Linking orthodontic treatment and caries management for high-risk adolescents

A2011 study from the University of Michigan’s Department of Orthodontics reflects on the problem of caries in children undergoing orthodontic treatment: “This widespread an alarming challenge and warrants significant attention from both patients and providers that should result in greatly increased emphasis on effective caries prevention.” 1 In 2013, leading authorities from Baylor University commented that “Orthodontists need to be mindful of [caries] risk factors when making treatment decisions.” 2 Unanswered is specifically how orthodontists might act on these recommendations—particularly in an era when demography in the United States is shifting toward increasing proportions of low-income and minority children who are enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program that cover orthodontic treatment.

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