How Can You Protect Against White Spot Lesions (WSLs) When You Need Braces?

24 April 2017
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


It can be quite depressing to have your braces taken off only to find white spots along the surface. This can occur due to demineralization, which is the first step of tooth decay, and it occurs when acids are left in prolonged contact with the surface of your teeth. This dissolves calcium and other key minerals, leaving white spot lesions (WSLs). People with braces can suffer from the issue due to a build-up of plaque or bacteria around the bracket of a brace. However, there are ways to prevent it.

Improve Your Diet

Even a diet completely approved by your dentist can't stop decay in its tracks. However, you should improve your dietary habits while you wear your braces to help prevent any demineralization. The most important thing to do is avoid any drinks that are high in sugars or acids. Sodas are the perennial offender, but you should also try skipping sports drinks, energy drinks and many fruit juices. These drinks will get right into all the gaps around the brackets and bands of your braces and possibly underneath them, making it likely for decay to occur. You should also avoid chewy sweets, dried fruit, and anything else that will tend to get caught.

Take Cleaning Seriously

It can be extremely tough to brush and floss properly when you are wearing braces, but you shouldn't let your oral health slip. This will only make it easier for plaque and bacteria to gain a foothold around your brackets, which will possibly lead to demineralisation white spots. As well as using regular floss and a toothbrush, you can pick up some special brushes designed to get between braces. If you've having particular trouble, trying investing in a water flosser. You can also request a prescription fluoride mouthwash from your dentist.

Use Sealant

In some cases, an orthodontist will be able to place sealant around your teeth to protect against white spots. This will essentially provide a shield around the area where each bracket will sit, protecting it from plaque and bacteria. Many kinds of sealant even release fluoride, so they can help strengthen as well as protect.

Consider Using Removable Braces

If you're particularly worried about having white spots on your teeth due to a history of decay, it might be worth thinking about having removable braces instead. These are still worn for nearly all of each day, but they can be slipped out at will. As such, they give you the freedom to give your teeth a proper brushing without missing any areas. Of course, removable braces won't be recommended for everyone, so you should talk the matter over thoroughly with your orthodontist.