The Low Down on Preventing Teeth Stains from Braces

A woman showing her teeth to the camera.

After spending so much time and money on straightening your smile, the last thing you want is to have stains on your teeth after the braces finally come off. You don’t want to feel embarrassed about your smile still after all this. There are several things you can do to reduce the chance of staining though. Here is the low down on preventing teeth stains from braces:

Brush after Every Meal

Food particles when left on your teeth lead to a buildup of bacteria that causes plaque to form. This is what causes most of the staining. When braces make it difficult to get rid of all the plaque, demineralization occurs causing white spots to occur.

That is why it is so important that you brush your teeth after every meal. While you should always do this, it is especially important while you are wearing braces. With a cleaner mouth you will have to also worry less about cavities and other dental problems too. Using an electric toothbrush every day will also make it easier to get all those hard to reach spots.

Don’t Use a Whitening Toothpaste

It might surprise you to know that whitening toothpastes can actually be bad for your teeth causing more discoloration. What happens is that the tooth area around your brackets are whitened but the areas covered by the brackets are not, causing a stark contrast. Stick to regular toothpaste instead.

Floss and Use Mouthwash Regularly

To help you get around the brackets and wires and all the other hard to reach places, be sure to also floss and use mouthwash regularly. There are types of floss that are made to be used with braces so you don’t have to worry about the floss getting stuck in your braces. And the mouthwash will get rid of an extra germs that are still lingering around in your mouth.

Stay Away from Certain Foods

Listen to your orthodontist when he or she gives you a list of foods and drinks to stay away from. Some of them can cause damage to your braces while others can causing teeth-staining. Food and drink that is usually on that list include coffee, soda, mustard, tomato-based foods and drinks and basically anything with food coloring. All of these can stain both your brackets and your teeth.

Don’t Miss Any of Your Orthodontic or Dental Appointments

It can be hard to juggle all your daily responsibilities and get to all your orthodontic and dental appointments but it is crucial to do so. The rubber bands around the brackets of your braces need to be changed regularly to help prevent staining and your 6 month checkups at the dentist for a cleaning can also cut back on the staining and chance of tooth decay.

Get a Sealant Put on Before Braces

Another important preventive measure to consider is getting a sealant put on your teeth before the braces are put on. The barrier will help keep stains from forming. Talk to your orthodontist about whether this is right for you before you start your treatment.

Can Anything Be Done After the Fact?

If you end up with some staining despite taking these preventive measures, don’t panic. Most of the time your saliva will be enough to dull the stains so they are not as noticeable over time. You can also whiten your teeth after your braces come off. Most experts recommend that you wait six months though before you whiten your teeth.

Talk to your dentist about the benefits and drawbacks of over-the-counter tooth whitening products and in-office whitening treatments.

Who you choose as your orthodontist can also influence how your treatment goes and whether you have any teeth staining or decay to worry about afterwards. For the most successful treatment, you need an orthodontist who really cares about your health and welfare and will work closely with you so you get the best results possible.

Here are some tips for finding the right orthodontist for you:

  • Get referrals from family and friends. Ask the people you trust if they would recommend a particular orthodontist. Ask about their particular experience and any pros and cons about the dentist that they can share. Your regular dentist is also a good person to ask for a referral. See if they will share who they chose for orthodontic work for their own children.
  • Do a google search. Look at orthodontist reviews and also check out the websites of orthodontists in your area to get an initial feel for who is out there and what they offer. Also make sure that any orthodontist you are interested in is a licensed member of the American Association of Orthodontics.
  • Set up a consultation. Most of the time, we can’t really get a good feel for a new doctor or dentist until we go in for a visit so it is important to set up a consultation with at least a few orthodontists. While it can be time-consuming, it can really help you feel more confident about your final choice.

While you are there, you should pay attention to your surroundings. Is everything clean and sterile? Are they using the latest technology? Do they keep their patient’s comfort in mind at all times? Is the office comfortable and the staff friendly? Also pay attention to how the orthodontist interacts with you. Is he very brusque, acting like he doesn’t have a lot of time to spend with you? Or does he really sit down and get to know you and what your needs are? If you have a fear of going to the dentist, make sure that the orthodontist you choose has a gentle chairside manner. Everyone has their own needs when it comes to which types of personalities they prefer to interact with so make sure you are going to be comfortable because you are going to be spending a lot of time with this doctor and his staff. Orthodontic treatment can least between 1 year to about 3 years.

The skilled orthodontists at Orthodontics Limited really care for you and will offer you individualized care and state-of-the art technology. Give them a call them today for more information and to schedule an initial consultation.