My Kid Has White Spots on Teeth After Wearing Braces
Here at the Kids Dentistry Center we often fit children with fixed braces. The great thing about fixed braces is their high degree of precision which can provide excellent results particularly where a child’s orthodontic problems might be quite complex. However during orthodontic treatment it is important to make sure your child keeps their teeth meticulously clean, although it may take a little bit longer to clean around brackets and wires. (Read also: Caring for Teeth during Orthodontics). This is because otherwise there is a risk they could develop white spots on teeth which is an early sign of tooth decay.
What Causes the White Spots on Teeth?
Looking like pale colored chalky areas these white spots are the result of tooth enamel demineralization. They are caused by the loss of essential minerals in the tooth enamel which is due to the enamel coming into contact with acid. These acids are produced by bacteria in the mouth that will leach out calcium and other essential minerals from the tooth surfaces. Every day, teeth become covered with a sticky layer of bacteria called a plaque biofilm. This is easily brushed and flossed away, but if your child hasn’t cleaned their teeth properly and has left some of the sticky layer of plaque then there is an increased risk of demineralization occurring.
This process can occur quite quickly and these white chalky areas may develop near the orthodontic brackets and near any bands. Demineralization may be accelerated in children who have poor dietary habits. For example if your child snacks frequently in between meals and prefers to drink beverages high in acid or sugars then they are more at risk of enamel erosion and demineralization.
Good Oral Hygiene Will Eliminate This Risk of White Spots
Ideally, we’d prefer to prevent these white spots from developing in the first place. When your child has their braces fitted you will find Dr Marina Krepkh or another of our pediatric dentists will give them lots of advice on how to keep their teeth clean during treatment. (Learn also: Dr. Marina Krepkh Provides Tips for Encouraging Kids to Floss).These days there are lots of different tools and techniques that can make the process relatively easy and it is only for a short while. If we think your child might be more at risk of developing white spots then we may suggest they use prescription strength fluoride toothpaste or mouth rinse, or that they have more frequent in-office fluoride treatments. It also pays to keep an eye on their diet during this time and here at Kids Dentistry Center we can advise you on healthy food choices and on foods that are best avoided. Sometimes even cutting out sugary snacks between meals can make a huge difference.
Treating White Spots That Have Already Developed
If your kid already has white spots on teeth then it might just be possible for us to repair some of the damage to their teeth using fluoride treatments and other products to help their teeth remineralize. If the damage is too extreme, then we can also repair the tooth surfaces using the latest bonding techniques where advanced composite resins will be applied to the front of their teeth to create a more cosmetically pleasing appearance.