! ‪‬‬