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October: National Orthodontic Health Month

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October is recognized by the American Association of Orthodontics as National Orthodontic Health Month. This reminds us to focus on what steps we can take to improve our oral health during orthodontic treatment. Drs. Montano & Cardall are constantly promoting good oral hygiene. It not only keeps you free from dental problems, but it can even speed up your orthodontic treatment! Our team even gives points if you visit your dentist and have no cavities! (Ask us more about this at your next visit!)

You may be thinking October is a terrible month for orthodontic health awareness because it’s Halloween time. Candy consumption is actually one of our doctors’ biggest concerns at this time of year! Eating hard or sticky candies can loosen brackets and wires, which can prolong your treatment time.

We all have our favorite candy and it somehow seems more available this time of year. But if yours is one that contains nuts or is really hard or sticky, you’re better off trading that one with a friend or family member who isn’t in orthodontic treatment. Instead of focusing on all the candies you can’t eat, think of all the good ones you can like chocolate, peanut butter cups, Kit-Kats, and Butterfingers. Instead of biting into a caramel apple, dip peeled, thinly-sliced apples into soft, warm caramel; instead of caramel popcorn, grab a rice krispy treat.

So there is no reason to stress this Halloween season; you still have several options for binging on all those sugary treats and desserts. Just make sure you brush afterwards!! Having braces or Invisalign on your teeth traps the food, plaque, and bacteria, causing it to sit on your teeth longer.

Remember to angle the toothbrush down while brushing above or below the brackets and wires. Electric toothbrushes are helpful with orthodontic appliances, as studies show they remove more plaque than traditional toothbrushes. For best results, always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush for at least two minutes, cleaning all surfaces of every tooth.

If you don’t like floss threaders, there are more options for you! Try Platypus Orthodontic Flossers (or “Plackers” is another brand), Oral-B SuperFloss, or Oral-B Threader Floss. These are all great options for flossing with braces.

It is also a good idea to rinse with an antimicrobial rinse to kill any remaining harmful bacteria in your mouth.

Our team members at Montano & Cardall Orthodontic Specialists are experts at teaching how to brush and floss with braces and Invisalign. They know all the tips and tricks! Ask one of them about it at your next appointment and they will be happy to demonstrate the proper techniques with a mirror so you can implement them into your routine at home. We also do school visits in Bakersfield! Please let us know if you would like us to visit your child’s school to conduct free screenings on the children and teach them the basics of proper oral hygiene!

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