When a patient successfully completes a course of orthodontics, removing the braces at long last can bring great relief. However, on occasion, patients are greeted by stains or marks that were not previously present on their teeth. These marks tend to be in the location where the brackets once were. They are also white in colour, noticeably more so than the rest of a tooth.
The Braces Are Not to Blame
First and foremost, the braces themselves are not to blame for these white marks. While braces do contribute to the formation of these white marks, they would not do so if patients maintained an excellent level of oral hygiene throughout their treatment.
With that said, due to the difficulty of cleaning teeth while wearing braces, even the most dedicated patients can sometimes develop white marks on their teeth. The main culprit of these marks is bacteria. When plaque, the bio-film that contains bacteria, builds up around and under brackets, a process called demineralisation occurs. Put simply, the teeth are eroding.
White Marks Can Be Prevented
Armed with the right knowledge, any orthodontic patient can prevent the formation of white spots on their teeth. Your first line of defence is dedication. Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth for two minutes—under normal circumstances. However, cleaning braces, especially in the beginning, should take considerably longer until you learn to do it right.
If that takes 10 or even 20 minutes, you should be willing to sacrifice that time. However, you should also use the right tools. A standard toothbrush isn't enough. As well as using waxed floss, since normal floss shreds on brace brackets, use a water or air flosser to get at hard to reach food debris and plaque. Interproximal brushes are also ideal for reaching those little nooks and crannies under brace wires and beside brackets due to their small size.
White Marks Can Be Removed
Whitening teeth to hide these white marks is only an aesthetic solution, as are bonding and porcelain veneers. While these might hide the white marks, there is still the problem of the demineralised enamel, which could later cause problems. Fortunately, teeth can be remineralised.
Patients can apply MI (Minimal Intervention) paste, which contains ACP (amorphous calcium phosphate), to their teeth each day, and chew gum containing ACP, to remineralise the affected areas of their teeth. Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of these two treatments. Continued use of these two treatments, along with toothpaste that contains flouride, will gradually diminish the white spots over time.
Prevention is the answer where white marks are concerned. However, with the help of your dentist or orthodontist, whose help will be invaluable in this matter, you can banish white marks for good—not just cover them up.
You may have heard that cavities and oral decay are linked to things like heart disease, and, in fact, your oral health affects your entire body. Hi! My name is Brenda, and I like to look at things holistically. Because of that, I created this blog. I plan for its posts to look at the link between dental issues and other health issues. I hope that the people who visit this blog learn a few tips about oral care as well as gaining a deeper understanding of why it's so important. Healthy smiles indicate a healthy body, and I hope this blog helps you achieve both!