Keep Your Teeth White with Braces

Although you’re wearing braces to achieve a straight, beautiful smile, cleaning your teeth often becomes more difficult while you’re wearing them. Using whitening products while you have braces isn’t recommended by dental professionals, so what can you do to keep teeth looking clean and white? Here’s a look at some easy tips that can prevent discoloration and ensure your teeth stay looking bright while you’re going through orthodontic treatment.

Tip #1 – Be Diligent About Oral Hygiene
While you’re wearing braces, it’s important to be even more diligent about oral hygiene to keep teeth clean and white. It’s recommended to brush teeth three times a day, and flossing should be done at least once a day. Get into the routine of cleaning at least three times, and it’s a good idea to brush, or at least rinse, after every meal. A good oral hygiene routine can help prevent stains and keep your smile sparkling.

Tip #2 – Spend More Time on Each Tooth When Brushing
Since your braces can get in the way, it’s easy to miss areas of your teeth. Spend a bit more time on each tooth when brushing. Brush at various angles and between the archwires of the braces, ensuring that each part of the tooth is getting cleaned.

Tip #3 – Consider an Electric Toothbrush
Many people wearing orthodontic appliances find that an electric toothbrush makes cleaning teeth much easier. These options often are more effective at cleaning around brackets and wires. They do a better job of breathing up tartar and plaque, ensuring that you keep your teeth looking bright and beautiful. Talk to your dentist or Dr. Natalia Valderrama, our orthodontist, about the best electric toothbrush to use while you’re wearing braces. But be careful applying to much force to your teeth while using the electric toothbrush. Sometimes, the strong vibration brakes the brackets off the teeth!

Tip #4 – Floss with Super Floss
If you’re having a tough time flossing with regular floss, consider using super floss. Super floss is made up of soft spongey floss that easily cleans around appliances, regular floss for flossing between teeth, and a stiffened-end threader, which can be used to floss between your wires. Adding super floss to your dental hygiene routine can make it easier to make sure you’re eliminating food particles and plaque from all those nooks and crannies. There is also a product called Platypus, which you can buy online, that makes flossing easier and faster!

Tip #5 – Beware of Drinks and Foods that Stain Teeth
Try to avoid consuming drinks and foods that can stain your teeth, such as beets, blueberries, coffee, sports drinks, dark juices, red wine, dark sodas, blackberries, pizza and spaghetti sauce and black tea. If you do eat any of these items, be sure to rinse out your mouth thoroughly and brush teeth soon to keep them from staining teeth.

Tip #6 – Skip Sugary Foods and Beverages
Sugary foods have the ability to cause tooth decay, resulting in discolored teeth. It’s important to skip sugar foods and beverages, particularly sticky candies that can get stuck in your braces. Go for healthy fruits, veggies, whole grains, and healthy proteins instead of foods laden with sugar. Just remember, sugar isn’t only found in cakes, cookies, and candies. It’s hiding in many different foods, so check your labels. Carbohydrates can also break down into sugar on your teeth, so limit foods like white breads, white pastas, mashed potatoes, doughnuts and potato chips.

Tip #7 – Drink with a Straw
If you do drink sugary beverages or drinks that may stain your teeth, make sure you’re drinking with a straw. Using a straw keeps liquid from touching your teeth as much, reducing the chance that your drink will stain your teeth. It’s a simple way to prevent stains and keep teeth looking great while you’re wearing braces.

Tip #8 – Don’t Forget Regular Dental Visits
Along with taking care of your teeth and braces daily, one of the best tips for keeping your smile white and bright is to make sure you’re keeping up with regular dental visits. Not only can your dentist give you a professional cleaning and check for any potential problems, but a dentist can answer your cleaning questions and give you more advice on keeping your teeth white while you’re wearing braces.