10 Reasons Why Your Teeth Turn Yellow With Braces

Before or after getting braces, you experience a lot of new things including teeth turning yellow. To prevent this, you ask, “Why are my teeth turning yellow with braces?”

Teeth can turn yellow or get stained with braces due to the foods and drinks that you consume. Besides, poor oral hygiene, faulty tooth cleaning technique, and not following the instructions by the orthodontist can result in tooth discoloration.

Sometimes you have more stains, sometimes less. Moreover, you have to be aware of it as it can damage your teeth and braces.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the causes. After that, you can check our other article on “How to get rid of braces stains” and whiten teeth with braces.

10 Reasons Why Teeth Turn Yellow With Braces

Teeth Turning Yellow With Braces

Following are the causes of turning teeth yellow with braces:

1. Not brushing regularly and thoroughly

When food particles accumulate on your teeth, bacteria interact with them. This helps the formation of plaque and tartar on teeth.

Normally, food particles get trapped between and the margin of teeth. You can clean foods or plaque easily when you don’t wear braces.

But, when you wear braces, you have brackets, wires, elastics, springs, and other components. So, food particles get trapped more with braces.

As cleaning teeth is hard with braces, even if you clean teeth you can’t remove these foods completely.

Therefore, the accumulation of more plaque and tartar will occur which leads to yellow discoloration of teeth.

This plaque and tartar are also responsible for tooth decay and gum diseases. Now, you can understand why brushing teeth is more important with braces.

So, not brushing teeth regularly or thoroughly will cause more plaque and tartar deposition on teeth and teeth will turn yellow or brown as well as tooth decay and gum diseases.

Not brushing teeth at least twice a day

Brushing teeth less than that can’t help you if you want to prevent tooth discoloration and decay.

Faulty tooth brushing technique with braces

If you aren’t following proper tooth brushing techniques with braces, you are also at risk.

Brushing teeth with braces is different because you have to take time to clean each bracket nicely from all the surfaces of teeth.

Not waiting 30 minutes for brushing after a meal

This is another mistake, especially after taking acidic foods. The reason for that is, during this time, saliva washes the acids from teeth, and chemical reaction within teeth and enamel occurs to prevent damage.

Otherwise, brushing teeth before that time will cause enamel destruction and teeth discoloration.

Not brushing teeth after breakfast

There are many people who brush their teeth after waking up in the morning. Then they take their breakfast. This can be bad for your teeth.

Always remember, you have to keep your teeth clean from those food particles. Usually, you brush your teeth before going to bed at night.

And, there is no food particle in your mouth when you wake up in the morning. Now think about what are you doing?

So, if you brush your teeth before taking breakfast or don’t brush after breakfast, tooth staining may occur.

2. Not rinsing the mouth after taking food

You may brush 2 to 3 times every day, basically after the meals. But, do you clean your mouth, when you take food other times whether it’s sugary or not?

If you don’t rinse your mouth every time after taking foods, you are likely to develop more plaque. This can be another cause of your teeth turning yellow.

You should also rinse the mouth before brushing your teeth. This reduces the number of food particles and makes it easy for the toothbrush to clean the teeth.

3. Not flossing the teeth every day

As braces make it’s difficult to clean teeth, you have to use the various techniques of tooth cleaning.

Even if you don’t do it normally, you have to follow this while wearing braces. So, flossing also very important.

Brushes can’t reach all places of your mouth and teeth to clean, especially between two teeth and between the bracket and a tooth. Flossing can help do this.

So, if you don’t floss your teeth every day using the proper method, there is more chance of developing plaque and teeth staining with braces.

4. Eating sticky foods

Foods get trapped easily between teeth and braces. With that, if you eat sticky foods like candy or chocolate, it makes the situation even worse.

It’s difficult to remove those particles while you wearing braces and their components such as wires or elastics.

This causes more and more plaque, eventually tooth staining. This also results in tooth decay and periodontitis. So, it’s important to pick the right types of food if you are a braces wearer.

5. Drinking acidic and sugary drinks

Drinks containing high acid and sugar are bad for your teeth if you are wearing braces. If you are worried about teeth staining or yellow discoloration, you must ask yourself about this.

These drinks aren’t good either for your teeth, even if you don’t wear braces. You have to take extra care of it in that case.

Examples of the drinks are fruit juice containing high acid, soft drinks, soda, hard drinks, sports drinks, tea, coffee, and others.

The process of changing tooth color is different here. They affect your enamel of teeth and cause discoloration.

So, if you aren’t avoiding these drinks or taking measures after drinking, you may have brown or yellow teeth.

6. Eating starchy or sugary foods

Sugar or starch-rich foods help form more plaque and stimulate the cavity formation process. Taking too much of these with braces creates an unfavorable condition for your oral health.

So, if you fall into this group of people, you may have staining from braces.

7. No regular professional dental cleaning

Normally, dentists suggest professional dental cleaning or scaling every 6 months. However, with braces on teeth, you visit your dentist for dental cleaning more often.

The dentist can clean those places of your mouth, teeth, and braces which you can’t with brush or floss.

He or she uses special tools to remove plaques, tartar, or calculus from all surfaces or teeth, brackets, and wires.

If you don’t go to your dentist regularly, those plaques and tartar will stay for months and result in stained or yellow teeth.

You may also have a tooth cavity or weak gums, after the removal of braces.

8. Chewing tobacco or smoking

Smoking and chewing tobacco are harmful to your general health as well as oral health. They are the most common causes of teeth staining among these groups of people.

Tar and nicotine are the substances present in tobacco that causes yellow or brown discoloration of teeth.

Now, think about the consequence if you have this habit and wear braces. None can stop the staining of your teeth if you can’t quit this habit.

9. Not using proper teeth cleaning tools

Maintaining oral hygiene with braces is slightly different from without it because you have to clean not only teeth but also those places between brackets and teeth, or brackets and wires.

For this reason, you have to use special teeth cleaning tools for braces.

They are designed in such a way that they can clean your teeth and brackets more thoroughly than normal teeth cleaning tools.

So, if you aren’t using special tools such as electric toothbrushes, manual toothbrushes for braces, or water flosses, you may not be able to remove plaques and tartar nicely.

This may increase the risk of turning the teeth yellow. If you are too concerned about tooth staining, you may want to use whitening toothpaste. Don’t do that.

This may lead to white spots on teeth. You may wonder how?

When you use this with braces on teeth, those parts of teeth, which aren’t covered with brackets, may turn white.

But, after the removal of the braces, you will have teeth with different colors in different places.

So, in the end, you’ll have tooth discoloration or some places of your teeth will look yellow.

10. Not following orthodontist’s advice

Your orthodontist gives you a lot of instructions to maintain braces as well as oral hygiene. When you get some new components with your brackets for orthodontic treatment, he or she may give your special advice for that.

If you don’t follow that, you may have teeth staining that you can notice after the removal of braces.

Why do teeth turn yellow more with braces than without braces?

Braces aren’t responsible for teeth staining directly. However, they can affect teeth indirectly. There are several factors that contribute to this.

  1. Food particles getting trapped between braces and teeth.
  2. Difficulty in cleaning teeth with braces than without it.
  3. Accumulation of plaque and tartar more than normal.

Because of these factors, you have to be more careful with braces than normal so that you can prevent your teeth and periodontal tissue from braces stains or other problems.

Check out how to whiten teeth after braces.


In short, your teeth may turn yellow or brown with braces as a result of the wrong tooth cleaning technique, not maintaining oral hygiene regularly, wrong food habits, and bad oral habits.

Now as you know the reasons why your teeth are turning yellow with braces, you can prevent teeth staining with braces by following all the instructions given by your orthodontist.