What is the connection between tooth decay and braces?

carie dentaire et appareil dentaire

What is tooth decay?

Tooth decay is an infectious disease. The enamel of the tooth is the first to be affected by tooth decay. Indeed, a cavity will form in the tooth and then the decay will spread in depth. If it is not treated, the hole will get bigger and the decay will reach the dentin which is a layer under the tooth enamel. You feel pain when you touch hot, cold or sweet things. The decay can also reach the pulp of the tooth. This is called toothache. Finally, a dental abscess can appear when the bacteria of the dental plaque attack the ligament, the bone or the gum.  

Tooth decay: symptoms

  • The symptoms of dental caries are particularly variable. They will depend on the stage of evolution of the cavity and its location. Tooth decay can be painless when the enamel of your teeth is affected.

    The most common symptoms of tooth decay are

  • You feel pain that gets worse with time;
  • You have particularly sensitive teeth;
  • You feel particularly sharp pains when you eat something cold, hot or sweet;
  • You feel pain when biting something;
  • You have a brown spot on your tooth;
  • You have pus around the tooth.

The link between tooth decay and braces

It is important to know that a person with braces is not more likely to have tooth decay. However, it is important to know a number of things about this:

  • Dental plaque builds up in the deeper areas of the teeth which are much harder to clean if you have braces.
  • The more plaque that builds up due to improper brushing and the longer it remains on the surface of the teeth, the more potential there is for acid production and tooth destruction.
  • Braces left in the mouth can cause tooth decay if you have poor oral hygiene and maintenance.

The different solutions to avoid or stop tooth decay

  The maintenance of your dental appliance

To clean your dentures, you must put a dose of soap on a normal toothbrush or on a specific brush for removable dentures. You must brush on both sides insisting on the anfractuous zones between the teeth of the prosthesis. You can then rinse thoroughly.

A good brushing


Brushing your teeth will allow you to remove plaque and food debris from your teeth. You must therefore not neglect the way you brush your teeth. You should brush all sides of your teeth, from the gum to the neck of the tooth, for at least 2 minutes if you have the time or in 10 seconds with the Y-Brush toothbrush. It removes more plaque than a traditional toothbrush. 

Remedies to relieve tooth decay

  • Natural remedies will not replace the care of a dentist. They will only be used in order to relieve the possible pains related to dental caries while waiting for an appointment. They will not act on the progression of bacteria in the decayed tooth.
  • The clove is known to be a grandmother's remedy allowing to face the dental pains thanks to its anesthetic and antiseptic properties. The principle of use is simple: you must take a clove and squeeze it lightly on the tooth affected by decay. You can also brush your gums with clove essential oil using a cotton swab.
  • Various homemade mouthwashes can help alleviate the pain caused by tooth decay. For example, you can make a mouthwash with warm salt water or cider vinegar, or mix a drop of peppermint essential oil in a glass of warm water. You can proceed in the same way as with a traditional mouthwash.
  • Finally, homeopathy will bring you relief. You can turn to: Mezereum, Kreosotumet, Fluoricum, acidum, each in 5 CH dilution.

Treatments for tooth decay

The best way to effectively treat tooth decay is to consult a dental surgeon as soon as possible who will be able to detect the formation of tooth decay through a dental X-ray device. During your visit, he will remove the dental tissues affected by the decay. He will also clean the cavity down to the healthy part of the tooth. This cavity will then be filled with an inert material. If the decay is too deep and the dental pulp is affected, your dentist will remove the infected pulp from the tooth. He or she can also refer you to a dental prosthesis to rehabilitate the damaged tooth, or to an implant if unfortunately the tooth cannot be saved. In case of infection or abscess, an antibiotic treatment will be prescribed beforehand. Infections make the tissues sensitive, so it is advisable to treat them before the treatment tooth decays.  

We hope that this guide has helped you understand what tooth decay is and what the symptoms are. It is important to know that wearing braces will not necessarily cause tooth decay. It is important to know the different solutions to avoid or stop tooth decay. 

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