I just got my braces off, and I’ve got white spots in the middle of all my front teeth where my braces were. My dentist told me they were permanent but I think he just wants to sell me something.
Is there any product or remedy to get rid of these spots? I’m really self-conscious about them. I’ve been searching online for things to get rid of tough tooth stains. Thanks.
—Jaylynn from Minnesota
Unfortunately, your dentist was right—these are permanent. They’re not really stains, they’re decalcifications—a loss of tooth enamel—and they come from not keeping your teeth clean around the braces while you were wearing them.
What happens is that food accumulates around the braces and sticks there. If those food particles are left undisturbed for a period of hours, the bacteria multiply and eat away at the enamel of your tooth. When those acid attacks go on repeatedly for months, the loss of calcium from your tooth surface causes the tooth to have a chalky white appearance in that spot. This enamel will also be somewhat porous and softened, so that you could scratch it with a sharp object. Sometimes there will actually be tooth decay under the spot.
Another problem with these spots is that they will absorb stain and may later turn brown. You may be interested to read Alyssa’s experience. She also had white spots after her braces came off, and now they are turning brown.
While some success has been reported treating these spots with Tooth Mousse, the Tooth Mousse is really designed for treating white spots from other causes. Since there could be decay under these spots, I would strongly recommend having a cosmetic dentist grind them out, taking away all the soft enamel down to solid tooth structure, and then doing tooth bonding over them. But I would go to an expert cosmetic dentist for this, not your family dentist.
Two pieces of good news for you here.
First, if you have dental insurance, you should receive benefits for this. While this is cosmetic dentistry, it is done as a treatment for damage to your tooth enamel. Even if there isn’t any full-blown decay yet, this is the early stage of tooth decay and would be a covered benefit under any dental insurance plan. Expect your insurance to pay a reduced benefit. They will probably not cover the full fee for doing this in a way that looks beautiful.
Second, if done by an excellent cosmetic dentist, your teeth will be restored to their natural beauty, and you will soon forget that anything was ever wrong with them.
One final point. If you think that at any time you may be interested in bleaching your teeth, do that now, before doing the bonding work. Otherwise, when you finally do bleach your teeth, you will need to have the bonding work re-done.
Other related links:
- Read about the three types of stained teeth.
- Annie from Wisconsin asks if she can get discolored teeth from ascorbic acid powder.
- Supersmile® recommended for teeth stained with Peridex anti-bacterial rinse.
- Click here for referral to an expert cosmetic dentist.
- Is there a connection between acid reflux and tooth decay?
- Read about coffee stains on teeth.
- What damage is caused to the teeth from bulimia?