Once you’ve completed orthodontic treatment, you just want to enjoy your brand-new smile. However, one thing patients often worry about is having white marks on their teeth following treatment. Luckily, whether you end up with white marks on your teeth after treatment is UP TO YOU! If you take good care of your teeth during treatment, white marks can easily be avoided.
How White Marks Form on the Teeth
The white marks that appear on your teeth during/after orthodontic treatment are called orthodontic white spot lesions (WSLs). These spots are caused by plaque buildup on teeth. Removing plaque from your teeth is incredibly important because the bacteria in plaque produce an acid that begins to dissolve the mineralized surface of a tooth (and ruin the appearance of those pearly whites).
Fortunately, orthodontist, Dr. Dennis Flanagan DDS MS wants you to know that these spots are 100% preventable with proper oral care. When you begin treatment, learning the right technique for brushing and flossing with braces will ensure that you are able to maintain beautiful teeth for years to come. Dr. Flanagan and their assistants will help you to understand how to properly care for your teeth while in treatment.
How to Prevent White Marks
With a combination of simple in-office and at-home steps, white spots can easily be prevented during your orthodontic treatment.
- Keep Your Teeth Clean – Ideally, a person in orthodontic treatment should brush 2 to 3 times a day, for 2 minutes each time. You should also be flossing daily which prevents buildup between the teeth and brackets, where most plaque starts to form. Each time you brush, be sure you are brushing for 2 minutes. Be sure to continue with your regular dental cleaning visits!
- Use Fluoride – Make sure you are using a fluoride rinse after brushing your teeth to keep your teeth strong and healthy.
- Use an Electric Toothbrush – If you can, using an electric toothbrush is a great decision for your oral health! An electric toothbrush provides extra vibration which helps loosen plaque. This makes it easier to get your teeth clean.
If at any time you get concerned you may be developing white spots, simply schedule an appointment with Dr. Flanagan. We can help get you on the right track!