Do Orthodontic Braces Cause White Spots on Teeth?


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Braces can be a wonderful option for aligning your teeth and improving your overall long-term health. Properly aligned teeth can result in improved health by reducing the incidence of gum disease, reducing your prospects for a heart attack or stroke, and improving your appearance. When the time comes to remove your braces, it’s often a cause for celebration. But, that celebration can be hampered when white spots are discovered underneath the area where braces were attached to your teeth. The question for many parents is whether these white spots were a direct result of the braces, or an indication of some other condition that needs treatment.

What Are White Spots

White spot lesions are more professionally known as decalcification or demineralization. These spots are caused by subsurface porosities from the formation of dental plaque on the teeth. The plaque that causes cavities in teeth also causes white spots. The white spots are formed when the plaque on the teeth begins to remove minerals from the teeth. The removal of these minerals affects the ability of the teeth to reflect light. Generally, people experience white spots between the area of the braces and the gums. This area is notoriously difficult to brush, and among the reasons why many teens opt to use Invisalign Teen technology. Invisalign Teen makes it easier for them to clean the teeth since the aligners can be easily removed for proper cleaning.

Do Orthodontic Braces Cause White Spots?

Patients often want to know the answer to the question “Do orthodontic braces cause white spots?” The simple answer is no, but braces don’t make it easier to prevent them. Since the white spots occur underneath the braces, it can be extremely difficult for an orthodontist to detect and treat the plaque. The reason for this is that often, the white spots occur under swollen gum tissue and can’t be detected until after the braces have been removed. It’s not just a problem for people with braces either. University studies have noted that about a quarter of teens that have never had braces also develop white spots on their teeth. It’s not the braces that are to blame for the white spots, but having braces does make it more difficult to clean teeth properly and prevent the formation of these white spot lesions.

Keeping Teeth Cleaner

There are different types of braces that teens can get to help maintain a higher level of health. Invisalign Teen has a comparable cost to braces and allows for greater hygiene and cleaning. Teens that are suitable candidates for braces are also generally able to get Invisalign technology. By using Invisalign, it’s possible to keep teeth cleaner by removing plaque as it forms on the teeth. This can result in less white spot lesions and better overall gum and tooth health. Parents generally opt for removable Invisalign braces for this reason. Invisalign improves a teen’s self-esteem since other people will likely never know they have braces. The technology is virtually invisible and the advantage of being able to remove plaque can prevent white spot lesions from forming in the first place.

Reducing Lesions with Braces

If your child does have metal braces, your orthodontist can provide a list of foods and drinks to avoid reducing the chances of getting lesions. Proper brushing and cleaning can greatly reduce the possibility of forming plaque in the first place. Avoiding acidic drinks like soda, can also help reduce the likelihood of developing white spots. Using toothpaste that has fluoride and special brushes provided by your orthodontist can make cleaning more productive. The professionals at Beach Braces Orthodontics point out white spots when they begin to form. In some cases, it’s a good idea to remove braces early if severe white spots begin to develop late in the treatment cycle.

Proper Cleaning Prevents Tooth Decay


Photo credit: TheeErin / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

There is no single better way to keep your teeth healthy than a complete and proper tooth care regimen. White spots on your teeth can be prevented by nightly brushing. Many parents wonder about the merits of expensive fluoride treatments and other remedies that can help prevent tooth decay and white spots from forming on the teeth. These are questions that you can bring up with your orthodontist, but several studies have pointed to the efficacy of daily and proper brushing techniques. When you brush your teeth, spit out the foam and leave the residue on the teeth. This has been shown to be as effective as buying prescription fluoride. You can also discuss the possibility of sealants and other additives that can be used during treatment. However, the best option for teens that want to keep their teeth healthy is the use of different types of braces, such as the type available with Invisalign.

Removing White Spots

Patients that have developed white spots have wide array of remedies available to remove those spots. The first thing you should do is to keep your teeth clean and let the enamel on your teeth get used to being without braces. Most white spots improve or completely disappear naturally as time passes. Teeth whitening may be an option, but you should consult with your orthodontist about this and other treatments you want to consider. A consultation is often the best and most reliable way to get answers to your questions. Another option that may be available for you is resin infiltration. The resin works to reopen porosities and replace lost tooth structures. This can help strengthen your teeth and remove white spots. Additionally, micro-abrasion is another possibility with severe cases of white spots. Still, the best defense against white spots is regular and proper teeth brushing along with regular visits to your orthodontist.

Get a Professional Consultation

If you currently have white spots or you would like to talk about options to prevent white spots when considering braces, make an appointment with your orthodontist to discuss your options. Beach Braces Orthodontics can help look at your individual situation and provide the best option for your situation.

Beach Braces, 1730 Manhattan Beach Blvd. Suite B, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

TEL: 310-379-0006 Fax: (310) 379-7051.

Do Orthodontic Braces Cause White Spots on Teeth?

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