Help! Teeth Stained After Braces

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Close-up teeth female between before and after brush the teeth.

The day your child finally gets their braces removed after years of time invested is a day neither of you will never forget. Braces have been a part of your child’s smile for a significant amount of time to correct issues like overbites, underbites or crooked teeth, and sometimes braces leave the teeth with white spots around or just under were the brackets were mounted.

Here are the causes of these spots and how you can get rid of them.

Why do I have white spots on my teeth after braces?

It’s easy to see the white spots on your teeth left behind after braces are removed because they are a lighter shade than the rest of the natural enamel on the tooth. These white spots are locations of where the minerals in your teeth have been worn down or removed.

Braces tend to provide new areas where harmful bacteria can hide and grow. Plaque causing bacteria cause a layer of plaque to form and this layer eventually starts to breakdown and remove the essential minerals your teeth need to stay healthy. If left untreated, the white spots can turn into cavities on the surfaces of your teeth.

Symptoms of these white spots include:

  • A lighter colored enamel than the rest of the tooth
  • A different texture
  • Feels like a pitted or indentation in the tooth
  • Do not fade away with regular brushing

Post-Braces Teeth Whitening Tips

These unsightly white spots are usually permanent although they can fade a small amount over time even if you do not get professional treatment to remedy them. If you choose to do nothing, the white spots are likely to remain visible on your teeth permanently.

Fortunately, many different treatment options exist that can either minimize or eliminate the appearance of the spots:

Brushing and Flossing.

One simple way you can help reduce the appearance of white spots after braces is by practicing good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth’s surfaces two to three times a day and flossing daily. Brushing your teeth is going to help reduce the appearance of white spots by brightening the rest of the enamel around them so they are less noticeable. Think of whitening the rest of the tooth to the color of the white spot rather than brushing the white spot away.

Teeth Whitening.

One of the more simple ways to make white spots less noticeable is by having your teeth whitened. Teeth whitening treatments use hydrogen peroxide solution to whiten the enamel of your teeth. Whitening the rest of the enamel on your teeth around the white spot will make it less noticeable by brightening the untouched enamel. Try using a home whitening kit, or for a more effective solution, schedule a professional whitening treatment with your dentist.

Re-mineralization.

The most common way to remove white spots on your teeth after braces is through re-mineralization. Applying a special cream that contains the minerals that the bacteria have removed from your teeth will allow your teeth to reabsorb those minerals rebuilding the damaged area. This technique can cause the spots to fade or remove them completely depending on the extent of your white spots.

Veneers.

Having veneers fixed to the front of your teeth with the use of dental cement will create a new surface and hide the marks beneath. Veneers have a completely natural appearance and are a fast and easy way to regain a bright and healthy smile.

Composite Restoration.

If the spots left behind on your teeth have also created a pit or indentation on your tooth’s surface, than a composite restoration will be needed to correct the tooth. This process consists of a special type of resin that is applied to your teeth over the white spots filling in the area so that it is level with the rest of your enamel. The resin is colored to match the rest of the tooth and will eliminate any discoloration issues.

Microabrasion.

This final technique works by using a mixture of fine particles of pumice and hydrochloric acid that is placed and rubbed across the surface of your teeth and works by sanding down and polishing the surface of your enamel. Once the new enamel underneath is exposed, the white spots will be less noticeable or completely gone after a few treatments.

Still in Braces? Start Taking these Steps ASAP

If you’re still undergoing orthodontic treatment and noticing stains around your brackets, it’s time to up your oral hygiene game. Brushing properly with a toothbrush that is made for braces, such as an electric toothbrush with a specially designed braces head, can make it easier to clean those hard-to-reach places. These brushes have special bristles that are made to remove plaque around brackets and get through the wires for a proper clean.

Ask Thomas Orthodontics at your next appointment about whether we see any concerns for potential white spots after the removal of your braces, and for braces-friendly toothbrush recommendations to help you avoid them.

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