Cavities During Orthodontic Treatment
Cavities can happen very fast while you are wearing braces. It’s harder to clean your teeth with all the brackets and the wires in the way. It is very important that you continue seeing your dentist while undergoing treatment with braces. Your dentist is a vital partner in this process. They will be able to quickly identify cavities, notify your orthodontist, and work to fill in that cavity.
Oral Care During Treatment
Under regular circumstances, it’s recommended that you brush your teeth twice a day. While wearing braces, it’s recommended that you brush your teeth after every single meal.
The reason for this is because stuck or trapped food presents a location for bacteria to set in and cause gum disease or plaque. Brushing after every meal and flossing at least once per day allows you to prevent plaque buildup from happening in the first place.
Brushing should take place from the top down, and from the bottom up, across every tooth surface. Brush your teeth from every angle possible while wearing braces to dislodge food particles and prevent plaque buildup.
Flossing should be done with a floss threader or by using threadable floss and your fingers. It requires you to place the floss underneath the wire to get between every tooth. This is the most important oral hygiene step to follow while undergoing treatment with braces.
A waterpik is another tool that can be extremely helpful; it uses water to blast additional food particles out that can’t be reached by regular brushing. Additionally, you can use a proxabrush to get into those hard-to-reach places and dislodge food particles.
Tooth Decay and Braces
You might be imagining what your perfect smile will look like when the braces finally come off. The reality of wearing braces, however, is that you have to be diligent about caring for your teeth and overall oral hygiene. Skipping out on brushing or flossing can quickly result in gum disease or cavities. Children especially have trouble with this since many of them like to skip brushing or flossing entirely.
It can take up to 3 years to fully shift the teeth into their desired positions with braces. Imagine spending that much time working to perfect your smile, only to have your teeth end up discolored or marred by cavities. This is why proper oral hygiene and following the exact instructions of your orthodontist is so important. Tooth decay that leads to cavities can happen very fast when braces are attached to your teeth. Instead of a simple trip to the dentist to get a cavity filled in, a cavity with braces is a more involved process.
Cavities While Being Treated with Braces
Dentists work on cavities, while orthodontists work on braces and other oral appliances. In some cases, your dentist will be able to fill in a cavity without removing your braces. Tooth decay frequently happens in between teeth or around the wires or brackets of your braces. If the tooth decay is in a hard-to-reach spot, your orthodontist might have to take off the wire from your braces. This requires appointments that are spaced closely together — one with the orthodontist, and one with the dentist.
If the tooth decay is particularly bad, your orthodontist may have to take a bracket off to allow the dentist to reach a cavity. The missing bracket is then replaced as soon as possible. Filling a cavity with or without braces is basically the same process — we just have to work around your orthodontic appliances.
Remember that if you are wearing braces and you feel pain or sensitivity in your teeth, or you become sensitive to hot or cold foods, you should let us know as soon as possible. Pain or sensitivity can be a sign that you have a cavity that needs a filling soon. Contact us to book an appointment.