Braces are the most popular orthodontic treatment for patients of all ages, as they cover the treatment needs for a large array of alignment and jaw structure issues. Braces nowadays come in different colors and even combine transparent and tooth-colored materials to make them as discreet as possible.
Depending on your orthodontic issues, you will have to wear your braces for 1-3 years. It’s a long-term treatment that requires special care and limits what you can eat or do. So wondering whether you can whiten your teeth or not is a legitimate question.
The short answer is no. Braces are glued to each one of your teeth and block the action of whitening treatments that you could undergo. Even if you go ahead and use DIY whitening for your teeth while having braces, once the orthodontic fixtures are off, your teeth will be darker or more yellow where the glue has been.
Using whitening toothpaste is far from being effective, and it has a negative long-term effect on your enamel. Not to mention, if the inside of your teeth is discolored, applying the treatment on the surface won’t help.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting a brighter and more aligned smile at the same time. Orthodontic treatment is a long-term effort and it seems underwhelming if you can’t do something about discoloration.
The best thing you can do as a patient with braces is to avoid further staining of your teeth and to keep a strict oral hygiene routine. Avoid staining foods and drinks, or rinse your mouth immediately with water if you’ve had them. Brush and floss twice a day and make sure you clean around your braces thoroughly.
Diet is also important to keep your oral health in good condition. Sticky, sweet foods are the worst possible option if you have braces, as they can become trapped between the wires and your teeth. But you should also stay away from highly acidic foods that could promote decay by weakening your enamel.
One of the advantages of wearing braces is that you will have to see the dentist quite often to have your braces adjusted. Take this chance to ask your dentist about whitening, and to get your teeth cleaned professionally if needed.
The best course of action, if you want a bright and straight smile, is to undergo an in-office whitening treatment after your braces are finally off, and your teeth are not too sensitive anymore. Monitor your teeth and ask your doctor to recommend the best whitening treatment for you.
If you need braces or you already have them and want to whiten your teeth, contact Dr. John Walsh at Great Bay Orthodontics. The doctor and his team will help you achieve your dream smile, with minimal risks, while keeping your teeth healthy and strong. Contact us to book an appointment.