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Learning All About National Orthodontic Health Month
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of October? Most people think of Halloween and the changing leaves. However, another event happens during the month of October that is very important: National Orthodontic Health Month!
Unfortunately, many people don’t know about this national event. That said, orthodontics plays a pretty important role in the dental industry. Studies suggest that roughly 4.5 million people wear braces. Out of that 4.5 million, close to 25% of them are adults, so whether you are a kid or an adult, orthodontics are important.
In honor of National Orthodontic Health Month, let’s discuss the important role that orthodontics play in your dental health. If you think that you might need to see an orthodontist and you live in San Antonio, feel free to reach out to us. We can schedule you a consultation.
What Is an Orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a specialist in the dental industry. Unlike a general dentist, an orthodontist specializes in the alignment of teeth and helping people achieve a regular bite.
In short, orthodontists focus mainly on the diagnosis and correction of imperfect teeth. To correct an imperfect bite, they use braces and aligners to realign the teeth. Typically, teeth realignment is done at a young age. However, it can also be done after people reach adulthood.
Orthodontists Help With More Than Just Dental Health
Seeing an orthodontist can help you in a number of ways. While it’s true that an orthodontist will improve your smile, the realignment of your teeth can improve your overall health as well.
In fact, people are often referred to orthodontists when they are suffering from persistent headaches, sleep apnea, and similar issues as a result of teeth problems. Frequently, the problem is the misalignment of their teeth.
Also, when your teeth are crowded together or misaligned, it can make them difficult to clean properly. This puts you at greater risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Gum disease and the like can even lead to issues with your overall health. In fact, studies show that gum disease puts people at a greater risk of developing diabetes and having heart attacks.
Can You Leave Teeth Alignment Issues Untreated?
It’s true that many people go their whole lives with teeth alignment problems and never get treatment. That is because a lot of the problems caused by poor teeth alignment aren’t necessarily life threatening. However, they can cause a lot of problems, and these are problems that you don’t have to live with if you just go see an orthodontist.
That being said, your general dentist can let you know if seeing an orthodontist is a must or not. If your misaligned teeth are causing tooth decay or gum disease, your dentist will probably recommend that you go to an orthodontist.
Orthodontic Treatment Options in San Antonio
There are a number of ways that an orthodontist in San Antonio can correct poor teeth alignment. The type of treatment that works best for you will depend on your individual needs. The most common treatment options that orthodontists offer include braces, clear aligners and palatal expanders.
Are you unsure about which one is right for you? Don’t worry because your orthodontist will do a full examination of your mouth during a consultation. Then, the orthodontist can tell you which options are available to you and which one might work best.
Caring for Your Teeth After Treatment
After you undergo orthodontic treatment, you may be wondering how to care for your teeth correctly. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you still have to continue to care for your teeth like you normally would. In honor of National Orthodontic Health Month, let’s discuss a few ways that you can improve the care of your teeth after receiving orthodontic treatment.
Watch What You Eat
Most orthodontic treatment involves braces or aligners of some kind. One of the best ways to ensure that you don’t mess up your devices is to watch what you eat. In the case of aligners, you simply take them out when you are eating. This prevents you from messing them up.
With braces, though, you aren’t so lucky. You want to avoid foods that are overly sticky or crunchy. These could cause problems with your braces. Taffy, caramel, and bubble gum are a few examples of sticky foods that can get stuck in your braces and increase your chances of tooth decay. Popcorn, peanut candies, and tortilla chips are examples of crunchy foods that can get lodged in between your braces or even damage them.
The good news is that not all candy is off limits with braces. Try eating soft chocolates, such as peanut butter cups. These types of candies are easier to clean off your braces after you are done enjoying them.
Brush Your Teeth After Every Meal
Everyone should brush their teeth after every meal. With braces, though, it’s even more important than before you got them. That is because food can get caught in your braces. This not only looks unsightly but can also cause bad breath. Since the food is stuck in your mouth for longer, it increases the risk of gum disease and tooth decay as well.
Floss Your Teeth
Whether you have braces or not, flossing your teeth is a crucial part of every oral hygiene routine. Of course, flossing with braces can be a bit more tricky. Thankfully, there are a few ways that you can make flossing your teeth easier when you have braces.
Firstly, you could try using orthodontic flossers, which are made specifically with braces in mind. Secondly, you could invest in a water flosser if you have the money to spend on one. These flossing products clean between your teeth and around your braces easily.
Give Us a Call
Are you ready to get the smile that you have always wanted? If so, it’s time to reach out to our orthodontic office in San Antonio. We can get you the treatment that you need at a price that you can afford. Contact us today to learn more.