Kids and braces

adv_encinitaspediatric2You’ve been so diligent at getting your kids’ teeth healthy and cavity free. Now it’s time for braces. How do we keep that same healthy smile through orthodontic treatment?

Are those who go through orthodontia at more risk for decay? Gum problems? Unfortunately, yes. With the increased number of places that food can get trapped, it can present a higher risk scenario. Add in flossing and braces and you have a barrier that is hard for many to cross.

Here are a few great steps for a great smile with braces:

Brush. Find the right brush for your child. Manual, electric, music playing, self-timed – there are so many options! The very best toothbrush is the one that they’ll use. Key factors in selecting the perfect brush are right size of toothbrush head for their mouth, soft bristled and easy to use. For maximum effectiveness, time and technique are key. Braces require really no more than two minutes of brushing with the right technique. Whether the toothbrush is electric or not, point the bristles towards the gum line and clean in small looping circles.

Floss. There are some areas that brushing can’t even get to. Enter flossing! It will take some time and practice, but certain products make light work of this necessary skill. There are specialized flossers, floss threaders, floss that is segmented to allow for different orthodontic scenarios and now the WaterPik. Cleaning the in-betweens is vital to healthy enamel and gums during braces.

Rinse. The easiest step of all. Make sure to include this in the daily routine. Various products out there work well and can be used multiple times every day. Look for rinses that are “anticavity” or help with gingivitis. Pick a flavor that your child likes to increase their use of it. A minute or two will do wonders for one last final hygiene home run.

Repeat. Getting into the habit while it’s hard will pay off huge dividends for years to come!
Everyone’s risk for developing dental disease is different. This makes visiting the dentist key. They will come up with a customized plan of plaque attack and gear the right regimen for that perfect smile. Some may require more frequent cleanings, but be sure that it’s disease prevention that will prevail!


Dr. Spencer Mauseth

Encinitas Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
135 Saxony Road #200, Encinitas, CA 92024