When having your teeth straightened, it’s hard to stop yourself thinking about the day when your braces will be removed. This will signify the end of the hard work and expense, and apart from wearing a retainer and maintaining good oral health, the treatment will generally be complete. This is something really positive to work towards, but you may also have some concerns about the end of your treatment.
You may have heard about teeth becoming stained during treatment and be worried about what your teeth will look like once your braces are removed. Whilst it is true that there can be some staining to the teeth, this is not caused by the braces themselves but the debris stuck between the braces and teeth and the buildup of plaque whilst wearing braces.
The good news is, that if you are aware of this at the start of your braces treatment, you can pay extra attention to your oral health routine and minimise the risk of your teeth becoming stained.
Here, we share a few top tips on how to prevent stains on your teeth during braces treatment:
Brush twice a day
The best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy during braces treatment is to make sure you brush twice a day. Brushing your teeth once before you go to bed and at one other time during the day will remove food debris and bacteria from your teeth, gums and around the braces. Failing to brush means that this debris and bacteria starts to attack your teeth, eroding the enamel, causing plaque to build up, and staining the teeth.
Use an interdental brush to get between your teeth and braces
Interdental brushes are small tufted brushes made specifically to get into the hard to reach spaces between the teeth. Their design is also perfect for getting in, around and underneath brace wires and brackets. If you have fixed braces, which cannot be removed for cleaning, this type of brush is particularly useful for cleaning the teeth and braces.
Using an interdental brush every day, in addition to brushing your teeth regularly, helps to keep your teeth and gums healthy during orthodontic treatment. Read more advice on using interdental brushes here.
Try to avoid foods and drinks that stain your teeth
Whilst it is difficult to give up entirely on the foods and drinks you love during braces treatment, finding alternatives that don’t contain the compounds that causes staining will help to prevent marks on the teeth. Some of the worst culprits for staining teeth include tomatoes, red wine, coffee and mustard.
Smoking not only causes bad breath but it can also contribute to plaque and tartar build up and tooth discolouration. If you smoke whilst wearing braces, you will almost certainly increase the chances of your teeth becoming stained, so quitting before your braces are put on is the perfect way to get the most from your teeth straightening treatment - after all you have paid for the best results, so why hamper them?
Read more here about the positive effects on your oral health from quitting smoking.
Reduce your sugar intake
And finally, it goes without saying that reducing your sugar intake whilst wearing braces is a good idea. Sugary foods and drinks encourage the build-up of tartar and plaque, which can lead to tooth decay and discolouration. If you consume a lot of sugar, particularly between meals, the mouth doesn’t have the chance to produce enough saliva to neutralise the acid and your teeth are left vulnerable to attack. When wearing braces, it is more difficult to clean your teeth properly, so you are at more risk of sugary snacks and treats sticking to your teeth and not being cleaned off.
More advice on avoiding stained teeth during braces treatment
If you need any more help and advice on how to clean your teeth or what foods to avoid whilst wearing braces please call the team at Dulwich Orthodontics on 020 8265 9797 or click here to contact us.