Clear braces are an excellent way to straighten teeth and as long as they remain clean, they should remain clear. Knowing that, patients often ask us how they can tell if something is going to stain their braces. One thing to think about is that if eating or drinking something creates a stain on the tongue, it could also be staining the teeth. For example, if that blue slushy from 7-11 is going to turn the tongue blue, it can turn the clear braces blue as well. Likewise, if something very clearly has heavy food coloring, it is likely to stain the braces.
There are also certain foods that should be avoided because of their staining properties. These include:
- Soy sauce
- Tomato sauce
- Cake frosting
- Colored candies
It is also wise to avoid drinking coffee, tea or red wine as they are known to stain teeth.
Avoidance is not always enough
Avoiding contact with food and drinks that stain the teeth is the first step. However, avoidance is not always enough. It is also important to remove food particles and any staining agents from the teeth and braces as quickly as possible. This can be done by doing the following:
1. Rinse with water after eating or drinking
This is one of the easiest ways to remove food particles when on the go.
2. Brush teeth with whitening toothpaste
Brush teeth after every snack or meal to prevent stains and use a whitening toothpaste if possible.
3. Use a WaterPik
Food can become trapped in between the brackets and wires. As it does it can lead to yellowing and also put teeth at risk for decay. It can be difficult to floss teeth and clean all these areas when wearing braces, using a WaterPik can help to remove particles from difficult to reach areas. This should be done at least once a day.
Removing stains from clear braces
If the braces become stained, there are still things that can be done. If the stains are on the rubber bands that are used to hold the wires in place, these rubber bands are going to be replaced at most orthodontic appointments anyway. That is the good news. Also, the wires can be re-used since they do not stain at all.
If the ceramic braces and bonding material become stained, it may be necessary for the orthodontist to apply professional grade whitening solution. This can help to remove stains just like it would from the teeth. How effective it will be is going to depend on the level of staining but it is certainly worth a try, and should make an impact fairly quickly. It is important to do this at the orthodontist office instead of trying to whiten teeth and braces at home.
Consider Invisalign® instead
Anyone who is overly concerned about clear braces becoming stained should consider wearing clear aligners instead. These aligners are made of a durable plastic that is nearly invisible. They are designed to come out when eating or drinking so there is no chance of them becoming stained. Plus, each aligner is only worn for around two weeks before it is replaced with the next one in the series. This ensures that the aligners remain clear and virtually invisible during the entire orthodontic treatment.
Learn more about the options
To find out more about clear braces and how to care for them or other aligners, call to schedule an appointment with our office.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with Kling Orthodontics, request an appointment in our Florissant office here: http://www.klingorthodontics.com. Or call us at (314) 837-5787.