When adhesives are placed on the tooth, the adhesive helps to hold the bracket on the tooth and thus give the bracket the strength and durability needed to hold the wires and begin the alignment process. For children between the ages of 8 and 14, the adult permanent teeth that come in misaligned often need this alignment to have better oral health with eating, speaking, and sleeping as they get older. However, one major problem many have been facing is white spot lesions.
White Spot Lesions And Braces
White spot lesions often occur during the realignment process; they’re areas of demineralization caused by plaque buildup. This condition is produced after the acids left behind underneath the braces, and it can erode at the enamel overtime. These lesions often occur after a person successfully removes their braces, and for those who already have this condition, remineralization techniques and caries infiltration can help correct white spot lesions. For orthodontists, white spot lesions can be a challenging side effect of orthodontic treatment, and the exploration of better treatment and prevention options can help patients have straighter, healthier teeth without the side effects.
White spot lesions affect nearly 70% of people who wear orthodontic braces. However, there’s been the start of some fantastic research that has potentially provided a preventative measure against white spot lesions. Researchers from Queen Mary University of London provided studies for a new bonding adhesives that can protect the tooth surfaces from plaque and decay. Bonding adhesives made with bio-active materials can continue to release minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate, all combining to recreate fluroapatite, which remineralizes the tooth surface overtime and helps reduce plaque formation along the orthodontic bracket.
This small study has shown great promise, but more research is needed to conclude these effects. However studies from the Dental Press Journal of Orthodontics also points out the potential in pre-treating lesions with bonding material, as they show the potential to improve the durability of those adhesives for orthodontic treatment in long-term application.
How To Best Prevent White Spot Lesions
While these bonding adhesives are still in current development, people who either currently have braces or have recently gone through orthodontic treatment will often face white spot lesions as a side effect. Orthodontists do have some treatments for white spot lesions, including phosphoric acid gel or other types of etching materials to conservatively help treat the lesions and remove the effects of plaque decay. However, if you currently have braces, there are some ways to prevent white spot lesions from occurring, which include:
- Putting the Extra Effort to Brush Teeth – Using devices such as water flossers and special toothbrushes made to work around the brackets and wires can help improve your ability to avoid white spot lesions. Keeping up your oral hygiene may be difficult, but putting in that effort to clean your teeth matters.
- Visit Your Orthodontist Often – If you begin to notice the first few signs of white spot lesions, speak with your dentist or orthodontists, as they can help to provide oral advice for caring for your teeth and help provide treatments to reduce the severity of your white spot lesions.
- Change Your Diet – Avoid eating sugary foods and drinks. Saliva acts as a neutralizer for bacteria in the mouth, but sugar helps feed bacteria in the mouth more quickly than saliva can remove it. The acids that build up within your mouth can cause more plaque to develop in between the teeth and brackets and cause white spot lesions to occur more often.