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 It’s Never too Late to Straighten Your Smile

Braces as an adult? No way. At least, that was what I thought when my dentist told me that I was going to have to see an orthodontist about my crooked teeth. But my teeth were so misaligned that they were causing me pain when I chewed, so I decided to at least look into it. Turns out braces today are nothing like the ones my friends had when I was a kid. Mine were practically invisible, and I didn't need to wear them that long. I started this blog to encourage other people like me who are nervous about the prospect of wearing braces as an adult. My straight smile is so worth the trips to the orthodontist, and wearing braces was nowhere near as bad as I thought. Read on to find out more about how you can straighten your smile.

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It’s Never too Late to Straighten Your Smile

Avoid Scary Smiles With These 3 Tips For A Tooth-Friendly Halloween

by Jacqueline Byrd

Your kids are starting to talk about the costumes they want to wear and the haunted houses that they want to visit this Halloween. While Halloween is a fun holiday for both kids and adults, your child's dentist may not be as enthused about the festivities. Halloween candy is not only a recipe for an increase in cavities, studies also show that emergency dentist visits for cracked teeth take a major jump on Halloween – to the tune of an 80% increase compared to an average day in October. Take a look at some tips that will help you protect your children's teeth during this haunted holiday.

Set Limits on Treats

You certainly don't want to deprive your kids of candy on Halloween – that's no fun, and it's likely that they'll try to sneak some candy anyway. That can lead to late night or hidden munching that isn't followed up by brushing and flossing, which can be even worse for your child's teeth. So the solution isn't to ban the candy or replace it all with celery sticks and carrots, but to set reasonable limits on the amount of candy your child can have.

Try using smaller trick-or-treat bags and encourage your child to save only their favorite pieces of candy – they can throw out the rest or donate it to troops overseas. If your children are reluctant to give up their loot, you may want to introduce them to the Switch Witch – she comes on the night after Halloween to take unwanted candy, and leaves a toy or a book that the child wants instead. If you do decide to keep all your candy, limit your kids to a certain amount on Halloween night, then take the rest and dole it out gradually as dessert after mealtimes.

Always Inspect the Candy

Inspecting Halloween candy isn't just about looking for razor blades in apples. You also don't want your child mistaking a jawbreaker for a gumball and biting down hard on it. That's how you end up at the emergency dentist on Halloween night.

Even if you're pretty certain that the candy you're collecting from your neighborhood or your local Trunk or Treat events is safe for consumption, take the time to look over it anyway. You want to be sure that it doesn't contain anything that's too hard or too sticky for your children to eat without hurting their teeth. As a general rule, you're better off letting your kids eat the chocolate pieces than the hard candies or sticky caramels. Chocolate is soft and easily cleaned off of the teeth, while hard candy can crack teeth and sticky candies can be tough to remove even with a brush.

Don't Forget to Hydrate

When you're walking around trick-or-treating on Halloween night, don't forget to bring bottled water for everyone – or better yet, a thermos full of fluoridated water from your home tap. It's easy for small children to get dehydrated, especially when they're walking around for hours and wearing costumes that may be hot and heavy. One of the things that happens when people get dehydrated is that their saliva, which normally helps wash away food particles that could lead to cavities, dries up.

This means that your child may not have as much protection against cavities while they're traipsing around collecting candy to eat. Bringing water along and making sure that everyone stays well-hydrated during trick-or-treating is a simple way to help decrease your child's risk of Halloween-related cavities.

If it's been awhile since your child's last dentist appointment, shortly after Halloween may be a good time to schedule one. Your dentist can give your child's teeth a thorough cleaning and catch any cavities early, before they have a chance to grow.