White spots on teeth are called decalcification. Per the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), decalcification is the very beginning of a cavity. While they can occur at any time in a patient’s life, white spots are a problem for some patients when they have braces or clear aligners. However, they are not a problem for all patients in orthodontic treatment.
It is essential to understand that braces and clear aligners do not cause white spots on patients’ teeth. Poor oral hygiene while wearing braces or clear aligners does. The accumulation of plaque on the teeth can cause white spots to form.
However, there are other causes of white spots. Fluorosis causes white spots on people’s teeth when they have too much fluoride as a child. Enamel Hypoplasia, which occurs when tooth enamel does not form as it should, causes white spots on people’s teeth when they are children. Some people who don’t wear braces or clear aligners get white spots on their teeth because they eat too many sugary or acidic foods, like soda.
If you have white spots on your teeth after completing your orthodontic treatment, some procedures can help reduce how noticeable they are.
- Microabrasion takes off a thin layer of enamel to remove the white spot and improve the appearance of your smile.
- Bleaching the teeth can help also. You can use an over-the-counter tooth whitener or have your smile whitened in the dentists’ office to balance out the color of your teeth.
- Composite resin, which is a tooth-colored material that bonds to the natural tooth, can cover up the white spots.
- Veneers are custom-made shells that a dentist adheres permanently to the surface of your teeth, which, like composite resin, can cover up the surface of your natural teeth.
However, the best advice we can offer is to take good care of your smile while during modern orthodontic treatment. Avoiding white marks on your teeth during your modern orthodontic treatment is not complicated. It requires you to:
Brush your teeth after eating and snacking. We recommend having a travel toothbrush that goes with you to work and school. If you can’t brush, then swish some water around your mouth to help rinse away the acids that would begin to erode enamel. Per Healthline, using an electric toothbrush might also help protect against the plaque buildup that can cause white spots during treatment.
Floss. Flossing can be tough with braces, we realize. However, it is imperative to remove the harmful bacteria that can contribute to the spots, further decay, and other serious oral health issues. Per the AAO, interproximal brushes, floss threaders, floss holders, and water irrigators help you floss if you wear traditional braces.
Watch what you eat. Foods and beverages that are sugary or acidic (e.g., candy, citrus fruit, soda, sports drinks, etc.) contribute to white spots, so limit or avoid eating or drinking them when in treatment.
Keep up your regular visits to the dentist. Even though you see your orthodontist regularly every few weeks for your orthodontic treatment, you still need to visit your regular dentist. He or she can determine if you need to change any of your oral healthcare habits to prevent white spots and other complications during your treatment.
Improving your smile with modern orthodontic treatment is a wonderful investment in your oral health and self-confidence. Decalcifications are sometimes a side effect; however, when a patient does not maintain a sufficient oral hygiene regime during treatment. If you have concerns about white spots on your teeth, please tell your orthodontist or regular dentist on your next visit. He or she can help you make improvements to your oral healthcare routine to prevent them from happening or minimize the effects if they have already formed.
To schedule your free consultation today, call Bloom Orthodontics office in Long Beach at 562-421-8883.
Bloom Orthodontics in Long Beach has a long history of improving our patients’ smiles. We provide modern orthodontic treatments delivered with old fashioned excellence in patient experience. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
 “Will Orthodontic Treatment Cause White Marks on My Teeth?” aaoinfo.org. 8 July 2019. Web. 14 November 2019. <https://www.aaoinfo.org/blog/will-treatment-cause-white-marks-on-teeth//>.
 Nall, RN, BSN, CCRN, Rachel. “Eleven tips to treat white spots on teeth.” Medicalnewstoday.com. 12 June 2018. Web. 14 November 2019. <https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322112.php>.
 Higuera, Valencia. “Why Do I Have White Spots on My Teeth?” healthline.com. 18 October 2017. Web. 14 November 2019. <https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/white-spots-on-teeth#prevention>.