White Patches On Teeth After Wearing Braces: What They Are And How To Avoid Them

It's a common misapprehension that braces stain your teeth. This is because it's common for teeth to have white stains on them once orthodontic treatment has concluded—stains that exactly match the size and shape of the brackets bonded to the teeth. It's not your braces that cause this type of discoloration, and there's nothing to dread if you're still undergoing your treatment. It's very simple to avoid these unpleasant-looking white patches on your teeth.

Mineral Content

The white patches that are often evident on teeth after braces are removed are not due to any aspect of orthodontics. These patches are caused by structural changes to dental enamel, which is the highly-mineralized outer coating of your teeth. Enamel has a mineral content of 96%, and it maintains its mineralization largely through brushing and other oral hygiene measures.

Loss of Minerals

Brushing with fluoride toothpaste deposits the requisite amount of mineral content onto the dental enamel, helping it to maintain its strength. Demineralization occurs when plaque (a sticky biofilm made of oral bacteria) forms on the tooth and is allowed to become established. Plaque should be removed by brushing. Admittedly, this is difficult when large sections of your teeth are obscured by the orthodontic brackets attached to them.

Extra Conscientious 

Having braces does make it harder to clean your teeth, but not impossible. You need to be extra conscientious about maintaining an impeccable level of oral hygiene, and your old manual toothbrush won't be enough to stop those unsightly white demineralized patches from forming. You'll need some extra equipment—but none of it is difficult to source.


Invest in a good-quality electric toothbrush, and you should also obtain a water flosser (which uses pressurized water to dislodge food debris). You'll also need an interproximal brush for cleaning around the brackets, as well as between your teeth. An interproximal brush is a small collection of bristles attached to a handle about the length of a toothpick. It's designed to access those hard-to-reach places.

Dietary Factors

In addition to the right oral hygiene hardware, ask your orthodontist about diet. Consuming the right amount of calcium for your age group can help your teeth to maintain their mineralization, and you may want to minimize your intake of sugary and acidic foods—or anything that can accelerate the production of dental plaque.

By maintaining a sufficiently high level of oral hygiene, you can avoid having to see those white patches of demineralization on your teeth when your braces are removed.

To learn more, contact an orthodontist in your area.