White Spots After Braces? Here Is What You Need to Know About ICON

So, you just had your braces removed. Only now, your teeth are covered in white spots that you certainly did not have before getting braces… what is this, and how can it be fixed? What are your treatment options, and how do you know which one is right for you? If you live near Newport Beach, Dr. Yazdan can help with all your dental cosmetic needs and questions, including white spot removal with ICON.

What Causes White Spots After Braces?

White spot lesions appear on tooth surfaces after braces are removed and are, unfortunately, quite common. Bonded orthodontic brackets and wires increase the likelihood of plaque bacteria accumulating around the braces and on your tooth surface. It’s no secret that patients with braces can struggle to keep them clean. This, in turn, typically results in plaque sitting on the tooth surfaces longer than it should. When plaque is not removed thoroughly each day, its acidity can break down the outer layer of the tooth (your tooth enamel.) This is what we typically think of as the first stage of tooth decay.

When this breakdown occurs, the enamel surface becomes rougher in texture and appearance and, if unaddressed, can lead to cavities. Patients can experience an increase in sensitivity, staining in the affected area, and increased plaque and tartar buildup. It’s a snowball effect that can worsen quickly, resulting in unwanted white spot lesions all over your smile and, in more advanced cases, cavities everywhere.

However, if the plaque is removed, the cavity formation stops. The bad news is that it leaves a cloudy white spot behind, where your enamel started to demineralize. While it isn’t a structural concern the way cavities are, these white lesions can definitely pose a major aesthetic challenge, especially since teeth whitening usually makes them more noticeable.

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How to Fix White Spots on Teeth (After Braces)

When your braces are removed and white spots appear for the first time, it can be disheartening. Especially after all the time, effort, and money that has been put into improving the aesthetics of your smile. This is where ICON can save the day.

ICON, also known as resin infiltration treatment, is a minimally invasive treatment option to fix those pesky white spots. ICON treatment requires no drilling, and the results are immediate. It’s a same-day treatment that provides some of the best results possible.

Some of the benefits of ICON treatment include:

  • Improved aesthetic appearance of your smile
  • Cheaper alternative veneers and crowns
  • Convenience of same-day service, no waiting for multiple appointments to complete the process
  • White lesions will blend well with your natural tooth enamel
  • It can prevent early tooth decay from progressing to more advanced cavities
  • Strengthens the tooth surface
  • Reduces the accumulation of plaque and stain
  • No anesthesia required
  • Eliminates the need for more extensive treatments
  • No drilling necessary

What to Expect

While ICON treatments are quick and easy, it’s important to note there are some post-op instructions to follow. For at least the first 24 hours after ICON is completed, you want to avoid any dark liquids and foods that could potentially stain the tooth surface, such as drinks like tea, coffee, soda, etc. The same goes for smoking. Smoking stains teeth as well, and this could potentially impact the short and long-term results of your ICON treatment.

Some patients may experience slight irritation to their gums after ICON treatment. This is often easily managed with gentle brushing and flossing, as well as adding warm salt water rinses to help ease irritation to the gums. Keeping up with proper oral hygiene routines at home can help with the longevity of treatment outcomes as well.

It’s best to avoid whitening products after treatment with ICON, as this can cause white spots to reappear. While this is often temporary, it will usually fade within a day or two. It’s best to discuss your whitening options with Dr. Yazdan to ensure the best treatment outcome.

The great news is that ICON treatment results are immediate. And if you decide to whiten your teeth later on, the infiltrated resin will reflect the color of your smile; you don’t have to worry about “matching” the area to your newly whitened teeth.

How Long Does it Last?

In regard to whether ICON treatment is forever, results depend on the individual person’s circumstances. Some patients are good for life, while some may notice a touch-up is needed after about two years or so. Keeping up with routine dental visits allows Dr. Yazdan to keep an eye on things more closely.

If you notice white spots in your smile, ICON may be the right option for you! Call Dr. Yazdan in Newport Beach today to discuss your cosmetic dental options.

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