DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Members of the Texas Association of Orthodontists (TAO) share five tips for improving health through orthodontic care, to help Texans protect their teeth during the holidays.
These tips come as a reminder and celebration of Orthodontic Health Month, which happens throughout October.
Orthodontic care is an important contributor to good dental health and mouth function—as it helps to straighten teeth and align jaws—so it’s important for both children and adults to visit an orthodontist for a checkup, just as they would a dentist.
Five tips from the TAO, for adults, parents, and children:
- Trust your smile to a specialist – Whether you’re considering clear aligners or conventional braces, an orthodontist is best suited to care for you. Your smile deserves the best possible care, which is why you should go to an in-person consultation with a certified orthodontic specialist. Orthodontists are dental specialists who have an additional 4,800+ hours of formal training at an accredited university or hospital after dental school. This provides them with expertise in aligning teeth and jaws that goes beyond the role that a dentist plays in your dental health.
- More than an easy fix—Orthodontics is about more than just straightening a crooked tooth or closing some gaps between your teeth. It’s about your bite, the way your teeth come together, and how your jaws move. Orthodontic care does provide a beautiful smile and added aesthetic benefits, but even a small adjustment can affect the overall look, feel, and function of your mouth and face. The alignment of your teeth and jaws influences the way you eat, breathe, sleep, and speak.
- Beware DIY orthodontics and at-home kits—In recent years, some people have resorted to DIY orthodontics and at-home braces kits with the view that they are cheaper and quicker than proven Orthodontic care. These at-home kits and DIY methods can cause drastic damage to your teeth and gums, and not having in-person consultations with a specialist is highly detrimental to your treatment as progress is not properly monitored meaning further misalignment of the teeth and jaw can occur.
- Maintaining good oral hygiene – Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes, flossing daily, and scheduling ongoing dental visits are all important to keep the gums and teeth healthy. Orthodontics can help to improve oral hygiene well, as misaligned teeth can cause problems with brushing and flossing, possibly leading to gum disease. Patients with braces should maintain a thorough oral hygiene routine paired with a balanced diet. Orthodontists recommend avoiding certain foods that could interfere with braces or accidentally bend the wires, such as nuts, popcorn, hard candy, ice, and sticky foods, such as chewing gum, caramel, or other chewy candy.
- It’s never too early or late for braces – Orthodontists recommend a child’s first visit to the orthodontist should be by age 7, since enough permanent teeth have arrived for an orthodontist to evaluate the “bite”—the way teeth and jaws meet and work, and how that relationship affects a child’s ability to bite, chew and speak effectively. While braces for children and teens are common, more adults than ever are recognizing a need to ensure that their teeth are healthy. One in five orthodontic patients today is an adult—a record number. With increased orthodontic options to fit your needs, Texas orthodontists are prepared to provide options for anyone at any age and at any stage of life.
For more information or to find an orthodontist in your area, visit texasortho.org.
About Texas Association of Orthodontists
The Texas Association of Orthodontists (TAO) is a chapter of the American Association of Orthodontists. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) encourages and sponsors key research to enable members to provide patients with the highest quality of care and is committed to educating the public about the need for, and benefits of, orthodontic treatment. AAO is also committed to educating the public about the need for, and benefits of, orthodontic treatment and choosing an orthodontist for your care. An orthodontist is a specialist and must complete two-to-three years of additional schooling beyond dental school at an accredited residency program to achieve this distinction. For more information visit Texasortho.org.