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At Smiley Dental Webb Chapel in Dallas, Texas, Dr. Raquel Wright and Dr. Navaneetha Natchimuthu want to wish our patients a happy October. October ushers in the fall festivities with Halloween, National Dental Hygiene month, and National Orthodontic Health month. The message of National Dental Hygiene Month is known as “Do The Daily 4”. These are the four most important parts of a preventative oral health regimen:

— Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time. Doing this will lessen plaque to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.-

— Floss in between your teeth and gums once a day, using dental floss or interdental brushes. Doing this will remove food particles and plaque in those places where your toothbrush can’t reach.

— Floss in between your teeth and gums once a day, using dental floss or interdental brushes. Doing this will remove food particles and plaque in those places where your toothbrush can’t reach.

–Rinsing with an anti-microbial mouthwash once a day will help freshen breath and help prevent gum disease. Look for a mouthwash with the ADA Seal of Acceptance on the packaging to ensure that the product is both safe AND effective.

–Chewing sugarless gum actually boosts your daily regimen, by “cleaning” your teeth after eating and drinking when you can’t actually brush your teeth. Chewing stimulates saliva production which neutralizes plaque acids, remineralizes enamel and washes away food particles.

Now that you have your daily oral hygiene covered, let’s look at some tips to help those aligning their smile, in honor of National Orthodontic Health Month:

— To protect braces and aligners, avoid any kind of candy or snacks which are hard, sticky, crunchy or chewy. This means caramel, bubblegum, and soft drinks.

— Never, ever chew ice, and watch out for popcorn, nuts, candies with nuts inside, peanut candies in the hard-shell.

— What to do if you are enjoying a Halloween feasts a little too much? Brush and floss now more than ever! This goes for starchy foods, too. Brush carefully around all of your brackets and wires, focusing on places where your teeth meet your gums, and where your braces attach to your teeth.

— If you want to indulge without harming your smile, stick with soft chocolates, peppermint patties, peanut butter cups and other candies that melt in your mouth.

— For those who wear braces and engage in sports, wearing mouthguards can protect your lips and your cheeks from cuts, along with damaged braces or an orthodontic appliance if you accidentally get hit in the face, or fall down.

You don’t need to hide from all the sweet treats this month will bring. Just indulge mindfully, so that you can end the month with your smile in great shape. If you have any questions for our team, or want to schedule a visit with our dentist, please call Smiley Dental Webb Chapel in Dallas, Texas at 214.635.2810. Dr. Raquel Wright and Dr. Navaneetha Natchimuthu wish you and your family a spookily healthy Halloween!