Your orthodontic treatment has just begun, and you already can’t wait for your pearly, white teeth to reveal themselves once your treatment is over! How can you ensure that your teeth are in their best shape when your braces or Invisalign is removed?
Let’s start at the beginning of your treatment to identify 5 tips you can practice to avoid stained teeth after braces!
1. Avoid certain foods and drinks (as much as possible)
First and foremost, avoid the very substances that cause staining and plaque buildup. We understand that you can’t entirely avoid some food and drinks. (Cravings get the best of us sometimes!) So aim to avoid these “as much as possible.”
Foods that contain food coloring, specifically red and yellow-colored foods and drinks like red wine, mustard, coffee, sodas, and sugary foods should be consumed with caution, if at all! Colored foods are infamous for staining teeth, and sugary foods promote plaque buildup, which leads to caked-on tartar and cavities. Remain conscious of the foods and drinks you consume to avoid the source of staining!
2. Brush and use mouthwash after every (or most) meals
Each time you brush your teeth, you’re removing bacteria and plaque that would otherwise build up. As plaque builds on your teeth, it hardens into tartar, which cannot be removed with a toothbrush. Destroy plaque before it becomes tartar by brushing your teeth and/or rinsing with mouthwash after each meal. Removing food particles from your teeth is absolutely key to avoiding discolored teeth after braces! Consider buying a travel-sized toothbrush and bottle of mouthwash to carry around throughout your day to make cleaning after each meal more convenient. (Check out these on-the-go cleaning tools for more ideas!)
3. Schedule regular dental cleanings to remove tartar
During your orthodontic treatment, you need to maintain your regular dental cleanings. Every six months, it’s important to have your teeth professionally cleaned. As stated in tip #2, once plaque hardens, it turns into tartar, which is not removable at home. Once plaque buildup progresses to tartar, it discolors the teeth and requires specialized dental tools to be destroyed.
Even if you consider yourself to be a persistent tooth-brusher or mouth-washer, it’s important that you still receive regular, professional dental cleanings. No matter how diligent you are in cleaning your teeth, some plaque buildup is inevitable. Don’t skip your dental cleanings if you want beautiful sparkling teeth after braces! We also suggest making an appointment to get your wires removed prior to going to your cleaning appointment so that the hygienist will be able to clean your teeth even more effectively.
4. Avoid whitening agents
If you use whitening agents while you have braces on your teeth, your teeth will whiten! But that’s the problem! The exposed tooth around each bracket will whiten, but the surface under each bracket will not whiten. This is essentially the reverse case of your brackets revealing white spots. Your brackets will reveal darker-colored spots if you whiten around them each time you use them on your teeth.
5. Whiten your teeth AFTER your braces are removed
This isn’t a practice you can begin before you braces are removed (for reasons stated in tip #4), but once your braces are removed, you can prepare to whiten them at home or ask us about fabricating custom whitening trays for you. We advise you not to whiten your teeth as soon as your braces are removed, because your teeth are significantly more sensitive as they’re adjusting to a life without braces, just like you are! Wait anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks to whiten your teeth after your braces are removed to allow your teeth some downtime. However, if you are in Invisalign treatment, you can whiten DURING your treatment which is a huge plus! We will show you how to use our professional whitening gel to get the pearly whites you desire!
Follow these 5 tips during and after your orthodontic treatment to experience your whitest and brightest smile!
We provide orthodontics for adults, braces for kids, overall affordable braces and more! If you, a family member or a friend is seeking an orthodontist in Viera, Merritt Island or Melbourne, we encourage you to coast into any of our 3 offices, book your free exam with us or surf our site!