How Do Fillings and Tooth Decay Affect Orthodontic Treatments with Braces?

A person smiles to show metal braces and lack of tooth decay

Are you worried you won’t be able to get your braces if you have multiple dental fillings? Maybe you are concerned about developing and treating dental caries during your orthodontic treatment.

Fortunately, caring for your teeth and jaw alignment does not mean there are no ways to treat tooth decay. We always emphasize the need for good dental hygiene habits during a patient’s orthodontic treatment to avoid decay.

Still, if a patient does have caries, there are ways to treat them.

Likewise, it is possible to plan orthodontic treatment for patients who underwent restorative dentistry procedures such as dental fillings.

Good dental hygiene is crucial both before and during your orthodontic treatment; even so, patients whose brushing and flossing habits faltered can still receive the professional help they need to avoid tooth loss and infections.

The Importance of Oral Hygiene for Orthodontic Treatments to Avoid Tooth Decay

Really, orthodontists will never miss a chance to remind you of the importance that your Oral Hygiene has. Please remember to brush your teeth at least twice a day and use dental floss daily. During your orthodontic treatment, such habits might only increase in frequency.

When patients choose to use clear aligners or braces, they have to brush their teeth more often. You might similarly hear about some dietary restrictions to avoid staining your appliances or your teeth.

But above all, we will remind you to keep good oral hygiene habits to avoid the risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Anyone who suffers from severe periodontal disease (all periodontal disease is severe) should receive appropriate treatment before starting their orthodontic journey. Even then, orthodontists do well working alongside a specialist who provides you with the necessary care to avoid further periodontal complications.

What Happens if I Have Tooth Decay Before Getting Braces?

It is not uncommon to find a patient who wants to start orthodontic treatment and who has suffered from some decay. According to the CDC, tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases between young and adult patients here in the US.

Making sure that you treat dental caries before starting your treatment should be a priority. A decayed tooth may not withstand the force required to realign your teeth. Your quest for a beautiful smile could lead to unnecessary tooth loss if you don’t treat dental caries first.

One of the most prevalent treatments for treating caries is to clear the infected tissues with a root canal and fill the tooth with an inert material that reinforces your affected teeth. Sometimes that may mean removing the root of your tooth.

These dental fillings provide your teeth with the structural integrity they need to complete your treatment with traditional metal braces or any other type of orthodontic appliance.

Remember that these restorative procedures’ goal is to prevent dental cracks or fractures leading to tooth loss and protecting the soft tissues within your teeth like the root and blood vessels.

Can I Still Get Fillings During My Treatment?


We would love it if you prevented any caries from forming during your treatment. However, if you did have any such complications while wearing appliances like ceramic braces or clear aligners, it would be best to get that solved as soon as possible.

Fillings might be trickier if you have brackets bonded to your affected teeth, but not impossible. If the procedure proves too challenging, your orthodontist can temporarily remove your brackets to enable the treatment.

Your orthodontist will then reattach and reconnect your metal braces to continue with your treatment.

Taking care of these complications as soon as possible helps you avoid any unfortunate delays in your braces treatment. If you decided to let it slide and hold off any fillings until they removed your braces, you might find yourself having to endure much discomfort, pain and even lose a tooth.

Not to mention the earful you’ll get from your orthodontist.

Keep in mind that dental treatments like fillings or a root canal are much shorter than your orthodontic treatment. We are talking about one or two sessions that can prevent complications requiring several months to correct.

As always, your oral health and hygiene are of utmost importance. Therefore, watch out for the food you eat, avoid sugary drinks, floss daily, brush after every meal, and prevent plaque and bacteria build-up.

Proper Dental Care Recommendations From Your Orthodontist to Avoid Tooth Decay

Like we mentioned earlier, we won’t miss a chance to remind you of the importance that your dental hygiene routine has. Master the basics. Brush, floss, and rinse.

You could consider investing in additional equipment to ensure better care, but we’ll leave those considerations to you.

Some patients acquire water irrigators, floss threaders, and electric toothbrushes, but ultimately, while helpful, this additional equipment is not the only way to get good oral hygiene.

The most important thing is to practice until it becomes second nature. A patient wearing metal braces has to learn proper brushing techniques if they want to avoid cavities. Traditional braces and their variations require similar skills.

You can start your routine by rinsing your mouth with water to remove excess food from around your teeth and braces. Next up, remove any attachments that you can. Elastics, bands, and other attachments should be washed separately.

Always brush your teeth, angling your brush 45 degrees from the gumline. Please remember to brush from the top and below each bracket to remove food particles and reduce the risk of plaque build-up.

Don’t forget to floss and finish by rinsing your mouth with some mouthwash to complete the routine. Your teeth will thank you for it.

Get an Evaluation With a Professional

Consider setting an appointment with your orthodontist and review your dental health history before you start your traditional braces treatment. Doing so will help solve your dental health issues before applying force with additional appliances to realign your teeth.

Remember that we want to ensure your teeth are as strong as possible before beginning orthodontic treatment. If you have any caries, you can get the fillings you need without fearing they will prevent you from getting braces treatment with an orthodontist.

And if you are already receiving orthodontic care to fix crooked teeth or other conditions, you can rest assured that we can take care of whatever tooth decay you suffer.

Dr. Nima will gladly help you get your teeth and jaws realigned. Remember to follow any recommendations about what to eat, foods and drinks to avoid, and taking care of your dental hygiene during the treatment.

You can swing by our dental practice to start your journey towards a beautiful and healthy smile if you are here in Alpharetta, GA. Follow this link to set your next appointment with us.