It’s common to have stained or yellow discoloration of teeth after getting braces. So, you get concerned, Can you whiten your teeth with braces on?
Usually, orthodontists don’t suggest whitening teeth with braces on because whitening agents will make your exposed teeth brighter that results in uneven teeth colors after braces come off. However, you may use safe whitening products for braces at home and follow proper cleaning methods to keep teeth white.
Let’s take a look at the method of keeping teeth whiten with braces.
How to safely whiten your teeth with braces at home?
You have to use whitening products that neither make the surface of braces rough nor change the tooth color drastically. The reason is rough braces surface deposit more plaque and if teeth get whiter it will create uneven color after removal of braces.
Safe tooth whitening options for traditional metal braces:
Safe tooth whitening options for lingual braces and clear aligner or Invisalign
Here are the ways to whiten your teeth with braces at home.
1. Use at-home tooth whitening products
There are various kinds of at-home whitening products. All of them aren’t safe to use with braces. However, they give you the expected result slowly. Most of them remove the surface stains and can’t remove the intrinsic stains.
A whitening strip is one of the effective ways to make your teeth whiten. You can apply it easily to your teeth at your home. It’s cheap and safe to use. The strips contain bleaching agents.
Some have hydrogen peroxide and some have other active ingredients. They act on your teeth and make them white.
Don’t use the strips that don’t contain chlorine dioxide, which can destroy your teeth structure.
You shouldn’t use the whitening strips if you wear braces in front of your teeth or traditional metal braces.
But, you can use it without any problem if you wear braces on your back teeth or lingual braces.
You can also apply it with Invisalign or clear removable aligners. But, why?
Bleaching agents remove not only the surface stain but also work on your teeth enamel and dentin and make them staining free from inside.
But, when you use them over the teeth surface that contains braces, you get an uneven teeth color, after the removal of braces.
This can’t be a problem when you wear lingual braces, as you use the stripes on the outer side of teeth and braces stay in the inner side of teeth.
Method of using:
You can use the whitening strips once or twice a day. Wear it up to 40 to 45 minutes. Follow the instruction for using it properly. Wearing too long can cause tooth sensitivity or gum irritation.
You should remove food particles by brushing and flossing your teeth before applying the strips.
Also, put the strips only on over the teeth, and be careful of touching your gums, as it will hurt and irritate the gums.
Bleaching gels and Whitening trays
Another tooth whitening product that is very effective to make your teeth white is the whitening tray with gels. You get a bleaching solution or gel containing carbamide peroxide.
Before you use the tray, put the solution in the tray, and wear it for a certain duration. The solution is to remove your teeth stains as well as make your teeth white by acting on enamel.
Your orthodontist prepares the custom made tray for you. You can’t use any random tray or gel.
So, take help from your orthodontist. He or she will make it in such a way that it fits in your mouth properly.
You just need to apply it according to the instructions. Don’t use excess solution than recommended.
But, can you use a whitening tray with bleaching gels with braces?
Yes, you can use the whitening tray while wearing lingual braces and Invisalign. It’s safe and easy to use and shouldn’t cause any tooth sensitivity or other teeth problems.
Moreover, it’s very effective and not very costly. While wearing Invisalign you need to use the tray during the time of taking a break from the Invisalign.
Your orthodontist will give you the schedule of using them. But, the drawback is it may not fit very well with the lingual braces.
Some patients may develop tooth sensitivity, as the condition of teeth isn’t the same in all individuals.
Moreover, you shouldn’t wear it with traditional metal braces, that you get on the outer side of the teeth.
Just like most of the whitening products you may get an uneven teeth color after braces come off.
Method of using:
You should brush and floss your teeth before applying the whitening tray to remove the food debris.
Put the gel or solution into the tray and insert it in your mouth. Sometimes, you may need to wear it twice a day for at least half an hour to an hour.
In some cases, your orthodontist may suggest you wear it overnight for a week or two. You get a desirable outcome within 2-3 weeks.
The easiest and safest tooth whitening option is the whitening toothpaste. This toothpaste scrubs away the surface stain of teeth because it contains abrasives particles such as silica.
Some toothpaste may contain chemicals that can dissolve the stains. So, you can get rid of almost all the stains when you use this toothpaste.
The paste also has fluoride that increases the strength of your enamel. Other special ingredients or polishing agents may present in the whitening toothpaste.
You also get more whiten teeth than those in which normal toothpaste is used.
Moreover, this toothpaste isn’t like other bleaching products that make your teeth color uneven after braces come off, because it doesn’t change the color of your teeth that much.
So, you can use it not only with lingual braces and clear aligners but also with traditional metal braces.
Besides, you don’t need any special procedure to use it, since you use it as a part of a normal toothbrushing procedure.
Chemicals that are used in most kinds of toothpaste aren’t harmful to your teeth and don’t produce sensitivity.
However, rarely some whitening toothpaste may develop tooth sensitivity, as they may use strong abrasive particles.
Method of using:
Brush your teeth with whitening toothpaste 2-3 times a day. Use it for a month regularly to get an expected result.
Learn the proper method of brushing teeth while wearing braces to avoid any damage to your braces and teeth,
An electric toothbrush can be a great way to whiten your teeth. It can remove your surface stain from your teeth.
Though it doesn’t contain any whitening ingredient it makes your teeth look brighter and whiter by protecting your teeth from stains and plaque.
The study suggests an electric toothbrush can remove plaque and food debris more effectively than a regular toothbrush along while wearing braces.
So, use an electric toothbrush that may help you keep your teeth cleaner and whiter with it.
It shouldn’t cause any side effects. However, those, who have sensitive teeth, may experience more sensitivity if they use this toothbrush.
There are various types of electric toothbrushes. You should have an electric toothbrush that’s specially designed for braces and contains an orthodontic brush head.
Besides, you can also look for special features such as speed settings and cleaning modes.
You can use the electric toothbrush with all kinds of braces since it doesn’t change the color of your teeth.
Method of using:
Brush your teeth at least 2 times a day with the electric toothbrush as it’s an alternative to a regular toothbrush.
Buy an electric toothbrush that’s prepared for braces wearer. Follow the instructions of brushing teeth with braces on teeth to prevent any damage.
You can use whitening mouthwash with any type of braces which means, you can apply it with traditional metal braces, lingual braces, and Invisalign.
The mouthwash can whiten your teeth and freshen your breath as well. It protects your teeth from stains and helps minimize plaque and gum disease.
Besides, it removes those stains that are already present on your teeth. It contains ingredients like hydrogen peroxide that helps whiten your teeth.
However, this mouthwash isn’t as effective as the whitening strips or trays. But, you may not face any problems like tooth sensitivity or gum irritation, if you use this.
Method of using:
Rinse your mouth with the whitening mouthwash at least once a day o get a good outcome. You have to rinse your mouth for 60 seconds. Follow the instruction for using it properly.
2. Use the regular tooth cleaning product
You should use a soft-bristle toothbrush to prevent your braces from any damage. A hard bristle toothbrush can not only break the braces or wires but also make the surface of the braces rough.
So, acids of foods or germs can damage the shinner and brighter surface of braces or teeth easily and accumulate more stains.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day thoroughly using the appropriate method of brushing your teeth.
Take two minutes to clean your teeth properly. Regular toothbrushing help prevent the deposition of food debris and plaque on the teeth.
If you don’t do that, you will have a yellow discoloration of teeth after the removal of braces.
Know other effects of not brushing teeth with braces on teeth, as maintaining oral hygiene is a difficult task with braces.
You have to face a lot of difficulties to remove food particles and plaque that stuck under the wires or in between teeth while wearing braces. An interdental toothbrush is a popular way to keep your tooth free from that debris.
Use regular fluoride toothpaste that’s the best option to clean your teeth when you wear braces.
Fluoride makes your teeth stronger and prevents tooth decay. Some foods and drinks cause acidic damage to your teeth and fluoride also helps prevent it from happening.
As a result, your teeth don’t turn yellow and get stained easily. So, you can use this paste to brush your teeth 2-3 times a day regularly.to get a whiter looking smile.
Since removing all plaques, tartar, and food particles from teeth and braces is very hard, you must use dental floss to make them clean completely.
Learn the proper technique of flossing with braces on teeth, or you may damage your braces and the wires.
But, you may wonder how flossing is related to tooth whitening. You want to whiten a smile with braces on your teeth.
But, if you don’t floss, food debris and plaque remain between your teeth and caught into the braces. Over time, it gives your staining and more plaque.
So, you get less white or yellow teeth. Floss your teeth regularly to keep your teeth white.
3. Prevent tooth discoloration from braces
Before thinking of making your teeth white using a special product, you must try to keep your teeth white and prevent them from turning yellow or getting stained. Your first concern during wearing braces should be to keep the usual color of your teeth.
Maintaining proper oral hygiene
You can prevent the stain easily if you maintain oral hygiene. Brush and floss your teeth regularly to get rid of the stain.
You must clean your teeth after each meal and remove all food debris from your teeth and braces.
Eating braces-friendly and easy to clean foods
You should also change your food habits and take braces-friendly foods to prevent tooth discoloration and maintain oral hygiene.
Hard and sticky foods easily get stuck between braces and teeth. This leads to excess plaque deposition. Bacteria also start to act there and destroy your enamel by producing acid.
So, choose foods that are easy to clean while wearing braces. Moreover, you can’t eat hard foods as it can break your braces.
Staying away from sugary and acidic foods and beverage
Sticky and sugary foods adhere to teeth and braces, and you can’t remove those easily with braces on your teeth. Gradually, your teeth develop plaque and cause tooth discoloration.
Acidic and sugary drinks such as sports drinks, soda, coffee, tea, carbonated beverages, soft drinks, and hard drinks dissolve the enamel of your teeth.
Your teeth get stained over time because of the damage.
Learn what foods you should eat and what foods you have to avoid with braces on teeth to avoid teeth from turning yellow.
Can you take in-office bleaching or tooth whitening treatment with braces?
Though in-office bleaching treatment is the most effective and faster tooth whitening method, you can’t take the treatment with braces on teeth because it acts only on that surface of teeth where braces aren’t attached. So, when your braces come off, you find the two-tone effect.
That means those covered parts of teeth look less white than the exposed parts. As a result, you have to take in-office bleaching treatment again after braces.
Moreover, braces may fade away due to the bleaching agents. All of the reasons make the treatment less effective.
In some rare cases, you can take the treatment if you wear lingual braces or a clear removable aligner.
Now, what to do during braces treatment? You should use proper tooth-cleaning techniques regularly, avoid foods that stain your braces, and use whitening products at home that are safe to use with braces.
If you need to whiten your teeth after braces, you can get the in-office bleaching treatment at that time, which is the best tooth whitening option.
Can you use baking soda or oil pulling to whiten teeth while wearing braces?
You can use DIY teeth whitening techniques like baking soda, oil pulling, or bleaching agents because they are safe to use with braces on teeth. However, they should be avoided with braces because of some problems.
Baking soda is very abrasive and brushing teeth with it might damage your ceramic or metal braces.
Moreover, it can develop tooth sensitivity. The whitening effect doesn’t last very long either.
Besides, bleaching agents or baking soda can make the color of your teeth uneven while wearing braces.
So, stay away from these and try to maintain a tooth cleaning routine, and take the whitening treatment after braces come off.
Can you use all tooth whitening products with braces on your teeth?
You should avoid most of the tooth whitening products while wearing braces because it whitens only exposed areas of teeth and you get an uneven tooth shade after braces come off.
You can use those whitening kits that are safe to use with braces and have an ADA approved seal.
Choose the products based on the types of braces you have. Following the procedures, we have discussed in this article.
Why are my teeth turning yellow with braces?
Braces make it difficult for you to clean teeth thoroughly as braces produce more irregular surfaces in your mouth. Besides, when someone doesn’t maintain oral hygiene, more plaque and tartar deposit in teeth and braces. This causes yellow teeth, even tooth decay.
Wrong food habits with braces also stain teeth. Acidic and sugary foods and beverages are responsible for the yellow discoloration of teeth. However, white spots on teeth with braces also very common.
Check out the causes of your teeth turning yellow with braces and ways to get if rid of it in detail.
When you have stains on your teeth, normal tooth cleaning can’t whiten your teeth. But, the orthodontist recommends whitening teeth after braces, because it can’t whiten the area of teeth covered by brackets. So, you will end up having discolored teeth once braces come off.
Moreover, braces may cause more tooth staining after whitening treatment over time. So, that’s a waste of work and money.
But, you can use some braces-friendly whitening products approved by ADA as we mentioned above. However, that depends on the types of braces you wear.
Some are safe for traditional metal braces while some are safe for lingual braces and clear aligners.