Although going through orthodontics can be a challenge, it's always exciting to see your teeth become straighter. Because wire and brackets make it harder to brush, some people are disappointed to have discolored teeth after their braces are removed. Here are some tips to help you keep your teeth white during treatment and after the braces are removed.
During Your Orthodontic Treatment
When you have your braces on, it's important not only to brush twice a day, but to focus on the areas around wires, pins, and brackets. If you are wearing removable components, like elastic bands, then be sure to remove these each time you brush so you can reach your molars. Electric toothbrushes can be great tools for those with braces since they have timers on them that help you get a good clean in each quadrant of your mouth.
Flossing can be hard with braces, but many dentists can give you floss threaders. These threaders are plastic tools that help you thread the floss between your braces. Some people still find these cumbersome, so you could try waxed floss instead. Waxed floss holds together when you thread it through wires and doesn't shred.
Proper brushing and flossing is important during your time in braces since decay can easily occur in hard-to-reach areas. Plus, if you are diligent about brushing and flossing, your teeth will have less tarter buildup and look whiter and more uniform.
After You Get Your Braces Off
Although you may be eager to jump on the whitening bandwagon once your braces are off, it's important to wait about one to three months. Since your teeth have been covered by brackets, the newly exposed enamel can be demineralized, making your teeth much more sensitive to whitening.
Ask your dentist about MI Paste first. MI paste contains phosphate, calcium, and protein to help strengthen your teeth. This kind of paste remineralizes teeth and lessens white blotches from abnormal plaque buildup.
Before you whiten your teeth, it's also important to have a check-up—and possibly fluoride treatment—with your dentist. If your teeth are no longer sensitive from the braces and you've taken care of other dental issues that may have occurred during orthodontics (e.g. exposed roots), you can look into whitening.
In-office trays and prescribed dental trays are often the best options, as at-home products can cause sensitivity and fade more quickly. Whitening can be a fantastic treatment after braces since they can complement a straighter-looking smile. Talk with a dentist in your area for more information on braces care and whitening.