Growing up with crooked teeth, I would always dream of glancing in the mirror and seeing a beautiful, white smile looking back at me. While I was a little insecure about my teeth, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to get braces when I was a teenager, and I was determined to do everything in my power to ensure the outcome was successful! Wearing braces for 24 months wasn’t easy, but I regularly cleaned my teeth and cared for my braces to my orthodontist’s delight. I vividly remember the day my braces were finally removed – I simply couldn’t hold back the excitement at seeing my brand new set of straight teeth!
Upon looking in the orthodontist’s mirror, I was shocked to find that my teeth were stained! There were white spots where my metal brackets once were and I was rather unsettled, despite being ecstatic with having straight teeth! My orthodontist assured me that a number of people have stained teeth after braces and the discolouration usually disappears within a couple of months of regular brushing. While there are many teeth whitening options available, today I’d like to share how you can avoid teeth stains from braces to begin with.
Why do teeth stain?
Not all patients’ teeth stain from having braces, and it’s usually not the braces that cause the discolouration. The archwires and brackets used to straighten your teeth make it easy for food to get caught, leading to a build-up of plaque and bacteria around the brackets. Considering that cleaning your teeth sufficiently is more complicated when wearing braces, some of the plaque and bacteria isn’t removed and will cause slight discolouration with time.
The reason why plaque stains teeth is because it creates acids that absorb minerals from your teeth’s enamel. When this demineralisation develops, the surface of your tooth reflects light in another way and leads to white spots appearing in these areas. This is why it’s crucial to maintain good oral hygiene when receiving orthodontic treatment.
How to avoid teeth from staining?
Prevention is always better than cure when it relates to your teeth, and there are a variety of ways in which you can prevent your teeth from staining when wearing Insignia braces.
- Brush and floss on a regular basis
Regardless of whether or not you have braces, the trick to good oral health is consistently brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day. This removes any plaque, bacteria, and food particles from your teeth which can cause decalcification and other dental complications. When wearing braces, it’s best to brush your teeth thirty minutes after each meal which gives your saliva time to remove any acids.
- Keep away from sugary foods and drinks
Make an effort to avoid sugary foods and drinks as much as possible when wearing Insignia braces. Foods and drinks such as sports drinks, sodas, high acid fruit drinks, ice cream, and cookies have a high sugar and/or acid content which will increase teeth staining. If you can’t refuse the temptation for your daily soda, just remember to brush your teeth afterwards to remove the sugar from your mouth.
- Regular dental cleaning
Just because you’re wearing Insignia braces doesn’t mean that you can just forget your family dentist! It’s highly recommended to see your dentist every 6 months for a check-up and dental cleaning to remove the build-up of tartar that you can’t remove from everyday brushing.
- Don’t use whitening toothpaste
You may feel that using whitening toothpaste will stop teeth stains, but the opposite is actually true. Considered that this style of toothpaste will only whiten the parts of your teeth not covered by brackets, your teeth will look very stained once your braces are removed. For the best results, choose regular toothpaste!
- Ask your orthodontist about sealants
Several orthodontists advise applying a sealant to patients’ teeth before they commence treatment with Insignia braces. A sealant makes your teeth more impervious to teeth staining and medical studies have suggested that they are very successful at doing this. Before you commence treatment, ask your orthodontist if you’re a suitable candidate for a sealant.
Even if you’ve done everything you can but still have teeth stains from braces, there are multiple teeth whitening options available which can be used at least 6 months after your braces were removed. Generally, any stains will usually be removed from daily brushing and flossing.
If you have any more questions on how to avoid teeth stains from braces, get in contact with the team at Clear Smiles Orthodontics by calling 07 5593 3733.