White Spots on Teeth after Braces

White Spots on Teeth after Braces
Posted on 12/14/2016

Imagine the excitement when your treatment is complete and your braces are removed. Most patients are merely ecstatic to see their beautiful, brand new smile for the first time. Unfortunately for some patients, however, the excitement diminishes if their newly-straightened teeth are also marked with white spots. Just what are these white spots and how can you avoid them?

Decalcification Demystified

The technical name for those little white spots is decalcification. While braces may make it easier for decalcification to occur, braces don’t cause them, per se. Like so many other dental health issues, the real causes of decalcification are bacteria and plaque.

When proper oral hygiene is not maintained, bacteria collect on teeth to form a sticky biofilm called plaque. Plaque is bad news for teeth because the bacteria secrete acids that erode tooth enamel, stripping teeth of critical minerals like calcium (decalcification). Decalcification appears as a white spot, and is really the beginning stage of a cavity. Unfortunately white spots may last a lifetime, so avoiding them in the first place is crucial.

Preventing & Treating Decalcification

While braces don't cause decalcification, they can make it more challenging to properly clean teeth and remove the plaque. Without conscientious oral hygiene, plaque forms and may lead to noticeable decalcification once the braces are removed. At the start of your treatment you will be given the proper oral hygiene instructions because the best way to fight decalcification is prevention. With proper oral hygiene and a little patience, you can avoid these unsightly white spots.

However if white spots are evident once your braces removed, there are still treatment options available. With proper oral hygiene, some lighter spots may fade somewhat over time. While some white spots do respond to fluoride treatments, some patients may wish to speak with their general dentists about the latest advances in restorative dentistry.

Contact Your Franklin Lakes, Oakland, & Wayne, NJ Orthodontist

If you have questions about your orthodontic health, we welcome your call. Feel free to contact our office at (201) 337-3701, reach out to us at our contact page, or use our easy online form to schedule an appointment at our Oakland, NJ office. We look forward to hearing from you, and we remind you to keep up your regular brushing and flossing to help prevent decalcification whether or not you are undergoing orthodontic treatment.