Just because a patient is wearing braces, doesn’t mean that general oral health is not still important. In fact, wearing orthodontic appliances can make it more difficult to clean well in between teeth. Good brushing and flossing habits are more important than ever during orthodontic treatment, but cavities can still happen.

What is a Cavity? 

Cavities occur when the enamel and other hard surfaces of your teeth are permanently damaged. Decay can happen as a result of bacteria in your mouth and not cleaning your teeth well. Fillings can be used to treat cavities to repair the hole or opening in the teeth. Cavities are very common but can cause serious damage if not properly fixed.

Cavities Risk During Braces 

Braces make it easy for food to get trapped in between the teeth or behind wires or brackets. When teeth are exposed to prolonged exposure to food or sugar, bacteria can form, break down the surface of teeth, and causes cavities. When wearing braces, it’s important to brush or rinse your mouth after eating, brush and floss regularly, and keep your teeth as clean as possible. Eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water can also help keep your teeth healthy. Be sure to keep up with regularly scheduled dental appointments and cleanings as well.

Cavities and Braces

A cavity can be fixed while you’re in braces, similarly to the way it’s fixed when you’re not undergoing orthodontic treatment. Your general or pediatric dentist will more than likely recommend a filling. This will repair the damage and help the tooth retain its shape.

Will it Affect Orthodontic Treatment? 

In most cases, cavities will not affect your orthodontic treatment. Generally, your dentist will be able to perform the repair without removing wires or brackets. However, there are cases where a cavity can not be reached properly while a patient is in braces. In this case, we can temporarily remove the restricting pieces of your braces for your filling appointment. After the repair is made, we will reattach any pieces of your braces that had to be removed.

Healthy Smiles are Our Goal

At our practice, Dr. Harris and our entire team are dedicated to creating not only beautiful but healthy smiles! If you are concerned about cavities while in braces, talk to us. We can help you understand how to better clean your teeth to avoid decay. We can also discuss treatment options like aligner trays that make it easier to clean in between your teeth.