Teeth Whitening After Braces

Teeth Whitening After Braces

May 11, 2024

After completing orthodontic treatment, experiencing the thrill of revealing your newly straightened teeth is truly exciting. But the process doesn’t stop there. Many patients find themselves dealing with teeth that are stained or discolored once their braces are removed. This is where teeth whitening becomes important.

Teeth Discoloration - Why Does It Happen?

Teeth discoloration post braces is a common issue.  The main reason is the differences in exposure between the teeth covered by braces and those that were not. The teeth under the braces often appear lighter as they were protected from food and drink stains.   Let’s explore other reasons.

  • Oral Hygiene During Treatment
    The patient ability to maintain oral hygiene during the treatment period that impacts the color of their teeth. Braces can make teeth cleaning a tad bit challenging, leading to poor oral hygiene and subsequent teeth yellowing. It is challenging to clean around the brackets and wires, which can lead to build-up and eventual discoloration.
  • Plaque and Tartar Build Up
    Plaque, a colorless sticky film that forms on teeth, is a significant contributor to teeth staining. When combined with sugars, plaque generates acids that strip minerals from the teeth, altering the light reflection off the tooth surface and sometimes causing white spots lesions on the teeth.

    When plaque hardens, it transforms into tartar, a crusty deposit that can cause yellow and brown stains. Tartar also makes the removal of newly formed plaque more difficult, necessitating professional intervention for tartar elimination.

  • Diet
    What you consume plays a crucial role in maintaining the whiteness of your teeth. Certain beverages and foods like tea, coffee, soda, wine, dark juices, and even soy sauce can stain your teeth, leading to discoloration. Also starchy, sugary, or acidic foods can enhance bacterial growth, initiating the demineralisation process of your teeth.

Teeth Whitening - What are the options?

When it comes to teeth whitening post braces, there are several options available, each with its pros and cons.

  • At Home Whitening Kits
    They are relatively effective and can help whiten your teeth after braces. However, their effectiveness and speed of results might not match up to professional teeth whitening solutions.
  • Over the Counter Whitening Products
    Over the counter teeth whitening products, such as whitening toothpaste, mouthwash, and strips, can help with minor stains and maintain teeth whiteness. However, they might not be the best choice for heavy staining due to their lower chemical concentration.  Follow the instructions carefully to avoid overuse and potential damage to your teeth and gums
  • Professional Teeth Whitening
    For serious stains or white spots on your teeth, professional teeth whitening is the best option. With professional whitening, you’ll be able to reverse years of staining within a single appointment.  Done under the supervision of a dentist and usually offers quicker and more dramatic results

Risks of using Teeth Whitening Post Braces

While teeth whitening can help you achieve a radiant smile, it’s crucial to be aware of potential risks and considerations. Overuse of whitening products can lead to tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. It’s also important to note that not all discoloration can be fixed with teeth whitening.

Before starting any teeth whitening process, consult with your dentist. They can guide you on the best method for your situation and ensure your teeth and gums are healthy enough for the procedure.

Maintaining a Perfect Smiles Post Teeth Whitening

Once you’ve achieved your desired whiteness, maintaining it, is crucial. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check ups are a must.   Also, try to avoid foods and drinks that stain, such as coffee, tea, red wine, and berries.  If you can’t avoid these foods altogether, try to brush your teeth afterwards.

Using a whitening toothpaste can also help maintain your bright smile. Remember, teeth whitening is not a one-time process. Depending on the method you choose, you may need to repeat the process every few months or years.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When should you whiten your teeth after Braces?
    The ideal waiting period for teeth whitening after braces removal is six months. This waiting period allows your teeth to regain their strength and adjust to life without braces, ensuring a comfortable and effective whitening experience.
  • Is teeth whitening safe?
    Yes, when done correctly and under the guidance of a dentist, teeth whitening is safe.
  • Is teeth whitening post braces painful?
    Teeth whitening is not painful. While some patients might experience temporary tooth sensitivity post the procedure, this discomfort usually subsides within a few days, leaving behind a bright and even smile.
  • Can I prevent teeth discoloration while wearing braces?
    Yes, maintaining good oral hygiene and avoiding foods and drinks that stain can help prevent discoloration.

Conclusion - Should you Whiten your Teeth after Braces?

Attaining a brighter smile post braces is a personal choice. If the discoloration or staining of your teeth post braces makes you uncomfortable, teeth whitening is a viable solution. However, always remember to consult a dental professional before making a decision, as they can provide the best advice based on your specific oral health needs.

Teeth whitening after braces is a safe and effective way to enhance the aesthetics of your newly straightened smile. So, if you’ve recently had your braces removed and are keen on achieving a brighter smile, teeth whitening might be the perfect solution for you.