Valentine’s Day is a sweet holiday—filled with heart-shaped candies and love-filled hearts. But, what is often forgotten about amid all the fun and excitement is your teeth! This Valentine’s Day, our Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics team wants to remind you about the importance of good dental care. A healthy smile is what we love most of all! Read on for our top three tips for a braces- and aligner-friendly holiday.
1. Pick the right candy. Braces and many candies generally do not mix. However, you don’t need to kill the fun of Valentine’s Day and forego candy altogether! For those with braces, chocolate, soft cookies, and chocolate-dipped strawberries are smile-friendly options. Before you dive into the chocolates that your Valentine gave you, make sure you give them a look over. Nougat, caramel, nuts, and toffee are all bad ideas as they can easily get stuck in your brackets or break them.
Pro Tip: Life is not always like a box of chocolates. You can predict which chocolates you will get! Round or oval chocolates usually have soft cream or ganache fillings. Caramel and toffee are almost always cut into squares or rectangles to minimize waste during chocolate production. Chocolates with tin foil or wrappers around them tend to have liquid centers, and easy-to-avoid nut chocolates often have a bumpy appearance.
2. Love your appliances. Braces and aligners are a huge investment, so take good care of them. While wearing braces, avoid foods that are too chewy or have a tendency to get stuck in your teeth. Then, brush and floss after every meal or snack. We recommend that you rinse your mouth with water to get rid of all the small food particles beforehand.
For those with clear aligners, always remove them before eating or drinking. This helps avoid stains that can make your aligners less-than-clear and prevents tooth decay. Be sure to brush and floss thoroughly before putting aligners back in. While wearing aligners, your acid-neutralizing saliva cannot rinse away bacteria on your teeth, so thorough oral hygiene is extra important.
3. Keep your breath fresh. Sharing a COVID-safe Valentine’s Day smooch? Even if your Valentine’s date is virtual this year, no one wants bad breath! Halitosis is more common with braces since food particles can get stuck in your teeth. Regular, thorough cleaning is important to freshen up your breath. Drinking plenty of water and keeping sugar-free mints on hand are also smile-friendly solutions. If you are out of the house this Valentine’s Day, bring along a travel toothbrush!
We hope you have a sweet day—while keeping your smile pearly white and healthy. Practice moderation while you indulge in Valentine’s sweets, and be mindful of the amount of sugar you’re eating. The last things you want are tooth decay and plaque buildup! For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us today.