Wearing braces typically involves changes to everyday routines, like eating and brushing teeth. In some cases, braces can also increase a patient’s risk of developing tooth decay and cavities by harboring dental plaque in hard-to-reach places. If allowed to develop, infectious cavities can destroy a tooth’s structure and interrupt the course of orthodontic treatment. Your North Ft. Worth orthodontist, Dr. Ciro Cabal, takes a look at how cavities form, and how to protect your smile when braces complicate dental hygiene.
How Cavities Form
If you’ve ever had a cavity, you can thank the sticky substance that sometimes adheres to teeth and gums. Known as dental plaque, this biofilm is produced by accumulating oral bacteria, which form plaque as protection against the mouth’s defenses (like saliva). When some of these germs consume sugar or other carbohydrates, they convert them into acid, which depletes minerals from teeth and weakens the protective layer of enamel surrounding them. Over time, acid can erode enamel enough to render it ineffective and unable to repel tooth decay-causing microbes. As bacteria infect the tooth’s main structure, the infection causes increasingly bigger holes called cavities.
Cavity Protection While Wearing Braces
The basics of good dental hygiene, mainly brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day and limiting the frequency of snacks, still apply while wearing braces. However, special care must be taken to avoid damaging the braces components, and to avoid eating foods that can remain stuck between braces and teeth. Also, dental plaque can hide between brackets, wires, and teeth, making it more challenging to completely clean away the biofilm. Dr. Cabal can recommend a special device, such as a proxy brush, that’s specially designed to fit around braces for more effective cleaning.
Learn More from Your North Ft. Worth Orthodontist
To learn more about living with braces, or about our many other options for orthodontic treatment, call Lake Country Orthodontics today at (817) 236-7846 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Ciro Cabal. Located in the 76179 area, our North Ft. Worth orthodontist’s office proudly welcomes families from Azle, Saginaw, Springtown, Weatherford, Haslet, Ft. Worth, and all surrounding communities.