How to Prevent White Spots

Nothing feels more anti-climactic than showing up to your braces removal appointment, sitting patiently while we take off each bracket and clean your teeth, and then looking in the mirror to discover you’ve got white spots on your brand-new smile. After so much time spent waiting for the big reveal, this common condition can certainly be a letdown for many patients – but as always, Saddle Creek Orthodontics is here to help you turn that frown upside down. 

Today, we’re teaching you how to prevent white spots and what to do if you already notice them on your teeth. So sit back, relax, and (don’t) grab the popcorn, because this is a blog you’ll want to bookmark for daily reference! 

What are white spots, really?

Whether you call them white spots, white spot lesions, decalcification, or simply discoloration, it can be disheartening to find white stains on your teeth after Dr. Kyle or Dr. John remove your braces. If you notice white spots that can’t be washed away after one brushing session alone, you may be experiencing the signs of enamel decalcification. 

Typically, enamel decalcification is caused by excessive exposure to acid in your food, beverages, or even bad bacteria found in dental plaque. When your teeth come in contact with these acids, they slowly erode the enamel, leaving opaque white spots that reveal signs of damage to this layer of the tooth. 

A good oral hygiene routine is key to preventing these acids from wearing away the enamel and causing decalcification, but when you have braces, brushing effectively can become that much more difficult. Working around brackets and wires takes time to learn, and even the best brushers may develop white spots after orthodontic treatment. 

How common are white spot lesions? 

If you have white spots, you’re not alone. In fact, up to 50% of braces-wearers develop white spots over the course of treatment, so this condition is very common. Fortunately, white spots are highly preventable and treatable, so even if you have them, the Saddle Creek Orthodontics team can give you some tips for refreshing your smile. 

Can white spots disappear naturally? 

White spots on your teeth do not have to be permanent, and they can even disappear naturally through a consistent oral hygiene routine. Sometimes brushing with fluoride toothpaste alone can restore the enamel and reduce the effects of white spot lesions. 

How to Prevent White Spots

Although it is possible for white spots to fade away naturally, it’s much more effective to do all you can to prevent them from forming in the first place. Use these pro tips from Dr. Kyle and Dr. John to ensure your teeth stay even-toned throughout your treatment so you can enjoy a bright white and straight smile when treatment is over. 

Establish a Good Oral Hygiene Routine

By far, the most important step in preventing enamel decalcification is sticking to a consistent oral hygiene routine. This means brushing your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice a day for two minutes at a time. Brushing after meals adds an extra layer of protection against acid build-up that causes white spots, so consider keeping an on-the-go toothbrush handy when you’re out and about. 

Use a Proxabrush

Proxabrushes are excellent orthodontic tools that are great for getting in between the brackets and wires to clean the entire surface of each tooth more effectively. When you’re done brushing your teeth normally, try using a proxabrush to clean the hard-to-reach surfaces in your mouth for a thorough clean that will help prevent white spots from forming. 

Stay Away from Sugary or Acidic Foods & Drinks

Foods and beverages with high sugar contents are like bait for cavity-causing bacteria. When these bad bacteria are around, they produce acids that wear away your enamel and lead to white spots. Similarly, acidic foods and drinks can cause enamel erosion leading to decalcification. Instead, opt for water and other healthier food options to protect your enamel and your smile.

How to Fix White Spot Lesions After They’ve Formed

If you just got your braces off, and you’re reading this blog in a panic because you already have white spots on your teeth, don’t worry! There are more than a few things you can do to turn back the clock on those white spot lesions. Options like in-office professional whitening, microabrasion, fluoride treatments, or dental veneers are all designed to reduce the look of white spots, so be sure to ask a professional which one is right for you. 

How to Prevent White SpotsDiscover Your Smile at Saddle Creek Orthodontics

At Saddle Creek Orthodontics, our team is always here to ensure you get the best quality treatment possible. That means Dr. Kyle and Dr. John will consistently monitor for signs of enamel decalcification while you have your braces so we can help you prevent or reverse the effects long before we remove your appliance. 

Everyone loves a Saddle Creek smile, and you will, too! Schedule your free consultation in Germantown or Collierville to get started today!