Most orthodontic patients are concerned about getting white spots on their teeth. These lesions look like ghostly shadows of your braces after you get them removed.
White spots are very common and hard to avoid entirely. But on the plus side, you do have a lot of control over how badly you are affected.
These white patches are shallow areas of demineralized tooth enamel. The enamel dissolves, turns chalky white, and becomes prone to developing a cavity.
What dissolves enamel?
Acids produced by bacteria are primarily to blame. The demineralization process happens when four elements are in place:
Actually, this process affects all teeth in all people – not just those with braces.
So what part do braces play in all of this?
It’s simply the fact that brackets provide a little extra protection for those acidic germs hiding out in your plaque. Your tongue and lips do a great job at keeping your teeth clean. A toothbrush and floss take care of the rest.
But throw in some metal and ortho cement, and getting your teeth perfectly clean becomes a more tedious process.
It’s easy to miss spots above and around brackets when you brush. You know what a strain it can be to floss around braces, too! If you miss the same area often enough, the plaque will accumulate and wear away the enamel in that spot. When the braces come off – voila – a white spot.
To minimize or avoid white spots altogether, keep your toothbrushing game strong. It also helps to visit your dentist throughout your treatment for frequent professional cleanings.
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