You invest a significant amount of time and money in straightening your smile with orthodontic treatments. The very last thing you want to see on your teeth after braces finally come off are pesky stains and white spots. The good news is there are several proven ways to reduce the chances of having stains left behind on your teeth after braces.
Brushing After Meal Times
Left-behind food particles cling to your teeth and braces, creating a build-up of bacteria that causes plaque to form. Braces can make it difficult to easily remove food that would typically wash off your teeth with water or saliva if they weren’t there, and demineralization can occur quickly. Brush your teeth after every meal to prevent white spots from forming around your brackets. A cleaner mouth will also mean less potential cavities to worry about too.
Skip The Whitening Toothpaste
Your first thought to whiten your teeth may be a whitening toothpaste, but this can end up being counterproductive with braces. Whitening toothpaste can cause more discoloration because the tooth area around your brackets is whitened, but the area that is covered by the brackets is not. Use a regular anti-cavity toothpaste during orthodontic treatment, and save the whitening toothpaste for after your braces are removed.
The Power of Flossing Regularly
By this point, you’re probably already well aware that thoroughly cleaning your mouth with braces is a tall order. It can be challenging to clean every area of your mouth with just a toothbrush, and flossing regularly will help to clean around the brackets and wires. There are types of floss that are specially designed to be used with braces to make things even easier. Floss once a day to prevent cavities from developing in those hard-to-reach places.
Use A Fluoride Mouthwash
Swishing your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash after brushing and flossing will help to dislodge any left-behind food particles that were missed during brushing. Mouthwash also helps to get rid of any extra germs that are still lingering in your mouth.
Follow Dietary Restrictions
Eating and drinking certain foods with braces can cause damage to the brackets and wires, while others can cause teeth-staining. Listen to your orthodontist when they give you a list of foods and beverages to avoid during your treatment. Foods and drinks that are dark-in-color and high in sugar can stain both your teeth and your brackets.
Post-Braces Stains – Now What?
If you do end up with stains on your teeth after your braces have been removed, don’t panic. Most of the time your saliva will be all that your mouth requires to dull the stains over time, so they are not as noticeable.
If you don’t want to wait, try:
Whitening Toothpaste. Using a whitening toothpaste will help to polish the surface of your teeth and even out the color of your smile.
Whitening Treatments. Talk to your dentist about the benefits and drawbacks of whitening your teeth either at-home or in-office before you begin a whitening treatment. While most of the time you can whiten your teeth after your braces come off, your dentist may recommend you wait a specified period for your teeth to adjust on their own first.
Don’t Skip Appointments
It may seem like your teeth are being inspected more than ever before during orthodontic treatment, but there is a difference between orthodontic exams and dental exams. Sticking to your regular dental exams, every six months or more, is crucial in ensuring your teeth are being professionally cleaned to prevent plaque from building up and to lessen the chance of tooth decay going undetected.
Thomas Orthodontics cares about each of our patients and ensuring they have the smile of their dreams after braces. Call today to schedule a consultation appointment.