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  • Joe Wilson

The 411 on Those White Marks

Updated: Nov 10, 2021

Chances are good that you’ve come across people who have one or more white marks on their teeth. Or perhaps your own teeth have white marks. This condition is called decalcification. Built-up plaque, calcium and other minerals seep out of tooth enamel and result in that permanent white mark. If plaque keeps accumulating, it can turn into a cavity in a matter of weeks.

We at the office of Orthodontics, Inc. want you to know that the teeth of people whose orthodontic treatment involves aligners are susceptible to decalcification. You should also know that those white marks are preventable.

When people drink soda, sports drinks, sparkling water or flavored waters while their aligners are in place, the sugar and acids in those beverages can pool in the bottom of the aligners. Individuals who wear aligners should always take them out before they drink or eat. Those people then need to scrupulously clean their teeth to get rid of all remnants of beverages and food. It’s also imperative that patients brush their aligners, lest bacteria left on the aligners spawn decalcification.

Even folks who don’t use aligners or any other appliance to straighten their teeth can develop decalcification. The white marks can be the result of indulging in too much soda or other acidic drinks, and not employing good oral health habits.

Take these tips to minimize your chances of developing white marks.

  • See your general dentist for a checkup at least every four to six months.

  • If you wear braces, use interproximal brushes; their tiny brushes reach between the teeth and brackets where traditional toothbrushes can't.

  • Use dental floss to scrape away plaque and food particles between your teeth and above the gum line.

  • Then, blast away the loose plaque and food with a water irrigator.

  • Top of your cleaning regime with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.

The skilled and compassionate team of professionals at the office of Orthodontics, Inc. have the skills and experience to give their patients their best smiles and overall oral health. For more information about our services, please contact us today.

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