October is National Orthodontic Health Month, which means there is no better time to start thinking about your dental hygiene. If you have braces or other orthodontic care, it’s especially important that you take care of your teeth properly. Hoskinson Orthodontics has compiled some tips to help you improve your oral hygiene.

If you are looking for an experienced and caring orthodontist in Scotia, NY, or surrounding areas, contact Hoskinson Orthodontics!

1. Brush Regularly

You’ve heard it your whole life, but for good reason. To maintain proper oral health, you should be brushing your teeth twice a day. Even more so, make sure you are brushing right before bed. If you go to sleep without brushing your teeth, you are letting germs and bacteria buildup in your mouth overnight. Also, any sugar or acid leftover from a meal is going to be harming your teeth while you sleep.

2. Flossing is Key

Though many people leave this step out of their routine, flossing is just as essential as brushing. Your toothbrush can’t reach every crevice, but flossing can reach the plaque buildup that a toothbrush can’t. We recommend you floss once a day. There are a variety of floss options available today, so you are sure to find one that works for you. There are waxed or unwaxed floss, floss picks, and water picks you can buy over-the-counter.

3. Kick Any Chewing Habits

Many people have unconscious chewing habits that they don’t realize are damaging their teeth. If you have braces, this can also break the wiring. These fixations are likely carried over from childhood, so parents should do their best to stop any habits their child may have like thumb-sucking or using a pacifier. If you find yourself biting your nails, chewing on your pen, or putting random items in your mouth, do whatever you can to kick the habit. This might mean distracting yourself or using a fidget spinner. Also, you should NEVER use your teeth to open or tear packages.

4. Limit Sugary and Acidic Foods

Did you know that diet plays a major role in your dental health? Preventing dental problems is better than treating them, so limiting foods that are detrimental to your teeth is extremely important. This includes sweets like candy, cake, and ice cream, coffee, citrus fruits, kombucha, and alcohol. If you are going to indulge in any of these foods, make sure to brush thoroughly afterward.

If you have braces, this is even more important! You are more limited in what you can eat in order to make sure your teeth and braces are protected. Avoid crunchy foods like nuts, potato chips, and popcorn; sticky foods like gum, Laffy taffy, gummy bears, and other candy; and hard foods like whole apples, corn on the cob, and other crunchy vegetables. Looking for a more complete guide to having braces? Read our blog post!

5. Wear a Mouthguard

If you play sports, wearing a mouthguard is one of the best things you can do to protect your teeth. You don’t want to get hit in the mouth and risk breaking or losing any teeth. This is especially recommended for people with braces, as a blow to the face could damage the braces or cause the wire to cut your mouth.

Additionally, nightguards are beneficial to those who grind their teeth unconsciously.

6. Visit Your Dentist Regularly

One of the most important ways to maintain and protect your oral health is by attending regular appointments with your dentist. It is recommended that everyone see their dentist at least twice a year, or every six months. Your dentist will provide a checkup, professional cleaning, and solutions to any issues you may have.

Book an Appointment at Hoskinson Orthodontics!

Dental health begins with you and ends with your dental practitioner. This National Orthodontic Health Month, take some time to reflect on your habits and see where you can improve. When you need dental care, we’re here for you.

Need some help taking care of your teeth? Dr. Hoskinson and the rest of our team members are here for you. Contact Hoskinson Orthodontics today to book your next appointment! And when you visit our Scotia, NY, office this month, be sure to thank our staff members for all that they do!