October is National Orthodontic Health Month

The Texas Association of Orthodontists celebrates with Candy
Buyback program

EL PASO, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–October is National Orthodontic Health Month and members of the Texas
Association of Orthodontics (TAO) invite children across the state to
trade in their Halloween candy for prizes or cash. Simply bring in candy
gathered around Halloween to a participating orthodontic office, and for
every pound of candy, patients will receive prizes or cash in exchange.

“With all of the excitement and free candy on Halloween, it is easy to
get carried away on a sugar high,” said Dr.
Jesse Teng
of El Paso, President of the Texas Association of
Orthodontics. “We encourage children across the state of Texas to bring
in their Halloween haul to participating orthodontists for a reward.”

“We ask all orthodontic patients to consider the cavity-causing effects
and the potential damage to their orthodontic appliances from munching
on hard, sugary treats this Halloween,” said Dr.
Deji Fashemo
of Dallas, President-Elect of the Texas Association of
Orthodontists (TAO).

“As an orthodontist, I’m concerned about the effect sugar has on
orthodontic appliances,” said Dr.
Kelly Heetland
of Wichita Falls, member of the TAO Board. “The candy
buyback program is a fun way to incentivize your children to protect
their braces this Halloween.”

“We especially want to remind children with braces to be extra cautious
about the treats they eat, because some varieties can get stuck in
between your brackets and damage the devices,” said Dr.
Matthew Ng
of Houston, member of the TAO Board.

“Orthodontists care about the overall health of our patients, which is
why we are hosting the Candy Buyback program across the state,” said Dr.
Omar Issa
of Dallas, member of the TAO Board.

TAO would also like to offer patients and the entire community five
timely tips to protect braces, aligners and other orthodontic
appliances, while protecting teeth from decay this time of year:

  1. Avoid sticky situations with your braces and aligners. Stay
    away from hard, sticky, crunchy or chewy candy and snacks. These
    include caramel, gummies, licorice, taffy, bubblegum (even the
    sugarless kind) and jelly beans.
  2. Say “boo” to hard treats – including hard-shelled peanut
    candies, nuts or nut-filled candies, taco chips and popcorn
    (especially unpopped kernels). And whether in orthodontic treatment or
    not, no one should ever chew ice.
  3. Brush up! Sweets can cause cavities, which means brushing and
    flossing are more important than ever during the Halloween season. Orthodontic
    patients should be especially vigilant about brushing and flossing
    after consuming sugary or starchy foods.
  4. Spooktacular news: Not all Halloween candy is off-limits. Good
    alternatives include soft chocolates, peanut butter cups or other
    melt-in-your-mouth varieties, cookies, powdery candy such as Sweet
    Tarts or Pixie Stix, candy-coated chocolates like M&Ms or nougat
    filled candies like Three Musketeers. The American Association of
    Orthodontists even offers orthodontic-friendly recipes for Halloween
    on its website at mylifemysmile.org/recipes.
  5. Make a commitment to oral health. Deciding to avoid hard and
    chewy sweets before the Halloween season increases your rate of
    success – and reduces the likelihood that you’ll break braces.

Sticky candy, such as caramels, fruit chews and gum, should be avoided
when wearing braces. Children can trade with their friends and siblings
to get only safe candies or, if parents would like to avoid costs and
issues associated with candy and orthodontic treatment, they can visit
or call their local orthodontist to find out if they are participating
in this year’s buyback. When in doubt, children should ask their parents
if a specific candy is safe. Halloween is a fun holiday for children,
and having braces or aligners does not have to take away any of the
excitement from tasty treats.

About the Texas Association of Orthodontists

The Texas Association of Orthodontists is a chapter of the American
Association of Orthodontists, the world’s oldest and largest dental
specialty organization. It represents more than 18,000 orthodontist
members throughout the United States, Canada and abroad. The Association
admits only orthodontists for membership. It encourages and sponsors key
research to enable members to provide patients with the highest quality
of care, and is committed to educating the public about the need for,
and benefits of, orthodontic treatment. For more information go to mylifemysmile.org.


for the Texas Association of Orthodontics
Brittany Lesser,