According to the American Association of Orthodontists, about 4 million Americans wear dental braces. Although there are both cosmetic and oral health benefits to having straighter teeth, the process of braces can make dental hygiene a bit tricky, and can lead to staining if you’re not careful. Today we will summarize what causes braces to leave marks on teeth, and what can be done about it.
The Primary Culprit: Plaque
That’s because the brackets and wires of traditional braces have a tendency to trap food, which leads to a buildup of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria. Plaque creates staining by producing acids that dissolve the minerals in your enamel. This demineralization changes how the tooth surface reflects light, resulting in the development of white spots.
How to Avoid Plaque
Eliminating highly sugary or starchy items and acidic fruit drinks and sodas will greatly reduce plaque buildup. Flossing with string floss and a floss threader, or a water flosser, after every meal is also crucial. A water flosser, or an oral irrigator, is a device that uses a stream of pressurized water to blast away food debris from between teeth and from below the gumline. You may find superfloss to be another braces-friendly way of flossing. It has a stiff plastic "thread" on the end which allows it to be pushed straight between the teeth. A cone-shaped interdental brush can also help remove food that gets stuck in your braces because it can squeeze through the spaces between teeth and around the brackets and wires.
Another Culprit: Whitening
Teeth-whitening can leave marks if done while wearing braces. Typically, the bleaching agents in teeth whitening solutions do not reach the enamel underneath the brackets used in traditional braces. Therefore, when the braces are removed, an uneven whitening finish can appear on the surface of the teeth.
Wait for Unobstructed Whitening
Therefore, when wearing traditional braces, we recommend waiting until after the completion of your braces treatment to begin any type of teeth whitening treatment.
Reach Out to Our Team!
The team here at Stroope Orthodontics would be happy to answer all your questions about getting braces or caring for the ones you have. And if you need to schedule an appointment with our team, contact our Stroope Orthodontics team today.