When you or your child were told one or both needed orthodontic treatment, did your mind stray to the thought of your teeth becoming discolored? It’s a common concern; many people worry that having their teeth covered for months will result in white spots on their teeth. KBL Orthodontics won’t lie to you and say that can’t happen because, unfortunately, it can, but we will tell you how to prevent white spots so you can have a beautiful, healthy smile!
Don’t Use Whitening Treatments
We understand the desire to have bright, white teeth, and we know that the fear of developing white spots can have you reaching for whitening products, but we want to stress that using whitening strips during orthodontic treatment is not a good idea!
If you have fixed braces, using whitening products during treatment will cause discoloration, not prevent or repair it! At first, your teeth will look great, but because your braces are glued to your teeth by Dr. Lewis, the whitening product will not be able to touch the entire surface of the tooth. That means your teeth will be two different colors when we remove your braces! Though not impossible to get the teeth all one shade again, it can be challenging. We strongly suggest waiting until treatment is over to use any product that contains whitening agents.
If you have clear aligners, ask Dr. Lewis before using a product to protect your trays. You don’t want residue left over on the teeth to damage or discolor your trays!
Maintain Oral Hygiene
One of the most effective ways to prevent white spots is with your oral hygiene routine! Brushing and flossing twice daily will remove bacteria and plaque from your braces, teeth, and gums that could erode your enamel. Weakened enamel can leave your teeth vulnerable to decalcification, an often permanent type of white spot, as well as tooth decay and gum disease, which can cause temporary and permanent discoloration.
To help you avoid the development of white spots, Dr. Lewis recommends all her patients invest in a water flosser and interproximal brushes. These tools make it much easier for orthodontic and non-orthodontic patients to have a bacteria- and plaque-free mouth, reducing the risk of teeth discoloration. Water flossers use water, of course, to rid the mouth of stubborn bacteria, plaque, and food particles. The fluidity of the water allows it to clean all the hard-to-reach places of the mouth, making your routine quicker, more effective, and less frustrating. Interproximal brushes, also known as interdental brushes, are small, radial brushes that can fit behind the wires of fixed appliances and between your teeth. It’s a great tool on the go or at home to clean all the nooks and crannies of your mouth. Both water flossers and interproximal brushes are a great addition to brushing and traditional thread flossing.
Try Fluoride Toothpaste!
One way to strengthen the vital enamel layer is to use fluoride! Fluoride is a substance found naturally in the bones! It’s been found so effective at improving teeth health that the USA has added it to our water supply! Even still, sometimes we need a little more fluoride, and that’s okay! You can get extra fluoride from fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash! Adequate fluoride exposure will increase your resistance to decalcification and other types of white spots by reinforcing your protective enamel.
Before incorporating fluoride into your routine, speak to Dr. Lewis or your primary dentist. Overexposure to fluoride can cause a cosmetic problem known as fluorosis. The condition, typically found in children and rare in adults, can create permanent white and brown spots on the teeth. Please seek professional guidance when considering fluoride treatment.
Visit Your Dentist
Speaking of your dentist, getting fluoride advice is one of many times you should be seeing them. You need to see your dentist regularly. Usually, these visits occur every six months, but it could be more or less depending on your dentist’s recommendation for your needs. Maintaining a good relationship with your primary oral healthcare provider before, during, and after orthodontic care is crucial to obtaining and keeping a healthy smile.
Your dental team will professionally clean, document, and examine your teeth and gums at regular checkups and cleanings. Consistent appointments allow your dentist to monitor and keep track of your mouth’s oral health, find and treat issues before they can produce more severe complications, and remove bacteria and plaque that inevitably builds up over time. This care makes these sessions essential to oral health and preventing white spots and other discoloration.
Bonus: Many patients like to schedule an additional appointment with their dentist at the end of active treatment to clean and whiten their teeth for a fresh start into a new, braces-free era!
Follow A Dr. Lewis Approved Diet
Whether you have fixed or removable braces, frequent acidic and sugary food consumption can break down your enamel and lead to white spots.
If you have fixed braces, eating a braces-friendly diet is also essential to upkeep your braces and oral health. Nonapproved foods can quickly get stuck in your braces and make them difficult to clean, increasing your chances of developing discoloration.
Visit KBL Orthodontics For More Information!
Whether you are a current or new patient, KBL Orthodontics has the expertise to help you at every stage of treatment!
Current patients can contact our office in Dothan to ask a team member questions or schedule an appointment with Dr. Lewis for personalized advice!
We can’t wait to break the stigma around white spots and braces! We hope to see you soon!