Getting braces is a big deal for most people, and of course you want everything to go well with your treatment. Unfortunately, if you do not follow the regime that your dentist set out for you, you may have some side effects. One of these side effects is the decalcification of your teeth.
Decalcification is when your teeth lose calcium, which is generally caused by the buildup of plaque. This plaque sticks to teeth and starts to eat away at the tooth enamel with its acidic properties, which weakens it. This buildup is due to the lack of good dental hygiene, especially when braces are worn. Without proper brushing, the areas around the glue used to keep the brackets on your teeth as well as areas right by the gums are susceptible to decalcification. Special care should be taken in these areas to make sure that you don't end up with decalcification.
The decalcification looks like white spots on your teeth, which may look like nothing, but can lead to cavities. These white spots will now be incredibly sensitive to possible cavities at a later date. They can also be very sensitive to brush, as you now have weakened enamel meeting your toothbrush.
If you should get decalcification during the period that you are wearing your braces, there are some things that you can do in order to stop it from getting worse. First, identify what you aren't doing properly in your dental hygiene and try and make it better. If you cannot rectify what you are doing wrong, the problem will continue to fester and the decalcification will only get worse.
You can also consider buying a fluoride rinse from your dentist. Fluoride is an agent that can help to re-mineralize the surface of your teeth and help to rebuild the enamel that has been lost due to decalcification. While this is not a failsafe, nor does it guarantee that your teeth will go back to their normal state, it will help to minimize the damage that has been done to your teeth. This may also help to lessen the sensitivity that you feel when brushing the decalcified areas.
Fair warning, even if you use the fluoride treatment and continue to brush, you may still have the decalcification scars, or the white patches on your teeth. These scars can be made less noticeable with whitening treatments, but there will likely always be a slight difference in color.