The time has come to remove your braces! But what if, when you look in the mirror, you notice that your newly aligned teeth are discolored or dotted with white spots? Teeth discoloration, of course, will worry and disappoint after all that waiting for the ideal post-braces smile.
Good news! Braces stains can generally be removed and treated. You may even prevent stains by taking care of your teeth before and throughout your braces wearing period. This blog will discuss the causes of discolored teeth and how to get rid of and prevent braces stains.
Causes of Teeth Discoloration and Stains after Wearing Braces
Plaque is a film of bacteria that accumulates on your teeth as you eat. It’s removed by brushing and flossing regularly. However, it’s not as easy with braces.
The brackets and wires of your braces create little nooks and crannies that collect food debris. This makes it difficult to brush away the plaque behind and around the hardware. Eventually, your teeth are left with hard, yellowish tartar, which demineralizes them and stains your teeth.
Demineralization and White Spot Lesions
The enamel of your teeth is constantly gaining and losing minerals. The mineral content of your teeth is demineralized by sugar and plaque acids, but it is replenished by water and certain foods (remineralized). Mineral loss ensues as a consequence of demineralization if plaque isn’t removed.
Lesions consist of tiny white spots that look lighter than normal enamel. White spot lesions are acquired by 30 to 70% of patients who undergo orthodontic treatment such as braces.
How to Get Rid of Braces Stains on Your Teeth
Several options exist for removing stains. Depending on your needs, your orthodontist can make a suitable recommendation.
Tooth enamel is made up of calcium and phosphate, both of which prevent tooth decay. So it’s paramount to maintain those healthy levels!
You can replenish minerals in your teeth with a combination of these actions.
- Frequent tooth brushing;
- Eat fruit sparingly, eliminate sugar, and add vitamins and probiotics;
- You should use fluoride toothpaste, eat fewer starchy foods, and drink more water.
Saliva plays a critical role in the remineralization process. Your teeth are connected to fluoride, calcium, and phosphate via saliva. Saliva’s antibacterial properties also help keep your mouth clean.
It is necessary for your saliva to have a pH level of 5.6 or greater. Your pH level drops during eating or drinking, causing your teeth to demineralize until they return to 5.6. By limiting how often you snack, brush, floss, or chew sugar-free gum to increase saliva and rinsing with water after eating, you can keep your pH level at an ideal level.
During microabrasion, your dentist will use abrasive materials to remove the outer layers of enamel as well as the stains embedded within. Hydrochloric acid, pumice, silica carbide particles, and phosphoric acid are examples of the abrasives that may be used. Though this process leaves the teeth with a slight enamel loss, your orthodontist may recommend bleaching as a follow-up treatment.
#3: Teeth Whitening
Many whitening products are available in stores: strips, toothpaste, gels, and mouthwashes. Depending on the severity of the stain, your orthodontist can use a more powerful treatment to remove it. You can whiten your teeth with bleach while wearing braces or after being removed.
At Patuxent Orthodontics, laser teeth whitening is one of our favorite methods. Our GLO Teeth Whitening System can lighten your teeth by up to 12 shades!
#4: Composite Restoration
Synthetic resins are used in composite restorations, such as bonding, fillings, bridges, inlays, and veneers to bond to the teeth and restore damaged areas. Stains can be addressed in some of these ways, including veneers, which cover the stained surface of a tooth.
How to Prevent Discoloration and Braces Stains
You and your orthodontist can use several methods to prevent discoloration and stains. The most important thing is to brush your teeth and floss regularly.
The ideal preventive program involves:
- Using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash.
- Rinsing thoroughly with water.
- Visiting the orthodontist for checkups and cleanings.
Before your orthodontist places your braces, your general dentist may also apply a sealant to protect your teeth.
According to studies published between 2004 and 2011, topical fluoride and fluoride toothpaste effectively prevent white spot lesions.
#1: Proper Brushing and Flossing
Preventive measures always include brushing and flossing. With braces, however, this can be more challenging. Depending on your orthodontist’s recommendation, you may use a special toothbrush, an interproximal brush, to remove stubborn food trapped within your braces. If you have trouble flossing, you can use a floss threader.
#2: Routine Checkups
Through a series of checkups and cleanings, problems can be detected and treated before they become more severe and harder to reverse. So make sure you keep your appointments!
It can seem daunting to avoid all kinds of foods when you have braces, but it’s necessary to stick to the list to prevent clogging or damaging your braces. Furthermore, you keep your mouth in a favorable environment to prevent stain-causing acids and bacteria from building up.
The worst offenders to your braces are overly starchy, sugary, crunchy, hard, or sticky foods. Avoid acidic beverages like sodas and fruit drinks as well.
It’s best to brush and floss after eating. But if you’re away from home and cannot do that right away, even rinsing with water can reduce plaque and bacteria.
Schedule Your Treatment with Patuxent Orthodontics!
After you’ve removed your braces, it’s up to you and your orthodontist to keep them safe from white spot infections and stains. You’ll play a bigger part in ensuring that your maintenance routine is effective after removing your braces. Your orthodontist will come up with suggestions, as well as the best professional treatments.
You will have beautiful teeth after enduring braces with stains with some extra effort and your orthodontist’s guidance. Be bold, and smile with confidence!
Are you ready to discuss more on dental discoloration with an orthodontist? Do not hesitate to schedule a complimentary consultation at Patuxent Orthodontics! In the meantime, make sure to check out our blog for more information on orthodontic treatments.