After you've waited possibly years for your orthodontic braces to be removed, you probably don't want to see strange white spots on your perfectly straightened teeth. Unfortunately, this is the case for many braces wearers who did not follow their orthodontist's guidelines for maintaining good oral hygiene. 

What are they?

White spots are decalcified areas of the teeth where plaque was allowed to build up over a long period of time. Plaque contains acids that eat away at the enamel on your teeth. Although decalcification can happen to anyone, it is more common among braces wearers because it is easy for food particles to get caught behind brackets. 

How can I prevent this from happening?

First, thoroughly brush and floss your teeth twice a day and make sure that there is nothing stuck in the wires or brackets. After you brush, wash your mouth out with a fluoride rinse. In a 2002 study at the University of Sheffield in England, researchers found that daily use of a 0.05 percent sodium fluoride mouthwash reduces the occurrence and severity of white spots. Your orthodontist can write you a prescription for the rinse, but there are also varieties available over the counter. 

In addition to your daily oral hygiene maintenance, make sure you continue to see a general dentist twice a year for professional cleanings. 

Is it possible to get rid of the stains?

There are prescription toothpastes that can rebuild calcium and enamel in your teeth, but may not completely get rid of discoloration. You could also have your teeth whitened so that they all have a consistent appearance. These are expensive options, however, so it is best that you prevent decalcification in the first place. 

If you're considering braces and want the best in care you should seek treatment from an orthodontist in New York. The staff at Upper Eastside Orthodontists are happy to answer any questions that you may have.

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