At first it seems like a win-win situation. Your teeth are gradually becoming straighter, and now all of a sudden they’re becoming whiter, too? Don’t celebrate just yet, says Dr. Todd Pizzi, who offers several types of braces in Shrewsbury, MA, cautions that white spots aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. We’re not talking about uniform whitening like you would expect from a teeth bleaching kit, but small patches of white that form around brackets and wires.
What are these white spots on my teeth?
These white spots, known as demineralization, are a warning sign that the tooth is at risk of decay. They form when plaque is allowed to build up around the area, during which time bacteria and acids eat away at the tooth enamel. The tooth enamel loses its natural translucence, causing the affected areas to appear gritty or chalky. It’s a common occurrence that affects an estimated 85 percent of braces wearers, but that doesn’t mean it’s not to be taken seriously.
How did they get there?
If you detect the beginnings of these spots, it most likely means that your brushing and flossing efforts aren’t as effective as they should be. Plaque, which is made of bacteria and food remnants, builds up if not removed by brushing or professional teeth cleaning. For example, someone who wears traditional metal braces may find that they must use a Proxabrush to clean the areas between teeth, wires, and brackets. Otherwise, it’s unlikely that a toothbrush alone will remove the debris.
I’m worried I won’t be able to keep my teeth clean while wearing braces.
The good news is that you now have several available alternatives to traditional metal braces. Even though Six Month Smiles uses brackets to align teeth in a matter of months, a shorter treatment time means a reduced risk of tooth decay. If you’re still concerned, consider ClearCorrect or Invisalign invisible braces. Unlike Six Month Smiles and traditional braces, the clear plastic aligners require no bands, wires, or brackets. When it’s time to eat or clean your teeth, you simply remove the aligners.
Straighter, spot-free teeth. To learn more about teeth straightening in Shrewsbury, MA, or to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists, contact us at (508) 842-8838. We welcome patients living in Shrewsbury, North and South Grafton, Boylston, Hopkinton, and nearby cities.