How Do You Prevent Stains While Wearing Braces?

Here at Central Massachusetts Orthodontic Associates, we’re dedicated to helping you and your family smile bigger. Dr. Giarrusso, Dr. Livanos, Dr. Kotin, and the whole team is here to bring out the best in your smile, in and out of the office. So, how do you prevent stains while wearing braces? Well, that’s just what we’re talking about today, so keep reading to find out! 

Braces & Staining – The Dirty Truth

We know it can be challenging to prevent stains with braces, but why is that? Well, it turns out there are a few unique reasons why it’s extra important to get some braces care tips. Let’s examine a few of these now. 

The Role of Plaque and Bacteria

Plaque accumulation is a challenge for all of us, but it poses a unique challenge when you’re wearing braces. Since braces create a bunch of tiny spaces to trap food, that can lead to plaque buildup if not cleaned properly. 

This plaque harbors bacteria that produce acids after consuming the sugars in your food and drink. These acids can cause demineralization and staining of the tooth enamel if they remain in contact with your teeth for too long. 

Here’s a tip: regular and thorough cleaning of your braces and teeth will help to control plaque and reduce staining.

Common Staining Culprits

So, what’s the deal with staining? Well, certain foods and beverages are infamous for leaving behind stains. Coffee, tea, red wine, and soda can discolor your teeth without taking care to avoid those stains. 

Similarly, foods with intense color pigments, like berries, tomato sauce, and curry, can also contribute to staining. Foods to avoid with braces are those that could either cause damage or those that, like the ones above, could leave stains. 

How Do You Prevent Stains While Wearing Braces?

Daily Cleaning & Care Techniques

Keeping your braces clean isn’t just about maintaining your smile; it’s about avoiding long-term damage to your teeth. Let’s break down the daily habits that will keep those pesky stains at bay.

Brushing and Flossing

When it comes to braces care, the way you brush and floss makes all the difference. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and make small circular motions to ensure you’re getting around the brackets and wires. Don’t rush it—spend about two minutes each time to give your mouth the thorough clean it deserves.

Here’s another tip: Flossing with braces might seem like a hassle, but it’s a game changer. Use a floss threader or water flosser to get in between the braces and under the wires. This extra step can kick plaque to the curb and seriously cut down on your chances of getting stains.

Using the Right Products

Not all oral care products are up to the task when you’ve got braces. Look for fluoride toothpaste and mouthwashes designed for orthodontic care. These products often have ingredients that help protect enamel and reduce demineralization, which can lead to staining.

And don’t forget about specialized tools! An interdental brush can get into those tight spots between your braces and teeth. Regular toothbrushes might miss these areas, so adding this tool to your arsenal can significantly enhance your cleaning routine.

Rinsing Often

If you can’t brush immediately after eating, rinsing your mouth with water is a solid backup plan. It helps wash away food particles and sugars that sit on your teeth and cause stains. Make it a habit to swish with water after snacks and meals, especially if you’ve indulged in some of those stain-prone foods like coffee or soda.

How Do You Prevent Stains While Wearing Braces?

Eat & Drink Right to Smile Bright!

Now, let’s get back to something we touched on briefly at the beginning – dietary choices. Of course, nobody expects you to do this perfectly, but by keeping in mind foods and drinks to avoid, you can make your braces care go a whole lot more smoothly!

Foods to Avoid While Wearing Braces

To dodge those unwanted stains and potential damage to your braces, consider cutting back on:

  • Popcorn and hard candies: These can get stuck and are tough on your braces.
  • Sticky foods: Items like caramel and chewing gum can cling to braces and pull.
  • Sugary treats: High sugar content can lead to plaque buildup and stains.
  • Staining beverages: Coffee, tea, and red wine are best enjoyed in moderation.

Foods That Promote Oral Health

Choosing the right foods can strengthen your teeth and help keep those stains away. Make sure to include:

  • Dairy products: Yogurt and cheese are high in calcium, which strengthens teeth.
  • Crunchy fruits and vegetables: Apples, carrots, and celery help clean teeth as you eat.
  • Whole grains: These contain less sugars that can lead to decay and staining.
How Do You Prevent Stains While Wearing Braces?

Come & See Us! 

Last but not least, come and see us at Central Massachusetts Orthodontic Associates for regular check-ups! Dr. Giarusso, Dr. Levanos, Dr. Kotin, and the whole team are ready and waiting to help you find the smile of a lifetime, and if you’re still looking for care, schedule your consultation now! Come and see us today at our office in Worcester, Spencer or Auburn