January 14th, 2014
White Spot Lesions – How to Prevent? – Orthodontics Edina
One of the most special times at Edina Orthodontics is when a patient gets their braces taken off! The only exception that can put a damper on this celebration is when a patient discovers they have white spot lesions.
White spot lesions (also called decalcification or demineralization) are caused by dental plaque (the same thing that causes cavities). The white, chalky marks on the teeth appear when acids created by the plaque remove minerals from the tooth surface and change the way it reflects light. The most common area for white spot lesions is between the gums and the brackets where brushing is most difficult. Many times white spots develop under swollen gum tissue making their detection difficult until after the braces are removed and swelling subsides. Although braces DO NOT cause white spots on the teeth, they do complicate the removal of the plaque which is responsible. However, the material we use to cement the brackets does have low risk of decalcifying the tooth.
Can white spot lesions be prevented? YES. Plaque removal is the only SURE way to prevent white spot lesions. A low acidic diet, brushing twice daily with fluorinated toothpaste, flossing daily, and drinking plenty of water throughout the day will keep plaque off your teeth! Without plaque, the white spot lesions cannot form.
What to do if there are white spots when your braces come off? Keep your teeth clean and allow the white spots to improve with time, minor ones may even disappear altogether. Sometimes we will recommend a re-mineralization paste called MI Paste in the hopes that is will re-calcify the white spots to make them less noticeable. Bleaching is another method that lightens the enamel surrounding white spot lesions and helps blend the white spots in.
Preventing white spots during your braces is simple: keep dental plaque off of your teeth and white spot lesions will never ruin your deband celebration!
If you have any questions regarding this or any other concerns, contact us at either of our offices.
Centennial Lakes: 952-831-1324 OR 50th & France: 952-926-2335
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