October is National Orthodontic Month

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Summer flew by this year, as usual, and now we’re quickly diving into Fall! The trees are starting to turn those beautiful autumn colours and storefronts are starting to get into the Thanksgiving and Halloween spirit. Meanwhile, the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) and, of course, we here at Wellington Village Orthodontics are excitedly preparing for National Orthodontic Month in Ottawa!

October is here and it is our favourite month, because it is recognized in Canada and the U.S. as National Orthodontic Month, sponsored by the AAO, where we get to celebrate your beautiful, healthy smile – the biggest benefit of your orthodontic treatment! Plus, with Halloween at the end of the month, October also provides us the opportunity to raise awareness regarding orthodontic care, which plays an important role in dental health and overall physical health. Not only that, but it actually contributes to the movement of your teeth during your orthodontic treatment. Clean teeth respond much better (and as intended) to the gentle force from orthodontic wires, whereas braces that are covered in sticky candy or plaque make it much more difficult for teeth to move, as they cause increased inflammation in gums.

The most obvious concern of Halloween are the treats. We made a list of Back to School Snacks, which also has information on what to avoid, including an excessive amount of sugars or even raisins! To help minimize sugary residue on teeth and to reduce risk of a broken bracket, it’s a good idea to stay away from the following snacks, due to an increased chance of pulling a wire or bracket:

  • Super chewy candy, like taffy and caramel

  • Beef Jerky and other leathery food treats

  • Liquorice

  • Bubble Gum

  • Jelly Beans

  • Hard candies like candy canes and lollipops

  • Popcorn and nuts

Don’t worry, we aren’t here just to tell you what not to eat! We understand that Halloween is an exciting time to dress up and celebrate with friends and family – and of course, delicious treats. Throughout the month, orthodontists across the continent will be sharing several tips, tricks, and treats for you to enjoy! We will be writing an extensive list of braces-friendly Halloween treats and recipes, but for now, you can prepare early by checking out all the great information from AAO. The American Association of Orthodontics website provides a cornucopia of information regarding your teeth, including a list of creative Halloween-themed, orthodontic-friendly treat recipes like Goblin Goodies and Black Cherry Fruit Bats and Citrus Orange Pumpkin Fruity Cutouts! Plus they have a quick-reference Halloween treat guide which gives you a lot of information in an easy-to-read (and printable!) format. They recommend sweets like:

  • Soft, melt-in-your-mouth chocolates

  • Peanut butter cups

  • Milk shakes

  • Gelatin

  • Peeled, thinly sliced apples

  • Ice cream

With Thanksgiving coming up soon as well, it’s important to keep these tips in mind when you plan your family feast. If you normally make a dessert with walnuts, consider leaving them out of the recipe this year, for the sake of those with braces. Maybe try to add a new recipe into the mix, using orthodontic-friendly treats. Stay tuned for our next blog post for more information and great recipe ideas to keep your Thanksgiving and Halloween celebrations fun and tasty for everyone, including those with orthodontics. Thanks for reading, and have happy National Orthodontic Month!