Dealing with Cavities When You Have Braces
By Kellyn Hodges on March 21, 2015
When patients visit Dr. Kellyn Hodges and other members of his team in the greater Philadelphia area, they can expect fine treatment with a focus on great results and total wellness. We offer comprehensive orthdontic treatment, including traditional metal braces and various alternatives and advanced therapies to straighten teeth and enhance smiles.
Good dental hygiene is important when patients have braces in place. Let's consider the issue of cavities while wearing braces right now.
Can I get braces when I have cavities?
Technically you can, but in most cases, a dentist will want to ensure that you are in good overall dental health before any brackets or wires are placed. This means that any tooth decay or tooth damage will be treated and that any gum disease will be addressed prior to orthodontic treatment being initiated.
These dental care issues will be discussed in greater detail during your consultation with an orthodontist and/or your dentist.
Can I develop cavities when I have braces on?
It is possible to develop tooth decay while you are wearing braces. Even though tooth surfaces may be covered by brackets and wires, oral bacteria can still feed on food particles and cause damage to the enamel layer of your teeth.
In fact, it's also possible to develop gum disease and suffer from root canal infections while you are wearing braces, which is why it's important to ensure that you are practicing good oral hygiene while you are undergoing any sort of orthodontic care.
What happens if I develop cavities while I am wearing braces?
If you develop cavities or other kinds of dental problems while you are wearing braces, your orthodontist and dentist will consult one another on the best method of treatment.
Sometimes treatment can be delayed so long as patients practice good oral hygiene to prevent the progression of the dental problem. In other instances, restorative care may need to be initiated in order to improve overall dental health and wellness.
How to Prevent Cavities While You Are Wearing Braces
While you are wearing braces, it is of the utmost importance that you work carefully to prevent tooth decay and other serious dental problems. The best methods of prevention are the following basics:
- Floss Your Teeth Every Night - Flossing may become more complicated and more inconvenient after you have braces in place, but it is of the utmost importance when it comes to preventing cavities. Be sure to floss at least once a night. Use your floss threaders to get the spaces between your teeth as well as around the brackets and wires.
- Brush Your Teeth Regularly - Brushing your teeth is always very important to consider when it comes to preventing tooth decay. With braces on, be gentle to prevent damaging the brackets and wires, but be thorough as well. Angle the toothbrush to cover the different bracket surfaces and to remove any and all food particles.
- Drink Water to Stay Hydrated - Drinking water keeps you hydrated, which is great. The water is also a good idea for removing food particles between your teeth and around the brackets and wires.
- Avoid Sugary Foods During Treatment - Your dentist and orthodontist will tell you to avoid sweets, and it's with good reason. The sugars can get stuck on the teeth and brackets and lead to cavities. Eat smart and eat right.
Schedule a Consultation with Our Orthodontists
For more information about orthodontic care and what you can do to have the healthiest and most beautiful smile possible, it's important that you contact our orthodontic treatment specialists today. Dr. Hodges and the entire team look forward to your visit and helping you achieve all of your dental health and aesthetic goals.