I got my braces off in late February. I’ve been waiting to see how the color of my teeth would turn out. They are a mix of beige and white. There are white spots in most of the places where the brackets were on my teeth. This is really embarrassing. I kept telling people that my braces would be off soon. So everyone is looking at my teeth and they are spotted! I am using free whitening strips that my sister got from her dentist but they are not helping. What should I do now? – Charleigh
The issue you’re having with white spots on your teeth after braces is common, but should you try to treat the stains yourself? Consider a few facts.
What Causes Stains on Teeth after Braces?
Stains on teeth after braces are often a result of a process called decalcification.
- Decalcification starts with dental plaque. If you don’t maintain diligent oral hygiene each day, bacteria will cling to your teeth and result in a buildup of sticky dental plaque.
- As you eat food, the bacteria will feed off of the sugar in food and produce more bacteria.
- An acidic reaction from the bacteria gradually dissolves your tooth enamel.
- The decalcification of your tooth enamel leaves a white spot that, if left untreated, will weaken the enamel and create a cavity. The cavity will continue to spread until it is treated.
Reasons the Free Teeth Whitening Gel Isn’t Working
Decalcification is a result of bacteria and decay. It’s not a stain that teeth whitening can remove.
- If there is sufficient carbamide peroxide (bleaching agent) in whitening gel, your natural teeth will be whitened, but the spots from decalcification will remain.
- Remember that the white spots on your teeth are the beginning stages of a cavity. Teeth whitening gel can penetrate the area and create sensitivity.
- Bleaching your teeth might make the stains even more noticeable.
What’s the Solution?
- An examination is needed – It’s best to have your teeth examined by a dentist. He or she will examine them, determine the cause of the stains, and recommend treatment.
- Cavities should be treated – The decalcification and any cavities in your teeth will need to be treated before you receive treatment to brighten your teeth.
- Dental bonding can help – Although bleaching your teeth might be not the solution for the white spots, dental bonding can help. A cosmetic dentist can blend shades of dental composite to match the shade of your natural teeth.
- Stop trying to correct it yourself – We recommend that you stop trying to whiten your own teeth. The results you can expect are unpredictable, particularly because of the decalcification.
It’s best to get professional help in treating the stains.
This post is sponsored by Plano, TX female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy. Dr. Lacy’s office is convenient to Addison, Allen, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Frisco, Garland, Highland Park, and Little Elm.