The most common challenge among people who wear braces, is how to keep teeth white. It is a tough and delicate act to whiten your teeth without causing damage to the braces. Nonetheless, with special and dedicated dental care, it is easily doable. While braces go a long way in supporting your teeth, they demand a higher standard of oral hygiene and care. It is not uncommon to have your teeth accumulate some yellowish stains during the period you have braces on, especially if you do not go out of your way to maintain wholesome oral hygiene.
Luckily, a dentist who practices general dentistry can help you to clean your teeth and to give you instructions about keeping them whiter. Many dental office services are there to help you to get the whiter look that you want to achieve. It often requires that you use special flossers to help remove food from the braces in order to keep the teeth whiter. It can help to look for whitening when you are reading a general dentist description to pick out a dentist.
When you consider all dental services, many of them are there to help to keep your teeth clean, and this helps you to whiten your teeth. When you look at a list of dental offices, you might ask whether they have special whitening services such as UV whitening or other types that can be done when you have braces. Having braces does keep you from some whitening products, such as most gels, as they might harm the brackets or be unable to touch the teeth because of them. Continue to follow your dentist’s directions for teeth that are cleaner and whiter.
There are many ways to keep your teeth white beyond relying on dental professionals. Having invested substantial time and money in your braces, you will feel short-changed to end up with stained teeth because the braces hindered your normal oral care standards. To avoid such discouraging results, you must take your time and master different ways you can keep your teeth white while wearing braces. Seven of the most effective methods of teeth whitening are discussed in depth herein.
1. Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle That Promotes Good Oral Hygiene
While it may sound obvious that we need to lead a healthy lifestyle that does not endanger our dental hygiene, the stakes are higher when one is wearing braces. You need to be extra careful with your oral care because your teeth typically gather more plague and stain faster when you’re wearing braces. Bad habits will only serve to accelerate the process leading to much worse end-results. These are habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and consuming staining food and products like sweets, soda, and coffee. Most of us pick up these bad habits when growing up or by making poor diet choices as adults.
It is said that old habits die hard, but you have to stop these detrimental habits, especially smoking, to keep teeth white. Smoking is generally bad for your general oral health, and it also stains the teeth much faster by altering the natural white coloring. Long term drinking of alcohol also distorts the braces color. Eventually, when you remove the braces, you will find stains on the parts of the teeth that were covered by the braces. This is brought about by smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. The result is a more undesirable effect as your teeth will have shades of two colors at the same time. To correct the defect, you will need much more exhaustive and often expensive teeth whitening procedures.
On the contrary, you can keep teeth white by rinsing your teeth with clean water after every meal, eating fruits and vegetables, and using a straw when drinking colored beverages such as wine. By far, these are the most natural ways of keeping teeth white, but it takes a great deal of discipline and adherence to good living habits. The most resilient and determined people will pick out a more exhaustive food recipe that does not contain any staining food products and will strictly keep off smoking and alcohol.
Resultantly, they will have naturally white teeth after removing the braces, and will not have to seek other methods of teeth whitening. However, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up constructive hobbies like winery tours to avoid drinking wine, or not going out to with friends to avoid beverages that may stain your teeth. All you need to do is rinse your teeth thoroughly with lots of clean water after consuming a staining product.
Additionally, you can increase your visits to the dental clinic for your braces treatment. Your dentist will be able to tell if you’re doing enough on oral hygiene and recommend better practices that will advance your course.
2. Brushing Your Teeth Properly After Every Meal
Generally, brushing teeth on a regular basis is a very effective way of keeping your teeth clean and white. However, when you are wearing braces, you have to be extra vigilant to make sure that you don’t dislodge the braces while reaching for the teeth. For starters, make sure that you select the toothbrushes with soft bristles to reach more parts of your teeth, especially those covered by the braces. You achieve this by positioning the toothbrush at an angle of 45 degrees against the gums.
Most people agree that an electric toothbrush is way more effective for brushing teeth with braces. Also, brush gently after every meal for about two minutes but not more than four minutes. Make sure that you stroke your brush from side to side and also ensure the front, biting surfaces, and the back of your teeth are reached by your toothbrush. Utilize an interdental toothbrush to reach the tight spaces around the braces. It is advisable to brush even after taking beverages like coffee, tea, wine, and soda.
While it may take some time getting used to the process, nothing comes easy. If you effectively adopt these recommendations, you will not have to result to using whitening products. You will find that your braces are shiny, and all the spaces clear, and there are no food particles trapped.
3. Use Whitening Toothpaste for Your Daily Brushing
While regular toothpaste is capable of removing minor stains on the teeth, whitening toothpaste gets the job done much more effectively. Whitening toothpaste contain fluoride, which strengthens the enamel. Furthermore, they also contain peroxide and baking soda, which are the abrasives responsible for removing stains from the teeth. Whitening toothpaste is fit for your braces as it does not chemically react with the components that make the braces. While utilizing whitening toothpaste, remember they can only eliminate the stains on the surface of your teeth and cannot alter the natural color of the teeth nor remove stains that go deeper than the surface.
It is recommended to use whitening toothpaste twice a day, and it may take about six weeks to clean the stains and make your teeth whiter. If you’re not satisfied with the results of the whitening toothpaste, you can always ask your dentist to recommend other ways such as bleaching products. When selecting whitening toothpaste, go for the brand with a seal of approval from reputable dental authorities, like the American Dental Association.
4. Flossing Your Teeth Daily
Flossing can be a little bit difficult when you have braces. However, given the importance of flossing to our oral hygiene, you are better of learning how to floss with the braces. Take your time to floss beneath the wires of the braces gently. Do this systematically for every part of the brace, then move on to the teeth and floss as you normally do. However, if you face difficulties doing this, do not sweat it, because you can use a floss threader or a water flosser.
The two devices are recommended if your braces are giving you a hard time to floss your teeth. Moreover, they are affordable and available at your local dental clinic, and you can also find them online. Today, with the fast pace of technology development, you may choose to have removable clear aligners like invisalign, which are essentially removable braces. Therefore, you’ll have no problem when flossing as you can easily remove the braces, floss your teeth, and then position them back.
Flossing goes a long way to keep teeth white because it ensures that no food particles are trapped between the teeth or underneath the braces. It also prevents tooth decay and gingivitis. Any way you choose to floss will contribute significantly to your teeth whitening process.
5. Purchasing Whitening Products to Use at Home
Whitening products such as gels and whitening strips are a popular option for most people in North America who wear braces. It is estimated that 39.09 million Americans opted to use teeth whiteners in 2017. These products are popular because of their ease of use and easy purchase — they are available over-the-counter. Whitening gels and strips contain peroxide and are spread on the teeth surface as per the manufacturer’s instructions. The correct application of the whitening gel will see minor changes in a few days, but the major impressive changes will be seen within four months.
In case the whitening gels and strips don’t work for you, you can prefer to use whitening rinses. They are a type of mouthwash containing hydrogen peroxide. You swish them in your mouth vigorously for less than a minute before brushing your teeth. They keep teeth white by cleaning the dental plaque that may have heaped on your braces and teeth. If used twice a day correctly, it takes about 12 weeks to whiten your teeth and does not negatively impact your braces.
Before you settle on a whitening product, it is advisable that you first consult your dentist to ascertain they are worth the effort, money, and time. It is because these products may have several side effects. They may affect the gum and cause swelling and sores, and may also increase teeth sensitivity. You could have your dentist prescribe a whitening product that will keep teeth white and avoid causing adverse effects to your gum or teeth.
6. Seeking Professional In-House Bleaching Services
By visiting your dentist a couple of times, you can have your teeth whitened in two hours or less. Dentists use strong bleaching agents that contain high percentages of hydrogen peroxides, usually from 15% to 43%. To protect your gums and cheeks, the dentist will position an oral shield in your mouth and also apply the protective gel.
They apply the bleach to your teeth and may apply heat or a special light on the bleaching solution, based on their professional opinion. This process is commonly known as chairside bleaching and will cost you from $500 to $1,000. The process might seem costly, but the results justify the cost. The results are almost instant, with changes on your teeth happening in less than an hour.
However, depending on the type of braces, it might be much more effective to undergo bleaching after you take off the braces to keep teeth white. You may find that parts of your teeth are whiter than the ones covered by the braces if you undergo the process. This happens when you have braces on the front of your teeth. However, if your braces are placed at the back of your teeth, they will not affect the process. After examining your braces, your dentist will advise you on the best time to get the bleach.
To achieve the perfect white and shade, you may need more than one visit, but after a second treatment, you will most likely be satisfied. An in-office bleach is effective and lasts longer while striving to keep teeth white. However, just like all other whitening methods, your oral hygiene while wearing braces and after taking them off will determine the success of the whitening procedure.
7. Utilizing Activated Charcoal for Teeth Whitening
Powder, tablets, and paste are the three main forms of activated charcoal that are used for teeth whitening. Activated charcoal is derived from olive pits, bone, peat, coconut shells, petroleum coke, and coal. It is one of the best remedies for removing toxins in the body and reducing cholesterol. However, for dental purposes, it is used to eliminate dental plaque and reduce tooth discoloration. To keep teeth white, you stick activated charcoal on your mouth and allow it to bind to the teeth and gum. After some time, you can use warm water or normal mouthwash to spit it out.
Activated charcoal contains abrasive minerals that will wash out stains on the teeth surface, plaque, and food residuals in the teeth and braces. Remember that activated charcoal does not whiten the deeply stained teeth. Since it exists in three forms, paste, tablet, and powder, it is suitable while aiming to keep teeth white with braces because it is easy to apply to the teeth held by the braces.
For those who wear braces, keeping your teeth white can seem like a challenge. Luckily, these tips can help. They can also help people with dentures since they have the same problem. For many, brushing with a tooth whitening toothpaste helps bring back the whiteness of your natural-looking teeth. Some people like to use other teeth-whitening products, especially those performed by a dentist. To know all about dentures and what you can do to keep them white, consult your dentist.
Are there different types of dentures? Yes. You can opt for a complete set of dentures that are removable or you can get implants. Either way, there will be a special set of instructions for the care and maintenance of your dentures. All quality dentures should remain white for quite some time. However, all dentures, like teeth, lose their luster and begin to yellow over time. However, you don’t want to cause any damage to your dentures or braces so it’s important to consult with your doctor on how to keep both clean and white all the time.
Even though braces may impede teeth whitening to some level, they do not completely prevent teeth whitening. Using any of the discussed methods, you will find teeth whitening with braces more manageable. It only takes more commitment and a little extra care to keep your teeth white when you are wearing braces. Now that you know of the various options at your disposal, you should not blame your braces for having stained teeth — you can easily keep teeth white
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