The Not-So-Spotty Truth About Tooth Decalcification

Getting your braces off is a very momentous occasion that deserves to be celebrated! Revealing a beautiful smile following the end of your treatment is a reward not only for you, but for Dr. Yan Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team too. Months of hard work and dedication will all be worth it! While it is exciting to count down the days until you get your braces off, it is also important to remember that your teeth require extra special care throughout the treatment process. Lack of proper oral hygiene can lead to obvious concerns such as bad breath or cavities, but it can also cause more severe issues such as tooth decalcification.

Tooth decalcification is a process in which your teeth lose vital minerals, primarily calcium and phosphorus, that help them stay strong and healthy. The stripping away of these minerals wears down the enamel on your teeth, forming white spots that are often permanent. Decalcification is very common among people who have braces due to the added difficulty of cleaning around the wires and brackets.  Tooth decalcification occurs when plaque is built up under braces for prolonged periods of time. This plaque, coupled with the consumption of sugary or acidic food and drink, expedites the decalcification process.

Not to fret, Dr. Yan says these spots are preventable with a thorough oral hygiene routine. Especially with braces, brushing twice a day and flossing regularly is crucial to keeping your teeth clean and protected. Additionally, moderating the food and drink you consume is the key to keeping your pearly whites healthy and happy. While lemonade, candy, soda, and other junk foods are yummy, too much of them can create a problem later on. So, brushing additionally after consuming these sugary treats is also very important.

Dr. Yan reminds patients that their dentist is also trained to keep an eye out for potential plaque buildup among those with braces. That’s why your regular dental checkups are so important. So be sure to schedule and keep regular dental check-ups to help ensure you steer clear of decalcification.

In the case that you get your braces off and find these pesky white spots on your teeth, all hope is not lost! There are some options available to help minimize the appearance of this decalcification. But before you try any home remedies you’ve learned about on TikTok or Instagram, you should always consult your dentist to find the best way to treat these spots. Since the loss of minerals is the cause of the discoloration, the best way to minimize the color difference is to reintroduce these minerals. While only your dentist will know what the right course of treatment is for you, staying hydrated keeps your mouth salivated. Dr Yan says saliva naturally triggers the remineralization process by providing necessary calcium, phosphate and fluoride to enamel and dentin. So that’s a good place to start and definitely a win, win!

And remember, at the end of the day, the best way to treat decalcification is to prevent it from the outset. Brush two minutes, two times a day and floss like your Forever Smile depends on it. It kinda does.