COLORADO SPRINGS — October is National Orthodontic Health Month. Orthodontist across the United States and Canada work to increase public awareness of the positive impacts orthodontic care can have.
Dr. Michael Kofford, DMD, MSD, with SoCo Smiles in Southern Colorado says, “Orthodontics is more than just straight teeth and healthy gums. It's jaw function, how the teeth come together and fit and how that relates to the temporomandibular joint, that relates to how a person chews and eats.”
Even if your dentist doesn't recommend it, Dr. Kofford says it's never a bad idea to get a consultation from an orthodontist. “The American Association of Orthodontists recommends the first visit to an orthodontist should be at the age of 7, or as soon as an orthodontic problem is identified. With an initial visit with an orthodontist there could be no problems, it could be that a problem is identified that should be treated later when all the permanent teeth are in, or it could be there's a problem that would best be treated while the child is in mixed dentition.”
Dr. Kofford points out that National Orthodontic Health month also coincides with Halloween.
“I do find it interesting that it's during the month of October. It’s when we probably see more broken brackets and more broken things than we'd like to.”
To encourage his patients to take good care of their braces year around Dr. Kofford likes to offer them incentives. “We have a patient reward program that rewards good patient behavior called the Patient Rewards Hub. If they don't have broken brackets, or they have good hygiene, if they see their dentist they get reward points toward a gift card.”
To encourage his patients to avoid the sticky, chewy, and hard candy for Halloween, Dr. Kofford is happy to take it off their hands in exchange for cash. “We have a candy buyback program for our patients. We give them a dollar for every pound of candy that they bring in. We donate the candy to a program called Operation Gratitude that sends the candy to the troops overseas.”
Dr. Kofford says straight teeth and a healthy mouth can also improve a person's mental health which is also a focus of National Orthodontic Health Month.
“October is also National Bullying Prevention Month and it's always gratifying to see a young adolescent or preteen come out of their shell. It can be a problem for young kids if they feel bullied about their teeth. It's something that is so easy to fix and it really can have a positive impact on their self-esteem. That's rewarding as an orthodontist to see kids develop and it happens in adults is well. Some adults really start to feel really good about their teeth with treatment.”
If you have questions about your orthodontic health, or if you're curious if orthodontic treatment might be right for you or your kids, feel free to call SoCo Smiles, or visit their website.
SoCo Smiles is a proud sponsor or Your Healthy Family