Getting braces requires paying some extra attention to your oral hygiene routine. However, even with diligent tooth brushing and flossing, cavities can still happen when you have braces. Izadi Orthodontics in Timonium, MD wants you to know what to do if you get a cavity with braces and help you maintain your path to a better smile.
Why Do Tooth Cavities Put Oral Health At Risk?
The most common threat to the longevity of your smile is a tooth cavity, because if left untreated, bacteria can penetrate the teeth and cause infection in the teeth, gums, and even throughout your body.
A cavity is simply a spot of decay on the tooth where the enamel has weakened and created an opening. This exposes the sensitive tissues inside the teeth, called the dentin, which often creates sensitivity to hot and cold or pain when chewing. Cavities also open up your teeth to oral bacteria, which can cause an infection, not to mention additional discomfort.
How Do Cavities Form?
Your teeth are composed of nerves and soft tissues surrounded by a tough outer layer called enamel. The bacteria that normally inhabit the mouth feed off of food particles left on the teeth, and they produce acids during digestion that weaken tooth enamel. Once enough of the enamel has eroded from the acid, you have a cavity. Many cavities form in places that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush, such as between teeth and right at the gum line, which is why dentists always talk about how important it is to floss regularly.
How Are Cavities Treated With Braces?
A small cavity is usually treated with a filling, where your dentist will remove any decayed tissue and fill the cavity with a strong material to seal the tooth. This material is bonded to the tooth with an ultraviolet light and is designed to match the hue of your tooth. When you have a cavity with braces, the wire on the affected tooth is simply removed and reattached when the filling is completed.
How Do You Prevent Cavities When You Have Braces?
Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day are the most important parts of your oral care routine. What you do at home is even more important than what happens at your regular cleanings, because it prevents tartar from hardening to the teeth and accelerating tooth decay. Avoiding high-sugar or sticky foods is very important when you have braces.
Don’t forget about your regular cleanings. Even with diligent oral hygiene, there are still places in the mouth that often build tartar quickly, which requires professional tools to remove. Dr. Mohammad Izadi is an orthodontist in Timonium, MD who is dedicated to keeping your smile healthy while you have braces and beyond. Schedule an appointment with Izadi Orthodontics online or call us at (410) 919-9806 today.