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Every year, we celebrate Orthodontic Health Month in October, and this year is no different! We love the work we do helping our patients get straighter smiles and aligned bites. With proper orthodontic care, your smile can look its best, your mouth can function properly and your daily oral hygiene routine can be more effective!

Straight teeth are easier to keep clean and even the joints are healthier as proper alignment distributes the pressure over all of the teeth equally like correcting crooked teeth, teeth that stick out, or a bite that is off. Conversely, leaving these conditions untreated often leads to cavities and tooth loss, gum disease and jaw problems. Proper orthodontic treatment is how to harmonize your smile for optimal oral health.

Orthodontic treatment has come a long way since the early days of wrapping teeth in ivory, wood, copper, or zinc, and later gold or silver. Today’s braces materials are high-tech and advanced for maximum results and comfort, so it’s no surprise that the American Association of Orthodontists officially announced observing National Orthodontic Health Month.

Why Observe National Orthodontic Health Month

Straighter teeth ensure clearer speech. Common speech problems include lisping, whistling, word slurring and mispronunciation. If your tooth placement and jaw structure hamper tooth movement, that can interfere with your tongue placement so you can’t form your words properly and end up with a stutter or slurred speech. Mispronunciation occurs when your teeth are out of alignment, making it hard to enunciate sounds like “T,” “S,” or “CH,” which rely on tongue-to-tooth contact. And finally, lisping and whistling often happen from an overbite (your top teeth overlap the lower teeth) or gaps between teeth, preventing the right tongue placement so that air escapes when you speak.

This month is a great reminder to have your child’s growing smile checked for potential problems. Spotting crowded or overlapping teeth, detecting jaw growth issues, and poor tooth development can all be treated and prevented. Your child could have tooth and jaw issues because of cavities, losing baby teeth too early, trauma or injury to the mouth, and even thumb-sucking that goes on for too long.

Straight teeth also help you feel good about yourself. This confidence comes when you have a smile you can be proud to show off, instead of hiding crooked teeth. If your child has a straighter smile, they will likely perform better in school as they feel more at ease and self-confident when speaking or smiling.

Observing National Orthodontic Health Month

Now is a good time to schedule an orthodontic appointment for an evaluation. A properly aligned mouth can help your teeth function correctly and give you the appealing smile you want. It can also make biting, chewing, and even speaking easier as well as making brushing and flossing easier and more effective. Being able to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth is vital to good health and straight teeth facilitate easier, more effective cleaning.

Stay away from harmful foods. We know it’s October and treats are everywhere, but consuming a lot of sugary treats and candy can do a serious number to your teeth. And it’s not just your teeth that suffer; if your diet includes too much sugar and not enough nutritious foods, your gums will pay the price too ending up with gum disease.

Braces-Friendly Halloween Treats

  • Hershey Kisses
  • Chocolates
  • Malt balls
  • Jello and pudding
  • Ice cream and yogurt
  • Peeled and thinly-sliced apples
  • Peanut butter cups
  • Soft peppermint patties

National Orthodontic Health Month is a great time to practice a braces-friendly diet that protects gum health and prevents cavities. Limit Halloween treats, and brush and floss each day thoroughly. Rinsing with a healthy mouthwash can also boost your oral care. And finally, we urge you to keep all scheduled routine visits to ensure your orthodontic treatment stays on track. Celebrate October with us in spook-tacular style!