Say Goodbye to White Spots: Preventing Dental Decalcification with Braces
23 June 2023 | By Dr. Eric Meyer
Braces are a common orthodontic treatment that can effectively straighten teeth and create a beautiful, confident smile. While in braces the development of white spots on the teeth can occur with poor oral hygiene habits. These unsightly marks, known as dental decalcification or white spot lesions, occur when the enamel surrounding the braces is damaged by plaque buildup. The good news is that with proper care and attention, you can eliminate the risk of white spots and maintain a healthy, vibrant smile throughout your orthodontic journey.
Understanding the Causes
White spots are areas of demineralization on the tooth enamel, appearing as opaque or chalky patches. They are primarily caused by poor oral hygiene, which leads to the accumulation of plaque and bacteria around the brackets and wires of braces. The bacteria produce acid as they feed on sugars and food particles, eroding the enamel and leaving behind these noticeable white spots.
Preventing White Spots
While the risk of white spots can be a concern, adopting a proactive approach to oral hygiene can significantly reduce the likelihood of their formation. Here are some essential tips to prevent white spots when wearing braces:
1. Maintain a Thorough Oral Hygiene Routine:
Brushing and flossing regularly are crucial habits to combat plaque buildup. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, brushing at least twice a day for two minutes each time. Pay extra attention to the areas around the brackets, wires, and the gum line. Additionally, incorporate daily flossing and rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash to remove plaque from hard-to-reach places.
2. Choose the Right Tools:
Invest in orthodontic-specific tools to enhance your cleaning routine. Interdental brushes, floss threaders, and water flossers are a great in addition to a good ol’ fashioned tooth brush.
3. Mind Your Diet:
Limit your intake of sugary and acidic foods and beverages, as they contribute to the formation of plaque and increase the risk of enamel erosion. Opt for a balanced that includes vegetables, nuts, and dairy products. among other non-cariogenic foods.
4. Stay Hydrated:
Studies have shown individuals with “dry-mouth” are at a higher risk of tooth decay than those without. Drinking water not only keeps you hydrated but also promotes saliva production. Saliva acts as a natural defense mechanism, neutralizing acid and protecting the teeth from decay.
5. Visit Your Dentist Regularly:
Maintaining regular dental check-ups is crucial during orthodontic treatment. Your dentist will monitor your oral health, professionally clean your teeth, and provide guidance on maintaining excellent oral hygiene.
In conclusion, white spots can be an unwelcome side effect of wearing braces, but with the right knowledge and commitment to oral care, they can be prevented. By implementing a diligent oral hygiene routine, making smart dietary choices, and seeking professional guidance, you can safeguard your teeth from decalcification and ensure that your orthodontic journey is accompanied by a healthy, beautiful smile. Remember, the effort you put into caring for your teeth during braces will pay off with long-lasting oral health benefits and a radiant smile you can be proud of.
As always have a great day and week!