Published on October 25, 2018, Updated on October 25, 2018
Getting braces is exciting for children, teens and adults. For children, it’s a time to correct bite and alignment problems. For teens and adults, they can shape their smile into something beautiful that will bring high levels of confidence. However, getting tooth decay during your time with braces can significantly damage your smile. Find out why you want to treat tooth decay before you get braces on your teeth and how we go about treating them if a child or adult gets cavities during their treatment!
Choosing to receive orthodontic care is a wonderful step towards better oral health. Not only can braces correct bite and alignment issues that can lead to speech impediments, but they can also help with future oral health diseases. Gum disease and cavities (tooth decay) are two oral health diseases that are the most chronic of all in Americans. Sugars in your food and drink mix with mouth bacteria to create acidic plaque, which coats your teeth and decays them. This condition leads to tooth loss and gum problems, even in children. However, tooth decay is preventable if you practice good oral hygiene and if you have a good diet. Straightening the teeth make them easier to clean and significantly reduce your risk for cavities and oral health diseases.
Although braces help reduce the risk for cavities, you can get them easier during your orthodontic treatment because the teeth are harder to clean with brackets and wires. You want to avoid food choices that can increase your decay risk:
Braces can be tricky to clean. However, their design provides the best and quickest way for you to straighten your teeth, which is why traditional metal braces have been around for so many decades. Metal braces, ceramic braces and lingual braces all have a brackets-and-wires design.
Most children and teens have these braces and must be meticulous with cleaning them to avoid tooth decay and dental problems. Kids will be kids, and they will eat harmful foods and drinks that can damage and weaken their teeth. However, you can try to make up for that by helping them to brush, floss and to visit the dentist.
Follow these tips for cleaning your braces:
Most patients have their braces on for 18 months. Depending on a child or teen’s bite and alignment, they may need more or less time with braces. It is much easier to get tooth decay when you have braces on the teeth, as the braces are hard to clean. It is very possible to avoid cavities altogether with the right care, but they do still happen. Because orthodontists have gone to dental school, they can spot the signs of tooth decay. If there is physical signs of decay at your orthodontic adjustment appointments, or if you start to feel a toothache or tooth pain, you should see your dentist.
Dental checkups should be done twice a year for all patients, no matter if you see an orthodontist often or not. If there is a cavity in your teeth, we work closely with dentists to remove your orthodontic appliance. However, Dr. Hardy is trained in both dentistry and orthodontics. You can always have your tooth decay fixed in-office and your orthodontic appliance fixed after the cavity filling. If you need a bracket or wire removed for your cavity filling, we can do this. The important thing is to avoid tooth decay as much as possible and to fix it when it is still small. For all your questions about cavities and braces and how to get your child started with braces, call Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics today at (720) 887-6003!