White Marks on Teeth: Caused by Orthodontic Treatment?
One of the happiest days during the teen years is when they get their braces off! All the diligent brushing and care, patience, and many visits to the orthodontist finally pay off on that wonderful day. There’s nothing better than the feeling of smooth teeth again and even better, a new beautiful smile! However, there may be no bigger disappointment than looking at a newly aligned smile to discover that there are lasting traces of braces in the form of white marks on the teeth. This is known as decalcification. These white spots appear near the gum line, on the teeth around where the brackets were, or underneath the connecting wires. The good news is, these white spots can be treated and improved, revealing the beautiful smile that everyone waited so patiently for. There are several ways to prevent white marks and to reduce them after braces are removed.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
The best way to deal with white spots on your teen’s teeth is to prevent them from developing in the first place. White spots develop when minerals are stripped from tooth enamel if the mouth is too acidic. Thorough, careful brushing, including reaching every spot and removing all food particles from all around the braces and between teeth, is vitally important. This also helps to keep plaque build-up at a minimum which will help to prevent the development of white spots. There are pH elevating oral care products on the market that can help to minimize acidic damage. And of course, acidic drinks like juices and sodas are best avoided!
Controlling the pH Cycle
Your mouth has its own natural pH cycle. It becomes more acidic when you eat and returns to a more balanced level when you’re not eating. An acidic environment in the mouth strips minerals from the enamel, which worsens any existing white spots and can create new ones. To treat white marks on the teeth, you need to keep pH levels high enough that minerals can be redeposited on the tooth enamel. For optimal remineralization, avoid snacking between meals and drink plain water with meals to maintain high pH levels. It can also be helpful to use oral care products that are specifically formulated to support a healthy oral pH level.
Replacing Lost Minerals
The way to reduce the white spots and improve tooth health is to replace the missing minerals from the tooth enamel. Nano-hydroxyapatite is a product which contains minerals in a form that enables tooth enamel to repair itself. Remineralizing toothpaste which contains both fluoride and nanohydroxyapatite is also a great way to give your teeth the strongest components for enamel repair.
At Tri-Cities Orthodontic Specialists we stop at nothing until our patients’ smiles are full of confidence! Come visit our welcoming, family-oriented team who will attend to your every orthodontic treatment need. To schedule an appointment please call (276) 642-0043 or complete and submit our request form. Our scheduling coordinator will contact you to confirm your appointment.