Continuing our previous topic, the purpose of the next few articles is going to be the edification of patients about the risks and possible negative side effects involved in getting orthodontry. To be fair, orthodontry is extremely safe, and complications arise only in extremely rare circumstances. We just want patients to know if the side effect was something unavoidable, or if a case of medical malpractice has been perpetrated.
When the brackets used in orthodontry are placed on the surface of teeth, sometimes it is harder to clean underneath the brackets themselves. This may leave the teeth underneath leached of minerals where the patient could not clean them. This leaching is actually a pre-cavity, and will show itself in the form of unsightly white spots on the surface of the teeth. In essence, these white spots are lesions on the surface of the tooth enamel, and will eventually cave, but they are not yet signs of damage in and of themselves!
It is possible to remineralize these lesions on the teeth and make them disappear altogether. This of course can only be done if the demineralized zone has not yet caved, and no cavities are present. The best way to remineralize your teeth is to take vitamin supplements, or change your diet in a way as to include more vitamin D and calcium/magnesium. Remember that just taking a calcium supplement will not do, as the human body is unable to absorb calcium if it is not accompanied by magnesium as well.
Proper brushing technique is also very important, and when wearing braces patients need to be extra careful and circumspect with their daily oral hygiene. The use of floss and mouthwash is absolutely essential. Also, one should wait at least half an hour after eating food before brushing teeth, as certain acids may be formed when fluoride interacts with certain foods, and these can leech the minerals form the teeth, and if this happens in a hard to reach spot, like behind an orthodontic bracket, it is quite possible that the small demineralized lesion will start to appear.
It is also important that toothpaste and mouthwash that has a high fluoride content be used, and you can learn here how much that fluoride content should be. It is also recommended that you go and get a hygiene session at least once while the braces are on, but perhaps every six months while you are wearing braces, just to be on the safe side.