avoid tooth stains

How to Avoid Tooth Stains with Braces or Invisalign

One of the biggest surprises patients experience when their braces come off is seeing that their teeth are stained! However, this discoloration can be prevented with a few simple tips and a good oral hygiene routine during treatment. Let’s look at how you can keep your teeth stain-free while wearing braces.

It probably isn’t the braces

First, understand that there are several reasons your teeth can become stained during treatment. Some of the things we eat or drink – like soda, coffee, berries or red wine – can stain our teeth. Traditional braces can easily trap food, leading to a buildup of bacteria that causes plaque to form. Wearing traditional braces and clear aligners makes it hard to effectively remove plaque, which creates acids that remove the minerals from your teeth. This demineralization process changes the way your teeth reflect light, making them look dull or stained.

Great tips to avoid tooth stains

While it’s important to always practice good dental hygiene, it’s especially important when you wear braces or clear aligners. It may take a little extra work, but following a great oral hygiene routine throughout your treatment (and beyond!) prevents issues like tooth discoloration, demineralization, tooth decay and gum disease.

  1. Make changes to your diet. You’ll hear plenty about staying away from sugar, but also beware of starchy items and dark or acidic beverages that can eat away at your tooth enamel. Instead, look for foods with high fiber content that encourage chewing. More chewing increases your saliva production, which helps wash food particles away from your teeth.
  2. Brush and floss after every meal. Water flossers or floss threaders can make it easier to clean around braces and get under your wires.
  3. If you’re out and can’t brush or floss immediately after eating or drinking, rinse your mouth out well with water, then brush your teeth as soon as you get home. This keeps food and plaque from building up around your teeth and reduces the chances of staining.
  4. Wait 30 minutes after eating to brush your teeth, as this lets your enamel settle and gives your saliva time to flush out any lingering food acids.
  5. See your dentist for regular cleanings to help remove tartar and surface stains you can’t eliminate with daily brushing and flossing.
  6. Quit smoking or chewing tobacco. Not only will this help keep you healthy overall; it will also keep your teeth and mouth healthy and prevent stains on your teeth.  
  7. Wait until your braces come off to whiten your teeth. Whitening before getting braces or using whitening toothpaste during treatment may make your teeth appear discolored because the portion of your teeth under the brackets won’t whiten. When you’re ready, and your braces are off, we offer the new Invisalign Professional Whitening System, so you can confidently show off your new straight smile!

When it comes to stained teeth, prevention is your best bet. Practicing great oral hygiene during your treatment is the most effective way to keep stains at bay. The best news is that even if you do end up with stained teeth during treatment, it’s often reversible or easy to treat.

When you visit Fravel Brewer Orthodontics for orthodontic treatment, we’ll make sure you have everything you need to properly take care of your braces or clear aligners, so you end up with the straight, white teeth you’ve always wanted. To learn more about us and your teeth-straightening options, schedule your free consultation at Fravel Brewer Orthodontics today!

Fravel Brewer Orthodontics has been helping patients achieve beautiful smiles as the preferred orthodontist in Winter Garden, Ocoee, and West Orange County, Florida for almost 30 years. Treatment options for kids and adults include Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, ceramic braces, and silver braces. Call us at (407) 656-0001 to schedule a free consultation today!