When going over your choices for orthodontic treatment, it may seem as if clear ceramic braces are the obvious way to go for you. They allow you to improve your smile without having to walk around with as much metal in your mouth. However, if you go with this orthodontic treatment option it is important to realize that it will take some work to keep your mouth looking its best.
Although the ceramic itself should not discolor, the teeth themselves and the elastic ties that go around the braces can discolor. Care should be taken to avoid these foods as much as possible.
Just say “No” to Foods and Drinks that May Stain
The last thing we want to do is put more limitations on what you can or cannot eat or drink while wearing braces, but it is best if you want to avoid staining and discoloration.
Foods and drinks that you should try to avoid include:
- Red wine
There are obviously other foods and drinks that will be better to avoid. We recommend to patients that if the foods and drink can leave their tongue or lips a different color then they have the ability to stain the teeth and the elastic ties as well.
Of course, if you happen to slip up and eat or drink any of these items it isn’t the end of the world. Just make sure that you brush immediately afterward. If you can’t brush, make sure to rinse your mouth out with water. This won’t be as effective as avoiding the foods and drinks completely, but it will reduce the likelihood that your braces will become stained or discolored.
The nicotine and tar in cigarettes don’t just discolor and stain your teeth; they can stain and discolor your braces and elastic ties, too. It is best to completely avoid cigarettes altogether if you want to keep your clear braces as invisible as possible.
Cessation of smoking will also have obvious systemic health benefits, as well as promoting a healthier mouth.
Learn How to Properly Brush Your Teeth with Braces
Brushing your teeth when you wear braces can be time-consuming. Proper hygiene is important not only for good oral health but also to keep your braces and teeth looking their best.
Plaque and tartar can build up around your braces if you skip brushing. At first, the plaque and tartar may be clear, but over time it can take on an off-white or yellow color that makes your braces more visible.
Some tips for brushing with braces include:
- Brush at least twice a day.
- Try to brush after every meal or snack if possible.
- Brush both the gum side of the brackets and edge side of the brackets, spending more time on the gums
- Angle the toothbrush so that the bristles can reach under the wires from both the tops and bottoms of the brackets.
- Make sure you brush slowly as this will avoid damaging the braces or causing any harm to your gums.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
Floss Every Day
Without braces, it is recommended that you floss once a day. Although it is much harder with braces, you still need to floss every day. This will help remove any plaque and food particles that are building up between the teeth.
To make flossing easier, we recommend that you use a floss threader or a specialty floss like Superfloss. These make it easier to guide the floss under the wires and around the brackets.
Curious about other ways you can prevent your clear ceramic braces from staining? Ask us about it during your next appointment. We will gladly provide you with tips on how to prevent staining of your clear ceramic braces.