If you’ve just gotten your braces off and noticed white spots or dark stains, you’re not alone. Caused by plaque buildup or decay, these stains can be an unfortunate side effect of braces and improper dental hygiene.
When you get your braces off, you’re probably expecting your teeth to be straight and nearly perfect. Unfortunately, you might also discover white spots or dark stains. Caused by plaque buildup or decay, these stains can be an unfortunate side effect of braces and improper dental hygiene. While discovering these discolorations on your teeth can feel demoralizing after dedicating so much time, effort, and money to improving your smile, there are steps you can take to prevent and safely remove your brace stains.
Common Causes of Braces Stains
Plaque — the sticky film that coats teeth and forms after eating or drinking — is a common culprit behind these stains. Wearing braces makes it difficult to remove plaque, allowing it to accumulate around your braces’ brackets. If left untreated, plaque — and the acids the bacteria within it produce — can wear away your enamel, leaving a noticeably lighter part of the tooth behind. Plaque can also thicken into tartar, taking on a hard texture, becoming more difficult to remove, and resulting in brown or yellow stains.
Brown stains might also indicate areas where your tooth started to decay but then remineralized with the help of an improved oral hygiene routine or a diet change. They can even be a sign that you’ve been drinking too much coffee, tea, red wine, or soda and not brushing your teeth carefully enough later.
How Can I Get Rid of These Brace Stains?
Luckily, there are many safe ways to remove these stains. Between teeth whitening products, remineralization, and veneers, you’ll have a pearly white smile again soon.
Teeth Whitening Products
With both at-home and in-office whitening products — like strips, trays, and toothpaste — teeth whitening is an accessible option for those with braces stains. Using whitening strips or trays can reduce the appearance of braces stains, as many of these products contain peroxide and abrasive particles that wear away at surface stains on the teeth.
It’s best to wait until your braces are off before using whitening products to avoid uneven whitening.
Investing in an electric toothbrush and practicing proper brushing techniques is one of the easiest things you can do to remove surface stains and improve your teeth’s overall health and appearance. Electric toothbrushes can remove plaque and stains more effectively than regular toothbrushes, giving you a whiter smile.
Demineralization occurs when bacteria and acids erode your enamel. Luckily, it’s possible to remineralize your teeth by applying specially formulated mineral paste. Your teeth will then absorb the paste’s calcium and phosphate, replenishing their mineral supply. Taking vitamin or probiotic supplements can also accelerate the remineralization process.
If you have severe discoloration after removing your braces, veneers may be the best option. Attached to the front surface of a tooth with special dental cement, these tooth-colored coverings are thin and made from either porcelain or composite resin. They’re customized to fit your teeth and will provide an even, stain-free surface.
Composite restoration can help improve the appearance of damaged teeth by filling in indentations with a tooth-colored resin. Your teeth will look healthy and natural following composite restoration.
By using a polish, pumice, or diamond to sand off the outer layer of your enamel, you can improve your tooth’s appearance. Microdermabrasion will reveal a new, lighter-colored enamel, reducing the appearance of any discoloration caused by braces.
How To Prevent Discoloration And When To See A Dentist
In addition to having a healthy and diligent oral care regimen, maintaining a balanced diet is critical. Avoid foods high in sugar or starch and sticky foods, as they can get caught in your braces and result in increased plaque buildup and braces stains.
If you have braces stains and would like more guidance on treating them, schedule an appointment with Espire today.