People often associate braces with having a mouth full of metal. But thanks to ceramic braces, you now have a teeth-straightening alternative designed to naturally blend in with your teeth. But the big question is, do ceramic braces stain?
If you’re one of the four million Americans who wear braces and are concerned with staining issues, look no further. Discover the most effective ways to care for your ceramic braces for a stunning, stain-free smile.
Types of Braces
Gone are the days when metal braces were the only option for achieving a straight smile. Braces have come a long way and provide several alternatives. Here are the different types of braces for kids, teens, and adults to choose from:
Metal or traditional braces are the most common and recognized method of teeth straightening. They’re fixed braces that consist of metal brackets that are attached to the front surfaces of your teeth, connected with an archwire, and secured with elastic ties. These braces are typically used to treat more severe orthodontic issues.
Ceramic braces work just like their metal counterpart, except this device uses clear, white, or tooth-colored polycrystalline material instead of metal brackets. One of the benefits of ceramic braces is that they’re virtually unnoticeable. They’re a popular choice for those who prefer a discreet solution to straight teeth.
Clear aligners are plastic dental trays that are custom-made to fit each person’s teeth and mouth. They make gradual changes over time and are ideal for those with moderate dental concerns, such as bite issues and misaligned teeth. They’re also removable when eating, flossing, or brushing your teeth.
Do Ceramic Braces Stain?
Ceramic braces themselves are stain-resistant, but the transparent rubber bands that secure the wire to the brackets are susceptible to staining and therefore need to be replaced. Here are some precautions you can take to prevent discoloration:
- Minimize foods that stain
- Brush after every meal
- Change ligatures regularly
- Floss and rinse daily
- Avoid smoking and tobacco products
- Use a straw when consuming pigmented drinks
- Refrain from using whitening products
Along with these steps, a proper oral health routine and regular visits to your orthodontist and dental hygienist are the most effective ways to lower the chances of staining.
How to Properly Care For Your Braces
After getting braces, most patients discover that they need to make some minor adjustments to their lifestyle and regular dental routine.
While learning to clean around your brackets and wires may take time, maintaining excellent oral hygiene prevents plaque and bacteria from forming and keeps your dental treatment plan on track. Continue reading to learn how to take care of your braces:
Remove your elastics before brushing your teeth. Then, gently brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle, making sure to remove debris from the gum line, the back teeth, between the braces, along the surfaces, and the tongue.
It’s recommended to brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes with an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste. For a gentle yet thorough cleaning, consider using an electric toothbrush, which is clinically proven to remove more plaque than a manual toothbrush.
Although this step is frequently neglected, it’s critical to give flossing the same amount of importance as brushing. Flossing not only cleans the hard-to-reach areas between your teeth of leftover food particles, but it also stimulates your gums and lowers inflammation.
For proper flossing, thread the floss between your teeth and the main wire. Clean between the first two teeth, sliding it up and down on each side. Then, gently remove the floss and repeat the process between the next pair of teeth.
To make flossing easier, consider using a floss threader or a waterpik. These tools allow you to clean around the brackets, wires, and elastics more efficiently.
Mouthwash not only freshens your breath, but it reduces plaque buildup, washes away debris, and keeps harmful oral bacteria at bay. It can also get into the nooks and crannies of your braces where brushing and flossing might not reach.
Choose a mouthwash that’s antibacterial and alcohol-free. If you have ceramic braces, consider using a clear or light-colored mouthwash or diluting the solution to prevent your bands from staining.
Avoid Teeth-Whitening Products
Teeth whitening while wearing braces often causes discoloration. This is because the airtight adhesive that holds braces to your teeth prevents whitening solutions from reaching the areas that they cover.
As a result, your teeth may not all be the same color when your braces are removed. Certain chemicals found in whitening solutions can also weaken the integrity of your braces.
Making simple changes to your lifestyle can go a long way toward protecting your ceramic braces from stains. Try to avoid smoking and tobacco products as they can penetrate through the glue that adheres your brackets to your teeth and stain the tooth enamel underneath.
It’s also recommended to steer clear of acidic, sugary, or pigmented foods as they contribute immensely to teeth discoloration. This includes beverages like coffee, tea, soda, wine, and dark-colored fruits and vegetables. It’s also advised to avoid hard, chewy, and crunchy foods as they can easily coat, stick to, and discolor teeth.
Orthodontic And Dental Appointments
Regular orthodontic appointments and dental checkups are crucial to the success of your treatment and work together to help you maintain optimal oral health throughout your orthodontic treatment.
An orthodontist tracks your progress, ensures your teeth are positioned correctly, and adjusts your braces when needed. Regular dental cleanings help to treat, prevent, and monitor cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues.
A Stain-Free Smile
Now you know the answer to “Do ceramic braces stain?” Although stains on braces can be bothersome, don’t let that discourage you! We’re here to help you navigate your orthodontic experience.
Our mission is to educate patients on how to properly care for their ceramic braces. Say goodbye to stubborn stains and hello to a sparkling smile. Visit us at Gleason Orthodontics today!