Do Orthodontic Braces Cause White Spots on Teeth?
For most people, braces are the ideal way to get a better smile. However, some people end up getting disappointed by the results of their orthodontic braces because they notice unsightly white spots after the brackets are removed. White spots can be a little unpleasant to look at, but you should not let them stop you from deciding to get braces. The reality is that white spots are entirely preventable even if you are wearing orthodontic braces. Keep reading to find out all about the underlying cause of white spots and learn how you can protect your teeth from them.
How Common Are White Spots After Braces?
Though white spots are not necessarily caused by braces, it is true that this type of tooth discoloration is more common among people who have been wearing braces. White spots and braces are linked because braces can make it much more difficult for a person to properly clean their teeth. The most common location for white spots tends to be either along the gumline or around the edges of the brackets. Not every patient who has braces will get white spots. In fact, the majority of orthodontic patients will not have white spots after treatment. It is a relatively uncommon effect of wearing braces.
What Causes White Spots on the Teeth?
White spots are actually an area of the tooth where the enamel does not contain enough strengthening minerals. This type of demineralization is caused by bacteria that can flourish in the mouth when it is not properly cleaned. These types of bacteria produce byproducts that gradually wear away at the teeth. When the minerals are removed from the surface of the tooth, the area because hollow, so it looks lighter. The area may be rough, pitted, indented, or raised.
Can You Do Anything to Treat White Spots?
Fortunately, it is possible to get rid of white spots on your teeth from wearing braces. One of the first things you will probably need to do is focus on re-mineralization. This is a special technique that involves applying a mineral-rich cream to your teeth and letting it sit for a while. The teeth are very absorbent, so the minerals will sink into the white spots and help to strengthen teeth. In addition to building tooth strength, re-mineralization will also help the white spots to fade.
Another way to reduce white spots is through various cosmetic dentistry treatments. A basic tooth whitening procedure can help to lighten the teeth and reduce the appearance of white spots. If the white spots are unusually raised, microabrasion can remove them and reveal new enamel. For sunken white spots, your doctor can fill in the area with dental resin colored to match your teeth.
What Can You Do to Prevent White Spots?
Though it is possible to fix white spots on the teeth, keep in mind that these treatments can be a little time to consume, expensive, or slow to show results. Instead of just planning on treating white spots once your braces are removed, it is better to prevent them from happening in the first place. Most patients find that white spots are entirely avoidable as long as they practice some simple oral hygiene habits. Use these tips to reduce your chances of getting white spots after wearing braces:
Make sure you brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day to remove bacteria and plaque buildup that could contribute to white spots.
Use a mouthwash with fluoride to ensure that your teeth remain properly mineralized.
Consider using an electric toothbrush with a head specifically for braces wearers to ensure that your teeth are properly cleaned.
Floss once a day to remove bacteria that can hide between teeth.
Avoid eating high sugar foods that can encourage bacteria growth. Whenever you do eat something sugary, brush your teeth or rinse out your mouth afterward.
Lower the number of acidic things that you eat and drink. This includes soda, salad dressings, sour candies, tomato-based sauces, and lemonade.
Talk to your orthodontist about putting a sealant on your teeth to help them resist bacteria.
Now that you know how to prevent white spots on the teeth, you can confidently get braces without worrying about their effect on tooth coloration. If you would like to find out more about how to take care of your teeth while wearing braces, set up an appointment at one of the three convenient Childers Orthodontics locations. Call us at 618-438-2815 or fill out our online contact form to get in touch with us today.
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