Tooth cavities are a never-ending concern for us in our quest for good oral hygiene. American children aged 6 to 8 experience cavities before they begin to develop adult teeth, and more than half of our teenagers experience cavities in their permanent teeth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, there is no improvement in the situation among those over the age of 65. Too many patients suffer from untreated cavities, causing pain, discomfort, gum disease, and infections affecting their eating or speaking ability!
Although metal braces are commonly used to straighten teeth and improve oral health, some of our patients may wonder if they can wear braces with cavities and, if so, how to deal with them. This article discusses whether you can wear braces with cavities, whether your cavities need to be filled before braces, and whether you can wear braces while having them fixed.
Table of Contents
What are Tooth Cavities?
A tooth develops tiny holes or openings (hence the word cavity) when it becomes damaged. Cavities are caused by bacteria in the mouth producing acid, which eats away at the enamel, causing them to decay. Cavities are commonly caused by snacking, drinking sugary drinks regularly, and neglecting oral hygiene.
No one is immune to tooth decay; untreated cavities often lead to infection, painful toothaches, and tooth loss.
Is It Okay to Have Braces With Cavities?
While it is possible to have braces with cavities, it is essential to note that having cavities during orthodontic treatment can complicate the process and potentially cause further dental problems if not properly managed.
When you undergo orthodontic treatment and have cavities, you may be given several options to manage them by your dentist or orthodontist. Braces can be applied only to healthy teeth (e.g., the top teeth, while the bottom teeth have cavities).
Do I Need to Get My Cavities Filled Before Braces?
Cavities should be treated properly before getting braces because they can weaken a person’s teeth and make them vulnerable to further damage.
Your general dentist may recommend dental fillings or other dental restorations to repair cavities and prevent further decay. This will restore the function and strength of your teeth as well as prevent further tooth decay.
Using fluoride to strengthen enamel and prevent further decay is recommended after orthodontists have treated your cavities. As part of their preventative measures, they may also suggest mouthguards or special cleaning tools to reduce the risk of tooth decay while wearing braces.
Can You Get a Cavity Filled With Braces On?
You can still get dental fillings after braces are installed! However, the process of getting a filling without braces can be more complex than that of getting a filling without braces since cavities can always appear unexpectedly.
To access and treat a cavity, your orthodontist may need to remove brackets and wires from your teeth. The braces may need to be reapplied after the dental work is completed, which can be time-consuming. However, a cavity can develop in an accessible enough position that your dentist can treat without removing your braces.
It is extremely important to communicate with your dentist and orthodontist if you need dental work done while wearing braces. For brackets and wires to be removed and replaced as necessary, your dentist may need to work closely with your orthodontist.
Tips for Managing Cavities With Braces
If you still get a cavity even after getting braces, the following steps can help you manage your dental health and help heal the decayed tooth:
- Keep your teeth healthy by brushing and flossing regularly, paying special attention to areas around brackets and wires. Use an interdental brush or water flosser to remove food particles and debris from your teeth.
- You should avoid sugary and acidic foods, which can increase your risk of decay and erosion. Instead, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
- Keep regular dental check-ups. Your dentist can monitor the health of your teeth and prescribe a treatment plan to prevent cavities.
- For strong enamel and to prevent decay, your dentist may suggest fluoride-based toothpaste or mouthwash.
Start Your Orthodontic Treatment at Loudoun Orthodontics!
Contact Loudoun Orthodontics if you think braces are the solution to your dental woes. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of braces or have questions about the process, use our live chat or call (703) 858-0303 or send us a message through our contact us page to connect with our friendly staff today to book a complimentary orthodontic consultation! Our office, located at 19465 Deerfield Ave, Suite 304, Leesburg, VA 20176, proudly serves not just Loudoun County but also the Greater Washington DC area. So, if you’re residing in Ashburn, Lansdowne, or Sterling, and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in Virginia, 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!
- “Can You Get Braces with Cavities?” OC Dental Center, dentalorangecounty.com/blog/can-you-get-braces-with-cavities/. Accessed 27 Apr. 2023.
- “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 27 Apr. 2023.
- “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 27 Apr. 2023.