Braces With Cavities: Is It Possible?

by | Apr 27, 2023 | General Orthodontics | 0 comments

Tooth cavities are a never-ending concern in our journey toward good oral hygiene. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over half of the American children aged 6 to 8 deal with cavities before the eruption of their adult teeth, while over half of our teenagers have experienced cavities in their permanent teeth. And unfortunately, the situation does not improve in older age groups. In too many patients, cavities go untreated, causing pain, discomfort, gum disease, and infections impairing their ability to eat or even speak!

Metal braces are a common dental treatment used to straighten teeth and improve oral health. However, some of our patients may wonder if it is possible to have braces with cavities and, if so, how to manage them. That’s why today’s article will discuss whether it is possible to have braces with cavities, whether you need to get your cavities filled before braces, and whether you can get them fixed with braces on!

 

What are Tooth Cavities?

A cavity — or tooth decay — is a damaged area in the tooth’s surface that turns into tiny holes or openings (hence the word “cavity”). Cavities occur when bacteria in the mouth produce acid that eats away at the enamel of the teeth, causing decay. Constantly indulging in snacks and sugary drinks and neglecting oral hygiene are frequent culprits behind cavities.

From young children to older adults, no one is 100% safe from tooth decay. Infection, severe toothaches, and tooth loss often accompany untreated cavities.

 

Is It Okay to Have Braces With Cavities?

Yes, it is possible to have braces with cavities. However, it is essential to note that having cavities while undergoing orthodontic treatment can complicate the process and potentially cause further dental problems if not properly managed.

Girl with cavity pain

If you have cavities while undergoing orthodontic treatment, your dentist or orthodontist may recommend a few different approaches to manage them. Such solutions include undergoing braces treatment solely on healthy teeth (e.g., on the top teeth while having a cavity on a bottom tooth).

 

Do I Need to Get My Cavities Filled Before Braces?

In most cases, it is recommended to have any existing cavities treated properly before getting braces. That is because cavities can compromise the strength of the teeth and make them susceptible to further damage during orthodontic treatment.

If you have cavities, your general dentist will likely recommend dental fillings or other dental restoration to repair the damage. This step will help prevent further tooth decay and restore the strength and function of the affected teeth.

Once the cavities have been treated, orthodontists recommend a fluoride treatment to help strengthen the enamel and protect the teeth from further decay. They may also recommend additional preventative measures, such as a mouthguard or special cleaning tools, to help minimize the risk of tooth decay while wearing braces.

 

Can You Get a Cavity Filled With Braces On?

Yes, it is possible to get dental fillings after having braces installed! Unfortunately, a cavity can always spring up unexpectedly, which is why traditional braces will not prevent you from getting cavity treatment. However, this process can be more complex than getting a filling without braces.

Young girl receiving dental treatment

In some cases, your orthodontist may need to remove the brackets and wires from your teeth in order to access and treat the cavity. This approach can be time-consuming and may require additional appointments to reapply the braces after the dental work is complete. However, a cavity can develop in an accessible enough position for your dentist to treat it without having to remove your braces.

If you need dental work done while wearing braces, it is extremely important to communicate with your dentist and orthodontist to ensure the process goes smoothly. Your dentist may need to work closely with your orthodontist to coordinate the removal and replacement of brackets and wires as needed.

 

Tips for Managing Cavities With Braces

If a cavity still manages to spring up after you get braces, there are several steps you can take to help manage your dental health and help heal your decayed tooth:

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Brush and floss regularly, paying extra attention to the areas around the brackets and wires of your braces. Consider using an interdental brush or water flosser to help remove food particles and debris.

Avoid Sugary and Acidic Foods

They can increase the risk of decay and erosion in your teeth. Instead, opt for a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.

Attend Regular Dental Check-ups

Your dentist can monitor the health of your teeth and recommend a treatment plan to prevent or manage cavities.

Use Fluoride Products

Your dentist may recommend fluoride-based toothpaste or mouthwash to help strengthen your enamel and protect your teeth from decay.

Young girl undergoing orthodontic treatment

Start Your Orthodontic Treatment at Patuxent Orthodontics!

Contact Patuxent Orthodontics if orthodontic care is the way to achieve the beautiful smile of your dreams! Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of our orthodontic services or simply have questions about the process, use our live chat or call (240) 802-7217 or send us a message through our contact us page to connect with our friendly staff today and book a free consultation! Our office, located at 44220 Airport View Dr., Hollywood, MD 20636, proudly serves Maryland’s Patuxent area, as well as the Greater Washington DC area. So, if you’re residing in California, Lexington Park, and Great Mills and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in MD, don’t hesitate to visit our office! We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining sparkling oral health and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to become a part of our smiling community!

 

References

  1. “Can You Get Braces with Cavities?” OC Dental Center, dentalorangecounty.com/blog/can-you-get-braces-with-cavities/. Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.
  2. “Cavities.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 Jan. 2021, www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/fast-facts/cavities/index.html. Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.
  3. “Cavities/Tooth Decay.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 19 Mar. 2022, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cavities/symptoms-causes/syc-20352892. Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

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