Bronx, NY – It’s October, and while many of you are probably thinking ahead to trick-or-treating, at Riverdale Family Orthodontics, October is a time to celebrate National Orthodontic Health Month. The goal of the month is to increase awareness of the benefits of orthodontics and promote orthodontic health – something Dr. Catherine Woo and her team do every day.
“Orthodontics plays an important role in the lives of many people,” says Dr. Woo. “It not only creates beautiful smiles, but healthy ones that function properly, too. There are many health benefits that accompany orthodontic treatment.”
When most people think of braces and orthodontic treatment, they think of simply a cosmetic fix to make a smile straighter. While that is part of it, it isn’t the only piece. Orthodontic treatment can:
- Improve oral health – When teeth aren’t aligned properly, they are harder to clean. Bacteria and food debris can get trapped easier, leading to cavities and gum disease.
- Prevent future dental work – A poorly aligned bite places an uneven amount of pressure on the teeth when biting down. That can lead to chipping, cracking and breaking, which can then mean expensive and lengthy visits to the dentist to repair.
- Alleviate jaw pain – An uneven bite also places a lot of stress on the jaw, which can lead to pain in the temporomandibular joint. Patients can also experience head, ear and neck pain.
- Reduce the risk of injury – If teeth protrude or are otherwise misaligned, they may be more prone to injury while playing sports or other physical activities.
- Improve self-esteem – A straighter, healthier smile can boost a person’s self-confidence.
“We recommend that patients visit an orthodontist for the first time by the age of 7,” says Dr. Woo. “At this time, we can get a pretty good idea of how the smile is taking shape and look for any discrepancies in jaw growth that might indicate we need to intervene with treatment to correct. But, just because you don’t see an orthodontist for the first time that early, that doesn’t mean you are too late for treatment. Orthodontic treatment can begin anytime, at any age.”
Celebrate National Orthodontic Health Month by scheduling a complimentary consultation for your child, or for you, and learn more about how a straighter, properly aligned smile can improve your oral health.