Many people who wear braces are worried about keeping their teeth white. After all, cleaning your teeth is much more difficult with braces, and you can’t really use teeth-whitening products on the part of your teeth that’s covered up. What you can do, though, is prevent your teeth from discoloring. Find out how to do this with these 11 easy tips from our dental experts.
- Follow Proper Oral Hygiene Practices: It’s even more important to take care of your teeth when you wear braces. If you wear braces, we typically recommend brushing your teeth three times a day, using mouthwash when you wake up and before you go to bed, and flossing with Superfloss once a day. Getting into a routine like this should remove daily stains and keep your smile sparkling white.
- Brush One Tooth at a Time: It’s easy to miss spots on your teeth when there are braces in the way, so try to spend at least 10 seconds brushing each tooth. Move your toothbrush in a circular motion, making sure to brush between the archwires of your braces, and brush at different angles to ensure you’re sufficiently cleaning every part of your tooth.
- Use an Electronic Toothbrush: Ultrasonic Electric toothbrushes make it easier and more effective for people with braces to clean around wires and brackets. But even if you don't wear braces, Ultrasonic Electric toothbrushes clean much more efficiently than traditional toothbrushes because of their ultrasonic action, breaking up plaque, tartar and stain-causing particles.
- Brush or Rinse After Every Meal: After you eat, it’s important to get all of the food out from between your teeth and braces. Brushing after every meal will help you take care of any leftover food that can potentially cause discoloring. If you can’t brush your teeth throughout the day, try rinsing your mouth out with water or mouthwash instead.
- Be Mindful of Teeth-Staining Food and Drinks: Common items that can stain your teeth include red wine, dark juice, sports drinks, black tea, dark soda, coffee, blueberries, blackberries, and beats. Avoid consuming unhealthy types of food and beverages that can stain your teeth. If you do eat or drink things that can cause discoloration, make sure to brush your teeth and rinse out your mouth soon afterwards to keep your teeth white.
- Eat Food That Cleans Your Teeth: Toothbrushes aren’t the only things that clean your teeth. Firm and crisp food, like apples, celery, raw carrots, and popcorn, can help make your smile shine as well! Try to eat these types of food right before you brush at night.
- Take Off Removable Dental Appliances: Before you clean your teeth, take off any removable dental appliances, like bands or headgear. This will give you better access to your teeth.
- Avoid Eating Unhealthy Sugar: Sugary foods, like candy, can cause tooth decay and lead to discoloration. Eating candy can be especially problematic when you have braces, as sticky candy can get stuck in them. Try eating fruits and veggies instead. If you do eat sugary food or drink soda, make sure to thoroughly brush, floss and rinse out your mouth afterwards.
- Use Superfloss: Superfloss makes flossing much easier for people with braces and other dental appliances. It’s made up of three different parts: a stiffened-end threader (for flossing between wires), soft spongey floss (for cleaning around appliances), and regular floss (for removing plaque normally between your teeth).
- Ditch the Cigarettes: Smoking decreases the amount of saliva in your mouth, which means the lines of your teeth are not getting cleaned out as much and your teeth aren’t as protected from decay. All of these changes can very likely lead to discoloration in your teeth.
- Come See The Experts: Other than taking proper daily care of your teeth, the best thing you can do to keep your teeth white and healthy is visit your dentist regularly. We’ll give your teeth a deep clean and let you know how healthy they are and what you can do to improve them.
Feel free to contact Chicago’s Number One Rated Dentistry to see how your teeth are doing. We’re experts at teeth whitening, and we would love to use our skills help keep your smile white and sparkling.