Have you ever seen old cartoons where characters float through the air toward a freshly baked pie on the windowsill? We’ve all been there—and who doesn’t love pie? Well, your teeth sure don’t!
Every October marks Orthodontic Health Month, and our team at Moffett and Walley Orthodontics wants to ensure you know how to handle eating sweet treats while maintaining oral health, with or without braces!
What’s This All About?
When Orthodontic Health Month rolls around, orthodontic practices across the country will take time to give additional education on how to keep patients’ mouths healthy, especially for those with braces. This blog will help you to do just that! Let’s get started.
Braces Aren’t Always a Piece of Cake!
- Correction of Misaligned Teeth
- Cosmetic Improvement
- Prevention of Future Issues
- Oral Health Benefits
- Bite Function Improvement
- Speech Correction
- Jaw Disorders
A Sticky Situation
Interaction between sugar, acid production, and bacteria is the culprit behind dreaded tooth damage. Sugar feeds icky bacteria in the mouth and breaks it down into acid, which is what wreaks a lot of dental havoc. Before digging into your beloved Halloween candy stash, here are some potential problems to consider:
- Cavities occur when acid is able to penetrate enamel. The closer they get to the nerve in the center of your tooth, the worse the pain gets, and the longer they go without treatment, the more serious they become. Therefore, it’s critical to ask us about fillings promptly if you’re having a constant toothache you think may be caused by a cavity.
- Plaque formation consists of bacteria and debris that build up when it isn’t cleaned daily. Allowing plaque to remain on your teeth encourages further decay and potentially gum disease.
- Gum disease can have a number of causes, but these acids from consuming sugar can trigger it, too. Acids are abrasive to your gums as well as your teeth and can cause gingivitis. Addressing this in the office can help prevent more dramatic consequences.
A Smart & Sweet Lifestyle
Just because you have braces doesn’t mean you’re banned from sugar! But you must be especially mindful of your intake since you are more vulnerable to complications.
- Regular Check-Ups: Seeing our team for your scheduled appointments with Dr. Moffett helps you in a variety of ways. We can measure the progress of your braces at regular intervals, assess any adjustments that might help your experience, and address repairs.
- Brushing and Flossing: Braces must be cleaned carefully each day, especially after consuming sugar! You should thoroughly floss and brush, focusing on the buildup around wires and brackets. You can try rinsing your mouth with water when you don’t have a brush handy.
- No Hard or Sticky Candy: Your braces can be in trouble when you eat tacky or crunchy treats. All things toffee and caramel can mess with your appliance, and lollipops and hard candy can mean sustained exposure to sugar, as they take a while to dissolve away. These types of sweets can cause serious short and long-term problems, so we recommend you avoid them as much as possible.
- Cut or Break Them Up: Breaking your treat into bite-sized pieces can make chewing easier and allow you to monitor closely for damage as you go.
- Orthodontic Wax: Orthodontic wax is an excellent aid to keep in your bag when you go out to eat. When your braces break, come loose, or have sharp wires, this wax can cover the ends and help avoid cutting your gums. Any time you have damage to your braces, you should visit us as soon as possible to get them fixed.
- Choosing Wisely: Yogurt, ice cream, and smoothies usually do less immediate damage because they melt away in a matter of moments. Still—going sugar-free when possible will always be the wisest choice!
- Limiting Sweets: Your teeth will thank you for following these tips, but remember that moderation is key. If you need a sugar fix regularly, maybe designate certain times for them (i.e., two to three times a week), and be mindful of your snack selection!
We Have a Sweet Spot for Our Patients!
Our Moffett and Walley Orthodontics team are happy to help show you how to best treat yourself this October and year-round! If you have any questions or want to schedule a free consultation, call our Clinton office at 601-768-1954 or our Madison office at 601-768-1436.