During the whole time that you wore braces in Malton, what was the one thing you were looking forward to most about the day those braces would finally come off? Just the appearance of perfectly straight teeth after so long? The first selfie? The first kiss? An apple? Whatever you imagined about the day your dentist in Malton removed your braces, we have a hunch it wasn’t “white spot lesions.”
What are white spot lesions?
White spot lesions are pale, chalky spots sometimes left behind when braces are removed. They’re caused when acid has remained in contact with the enamel in your teeth for prolonged periods of time with the result that essential minerals like calcium have been dissolved and leached away.
How is that allowed to happen? The mechanics of the process that ends with the appearance of white spot lesions won’t surprise anyone who has worn braces near you. The presence of brackets on your teeth and archwires between those brackets makes it harder to keep your teeth clean by brushing and flossing. As a result, plaque tends to accumulate on teeth near and around those brackets and archwires. That plaque produces acid; that acid destroys essential minerals; the destruction of those essential minerals produces white spot lesions – the dreaded “WSLs.”
How can you prevent the development of WSLs?
There are a few strategies for preventing or minimizing the development of WSLs, and they start with good oral hygiene and attention to detail:
Pay more attention to brushing and flossing your teeth while wearing braces, especially around the edges of your brackets and under the archwires
Invest in specialized tools such as floss threaders, water flossers, interproximal toothbrushes and powered toothbrushes. (Ask a dentist near you to recommend the right product for your needs and lifestyle.)
Avoid or minimize the amount of acidic foods and drinks you consume to keep the acidity in your mouth low. Beverages to avoid whenever possible are things like juice, sodas and sports and energy drinks. When you do drink any one of them, be sure to brush your teeth and floss thoroughly as soon as possible.
What can be done about white spot lesions?
In many cases, white spot lesions disappear on their own after people who’ve worn braces near you have had them off for a while. If they do not diminish over time, ask your dentist about strategies that they can employ to reduce the appearance of those WSLs. Options that your dentist will discuss with you include:
Remineralizing your enamel by applying fluoride
Remineralizing your enamel by exposing your teeth to short bursts of laser light
Restoring damaged areas beneath the enamel layer by a process called microabrasion
Injecting a liquid tooth-coloured resin and then hardening that resin with a special light to treat the most stubborn WSLs
If you’re bothered by WSLs in combination with any other perceived flaws with your teeth, ask your dentist whether dental veneers or bonding might be the right step to fix all those issues quickly, comfortably and economically.
The goal of preventing the development of WSLs during your treatment plan with braces in Malton is one reason why it’s so important to attend all of your follow-up dental appointments while wearing braces. Your dentist will examine your teeth at every one of those appointments to look for any early signs of WSLs, and any other issue affecting the appearance or health of your teeth.