7 Tips to Prevent White Spots from Braces
One main concern many patients have when wearing traditional braces is that they will have white spots on their teeth once their braces are removed. This does happen to some but there are also many ways to prevent them from occurring. See below for our tip list on how to prevent these dreaded white spots “lesions” on your teeth.
1. Brush Twice a Day for 2 minutes
Proper oral hygiene is key not only while wearing braces but once your braces are removed as well to sustain great oral health. Brushing your teeth twice a day and after meals if possible, will prevent food debris and acids from remaining on your teeth and causing decalcification. Flossing once a day is also crucial in removing excess food debris and plaque between your teeth.
2. Don’t use whitening/bleaching toothpaste
Whitening toothpaste is not recommended for brace wearers because it cannot penetrate the brackets that are placed on your teeth for your braces. Essentially if you are using whitening toothpaste you will be whitening your entire tooth surface other than the small square on each where the bracket is placed.
3. Use a fluoride mouthwash
Used once per day fluoride mouthwash helps make your tooth enamel more resistant to decalcification or white spots. Some orthodontists also recommend using a prescription fluoride toothpaste.
4. Avoid sugars & sweets
Diets high in sugar lead to decalcification or white spots on your tooth enamel. It’s best to avoid beverages and foods high in sugar such as sodas, cookies, ice cream and sports drinks to help prevent white spots from occurring. If you can’t live without your Pepsi fix each day, use a straw to limit the contact that the sugars have with your teeth. Brushing your teeth after consuming a sugary beverage is best but if you’re not able to brush, drinking water afterwards will help flush away some of the sugars from your teeth.
5. Use an interproximal toothbrush
Using an interproximal toothbrush helps reach between your wires and brackets to remove food particles and plaque that your regular toothbrush can miss.
6. Use an electric toothbrush
Electric toothbrushes such as the Philips Sonicare help clean teeth better than a manual toothbrush. The compact rotating head of an electric toothbrush can reach places in your mouth easier than a manual toothbrush. Some electric toothbrushes even come with built-in timers to make sure you brush for the recommended 2 minutes.
In some cases, your orthodontist may recommend placing sealants on your teeth in order to make them more resistant to white spot lesions. There are various types of sealants available and multiple studies have proven that they are effective at preventing/reducing white spot lesions.
If when your braces are removed there are white spots, don’t panic! There are techniques that your orthodontist can use to reduce or eliminate them.