Can Braces Stain Your Teeth (and How to Avoid it)
There is nothing better than walking into the orthodontist knowing you’re about to get your braces removed. Soon, the whole world will see your brand-new smile and you’ll be able to flash your pearly whites with confidence. You’ve invested a lot of time and money into the process, so you don’t want to be disappointed by unexpected stains that may appear if you’ve become complacent with oral hygiene during treatment.
It’s not uncommon for people with braces to get stains on their teeth, but it’s not the braces themselves that cause it. The build up of plaque and tartar that occurs when patients have difficulty cleaning causes the issue.
We’ve compiled some tips to help you avoid stained teeth and keep your smile nice and white during orthodontic treatment – and beyond.
While this can seem obvious, it’s important to brush your teeth every morning and evening. If not, food particles and bacterial plaque will build up on your teeth, which can result in permanently stained teeth.
Make sure you do a thorough job of brushing your teeth, using fluoridated toothpaste. As always, don’t forget to floss or use interproximal brushes (ie. Piksters) so you don’t miss those pesky pieces of food and plaque that can get caught in the crevices. When possible, we recommend waiting 30 minutes before brushing to give your enamel time to settle and your saliva time to wash away the acids left by food.
Avoid some drinks
From a young age, we’re often told to reduce the amount of soft-drinks and sugary drinks we consume, but as adults, we forget about the impact of red wine, tea, coffee and food colours which can stain your teeth. To help prepare you for your treatment your orthodontist may provide a list of food and drinks to avoid.
However, we understand that this can be tough to follow, so if you can’t cut these liquids out all together, we recommend drinking them in moderation through a re-usable straw which will reduce your teeth’s exposure to staining beverages – and when possible choose water as your drink of choice.
Rinsing your mouth with water after meals will help remove food from your teeth, reducing plaque build-up which causes staining. But you don’t need to go to the bathroom to rinse them in a sink. Simply taking a swig of water at your desk will make a difference and help flush the food away. Keep a water bottle on hand and you’ll not only stay hydrated throughout the day, but will be helping to protect your beautiful smile.
Don’t miss your dental or orthodontic appointments
One of the biggest mistakes we see is patients skipping their orthodontic appointments. Your braces, in particular ceramic tooth coloured braces, need to be checked and refreshed regularly to help prevent staining.
You should also continue seeing your dentist for regular check-ups at least every six months for regular cleaning appointments that will help remove tartar that you can’t eliminate on your own during your daily brushing and flossing routine.
For teeth whitening after braces stains, your orthodontist takes them out, they may recommend a simple teeth bleaching or remineralising procedure. Elevated hygiene practices like using an interdental toothbrush to get between the gaps will then ensure your smile stays spotless.
If you’d like to learn more about how to avoid stained teeth, find your local orthodontist and book a consultation today! No referral needed.