When you begin orthodontic treatment with braces, you’ll certainly be eager to reach the end and finally see your new smile. And while straightening your teeth will no doubt improve the look of your smile, you may want to brighten your smile as well. Here’s what you need to know about getting whiter teeth with braces.
Getting Whiter Teeth with Braces
The relationship between teeth whitening and braces is somewhat complicated. Being that it will be harder for food to get trapped in your teeth when your teeth are straighter, you can expect fewer oral health issues once your braces are removed. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean your teeth will be whiter.
While you may be tempted to get teeth whitening while you have braces so you can unveil a bright new smile once your braces are off, you’ll want to exercise some patience. Since the brackets of your braces cover parts of your teeth, you will simply end up revealing teeth with dark spots where the brackets were rather than a whiter smile. So, how exactly do you end up with the brightest smile when your braces are off?
Cleaning Your Teeth
The key to getting the best looking smile when your braces are removed is regular teeth cleaning. You’ll want to brush your teeth after every meal to prevent cavities from food being stuck in your braces, but this practice also helps keep your teeth looking their best.
One problem many patients encounter when they get their braces removed is seeing white spots where their brackets were. This is because the areas around the brackets are vulnerable to staining. So while you shouldn’t try to whiten your teeth with braces, you should aim to keep your teeth all the same tone.
Since some types of toothpaste contain whitening agents that can lighten the area of your teeth not covered by brackets, you should stick to standard fluoridated toothpaste.
Avoid Staining Your Teeth
While you should definitely focus on cleaning your teeth, it also helps to make an effort to not stain your teeth. If you drink coffee or dark soda, try to rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth shortly afterward. Better yet, look for alternatives that won’t stain your teeth. Many types of sauces, like barbecue sauce or soy sauce, can also stain your teeth. While it’s best to avoid these foods, be sure to brush your teeth afterward if you do consume them.
Whitening Your Teeth After Braces
Like we said earlier, you’re going to have to exercise patience when it comes to teeth whitening. It’s recommended that patients wait about six months after their braces are removed to get their teeth whitened. One of the main reasons is teeth actually often become brighter on their own after a short period of time. The mouth produces more saliva after braces are taken off, which can often brighten the tone of teeth after a few months. Another reason is teeth can be sensitive for a while, so you’ll want to hold off on teeth-whitening treatments until this sensitivity decreases or disappears.
To learn more about teeth whitening and braces, contact Smith Orthodontics today!