Celebrate National Orthodontic Health Month with Halloween tips for healthy teeth
By Robert Sunstein, DDS
October marks the unofficial kick-off of the holiday season – a time for pumpkins and pies, decorations and gifts, costumes and special treats at home, at work and at school. Perhaps, then, it’s no coincidence that October is also National Orthodontic Health Month, or that orthodontists across the country are campaigning harder than ever to remind patients how to care for their teeth and braces while preventing damage and decay.
As Halloween approaches and the kids get ready to go trick-or-treating, children and adults alike find themselves surrounded by hard, chewy, sugary snacks. Here are some tips for orthodontic patients to help keep teeth and braces safe and healthy from now until Christmas – whether you’re a parent looking out for your children or simply a fan of the candy jar yourself:
- Keep candy consumption – especially that of very hard, chewy, sticky or crunchy treats – to a minimum
- Avoid ingredients like caramel, nuts, licorice, taffy and jelly beans, and instead favor soft and creamy treats like plain chocolate or peanut butter cups
- Discourage continual snacking on sweet treats, and instead instruct children to eat candy in one sitting (preferably with a meal, so that added saliva production can help minimize the impact of sugary residue on teeth, retainers and braces)
- Have children brush their teeth and floss after eating candy
- See a qualified orthodontist as soon as possible if food or candy results in damage to a child’s braces
In order to keep holiday revelers from feeling deprived, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends a number of easy recipes for Halloween alternatives – such as Pumpkin Cookie Pops, Spooktacular Pumpkin Cake, Frightful Finger Cookies and more. Find these recipes and other tips online, and help make National Orthodontic Health Month as fun and tasty as it is educational for the entire family.
Custom orthodontics and community care from La Jolla’s “Sunny Smile Specialist”
Halloween is known for scary costumes and sweets for the kids – but it is also a chance to celebrate community and share the joys of the season with your friends and neighbors here in La Jolla and throughout San Diego. At our La Jolla orthodontics office, we take pride in our community roots: and whether we’re sponsoring young students with orthodontics scholarships, teaching kids about good oral hygiene or promoting tips for a festive, braces-friendly Halloween, we make it a priority to get involved and give back to our valued patients and their families.
From all of us Sunny Smile Specialists, have a safe and happy Halloween. To learn more about our practice, or to schedule an appointment, visit us online: www.lajollaorthodontist.com.
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