Dental Braces And Decalcification: What's The Connection?

Orthodontic treatment can take several years, and you might in fact be wearing your dental braces for up to three years. When your braces are finally removed, your teeth should be perfectly aligned. But while your teeth might have been straightened, if they have degraded beneath your braces, it wouldn't just be a disappointment—it would be a disaster. What can cause tooth damage while wearing your braces? And what can be done to prevent this?


The type of damage that can be exposed once braces are removed presents as white spots on your teeth. This is known as decalcification, and it can significantly weaken your teeth, making them far more susceptible to decay. But why are braces used at all if they can lead to dental decalcification?

Oral Hygiene

It's not actually your braces that have led to decalcification, and it's actually a failure to maintain a high standard of oral hygiene during the time you were wearing your braces. This is an all-too-common occurrence, and it's essentially because the physical barrier created by the presence of your braces makes it difficult to comprehensively clean your teeth. Oral bacteria has not been removed as a part of your oral hygiene routine and has been allowed to accumulate beneath the brackets of your braces. 

Your Toothbrush

To avoid this decalcification, you need to up your teeth cleaning game. Ditch your manual toothbrush in favor of an electric sonic toothbrush. In addition to the rotations of the brush head, the toothbrush will also vibrate (which is the sonic part). These vibrations help to clean your teeth without necessarily needing direct contact with all parts of your teeth, meaning that the portions of your teeth obscured by the brackets will also be cleaned. 


An upgraded toothbrush is an essential first step, but you should also consider your ability to floss. Conventional dental floss can be difficult to use when you have braces, so use a water flosser. This directs a jet of water to dislodge food debris and flush away harmful oral bacteria, which is far more efficient than conventional dental floss. But is there a way to check just how efficient your oral health routine is?

Disclosing Tablets

They don't need to be used each time you clean your teeth, but you might benefit from the occasional use of disclosing tablets. These contain a harmless dye which highlights the plaque remaining on your teeth after brushing. This effect is temporary, and the dye will quickly fade, however it gives you a clear indication of the amount of plaque leftover after you've cleaned your teeth, allowing you to know if your efforts are sufficient. 

Decalcification can be an unfortunate side effect of wearing braces, but it can easily be avoided. Speak with an orthodontist about how to best avoid it during your orthodontic treatment.