What Are Those White Spots Near My Braces?
If you fail to take care of your teeth while you are wearing braces, you could end up with unsightly white spots. Luckily, there are things you can do to prevent these white spots from forming on your teeth.
What is the Cause of White Spots?
The white spots that develop on your teeth while you are wearing braces are a direct result of poor oral hygiene. When you fail to properly brush and floss food particles, bacteria will start to build up around the brackets of your braces. If the food particles and bacteria are left sitting around, the bacteria will eventually cause your teeth to start to lose valuable minerals. The loss of valuable minerals, which is a process known as decalcification, causes bright white spots to form.
Prevent White Spots with Proper Brushing and Flossing
There is a reason why your orthodontist always reminds you to brush and floss regularly while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. One reason it is so important to maintain your oral health is that you want to prevent decalcification, which can also lead to decay.
Proper brushing and flossing will help you to remove any food particles, bacteria, and plaque that are starting to accumulate around the brackets of your braces.
While you are wearing braces you should be doing the following things:
- Brushing for a minimum of two minutes – spending less time brushing won’t allow you to properly remove plaque, bacteria, and food particles
- Brush after every meal and snack – if you are unable to brush after a meal or when snacking, at least try to brush your teeth two to three times a day
- Use small circular motions when brushing, as this will provide the power to remove plaque, bacteria and food particles, but it won’t damage your gums or teeth
- Floss at least once a day
- Remove any large visible food particles from around your braces – if you can’t properly brush, at least remove food from the wires and brackets
- Use a specialized dental tool to ensure you are cleaning those hard-to-reach areas
- Make sure to brush around the gum line
Consider Using a Water Flosser
A water flosser can help you clean those hard-to-reach areas in your mouth. Using a water flosser in addition to regular brushing and flossing will make sure that all food particles, bacteria, and plaque are being removed. This way, your chances of developing white spots on your teeth is significantly decreased.
Treatments That Can Help Prevent White Spots
Before starting treatment, your orthodontist may recommend that you have a sealant or fluoride varnish applied to your teeth by your general dentist.
The sealants will add a protective layer to your teeth that helps protect against decalcification, staining, or white spots. Fluoride varnish also helps strengthen your teeth. The stronger the enamel, the harder it will be for bacteria and plaque to destroy your teeth.
Fluoride varnish and sealants do not completely protect your teeth. You will still need to practice good oral hygiene if you wish to prevent white spots from forming.
Schedule Regular Professional Dental Cleanings with Your General Dentist
Just because you are regularly visiting your orthodontist, doesn’t mean you no longer have to visit your general dentist. You will still need to visit your regular dentist a minimum of once every six months in order to get a professional cleaning.
Regular professional cleanings can help prevent decalcification by removing any hardened plaque that may be building up around the brackets.
Have additional questions about how to prevent decalcification when wearing braces?Contact Reddick Orthodontics to get additional advice on how to prevent white spots from forming during your orthodontic treatment today!