Last week my 17 yr. old son went to the dentist and was informed that he has enamel erosion which caused him to have 6 new cavities. The dentist said that the loss of enamel was most likely caused by his braces, which he had removed last year, and that the erosion will continue to spread and get worse. Is enamel erosion common after removal of braces? What should we do?

P.S. Thanks for serving our country!!

 

Good question and the answer is yes and no. It is very common to see teenageers come out of braces and have cavities that have developed in the process. To describe it as "enamel erosion" is a little ambiguous however. Typically there are 2 common areas to see cavities when a patient has their braces removed:

 

1. Lip/cheek side surface of the teeth where the brackets were bonded on the teeth.

2. Also occur between the teeth where you normally floss but very difficult when in braces.

 

Back to your question...erosion and cavities are two different things. I would ask the dentist to clarify what has happened. Erosion can lead to cavities but they are 2 separate situations. There is a chance he will need fillings where the erosion/cavity occurred. I would have him focus on their hygiene and also consider getting on a Fluoride prescription until everything stabilizes. The other question I would ask the dentist would be were any of these present during the past couple recall/cleaning appointments as cavities don't typically occur that quickly unless it had been a while since his last checkup. Hope this helps!

 

Dr.G

 

Comments:

Enamel Loss After Removal of Braces
By Lee
August 30, 2009
Dr.G, Thanks for your prompt, courteous and informative response to our current enamel/cavity situation. I failed to mention earlier that not only does Jeff have the cavity issue but his enamel loss is also on his front upper and lower teeth near and along his gumline. I am definately going to follow your suggestion by personally asking his dentist for more clarification, as well as, your recommened questions and treatment advice. I will also obtain copies of both his ortho and dental records. I will inform you of the outcome as soon as I obtain more detailed info. Thanks again and have a blessed evening. Lee