White Spot Lesions

Have Post-Orthodontic White Spots? Here’s How It Can be Treated

Getting your braces off to see the final results of your orthodontic treatment can be an exciting time, but for some people, white spots can develop along the front of your teeth. These white spots, known medically as white spot lesions, are demineralized spots of enamel that don’t come off no matter how much you brush. For some, it can be disheartening to find that after their treatment that these lesions occur, but don’t worry – there are many ways that white spot lesions can be treated and why it’s important to treat them.

How Can White Spot Lesions Be Prevented?

White spot lesions are demineralized spots of enamel that can occur on anyone’s teeth but are especially more prominent for those who have had braces or other forms of orthodontic treatment. Those who have had orthodontic treatment have an increased risk of developing white spot lesions, and this is due to the amount of plaque development that can easily occur along with the brackets of orthodontic appliances. Oral bacteria have the ability to deteriorate the enamel layer of the teeth, and orthodontic appliances can cause higher concentrations of acid along with the teeth, making it easy for white spot lesions to form. Over time, white spot lesions can also develop into cavities, and it’s important to get white spot lesions treated to help prevent ongoing enamel loss and cavity growth.

The best ways to treat white spot lesions are to prevent them from occurring altogether, but many orthodontists have other methods for treating enamel loss caused by white spot lesions. To help get rid of white spot lesions, here are some ways to treat and prevent them:

  • Brushing Your Teeth: Brushing your teeth and practicing good oral hygiene can not only keep bacteria away but potentially reverse white spot lesions. Since most toothpaste contains fluoride, fluoride can help re-mineralize the enamel by bonding with the tooth layer.
  • Change Diet Habits: Most often, white spot lesions and cavities are caused by an increased intake of sugar and carbs. Reducing the amount of carbs and sugar you eat and focusing on healthier habits can help prevent white spot lesions from worsening.
  • Drink Water: Hydration is not only important for your body but is also important for your mouth. Water helps increase saliva production, which helps wash away stubborn bacteria from inside the mouth.
  • Fluoride Treatments: Fluoride treatments can also be used to re-mineralize the enamel and protect your teeth from cavities, providing higher concentrations of fluoride to your teeth.

Contact Your Orthodontist For Treatment Options

Your orthodontist may have more treatment options than listed to help remove white spot lesions and provide you with a healthier smile. While white spot lesions are a potential complication that can arise from braces, maintaining good hygiene and seeking treatment can be the best ways to prevent and remove these lesions for a healthier-looking smile. The best resource for learning more about your treatment options is to schedule an appointment with your orthodontist.

Maureen Karl, DDS, FAGD
As a graduate of the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine in 2004, Dr. Maureen Karl continues to hone her craft through continuing education. Dental patients throughout the Granbury, TX area know they can rely on our practice for skilled dental care using the latest practices.

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