Do Your Teeth Need To Be Healthy and Cavity-Free Before Getting Orthodontic Treatment?

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So you’ve decided to seek orthodontic treatment. Congratulations on investing in your smile for a healthier and more attractive appearance! Straight teeth are also easier to clean, maneuver around, and in-between, so you actually benefit from better oral health along with beautifully aligned teeth!

Our practice offers the following options for aligning your smile:

    • Adult Orthodontics
    • Early Orthodontics
    • Invisalign®
    • Invisalign Teen®
    • Orthodontic Appliances
    • Clear braces, self-ligating braces and traditional braces

Cavities and Orthodontics

But what about orthodontics and cavities? While our orthodontist can help you align your teeth and bite, we can’t treat tooth decay and cavities so you’ll want to have those taken care of before you start orthodontic treatment. You want to make sure your teeth (and gums) are healthy as much as possible before aligning your teeth. Our practice provides a variety of orthodontic options, such as Invisalign® for adults and teens as well as braces. For patients choosing braces, remember that teeth are harder to clean around brackets and wires, and if you aren’t cleaning your teeth well, tooth decay can gain a foothold, especially since these areas also become harder to floss around.

What causes cavities? Forming plaque in the mouth from oral bacteria, stray bits of food particles, saliva, and acids in the mouth combine into a sticky, bacterial film, which quickly hardens into tartar and calculus (that stuff your dentist eliminates during dental cleanings!). Unless removed, the acids attack tooth enamel, weaken it, and create holes in the tooth (a.k.a. cavities). You’ll want to start your time wearing orthodontics with a clean slate as your teeth are cleaned and cavity-free!


When wearing Invisalign clear aligners, you have some extra wiggle room, so to speak. You’ll still want to keep your teeth clean and healthy, and since you take the aligners out to eat, drink and clean teeth and gums, you can still do so as if you weren’t wearing braces. And definitely keep getting routine dental cleanings and checkups for your healthiest smile!

Caring for Teeth in Orthodontics

If you are choosing Invisalign, be sure to take them out twice a day to clean your mouth. When wearing braces, brush, and floss every time you eat to keep your teeth strong and cavity-free. Brush after each meal to prevent plaque (and tooth stains) and remove all the bits of food stuck around the hardware. Floss thoroughly around brackets and wires and the spaces in between teeth.

Remember, keeping your teeth and gums as healthy as possible is the goal no matter which orthodontic treatment you choose to achieve a beautifully aligned smile. Your smile deserves the best care possible! For a more detailed description, check out our brushing and flossing tips: