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Why do Braces Cause White Spots on the Teeth?

While there are a plethora of methods you can employ to acquire a straight smile, wearing braces remains at the top of the list. This is because braces have proven to be one of the most effective options for correcting complex orthodontic issues. With the aid of braces, whether they are clear or metal, malocclusions can easily be treated, and you can restore the alignment of your teeth.

Despite its benefits, there is one noticeable shortcoming of using braces: the apparent discoloration. This discoloration can also be referred to as “white spots.”

Don’t worry!

We know you may be baffled by the perspective that the cost of perfectly aligned teeth is discoloration.

This is not true.

White spots on your teeth are fairly common and can easily be prevented before they become a problem for your smile. Also, if you have recently completed orthodontic treatment and are wary of your newly discovered white spots, then we have the perfect set of solutions to fix your problems.

Continue reading to get your answers.

What causes White Spots on the Teeth?

Picture this. Your orthodontic treatment is complete. The orthodontist has now taken your braces off. You are looking at the mirror, relishing your newly straightened smile. But wait, what are those chalky white spots on your teeth? And why is it impeding your ability to embrace your new smile?

The white spots that appear on your teeth after the braces have been taken off are due to a process called “decalcification.” Decalcification of the teeth refers to the demineralization of your tooth’s enamel as a result of exposure to harmful bacteria that have accumulated on the braced surface of your teeth.

Let us elucidate this process in more detail.

When you consume food, the debris of that food gets trapped in your teeth for a long time. Plaque and tartar are largely formed due to improper maintenance of your oral hygiene, especially while wearing braces. When this happens, an influx of bacteria proliferates in your mouth. In addition to this, the invaded bacteria will also produce a certain type of acid that damages your tooth’s enamel. These are referred to as “white spots” or “white spot lesions.” If not treated on time, these white spots could very well expose you to the risk of tooth decay and cavities.

Wondering how to recognize these white spots?

These brace stains are visible as soon as your braces have been removed. The white spots on the teeth are formed just around the edges of the orthodontic brackets.

Let us now look at some of the dentist-recommended methods for preventing white spot lesions, or WSL.

How to Prevent White Spots from Braces?

The evident look of white spots on your teeth can completely tarnish the appearance of your smile. Hence, it is best to avoid them before these white spots can develop and become a significant problem.

Brush your teeth

As conventional and obvious as it sounds, toothbrushing is the most effective method to get rid of white spots on your teeth. Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day. To put your worries at ease, certain electric toothbrushes are specially dedicated to cleaning the dirt accumulated around the brackets of your orthodontic braces.

Flossing

Flossing is an essential element that completes the norm of "good oral hygiene." When you brush and floss your teeth regularly, your oral health improves automatically. When this happens, your risk of exposure to spots on your teeth—especially after braces are removed—reduces phenomenally.

String flosses can be difficult to use at times because they get caught between the orthodontic braces and impede your ability to floss properly. Hence, substituting the string floss for a water flosser might be a better option for you. These appliances can assist in the removal of plaque while also urging you to maintain adequate cleanliness and reduce the possibility of brace stains.

Avoid Acidic & Sugary Foods

It is imperative to note that while decalcification is an inevitable process for anyone undergoing orthodontic treatment (braces), the degree of decalcification can be prevented to a certain extent. This means that to avoid the multiplication of white spots on your teeth, our dentists recommend you restrict yourself from sugary drinks and acidic foods like sour candies, soda, citrus fruits, and much more. The citric acid included in these items has the potential to hasten tooth decalcification.

Is it too late to stop it? Don't worry. We asked our dentists for advice on how to treat the white spots that have already formed on your teeth.

How to Fix White Spots on Your Teeth?

White spots are an inexorable side effect of braces. Listed below are some of the ways to fix this problem:

Focus on improving your oral hygiene:

In some cases, if the white spots are mild or even barely visible, then it is recommended that you implement robust efforts to enhance your oral hygiene. Thus, by practicing concentrated fluoride treatments at home, such as fluoride-enriched toothpaste or mouthwashes, you can rebuild the enamel of your teeth and minimize the appearance of these mild white spots.

Remineralization Using Professional help

In some cases, you can remineralize the eroded enamel of your tooth by using certain remineralization agents that are provided by your local dental expert. Therefore, by seeking professional dental help by consulting any of our orthodontists, you can quicken the remineralization process of your teeth and thus limit the presence of white spots.

Cosmetic Dental Intervention

Based on the severity of your brace stains, the dentist might suggest employing a cosmetic dental treatment such as teeth whitening, or even veneers. Teeth whitening will help improve the color of your teeth, while the thin coverings used in dental veneers will help shield them from further stains and discoloration.

Microbrasion

Under certain circumstances, the dentist can easily buff out the white spots on your teeth using a rather simple technique known as “microabrasion." In this dental procedure, the dentist will polish the area of your tooth covered by white spots using a gentle buffer. This approach will help make your white spots far less noticeable.

Other Stains caused by braces

Apart from the demineralization of enamel, brace stains can occur for a plethora of other reasons. Similarly, the colour of these stains is not usually white. These are brown and yellow stains. Furthermore, due to their striking colour resemblance, these brace stains are frequently mistaken for discolouration brought on by staining foods or beverages.

Since teeth are porous, they can easily be susceptible to stain particles and their invasion on the clean white surface of the tooth. Add braces to the equation, and you become more prone to these apparent discolourations.

Thus, to avoid white, brown, or even yellow spots and brace stains, you will need to practice a few dental care habits suggested below:

  • Visit your dentist regularly. By doing so, you can also get routine dental cleanings, which will help to remove the plaque or tartar build-up in your teeth and diagnose any other dental issues early on.
  • When you get your braces for the first time, talk to your dentist, dental hygienist, or orthodontist about the various methods you can use to maintain your oral hygiene. They can also recommend specific tools for cleaning the hard-to-reach areas between and around the braces.
  • Next, to avoid white spots and other brace stains from emerging on your tooth enamel, you must invest in a decent electric toothbrush, a water flosser, and fluoride treatments like toothpaste and mouth rinses.
  • Also, since fluoride is an active ingredient used in dental hygiene products, it can work effectively towards remineralizing your teeth. Thus, you can employ specific fluoride treatments from a dental professional to help prevent these stains from developing in your teeth.

When do you need to see a Dentist:

If you are bothered by stubborn white spots on your teeth, you may need to address the issue with a cosmetic dental procedure. Since a smile is an essential accessory to a joyous life, don’t overlook the discoloration issue. Spots and stains keep your smile from looking healthy.

Also, they are an early indication of severe dental problems like teeth infections, dental caries, or tooth decay. Hence, if you have a spotty and stained smile following brace treatment, you should seek professional help from a dentist.

To learn more about what we can do to help you with discoloration on your teeth, contact us to schedule an appointment with any of our dental specialists. They will provide you with effective treatment and advice that will help you to manage brace stains proficiently.

Check out our website to learn more about our services.

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