white spots on teeth

Will Braces Make White Spots on My Teeth?

If you wear braces, you may wonder if you will be left with white spots on your teeth after they have been removed. Being left with white spots on your teeth is certainly a valid concern, given that this is one of the most common after effects of plaque buildup during orthodontic treatment. Prevention is key, because once the white spots form they are difficult to remove. It is important to understand the steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of this happening. 

What causes white spots on teeth after wearing braces?

White spots on teeth are caused by demineralization, which occurs when the mineral content on your teeth begins to wear away. This demineralization leads to the development of white spots on your teeth that only become obvious after your braces are removed. A study published in Contemporary Clinical Dentistry found that decalcifications are found between 30 to 70 percent of patients during orthodontic treatment. Some orthodontists apply special sealants to the teeth before adhering the brackets to prevent tooth enamel decay. The sealant continuously releases fluoride, calcium, and phosphates to strengthen the tooth enamel. While this can help prevent white spots from forming, there are also steps you can take at home.

How can I prevent white spots?

White spots occur for several reasons, including plaque build up, whitening treatments, and teeth staining. The most common cause is plaque build-up on the teeth around the brackets. The shape of the brackets make it easier for food to get stuck. Without proper care, this can cause a build-up of food, which leads to plaque. You can prevent white spots on teeth by keeping the area around the brackets clean through proper brushing. Make sure to brush and floss after every meal. You should use special orthodontic flossers for braces to properly get under wires and around the brackets. The American Dental Association recommends also using a Waterpik water flosser to remove even more food from hard-to-reach areas.

Another reason for white spots on teeth is using whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, or any whitening treatment while wearing braces. Using teeth whitening products will cause the teeth under your brackets to remain a darker color while the other surface areas of your teeth will be lighter.

White spots on teeth can also occur if you eat or drink products that stain the areas of your teeth that aren’t covered by brackets. Try to avoid foods that stain your teeth, such as red wine, coffee, or tea, to ensure you keep your entire smile a similar color throughout your orthodontic treatment.

Can white spots on teeth be removed?

Unfortunately, after white spots on teeth form, they can be difficult to remove. While you can’t get rid of white spots on teeth at home, you can work with an excellent cosmetic dentist for tooth restoration, or you may be able to even out the color of your enamel with teeth whitening. Removing white spots on teeth can be costly, so it’s much easier and less expensive to prevent white spots on teeth from forming rather than relying upon their removal. 

At Milnor Orthodontics, our experts are here to help you achieve a priceless smile. Call our office at (970) 484-3214 or visit milnororthodontics.com to learn more. We're located at 1103 S. Shields St. in Fort Collins, Colorado.