What is a “White Mark?”
A white mark on a tooth is the first sign of a cavity. It is known as decalcification and stems from the build-up of plaque which causes calcium and other minerals to leach out teeth enamel and leave a permanent white mark behind. If plaque continues to develop, a full-blown cavity could potentially develop.
These White Marks ARE Preventable
While undergoing orthodontic treatment, it is important to be aware that the white marks on teeth are definitely preventable. It’s actually quite easy to prevent these marks and only requires four steps:
Brush as often as recommended by your orthodontist or dentist, including after each meal or snack whether at school, work or home.
Floss at least once a day, preferably after meals, if possible.
Avoid or limit acidic food and drinks throughout the entire orthodontic treatment process
This includes soda, flavored waters with carbonation, sweet tea, sports drinks, candy, coffee, etc.
See your family dentist at least twice a year for a bi-annual check up or more often if it’s recommended.
Typically, your orthodontist should provide interproximal brushes, floss threaders, floss holders, water irrigators and power toothbrushes that can make cleaning your teeth easier, more thoroughly, and more efficiently. At Brian Smith Orthodontics, you will receive some brushes, floss threaders, and some fluoride rinses as a preventative measure for these pesky white marks.
Decalcification Can Happen to Patients Using Aligners
Decalcification not only occurs in patients who have traditional metal braces, but also in patients that use aligners as well. People who drink flavored waters, sparkling water, sports drinks or soda with their aligners in, are more at risk for decalcification. It can also happen if patients do not brush their aligners regularly as suggested by their orthodontist.
For a Happy Ending
Patients who are conscientious and aware of the issues that could arise from poor hygiene, especially while orthodontic treatment, can take the right steps to prevent white marks from occurring. Taking active measures and cleaning teeth thoroughly and effectively will help eliminate future issues including white marks and plaque build up.
Cleaning teeth isn’t that difficult. It only takes commitment to putting in a little extra time and using the right tools for the job.
Questions? Give us a call at (512)-328-1985 or schedule a consultation with us at Brian Smith Orthodontics. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and want your treatment result to be a healthy, beautiful smile that we’ll both be proud of.