What Happens if I Get a Cavity When I Have Braces?

Tooth decay and cavities are very real concerns when a patient is having their teeth corrected with braces. That’s because it’s not as easy to brush and clean the teeth while there are brackets and wires attached to them. If you develop cavities while undergoing braces treatment, your orthodontist will work with you to help correct the problem.

Before You Get Braces

Prior to the installation of your braces at Reddick Orthodontics, we will recommend you receive a full dental exam and treatment course. If any cavities are detected in X-rays, fillings should be applied to those before getting braces. Gum disease or any other oral problems should always be corrected prior to getting braces.

This prevents further tooth decay or gum disease from happening after your braces are installed. You will have the best outcome from braces if your teeth are in great shape and healthy prior to getting braces.

Cavity Risk During Braces

Once you have braces installed, it becomes very important to follow all of the care instructions provided by your orthodontist. It is easy for food to become stuck in hard-to-reach places, which increases the risk of cavities developing. Those trapped food particles allow bacteria to develop, which can eventually turn into cavities.

If you start to feel pain in a tooth or sensitivity to hot or cold beverages, it’s important to let your orthodontist know. This could be an early warning sign that a cavity is developing.

What Happens if You Get a Cavity While You Have Braces

It is inconvenient to have a cavity develop while wearing braces, but it’s not the end of the world. Depending on the size and location of a cavity, your dentist might be able to put in a filling without the need to adjust the wires on your braces.

Sometimes, however, your braces and brackets might have to be taken off in order to apply a filling. If that happens, your orthodontist will remove the braces in one appointment, and then reinstall them at a second appointment after your dentist puts in the filling. Your orthodontist and dentist will try to schedule these appointments closely enough so that you don’t lose too much time (and progress) from your braces shifting your teeth.

In certain rare cases, the best option might be to leave the cavity alone. For example, if you only have a couple of weeks left before your braces are to be permanently removed, your orthodontist might recommend waiting to have the cavity filled.

Invisalign- Alternative to Braces

If tooth decay is a big concern, Reddick Orthodontics might recommend Invisalign as an alternative to metal wire braces for some patients. These clear aligners work in a similar manner to braces. They shift the teeth over time. Invisalign can be used in patients who only require mild to moderate shifting of the teeth for oral correction.

Another nice feature of Invisalign is that the aligners are easy to remove. You can take them out for meals, brush your teeth after eating, and then put the aligners back on your teeth. Additionally, the problem of food being trapped behind a system of wires and brackets is nonexistent with Invisalign.

However, Invisalign is not recommended for every patient. Invisalign Teen can be used with patients who have had most of their adult teeth erupt. However, for patients who need moderate to severe correction of their teeth, traditional braces will likely be the more effective treatment method. At Reddick Orthodontics in Melbourne and Indian Harbour Beach, your orthodontist will discuss all of the best available options for you. You can then make an informed choice about which method of treatment will produce the best results for you.

Contact Reddick Orthodontics About Braces

We want to work with you to help you achieve the smile you’ve always dreamed of having. Whether it takes braces, Invisalign, or another system to get there, Reddick Orthodontics has the experience and expertise you’re looking for. If you think it’s time for braces or any other orthodontic treatment, contact our office in Melbourne or Indian Harbour Beach to schedule your next appointment.


We have missed seeing everyone!  We are finally able to go back to work and look forward to seeing all of our patients and their families.  We are in the process of calling everyone who has missed an appointment during our forced office closure to reschedule and get back on track.  We will be working overtime in the coming months to do what we can to help. Unfortunately, our time out of work will delay treatment completion for many and for that we are truly sorry.  Most importantly, we hope this message finds everyone happy and healthy.

The health and safety of our patients, their families, and the community remain our primary focus.  We are taking as many precautions as possible for prevention of spreading COVID-19.  We will remain vigilant with our sterilization and disinfection protocols and we will  be taking additional precautionary measures as well.   If the patient or an immediate family member has been sick in the past two weeks, we ask that you please call us to reschedule the appointment to a later date as a precaution.

To limit the traffic in our building, we will be adjusting to a “parking lot waiting area”.  We will have a staff member come out to each vehicle to greet you and check the patient in.  Please call the office if you are not promptly greeted.  There are some types of appointments that require a parent’s participation, so we ask that anyone accompanying the patient into the office wear a mask or face covering.  We can provide masks if necessary. 

We will only be utilizing half of our operatories to maintain significant distance between patients.  We ask that all of our patients please thoroughly brush their teeth prior to their appointments to limit use of our toothbrushing area.  We have also installed plexiglass barriers between our front desk and the waiting area.  As always, we will continue to be committed to giving each of our patients the best experience possible!

Thank you for your understanding!

The Reddick Orthodontics Team