If you have braces (or you’re about to get them), you may already be looking forward to the day they’ll come off. Then your beautiful, straight, sparkling smile will be revealed! Right? Patients sometimes worry about having white spots or discolored, yellow teeth after braces. But have no fear! As long as you follow your orthodontist’s instructions and take a few simple daily actions, you can prevent teeth stains from braces.
What Causes Teeth Stains from Braces?
Let’s get the facts straight. Braces themselves do not cause stains on your teeth. Teeth stains are actually caused by plaque, which builds up when food debris gets trapped in hard-to-clean places around your brackets and wires. Over time, the sticky plaque can lead to yellow teeth (a sign of tooth decay), white spots (a.k.a. decalcification), and cavities. This is why it is so very important to practice good dental hygiene during orthodontic treatment.
5 Tips to Prevent Tooth Discoloration After Braces
Here are five great ways to prevent the dreaded yellowing and white spots after braces:
- Brush, brush, brush! Dr. Dougherty recommends brushing three times a day, for three minutes each time. Learn How to Brush Properly with Braces.
- Floss daily. Floss with super floss or floss threaders once a day, ideally at night, and remember to floss before you brush. Learn How to Floss with Braces.
- Avoid certain foods and candy. This can be challenging around Halloween! Read our previous post for guidelines on eating Halloween Candy with Braces.
- Avoid soda and sugary drinks. Soda contains acids and sugars that feed plaque, possibly leading to teeth stains, cavities, and gum disease. Learn more.
- Visit your dentist regularly. It’s very important for orthodontic patients to go to the dentist at least twice a year for routine cleanings and exams. Sometimes there is a need for patients with braces to go more frequently. Learn more.