One question we hear often with our patients is how to avoid white spots on their teeth during their treatment. Why go through all the time, discomfort and money if you are going to end up with stained or marked teeth? There is actually a simple solution, keep your teeth clean! Yes, proper oral hygiene, which is important all the time, but even more so during orthodontic treatment is vital to keeping a healthy smile and avoid white marks, decay and gum disease.
By following these steps routinely, you are sure to keep your pearly whites looking their best during and after treatment has been completed.
- Brushing: Follow the recommendation of your orthodontist. Try to brush after every snack and meal no matter if you are home or not. Use a power toothbrush along with fluoride toothpaste to get the most protection and cleaning power.
- Floss: At a minimum, once daily, however more often is preferred. We understand that flossing can be difficult at first. We recommend using a floss threader or even better, a water irrigator for maximum effect and ease.
- Limit: It is best to limit or avoid soda and other carbonated beverages, coffee, tea, and other sugary or colored drinks duration your treatment.
- Keep up: Continue with your check-ups and cleaning appointments with your general dentist every four to six months
What Is A White Mark?
White marks on your teeth are the beginning of the formation of a cavity. It is also referred to as decalcification. It forms when plaque begins to form on your teeth. Plaque leaches out the minerals (such as calcium) from the enamel of your teeth and leaves a white mark that is permanent. behind. If you do not follow a proper oral health regime, these marks can develop into cavities if the plaque is not removed regularly. This can happen whether or not you have braces, aligners or nothing at all. What is plaque? It is when your saliva, food particles and bacteria collect on your teeth. They feed on sugars left on your teeth and form acids that damage teeth.
Can This Happen With Aligners Too?
Yes! If you indulge in flavored or sparkling water, soda or sports drinks while wearing your aligner, then you run the risk of forming decalcification marks, and it can happen quickly, usually within a few weeks. It is suggested to take your aligners out before you eat or drink anything, with the exception of tap water, and clean both your teeth and your aligners thoroughly to remove any particles left by food or drinks.
Keeping your teeth clean is not hard, but does require a commitment from you. Utilizing the proper tools and taking the time to care for your teeth will ensure you have a healthy and beautiful smile far beyond your orthodontic treatment. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions or demonstrate the proper way for you to keep your mouth fresh and healthy during your next appointment or give us a call anytime at 512-337-2325.