Orthodontic Treatment: The Best Way to Avoid “White Spot” Decay While Wearing Braces

Braces are a great way to achieve a smile you’re proud of. However, when wearing braces for orthodontic treatment, you must be mindful of maintaining a high level of dental hygiene. Those who don’t may be dismayed to find small white spots under or around the part of the tooth where your braces hardware was attached.

Here’s what to know about white spot decay, and how to prevent it.

What is white spot decay?

The white spots some former braces wearers find on their teeth are caused by demineralization. White spots occur when plaque builds up around the hardware areas, creating a film that can damage the enamel of your tooth. Braces make it harder to brush and floss, making plaque build-up more likely. White spots typically arise when your dental hygiene hasn’t been sufficient. White spots are an early sign of tooth decay. 

Preventing “white spot” decay

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent white spot decay when wearing braces. Your orthodontist might apply a re-mineralizing sealant to your teeth before adhering to your brackets in order to strengthen the enamel under and around your brackets. 

You can also minimize the likelihood of white spots by practicing good dental hygiene. Here’s how.

  • Regularly brush and floss. This is always important, but especially when wearing braces. Brush and floss twice a day, as well as after eating sticky or acidic substances. You can use special brushes and floss threaders to help work around your brackets.
  • Attend regular dental checkups and cleanings. Many patients also find that adding additional cleanings with their dental hygienists is beneficial in keeping teeth and gums healthier while wearing braces.
  • Avoid acidic and staining foods. High-sugar, acidic food and drinks hasten demineralization and increase the risk of white spots. Avoid high-sugar drinks such as sodas and fruit juices, and skip sticky or chewy foods. Also avoid beverages that stain such as red wine, coffee, and tea. This will also reduce the likelihood of yellow or brown staining.
  • Talk to your dentist. Your dental team can help you identify areas that you’re missing when brushing and flossing, and can also demonstrate good cleaning practices. They might also recommend fluoride supplements or rinses to help promote enamel protection or repair.

Treating white spot decay after braces orthodontic treatment

While prevention is better than cure, white spots can be dealt with. Teeth whitening, microabrasion and enamel infiltration may all help reduce the appearance of white spots and help your teeth regain their appropriate color. In severe cases, your dentist might discuss cosmetic bonding or veneers with you.   

Talk to the team at Optimal Dental about achieving a smile you love

At Optimal Dental, we help achieve patients of all ages and backgrounds achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. If you have questions about orthodontic treatment such as braces, or simply about achieving a bright, white smile, talk to our team today.