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How Cavities Can Come from Getting Braces

Posted on 5/10/2017 by Robert Leale
A woman with metal braces suffering from cavities!
Braces are a common orthodontic treatment to realign your teeth, and can also be used to realign your jaw.

Small brackets are cemented to your teeth and connected by wires. While this treatment is effective, it can increase your risk of developing cavities.

What are Cavities?

Cavities are small pits in the enamel layer of your teeth. These pits are caused by oral bacteria. Bacteria feast on sugars and leftover food particles in your mouth. When they do, they produce acids, which, in turn, eat away at the enamel.

Pits in your teeth make them harder to clean, and provide perfect hiding spaces for bacteria to continue causing damage. Untreated, cavities only continue to grow, and can even go into the dentin layer, allowing bacteria to enter your teeth.

Food is More Easily Trapped
When you have braces, food is more likely to become trapped as you eat. The more leftover food you have in your mouth, the more food you provide to oral bacteria.

More Difficult to Clean
Along with trapping more food, your teeth become significantly more difficult to clean properly. If you miss spaces, you miss removing stuck food particles as well as harmful bacteria. The bacteria is then free to run rampant, destroying your teeth in the dark corners around brackets and under wires.

Preventing Cavities While Wearing Braces

Brushing and flossing is important every day, regardless of whether or not you have braces, but when you have them, you need to slightly alter your routine. Use a fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth, as fluoride helps to rebuild your enamel.

When you floss, be sure to use a wide ribbon floss and get not only between your teeth but around your brackets as well. It can help to have a floss threader on hand to get the floss through the wires. Finally, rinse your mouth with antibacterial mouthwash. Don't forget to attend your orthodontic appointments as well as your regular dental visits as well.

If you or your child are about to get braces, or already have them, be sure to contact our office about the best ways to prevent getting cavities.

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