Do Braces Stain Your Teeth?

You may have heard horror stories about people having their braces taken off only to realize that their teeth are stained. If you've been interested in braces and are being turned off by this phenomenon, then you should read this guide. It will explain how these stains form and how you can easily avoid them yourself to emerge from your braces treatment with glittering, gleaming white teeth.

Why Staining Happens

Unfortunately, some people do emerge from their braces treatment with marks on their teeth. But it might surprise you to learn that they're not actually technically stains. Stains on the teeth mean that pigment has been added to the teeth, typically due to exposure to something like coffee, tea, or another tannin-infused food or drink. The marks that are left behind on teeth after braces treatment are actually the beginning of cavities.

To be fair, these marks may never develop into full-fledged cavities if the patient starts diligently taking care of their teeth once the braces are off. However, the problem still stands that the teeth have essentially had their enamel etched away around the brackets of the braces, resulting in the odd appearance of white lines on the teeth. These 'stains' don't generally go away on their own and can get worse if dental hygiene isn't good after braces are taken off.

How to Avoid It

The good news is, this problem can be completely avoided so long as you know what you're doing when you go into having braces. These marks are left behind due to poor oral hygiene. When people eat, food tends to build up in little ridges around the sides of the braces brackets. If it's left there for long enough, it acts as food for the dental bacteria that are responsible for cavities and gum disease. They start chewing away on the tooth and producing plaque that causes dental damage around those edges, where it can potentially sit for hours doing damage before the patient gets around to cleaning their teeth.

This can all be avoided just by cleaning your teeth after every meal. All you need to do is rinse, brush, or use a water flosser to blast away the built-up food and any plaque that's developing. While rinsing won't help to wash away plaque, it can dislodge the food that's feeding the bacteria, which will help to slow down the plaque development dramatically. And, of course, brushing your teeth is an easy solution to this, so long as you're careful to brush around the edges. Some people with braces like to use interdental brushes as they're flexible and fit snugly into the edge of braces brackets, making them effective for cleaning and small enough to carry around.

For more information about braces, contact services like Poulson Orthodontics.