You can usually see how your child's orthodontic work is progressing before their braces are removed; however, you won't know exactly what condition their teeth are in until the braces are off. While your child's teeth are in the right places now, you may be surprised to see some white spots on their teeth. These spots don't come off, even after a few brushing sessions.
What are these white spots? Can they be removed?
Why Teeth Get White Spots After Braces
If your child had traditional braces that stick a bracket on to each tooth, then the surface of their teeth will have been partly covered during their orthodontic treatment. Your child will have been told to clean around these brackets carefully, but they won't have been able to clean under them.
Sometimes, if your child hasn't always kept on top of their dental cleaning routine while wearing braces, they may end up with small white spots on the front of their teeth. These typically show up around the edges of brackets or under them. You may not see them until the brackets are taken off.
These spots are often a sign that bacteria, like plaque, has been allowed to settle around the brackets. The bacteria may have started to attack the tooth's surface and demineralise it so that it changes colour.
How to Remove White Spots After Braces
Your child probably won't be able to get rid of these white spots on their own; they will need help from your dentist. The treatment they get usually depends on how much damage has been done.
So, for example, if the only issue is cosmetic discolouration, for example, if the enamel itself is still intact, then your dentist may recommend that your child uses products to remineralise the affected teeth. This could include tooth mousses, fluoride gels or special kinds of toothpaste.
If the white spots have started to eat into the enamel and look rough rather than smooth, then your dentist may recommend a different kind of treatment first. For example, they may use microabrasion to remove some of the surface damage before using remineralising products.
If the damage is more widespread or advanced, then your dentist may need to do restorative work. For example, they may recommend a resin filling or a veneer.
To find out what your child's options are, make a dental appointment as soon as you can. Your dentist can assess the spots and help you find the most appropriate treatment.
For more information, contact a dentist.