MANY ORTHODONTIC PATIENTS reach Braces-Off Day only to discover bleached spots on their teeth. These and other stains are not an inevitable part of having braces, and today we’re teaching our patients how to avoid them.
Controlling Plaque Is Essential
The main problem is plaque control. All those brackets and wires make it harder to brush away food debris and plaque, particularly around the brackets. If it stays, it can leave decalcified patches that become very noticeable when the braces come off, revealing squares of normal tooth surface.
Brushing, Flossing, and Professional Cleanings
The best defense against white spots and stains is a good oral hygiene routine: brushing thoroughly after meals, flossing at least once a day, and scheduling regular dental appointments. Professional cleanings by a hygienist are vital for controlling plaque.
Avoid Stain-Causing Foods and Drinks
Another important strategy is cutting down on foods and drinks likely to stain, including colas, coffee, dark teas, sugary treats like cookies and candy, and starchy snacks like chips. These can all contribute to post-braces stains, either directly or by feeding the oral bacteria in plaque.
Other big stain culprits are tobacco and alcohol. We recommend avoiding them, especially while the braces are on.