If you aren’t diligent about maintaining your oral hygiene routine while you’re wearing braces, it’s entirely possible at the end of treatment to have white spots on your teeth where the brackets used to be. The most important thing to know is this: The white spots are preventable.
What Causes White Spots on Teeth?
A white mark on a tooth is known as decalcification. It’s an area that is, essentially, the very start of a cavity. The spot is prompted by a build-up of plaque that causes calcium and other minerals in the enamel to leach out and leave a white mark in its place.
You Can Get White Marks with Invisalign Too
Even if you’re wearing Invisalign aligners instead of conventional brackets and wires, you’re not immune to developing white spots. If you don’t brush your aligners, bacteria left on them can sit on the teeth – snugly, because that’s how Invisalign fits – and lead to decalcification.
In fact, someone who isn’t an orthodontic patient at all can also develop white marks on their teeth. The combination of drinking too many sugary and acidic drinks along with poor brushing is a recipe for marred tooth enamel.
Choose Foods and Drinks Carefully
Plaque is a collection of food particles, saliva, and bacteria, and it feeds on sugars to form a damaging acid. If you snack frequently, drink and eat a lot of sugary or acidic foods and beverages, and don’t brush and floss well, white marks and decay are inevitable.
Flavored waters, sports drinks, soda, and even sparkling water are all contributors to decalcification. If you’re going to indulge in these liquids and you wear Invisalign, be sure to remove your aligners first and clean thoroughly afterward to remove traces of the beverages.
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene from Day One
White spots can develop quickly, so it’s important to develop a good oral hygiene routine from day one of wearing braces. The more dedicated you are to brushing and flossing multiple times a day, the better your teeth will look at the end of your orthodontic treatment.
Putting a limit on sugary and acidic foods and drinks and cleaning your teeth carefully using tools specifically designed to clean braces will give you the best chance of getting through your entire course of orthodontics without any white marks developing. Your orthodontist may recommend tools like interproximal brushes, floss holders, floss threaders, power toothbrushes, and water irrigators.
Build a Beautiful White Smile
Your orthodontist wants to know about all your questions and concerns when it comes to braces. Dr. Soleil Roberts at Soleil Orthodontics in Woodinville, WA, is here to guide you through your orthodontic journey, whether you’re a teen or adult, whether you’re wearing metal braces or Invisalign.
Contact Soleil Orthodontics today to schedule a consultation and get started on building a brand new, healthy, strong, beautiful smile that’s white in all the right places.