Having braces removed is such an exciting event for all my patients!
I am happy to say that rarely do any of my patients have white spots after the braces come off.
The white spot lesions (demineralization/calcification) are caused by dental plaque, which is the same thing that causes cavities. The white, chalky marks form on the teeth when acids from the plaque remove minerals from the tooth which causes it to reflect light differently. Typically these spots will be seen between the gums and brackets where it is more difficult to brush when wearing braces. The good news is that braces DO NOT cause these spots on the teeth; however they do make it more difficult to remove the plaque which is the real problem.
Yes, there are ways to prevent these white lesions. Plaque removal is the ONLY sure way to prevent them. You’ll find that starting with your first visit to my office the importance of removing plaque is stressed and you will be encouraged to give careful attention to your oral hygiene. There are expensive products that can be used but nothing can replace good oral hygiene when it comes to preventing white spot lesions.
If you do have white spots on your teeth after braces, the first step to take is to be diligent with keeping your teeth clean and allow the normal oral fluids to bathe your teeth for six months. Experts advise AGAINST applying extra fluoride during this healing period as it may seal the surface of the lesion and prevent re-mineralization below the surface. After six months, low concentration over-the-counter fluoride rinses and remineralization pastes (like Recaldent and MI Paste) can then be applied.
When it is all said and done, white spot lesions are caused by plaque. Coating your teeth with extra fluoride or sealing your teeth with the newest products may help some, but the best solution happens with your toothbrush, toothpaste and a little water! The daily, regular removal of plaque will keep dental plaque off of your teeth and white spot lesions will never ruin your deband celebration!
Feel free to call the office or ask us a question online!