Researchers have extensively studied the relationship between tooth decay and orthodontics. Orthodontic treatment predisposes patients to tooth decay since the gums are less able to fight bacteria due to persistent inflammation. Foods trapped in the brackets due to poor hygiene can also weaken the enamel and make fighting against bacteria more difficult. All these factors increase the risk of caries after orthodontics. However, effective measures can be taken to significantly the risk of tooth decay during orthodontic treatment.
Can the orthodontic treatment be performed on decayed teeth?
No. An experienced orthodontist thoroughly examines the teeth before orthodontic treatment. Patients undergoing orthodontics usually suffer from tooth decay because of the rapid decay of misaligned teeth. Before starting orthodontic treatment, the decayed teeth should be identified and repaired and sometimes extracted, although the orthodontist avoids extracting the teeth as much as possible unless they are irreparable.
Prevention of decay during orthodontics
Observing a few simple but effective tips can prevent tooth decay after orthodontic treatment.
What you need to do before using orthodontic treatment
As an important issue, make sure that no bacteria accumulate on the brackets; otherwise, they will be out of control. Moreover, all cavities should be repaired to perform the endodontic treatment. Before using brackets, thoroughly clean your teeth to minimize the risk of tooth decay.
Interdental toothbrush: Flossing is impossible while brackets are on the teeth. Accordingly, many patients report tooth decay. However, an interdental toothbrush can help solve this problem. It can be used between the teeth and brackets to access almost where the floss goes. An interdental toothbrush can remove food debris, clean the teeth, and prevent tooth decay.
Do not stop using mouthwash
Continue using mouthwash even if it creates a bad feeling due to its effect on the gums because liquid mouthwash can thoroughly clean the pores, brackets, wires, and teeth. Mouthwash does not affect brackets, the adhesive (cement) used to seal them, and the teeth.
Avoid foods listed by the dentist
A list of foods, including hard foods (such as nuts) or sticky foods (such as chocolate), is provided by the orthodontist and should be avoided because they may damage the teeth, brackets, and wires during the orthodontic treatment. Follow the dentist’s recommendations in this regard and do not eat any of these foods; otherwise, the risk of tooth decay will increase during orthodontic treatment.