Imagine going through the hole braces treatment just to see that your teeth are now stained. Having an appealing smile is one of the main reasons people get braces, so finding out that you have to go through another treatment for them to be the same color again is just devastating. Here we’ll show you why teeth staining happens and how to avoid it.
Can Braces Stain Teeth?
Although the braces themselves aren’t the ones responsible, you can end up with stained teeth after having braces. As said, there is nothing in the appliance itself that will somehow stain your teeth. What stains your teeth is the accumulation of bacteria and plaque. According to Healthline magazine, when sugar and the bacteria in your mouth meet, they release an acid that’s damaging to your teeth’s outer layer, the enamel. When the enamel is exposed for a prolonged time to plaque and the acid within it, it starts to deteriorate. This deterioration is what causes the white spots on your teeth.
Regular permanent braces are really only responsible for making it harder for patients to clean their teeth properly. The many little crevices created between your teeth, brackets, and wire are great spots for bacteria to accumulate. Of course, with the proper tools and cleaning routine, discoloration or stains in your teeth can be completely avoided.
Fortunately, if your teeth do stain at the end of the treatment, some options allow your tooth to get back its uniform color. Some of the treatments are teeth whitening, remineralization, composite restoration, veneers, etc.
Can Invisalign Stain Teeth?
No, Invisalign won’t stain your teeth. Similar to what happens with braces, Invisalign, or any other clear aligner, isn’t the main cause of your teeth changing color; they are only a contributing factor. Lack of proper cleaning is almost always the main culprit when it comes to teeth staining.
When you wear clear aligners like Invisalign, orthodontists expect you to use them for around 20 to 22 hours a day. They will instruct you to remove them only when eating or for cleaning. This is where the problem may arise. If there is any food residue on your teeth when you put your aligners back on, they will stay there for hours at a time. This situation creates opportunities for plaque and acid to form, which will, in turn, start deteriorating your tooth’s enamel. Remember that deterioration of your enamel is part of what causes the stains.
Keep Your Teeth Clean
As we said previously, stained teeth are mostly a result of a lack of proper oral care. In this section, we’ll give you some tips for you to avoid stained teeth from your time with braces or Invisalign.
Regardless of the treatment, you are going through, it’s incredibly important for you to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once. This helps eliminate most of the food residue and bacteria that may accumulate on your teeth throughout the day. To do this, you might want to use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride is an ingredient that helps in killing bacteria and reinforcing your teeth.
Consider cutting your sugar intake. Reducing your sugar consumption will help in avoiding plaque concentration in your mouth.
Proper Cleaning While on Braces
Specifically for braces, you should use a soft-bristle toothbrush and try to approach your teeth at a 45° angle; this helps in getting to the more difficult spots in between your teeth, brackets, and metal wire. Given the added difficulty in cleaning, the use of floss is more important than ever. Considering that brackets also make it harder to floss correctly, don’t be afraid of using tools such as a floss threader or a floss pick to get to those harder spots to reach.
Follow your diet strictly. Not doing so will not only damage your braces but will make it harder for you to clean properly, especially when it comes to sticky food.
Stay away from whitening products or treatments during your time with braces. With most products, your teeth will whiten normally except for the part to which the bracket is attached. When your orthodontist removes your bracket, it may leave behind a different shade square on your tooth.
Proper Cleaning Teeth With Invisalign
During your treatment with Invisalign, or any clear aligner, it’s important to remember to rinse them thoroughly every time you remove them. Ideally, you will also brush your teeth before you put your aligners back on. We understand that brushing your teeth after every meal is almost impossible, but you should at least rinse them and use mouthwash as well if you can.