Now that you have finally gotten your braces off and things are starting to get back to normal, one thing you may have noticed are white spots on your teeth. This leaves many individuals to often ask the very natural question what are these white stains on teeth? How can I get the white spots on teeth off? What are these white lines on teeth made from? How can calcification on teeth be gotten rid of or mitigated? Or even what is the white spot on gum above the tooth?
As your orthodontic office should have mentioned to you after you asked the question how to remove braces, they will also most often mention to you that you may have these white spots on your teeth. Whether you call it white lines, white stains, white stuff, or any other terminology, the fact is this white stuff is most likely either demineralization or material build up.
There is a higher rate of white spots after teeth have undergone treatment with bonded or banded braces than without (Khoroushi & Kachuie, 2017). There are several reasons for this happening and we will look into those reasons, plus give you some ways to help prevent the spots from forming.
Banded or bonded braces encourage the retention of biofilms or plaque (Khoroushi & Kachuie, 2017). This means that traditional braces or ceramic braces are the ones likely to lead to a buildup of plaque. You can help this by making sure that you visit your dentist regularly to get professional cleanings to remove tartar buildup and keep your teeth and brackets clean.
It also means you need to be sure to brush your teeth after every meal and look into ways to floss your teeth and brackets. One of the easiest ways to do this is to get a water flosser device. It works by gently irrigating the spaces between your teeth and between and around the brackets. This device helps basically blast out any food particles and keep your teeth clean. Plus the gum massage feels really good!
Basically while your tooth was covered by the bracket, certain minerals in your teeth were lost over time. This can lead to this part of your tooth appearing to be far whiter than the surrounding enamel. For individuals who have just gotten their braces off, this can feel like another setback as they are again self-conscious about their smile. However, there are multiple things you can do, and in some cases not do, to help get rid of these white spots.
So do you wonder how to get rid of white spots on teeth? Let’s start with the easiest one first, do nothing. This may seem counterintuitive after you have been taking such a proactive role in maintaining your oral health and following your orthodontic treatments. The idea of doing nothing seems almost weird but if you simply go back to your life as normal, with normal brushing and flossing, over time these spots will go away on their own as your teeth all reach the same color over time. For individuals who want an affordable solution, then this one is by far the best because there are a few things cheaper than doing nothing.
As mentioned earlier, sometimes it can be a loss of minerals in the tooth that lead to this discoloration. De-mineralization of the enamel, appearing as white spots, around fixed orthodontic appliances is a major challenge during and after orthodontic treatment with braces (Khoroushi & Kachuie, 2017).
Fortunately there are actually different products that you can buy or that your orthodontic office could recommend for you that can help restore some of these lost minerals, and thus help the white stuff on teeth to go away. There are various gels, creams, and other things that you can apply to your teeth that will put back the minerals that have been lost over time while the braces were bonded.
If you’re looking for a more proactive step and something that can help restore the natural strength of your enamel by additional calcium or things like that, then this may be a great option for you.
It is important to make sure that you talk with your orthodontic office to get the right kind of remineralization materials, otherwise your treatment may either be ineffective, or costly and time-consuming. Your orthodontic office will be able to give their thoughts on whether this is a good option for you and something that you should consider pursuing.
You can also boost your chances of not getting those white spots by eating a good diet full of fruits and vegetables, and avoiding acidic foods that can speed the demineralizing.
The last option to help the white stuff on teeth go away if you do not want to go the route of adding minerals back to your teeth, is to go for simple tooth whitening. There are a whole variety of ways that you can do this both at home and professionally.
Since you are already likely to be visiting your orthodontic office to have your braces off or for any follow-up treatments that you may need, this can be a great opportunity to ask them about the kinds of tooth whitening that will be best for you in your particular needs.
Sometimes it can be done by a professional office with strong chemicals that you cannot get commercially as they must be applied by professionals. Individuals who go this route will pay a little bit more but they are likely to see results nearly instantly. Of course there are also a huge variety of at home treatments from gels, to strips, to even tooth whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes.
Whatever method you choose, make sure to do so in consultation with your orthodontic office as they can help direct you to what will be most effective for your particular needs. After having worked so long to get straight teeth, it’s important to make sure not to stumble at the finish line by using improper teeth whitening techniques. Instead, protect your beautiful smile that you have achieved by availing yourself of your orthodontist’s professional opinion so you can both have that straighter and beautiful white smile you deserve.
The presence of discoloration on the teeth as a result of orthodontic treatment with braces is very common. Unfortunately, although there are ways to prevent this discoloration, many people often find it very difficult. This is because one of the biggest contributing factors to discoloration of teeth is the formation and buildup of plaque and tartar while the braces are on.
It can be difficult to brush and floss adequately to get rid of all food between your teeth and around the braces. This is what leads to the formation of plaque which is a sticky colorless film of bacteria that can form around the teeth. When plaque is left on the teeth, it can harden and become tartar which is a crusty white substance that is harder to remove.
Tartar can usually also appear as yellowish or brownish on the teeth.
Additionally, when plaque and tartar form on the teeth, it can often lead to de-mineralization of your teeth, and this loss of minerals will affect the way light is reflected on your teeth. This is why many have white spots on their teeth at the removal of the braces.
If you’re just starting off your orthodontic treatment, it is possible to avoid this discoloration of your teeth. Speak to your orthodontist and dentist about effective methods to maintain a good oral hygiene routine.
However, if you’re at the end of the orthodontic treatment and you’re worried about discoloration of your teeth, you should be aware that it is possible to remove or fade the unsightly colors.
Khoroushi, M., & Kachuie, M. (2017). Prevention and Treatment of White Spot Lesions in Orthodontic Patients. Contemporary clinical dentistry, 8(1), 11–19. https://doi.org/10.4103/ccd.ccd_216_17