Getting your braces off is hands down the most exciting time, as we know you have been counting down the days! Once you have that perfect smile you have always wanted, noticing white spots on your teeth can put a damper on your celebration 🙁
These white spots, also called decalcification or demineralization of the enamel, are caused by plaque (the substance that causes cavities). Plaque is a sticky substance made from leftover food particles and saliva that mix in your mouth. These white and chalky looking marks appear on the teeth when acids created by the plaque remove minerals (demineralization) from the tooth surface and change the way it reflects light. The most common areas of the tooth at risk of decalcification are between the gums and the brackets, where brushing can become a little bit more challenging. When a patient has poor oral hygiene, sometimes these white spots develop under the swollen gum tissue, making detection the most difficult. Although brackets (braces) do NOT cause the demineralization of your tooth surface, they do complicate the removal of the plaque responsible for the white spots.
Can these white spots be prevented? ABSOLUTELY! The three best ways to help prevent demineralization are deep cleaning of the teeth, protecting the enamel, and patient education. By teaching and giving our patients the proper tools from the very beginning, our goal is to eliminate this issue of decalcification from the first appointment to the very last. The day our patients get their braces on, we not only go over foods to avoid during their whole orthodontic treatment and successful oral hygiene, but we also prepare the teeth in a way that protects their enamel. Each appointment we monitor oral hygiene and will discuss with the patient and the parent when improvement needs to be made for an optimal orthodontic and dental result.
Keep in mind, that you still need to be a really good brusher, flosser and visit your general dentist every 6 months 😀
For more information, please do not hesitate to call our office at 630.907.9680