”Will my teeth have white spots when my braces come off??” It’s one of the most common questions we hear about orthodontic treatment, and we understand why. Fear not – we know the tricks and tips to ensure your smile is dazzling, and we’re here to share them with you!
Consistent And Thorough Oral Hygiene
Prevention is critical when it comes to white spots, and maintaining a consistent oral hygiene routine with healthy practices is your not-so-secret weapon. Brushing and flossing twice daily removes bacteria and plaque that could erode your enamel (the outer layer of protection on your teeth). Weakened enamel can cause discoloration and other oral health concerns such as tooth decay and gum disease.
Dr. Jk Dillehay recommends patients invest in water flossers and interproximal brushes to protect against white spots by providing even more thorough cleaning. A water flosser uses water jets to clean hard-to-reach places and remove stubborn bacteria or food for squeaky-clean braces, gums, and teeth. 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 patients with fixed or removable braces!
Use Fluoride Products
Fluoride is a natural substance found in your body that can help strengthen your enamel. Strong enamel can reduce your risk of white spots by protecting your teeth from threats that cause them! We suggest using mouthwash or fluoride toothpaste to increase your resistance to decalcification and white spots.
One important note: before incorporating fluoride into your routine, please consult our team or your dentist. Everyone’s fluoride needs differ, and using the correct amount is essential! Unfortunately, overexposure to fluoride can create discoloration. Though this is most common in young children and is rare in adults, we still firmly believe in the expression, “It’s better to be safe than sorry!”
Save The Whitening Product For After Your Braces Are Off
We understand the worry of your teeth becoming discolored throughout treatment and why that might make you reach for the whitening strips and toothpaste. We also know you may want to whiten your teeth purely for aesthetic reasons. But no matter the reason, we strongly discourage whitening products until we remove your fixed appliances!
Why? Because using whitening products during treatment is only a temporary solution and can even be the cause of your discoloration! Our orthodontic glue forms an airtight seal to keep your brackets secure, so the whitening product will not be able to treat the entire surface of your teeth. When your braces come off, your teeth will be at least two different shades! Getting your teeth to be a single color again can be time-consuming and frustrating, so resist the urge to use whitening products while wearing braces. We promise that you will achieve the best results when treatment is over!
Note: Invisalign patients should check with Dr. JK before using whitening treatments.
Visit Your Dentist
Seeing an orthodontist is not an excuse to stop seeing your dentist! Before, during, and after 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 discoloration or other symptoms. Professional teeth cleaning also helps prevent white spots by removing bacteria and plaque buildup.
Your dentist can be an excellent resource if you have questions about your routine or need guidance on improving your oral health. Depending on the cause, white spots can be permanent. So whether you have fixed or removable braces, we encourage you to see your dentist for a healthy smile!
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 era!
Watch Your Diet
You know the expression, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” Well, a balanced diet also keeps the white spots at bay!
Frequent consumption of acidic and sugary food (no matter your braces type) can break down your enamel and lead to white spots. Eating a braces-friendly diet is essential to keep your braces and oral health in good condition if you have fixed braces. Eating foods that aren’t recommended can quickly get stuck in your braces and make them difficult to clean, increasing your chances of developing discoloration.
Let Dillehay Orthodontics Take Great Care Of You!
We pride ourselves in providing outstanding customer service at affordable prices without compromising your experience or the quality of your new smile. To learn about oral healthcare during orthodontic treatment, contact Dillehay Orthodontics at our Wichita, Derby, or Pratt offices.