For many people, having orthodontic braces finally removed after years of treatment is an exhilarating experience. But what happens when your new and aligned smile bears strange white spots that just won’t disappear with brushing? Read on to learn about the prevention and treatment of orthodontic white spots.
What Causes White Spots on Teeth?
The protective outside layer of the tooth is called the enamel. The enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, and it is mainly composed of the mineral calcium phosphate.When harmful plaque and bacteria are allowed to remain on the surface of the teeth, they begin to break down the minerals in the enamel. This process is known as demineralization.
Orthodontic braces can make it difficult to properly clean the surfaces of the teeth; the brackets and wires tend to be obstructive, and extra diligence is required to keep the teeth properly cleaned. If proper oral hygiene is not maintained during orthodontic treatment, demineralization is likely to occur in the enamel of the teeth. This leads to the development of White Spot Lesions (WSLs): demineralized spots of enamel that have a bright white appearance.
How to Prevent White Spot Lesions
To prevent the development of stubborn and unsightly white spots on your teeth during fixed orthodontic treatment, you can abide by the following preventative steps:
- Brush twice daily for two minutes with a fluoridated toothpaste
- Use a fluoridated mouth wash in conjunction with brushing
- Use special orthodontic floss picks to reach food debris trapped beneath your braces
- Limit sugar content in your diet
Treatment for White Spot Lesions
If there are white spots on your teeth when your braces are removed, you’ll want to seek treatment as soon as possible, so that you can fully enjoy your new smile.
Fortunately, your dentist and orthodontist will have a variety of treatment options to remove the white spots:
- A topical fluoride treatment may be prescribed by your dentist. This fluoride paste will be applied directly to the surface of the teeth to encourage remineralization.
- Your dentist may recommend teeth whitening to even out the color of the enamel.
- You may be prescribed something to stimulate saliva production; saliva has neutralizing qualities, and in some cases may be able to stabilize the tooth so that it can remineralize.
- Microabrasion treatment may be used to remove the layer(s) of enamel with WSLs. This is often a last resort, as it permanently affects the tooth enamel.
CaliSmile Orthodontics: Best Orthodontist in Encino and West Hills, CA
For the best orthodontic treatment in Los Angeles County, trust in CaliSmile Orthodontics. Dr. Amir Dehghan has over 17 years of experience practicing both cosmetic and orthodontic dentistry. He will work with you to achieve the smile of your dreams.
CaliSmile Orthodontics has locations in both Encino and West Hills, California. We offer both traditional fixed orthodontic treatment and Invisalign.
For a free orthodontic consultation in one of our Los Angeles County dental offices, give us a call anytime at 310-710-6527 or fill out our online appointment request form.