The day someone’s braces come off is always a special one. Nothing makes the team at Shirck Orthodontics happier than seeing a patient light up when they look at their new smile for the first time. The only thing that could spoil this moment is if the teeth are stained, with the area that was covered by brackets being a different color than the enamel around it. While this issue is easily treatable, most people would prefer to avoid it in the first place, and you can do exactly that with these tips from your orthodontist in Westerville.
Brush After Every Meal
Dental staining is primarily caused by food particles sitting on the teeth for several hours after a meal, allowing the pigments in the food to seep into the enamel. One of the best ways to remove these particles is by brushing. While the American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day for most people, those with braces should ideally brush after every meal, as the appliance can make it easier for leftover food to be caught against the teeth.
Avoid Key Offenders
Certain foods and drinks are more prone to staining the teeth than others, so limiting their consumption (or avoiding them entirely if possible) is an effective way to stop staining before it happens. These include:
- Wine (red and white)
- Foods with soy sauce
- Foods with tomato sauce
- Brightly colored curries
Avoid Whitening Toothpastes
Whitening toothpastes are proven to remove minor surface stains to make the smile moderately brighter, but they don’t exactly work well with braces. Regularly using a whitening toothpaste often causes the enamel around the braces to be brighter than the areas beneath the brackets, so it’s better for patients to stick to a simple fluoridated toothpaste during their treatment.
Maintain Your Dental Appointments
Throughout the orthodontic process, a patient will be asked to visit their orthodontist regularly for progress checks, and they should also maintain their routine checkups and cleanings with their general dentist. These appointments are vital to keeping a treatment on track, and they can also help a patient avoid staining. Regularly changing rubber bands/elastics lowers the risk of staining, and a thorough cleaning from a hygienist can help the teeth stay bright and cavity-free.
By following these simple tips, you won’t have to worry about staining ruining that special moment when you finally have your braces removed. You’ll be greeted by your bright new smile, and you’ll have all the confidence in the world to show it off!
About the Author
Dr. Jeffrey Shirck is a board-certified orthodontist based in Westerville, and he loves welcoming patients of all ages into our practice. In addition to traditional metal braces, he can also use clear/ceramic braces and Invisalign to straighten the teeth for both adults and children. To find out which option would be best for you or your child, schedule a FREE in-person consultation by clicking here.