If you’re preparing for orthodontic treatment with Invisalign or braces, you may wonder if braces or Invisalign will lead to staining or yellowing of your teeth. The answer is no, providing you follow best practices for excellent oral hygiene. Read on to learn more about keeping your teeth white while wearing braces or Invisalign.
Three Steps to Keeping Teeth White While Wearing Braces
Irrespective of the orthodontic treatment you select to improve the look and function of your teeth, mouth, and jaw, keeping your teeth white will require three primary steps.
Brush Your Teeth at Least Two Times a Day
Dentists and the American Dental Association agree that to maintain healthy teeth, you should brush for a full two minutes twice a day. However, when you’re wearing braces or Invisalign, it can help to increase the frequency of your brushing.
If you brush your teeth when you wake up and before bed, consider brushing your teeth after each meal instead. The food debris left on the teeth after meals mix with saliva, which promotes bacteria growth that can lead to staining. So, during the months you’re undergoing orthodontic care, increase your brushing frequency to keep your teeth white.
If you choose Invisalign to correct your smile, be sure you’re brushing your alignment trays every time you brush your teeth. Rinse your trays regularly throughout the day to help prevent staining.
Flossing is vital to removing small food particles that can stain teeth and lead to decay. If you’re wearing traditional bracket and wire braces, a water flosser (Water Pik) can make flossing easier. You can also use tools such as a floss threader to ensure you clean thoroughly between all of your teeth. You should floss your teeth every day.
Regular Dental Appointments
Be sure you keep regular dental exams and cleaning appointments while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Professional cleanings remove the plaque that builds up between teeth and along the gumline despite regular brushing and flossing.
In addition to brushing, flossing, and seeing the dentist regularly during your orthodontic treatment, the following steps will help prevent staining while undergoing orthodontic treatment.
- Limit stain-causing foods (coffee, tea, wine, soda, dark sauces, dark berries, dark juices)
- No smoking, chewing, or vaping- all three unhealthy habits can stain your teeth
- Straws can help prevent discoloration from beverages such as coffee that stain the teeth
Should I Whiten My Teeth While Wearing Braces or After Completing Orthodontic Treatment?
You should not whiten your teeth while you have bracket and wire braces on your teeth. Wait until you complete your treatment, and then use a professional teeth whitening kit available from your dentist or orthodontist. If you try to whiten your teeth while wearing braces, you may wind up with discolored spots where the brackets were bonded to the teeth.
You may whiten your teeth during Invisalign treatment. You can use your trays with a professional whitening gel, use an over-the-counter whitening toothpaste or the occasional whitening strips. For the best results though, you’ll want a professional-grade teeth whitening kit, available from your dentist or orthodontist.
Schedule a No-Obligation Orthodontic Consultation in Las Cruces
If you’re interested in learning more about aligning your teeth and improving your smile, request an appointment at Legacy Smiles Orthodontic Specialists today. You may also call 575-522-1500. Our friendly front desk staff will help you schedule a convenient appointment.