The day your braces are removed is often a momentous occasion! You’ll finally get to see the complete results of months or years of orthodontic treatment. You’re ready to enjoy your new smile and the switch to your retainer. However, some patients may be surprised to discover white spots from braces on one or more teeth after treatment is over.
What Are the Causes for White Spots from Braces?
The reason that white spots form on your teeth aren’t necessarily from the braces themselves. In fact, white spots are a symptom of demineralization, which is the first part of tooth decay. Acids in your teeth wear away the minerals in your teeth below the surface enamel. This newly weakened area of your teeth will then take on a white, chalky appearance.
Tooth decay is a relatively common issue, and one that sadly affects many of those undergoing orthodontic treatment. While braces don’t cause the white spots, they do play a role – brushing and flossing with braces is a challenge. When you can’t properly clean bacteria and acids from your teeth, these spots are more likely to form by the time you reach the end of your treatment!
How Can I Prevent White Spots from Braces?
Like any issues surrounding tooth decay, proper dental care is the number one way to prevent white spots from braces:
Keep Up with Brushing
Of course, there’s no substitute for a great brushing routine. The ADA recommends brushing your teeth twice a day for approximately two minutes, making sure to fully clean every surface of your teeth, top, front, back and in-between.
It’s understandable that brushing can be more frustrating with braces. Wires and brackets get in the way, so you need to be careful to not be too rough with them while also making sure you don’t miss areas just because they’re awkward to brush. Remember, orthodontic treatment is about your health. While repositioning your teeth will significantly improve your oral and overall health, you don’t want to finish treatment just to start on a round of cavity fillings!
Flossing is a Must
Even without braces, flossing is one aspect of dental care that can’t be ignored – though it often is. If you think about the surfaces of your teeth, brushing will only clean 60 percent of them! Between your teeth, the spaces are too tight for toothbrush bristles to reach.
However, flossing is greatly affected by braces. Fortunately, you have some options! Many patients undergoing orthodontic treatment opt for water flossing devices. While these aren’t quite as effective as string floss, they’re definitely better than not flossing. They can help you clean areas that string floss can’t quite reach.
Additionally, you can look into flossing devices like threaded flossers or disposable flossing picks. These simplify the process of flossing your teeth, making it less cumbersome to clean around your braces. By adjusting your technique, you’ll be able to help avoid white spots from braces and complete your treatment with a perfect smile!
Don’t Skip Regular Dental Visits
Your orthodontist’s primary goal is to make sure your treatment is going according to plan. And while every orthodontist is a dentist, their visits are specialized. That means you shouldn’t ignore the importance of regular dental check-ups throughout your treatment!
Your general dentist will support your orthodontist by performing exams to look for decay and recommending options to solve dental health problems before they worsen. Orthodontists also keep an eye open for these problems, but their primary responsibility is to make sure your orthodontic treatment goes smoothly!
Formation of white spots from braces doesn’t happen overnight. By continuing to visit your general dentist, they can help identify the warning signs of enamel loss or decay well before white spots begin to form. Prevention is always the best option – so stay current on your dental care visits!
If White Spots Formed, Can I Treat Them?
Do you already have white spots forming from your orthodontic treatment? Don’t worry, there are still steps you can take to treat them! While it’s far better for your teeth to prevent them in the first place, dentists can help you restore your teeth.
Because white spots from braces form due to demineralization, the best course of action is to help re-mineralize your teeth! This can be done with the help of fluoride. Fluoride comes in many forms, from over-the-counter rinses to prescription gels and everything in between. Most toothpastes even include a bit of fluoride because it’s so good for your teeth!
Your orthodontist will help you with recommendations on how to approach issues with white spots that may have formed during treatment. In some cases, these white spots can be so minimal that they will eventually clear up on their own. As long as you take great care of your teeth moving forward, they’re unlikely to worsen.
Schedule a Free Consultation
Do you have questions about orthodontic treatment or taking care of your teeth? We can answer your questions to keep your teeth and gums healthy – schedule a free consultation! Contact us online or call 440-842-8015
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