Patients with braces deserve white teeth just as much as the next person. But you may be wondering what's safe and what isn't while sporting those metal brackets. Here are five options for keeping your pearly whites extra pearly while you're still wearing braces.
Your dentist can do the job for you using a bleaching agent and a special light that amplifies the effect. However, a lot of patients prefer to wait until their braces are off so their teeth look uniformly white. If you notice two different tones once your braces are removed, your dentist can fix this with another bleaching treatment.
Using an over-the-counter bleaching kit is a great option since it allows you to whiten your teeth at your own convenience. The kits come with trays and whitening gel, and you simply bite down on the trays and hold them in place for a set length of time.
If you wear invisible braces, the trays should fit over your teeth with no trouble. However, if your braces are the traditional wire-and-bracket type, the brackets themselves will prevent the trays from fitting over your teeth. Therefore, you'll need to ask your dentist to custom make some bleaching trays for you. Be sure to also ask how long to leave the trays in place since having braces may require the application time to be less than what's stated on the box.
Regular toothpaste can go a long way in keeping your teeth looking healthy and clean. But special whitening toothpastes contain additional agents aimed at getting them extra white by removing surface stains. The good news is that patients with braces can use them with no problems whatsoever. Just be sure to stick with ADA-recommended whitening toothpastes, and don't use them more often than recommended.
Since your teeth are covered with brackets, getting in those nooks and crannies with a regular toothbrush to remove food, plaque, and tartar will be a little more challenging than before you had braces. So using an electric toothbrush can help keep your teeth whiter naturally. The ultrasonic vibrations break apart the food particles to prevent your teeth from getting surface stains.
Those with braces are slightly more susceptible to food-stained teeth since tiny food particles can get caught in the brackets. Foods and beverages to avoid include dark juice and soda, coffee, tea, red wine, blackberries, blueberries, pomegranates, and beets. But if you can't stay away from them, just be sure to rinse your mouth well after indulging.
Also consider eating foods that encourage whiter teeth, like cheese, pears, apples, strawberries, and nuts. Remember to cut up the apples, pears, and strawberries because biting into these fruits whole can damage your braces.
For more information about keeping your teeth white while you have braces, talk to dental practices like Accent On Dentistry - Rowena R Martir DMD.