Tooth Decalcification

Tooth Decalcification typically occurs due to a build-up of plaque on the surface of a tooth, often as a result of poor dental hygiene.  This condition shows up as chalky white spots or lesions on a tooth’s surface and is generally considered to be an early stage of tooth decay.

Decalcification is common among children and adults that wear braces.  It usually affects the area between the gums and orthodontic brackets where plaque is the most difficult to remove.  It is most visible after braces have been removed, leaving obvious white “scars” on the teeth themselves.

As plaque builds up on your teeth it traps acid, holding it directly against your tooth enamel.  If allowed to sit long enough, the plaque will draw the calcium out of the enamel, which is why it is referred to as “decalcification”.  Since the calcium is what makes your teeth enamel strong, this process can severely weaken the exterior of the tooth, leading to cavities and eventually tooth decay.

The most effective way to prevent decalcification is to keep your teeth free of plaque.  If you wear braces, it is important that you use a toothbrush specifically designed for orthodontic care, floss regularly, and follow the maintenance guidelines provided by your orthodontic specialist. 

The risk of decalcification while wearing braces also increases the importance of regular visits to our office.  We will check for signs of decalcification and other issues during your routine periodontal exam.  We will also provide tips on better brushing techniques to make sure that you and your children have the knowledge you need to maintain a healthy smile.  If you are affected by decalcification, we can recommend and implement corrective procedures to restore your teeth to their original color and shine.

Contact Parrish Childs today at 770-536-0581 to schedule an appointment.

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