For many patients, one of the most exciting days of their lives is when their orthodontic treatment ends. Whether they’re getting braces off or taking out their last Invisalign tray, most can’t wait to see what their new smile looks like. You can imagine how deflated people must feel if they discover they have developed stained teeth during treatment. While this is a risk with any type of orthodontic care, there are a few simple and proven ways to keep your smile bright so that big day won’t be spoiled. According to your orthodontist in Powell, all you need to do is:
Keep Brushing & Flossing Every Day
Orthodontics or no orthodontics, one of the best ways to maintain the color of the smile is to consistently brush and floss every day. This prevents the buildup of plaque and stain-causing pigments from the foods and drinks we consume. Of course, routine oral hygiene can be a little challenging with braces (less so with Invisalign because the trays come out, though those should be cleaned every day as well).
It’s important that a patient take extra time while brushing to clean every nook and cranny around the brackets, and if necessary, use special interdental flossers to reach in between the teeth. At the beginning of treatment, your orthodontist should show you the best way to clean around an appliance, and they’ll always be happy to give you a refresher if needed.
Avoid Certain Foods/Drinks
There are some foods and drinks that are notorious for causing dental stains, so while someone is wearing braces or Invisalign, it’s best to reduce their consumption to avoid discoloring the teeth. The biggest culprits include:
- Soft Drinks
- Darkly Colored Berries & Sauces
- Vibrantly-Colored Juices & Popsicles
Basically, if a food/drink will stain your shirt, it will also stain your teeth! Patients don’t have to completely abstain from these items, but enjoying them rarely will lead to the best results.
Don’t Forget Dental Cleanings!
Routine dental cleanings performed by a skilled hygienist are able to remove stain-causing pigments and plaque from the areas of the mouth that brushes and floss can’t reach, so it’s important to keep up with them during orthodontic treatment. A patient should receive one at least twice a year, but in certain cases, more often may be better for both the health and appearance of the smile.
Plan for Teeth Whitening
Even if a patient is relatively disciplined about their diet and oral hygiene throughout the orthodontic process, it’s still possible for stains to develop. Just because you know you shouldn’t eat a certain food doesn’t mean you won’t, right? Fortunately, these types of stains can be easily removed with professional teeth whitening after treatment has finished, which your orthodontist will be happy to provide. By following these tips, a patient may avoid stains altogether, or at least reduce them so whitening is able to deliver results much faster.
By maintaining quality oral hygiene, slightly adjusting your diet, and following any instructions from your Powell orthodontist, you can ensure that you or your child sees a beautiful set of white teeth in the mirror when the big day finally comes.
About the Author
Dr. Jeffrey Shirck is an award-winning orthodontist and certified Elite Invisalign Provider. He and his team love serving patients of all ages, and the best days in his office are when he gets to unveil a patient’s freshly straightened smile. To learn more strategies about how you or your child should take care of the teeth during orthodontic treatment, he can be reached for questions through his website.