Effects of Tooth Decay on Teeth Straightening

clear aligners for teeth straightening.

Having beautifully aligned teeth is everyone’s dream. However, not everyone is born with teeth showcasing a perfect smile. To achieve the smile of your dreams, different teeth straightening methods have been introduced, making it easier for teeth alignment. Traditional braces and clear aligner treatments are known teeth straightening procedures worldwide. These teeth straightening procedures can be hindered due to different causes for instance tooth decay. Here is a complete understanding of tooth decay, its causes, its impact on teeth straightening, and how to overcome it.

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What is a Tooth Decay?

A tooth decay is an oral health condition caused when the outermost layer of your tooth, enamel, is damaged. The damage is caused by different factors including acid production by bacteria or food particles in the mouth. Tooth decay can occur at any age, however, it is usually more common among children due to a lack of proper and regular brushing. If not treated, tooth decay can further lead to pain and discomfort resulting in tooth sensitivity. Moreover, tooth decay is divided into five stages as listed below.

  1. Demineralization
  2. Enamel Decay
  3. Dentin decay
  4. Pulp Damage
  5. Abscessed tooth

Causes of Tooth Decay

 tooth decay
A tooth model cast showing tooth decay

Our saliva naturally contains bacteria that upon interaction with foods and drinks rich in sugars and starches produce acids. This acid produced further impacts the tooth enamel which causes it to lose minerals. Moreover, in the case of frequent consumption of food and drinks high in sugars and starches, a rapid demineralization is seen. When these sugary particles are not wiped with the help of proper brushing, it results in plaque formation. The following are the known causes of tooth decay.

Tooth Location

Tooth location is essential when it comes to tooth decay. Molars and premolars are the back teeth that often make it hard to brush properly. These teeth are also known to retain food particles which can cause plaque formation.

Frequent Snacking

Certain foods are easily cleaned from your teeth, whereas some foods retain longer. For instance, sugary foods and drinks are known to cause decay. The frequent intake of these snacks is more likely to cause bacteria to produce acids.

Lack of Regular Brushing

Lack of brushing can lead to the first stages of tooth decay. When you have a higher intake of sugar and sugar products, you must clean your teeth right away. However, leaving your teeth like that leads to rapid plaque formation

Lack of Flouride

Flouride, a beneficial mineral for teeth health is added to certain toothpastes. Its effective nature minimizes the chances of decay or cavities. It can also help in reversing decay or plaque formation. However, lack of fluoride can lead to demineralization.

Dental Devices

People having a dental device for orthodontic treatment are more prone to getting decay or cavities. During these orthodontic treatments, for instance, in the case of traditional braces, it is hard to brush your entire teeth. Lack of brushing on the layers under brackets can also result in plaque formation.

Impact of Tooth Decay on Teeth Straightening

clear aligners for teeth straightening
A girl showing clear aligners for teeth straightening

Teeth straightening is a common procedure to bring about a desirable alignment to your teeth. These procedures are common among young adults looking forward to a perfect smile. The duration of these procedures varies with each patient depending on the severity of the case. However, patients with tooth decay still wonder if they can get their teeth aligned. The following are some of the impacts of tooth decay on teeth straightening.

Increased Sensitivity

When an orthodontic patient is undergoing straightening treatment, traditional braces, or clear aligners, teeth are prone to become more sensitive. Due to the ongoing treatment, your teeth are having pressure causing a little bit of discomfort and sensitivity. Having tooth decay can result in increased sensitivity and discomfort in addition to the dental device.

Impacts Bracket Bonding

Traditional braces are a common procedure for teeth straightening. These types of braces include brackets and wires which are fixed on the surface of your teeth. If a patient has tooth decay on the surface of their teeth, it can cause hindrance in the bonding of brackets. This can further interrupt the effectiveness of teeth alignment.

Weak Tissue Health

Tooth decay is a condition in which the tissue health of your tooth is compromised. Having a weak tooth can have an impact on the orthodontic treatment. Braces apply pressure to your teeth to bring about a desirable change. However, if you have weak teeth, it can get challenging to apply pressure for teeth alignment.

Delayed Treatment

Teeth straightening procedures have a specific time frame to bring about a desirable change. However, tooth decay can cause a delay in the orthodontic treatment for teeth alignment as the teeth are more sensitive and can take longer for movement. In some cases, tooth decay may be treated before continuing the straightening procedure.

Chances of Further Decay

Your overall oral health is expected to be somewhat compromised during teeth straightening procedures more common with traditional braces. Having an already decayed tooth can lead to more build-up plaque causing issues with the teeth straightening.

How to Overcome Tooth Decay

Overcoming tooth decay
A woman using fluoride toothpaste to brush her teeth

Having healthy teeth can result in effective orthodontic treatment. However, people with tooth decay can also look forward to teeth straightening and overcoming their tooth decay. With the help of regular brushing especially after sticky and sugary foods you can avoid plaque buildup leading to decay. Moreover, you can also floss your teeth, using a fluoride-based toothpaste, and with the help of regular checkups to minimize demineralization causing decay.

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Teeth straightening and whitening have become immensely popular to get that perfect smile you have always wished for. However, people with tooth decay can have disruptions with the whole straightening procedure which includes a delay in the process due to weak teeth, issues with bonding due to decay on the surface, or chances of increased sensitivity and discomfort. However, it’s important to remember that tooth decay can be reversed with the help of proper oral hygiene as good oral health can have effective teeth straightening procedures.


1. Can I get my teeth straightened with tooth decay?

Yes, getting teeth straightened with decay is possible. However, decay can complicate the straightening process which is why it can be treated before.

2. How to prevent tooth decay?

Good oral hygiene can help prevent tooth decay. It means regular flossing, brushing right after sugary food and drinks, and using fluoride-rich toothpaste.

3. What are the causes of tooth decay?

The main causes of tooth decay are the excessive intake of sugar and starch-rich food and beverages, poor oral hygiene, and lack of mineral fluoride.

4. Does tooth decay have any impact on teeth straightening?

Yes, tooth decay can have several impacts on the teeth straightening procedures. The usual effects are delayed treatment due to compromised tooth health, more sensitivity, impact bonding, and can promote further decay.

5. What is the cure for tooth decay?

The key for the cure is early intervention. Early stages of tooth decay can be often treated with fluoride-filled treatments including a mouthwash and a fluoride-rich toothpaste.

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  • Mei Lin

    Mei Lin

    Content Contributor

    Renowned as an orthodontic trailblazer, Mei Lin is a distinguished expert contributing her expertise to ALIGNER32. With a career dedicated to advancing orthodontic solutions, Lin's blogs explore the unique nuances of teeth alignment. As a trusted authority, she sheds light on how ALIGNER32 aligners cater to diverse dental needs, making... Read More

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