Cavities can strike at any time. No matter a patient’s age, a cavity is a common dental issue to address as soon as possible. However, if you are considering braces for yourself or your child, you may be concerned about how the presence of cavities could affect your eligibility.
Thankfully, cavities are treatable and with the right care can be prevented, even while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Continue reading to learn what you should do if you are worried about cavities and more like, can you get braces with cavities?
Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.
What are Cavities?
Cavities are often described as “holes” formed by the untreated presence of plaque, which is formed from saliva combining with bacteria in your mouth. Improperly cleaned teeth tend to accumulate plaque, which eventually sticks to teeth to form what’s called “tartar.” The resulting acids that degrade and damage your tooth cause the holes that we call cavities.
Small cavities are detectable and treatable early. However, when left unchecked, decay from cavities can become extensive, damaging the entire structure of the tooth. Eventually, these teeth cannot stand up to the pressures of chewing and biting. They could also be damaged by orthodontic appliances like braces.
Since untreated cavities can become a major issue, patients who are wondering if they are ready to get braces may be concerned about pre-existing cavities becoming worse during their treatment.
Getting Braces with Cavities
Due to the time-sensitive nature of cavity treatment, your orthodontist will advise you to treat cavities before getting braces. Depending on the extent of the damage, this could require fillings, crowns, or even root canals, which address the most extensive structural damage caused by neglected cavities. These treatments prevent the cavity from doing any more harm to your tooth.
Braces can make it difficult to clean your teeth properly, which is why orthodontists provide floss threaders and other tools to make it easier. However, new patients will likely always have some issues, which is why it’s important to treat cavities before getting braces to ensure they don’t worsen.
Additionally, the normal pressure applied by braces to your teeth could further damage a tooth affected by extensive tooth decay. Have your oral health evaluated before getting your braces to ensure you are still eligible for your treatment plan.
What Happens if I Get a Cavity While I Have Braces?
Despite following your orthodontist’s diet restrictions and recommendations, you may still get a cavity while wearing your braces. To prevent it from worsening during your treatment, your dentist may want to treat it right away.
Many cavities can be treated without removing your appliance. However, if necessary, you may need to have your archwire temporarily removed.
Alternatively, if you frequently get cavities, you may prefer to opt for Invisalign treatment over braces. Invisalign straightens your teeth using a series of clear plastic aligners that apply force over time like braces. Unlike braces, however, Invisalign can be removed to eat, drink, and treat cavities. This allows those who are prone to cavities to have a convenient way to get their teeth straightened while easily receiving any needed dental treatment.
How to Prevent Cavities With Braces
Even with the added difficulties of wearing braces, cavities are preventable. The best way to prevent cavities is to brush twice a day with toothpaste that contains fluoride and floss at least once a day to prevent plaque from building up.
This can be more difficult with braces. Invest in a soft-bristled, mechanical toothbrush that you can angle to address all the surfaces of your teeth around your brackets and wires. Your orthodontist will provide a floss threader that allows you to floss around your wire as well. They may recommend special mouthwashes that further aid in preventing cavities.
Be sure to follow the diet restrictions for your treatment, which includes avoiding foods that are sticky, acidic, or sugary, including candy and soda. These foods can not only damage your braces but also increase the chances of sugars being trapped in hard-to-reach places and forming cavities.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
If you’re an adult who is considering braces, you need professional advice on your treatment and payment options. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you.
Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.