How to Prevent Teeth Stains from Braces
Many people nowadays are choosing to enhance their smile with Insignia braces. Where it was once a signature look for teenagers, a record number of adults are now deciding to straighten their teeth with orthodontic treatment. Wearing braces for a couple of years is no easy feat and a lot of pain and hard work is needed to achieve that perfect smile. For most patients, having their braces finally removed is the most exciting day of their lives. Looking in the mirror to see a white shiny reflection smiling back seems surreal, and it’s a relief to finally reap the rewards of patience and dedication.
Unfortunately, some patients are shocked to find that they have stained teeth when their braces are removed. While it can be upsetting, it’s quite normal for this to happen and after a couple of months of brushing, the discolouration usually disappears. In any case, there are plenty of opportunities to whiten your teeth after your braces are removed, but the focus of today’s article will be preventing teeth stains from occurring in the first place.
Why do teeth stain?
Not every patients’ teeth will stain from wearing braces, and it’s generally not the braces that cause the discolouration. The brackets and archwires used to straighten your teeth make it easy for food to get caught, causing a build-up of plaque and bacteria around the brackets. Since cleaning your teeth properly is more difficult when wearing braces, some of the plaque and bacteria isn’t removed and will cause slight discolouration over time.
The reason why plaque stains teeth is because it creates acids that suck minerals from your teeth’s enamel. When this demineralisation occurs, the surface of your tooth reflects light differently and results in white spots appearing in these areas. This is why it’s vital to maintain good oral hygiene whilst undergoing orthodontic treatment, as plaque can also lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
How to prevent teeth from staining?
Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to your teeth, and there are numerous ways in which you can prevent your teeth from staining when wearing Insignia braces.
- Brush and floss regularly
Whether you have braces or not, the key to good oral health is regularly brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day. This removes any food particles, plaque, and bacteria from your teeth which can cause decalcification and other dental problems. When wearing braces, it’s ideal to brush your teeth 30 minutes after each meal which gives your enamel time for saliva to wash away any acids.
- Don’t use whitening toothpaste
You may think that using whitening toothpaste will prevent teeth stains from occurring, but the opposite is actually true. Given that this type of toothpaste will only whiten the areas of your teeth not covered by brackets, your teeth will look very stained once your braces are removed. For the best results, stick to regular toothpaste!
- Regular dental cleaning
Just because you’re wearing Insignia braces doesn’t mean you don’t have see your family dentist! It’s highly recommended to visit your dentist every 6 months for a check-up and dental cleaning to remove any build-up of tartar that you can’t remove from daily brushing.
- Use a fluoride mouthwash
Using a fluoride mouthwash before going to bed not only makes your mouth fresher but also helps your tooth enamel be more resistant to decalcification and teeth staining. You might also want to ask your orthodontist about a prescription fluoride toothpaste.
- Avoid sugary foods and drinks
Try to avoid sugary foods and drinks as much as possible when wearing Insignia braces. Foods and drinks such as sodas, high acid fruit drinks, sports drinks, cookies, and ice cream have a high sugar and/or acid content which will accelerate teeth staining. If you can’t resist the urge for your daily soda, just remember to brush your teeth afterwards to remove the sugar from your teeth.
- Ask your orthodontist about sealants
Some orthodontists recommend applying a sealant to patients’ teeth before they start treatment with Insignia braces. A sealant makes your teeth more resistant to teeth staining and clinical studies have indicted that they are very effective at doing this. Before you begin treatment, ask your orthodontist if you’re a suitable candidate for a sealant.
Even if you experience stained teeth when your braces are finally removed there are numerous teeth whitening treatments available, however it’s advised to wait at least six months before beginning this type of treatment. Normally, any stains will naturally be removed from daily brushing and flossing. If you have any further questions on how to prevent teeth stains frombraces, get in touch with the friendly team at Clear Smiles Orthodontics on 07 5593 3733.