Many with orthodontic needs are concerned about starting treatment, despite all the benefits of it, because they are worried about teeth discoloration. Considering braces cover much of your teeth’s surface, we believe this to be a valid concern! There are many causes for white spots, but getting braces doesn’t have to come with them. For your peace of mind, the best orthodontic results, and oral health, Griffin & Errera Orthodontics will share with you how to prevent white spots!
Twice Daily Oral Hygiene
One of the best ways to prevent white spots is by maintaining a consistent, healthy oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing twice daily will remove bacteria and plaque from your braces, teeth, and gums that could erode your enamel. Weakened enamel can leave your teeth vulnerable to decalcification, an often permanent type of white spot.
Dr. Griffin & Dr. Errera recommend investing in a water flosser and interproximal toothbrush to enhance your oral hygiene and have a “squeaky clean” mouth! A water flosser uses water jets to remove stubborn bacteria or food from braces, gums, and teeth. The water can even clean all those hard-to-reach places! Interproximal brushes are small enough to fit under your wire, between the brackets, and between your teeth as extra protection against white spots when you’re on the go. Both are great tools for fixed and removable braces patients to keep the mouth in top-notch condition!
Don’t Use Whitening Treatments
We know that the worry of not being able to clean your teeth thoroughly while in treatment can have you reaching for those whitening trips or toothpaste. Though we understand the desire to have bright, white teeth, we want to stress that using whitening strips during orthodontic treatment is not a good idea!
Using whitening products during treatment will cause discoloration, without a doubt! Our orthodontic glue has an airtight seal to keep your brackets secure, so the whitening paste, gel, or strip cannot touch the total surface of your teeth. When your braces come off, your teeth will be at least two pigments! Getting your teeth to be a single color again can be time-consuming and frustrating. We promise that you will achieve the best results when treatment is over!
Suppose you are an Invisalign clear aligners patient. In that case, you should still check with Dr. Griffin or Dr. Errera before using a whitening agent to avoid accidentally damaging your aligners or ruining their transparent aesthetic.
Do Use Fluoride Products
Let’s come back to your enamel. A strong enamel can protect your teeth from threats that cause white spots. To protect or strengthen your enamel, use fluoride products! Fluoride is a substance naturally found in your body and is added to your water (in the USA) that boosts the health of your enamel. Using mouthwash or toothpaste containing fluoride can increase your resistance to decalcification and white spots.
Before incorporating fluoride into your routine, please consult our team or your dentist. Everyone’s fluoride needs differ, and using the correct amount is important because overexposure to fluoride can create discoloration. Fluorosis is rare in adults and most common in young children, and luckily, it is only a cosmetic condition and does not threaten your well-being. However, we firmly believe in the expression, “It’s better to be safe than sorry!” and encourage you to seek professional advice.
See Your Dentist Regularly
Before, during, and after orthodontic treatment, you should continue visiting your dentist for checkups and cleanings. Your dentist will monitor your oral health to find and treat issues before they cause white spots or other symptoms like cavities or gum disease. Consistent professional teeth cleanings also remove bacteria and plaque that inevitably buildups over time, preventing discoloration and enamel erosion. At the end of active treatment, many patients like to schedule an additional appointment with their dentist to clean and whiten their teeth for a fresh start into a new, braces-free chapter of life!
Your dentist can be an excellent resource if you have questions about your routine or need guidance on bettering your oral health. Since white spots are almost always avoidable, having a knowledgeable and welcoming dentist in your corner is a great advantage.
Maintain A Teeth And Braces Friendly Diet
You know the expression, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” Well, we like to say, “A balanced diet keeps the white spots at bay!”
Whether you have fixed or removable braces, frequent acidic and sugary food consumption can break down your enamel and lead to white spots.
If you have fixed braces, eating a braces-friendly diet is also essential to upkeep your braces and oral health. Nonapproved foods can quickly get stuck in your braces and make them difficult to clean, increasing your chances of developing discoloration.
Visit Griffin & Errera Orthodontics For More Information!
There are many causes for white spots, and the best treatment and prevention method depends on their cause or your risk factors! To receive personalized guidance, contact our Middleburg, Warrenton, or Culpeper offices to speak with a helpful team member or schedule an appointment with our doctors. Want to know which braces treatment will have a minimal risk of developing white spots based on your lifestyle and alignment needs? Click here to schedule a free consultation!