Weather you are a teenager or an adult, wearing braces can leave unsightly white marks behind, which represent local tooth decay. According to new study from Sweden, high-fluoride toothpaste can help diminish these permanent effects braces can have on your teeth. According to research, toothpaste with four times the regular amount of fluoride helped prevent about the third of the cases of chalky stains on the teeth of patients of 11-16 years old. “To reduce this effect, several products are available on the market, but evidence of the effectiveness of the products is lacking,” said Mikael Sonesson, lead author of the study and an orthodontist at Malmö University.
More than 400 kids at five dental practices who were scheduled to get braces, joined the focus group to see whether a high-fluoride toothpaste that patients could use at home would protect against the spots. The patients were randomly divided into two groups, with about half using a toothpaste containing 5,100 parts per million fluoride to use at home and the other half – a similar toothpaste that contained 1,450 ppm fluoride – the amount in most standard commercial brands.
All the youngsters had photos taken of their teeth before getting braces and after they were removed. The participants wore braces for an average of 1.8 years and received toothpaste supplies for the corresponding duration of time. Two clinicians who didn’t know which group each kid belonged to,had used evaluated all the before-and-after photos to assess the presence and severity of white spots using a four-point scale.
After the appropriate analysis, the researchers found that about 45 percent of patients who brushed with regular toothpaste developed white spots, whereas only 34.6 percent of those who used the high-fluoride paste developed spots. That translates to about 32 percent fewer white spots in the high-fluoride group. The results didn’t come unexpected, given previous research on the use of fluoride for preventing cavities, according to Nisreen Takulla, a dentist in the Boston area. “High-fluoride toothpastes are often prescribed for patients at a high risk of dental caries, to be used once a day instead of regular toothpaste, and topical fluorides have also been proven to be very effective for caries control,” said Takulla. Other ways to get higher doses of fluoride include mouth rinses and gels applied to the teeth.
To avoid white spots and cavities when wearing braces, the study’s authors recommend being extra careful with brushing and flossing and avoiding a high-carbohydrate diet, which can be one factor that promotes tooth decay. High-fluoride toothpastes should be used once a day in place of regular toothpaste and should not be swallowed; users also should not eat or drink for 30 minutes after brushing with such a toothpaste.
Also, the brushing thoroughly is just as important as using the right amount of fluoride. “Using the right technique to brush, and ensuring all surfaces of the teeth are cleaned, is as important (as the toothpaste used),” Takulla said. Don’t forget to go for regular check-ups and cleaning, as well, to achieve the best results.
If you have any more questions, feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org.