Braces can do amazing things for people with overbites, under-bites or crooked teeth. They do have to be worn for a significant amount of time to straighten the teeth. This can sometimes cause problems. Something that many people see is white spots on the teeth after the braces are removed. The spots are normally around or just under where the braces were mounted. This can affect the appearance of your smile for decades to come. You should know the causes of these spots and the various ways to get rid of them.
What Are White Spots on Teeth?
The white spots on your teeth can be easily identified because they are lighter than the rest of the enamel and might even have a completely different texture from the surrounding tooth. These white spots are actually locations where the minerals in your teeth have been worn down or removed. The process is known as demineralization or decalcification. What is left is a hollow structure that is whiter than the rest of the tooth. Some of these areas might actually feel like pitted regions or indentations in the tooth. The spots are usually permanent although they can fade a small amount over time even if you do not get professional treatment.
What Causes White Spots On Teeth
White spots do sometimes occur even if you do not have braces because too much fluoride was applied to your teeth. The white spots on teeth after braces are normally caused by the buildup of plaque. You develop plaque when bacteria are able to accumulate on the surface of your teeth. Your braces sometimes help this by providing new areas where the bacteria can hide and grow. The bacteria cause a layer of plaque to form. This layer eventually starts to break down and remove the essential minerals your teeth need to stay healthy. If left untreated, the white spots can actually turn into cavities. Something that can contribute to these spots is poor oral hygiene that allows the bacteria to prosper on your teeth around the braces.
How to Get Rid Of White Spots On Teeth
If you do not do anything, then the white spots are likely to remain visible on your teeth permanently. Fortunately, many different treatments exist today that can either minimize or eliminate the appearance of the spots. You should know about some of the most common ways to get rid of the white spots on your teeth once the braces are removed.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
A simple way to help relieve the problem is by practicing good oral hygiene. This means brushing two to three times a day and flossing daily. This benefits your teeth in two ways. The first is that the action of brushing is going to help normalize the appearance of your teeth so that the bright white spots start to fade. The second way is by removing any bacteria that could easily get into the demineralized areas and cause more damage or staining. Flossing is important because it gets more of the bacteria out of your teeth.
A common cosmetic dental procedure that can effectively remove any signs of the white spots on your teeth that appear after removing braces is veneers. These are slivers of a material like porcelain or a composite resin. Your teeth are treated to make the surface rough. The veneer is then affixed to the front and secured in place with a type of dental cement. The veneer has a completely natural appearance. It creates a new surface and hides the marks beneath. Dental veneers are a fast and easy way to regain a bright and healthy smile.
One of the most common ways to remove white spots on teeth after braces is through a process known as re-mineralization. This technique is effective because it directly addresses the problem causing the spots in the first place. Re-mineralization involves applying some type of cream or other substance to your teeth for a set period of time. The cream contains the minerals that the bacteria have removed from your teeth. Your teeth will reabsorb those minerals rebuilding the area. Re-mineralization can cause the spots to fade or could remove them completely depending on your individual situation.
The white spots on your teeth sometimes sink below the surface of the surrounding enamel creating a sunken area. If this happens, then composite restoration is a way to deal with the problem. Composite restoration is a dental procedure that uses a special type of resin. The resin is applied to your teeth over the white spots. It basically fills in the area so that it is level with the rest of the enamel. The resin can be colored to match the rest of the tooth. Composite restoration has the potential to solve any problems you have with discolored areas after your braces are removed.
A very common procedure that could help is tooth whitening. This special chemical process uses hydrogen peroxide solutions or other substances to make your teeth whiter. It can have a fast and direct impact on the white spots on teeth after braces. The whitening solution will help to normalize the color of your teeth making the untouched enamel brighter. The result will be teeth that look much more natural. You can do tooth whitening at home with a kit or see a dentist for treatment. The type of professional whitening done by a dentist is far more effective in this situation.
A final possible way to get rid of the white spots is through a process called microabrasion. This technique uses a mixture of fine particles of pumice and hydrochloric acid. This mixture is then placed onto your teeth and rubbed across the surface as many times as necessary. The mixture starts to sand down and polish the enamel. The ultimate result is that the white spots will be less noticeable or completely gone afterwards because all new enamel is exposed. Microabrasion is a process that can be combined with other dental techniques in order to give you the brightest and most consistent smile possible.