White spots on your teeth can appear for several reasons. One is dental fluorosis, which happens when you consume too much fluoride during the development of your teeth. Another cause could be poor oral hygiene, where plaque buildup weakens the tooth enamel and creates white spots. No matter the cause, these spots can make you self-conscious about your smile.
If you’re considering orthodontic treatment, you might worry about developing white spots by the time your braces come off. Since braces cover most of the surface of your teeth, it’s a valid concern. Unfortunately, we can’t say for sure if white spots will or won’t happen. The truth is that they’re a potential consequence of having braces. Fortunately, we have a few tips on how to prevent white spots during treatment with RiverView Orthodontics!
Consistent Oral Hygiene
You probably already know that maintaining a consistent oral hygiene routine is the best way to keep your teeth healthy. It’s also the best way to prevent white spots during treatment!
Brushing and flossing twice daily removes bacteria and plaque from your braces, teeth, and gums that could erode your enamel. Weak enamel makes your teeth vulnerable to decalcification, an often permanent type of white spot, tooth decay, and gum disease, which can cause temporary and permanent discoloration.
Dr. Mike Upton recommends using a water flosser or interproximal brushes to keep your mouth clean and white spot-free. These tools make it easier to remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums, reducing the possibility of tooth discoloration.
Water flossers use water to get rid of stubborn bacteria, plaque, and food particles. The water can clean all the hard-to-reach places of the mouth, making your routine faster, more effective, and less frustrating.
Interproximal or interdental brushes are small, radial brushes that can fit behind fixed appliance wires and between your teeth. They’re great tools on the go or at home to clean all the spaces of your mouth.
Water flossers and interproximal brushes are both fantastic additions to brushing and traditional thread flossing. However, they shouldn’t take the place of your regular flossing routine.
Follow Your Food Restrictions
It can feel challenging, but modifying your diet is crucial to maintain the health of your braces and teeth to prevent white spots! Whether you have fixed braces or Invisalign clear aligners, frequent acidic and sugary food consumption can break down your enamel and lead to white spots.
If you have fixed braces, non-approved foods can quickly get stuck and make them difficult to clean, increasing your chances of developing discoloration. Ask Dr. Upton for specifics on what you should and shouldn’t eat.
Use Fluoride Toothpaste
Fluoride is a natural substance in your body that helps strengthen your enamel. Strong enamel can reduce your risk of white spots by protecting your teeth from threats that cause them! Dr. Upton suggests using mouthwash with fluoride or fluoride toothpaste to increase your resistance to decalcification and white spots.
Don’t Use Store-Bought Whitening Products
Everyone loves a bright smile, and social media’s push for perfect teeth has only encouraged the trend. We completely understand why you would want them—they’re very pretty! However, if you have braces, we must stress the importance of waiting until you finish treatment before using any whitening product or treatment because it can create discoloration.
This is because your fixed braces cover a significant portion of your teeth with an airtight seal. Therefore, the whitening agent won’t reach the entire surface of your teeth. When your braces come off, your teeth will be at least two colors! Returning your teeth to all one color can be expensive, challenging, and time-consuming, so we suggest holding off on whitening treatments until Dr. Upton gives you the go-ahead.
See Your Dentist Regularly
Regular dental cleanings are essential to oral health and smile appearance before, during, and after treatment. Attending these appointments as frequently as your dentist recommends allows your oral healthcare provider to find and treat issues before they can cause white spots or more severe damage to your teeth and gums.
Professional teeth cleanings also remove bacteria and plaque that inevitably build up, regardless of your at-home regimen. Whether you have removable or fixed braces, you should make it a habit to see your dentist.
Straighten Your Smile With RiverView Orthodontics
There are many causes and reasons for white spots, but the most effective way to prevent them during orthodontic care is to visit RiverView Orthodontics and your general dentist regularly.
Dr. Upton will give you personalized advice and recommendations based on your needs, treatment plan, and lifestyle, eliminating any white spot-related stress you may have felt.