If you’ve just had your braces removed, congratulations! Wearing braces is difficult and it takes tremendous effort to maintain proper oral hygiene with them on. Now that the braces are off and your teeth are straightened you still have to take good care of them, though it should be much easier without brackets and wires in the way.
With that said, many patients are shocked at how much their teeth have changed after wearing braces for months or years. Sometimes they are shocked for the wrong reasons. Once the braces come off, patients may notice that their teeth are an uneven color, particularly around the areas where the brackets used to be.
Even if you were extremely diligent and careful about brushing and flossing, it is nearly impossible to perfectly clean everything without the expertise of a professional using medical grade tools. The longer you had braces, the more likely you are to have yellow or brown stains on teeth from braces, as well as plaque.
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Do You Need Teeth Whitening After Braces?
When you notice stains on your teeth after braces, do not feel pressured to whiten your teeth right away. While stained teeth can make one feel insecure about their smile, orthodontists generally recommend patients wait a few months after their braces have been removed before considering this option.
There are two main reasons. The first is that your teeth may still be sensitive and weak after wearing braces for so long. You may want some time to recover so that you can be as comfortable as possible during the whitening process.
The second reason is that sometimes the intensity of discoloration will naturally fade over time due to exposure to saliva. If, after three months pass and the stains still haven’t faded, then teeth whitening after braces may be required.
If you prefer not to wait and can handle discomfort, then you can immediately schedule an appointment for teeth whitening.
Do Orthodontists Whiten Teeth After Braces?
If you want to know how to get rid of yellow teeth after braces, you can simply ask your orthodontist or dentist if professional teeth whitening is right for you. Using a professional service, whitening results are typically guaranteed or else they will redo it.
How it works is simple. The dental hygienist will use professional-grade solutions that are more effective than store-bought teeth whiteners. The whitening materials will be applied to your teeth, and then set using a UV light.
Your teeth will be left to cure for twenty to sixty minutes or until the desired shade of white is reached. This process can be repeated multiple times in the same day or over multiple days if necessary.
You may also have the option of taking home some professional-grade solutions that you can apply yourself. The dental hygienist will give you specific instructions on how to apply the whitening solution.
How to Get Rid of Yellow Teeth After Braces Using Over-the-Counter Products
Using store-bought products is the cheaper option to whiten your teeth, but they are not as effective. Most at-home products only remove surface stains or plaque, but the color of your teeth remains the same.
When selecting a store-bought whitener, look for ones containing carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. These can actually change the color of your teeth.
Foods that Will Stain Your Teeth
The best solution to a problem is to avoid the problem in the first place. One of the most important factors that affect your tooth color is diet. Some foods will stain your teeth and you should limit your intake or cut them out from your diet entirely.
Here is a general list of foods to avoid:
- Dark Juices
- Soy Sauce
- Curry or foods with lots of spices
- Sugary, starchy or acidic foods
And so on. This is not a comprehensive list, but if the food you are eating has lots of dark colors then it may stain your teeth. If you cannot avoid eating these foods, try to rinse your mouth with water immediately after eating them so your teeth are not exposed for as long.
General Tooth Maintenance for Excellent Oral Health
You should not only want straight or white teeth, but healthy teeth for your entire life. If you do not keep up your brushing and flossing, then you cannot expect to have stain-free or healthy teeth. In addition to limiting certain foods from your diet, you need a proper oral care routine to ensure your teeth remain healthy.
Maintaining healthy and white teeth is relatively simple. Here are some basic guidelines:
- Brush your teeth two times a day. Once in the morning and again in the evening. If you currently have braces, brush after each meal.
- Floss at least once a day. If you have braces, floss after each meal using a floss threader or water flosser.
- Use products containing fluoride. Use fluoridated toothpaste, fluoride mouthwash, and dental floss coated in flouride. Fluoride strengthens and protects your teeth and is crucial in maintaining them.
- Go to the dentist! Your dentist is able to provide professional cleaning that you cannot do by yourself. They will spot any potential oral problems before it becomes an issue. They can also give you great advice on how to take are of your teeth, so ask them lots of questions!
- Listen to your orthodontist. They will give you advice on how to take care of your braces or retainer. They can also show you how to brush and floss around your braces so you can do the best possible job taking care of your own teeth.
If you follow the steps above, your pearly whites will be white and clean even after wearing braces for many years.