The day your braces come off is full of excitement. But as soon as they come off, you may notice that the braces have left your teeth yellow. Why is this happening and how can you fix this?
Do Braces Cause Teeth to Become Yellow?
Are braces and yellow teeth linked? Let’s take a look.
Don’t Blame the Braces
It is not really the braces that are causing your teeth to become yellow. Since the braces are a complex structure of wires and brackets, there are intricate spaces that can become hard to clean while you have the braces on. This is the perfect opportunity for food to get stuck and lead to plaque build up. The plaque forms in the areas that you cannot get to easily as they are hard to access with the braces on. The plaque creates acids that affect the enamel on your teeth, leading to white patches that make the teeth look discolored.
Do not be disheartened. There are several things that you can do during and after your braces treatment to ensure that your teeth remain pearly white.
How to Prevent Teeth Yellowing With Braces
The following are some ways you can prevent plaque build up and ensure your teeth remain shiny and white:
Apply a Sealant before Braces
If you are prone to plaque build up even otherwise, it may be a good idea to apply a sealant before the braces are cemented. A sealant is a form of resin protection that adds a protective layer over the enamel and prevents plaque from building up. This may not be practical for everybody, however, so check with your dentist about the possibility of this.
Practice Dietary Restraint
There are some types of food that simply strip your enamel off of minerals. It is bad enough if you indulge in these type of foods when you do not have braces on, but when you consume these foods with braces on, you are making the enamel defenseless because it is even harder to clean your teeth with braces on. So it is best to show some dietary restraint, even more so when you have braces on and cannot clean your teeth with as much ease. These foods include items that are high on sugar or starch, like sodas and fruit drinks, chewy foods like licorice, sticky foods like caramel and gum, etc.
Brush and Floss without Fail
It is extremely important to brush and floss after every meal or at least when you wake up and before you go to bed. Flossing is especially important when you have braces as this is the most effective way to ensure that all food particles are removed. You may find it a bit challenging to use dental floss with braces on so you can always resort to using an interdental brush. This type of brush is easier to navigate around the metal brackets and get most of the food particles out.
After your braces have been removed, there may still be some yellowing and plaque build up, even if you have taken all the care to brush, floss and show dietary restraint. You can opt for in-office bleaching where your dentist will apply a whitening agent over a few sessions, or you can also buy over-the-counter whitening products. You may want to wait sometime after your braces have been removed to apply anything on your teeth so the work the braces have done is not undone.
After going through an arduous few months of wearing braces, to see that they have left your teeth yellow may be frustrating. Often, however, the yellowing is only temporary. Before you jump to using whitening techniques, allow your saliva to treat the enamel naturally. Perhaps, it can reach the surface that was covered with the braces earlier and fix the discoloration.