Ladera Ranch, CA – You will spend a lot of time and money on your braces and you’ll no doubt be excited to show off your new smile as soon as those brackets are removed. But if you don’t pay close attention, you may find yourself with staining that will make you want to keep your lips closed.
- Brush after every meal. Your toothbrush should be your new best friend while you’re in braces. While it is always a good idea to brush away food particles it is especially important while in braces because the brackets and wires will create a lot of hiding places. Bacteria can build up leading to the formation of plaque. Your braces can make it difficult to remove all of the plaque adequately and demineralization can occur. This can lead to white spots.
- Say no to whitening toothpastes. Avoid whitening toothpastes while in braces because while the area of tooth not covered by the bracket may whiten while the portion behind the bracket will not. When your braces come off, you’ll notice a very distinct contrast between these spots.
- Floss, floss, floss. Just like brushing, flossing can help remove food particles that can lead to the formation of plaque. If it is hard to floss under and around your wires and brackets ask your orthodontist for tips and how a floss threader may be able to help.
- Drink plenty of water and use mouthwash regularly. Water can help rinse away leftover food particles and mouthwash can help get rid of germs that may linger even after brushing.
- Stay away from certain foods. Some foods should be avoided because they can damage your appliances. But there are other foods you may want to avoid while in braces because of their staining power. Tomato-based foods, mustard, coffee, dark sodas, and foods with food coloring can stain your teeth and your brackets.
- Maintain your regular dental appointments. Your braces will most likely be on for about two years and in that time it is important to maintain your regular dental check-ups every six months. A professional cleaning can help you stave off staining.
If after your braces are removed, you find yourself with a less than bright smile, talk to your orthodontist or dentist about whitening options. You should typically wait about six months to begin any whitening treatment. You may notice that the stains become less intense during this time and that is because your saliva can work to make these stains less noticeable.
The best way to avoid stains and prevent having to whiten in the future is to take proper preventive measures today.