White spots on the teeth are noticeable to others and can be an embarrassing problem to have. Many people don’t know what they are or how they can be avoided. Drs. Savage, Sabol and Visser are here to lay out the facts and teach you how to avoid this problem with some easy-to-do steps.
What are the White Spots?
The appearance of white spots on our teeth is called decalcification. This is a hallmark of the very beginning of a cavity. This can sometimes happen when we don’t take care of our teeth enough with brushing and flossing and is a side effect of drinking sparkling water, sports drinks or soda while wearing braces or clear aligners like Invisalign®.
Decalcification is a process in which the enamel on your tooth starts to break down and a cavity begins to form. The cavity in your tooth can be avoided by taking care of your teeth, but the decalcification spot will be there permanently. Unfortunately, there is no way to get rid of decalcification once it has started, but there are ways to avoid it from happening in the first place.
How it Happens
Decalcification happens when patients drink acidic and sugary drinks, like soda, sweet tea, sparkling water, coffee and juice while wearing braces or clear alingers without proper oral hygiene. Decalcification, or getting white spots on your teeth, can happen in just a matter of weeks depending on how strong or sensitive your teeth are.
There are five ways to avoid decalcification on your teeth with oral hygiene. They include:
- Brush your teeth. Brush your teeth as often as recommended by your dentist and orthodontist. This includes after each meal and each snack, whether you’re at school, at work or at home.
- Floss. You should be flossing every single day, at least once a day.
- Avoid acidic food and drinks. Avoid acidic foods and drinks completely, or, at the very least, limit them in your diet. This includes sodas, flavored waters, sparkling waters, sweet tea and sports drinks.
- See your family dentist. You should be visiting your dentist every four to six months, or more often if recommended by your doctor.
- Always take out your aligners to eat or drink. If you’re eating or drinking, even just for a snack, it is crucial you take out your aligners. Eating and drinking with the aligners in traps food and bacteria against your teeth, which can grow into plaque and cause decalcification.
Flash your brand new, bright smile! If you want to learn more about decalcification or how to keep your teeth as clean as possible with your braces or aligners, contact us to schedule an appointment with Drs. Savage, Sabol and Visser today. Our expertly skilled orthodontic team can help you avoid decalcification spots on your teeth while helping you create your dream smile. We are happy to provide our services to residents of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake and the neighboring areas of Virginia’s eastern shore.