You’ve had your braces removed, but instead of a beautiful smile, all you see are white spots. After what can be years of torture, this is disheartening. You expected a dazzling smile, but all you’re left with is disappointment. Fear not; there is a solution. We’ll look at some of the most common causes of white spots and how you can treat them. We’ll even explore some home remedies that you could try. That flawless smile you’ve always dreamed of is within your reach.
- 1 Understanding White Spots
- 2 Causes of White Spots on Your Teeth
- 3 How You Can Prevent White Spots on Your Teeth
- 4 Treatment Options for White Spots on Your Teeth
- 5 Caring For and Maintaining Your Teeth at Home
- 6 Conclusion
Understanding White Spots
White Spot Lesions (WSL) are a widespread concern. And especially after you’ve had orthodontic treatment done. They look so severe because they stand out beside the enamel surrounding them.
Several factors cause these pesky little spots. The biggest reason is poor oral hygiene, which is entirely understandable. For months on end (for some people, even years), there is a mess of wires and brackets all over their mouths. This makes brushing and flossing a daily struggle and causes plaque to build up. The plaque leads to the development of acid-producing bacteria.
When the bacteria break down the enamel on your teeth, it leaves white spots, putting a damper on your smile and a hole in your confidence.
Causes of White Spots on Your Teeth
How is this possible? You were vigilant about cleaning your teeth. You scrubbed and flossed to the point of obsession and still see intruders. What else could you have done? Well, there are other reasons that people develop these spots. Some of these are avoidable, and some are a bad draw on the genetics lottery.
The brackets and wires attached to your teeth when you wear braces cause crevices, making the perfect home for plaque, not to mention bacteria. And these bacteria feast on dietary sugars.
- High-sugar sodas
- Acidic candies
- Sports drinks
- Certain fruits
When you consume these things, the bacteria make acid, which breaks down the enamel in your teeth, leading to white spots. The process is called demineralization.
As the name suggests, this occurs when your tooth enamel loses calcium. The white spots are the areas that have lost their mineral content and have decalcified. And as we’ve mentioned, this happens in the spots where your braces damage your teeth’s enamel.
We all know that fluoride is good for your teeth and helps with the following:
- It protects your enamel.
- Fluoride acts as a shield against bacteria.
- Regular fluoride use also helps remineralize your teeth’s enamel.
Although fluoride is good for your teeth, there is such a thing as overuse. We all know that too much of a good thing is a problem. In the case of fluoride, it’s called fluorosis, which will also lead to white spots on the teeth.
Did you know that you can inherit your parents’ teeth? And along with that, their dental problems. In some cases, certain people may be predisposed to developing white spots. It’s simply the luck of the draw.
How You Can Prevent White Spots on Your Teeth
Prevention is better than a cure; it all comes from good oral hygiene throughout your entire braces journey. Here are some prevention strategies:
Proper Brushing Technique
When you first get your braces, you must re-learn how to brush your teeth. You have to make sure you get into every nook and cranny. It’s an art that you’ll have to master if you want to avoid white spots. The best way is to get a soft-bristle toothbrush or a water flosser, which will help you reach the areas you may not reach with normal brushing.
Regular Dental Cleanings
You definitely need to become best friends with your orthodontist and see them regularly. Even with the best brushing technique, you won’t remove all the plaque build-up on your teeth. Dentists have cleaning tools that can clean those hard-to-reach spots.
A good diet is necessary for good health. But you may be unaware of how good it is for teeth health. Stay away from very sugary foods and also very acidic foods. Always look for teeth-friendly items. Things such as:
- Dairy products
- Lean proteins.
Eating and drinking the right foods can avoid damage to your tooth enamel. And strong enamel keeps white spots at bay. Also, don’t underestimate the power of water. By having water after eating acidic foods, you neutralize the mouth acids.
Treatment Options for White Spots on Your Teeth
You’re thinking, But what if I already have white spots? And this can be frustrating. You’ve followed the orthodontists advice and did everything right, but the spots keep you from smiling. Don’t despair because you have options. Here are some common approaches:
Professional Dental Cleaning and Polishing
Dentists and orthodontists have professional tools that can help to hide the white spots. By cleaning the teeth, they eradicate the plaque and often the surface stains. The polishing will also smoothen the enamel’s surface, making the spots less conspicuous.
As with prevention, fluoride treatments can also avoid further damage. The treatments foster enamel remineralization, giving your teeth the minerals they’re missing. This can help you reverse the early demineralization, which will diminish the visibility of the white spots on your teeth.
This process uses a mix of abrasive particles and acid to remove the tooth enamel’s outer layer gently. Think chemical peel but for your teeth. The procedure is minimally invasive and very effective. It can significantly reduce the visibility of white spots, especially in mild cases.
You should only opt for this option if you’re desperate. You may want to try restorative therapies if you have many spots that do not improve with any other treatment. These options include such things as veneers or dental bonding. Dentists will apply a tooth-colored material to the affected teeth, concealing the white spots perfectly.
Caring For and Maintaining Your Teeth at Home
There are also a few things that we can do at home to take care of our teeth after the braces are removed. Keep your smile radiant by following these practices:
- Make sure you have a regular hygiene routine. Brush twice daily and use a soft bristle brush with fluoride toothpaste.
- The benefits of daily flossing cannot be overestimated. With dental floss, you get between all your teeth, which will help clean hard-to-reach areas. Keeping your teeth clean helps prevent white spots.
- Rinse regularly with an alcohol-free, fluoride mouthwash. This will protect your teeth against acid attacks because it kills all the bacteria.
- Regular dental checkups are a must. Your orthodontist can keep an eye on how the white spots are progressing. They can also make recommendations to adjust your treatment.
- Always follow a tooth-friendly diet. Staying away from foods that feed the acid-producing bacteria is very important.
Remember that not everyone’s journey to a great smile ends when they have their braces removed. And though the appearance of white spots is troublesome, there are solutions. Discussing your concerns with a professional and seeking advice on treatment options is always recommended. Follow the best practices we’ve discussed, and you’ll soon smile confidently.