How to Keep Your Teeth White While Wearing Braces

Do braces make your teeth turn yellow? And if so, what can you do about it?

We get these kinds of questions often from our patients. While yes, it is possible that braces can result in slight discoloration, there are ways you can help to prevent this from happening. It starts with consistent and effective oral hygiene. However, those with braces will need to take a few extra steps to effectively keep teeth white during your braces treatment.

Brushing with Braces

We recommend brushing your teeth after every meal. While this might seem excessive, braces offer plaque and tartar places to collect which can result in discolorations around the brackets. By brushing after each meal, you help to remove the plaque so it doesn’t have a chance to collect.

In addition, we recommend following brushing best practices when it comes to your brushing with braces. Generally it is important to hold the toothbrush at different angles in order to get the plaque and food caught between the teeth and the brackets. We recommend brushing the top of your brackets, bottom of your brackets and between and around your brackets as best you can.

Flossing with Braces

In order to further protect your teeth from discoloration, flossing daily is critical for people with braces. While it’s a bit more challenging having to thread the floss between each bracket, the health benefits and aesthetic benefits to your teeth are extremely important.

It’s not complicated, but we recommend threading the floww under your main wire before flossing between your teeth. Once you do thread it, gently floss up and down between your gums on each side and then slowly pull out the thread from your main wire and repeat.

Professional Teeth Whitening

In addition to effective oral hygiene, teeth whitening treatments are an option for those who complete their braces treatment and have these braces removed. In addition, it’s important to not get your teeth professionally whitened before your braces treatment. The reason for this is that overlapping or misaligned teeth that are corrected may have parts of the tooth now visible that wasn’t when getting them whitened. Make sure you professionally whiten your teeth AFTER your treatment.

Whitening Pastes & Rinses with Braces

Keep in mind that the parts of your teeth behind your brackets will not benefit from teeth whitening pastes and rinses, and therefore, we suggest avoiding these in order to prevent uneven color of your teeth and spots. Instead, you should use standard toothpastes and mouthwashes in order to simply keep up with and maintain your overall oral hygiene as best you can. The whitening products can come after your treatment is finished.

Foods & Diet

Just as an orthodontist or dentist would recommend to someone without braces, try to minimize the intake of foods that are known to stain as well as sugary foods. Because your primary option for keeping teeth white during your braces treatment is good oral hygiene, make it easier on yourself by not consuming foods and drinks that are known to create plaque and tartar buildup.

The Takeaway

While yes, you may experience some slight discoloration around your teeth due to your braces, there is much you can to to keep teeth white while wearing braces. Practice good oral hygiene, don’t worry about whitening before or during your treatment and avoid foods/drinks that stain. This is how you can help prevent discoloration during treatment.