Cavities During Braces


Developing cavities while receiving orthodontic treatment with braces is not the end of the world — but it’s not the best possible outcome, either! Your friendly and affordable orthodontist in Suntree, Viera, and Rockledge, FL is going to want to have a chat with you about your diet, brushing habits, and other topics if you do develop cavities. Here’s what to expect if you are unfortunate enough to develop a cavity while wearing braces.

Taking Care of Your Teeth with Braces

Even when you are not receiving treatment with your braces, you should be brushing your teeth (with fluoride toothpaste) after every meal and flossing at least once per day. But this becomes even more important when wearing braces. Your teeth are actually more susceptible to decay and cavities while wearing braces, because it becomes harder to keep every area clean.

Traditional metal and wire braces are still the go-to method for straightening teeth, because they work better on children and young teens than any other system invented so far. If a patient is not diligent about brushing and flossing, it’s much easier for food particles and the resulting plaque and tooth decay to set in. If these food particles (or sugars from drinks) are not removed from the teeth, it can rapidly lead to decay and one or more cavities.

This is why it’s so important to follow Dr. Valderrama’s pointers when it comes to oral health and braces:

  • Brush your teeth after every meal. Use your regular soft-bristled toothbrush for this and brush from top to bottom, and bottom to top, on every tooth.
  • Floss your teeth with a floss threader. Get the floss in there, into the space between every tooth. This can seem like a hassle, and it takes longer than flossing without braces, because you have to get the floss underneath the wire on every space. But it’s also the single most important part of your oral hygiene while wearing braces!
  • Use the special tools that Valderrama Orthodontics recommends. A waterpik is great for blasting food particles out of those hard-to-reach spots that you can’t get to with a normal toothbrush or floss. Use a proxabrush — a specialty brush shaped like a tree — to get into those tough spots and brush them as well.

Treatment for a Cavity with Braces

As we mentioned at the top of this post, it’s not the end of the world if you get a cavity while wearing braces. Still… it’s not a walk in the park to correct that cavity.

When you are wearing braces, tooth decay is most likely to happen in the cracks between teeth, or around the brackets that are cemented to your teeth. In some cases, your dentist will be able to work around the brackets and wires to install a filling in a cavity. That’s the “best case scenario.” But if your dentist cannot reach the cavity to install a filling, here’s what happens.

First, you have to visit Valderrama Orthodontics for an appointment to remove the wire from your braces. If it’s a really bad cavity that extends behind one of your brackets, we will need to remove that bracket from your tooth as well. Then, you’ll need to head to your regular dentist to have a filling installed in that cavity. Finally, you get to pay another visit to Valderrama Orthodontics to have any removed brackets and the wire reinstalled. That doesn’t sound like a very fun day, does it? It can take up to three appointments with two oral health care specialists just to correct a single cavity.

The Perfect Smile is the Goal!

All of this concern about tooth decay and cavities is why it is required to have any cavities filled¬†before¬†your orthodontic treatment with braces begins. This applies to everyone from kids receiving a set of traditional braces to an adult being fitted with invisible bride braces. In the best case scenario — and if you keep up with great oral hygiene during the treatment with braces — you will get through it with zero cavities, and perfectly straight teeth, at the end of the process!

Ready for Braces? Call Us!

If you think that you or your child is a good candidate for braces, contact us in Suntree, Viera, or Rockledge to learn about our orthodontic practices and to schedule an appointment!