We all know that wearing braces can lead to the accumulation of plaque, and plaque is a major etiologic factor in the process that can lead to demineralization or “white spots.” Nobody wants to see white spots on their teeth after finishing their braces, especiallyDr. Steckel
Brushing is a great start!
How do we reduce the chances of white spots from happening? Well, if you are a patient at Orthodontics on Silverlake (OSL) you know we talk about brushing your teeth at every visit- whether you’re a fantastic brusher of if you need help to improve your brushing. So good brushing on a regular basis, what else? Avoid eating acidic foods and drinking acidic drinks like sodas and sports drinks- they can scar your teeth by reacting with the enamel of your teeth.
Using Flouride Can Help!
How about using fluoride-containing toothpastes, rinses, gels? When used regularly, these products keep the surface of your teeth protected against white spots to strengthen the enamel and saturating the saliva with protective fluoride ions.(1) So we recommend using these, as does your general dentist, when you get your teeth cleaned every 6 months.
Chewing Gum Sweetened By Xylitol
Chewing gum has a cleansing affect as well, and this is improved significantly when the gum is sweetened with Xylitol. Xylitol is a naturally-derived sweetener found in the Stevia plant. A study was done to evaluate the effectiveness of chewing-gum and the progression of dental decay. (2)The results showed a significant difference between children who chewed the gum sweetened with Xylitol vs. those that did not. No untoward side-effects from chewing the gum was noted.
I encourage patients who want to chew gum to chew gum with this natural sweetener! We haven’t seen any untoward effects as well, only happier patients at Orthodontics on Silverlake!
Once you get done with your orthodontic treatment, you want to be done! We want to help you with that by preventing white spots, tooth decay and any other common problem. By following these helpful tips, brushing regularly with fluoride toothpaste and chewing gum that is sweetened by Xylitol, you are significantly reducing your chance of continued treatment after braces. Our staff at Orthodontics on Silverlake is happy to answer any questions you may have so feel free to contact us as we are always delighted to speak with our patients!