How do I prevent white spots on my teeth once my braces come off?

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First it's important to distinguish between white spots that appear with braces and other white spots on your teeth. White spots on the teeth may be caused by nutrition, genetics, or from excessive intake of fluoride. There is sometimes very little you can do to avoid these types of white spots. However, good oral hygiene and a healthy diet are the most predictable ways to avoid white spots.

Orthodontic white spot lesions (WSLs) appear as ‘little white cavities’ that can negatively impact the smile you’ve worked so hard to achieve with braces treatment. The spots are caused by plaque buildup on the teeth, which causes decalcification, or loss of hard minerals. Removing plaque from teeth is important because the bacteria in plaque produce an acid that begins to dissolve the mineralized surface of a tooth. While the risk of getting white spots is greater during braces, white spots can occur without orthodontic treatment in the absence of proper brushing and dental care.

Luckily, these white spots are 100% preventable with proper oral care. When you start orthodontic treatment here at McFarland Orthodontics, we will go over how to properly care for your teeth with braces. Learning the right technique for brushing, flossing and inspecting your braces is imperative to maintaining beautiful teeth for life.

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Here are 5 tips for avoiding orthodontic white spot legions:

1. Keep Your Teeth Clean - Brush your teeth 2-3 times a day. Floss your teeth to prevent the buildup between the teeth and brackets. Go to your 6 month dental cleaning visits.

2. Use Extra Fluoride - Use a fluoride rinse after brushing that helps keep teeth strong.

3. Use an Electric Toothbrush - Using a Sonicare electric toothbrush provides extra vibration which helps loosen plaque, making it easier to get your teeth clean.

4. Use a Water Flosser - Using a water flosser like Waterpik helps remove the plaque and debris between teeth and below the gumline, where it’s hard to reach with traditional brushing and flossing. Practically every orthodontic patient who has used a Waterpik comments on how much cleaner their teeth feel.

5. Seal Your Teeth - Our office provides a sealant that covers the enamel and prevents white spots from forming on teeth.

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