Your wee one’s first set of teeth are precious. So understandably, you might be a little concerned about white spots on those cute little baby teeth. What’s causing these white spots?
In this post, Dr. Paddy and your Denver-area pediatric dental team at Kids Mile High want to equip you with the info you need about white spots on your little one’s teeth. Let’s talk about the top 5 common causes for white spots on baby teeth.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Ok, to be clear, your little one won’t get tooth decay or white spots on their teeth from the actual bottle or sippy cup. Phew! One less thing to worry about as a parent. Instead, “baby bottle tooth decay” refers to getting tooth decay or white spots from bottle or sippy cup habits that prolong the presence of sugar on their teeth.
How does baby bottle tooth decay happen? If your child falls asleep with their bottle or sippy cup, the sugar in what they’re drinking tends to coat their teeth, causing tooth decay more quickly. For the same reason, tooth decay is more likely to happen from continually drinking milk or a sugary drink without long enough breaks in between. (This goes for everyone actually: babies, kids, and you!)
You see, when baby teeth come into frequent contact with the sugar in milk or sweet drinks, oral bacteria gets to work feeding on those sugars and produces acids that attack and weaken your child’s tooth enamel. This makes teeth more susceptible to tooth decay and cavities. Breaks from the sippy cup or bottle will allow your baby’s saliva to neutralize the acids and return your child’s enamel from a weakened, softened state to a hardened, durable state.
Speaking of enamel, white spots on a baby’s teeth can also happen because of an issue called enamel hypoplasia. This is when tooth enamel is hard enough but too thin to properly protect your child’s soft dentin underneath. Hyperplasia can happen to individual teeth, in certain spots on individual teeth, or less common, on all teeth. The unprotected tooth is then more susceptible to tooth decay and can result in white or brown spots. Kids get enamel hypoplasia because of disruptions in their tooth enamel development — either in utero, early infancy, or early childhood.
Certain antibiotics can cause white spots to show up on baby teeth. How? By interfering with tooth enamel development when taken during pregnancy or when given to young children. In other words, some medications cause enamel hypoplasia (talked about above) and make your child more susceptible to a baby tooth cavity or tooth decay.
Make sure you let us know about medications your wee one is taking, has taken in the past, or if mom took antibiotics during pregnancy. This info can help us really pinpoint reasons for the white spots on your child’s teeth.
You’ve likely heard that fluoride is good for strengthening teeth. But when baby teeth are exposed to too much fluoride through drinking water or toothpaste, this can cause white or brown spots. The good news? Fluorosis isn’t harmful to baby teeth or a child’s overall health; quite the opposite! Teeth with fluorosis are actually more resistant to tooth decay and cavities. Fluorosis is only an aesthetic concern.
Poor Dental Hygiene
If a baby or toddler’s teeth are not cleaned well every day, plaque and bacteria can build up and cause white spots — or even cavities — on teeth. As your Denver pediatric dentists, we can’t say it enough: diligent brushing and flossing is Step One in preventing tooth decay in your little one. And bonus, starting a good oral hygiene routine early and making it fun builds a solid foundation for valuing life-long oral health.
Your Denver Area Pediatric Dentists For Happy Smiles
If you notice white spots on your child’s baby’s teeth, come in to see your award-winning pediatric dentists at Kids Mile High. Dr. Paddy, Dr. Roger, and Dr. Meredith are happy to assess your child’s white spots and recommend a plan for your child’s best oral health.
Contact us to make an appointment at one of our fun and friendly offices in Englewood, Central Park, or Thornton, CO.
Feeling 100% confident about your healthcare providers is nice. Especially when it comes to the doctors and healthcare professionals that treat your kids. Well, you can walk into Kids Mile High with a skip in your step: as your pediatric dentist in the Denver area, we offer you the assurance you need that your kiddos’ smiles are in good hands.
How? Let’s start with the fact that all our doctors are board certified. Yes, that’s right! Each of our pediatric dentists — Dr. Paddy, Dr. Roger, and Dr. Meredith — is a board-certified pediatric dentist. And if your child needs early orthodontics, braces, or Invisalign®, you can rest easy knowing Dr. Scheer is a board certified orthodontist.
So what does being board certified mean for a pediatric dentist?
Simply put, being American board certified is the benchmark standard for excellence in dental care. Being a board-certified pediatric dentist means keeping up-to-date on the latest knowledge, proven, modern techniques, and being able to apply this expertise to treating patients.
How do you become a board certified pediatric dentist?
Board certification is a voluntary extra step in a dentist’s professional development. In other words, when a person looks into how to become a pediatric dentist, board certification isn’t a requirement. It’s possible to practice pediatric dentistry without being board certified.
But consider this: if you think about how long it takes to become a pediatric dentist, adding board certification is a definite sign you’re really going the extra mile for your patients. And who doesn’t want to take their kids to a pediatric dentist like that?
To become board certified, your Kids Mile High pediatric dentists successfully passed rigorous exams with the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. And it doesn’t end there: Dr. Paddy, Dr. Roger, and Dr. Meredith must each maintain their status as a board-certified pediatric dentist by ensuring at least 15 hours of continuing education every year. Every 10 years, your Kids Mile High board certified pediatric dentist must also take a recertification exam.
How about being a board-certified orthodontist?
As mentioned earlier, not only do your Denver pediatric dentists at Kids Mile High hold board certifications, but so does Dr. Scheer, our orthodontist. As a dental specialist in orthodontics, Dr. Scheer is board certified not through the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, but through the American Board of Orthodontists (AMO).
Fun fact: Only 1 in 3 orthodontists in America are board certified through the AMO.
Becoming a board certified orthodontist is voluntary and orthodontists like Dr. Scheer must successfully pass AMO’s stringent exams to achieve board certification. Considering it takes 5-10 years to become an American board-certified orthodontist, getting the designation is a big feat. And like his pediatric dentist colleagues, Dr. Scheer has to take a recertification exam every 10 years to maintain his status.
What does it mean to have a board certified orthodontist looking after your child’s teeth? You can know that your kid receives the highest level of orthodontics, informed by knowledge of the latest orthodontic techniques, technology, and patient care.
Your board certified team in Denver
Four board certified doctors under one roof! Amazing. That’s what you get when your kids come to Kids Mile High for their oral health needs. So if you’re a Denver family and you’ve been thinking, “I need to find the best pediatric dentist near me,” or you’re looking for a star orthodontist, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re concerned about your kids’ teeth health or wondering about braces, you can trust our board certified doctors to take excellent care of your kiddo’s smile.
Get in touch with us to find out more about our top-notch, award-winning service. Or visit us in-person to say hello at our offices in Englewood, Central Park, or Thornton, CO. You’ll find a friendly atmosphere that makes expert dental and orthodontic care fun, too.
There’s always something to celebrate at Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry. But February is especially fun since it’s National Children’s Dental Health Month by the American Dental Association (ADA). To mark the occasion, the Denver-area pediatric dentists want to share four ideas for celebrating this month’s focus on kids’ dental health.
Pick Out Fresh New Dental Supplies
The Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry team suggests kids change their toothbrush every 3-4 months. And if the bristles are fraying, that’s a definite sign for a new one. Join in on National Children’s Dental Health Month by getting a new kids’ toothbrush to get young ones extra excited about brushing their teeth. And let them choose their own kid-sized toothbrush — just make sure it’s a soft-bristled one.
Pair a new toothbrush with a new kid-friendly fluoride toothpaste… and don’t forget the dental floss! Kid-friendly floss picks make for easier flossing and water flossers are fun and gentle yet effective.
Use Apps and Music To Level Up The Brushing Fun
A bit of entertainment makes at-home oral care for kids more enticing. Play favorite music through Brush DJ to make two minutes of brushing flash by, or use a tooth-brushing app like Chomper Chums or the Disney Magic Timer to turn oral care into an interactive activity.
Make The Next (Or First!) Checkup Appointment
Kids should see the dentist every six months. If that half-year mark is coming up, now’s a good time to make the next appointment. And how about a baby’s first dental visit? The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child’s first visit happen by their first birthday — or within six months of the first tooth erupting. A first visit sets kids up for good oral habits from the get-go and allows dentists to spot any potential dental or orthodontic issues.
Check Out Activities From National Children’s Dental Health Month
The ADA has downloadable activity sheets for home or school. Older kids might like the word games, while younger kids can track their brushing or color the coloring sheet. Dentists, healthcare providers, and teachers can dive into the Program Planning Guide for further oral-care promoting activities.
About Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry
Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry is an award-winning kids dentist that’s all about offering top-notch pediatric dentistry that’s also fun. Their state-of-the-art offices in Thornton, Central Park, and Englewood, CO are cheerful, colorful, and designed with young patients in mind. From prevention to orthodontics, Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry offers everything a family needs to stay on top of their children’s oral care.
You’re at the dentist with your little one and the dentist shows you their x-rays. Typically, pediatric dentists like your Kids Mile High doctors will use x-rays to show you where decay may be present, if your child is congenitally missing teeth, or where impacted teeth may be hiding. It’s helpful to see those things on an x-ray since you can’t always see them with the naked eye.
But have you ever wondered what exactly you’re looking at in terms of tooth anatomy? It’s fairly obvious on a dental x-ray that teeth have different layers and are differently shaped. But if you’ve ever wanted to know more, here’s a primer on everything you should know.
Let’s start our tooth anatomy lesson with identifying the parts of a tooth. Every one of your child’s teeth — both their baby and permanent teeth — is composed of the same materials. And baby tooth anatomy and adult tooth anatomy are the same, too.
These are the parts of a tooth from the visible part moving into the gums. Every tooth has a:
Crown: the part you can see above the gumline
Neck: the part at the gumline between the crown and the root
Root: the part you can’t see that sits inside your gums.
And from the outside layer in, here are the parts of a tooth and the function of each:
This is the outermost layer of your child’s tooth, the part you can see. Enamel is made up of hard, calcified tissue and protects the dentin of the teeth. It takes the burnt of biting and chewing forces, the wear and tear of eating.
Now, you might be surprised to learn that enamel only covers the visible part of every tooth — the crown. The outermost layer of each tooth that’s below the gumline and secured into the gums is called cementum (we’ll talk about that shortly).
Enamel is essentially white in color so if your kiddo’s teeth look a little yellow, this could be because you’re seeing through to their dentin. Fun fact: enamel on baby teeth is thinner than on adult teeth! So in certain lights, your child’s enamel can become a little transparent and you can actually see through it to the yellow dentin underneath.
And did you know? Enamel, just like hair, doesn’t contain any living cells. So it can’t repair on its own if damaged from tooth decay or wear. But a dentist like Dr. Paddy, Dr. Roger, or Dr. Meredith can treat your little one’s enamel to strengthen and protect it from further damage. Like with dental sealants.
This is the outermost layer in the anatomy of a tooth that you can’t see. It’s a hard, calcified connective tissue covering the tooth root below the gumline. As names of teeth go, this one’s easy to remember since “cementum” sounds a little like what it does — it attaches the tooth to the periodontal ligament of the gums. In other words, the cementum layer is the part of your child’s teeth that helps “cement” them to the gums.
If you were to look at a tooth anatomy diagram, the next layer in from enamel and cementum is dentin. It’s a bit softer than enamel and is made up of tiny, microscopic hollow tubules with fluid inside. This fluid has the all-important job of helping transmit senses to the nerves inside the pulp. So when your child eats a popsicle too fast and their teeth hurt, it’s dentin who delivers the news to the nerves… who then send the message to the brain saying, “Woah, that’s cold!”
The innermost part of a tooth is called the pulp. It’s the soft tissue at the center of a tooth and is made up of tissue, nerve endings, and blood vessels. Think of the pulp as a command center for each tooth: this part of the tooth is responsible for telling your brain when something you eat is too hot, too cold, or too sweet for your teeth. And very important, the pulp provides nourishment to keep your tooth healthy and alive.
And that’s it, the parts of a tooth and what they do: the enamel, cementum, dentin, and pulp. But wait a minute, what about where the teeth live? Let’s talk about that next.
Tooth anatomy: what’s around your tooth
It’s fairly common knowledge that your teeth sit in what’s called your gums. But that whole support system is much more complex than you might think!
Gums are the soft tissue that cover and protect your child’s teeth roots. Cool fact about gums? They hold all your child’s baby teeth right from the beginning. Yes, all 20 of your little one’s primary teeth are hanging out inside the gums right from birth — fully formed and waiting to erupt at the right times. In fact, primary teeth start to form at five weeks’ gestation so they’re ready to go when your baby’s born!
The technical word for gums is “gingiva,” which might sound familiar if you’ve heard of “gingivitis.” The latter is a mild gum disease you definitely don’t want your child to get because it can be painful or cause bleeding. And you want to treat it right away so it doesn’t get worse. Since the gums sit between teeth and your child’s jawbone, severe gum disease can affect both teeth and bone, leading to bone loss, teeth getting loose, or even falling out.
Located inside the gums, periodontal ligaments are collagenous connective tissue fibers that connect your child’s tooth roots to their socket in the jawbone. If your child has orthodontic treatment in the future, periodontal ligaments are part of the teeth system that stretch, helping teeth shift while still keeping them securely in your gums as they move.
This is the fancy name for the part of your jaw that surrounds all your teeth roots. It’s the part of your child’s jawbone that’s touching their teeth’s roots.
The different types and names of teeth
Now that you know all about tooth anatomy, how about the different types of teeth? For starters, our teeth come in different shapes and sizes, each corresponding to their function.
How many teeth does a child have? Your child’s primary teeth come as a set of 20 teeth, with the same set of 10 teeth in the upper and lower arches. Each of your little one’s jaws has:
Adult teeth are a bit different. In contrast to how many baby teeth you have, permanent teeth number at 32, with 16 teeth in each of the arches:
4 canines (cuspids)
8 premolars (bicuspids)
12 molars (including 4 wisdom teeth)
Located at the front of the mouth, incisors are shaped like small chisels, with sharp edges to help you bite into food and separate it. You typically use your incisors when you want to bite off a small, manageable piece from something large like an apple, sandwich, or piece of pizza.
For kids, incisors are the first teeth to erupt. They’re your child’s cute first teeth that you ooh and aahh over, appearing when your baby is about 6 months old. And no doubt, they’re your introduction to the world of teething! Later on when your kiddo is about 6 to 8 years old, you can expect their primary incisors to fall out and their adult ones to appear.
As far as names of teeth go, this one’s pretty descriptive of their look and position in the mouth. Reminiscent of Fido’s fang-like teeth, our canine teeth sit next to our incisors on either side — two canines on each of the top and bottom arches. They’re sharp and pointy, meant for tearing food.
Baby canines come in when your little one is around 16-20 months, starting with the upper ones. Adult canines erupt in the opposite order: the lower ones come in first around age nine, then the upper ones by the time your child is 11 or 12.
Now this is where we start to have different numbers of teeth between primary teeth and permanent teeth.Baby teeth don’t technically include premolars, only molars. Adult teeth include two pairs of premolars that sit beside the canine teeth on the upper and lower arches, for a total of eight premolars. They erupt when your child is about 10 years old. Premolars are bigger and squarer than canines and incisors with a flat, ridged surface for crushing and grinding your food so you can swallow it.
The back of your mouth holds your molars. And when it comes to types of teeth, we can safely say molars are the biggest and strongest of all your teeth. Molars, like premolars, are shaped for crushing and grinding food into pieces that are easier to swallow.
Baby teeth consist of 8 molars, while adult teeth have 12. What’s unique about adult molars is that the last four that should sit at the very back of the mouth take a long time to fully erupt. Called “wisdom teeth,” they show up between 17-25 years old, when you’re “older and wiser.”
But sometimes they don’t come in at all. If your dental arches don’t have room for them, your wisdom teeth are likely impacted, meaning your erupted teeth are blocking their path. Oftentimes, your dentist will remove your wisdom teeth if they’re stuck in your gums.
Baby teeth versus permanent teeth
We’ve covered the main differences between baby teeth and permanent teeth pretty well. But let’s recap three biggies:
Baby teeth eventually fall out, adult teeth are permanent.
How many baby teeth? There’s 20. Permanent teeth: 32.
We only have premolars with our adult teeth, not with our baby teeth.
We say teeth are pretty amazing and a super important part of our bodies. And knowing more about them can inspire you to take better care of them — whether your little one’s baby teeth, or the adult teeth that will soon take their place.
If you’re looking for even more information about your kids’ teeth or have specific questions about their teeth, your Denver-area pediatric dentists are here to help.
Contact us today for an appointment at our Englewood, Thornton, or Central Park, CO office.
The holiday season is here. And whether you’re eating Thanksgiving leftovers right now or about to indulge in Christmas or Hanukkah meals, it’s nice to know if what’s on the menu is healthy for your kids. As your Denver-area pediatric dentist, Dr. Paddy and the Kids Mile High team want to help you figure out the best holiday food for happy teeth and gums.
For many holiday tables, turkey is the main event. If this is your family, you’ll be pleased to know that turkey is one of the season’s foods that are good for teeth— it’s a lean meat full of vitamins and minerals. Turkey contains phosphorus, which along with calcium, is key for maintaining healthy gums, teeth, and bones. Turkey is also low in fat and high in protein, which helps maintain strong bones and tooth enamel.
And bonus? Turkey leftovers like turkey sandwiches, soup, or pasta mean your kiddos get quite a few chances at benefiting from turkey’s nutrition for their teeth.
Minus the marshmallow topping, mashed sweet potatoes is another one of the healthy holiday foods you can feel good about serving the kids. Sweet potatoes are chock-full of vitamins A and C for teeth health, building strong teeth and bones.
Vitamin A also helps keratin, a protein that promotes the formation of tooth enamel. And it contributes to saliva production, which brings down the acidity in your child’s mouth after eating. Less oral acidity means less tooth enamel erosion and better cavity prevention.
The vitamin C you find in sweet potatoes is super important for strengthening your kiddo’s gums and soft oral tissue. Strong gums and connective tissue keep your little one’s pearly whites firmly in place. And vitamin C helps prevent gingivitis and gum disease.
Greens Like Peas, Broccoli, and Brussel Sprouts
You can’t go wrong when offering a variety of greens! Greens are one of those all-star foods that are plain good for your kiddo’s teeth and their overall health. Holiday table favorites like peas, broccoli, and brussel sprouts are packed with teeth-healthy calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
It makes sense that calcium intake is vital for strong teeth since tooth enamel is mostly made up of calcium. As for Vitamin C, not only does it help with strong gums and oral tissue but it aids in healing and helps prevent bleeding gums. And Vitamin K? Vitamin K and calcium are buddies. Like Robin supports Batman, Vitamin K helps calcium absorption as a calcium binder.
Another reason greens are considered healthy holiday foods: it’s in the chewing.Chewing produces saliva. When it comes to broccoli and brussel sprouts, lettuce and kale, you need to chew these greens well to aid swallowing and digestion.
A bowl of nuts to snack on before dinner? Or maybe as part of a cheese plate? You can count on nuts as a healthy holiday food for kids, as long as your kiddo’s not allergic of course! A handful of nuts provides plenty of teeth-friendly vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and protein that support both teeth and gum health. Nuts are also a great source of antioxidants, which helps prevent cell damage and fight bacterial infections.
Peanuts are a great source of calcium and vitamin D, almonds boost calcium, and walnuts offer minerals and vitamins for teeth like magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin B, and potassium. Cashews and brazil nuts help fight oral bacteria, doing their part to prevent tooth decay in children.
That said, your Kids Mile high pediatric dentists suggest the non-roasted and unsalted kind. And candied nuts should be enjoyed in moderation since they’ll coat your child’s teeth with sticky sugars.
Keep in mind, if your kiddo is in braces with Dr. Scheer, nuts should be avoided as they can loosen brackets!
Cheese, please! From charcuterie boards to potatoes, cheeseballs to cheesecake, cheese blintzes to kugel… and more. The good news for cheese lovers is that cheese is super teeth-friendly. Cheese has lots of calcium, phosphorus, and protein — three things we’ve already established as superheroes when it comes to good nutrition for kids’ teeth.
Eating cheese also lowers the acidity in your mouth and increases saliva production, doing a great job of cavity prevention. Try offering cheese to your kids after they’ve eaten a sweet treat like cookies or candy to counteract the sugar and acidity.
Fish is a welcome add-on to holiday menus — and we all know salmon as a superstar food for kids’ overall nutrition and teeth health. Lox, baked filet, or salmon cake… any way you serve it, this fish has vitamin D, phosphorus, and omega-3 fatty acids to bolster teeth and gum health. Vitamin D helps your body absorb and use calcium better. The “sunshine vitamin” also aids in maintaining saliva levels and preventing dry mouth.
What’s Thanksgiving or Christmas without pumpkin pie? We’re all for holiday fun and having a few treats now and then so we’re happy to say that you can feel okay about your kiddo saying “yes” to a slice! Pumpkin is great for overall nutrition for teeth because it has lots of vitamin A, which we’ve said earlier helps build strong teeth and bones, and encourages saliva.
Just remember to eat pumpkin pie in moderation since it has a lot of sugar. And we suggest having your child drink some water afterwards to rinse the sugars out, or better yet, brush their teeth well as part of a good oral health routine.
Cavity Prevention With Kids Mile High
It goes without saying that visiting your pediatric dentist for cleanings and checkups goes a long way in cavity prevention and teeth health. Pair that with healthy holiday foods this season and your kids (and you!) will be smiling big in the New Year!
If your school-aged child has crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw, you might be wondering if braces are in their future. Well, Kids Mile High to the rescue! We at Kids Mile High are all about top-notch care wrapped in education and fun, so we’re happy to answer any questions you might have about braces for your kids. Questions like, “When do kids get braces?” Or, “What age can kids get braces?”
8 Oral Hygiene Tips for Kids and Teens With Braces
Getting braces is exciting and means your child or teenager is on their way to a straighter, healthier smile. It also means that brushing and flossing will be a little more challenging and plaque will have extra places to hide. Well, Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry is here to help! We’re sharing our best oral hygiene tips to ensure your child’s smile is as healthy and dazzling as possible when those braces come off.
The Consequences of Poor Oral Hygiene With Braces
While having poor oral hygiene any time can lead to cavities, having bad hygiene with braces really increases the risk of tooth decay and gingivitis. As we said, braces tend to trap food, bacteria and plaque. Good hygiene is essential because teeth move most effectively in a healthy oral environment. Additionally, in extreme cases, getting cavities with braces could mean having to have the braces taken off, so the decay can be treated.
How to Have Good Oral Hygiene With Braces
Now that we’ve discussed the consequences of poor oral hygiene with braces, the good news is, kids and teens can keep their teeth healthy during their orthodontic treatment with a few easy steps. Though flossing and brushing teeth with braces will require learning some new techniques, once kids get used to the process, it will become second nature.
Here are our 8 best oral hygiene tips for kids to get your child get started:
Learn How to Brush Teeth With Braces and Do it Often.
As for how to brush your teeth with braces, use a soft-bristled toothbrush or an electric toothbrush and the toothpaste of your choice (the best toothpaste for braces is one that doesn’t contain whitening ingredients, as these can increase sensitivity and lead to uneven results).
Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. Start by gently brushing along the gum line. Then, brush every bracket, working on the top and bottom of the bracket separately. Wiggling the bristles back and forth a bit will help get between the wires. Give each individual tooth some attention and brush all of the surfaces of the teeth, including around those back molars. Be sure your child brushes for at least two full minutes.
Floss Once Daily.
Flossing with braces will be tricky at first because kids have to get under the wires in order to clean between their teeth. However, most patients acclimate quickly. While you can use regular dental floss on its own, the process will be much easier if your child or teen uses a floss threader.
Or, to save even more time, they can use special floss for braces, such as an orthodontic flosser or a product like SuperFloss. Regardless of what type of floss they opt for, flossing at least once daily is key.
How to Floss With Braces Using a Floss Threader – To floss with braces using a floss threader, first, break off a piece of dental floss about 18 to 24 inches in length. (Pro tip: Use waxed dental floss because braces will shred unwaxed floss.) Pull some of the floss through the eye of the floss threader. Pinch it so that it doesn’t slide out.
Guide the pointed end of the floss threader under the braces wire and pull the floss through until it can be gripped with both hands. Position the floss between any two teeth. Floss up and down the side of one tooth, getting under the gumline, and then up and down the side of the other tooth.
Gently pull the floss out. Use the floss threader to get under the wire and in between the next set of teeth. Repeat this until the entire mouth has been flossed.
When flossing with Super Floss, the process will be the same. However, kids won’t need to thread the floss through the end since it’s already set up. They’ll simply guide the stiffened end under the braces wire and go through the same steps as above.
How to Floss With Braces Using an Orthodontic Flosser – While an orthodontic flosser, which is a special floss pick for braces wearers, is a little more expensive, it’s a whole lot faster. To floss with an orthodontic flosser, slip the rounded end of the flosser under the braces wire so the floss is positioned in between two of the teeth. Floss up and down the side of one tooth, getting just under the gum line, and then floss up and down the side of the other tooth. Repeat until all of the teeth have been flossed.
Consider Investing in a Waterpik for Braces.
A Waterpik, or water flosser, sprays water in between the teeth, around the gums and around the braces brackets. While using a Waterpik for braces won’t replace regular flossing and will be an extra step, it’s an excellent tool for loosening stubborn food, getting the gums super clean and eliminating any lingering plaque. Most of our Denver braces patients are big fans.
If your child or teen does opt to use a water flosser for braces, go with an orthodontic tip. Have them use the water flosser before or after flossing the teeth with dental floss.
Use an Interproximal Brush to Clean Tight Spaces.
An interproximal brush, sometimes called a proxy brush or interdental brush, is a tiny brush meant to squeeze into tight spaces. Kids can use it to clean around their braces brackets and to remove any plaque or debris their toothbrush can’t reach. It’s also incredibly handy for dislodging food stuck in braces.
Put Together a Braces Hygiene Kit for When Kids are Out and About.
Since brushing teeth with braces is recommended after meals and snacks, kids and teens will likely have to brush when they’re at school, at friends’ houses, etc. Make a travel kit that they can bring with them wherever they go. Your hygiene kit should include:
A travel toothbrush
Braces wax (while wax isn’t really hygiene-related, it will help with any irritation or braces emergencies)
No Toothbrush Around? Rinse Really Well!
If kids or teens aren’t home and don’t have their toothbrush, they should rinse their mouth out really well with water after eating or drinking. This will whisk away some of the food debris and liquids so they don’t sit on the teeth for a prolonged period of time. Then, have kids brush their teeth as soon as they’re reunited with their toothbrush.
Keep Up With Regular Pediatric Dental Visits.
Regular exams and cleanings at the dentist are more important than ever when kids are in braces treatment. During professional cleanings, special tools are used to remove hardened plaque (tartar) that can’t be eliminated at home with a regular toothbrush and floss.
Dr. Paddy, Dr. Roger or Dr. Meredith will also be able to ensure your child’s mouth is healthy and cavity-free. If they spot an issue, intervening early will ensure your child’s braces treatment stays on track. During the exam, they can see how well your child is doing with their oral hygiene routine, too. Extra cleanings might be recommended throughout the year if hygiene is a problem.
By putting our oral hygiene tips into action and caring for their braces and smile, your child will get the outstanding results they deserve. Whether you’d like to learn more about braces for kids and teens, or you’re looking for a fun, friendly pediatric dentist, we’ve got you covered. Schedule a visit at Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry in Thornton, Denver or Englewood, CO today!
Are you thinking about getting braces for your child, or is your kiddo already on her way to a new smile? One of the first things the parents of our Denver area orthodontic patients ask is, “How will braces change my child’s life?” For starters, braces will improve your child’s bite, oral health and self-confidence. But there are also a few changes she’ll need to make along the way, such as avoiding certain foods that could damage the hardware.
Fortunately, there are tons of braces-friendly food, so it shouldn’t be a huge adjustment. Even eating out is totally possible with braces! If you’re looking for a place to eat in Denver with braces, look no further. Read on for Kids Mile High’s ultimate braces-friendly food guide to the best restaurants in Denver, Thornton, and Englewood.
Foods to Avoid with Braces
First things first, let’s start with a little refresher on what foods to eat with braces and what foods to avoid. While it can be a bit of a bummer to be told what to eat, we’re here to assure you (and your kids) that eating with braces can be just as enjoyable as without. You’ll just need to follow a few hard-and-fast rules to keep your child’s teeth safe and healthy.
Basically, you’ll want to avoid anything hard, crunchy, chewy, sticky or any foods you have to bite into. Here’s a list of foods to avoid with braces and why:
Hard/crunchy foods: Popcorn, ice, chips or hard candies could potentially break your child’s brackets, which has the potential of delaying progress.
Chewy foods: Dense bread, like bagels or pizza crust, can get stuck in braces, making it more difficult to brush and floss effectively.
Sticky foods: Sticky items like caramels, candy and bubblegum are off-limits if your child has braces for obvious reasons. Not only do they get stuck in the brackets and wires, but these treats can also pull the brackets off your child’s teeth. And of course, the sugar itself isn’t good for developing mouths!
Foods you bite into: Biting into things like apples, corn-on-the-cob, or carrots are dangerous for your child’s hardware, so it’s best to avoid them until the braces come off.
The most important thing to remember about eating with braces is that you need to be extra diligent about oral health care. The brackets and wires create lots of extra little spaces for plaque and bacteria to hide, so your child will need to brush and floss after every snack and meal to avoid harmful build-up.
Where to Eat with Braces in Englewood, Thornton and Denver
Okay, now to the fun part! Let’s talk about all the delicious foods you can eat with braces in the Denver area. While eating out with braces can take a little extra forethought, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are our favorite restaurants in Denver, Englewood and Thornton for anyone — with or without braces
Undici Ristorante Italiano – 1200 E Hampden Ave, Englewood, CO – Italian food is one of the best things to eat with braces for many reasons: it’s delicious, it’s usually soft enough for even sensitive teeth, and everyone loves pasta! Undici has some of the best food in Englewood, serving up classic Italian dishes like calamari, spaghetti and meatballs, and tiramisu. The best part? All of the above are perfectly safe for diners with braces, so there’s no need to compromise. Undici is currently open for dine-in and takeout.
Garibaldi Mexican Bistro – 3298 S Broadway B, Englewood, CO – For a casual dining experience that even kiddos with braces will love, Garibaldi is the spot. It truly doesn’t get more authentic than this for real-deal Mexican eats in the heart of Englewood. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the chicken mole enchiladas or the daily quesadilla special. Mexican food is an ideal braces-friendly cuisine, as long as you stick to soft tortillas, not the crunchy kind. And be sure to cut everything into bite-sized pieces to guarantee your child’s braces stay safe! Garibaldi is currently open for takeout and delivery.
Doug’s Diner – 4243 E 136th Ave #6918, Thornton, CO – Everyone’s favorite diner in Thornton doubles as the perfect place to eat with braces. This neighborhood gem dishes up American classics like omelettes, hamburgers and sandwiches. Kids with braces can still eat at Doug’s, as long as they cut their food into bite-sized pieces or stick to soft menu items like the many delicious omelettes available. Doug’s Diner is currently open for dine-in and takeout.
Four Friends Kitchen – 2893 Roslyn St, Denver, CO – This Southern-inspired eatery is a fantastic place to eat out in Denver with braces. Located in Central Park, Four Friends was created by, you guessed it, four friends! So you know it’ll be a friendly restaurant for the whole family. For your braces-clad kiddos, stick to menu items like grits, waffles and mac-n-cheese. Four Friends is currently open for dine-in, takeout and delivery.
Ace Eat Serve – 501 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO – This has got to be one of the coolest restaurants in Denver, whether you have braces or not. With a menu full of unique Asian-inspired dishes and a dozen ping pong tables (yes, really), you and your kids are guaranteed to have a great time. Most things on the menu are safe for braces, including rice bowls, noodle bowls, bao buns, and especially the peanut butter Thai rolled ice cream (just watch out for those crunchy peanuts!). As long as you avoid any tough meats like the crispy beef, you should be in the clear. Ace Eat Serve is currently open for dine-in, takeout and delivery — and ping pong!
Did we miss one of your favorite local restaurants? We’d love to hear all about it at your next appointment with Kids Mile High. Contact us today to book.
What are the Different Types of Braces for Kids and Teens?
At Kids Mile High, we know that getting braces is a big deal for any child or teen. It’s a big first step towards achieving the smile they’ll have for the rest of their lives. But the decision to get braces is one thing — choosing from the many different kinds of braces is another. Depending on your personal preferences for how you want to look and your various lifestyle choices, there are a number of factors that indicate the type of braces that are best for you.
Every one of our Denver orthodontic patients has different goals for their smiles and there are many different ways to get straighter teeth. Traditional braces are a classic, proven way to straighten your teeth, but many teens would prefer a more discreet option. Fixed brackets might fit easily with some kids’ lifestyles, but for those who play sports, a removable device, like Invisalign aligners, are a better choice.
With so many different types of braces available, it can be difficult to know what’s best for your kids. But your kids shouldn’t have to change their whole lives to work with their orthodontic treatment — their orthodontic treatment should work with them to change their lives. If you’re struggling to choose the best type of braces for your teens, here’s everything you need to know about the kinds of braces we offer at Kids Mile High.
Not Your Parents’ Metal Braces
Metal braces are probably what come to mind when you first hear the word “braces.” That’s because they’re tried and true, with decades of proven results under their belts. Metal braces have been so popular over the years that they’ve practically become a teenage right of passage. They’re an effective method to straighten your kids’ teeth and give them the smile of their dreams.
Here’s how they work: the brackets are bonded to your teeth, where they’ll stay put for the entire duration of treatment. Then, your orthodontist will fit the brackets with a wire that’s bent into the desired position of your teeth. The brackets and wires work together to put pressure on your teeth and slowly move them into place. You can even customize them with funky colored elastics to let your personality shine through.
Even though metal braces have been around forever, they’ve come a long way from the chunky brackets and pokey wires they used to be. Braces today are much more streamlined, with smaller brackets and thinner wires. They cause less discomfort than traditional versions and are much more subtle than the mouthful of metal your parents wore in the ‘70s!
Cool and Clear Ceramic Braces
At Kids Mile High, we understand that metal braces aren’t for everyone. Some kids, particularly older kids and teens, would rather not have metal hardware on display every time they smile. For patients who prefer a more discreet kind of braces, we offer clear braces. Also known as ceramic braces, this type of treatment functions in the exact same way as metal braces, using brackets and wires to gradually straighten your teeth. But instead of metal, they’re made from (you guessed it) ceramic. The material blends in with the color of your teeth, meaning your braces will be much less noticeable to the naked eye.
The most common concern with ceramic braces is that they’re not as durable as metal braces and they can stain easily. That’s why they’re often recommended only for older teens and adults who will take care of them properly. But the newest kind of clear braces are stain resistant and made from stronger materials. Kids Mile High offers the latest ceramic braces technology for kids and teens of all ages.
Invisalign Teen: No Brackets, No Problem
You can’t argue with the proven teeth-straightening power of braces, but a fixed orthodontic device isn’t compatible for every person’s preferences and lifestyle. Fortunately, your kids can effectively straighten their teeth — free from brackets and wires — with Invisalign Teen.
Here’s how the process works: first, we’ll take a digital scan of your child’s mouth using the latest technology. Dr. Owens will use the scan to create a 3D model and map out the ideal movement of your child’s teeth. The prescription will then be sent to Invisalign where a series of customized clear aligners will be created. As your teen’s teeth continue to move throughout treatment, he or she will receive a new set of aligners to wear approximately every one to two weeks.
The benefits of Invisalign are obvious: since there’s no fixed appliance, your kiddos can still eat their favorite foods, it’s easier for them to clean their teeth and they can simply remove their aligners for sports activities. But for Invisalign Teen to be effective, your child has to wear his or her aligners for 22 hours a day. This type of orthodontic treatment is best for responsible kids who will stay on top of their treatment schedule and keep track of their aligners.
Kids Mile High is proud to offer the latest in orthodontic treatment options to give you and your kids the opportunity to choose your own braces adventure (under our expert supervision, of course!). Need help deciding which type of braces are best for your teen? Call your Denver orthodontist to book a consultation today.
If you’ve ever visited Kids Mile High, you might recognize Dr. Justin Owens as your fun, friendly Thornton orthodontist. As an expert in creating beautiful smiles for kids, he can even get your little ones excited about going to the orthodontist. Dr. Owens believes a good orthodontist is an orthodontist you can trust — so read on to learn more about him and why he got into the business of little smiles.
1.Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Denver, Colorado.
2. Why did you become an orthodontist?
A person’s smile is one of the first things you notice about them. Making a first impression with a beautiful smile can be very powerful, and I love helping people achieve their dream smile.
3. What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken?
Exploring Thailand…and eating Thai food!
4. Who is your role model?
I’ve always looked up to my mom and dad.
5. What’s your favorite thing about coming to work at Kids Mile High every day?
I love hearing about what our patients are into at the moment, whether it’s a video game, movie, sports or music.
6. Did you have a nickname as a kid?
Everyone used to call me Hawk.
7. What’s your favorite movie?
Star Wars, all the way!
8. What was the most challenging part of orthodontic education?
While I was in school, I was working seven days a week while trying to help raise a family at the same time. That was hard!
9. What’s your hidden talent?
Umm…I’m a good whistler?
10. Did you like going to the orthodontist as a kid?
I loved it! (Weird, I know.)
11. What’s the next thing on your bucket list?
I want to travel more. Hawaii is probably next.
12. What is something your patients would be surprised to learn about you?
I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2002.
13. Which sports team do you root for?
Broncos, Rockies, Nuggets, Avalanche…I love them all equally.
14. What do you think makes you different from other orthodontists?
As an orthodontist, it’s my job to look at people’s teeth to see how I can improve them. I try to put myself in my patients’ shoes to make the experience as fun and enjoyable as possible.
15. If you could have a superpower what would it be?
16. If you had a time machine, which era would be your first stop?
I’d go straight to ancient Egypt.
17. What’s your spirit animal?
Eagle…so I could fly!
18. What’s the best advice you can give parents about caring for their kids’ teeth?
Find a dentist you trust. Find a dentist your child trusts. Then see this dentist regularly.
19. What is your favorite food?
I’m a huge sushi fan.
20. What is your favorite holiday?
I love Christmas.
Want to meet Dr. Owens in real life and find out if he’s the right orthodontist for your little ones? Book an appointment today!