Scars on teeth from braces

Getting your braces off is often one of the happiest days of a teen’s years. All the work that has gone in to building a beautiful smile with an optimal, healthy alignment. There may be no bigger letdown than looking at a brand new, freshly aligned smile and discovering that the last trace of braces remains in the form of little white spots at each of the former metal attachment spots. All is not lost, however. White spots on the teeth can be treated and improved, leaving behind the beautiful smile that was the consistent goal of the entire orthodontic treatment program. There are several ways to reduce white spots after braces.


An Ounce of Prevention: Don’t let spots form in the first place

The old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” has been around so long because it has truth value. The easiest way to deal with white spots is to keep them from developing. White spots that develop around the edge of braces are caused by minerals being stripped from tooth enamel while the mouth is acidic. Brushing carefully, getting every spot and removing all food particles from between teeth and all around the braces is important. pH elevating oral care products can also help keep acid damage at bay. Meticulous oral hygiene can help keep teeth healthy and avoid those white spots.

Finding What’s Lost: Replacing lost minerals

The minerals missing from your enamel need to be replaced to fill in white spots, returning cosmetic appeal and improving tooth health. Fluoride has long been recommended to help build tooth enamel. Better still, a product that contains nano-hydroxyapatite contains minerals in the form that tooth enamel needs to repair itself. Using a remineralizing toothpaste containing both fluoride and nanohydroxyapatite gives your teeth the best available building blocks for enamel repair.

What Goes Up: Controlling the pH cycle for optimal remineralization

The mouth has its own natural pH cycle. It goes down, becoming more acidic, when you eat and goes up after eating to return to a safer level for enamel. Because the acid environment strips minerals from enamel, it can worsen existing white spot or cause new ones. When treating white spots, it’s important to help keep pH levels high, in the range where minerals can redeposit on tooth enamel. Not snacking between meals and restricting between meal beverages to plain water can help keep pH levels high. Using oral care products specifically formulated to support healthy oral pH can also be a huge help.

White Spots After Braces FAQs

How can I prevent white spots after braces?

The easiest way to treat white spots after braces is, of course, to never develop them in the first place.

The best way to prevent white spots is to take excellent care of your enamel while you have braces on your teeth. White spots develop after plaque acids build up on your enamel surface, weakening the enamel and dissolving the minerals out of the enamel surface. The braces both give the plaque acids additional surfaces to stick to and make cleaning the tooth surface well more difficult. If you don’t remove the acid conditions and let the minerals stay dissolved out, you will have white spots.

Brush your teeth at least twice daily with a soft toothbrush and a mineral rich, preferably fluoride toothpaste. Take extra time to clean around braces and brackets. Small, specially designed toothbrushes (sometimes called interdental cleaners) can help dislodge food particles and remove damaging acids from under wires and in tight spaces.

Don’t snack frequently if you can avoid it. Be sure to follow your dentist or orthodontist’s recommendations of foods to avoid while you have braces. Sticky foods like caramels and taffy can stay on your braces and tooth surfaces for extraordinarily long times, causing acid attack and white spots. Always rinse with clean water and carefully remove all food particles after eating.

Excellent oral hygiene will help you avoid white spots ruining your beautiful new smile.

Can white spots on teeth after braces be removed?

White spots can be treated. In general, the results are completely satisfying.

The first step is to repair the weakened spots. This may mean using a fluoride and nanohydroxyapatite remineralizing product to remineralize the white spots. Tooth whitening, particularly professional tooth whitening done by a dentist, can help even out any color variations for a beautiful cosmetic result.

If the white spots are severe, sometimes, your dentist can use resin similar to the resin used to fill cavities to restore the appearance of the enamel. If that is not enough, it is also possible to use cosmetic techniques like veneers, thin strips applied to the front of the teeth, to restore the appearance of the front of the teeth.

What can I do at home to remove white spots on my teeth after braces?

You definitely can start treating white spots at home. A remineralizing toothpaste or gel can help rebuild and repair the weakened spots in the enamel. In addition to brushing with remineralizing products, you may be able to use at home trays to keep the treatment gel in place for longer than during brushing to achieve optimal results. Just be sure to consult with your oral care team to be sure you are doing so safely.

After you have remineralized the spots, restoring their naturally glossy appearance, you may need to use a whitening product to even out the color. At home whitening product kits from your dentist’s office usually work better than whitening toothpastes from the drugstore. Talk to your dentist for recommendations to make sure you are using the best products for your specific situation.

Ready to Ditch the White Spots?

Leaving white spots unattended may lead to serious consequences. Explore our resources for preventing and dealing with white spots on teeth and gums.

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Teeth Whitening After Braces

Watching your orthodontist take your braces off is very exciting. If you are like many people who have braces, you look forward to the moment you see a mouth full of beautiful, straight teeth smiling back at you in the mirror.

After months of anticipation and work to straighten your pearly whites with braces, you may come to find that your teeth are slightly discolored around the areas where your brackets had been. It’s only natural for patients to want their new, straight teeth to be white and glistening.

Fortunately, understanding how teeth get yellow with braces can help you avoid experiencing this cosmetic issue. While getting yellow teeth during braces is actually avoidable, if you find you’ve acquired any stains during your orthodontic treatment you can whiten your smile with a professional whitening treatment.

Why Teeth Yellow with Braces

Teeth staining after braces is a common concern among adolescentand adultbraces patients. Caring for your braces is important to not only maintain your teeth straightening treatment but also for your general oral health. If you want to have white teeth after braces, you should understand the root causes of a lackluster smile. Braces themselves do not directly cause discoloration. Plaque and tartar, difficulty brushing, and eating certain foods all contribute stained teeth, and the need for teeth whitening after braces.

Plaque and Tartar

Stained teeth are commonly caused by the accumulation of plaque in teeth crevices. Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria that begins to forms on teeth from eating and drinking. This plaque combines with sugars to create acids that leach minerals from your teeth. Removing the minerals from teeth changes the way the surface of your teeth reflects light. This can potentially result in unsightly white spots on your teeth. Plaque also increases the risk of gum disease and tooth decay while your braces are on.

Plaque can harden into tartar, a crusty deposit that can form in just 24 hours if not brushed away. Tartar easily stains teeth yellow or brown, and can even make it harder to remove newly formed plaque. Once tartar has developed, only a dental professional can remove it.

How Braces Affect Your Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene is an important prevention method against plaque and tartar, the main causes of tooth discoloration. Patients with braces should always rinse and brush after a meal, and floss at least twice a day.

Although braces can make basic teeth cleaning tasks difficult, it is important to have a diligent oral hygiene routine. Braces brackets and wires can get in the way when you try to brush your teeth, and effective flossing takes time and skill. Inadequate brushing and flossing can leave food and liquid remnants on the surface of your teeth. This increases your chance of leaving behind harmful plaque and bacteria that can cause gum disease and tooth decay.

If you have braces and find yourself struggling to keep your teeth clean, you should schedule a professional cleaning with your dentist. Professional dental cleanings during orthodontic treatment will help remove the plaque that leads to stained teeth. The tools and techniques used allow the dental professionals to clean those hard to reach places between the braces wires and brackets that you cannot get to with your toothbrush or floss. Skipping dental cleanings can lead to the appearance of yellow or stained teeth after your braces are removed.

Foods That Cause Yellow Teeth

If you want to have a white smile, be sure to watch your diet. Certain foods and beverages can stain your teeth, and ultimately lead to discoloration. Coffee, tea, soda, dark juices, popsicles, and even soy sauce can stain your teeth. Sugary, acidic, or starchy foods can promote the growth of bacteria and the demineralization process. Even foods like pickles, cranberries, tomato products, and alcohol can also cause demineralization and staining.

Teeth Whitening after Braces

Stained teeth can make adolescent and adult patients feel insecure about their smile, even after completing orthodontic treatment to straighten their teeth. After all, you’ve gone through the work of wearing braces, how can you get whiter teeth to create an all-around beautiful smile? This is where professional teeth whitening comes in to help restore stained teeth to a bright, white smile.

It is always recommended to whiten teeth after braces, instead of before. Teeth whitening before braces can result in uneven shades across the surface of teeth from where brackets and wires sit, and from shifting teeth. One of the common reasons patients seek out braces is to fix crooked teeth. Crooked teeth often overlap, which means if you whiten your teeth before braces, the whitening agent is unable to reach some areas of the teeth. As your teeth shift during your orthodontic treatment, this will create an uneven shade spectrum across your smile.

Orthodontists often recommend that their patients wait about six months after their braces are removed to whiten their teeth. There are two reasons why this is recommended; tooth sensitivity and saliva.

Wearing braces can cause teeth to feel weak for a short period of time, so giving yourself time to adjust will make teeth whitening as effective and comfortable as possible. In many cases, a patient’s saliva will be enough to reduce the intensity of discolorations and differences in shades after their braces are removed. However, if six months pass and your teeth are still looking discolored, teeth whitening after braces may be necessary to create a whiter, healthier-looking smile.

For optimal cosmetic improvement and oral health, teeth whitening should always be supervised or performed by a dental health professional. Not only is professional teeth whitening more effective than at-home treatments, but it is also safer. Dental professionals can spot areas of demineralized enamel, signs of gum disease, or tooth decay that may have been hidden by braces.

Teeth Whitening at Laster Orthodontics

Laster Orthodontics in North Carolina makes professional teeth whitening for their orthodontic patients easy. Laster offers two options for their patients; whitening gel that patients can put in their retainers, or Go trays. The whitening gel can be added to removable retainers to help brighten their smiles. If you review Laster Orthodontics on Google or Yelp, Laster will even discount this whitening service. Go trays are an easy bleaching system that Laster offers, and is cost efficient as well.

There are many benefits to orthodontic treatment, including braces. To learn more information about teeth whitening after braces, speak with your orthodontist before and after you have your braces off. If you are in the Rolesville, Zebulon, or Raleigh, North Carolina area, Dr. Laster at Laster Orthodontics would be happy to answer any and all braces questions. With Dr. Laster’s help, you can explore your options for teeth whitening after braces and ultimately achieve the perfect smile.

At Laster Orthodontics, we help families develop healthy, life-changing smiles using customized treatments, cutting-edge technologies, and caring relationships. Our individualized treatment plans help our patients achieve their perfect smile in the quickest, most painless way possible by utilizing a wide range of options from traditional braces to Propel accelerated treatment to Dr. Laster’s in-house aligner program, Laster Perfect Smile. With three locations throughout the Triangle Area, we create life-changing smiles every day.

The Low Down on Preventing Teeth Stains from Braces

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After spending so much time and money on straightening your smile, the last thing you want is to have stains on your teeth after the braces finally come off. You don’t want to feel embarrassed about your smile still after all this. There are several things you can do to reduce the chance of staining though. Here is the low down on preventing teeth stains from braces:

Brush after Every Meal

Food particles when left on your teeth lead to a buildup of bacteria that causes plaque to form. This is what causes most of the staining. When braces make it difficult to get rid of all the plaque, demineralization occurs causing white spots to occur.

That is why it is so important that you brush your teeth after every meal. While you should always do this, it is especially important while you are wearing braces. With a cleaner mouth you will have to also worry less about cavities and other dental problems too. Using an electric toothbrush every day will also make it easier to get all those hard to reach spots.

Don’t Use a Whitening Toothpaste

It might surprise you to know that whitening toothpastes can actually be bad for your teeth causing more discoloration. What happens is that the tooth area around your brackets are whitened but the areas covered by the brackets are not, causing a stark contrast. Stick to regular toothpaste instead.

Floss and Use Mouthwash Regularly

To help you get around the brackets and wires and all the other hard to reach places, be sure to also floss and use mouthwash regularly. There are types of floss that are made to be used with braces so you don’t have to worry about the floss getting stuck in your braces. And the mouthwash will get rid of an extra germs that are still lingering around in your mouth.

Stay Away from Certain Foods

Listen to your orthodontist when he or she gives you a list of foods and drinks to stay away from. Some of them can cause damage to your braces while others can causing teeth-staining. Food and drink that is usually on that list include coffee, soda, mustard, tomato-based foods and drinks and basically anything with food coloring. All of these can stain both your brackets and your teeth.

Don’t Miss Any of Your Orthodontic or Dental Appointments

It can be hard to juggle all your daily responsibilities and get to all your orthodontic and dental appointments but it is crucial to do so. The rubber bands around the brackets of your braces need to be changed regularly to help prevent staining and your 6 month checkups at the dentist for a cleaning can also cut back on the staining and chance of tooth decay.

Get a Sealant Put on Before Braces

Another important preventive measure to consider is getting a sealant put on your teeth before the braces are put on. The barrier will help keep stains from forming. Talk to your orthodontist about whether this is right for you before you start your treatment.

Can Anything Be Done After the Fact?

If you end up with some staining despite taking these preventive measures, don’t panic. Most of the time your saliva will be enough to dull the stains so they are not as noticeable over time. You can also whiten your teeth after your braces come off. Most experts recommend that you wait six months though before you whiten your teeth.

Talk to your dentist about the benefits and drawbacks of over-the-counter tooth whitening products and in-office whitening treatments.

Who you choose as your orthodontist can also influence how your treatment goes and whether you have any teeth staining or decay to worry about afterwards. For the most successful treatment, you need an orthodontist who really cares about your health and welfare and will work closely with you so you get the best results possible.

Here are some tips for finding the right orthodontist for you:

  • Get referrals from family and friends. Ask the people you trust if they would recommend a particular orthodontist. Ask about their particular experience and any pros and cons about the dentist that they can share. Your regular dentist is also a good person to ask for a referral. See if they will share who they chose for orthodontic work for their own children.
  • Do a google search. Look at orthodontist reviews and also check out the websites of orthodontists in your area to get an initial feel for who is out there and what they offer. Also make sure that any orthodontist you are interested in is a licensed member of the American Association of Orthodontics.
  • Set up a consultation. Most of the time, we can’t really get a good feel for a new doctor or dentist until we go in for a visit so it is important to set up a consultation with at least a few orthodontists. While it can be time-consuming, it can really help you feel more confident about your final choice.

While you are there, you should pay attention to your surroundings. Is everything clean and sterile? Are they using the latest technology? Do they keep their patient’s comfort in mind at all times? Is the office comfortable and the staff friendly? Also pay attention to how the orthodontist interacts with you. Is he very brusque, acting like he doesn’t have a lot of time to spend with you? Or does he really sit down and get to know you and what your needs are? If you have a fear of going to the dentist, make sure that the orthodontist you choose has a gentle chairside manner. Everyone has their own needs when it comes to which types of personalities they prefer to interact with so make sure you are going to be comfortable because you are going to be spending a lot of time with this doctor and his staff. Orthodontic treatment can least between 1 year to about 3 years.

The skilled orthodontists at Orthodontics Limited really care for you and will offer you individualized care and state-of-the art technology. Give them a call them today for more information and to schedule an initial consultation.

How Should Spots Left on Teeth by Braces Be Treated?

Q1. My daughter has white spots remaining on her teeth after the recent removal of her braces. Suggested treatments mostly involve the use of fluoride, but I have read a lot about fluorosis — that is fluoride causing white spots on teeth. Can you explain this to me? Can we expect the spots to go away?

— Pam, California

When braces are removed, white spots can sometimes be left on the outer enamel, the coating of the teeth, to which the braces are attached. These white spots are usually the result of cement or bonding material that was attached to the tooth. When the cement or bonding material is removed, the white spots usually remain permanently. One can reduce the appearance of these spots by using common whitening products, which your dentist can recommend. Hopefully, the tooth will bleach uniformly and the spots will blend in. If these spots are a cause of self-consciousness as your daughter gets older, other options can be considered, such as bonding or porcelain laminates or crowns to cover the spots.

The use of fluoride is generally good for teeth because it strengthens the enamel and helps protect against cavities and gum disease. I have never heard, nor do I believe, that the increased use of fluoride will get rid of white spots left by braces; neither should it cause white spots to emerge. The only way further spotting can occur after braces are removed is through the overuse of fluoride, which can cause fluorosis, the condition you speak of. Only very large amounts of fluoride cause this problem, and the resulting spots are often brown, not white. My best advice is that you have your daughter see an experienced orthodontist or a regular dentist who is used to treating such problems and can make personalized recommendations.

Q2. I lost part of a filling and I am in a lot of pain. My dentist can’t see me for two weeks. What can I do to relieve the pain in the meantime?

First, you must tell your regular dentist that this is an emergency and that you are in pain. All dentists should have some time to handle emergencies throughout the day, and if your dentist can’t accommodate you for two weeks, then you need to take alternative steps — namely, seek a new dentist. You could also visit a local dental school if there is one near you, or a local hospital that has dental emergency facilities.

It is important to seek immediate care for two reasons: to treat the pain as soon as possible, and to determine the extent of the problem. When a filling breaks off, it can sometimes take a part of the tooth with it. The sensitivity you feel comes from exposed nerve endings in the underlying layers of your tooth. It is necessary to protect the nerve inside the tooth so you don’t end up needing root canal therapy. The best way to protect your tooth is to see a professional as soon as possible; he or she can at least cover the open wound and tell you about your options for treatment.

To reduce inflammation and pain on a temporary basis, take Tylenol, aspirin, or ibuprofen. You might also visit the dental section of your pharmacy and look for some type of temporary material to place into your tooth to fill the open wound.

Q3. I need to have a rear bottom molar extracted. I had a root canal years ago, the tooth cracked, and we tried building it up but it cracked again. My dentist thinks it would be best to extract it now. The dentist’s office recommends IV sedation for the extraction rather than having the area numbed. Something was said about a bundle of nerves in that area of the jaw that could be damaged. Is this true? I’d feel more comfortable being numb than being put to sleep.

— Barbara, Pennsylvania

It is extremely common to have a molar, or front tooth, extracted with just topical anesthetic and local anesthesia. I’ve been in practice as a periodontist for the last 28 years and have personally never administered IV sedation. In a few cases – typically around one or less per year — patients have demanded IV sedation, but this is mostly for psychological reasons. In those rare instances, I bring in a board-certified anesthesiologist to administer the sedation. Generally, I perform surgical extractions, periodontal surgery, and implant therapy using local anesthesia.

A number of dentists use IV sedation for various procedures, including implants, periodontal surgery, and extraction of impacted teeth, and there is nothing wrong with that — for many people it creates a very comfortable environment. We all know the benefits of being sedated — you don’t hear, see, smell, or in any way become involved in the procedure you’re undergoing. Many dentists are qualified to administer IV sedation, and new medications are both fast-acting and safe. Of course, any systemic anesthesia poses a risk of complications. There are too many to list here, but very few dental offices would be able to handle some of them as well as a hospital or other medical facility.

It is very important that you know that whether you have IV sedation or not, your jaw will must be numbed with local anesthesia. I don’t understand or agree with the comment that local anesthesia presents a greater risk of damaging the bundle of nerves near the jaw. This is a very unlikely possibility, but its occurrence would not be precluded by IV sedation. The odds that you would sustain nerve damage from an injection or from the extraction are extremely low.

Q4. Do periodontal and implant surgery hurt, and if so, for how long?

You’re not the first person to worry about the pain associated with periodontal and implant surgery. Many people expect pain either during or after treatment and frequently ask how much is involved. Their fear comes not only from the possibility of pain but also from the sounds they hear and the pressure they feel during these procedures. Patients are also concerned that they will have difficulty chewing, speaking, or sleeping afterward because of discomfort. Many are also concerned about facial swelling or black-and-blue marks.

However, both periodontal and implant surgery can be performed in a gentle, delicate manner that minimizes pain, swelling, and discomfort. People have different pain thresholds, and some patients are therefore more apt to feel small to moderate amounts of pain than others. My experience has taught me that there are many small steps a surgeon can take to reduce a patient’s discomfort both during and after surgery.

I begin such procedures by using a topical anesthetic to numb the gum and then slowly inject small amounts of local anesthesia to help decrease the discomfort of the injection itself. Most of my patients have minimal swelling and no black-and-blue marks after surgery. This is the result of careful handling of the facial tissues, including the cheeks and lips, and delicate use of the surgical instruments.

Once stitches are tied, tissues swell, which can cause postoperative discomfort. Ensuring that stitches are not pulled too tightly can reduce this.

Many postoperative steps can minimize pain, including the use of Advil or aspirin on the first day of surgery, every four hours. Frequent use of ice, for at least 15 minutes every hour, can also help when begun immediately after surgery. Both ice and Advil or aspirin have the ability to reduce the amount of swelling that occurs in the mouth. I believe, and studies have shown, that using both methods together will reduce swelling and discomfort for the rest of the week. After the first day, I encourage patients to rinse with warm salt water throughout the day to bathe and soothe the tissues. This offers additional relief. After certain procedures, I remove sutures, or stitches, within 4 to 7 days rather than waiting 7 to 14 days, which also works to reduce discomfort. Removing sutures early, however, is completely dependent on the opinion of the surgeon involved. Certain procedures require sutures to remain in place for specific time periods, based on wound-healing studies.

Q5. How do you feel about over-the-counter products for oral pain and inflammation, such as topical benzocaine? I use such a gel from time to time to deal with pain from canker sores and the like, but I’m wondering if I should be more cautious about these products. What are your thoughts?

— Leonard, Maryland

Over-the-counter products can help relieve areas of soreness on the surface of your cheeks and lips and tongue. However, the problem with most over-the-counter gels is that they don’t last long in the areas where you need them. The other problem is that using these over-the-counter products prevents people from getting the proper diagnosis and treatment they need.

When inflammation or an infection is present in the mouth, it’s important to determine the precise cause of the problem. Most of the tissue in the mouth is either pink, white, or redish in color, and this can make it difficult, even for a dentist, to provide a diagnosis just by examining the area; sometimes a biopsy, X-ray, or further tests need to be performed.

An example of such a situation is the canker sore, which experts believe may be viral in nature. Canker sores, resulting from trauma or other reasons, seem to last approximately 10 to 14 days and come and go. In these cases, an over-the-counter gel may make you feel better momentarily, though the virus still needs to run its course. On the other hand, if you have an actual infection, such as a root canal infection or periodontal infection, putting topical treatments on the area will not help — they will only mask the true problem. For a true dental issue, you must see a dentist for an X-ray and full evaluation, whether it is periodontal disease or a cavity or a root canal infection.

As with any medication, it is important that you use the right one for the right problem and also to be sure that you’re not overusing or abusing the product. Most common over-the-counter treatments are non-toxic, but overuse of anything can cause problems, especially if the gel is ingested. As always I would recommend that you see your dentist to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan if you are relying on these medications for a recurring problem.

Q6. What is done to correct an underbite?

When dentists discuss problems of overbite and underbite, we think of the position of the upper jaw and the lower jaw with respect to each other. When an overgrowth of the upper jaw causes it to protrude while the lower jaw is in a normal position, we call this an overbite. When the upper jaw is normal but the lower jaw is underdeveloped — the problem you’re asking about — we refer to an underbite. It is also possible to be affected by both an overbite and an underbite at the same time.

To answer your question, there are a number of ways to treat an underbite. I recommend that you first see a qualified orthodontist who can X-ray your jaw to determine whether the lower jaw is too small or the upper jaw too big. From there, a diagnosis can be made and a treatment plan designed, and a decision can be made as to whether surgery is necessary to reduce the size of one or both jaws and realign them so they fit properly. Usually, such a procedure, called orthognathic surgery, is performed in conjunction with orthodontic therapy. The larger, or gross, changes are brought about surgically, and the more detailed, finer changes are completed by the orthodontist. Sometimes orthodontics is started first and is followed with jaw surgery, then further orthodontics and bite adjustments.

It can be a complicated process, so it’s important to find a team of dental professionals you trust, including a good general dentist, an orthodontist, and an oral surgeon, who will work together to advise you on different sources of treatment and follow through with excellent care.

Q7. I have bilateral total hip replacements and have always taken antibiotics before dental procedures. Now my primary care doctor says I no longer need this. However, my dentist thinks I should continue my present routine. I don’t know what to do. What would you suggest?

— Nancy, Massachusetts

Guidelines for antibiotic therapy for dental treatment have gone through many changes over the years. The American Heart Association and the American Dental Association have together issued regimens for taking antibiotics prior to dental procedures that elicit bleeding. The concern is that bacteria in the mouth may gain direct access to the bloodstream and, if disseminated throughout the body, affect prosthetic parts, heart valves, and other medical conditions.

Over the years that I have been practicing, the number of conditions for which antibiotic prophylaxis is recommended have become fewer and fewer. As of April 2007, the American Heart Association eliminated the need for taking antibiotics for many systemic conditions.

Regarding your total hip replacements, orthopedic surgeons routinely recommend taking antibiotics for at least two years after prosthetic hip surgery. Sometimes antibiotic therapy continues indefinitely; it is most important that you contact the surgeon involved with your hip replacements to find out his/her opinion. Some experts believe that when metal rods and knee or hip replacements are present in the body for over two years, they become encapsulated with fibrous tissue and will not be affected by bacteria from the mouth. This issue is still being debated. You mention that your primary care doctor said you no longer need to take the antibiotics. However, the operating surgeon is more likely to be up-to-date on the issue and can probably give you the best answer.

Learn more in the Everyday Health Dental Health Center.

Help! Teeth Stained After Braces

The day your child finally gets their braces removed after years of time invested is a day neither of you will never forget. Braces have been a part of your child’s smile for a significant amount of time to correct issues like an overbite, an underbite or crooked teeth, and sometimes braces leave the teeth with white spots around or just under were the brackets were mounted.

Here are the causes of these spots and how you can get rid of them.

Why do I have white spots on my teeth after braces?

It’s easy to see the white spots on your teeth left behind after braces are removed because they are a lighter shade than the rest of the natural enamel on the tooth. These white spots are locations of where the minerals in your teeth have been worn down or removed.

Braces tend to provide new areas where harmful bacteria can hide and grow. Plaque causing bacteria cause a layer of plaque to form and this layer eventually starts to breakdown and remove the essential minerals your teeth need to stay healthy. If left untreated, the white spots can turn into cavities on the surfaces of your teeth.

Symptoms of these white spots include:

  • A lighter colored enamel than the rest of the tooth
  • A different texture
  • Feels like a pitted or indentation in the tooth
  • Do not fade away with regular brushing

Post-Braces Teeth Whitening Tips

These unsightly white spots are usually permanent, although they can fade a small amount over time even if you do not get professional treatment to remedy them. If you choose to do nothing, the white spots are likely to remain visible on your teeth permanently.

Fortunately, many different treatment options exist that can either minimize or eliminate the appearance of the spots:

Brushing and Flossing.

One simple way you can help reduce the appearance of white spots after braces is by practicing good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth’s surfaces two to three times a day and flossing daily. Brushing your teeth is going to help reduce the appearance of white spots by brightening the rest of the enamel around them so they are less noticeable. Think of whitening the rest of the tooth to the color of the white spot rather than brushing the white spot away.

Teeth Whitening.

One of the simpler ways to make white spots less noticeable is by having your teeth whitened. Teeth whitening treatments use hydrogen peroxide solution to whiten the enamel of your teeth. Whitening the rest of the enamel on your teeth around the white spot will make it less noticeable by brightening the untouched enamel. Try using a home whitening kit, or for a more effective solution, schedule a professional whitening treatment with your dentist.


The most common way to remove white spots on your teeth after braces is through re-mineralization. Applying a special cream that contains the minerals that the bacteria have removed from your teeth will allow your teeth to reabsorb those minerals rebuilding the damaged area. This technique can cause the spots to fade or remove them completely depending on the extent of your white spots.


Having veneers fixed to the front of your teeth with the use of dental cement will create a new surface and hide the marks beneath. Veneers have a completely natural appearance and are a fast and easy way to regain a bright and healthy smile.

Composite Restoration.

If the spots left behind on your teeth have also created a pit or indentation on your tooth’s surface, than a composite restoration will be needed to correct the tooth. This process consists of a special type of resin that is applied to your teeth over the white spots filling in the area so that it is level with the rest of your enamel. The resin is colored to match the rest of the tooth and will eliminate any discoloration issues.


This final technique works by using a mixture of fine particles of pumice and hydrochloric acid that is placed and rubbed across the surface of your teeth and works by sanding down and polishing the surface of your enamel. Once the new enamel underneath is exposed, the white spots will be less noticeable or completely gone after a few treatments.

Still in Braces? Start Taking these Steps ASAP

If you’re still undergoing orthodontic treatment and noticing stains around your brackets, it’s time to up your oral hygiene game. Brushing properly with a toothbrush that is made for braces, such as an electric toothbrush with a specially designed braces head, can make it easier to clean those hard-to-reach places. These brushes have special bristles that are made to remove plaque around brackets and get through the wires for a proper clean.

Ask Thomas Orthodontics at your next appointment about whether we see any concerns for potential white spots after the removal of your braces, and for braces-friendly toothbrush recommendations to help you avoid them.

How To Get Rid Of White Spots On Your Front Teeth Easily and Pain Free

If you have white spots on your front teeth we know that they can be frustrating and you often find yourself wishing that they were not there. We know this because our own doctor, Dr. Kalantari has up until now lived with such spots across his front teeth. Even as a dentist himself, he found himself struggling with ways to make these spots go away. Luckily, we are living in an age of dentistry where new procedures and technology are readily being developed and patients are beginning to have more choices than ever before! One specific area that up until now had limited treatment options was the presence of such white spots on teeth. White spots on teeth, many appearing on front teeth, can occur for a variety of reasons. The white, and sometimes even yellow, spots can occur from enamel disruptions due to nutrition abnormalities, medication effects, virus and illness aftereffects, over fluoridation, or even the result of decalcification of the enamel that surrounded orthodontic braces. In the past, options were mostly divided into two categories – 1) leave it be and live with it – or 2) drill down the tooth in order to place something such as a tooth veneer or crown to mask the discoloration. But now there is a new, conservative way to treat these white spot areas on your teeth!

Decalcification After Braces: What To Know And How To Fix It

Were you one of the many people that was left with white areas on your teeth after getting your orthodontic brackets removed? So many people go through years of braces treatment to get straight teeth yet end up with surprise discoloration underneath once the braces are removed. There are many reasons for this but the likely main reason is that while the braces were on, high levels of plaque surrounded the brackets and over time the enamel began to weaken and become decalcified. Some milder spots can get better with time and things such as specialized recalcification tooth pastes (MI Paste, MI Paste +, Recaldent); however more extensive areas require dental treatment to recalcify. Keep reading to see what that new, conservative dental treatment is!

Can I Just Use Bleach To Remove White Spots On My Front Teeth?

Some patients are always surprised by the fact that these spots are not able to be “bleached” away. When you use traditional bleaching strips or trays the entire surface of the tooth is bleached and whitened. This means that both the discolored area and the normal enamel is bleached at the same time, thereby lightening both areas which will leave the tooth still having a color discrepancy. For example, imagine that you have two shirts that you intend to bleach – one is black and one is red. No matter how much bleach you wash these shirts in, will they ever match their color? The answer of course, is that although both will become lighter, they will only lighten in their respective colors (black and red) and will not ever perfectly match each other. To treat these problem areas the focus must be on restoring the enamel of just the discolored area in order to match the appearance of the healthy enamel and up until now this was a tricky thing to achieve. Luckily, there is a somewhat easy fix to this problem!

ICON Resin Infiltration Procedure: A New Method

The new technique being alluded to here is called Icon Resin Infiltration and the innovative product is able to infiltrate the enamel in a way that plugs up enamel defects with a tooth colored material and seals up the surface to create a smooth area that becomes less prone to stain and discoloration. The procedure will allow the discolored portions of the enamel to blend in more to the surrounding enamel color. The steps in this procedure involve cleaning the teeth, and placing a few products upon the surface, nothing terribly invasive. In some cases where the defects are more pronounced slight abrasion of the enamel is required to produce a more esthetic result. Even with some abrasion, the procedure still allows a patient to maintain their natural tooth structure and avoid things such as dental crowns and veneers! Majority of patients will see a dramatic immediate improvement, while some areas may not disappear completely, most teeth will have a much better esthetic appearance leaving you flashing that beautiful smile much more often! And you haven’t even heard the BEST part yet… the biggest advantage to this treatment is the fact that it is non-invasive so there is little to no drilling required and no anesthetic is needed!

In summary, this one hour in office procedure can help to eliminate or improve the appearance of white spots on teeth. These white spots can be present for various reasons as noted above. The results are unfortunately not guaranteed, however it is an extremely conservative option that anyone can try, even children. Results of stability vary just as other esthetic procedures (such as tooth bleaching) do. If this procedure does not produce the intended results, your dentist can always review with you what other options are available.

Pictured below are some of our results from our own patients (including our very own Dr. Kalantari) as well as a video to show you how easy this procedure is!

ICON Resin Infiltration: Real Results

Are you interested in seeing how Sunshine Smiles can help you eliminate your tooth discoloration in this manner? Please be sure to give us a call today at (949) 951-0951 so we can schedule you a free consultation to let you know if this is the right procedure for you! If you are not in the Southern California area, ask your local dentist if they are familiar with the Icon Resin procedure!

Further Reading

Want to see and learn more? A friend and colleague, Dr. Jeanette MacLean has been performing the ICON procedure in her office for over two years and has several photos to view showing the results she has been able to produce. Dr. MacLean is also a fellow advocate for conservative, minimally invasive dentistry and she is currently a leader in this field!

About The Author:

Dr. Mikaeya Kalantari has been a practicing pediatric dentist for over 7 years working in both the children’s hospital setting and private practice. She has had a wealth of experience treating children of all ages, and medical conditions. When it comes to serving children, she feels the importance of communication between the dentist and parent can not be emphasized enough. Dr. Kalantari practices in her family owned dental office in Mission Viejo, California.

Do Orthodontic Braces Cause White Spots on Teeth?

5 Tips to Avoid White Spots on your Teeth after Braces

One of the most common questions we get at Saddle Creek Orthodontics is “How do I prevent white spots on my teeth once my braces come off?”

Before I answer that question, it’s first important to distinguish between white spots caused by braces and other white spots. White spots on the teeth can be caused by nutrition, genetics, or from excessive intake of fluoride (a condition called fluorosis). There is sometimes very little one can do to avoid these types of white spots. However, good oral hygiene and a healthy diet are the most predictable ways to avoid white spots.

Orthodontic white spot lesions (WSLs) appear as ‘little white cavities’ that can negatively impact the smile you’ve worked so hard to achieve with braces treatment. The spots are caused by plaque buildup on the teeth, which causes decalcification, or loss of hard minerals. Removing plaque from teeth is important because the bacteria in plaque produce an acid that begins to dissolve the mineralized surface of a tooth. While the risk of getting white spots is greater during braces, white spots can occur without orthodontic treatment in the absence of proper brushing and dental care. Once the spots appear, it is likely they will remain there, as they do not easily disappear and are not completely reversible.

Luckily, these white spots are 100% preventable with proper oral care. When you start orthodontic treatment here in our Memphis office, Dr. Fagala and our assistants will go over how to properly care for your teeth with braces. Learning the right technique for brushing, flossing and inspecting your braces is imperative to maintaining beautiful teeth for life.

We know how important having a perfect smile is, and through a combination of in-office and at-home steps, we can prevent white spots together.

  1. Keep Your Teeth Clean – Brushing a minimum of twice daily, and flossing daily prevents buildup between the teeth and brackets, where most plaque starts to form. Most children brush for an average of 30 seconds, fewer than 2 times a day. Ideally, a child wearing braces should brush 2 to 3 times a day, for 2 minutes each time. *Don’t forget your 6-month dental cleaning visit. We even recommend 3-month cleaning intervals for patients with poor oral hygiene.
  2. Seal Your Teeth – In addition to using fluoride-containing glue for bonding braces, our office also uses a product called Opal Seal. Opal Seal is a fluoride-containing sealant that covers the enamel and prevents white spots from forming on teeth.
  3. Use Extra Fluoride – Fluoride varnish can be used in-office to coat each tooth, protecting the teeth and rebuilding the enamel. Fluoride Varnish can be reapplied as needed throughout orthodontic treatment. We also always send home a fluoride rinse with the patient to use after brushing that helps keep teeth strong.
  4. Use an Electric Toothbrush – Using an electric toothbrush provides extra vibration which helps loosen plaque, making it easier to get your teeth clean. Some companies even make braces-specific toothbrush heads that can drastically improve the way you brush your teeth.
  5. Use a Water Flosser – Using a water flosser like Waterpik helps remove the plaque and debris between teeth and below the gumline, where it’s hard to reach with traditional brushing and flossing. Practically every orthodontic patient who has used a Waterpik comments on how much cleaner their teeth feel.

If during treatment we notice that a patient is not using proper oral care and white spots are starting to form, there are a few things in our office that we can do to help. We will offer additional training and counseling with both patients and parents on proper brushing techniques, or if we continue to see no improvement, we will remove the orthodontic wires completely and advise a routine of brushing three times a day and/or additional dental cleanings as necessary to prevent the white spots from growing. Lastly, a new technique called Icon resin infiltration will stop the progression of white spots and even improve the white spots to a certain degree.

We also use a reward system in our office that allows patients an incentive to properly maintain their braces. The system allows our patients to walk away with cool swag when they show continued care for their smile. Ultimately, there is no easy way to determine if you or your child will get white spots on your teeth after braces, but we do know that proper care and maintenance of your braces will lead to a beautiful, healthy smile.

Please leave a comment below with any questions you have about white spots, or any braces-related question and we’ll answer it in an upcoming post!

Eleven tips to treat white spots on teeth

Share on PinterestPeople with enamel hypoplasia may have a higher risk of dental damage.
Image credit: Maurizio Procaccini et al, Head & Face Medicine, 2007

Practicing excellent dental hygiene can help prevent white spots on teeth as well as other stains, tooth decay, gum disease, or other dental problems.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that people brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and floss between their teeth once daily.

For most people, white spots on teeth develop before they reach the age of 10 years old. This may vary in some people.

Therefore, it is essential that people encourage their children to have good dental hygiene and other prevention habits. This can help them ensure their teeth stay healthy and strong.

Following the tips below may help prevent white spots from developing on children’s teeth:

6. Using fluoride-free water

For babies who primarily feed on infant formula, making up their formula milk with fluoride-free water may help to prevent excess buildup of fluoride in their teeth.

7. Using the right amount of toothpaste

For children under the age of 3 years old, people should ensure that they are not using more than a smear of toothpaste, or an amount the size of a grain of rice, on their toothbrush.

For children over the age of 3 years old, carers should ensure they are not using more than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

Young children often fail to spit toothpaste out, so using a small amount can help reduce their overall fluoride exposure. Supervising a child’s brushing can help to ensure that they are using an appropriate amount of toothpaste and not swallowing too much.

8. Testing well water

People should consider having their water tested for fluoride levels on a yearly basis if they have had their homes connected to private wells. This policy is vital for anyone who has young children as natural fluoride levels can vary greatly in different places.

9. Following fluoride supplement recommendations

The ADA recommend dietary fluoride supplements for children aged between 6 months and 16 years old living in areas without fluoridated water who have a high risk of developing tooth decay. These supplements should only be used if a doctor or dentist prescribes them for someone.

10. Reducing sugary and acidic foods and drinks

Share on PinterestSoda and sports drinks may damage tooth enamel and cause tooth decay.

Tooth enamel can be damaged and the risk of tooth decay increased by some foods and drinks, especially ones high in sugars or acids.

Foods and drinks to be aware of include the following:

  • citrus juices and fruits, such as grapefruit, lemons, and oranges
  • hard candies and other sugary sweets
  • sodas and other drinks high in sugars, including sports drinks

While occasionally eating these foods and drinks may be harmless, eating too much or too many can lead to damage and blemishes, including white spots.

Drinking water after consuming these foods can help wash them off the teeth and reduce the chances of damage. Drinking through a straw may also help.

11. Seeing a dentist

Anyone concerned about their dental health, or that of their child, should talk to a dentist.

Although white spots on the teeth may be less than desirable, they are usually not a cause for concern. However, people with enamel hypoplasia may be at increased risk of dental damage and decay.

If a person notices that the white spots on their teeth are changing in size or number, or they are starting to have tooth pain, they should see their dentist.

A dentist can evaluate the symptoms and condition of the teeth and will recommend a treatment plan, if necessary.

Last Updated on November 26, 2019

What causes white spots on teeth after braces? For most people, braces are the ideal way to get a better smile. However, some people end up getting disappointed by the results of their orthodontic braces because they notice unsightly spots after the brackets are removed. These spots can be a little unpleasant to look at, but you should not let them stop you from deciding to get braces. The reality is that they are entirely preventable even if you are wearing orthodontic braces. Keep reading to find out all about the underlying cause of white spots and learn how you can protect your teeth from them.

Image by mohamed Hassan from

People also Ask…

  • Can white spots on teeth go away?
  • Can white spots on teeth be reversed?
  • How do you get rid of white spots on your teeth?
  • Do orthodontists whiten teeth after braces?
  • How to remove white spots on teeth after braces?

How Common is This After Braces?

Though white spots are not necessarily caused by braces, it is true that this type of tooth discoloration is more common among people who have been wearing braces. White spots and braces are linked because braces can make it much more difficult for a person to properly clean their teeth. The most common location for white spots tends to be either along the gumline or around the edges of the brackets. Not every patient who has braces will get white spots. In fact, the majority of orthodontic patients will not have any after treatment. It is a relatively uncommon effect of wearing braces.

What Causes it?

White spots are actually an area of the tooth where the enamel does not contain enough strengthening minerals. This type of demineralization is caused by bacteria that can flourish in the mouth when it is not properly cleaned. These types of bacteria produce byproducts that gradually wear away at the teeth. When the minerals are removed from the surface of the tooth, the area because hollow, so it looks lighter. The area may be rough, pitted, indented, or raised.

There’s so much more…

As you can see, braces do not necessarily cause white spots. Instead, it is essentially areas of the teeth that are not getting properly cleaned. Many orthodontic patients, especially younger ones, struggle to get the entire surface of their tooth while brushing, leading to this issue. In addition to being unsightly, these white spots may eventually become cavities if left untreated, so it is important to try to treat or prevent them.

What Other Names is it Known by?

  • Orthodontic white spot lesions
  • WSL’s
  • Little white cavities
  • Fluorosis

Can You Do Anything to Treat it?

Fortunately, it is possible to get rid of white spots on your teeth from wearing braces.

  • Re-mineralization

One of the first things you will probably need to do is focus on re-mineralization. This is a special technique that involves applying a mineral-rich cream to your teeth and letting it sit for a while. The teeth are very absorbent, so the minerals will sink into the white spots and help to strengthen teeth. In addition to building tooth strength, re-mineralization will also help the white spots to fade.

  • Tooth Whitening

Another way to reduce white spots is through various cosmetic dentistry treatments. A basic tooth whitening procedure can help to lighten the teeth and reduce the appearance. If the marks are unusually raised, microabrasion can remove them and reveal new enamel. For sunken white spots, your doctor can fill in the area with dental resin colored to match your teeth.

  • Enamel Microabrasion

Some people may be able to have microabrasion done to treat their white spots. This professional treatment is typically followed by teeth bleaching, which can make the teeth appear more uniform in color. During this procedure, a dentist removes a small amount of enamel from the teeth to reduce the appearance of the white spots.

  • Dental Veneer

Veneers will cover any ugliness. This is done with a dentist. It may cost alot depending on the amount of work needed doing. A veneer is a thin protective covering matched to your tooth color. It is very common.

  • Topical Fluoride

A dentist may apply topical fluoride to the teeth of people with enamel hypoplasia. This may encourage the development of enamel on the teeth and help prevent tooth decay.

What Can You Do to Prevent White Spots?

Though it is possible to fix, keep in mind that these treatments can be a little time to consume, expensive, or slow to show results. Instead of just planning on treating them once your braces are removed, it is better to prevent them from happening in the first place. Most patients find that spots are entirely avoidable as long as they practice some simple oral hygiene habits. Use these tips to reduce your chances of getting them after wearing braces:

  • Make sure you brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day to remove bacteria and plaque buildup.
  • Use a mouthwash with fluoride to ensure that your teeth remain properly mineralized.
  • Consider using an electric toothbrush with a head specifically for braces wearers to ensure that your teeth are properly cleaned.
  • Floss once a day to remove bacteria that can hide between teeth.
  • Avoid eating high sugar foods that can encourage bacteria growth. Whenever you do eat something sugary, brush your teeth or rinse out your mouth afterward.
  • Lower the number of acidic things that you eat and drink. This includes soda, salad dressings, sour candies, tomato-based sauces, and lemonade.
  • Talk to your orthodontist about putting a sealant on your teeth to help them resist bacteria.

Contact us for a FREE Consultation

Now that you know how to prevent white spots on the teeth, you can confidently get braces without worrying about their effect on tooth coloration. If you would like to find out more about how to take care of your teeth while wearing braces, set up an appointment with Dr. Childers at one of the three convenient Childers Orthodontics locations. Call us at 618-438-2815 or fill out our online contact form to get in touch with us today.

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Childers Orthodontics

201 West Washington
Benton, IL62812

Phone: (618)-438-2815

What Causes White Spots on Teeth? (After Braces)

I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree at Southern Illinois University and then received my Doctorate of Medical Dentistry at the University of Kentucky. After, I attended the University of Tennessee to complete my Master of Science in Orthodontics degree.

I consider every minute of continuing education to be vital for my patients and myself. Staying current with the latest trends, techniques, and technologies within my field allows me to improve treatment efficiency and provide higher quality results for each person I treat.

The day you get your dental braces removed is an exciting one, and it’s something you’ve probably been looking forward to. You’ve invested a lot of time, money and patience into the process, and the last thing you want is braces stains or yellow and white spots on your teeth after braces are removed.

Many people believe that braces stain teeth, but they’re not always to blame. More often, stains are caused by food that gets stuck in braces as well as dental plaque accumulating between them. A few precautions during orthodontic treatment can help you prevent braces stains and enjoy a straighter, more even and whiter smile!

5 Tips for Avoiding Teeth Stains with Dental Braces

Below are some tips for preventing teeth stains from braces. These tips will also help you prevent discolored teeth from braces.

  1. Brush Thoroughly –

    The ultimate solution for preventing stained teeth from braces is making oral hygiene your priority. Cleaning braces and teeth properly helps you prevent plaque buildup and keeps teeth from getting stained after braces. Brush for three minutes after every meal, using regular fluoridated toothpaste instead of a teeth whitening toothpaste that can cause white spots on teeth. Wait half an hour between eating and brushing to let saliva wash away acids from food and let your enamel settle.

  2. Floss Every Day –

    As part of your oral hygiene routine, make sure you’re flossing as well as brushing your teeth regularly to ensure utmost oral care. Flossing helps to remove food particles and plaque from teeth and braces, and you should ideally do it before you brush. You can use ordinary floss threaders or special braces-friendly products recommended by your orthodontist. Follow up with mouthwash for extra protection.

  3. Avoid Staining Foods –

    Certain foods and drinks, such as tomatoes, mustard, sodas, red wine, coffee and food coloring can stain your teeth or dental braces. Red and yellow colored foods are particularly prone to staining ceramic orthodontic braces, but they can affect other types of braces too. Do your research about ingredients and foods that can cause stains on your teeth, and avoid consuming them during your treatment.

  4. Consume Less Sugar –

    Sugary, acidic and starchy foods are extremely harmful for your teeth, since they encourage plaque, stains and cavities. Hard or sticky candies can also get stuck in your braces or teeth and damage the wires or brackets. While you should avoid these items even when you aren’t wearing dental braces, it’s especially important to stay away from them while you are.

  5. Visit Your Orthodontist –

    To keep teeth and gums in good shape, dentists recommend getting an oral exam and professional dental cleanings twice a year. However, you may need to go in more often. Not only will an orthodontist be able to clean your teeth and braces more thoroughly than you can on your own, they can also suggest specific tips for keeping them clean. Braces stains are the reason many people avoid orthodontic treatment even when they really need braces . And if you’re also on the same boat, get rid of the fear and do what’s right for your teeth. These tips will certainly help you prevent stained teeth after braces. Moreover, you can always go for clinical teeth whitening.

Have questions about orthodontic treatment for yourself or your kids? Worried about braces stains? Need your dental braces cleaned? An experienced family orthodontist can help. If you’re looking for an orthodontist in Lawrenceville, schedule an appointment at Koch Orthodontics today!


1. What causes braces to stain teeth?

Braces aren’t the only culprit when talking about braces stains on your teeth. The main problem is poor oral care. Due to difficulty in brushing teeth with braces, people end up neglecting their oral hygiene. And this results in plaque and tartar, and eventually, stained and discolored teeth.

2. Can braces stains be removed?

Yes, stains after braces can be removed. You can begin by cleaning your teeth three times a day using a teeth whitening mouthwash or toothpaste. Post that, you can visit your orthodontist for re-mineralization.

OUTSIDE OF ANTIQUE FURNITURE and modern art, stains are pretty much always bad news. Worst of all is when the stains are on our teeth. If we aren’t careful during orthodontic treatment, we can end up with white spots on our teeth around where the brackets used to be when the braces come off. But why does this happen and how can we avoid it?

Why Teeth Develop Stains

The first thing you should know when it comes to post-braces stains is that they are not inevitable. It also isn’t the braces themselves that stain teeth. However, they do make it easier for plaque to build up, because the wires and brackets provide numerous nooks and crannies where bacteria and food particles can hide, making cleaning more difficult.

When plaque forms around brackets, it leaves decalcified patches. Then, when the braces come off, the spots where the brackets were are the same color as before, while the rest of the tooth has a bleached appearance. The buildup of plaque also increases the risk of decay and gum disease while the braces are on.

How To Keep Your Teeth Stain-Free

Your best defense against white spots and other stains is a good oral hygiene routine. Make sure to brush thoroughly at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, and stay on schedule with your regular dental cleanings. Your dentist can get to any plaque or tartar you might have missed.

Another way to avoid stains is to stay away from foods and drinks that are known to leave stains, such as coffee, dark teas, highly acidic drinks (like soda), sugary foods like candy and cookies, and even chips! All of these foods and drinks can either directly stain the teeth or they can easily get stuck between brackets and lead to plaque buildup.

Other things to avoid are tobacco and alcohol. These are big causes of stains on their own, and braces only make it worse because you’ll still have those normal-colored patches when the brackets come off. Your teeth will thank you if you steer clear.

Are The Stains Permanent?

If you do have stains or white spots when your orthodontic treatment ends, there are ways of fixing them. Some stains become less intense over time simply by being exposed to your saliva, which is why we might not recommend any whitening treatments right away. After a few months, if the stains are still visible, you can use over-the-counter whitening products or have your teeth professionally whitened by a dentist for a more uniform result.

Still Worried About Stains?

If you want to learn more about white spots and how to avoid them, just ask us! We want to help you get the smile you deserve, and that means having teeth that are stain-three as well as properly aligned.

Our patients are the best!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

If you currently have braces on your teeth or plan on getting them removed soon, you’ve probably heard about braces causing stained teeth at one point or another. Lucky for you, your teeth don’t have to become plagued with braces stains once you get your braces removed. Here are a few tips on both preventing and how to get rid of braces stains that you should take full advantage of.

The day your braces come off is usually one of the most exciting days of your life, no matter how long you’ve been wearing them. However, having undergone a lot of patience and expense in order to straighten your smile, seeing that you have been left with stained teeth after the braces have been removed can be quite an upsetting experience. It is important to realize that there are many ways to prevent this discoloration from happening while you still have the braces on. There are also many different ways in which you can clean and whiten your teeth evenly one the braces have been removed.

It Is Often Not The Braces

There are several reasons why your teeth may become stained during orthodontic treatment. This is why some braces-wearers develop staining while some don’t. The traditional style of braces have a very complex design of wires and brackets which can easily trap food in them. This can lead to a build-up of bacteria which causes plaque to form. The actual braces themselves do not cause these stains. The stains are caused by the plaque that forms in the little gaps that you can’t easily get to.

Wearing braces can make it quite difficult to remove this plaque. By not removing the plaque, it can create acids which leach the minerals from your enamel. The removal of the minerals in your enamel changes the way the tooth’s surface reflects in the light. This results in the development of unsightly white spots in those areas that are difficult to clean. The build-up of plaque can also increase your risks of gum disease and tooth decay while the braces are on.

What Are The Possible Causes Of Staining On The Teeth?

There are a number of possible causes of stains on the teeth. A very common cause of staining on the teeth is dental fluorosis. This is something that people usually get when they are young and they have consumed too much fluoride as a child. This is a harmless condition which usually only tends to develop before the teeth break through the gums.

Another common cause of staining on teeth is enamel hypoplasia. This is a condition which occurs when a person’s enamel on their teeth doesn’t form properly. Similar to fluorosis, hypoplasia only occurs during childhood while the child’s teeth are still developing. However, this condition can increase the risk of tooth decay.

Other causes of staining on the teeth can include poor dental hygiene, particularly when someone is wearing braces, or eating too many sugary or acidic foods.

Common Dental Braces Staining Agents

Tea and coffee are the most common staining agents in the world. Not only do tea and coffee create discoloration on your tooth enamel, but they can also stain your braces and pretty much any other thing that they come in to contact with. Coffee has such high levels of tannin in it that it can actually be used as brown paint. Tea also contains a lot of tannins, and frequent contact with your braces will cause some staining. The next staining agent on the list is smoking. The nicotine and tar deposits from smoking will show up as nasty brown stains on your braces, much like on wallpaper or fingernails. Wine, chocolate, and red fruits and berries also contain a lot of tannins, so these can also stain the brackets and wires of your braces as well.


It is best to quit smoking completely when getting any orthodontic treatments. When wearing braces, your teeth are already compromised, and smoking or chewing tobacco can compromise them even further. Not only will smoking compromise the braces, but it will also cause staining. Chewing Nicorette may also not be an option for most braces as it can get stuck in the braces. With this in mind, try using a nicotine patch, or better yet, try to cut down on the smoking and quit altogether.


The delicious and indispensable spice which gives Indian food that delicious flavor is called turmeric. Turmeric stains everything that it comes in contact with in a yellow shade. It will stain ceramic braces and ligatures. After you brush and try to clean the stains off you will usually get a lighter and lighter shade of yellow and then teal. Blue ligatures will change to an awful green color when stained with turmeric.

Red Foods

Red candies, berries, tomato paste, and red wine can all stain your teeth and braces. Red is a very noticeable color. Even if there is just a touch of red on something, people will tend to notice it. This is why it is recommended that people try to avoid eating or drinking too many of these red staining food and drinks while wearing braces.

Coffee, Tea, and Hot Chocolate

Having a cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate every now and again will not have an effect on your braces, just be sure to rinse your mouth afterward. However, if you regularly consume these drinks, they will eventually cause staining on your braces. This can be seen as a cruel fact, especially in the winter months when we are more likely to want to consume warm drinks. You don’t have to completely let go of your favorite warm drink, but cutting down on the amount you drink is definitely necessary when wearing braces.

How To Get Rid Of Braces Stains

1. Brush Your Teeth After You Eat

It’s crucial for the health of your teeth that you regularly brush your teeth after every meal. Not only for people with braces on their teeth but everyone in general. If you don’t brush your teeth after meals, the food and drink particles will stick to your teeth and cause cavities, which are expensive to treat and can prolong your braces treatment period. However, routinely brushing your teeth with an electric toothbrush can seriously help you keep your mouth clean.

2. Use Floss and Mouthwash Regularly

Although brushing is crucial to keeping your mouth clean, you can’t exclude regularly using floss and mouthwash. Since your toothbrush can’t reach every area in your mouth, using floss and mouthwash is crucial to promoting good oral health. Also, mouthwash can help eradicate germs in your mouth that cause bad breath and teeth staining. Although floss can be hard to use with braces, you should still make sure you do it regularly, no matter what.

3. Drink Plenty of Water

Keeping your mouth moist and plaque-free means drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This is because saliva is a natural acid neutralizer and can help kill off bacteria in your mouth that causes cavities. You can help improve saliva production in your mouth by drinking a few cups of water a day, especially during meals. However, you should avoid sparkling water since it can lower the pH of your mouth.

4. Avoid Sugary Foods and Artificial Flavors

To ease the pain of braces, you might be tempted to indulge yourself in ice cream, jello, hot chocolate, or pudding. However, consuming too many sugary foods can cause an increase in plaque, leading to cavities and other oral health complications. Not to mention, it can also lead to white spots on your teeth when you get your braces off. You should work on cutting down on sugary foods when you have your braces on and when they come off. Also, you should avoid foods high with artificial foods, since they can damage your teeth just as much.

5. Slow your Coffee, Tea, and Soda Consumption

Coffee, tea, and soda are all drinks that have been proven to stain teeth and cause damage to teeth. Soda also contains phosphoric acid, which is known to erode teeth enamel and increase plaque buildup, which can cause severe tooth sensitivity and cavities.

6. Avoid Whitening Toothpastes

Believe it or not, you shouldn’t be using whitening toothpaste while wearing braces. At the end of your treatment, you’re bound to notice spots on your teeth where the bracket was covering. Although the other parts of your teeth may appear whitened, you’re not doing yourself any favors. You should be sure to ask your dentist which toothpastes you should be using with braces for the best suggestions to use during your treatment.

7. Microabrasion

One way of how to get rid of braces stains is through a process called microabrasion. The method must be completed by a professional. It involves using a mixture of hydrochloric acid and fine pieces of pumice. Then, the mixture is rubbed across the surface of your teeth and many times as needed to remove the stains. It sands down and polishes your enamel. After the treatment is completed, any stains will be totally gone or unnoticeable.

8. Veneers

Another way of how to get rid of braces stains on your teeth is by getting veneers put on. This is a common procedure in cosmetic dentistry that you can get after you get your braces removed. A veneer is a small material of porcelain or composite resin that is made to look like a tooth. First, your teeth are treated to make the surface of them rough. Then, the veneer is attached to the front with dental cement. When finished, veneers have a totally natural appearance. Any old braces stains will be hidden beneath the surface of the veneer, which will remain bright and white for a long time to come.

9. Professional Tooth Whitening

After having your braces removed, you can also obtain a professional tooth whitening in order to remove any stains that may be on your teeth. This procedure uses chemicals like hydrogen peroxide solutions or others to make your teeth whiter and remove any braces stains. This is a fast and easy way to remove any spots left on your teeth after braces. It will even the color all over your teeth and make your enamel brighter and more natural. You can purchase an at-home whitening kit or go to your dentist for professional treatment. For this type of problem, visiting the dentist will likely be more effective.

10. Visit the Dentist and Orthodontist Regularly

Keeping up with your regular appointments with your dentist and orthodontist is vital for both preventing and how to get rid of braces stains. While you still have your braces on, you will be spending a lot of time in the orthodontist’s office. This is the best way to ensure that your braces are actually successful at straightening your teeth. The rubber bands around your brackets will need to be removed and replaced during every visit as they can also contribute to staining. The orthodontist will also thoroughly clean your teeth, which is more beneficial than your regular brushing and flossing. They can also tell you which areas are more prone to staining so you can keep your eye on them. So remember, when you make an appointment, make sure you keep it.

General Oral Health Care Tips and Tips For Keeping Your Teeth Clean and Healthy

Brushing your teeth every night and morning doesn’t completely guarantee that you’re giving your mouth all of the care and attention that it needs. Even a regular oral hygiene routine can leave gaps in your overall oral health if you have some bad habits at the sink. Understanding the proper brushing technique and ensuring you have all the tools you need will make sure you’re fully prepared to pursue a thorough clean. Consider the following dental hygiene tips in order to help you take care of your teeth and take your oral routine to the next level.

Use A Proper Brushing Technique

A very quick wash of your bristles is not enough to completely get rid of leftover food particles and polish your teeth. Instead, you must use a technique which is echoed by the American Dental Association (ADA). This is where you start with your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and then you must use short forwards and backward strokes across the tops and sides of your teeth. Then, you must hold the brush vertically and use several smaller strokes. This allows you to focus on cleaning the backs of your teeth where plaque often builds up.

Brush Enough

Many people do brush on a regular basis, however, they just don’t brush enough to keep their teeth fully clean. The ADA recommends brushing your teeth for a minimum of two minutes each time, and this should be done twice each day. If you struggle to clean your teeth for this amount of time, try distracting yourself while you’re doing it. Listen to a short song, watch a 2-minute long video online, or even set a timer on your phone so that you can brush your teeth for the correct amount of time.

Choose The Right Toothbrush

Always look for a toothbrush which has bristles that are small enough to reach into the crevices of your molars. This is where a lot of food and debris can become trapped after you have eaten. According to the International Dental Health Association, the majority of adults require a medium or small size of toothbrush just for this purpose.

Look For The Seal From The ADA

Not all toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste are created equally. For the best quality products, look for those which carry and ADA Seal of Acceptance. These are products which meet strict manufacturing regulations which promise an effective clean with a dosage or fluoride which is suitable for adults and children past a certain age. This seal of approval ensures that you are using a product which has been recommended by the ADA, and it guarantees that you will do a safe and thorough job every single time you brush your teeth.

Floss Properly and Effectively

Similar to brushing, flossing must also be done properly so that, when you floss in between your teeth, you actually remove all of the germs and bacteria that may be resting there. Ideally, you should use a piece of floss which is around 18-inches in length. This allows you to use a fresh area of floss for every few teeth and avoids you from re-adding any of the bacteria into the gaps in the teeth that you have just removed. Keep it in your mind that the floss should rub against your teeth in a motion which creates a backward or forwards ‘C’ shape which wraps itself around each of the teeth.

Use A Mouthwash

Swilling mouthwash around your mouth and teeth, you can clean areas that can’t be reached by brushing or flossing alone. This ensures that your mouth is rid of any bacteria or debris which irritated the gumline and may cause gingivitis. Add a mouthwash to your daily oral care routine so that you can get the best clean you possibly can. You can even use mouthwash when you’re on the go!

Clean Your Toothbrush

You don’t need a piece of specific or special equipment to keep your toothbrush clean. In fact, the ADA warns against keeping your toothbrush covered up as this can actually lead to new bacteria breeding on the brush which then gets introduced into your mouth when you come to brush again. Instead of covering up your toothbrush, simply give it a rinse each time after you have brushed and then allow it to air dry. You should also avoid sharing your toothbrush with other people, including your children.

Change Your Toothbrush Regularly

The bristles of your toothbrush will deteriorate over time and so if you continue to use the same toothbrush for months on end, you may not be getting the best clean result anymore. Be sure to get a new toothbrush every three to four months as this is the optimum timing to get it changed and will ensure that you get the best results from brushing.

Use A Tongue Scraper

Some types of toothbrushes now come with a ridged tooth-scraper on the back of the brush. After you have brushed your teeth, a lot of bacteria can still remain on the tongue, so it is very important to ensure that you brush or scrape your tongue as part of your daily oral care routine. This will banish any bacteria from your tongue, and brushing your tongue will also freshen your breath.

Stop Snacking

Are you hungry for a midnight snack? Brushing your teeth may well clear away the bacteria from your teeth as well as any food particles. However, if you proceed to eat food after you have brushed your teeth, you will need to brush them again before you go to bed. Having a snack before you sleep and then not brushing can allow sugar and food particles to remain on your teeth for far too long, and this can lead to a fast buildup of bacteria which feeds on it.

Oral hygiene should be an essential part of your daily routine. By following these tips on easy dental health and hygiene, you can improve your cleaning technique to ensure that your mouth and teeth stay in the healthiest possible condition they can.

What NOT To Use On Your Dental Braces

Although the internet swears by using citric acid or lemon juice to clean tooth stains, these are a bad idea, especially when wearing braces. These substances do remove stains, however, they also eat up your tooth enamel. This applies to any kind of acid, regardless of how weak it may be. The best thing you can do is talk to your orthodontist first, as they will be able to offer you the best advice and give you tips on the best solution to your problem. Your dentist or orthodontist may also be able to offer teeth cleaning appointments to help remove the stains from your teeth. Ask your dentist and orthodontist what options are available to find out more.

How To Get Rid Of Braces Stains: Conclusion

When you have braces on and after you have them removed, braces stains on your teeth can be a real annoyance. With the ten tips above, you can prevent stains from occurring and get rid of them if they do appear. Soon enough, you will have the straight, white smile that you always dreamed of.

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