Have you ever heard Dr. Krieger talk about "tooth scars" or "white rainbows"?
Maintaining excellent oral hygiene while wearing braces is extremely important to prevent decalcification (aka “tooth scars” or "white rainbows"), cavities, and gum disease. This damage to the teeth becomes more apparent when the braces come off, in areas around where the brackets were located. Braces themselves do not cause decalcification scars. They actually occur because of poor cleaning. If plaque is allowed to accumulate on the teeth, the acid that is formed leeches the calcium out of the enamel, hence the term “decalcification.” Without calcium, enamel becomes soft, and the teeth are prone to cavities.
Once decalcification appears, it is a scar that cannot be reversed. We can restore the teeth, but this can be costly and will never reverse the damage caused by poor oral hygiene.
The good news is that decalcification is preventable! Good brushing and flossing habits, in addition to Fluoride use, can significantly reduce the scarring. Fluoride can help to add minerals back to teeth, but cannot completely reverse the process of decalcification. Our hygiene staff at Atlanta Pediatric Dental Specialists will give you the tools and instructions you need to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy while in orthodontic treatment.