How to Prevent and Remove Braces Stains
Written By Dr. Satish Pai
“Right from the time you get your braces, is when you need to start practicing good oral hygiene so you can minimize teeth stains post-treatment.”
Dr. Satish Pai
Getting braces to straighten your teeth and get that perfect smile is an expensive process that costs both time and money. The day you get your braces off is probably a day of great excitement for you. But seeing that the process has left you with stained teeth can be disheartening. Take heart in knowing that teeth stains after braces are common and there are many ways to reduce them.
Right from the time you get your braces, is when you need to start practicing good oral hygiene so you can minimize teeth stains post-treatment. Learn some of the best ways to care for your teeth while you are undergoing braces treatment here:
What Causes Braces stains?
- Food Particles. It is important that you brush after every meal if you have braces. If food particles remain on your teeth they will lead to a buildup of bacteria that causes plaque to form. This causes maximum staining.
- Tartar. Also known as calculus, tartar is formed when plaque is left on the surface of the tooth and becomes hard. This is a crusty deposit that traps stains on the teeth and causes discoloration. Regular brushing and flossing is essential to keep tartar from forming.
- Demineralization. This occurs when food left on the teeth comes into contact with bacteria to form acid. This acid removes calcium and phosphate from teeth causing white scars. Demineralization stains teeth permanently and can lead to cavities.
- Certain foods. Some foods and drinks can cause more staining than others. Listen to your orthodontist when they give you a list of things you should avoid consuming. Some common foods on this list include mustard, soda, coffee, tomato-based foods, sugary and starchy items, and any food with coloring. All these foods can stain your brackets and teeth.
- Poor oral hygiene. It’s important to brush and floss after every meal. This will maintain the color of your teeth and attack the germs that can harm you at the same time. You could develop bad breath with poor oral hygiene. This makes it essential to clean your teeth after every meal by brushing or using a mouthwash.
What type of teeth stains can be caused by braces?
- Yellow Stains. Yellow stains are mainly caused due to tartar. If you have plaque on your teeth it can harden to become tartar in just 24 hours if it is not brushed away. Tartar easily stains teeth to yellow or brown and makes it hard to remove even newly-formed plaque. Eating sugary foods, pickles, cranberries, high-starch, and foods with artificial coloring also increases your chances of developing yellow stains on your teeth.
- White Stains. Stained teeth are most commonly caused by plaque. Plaque is a colorless film of bacteria that begins to form after eating and drinking. It combines with sugars to create acids that leach minerals like calcium and phosphorous from your teeth. This process is known as demineralization or decalcification. Decalcification produces white spots on your teeth. Plaque can increase your chances of getting gum diseases and tooth decay while you have your braces on.
Prevention and treatment
Avoid eating foods that can stain your teeth to keep yellow stains at bay. The easiest way to cure these spots is to prevent them from forming. Brush carefully, get every spot, and remove food particles from between the teeth and around the braces to keep stains from forming.
Minerals missing from your enamel need to be replaced to fill in the spots. Use a remineralizing fluoride and nanohydroxyapatite toothpaste to help do so.
Stained teeth in adolescents and adults can make them feel insecure about their smiles even after their orthodontic treatment. After all, you do want white teeth for that perfect smile, after you’ve gotten them straightened. If you wait for a 6 month period, you can get a teeth whitening treatment to fix any stains and spots you may have after getting your braces removed.
Getting stains on your teeth after braces is quite common, so don’t fret if you have them. Follow the above-mentioned precautions to prevent stains and take advice from your orthodontist for post braces stain treatments.
Dr. Satish Pai
Dr. Satish Pai is an orthodontist and Ivy League trained dentist who has served as a faculty at Columbia University. He believes a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics and a Partner at Rome Orthodontics, he is dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients. He also writes to educate people about everything orthodontics and the importance of correctly aligned teeth along with good oral health. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing, and spending time with this family.