Clear braces are special braces that have been designed to be as discreet as possible. Unlike traditional metal braces, which are a sight for sore eyes, clear braces match the color of its surroundings. As such, it would defeat the purpose of having clear braces if they were to be stained yellow or brown or any other color.

Wearing braces is a significant time commitment, with most people wearing them for several months and some for several years. And if you do not know how to prevent your clear braces from staining, then you may be stuck with them for a long time. In this article, we are going to go over the most common factors that cause clear braces to turn yellow and how to avoid it.

How Easily Do Clear Braces Stain Turn Yellow?

First, let’s clear up a misconception. Most people think that it is the ceramic brackets of your clear braces that turn yellow. In actuality, the ceramic brackets are quite difficult to stain, and as advancements to braces keep coming they are only getting more resistant to it (though they still stain more easily than metal brackets).

The part of clear braces that stain easily are the elastic ligatures that hold up the arch-wires connected to the brackets. Since clear braces are supposed to be, well, clear, the elastic ligatures used are also clear or at least tooth colored. These elastics are frequently the reason why braces get stained.

If you are still in the process of getting braces, consider getting self-ligating ceramic braces instead. Since self-ligating braces don’t need any elastic ligatures, they will be less likely to stain and that is one less thing to worry about.

Avoid Foods that Will Turn Clear Braces Yellow

Braces get stained because of what you eat, and that is why your diet is so important if you want to avoid stains. There is no exhaustive list of what foods you can or cannot eat. However, as a general rule of thumb, avoid deeply colored foods, especially dark colored ones. The most common culprits of stained braces which you should avoid are:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Red Wine
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Colored Candy
  • Popsicles and Slushies
  • Curry (or any foods made with a lot of spices)
  • Dark colored sodas (E.g. Coca-Cola, Pepsi)
  • Berries

By cutting out the foods listed above from your diet, you will drastically reduce the chances of your clear braces turning yellow. Also, though this is not a food, smoking will cause your braces to stain as well.

How to Clean Your Braces

In addition, when you have braces you need to clean them by brushing your teeth more than you normally do. You should not only worry about your braces, but more importantly you have to make sure you are properly cleaning your teeth and gums as well. Many people who wear braces have trouble cleaning the spots around the brackets and they develop gingivitis over time.

After eating any meal, especially if the meal consisted of dark colored foods or drinks, immediately brush your teeth afterwards. If this is not possible, at least try to rinse your mouth with water so that you minimize contact with these stain-inducing foods. When brushing make sure to brush each individual bracket.

Just because you have braces doesn’t mean you can neglect flossing. Yes, it’s true that the wire prevents your dental floss from reaching all the way down. That is why you should use floss threaders so that you can thread the dental floss through your teeth. Aim to floss at least twice a day, or after each meal for optimal results.

If you find it difficult to brush and floss your teeth normally, we highly recommend you use an electric toothbrush and a water flosser to help you out.

Rinsing your mouth using an alcohol-free mouthwash after eating or drinking stain-inducing beverages can help you if you cannot brush or floss your teeth right away. It also helps to eliminate harmful bacteria and plaque that causes gingivitis.

And lastly, keep going to your dentist. In fact, you should probably go twice as much. If you normally see your dentist two times a year for cleaning, with braces you should be going four times a year. If you are not confident in your own cleaning abilities, a professional cleaning from your dentist should alleviate your worries.

Should You Use Teeth Whitening Products?

Stay away from over-the-counter teeth whitening products when you are wearing braces. These products will only clean the area of your teeth not blocked by braces. Furthermore, as your teeth get whiter, your braces won’t.

As a result, it will become painfully obvious that your braces are a different shade of color from your teeth. And after the braces are removed, there will be an outline that is a darker shade from the rest of your teeth in the silhouette of the braces.