- 1 How common are white spots after braces?
- 2 How to prevent white spots on braces?
- 3 Contact us for a FREE Consultation
What causes white spots after braces? 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 spots after the brackets are removed. These 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 they 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. Let’s get reading.
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 any after treatment. It is a relatively uncommon effect of wearing braces.
What Causes it?
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.
There’s so much more…
As you can see, braces do not necessarily cause white spots. Instead, it is essentially areas of the teeth that are not getting properly cleaned. Many orthodontic patients, especially younger ones, struggle to get the entire surface of their tooth while brushing, leading to this issue. In addition to being unsightly, these white spots may eventually become cavities if left untreated, so it is important to try to treat or prevent them.
What Other Names is it Known by?
- Orthodontic white spot lesions
- Little white cavities
How to prevent white spots on braces?
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. If the marks 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.
Some people may be able to have microabrasion done to treat their white spots. This professional treatment is typically followed by teeth bleaching, which can make the teeth appear more uniform in color. During this procedure, a dentist removes a small amount of enamel from the teeth to reduce the appearance of the white spots.
Veneers will cover any ugliness. This is done with a dentist. It may cost alot depending on the amount of work needed doing. A veneer is a thin protective covering matched to your tooth color. It is very common.
A dentist may apply topical fluoride to the teeth of people with enamel hypoplasia. This may encourage the development of enamel on the teeth and help prevent tooth decay.
What Can You Do to Prevent White Spots?
Though it is possible to fix, 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 them once your braces are removed, it is better to prevent them from happening in the first place. Most patients find that spots are entirely avoidable as long as they practice some simple oral hygiene habits. Use these tips to reduce your chances of getting them after wearing braces:
- Make sure you brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day to remove bacteria and plaque buildup.
- 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.
Contact us for a FREE Consultation
Now that you know how to prevent white spots on the teeth after braces, 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 with Dr. Childers 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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I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree at Southern Illinois University and then received my Doctorate of Medical Dentistry at the University of Kentucky. After, I attended the University of Tennessee to complete my Master of Science in Orthodontics degree.
I consider every minute of continuing education to be vital for my patients and myself. Staying current with the latest trends, techniques, and technologies within my field allows me to improve treatment efficiency and provide higher quality results for each person I treat.