Tips For Preventing Staining On Ceramic Braces
Unlike metal braces, clear braces are made to be unnoticeable and blend in with the colour of your teeth. They consist of tooth-coloured ceramic brackets that are positioned on the middle of each tooth and an archwire that connects all of the brackets together. The brackets are joined to the archwire with elastic ligatures, which can be clear or tooth-coloured. The ceramic brackets are pretty stain resistant, but they can still stain if not cared for properly, and the elastic ligatures are also prone to staining without proper care.
If you opt for ceramic braces because they're discreet, the last thing you'll want is unsightly staining drawing attention to them. Taking good care of your adult braces and making some adjustments to your lifestyle can prevent your braces from getting stained, so here are a few tips for keeping your ceramic braces looking like new:
Focus On Your Oral Hygiene Routine
In general, it's recommended that you brush your teeth twice a day, but those with ceramic braces should brush after every meal and snack with an electric toothbrush with a small, round head and soft bristles or an interdental brush, which is a single-tufted toothbrush that's designed for getting in behind archwires and around the brackets. Brushing after every meal will ensure food debris that could cause staining is removed from your mouth immediately.
Rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash can also prevent stains by keeping plaque and tartar at bay, which can discolour the perimeter of the brackets. Don't be tempted to use whitening toothpaste when trying to keep your braces clean, as the colour of your teeth may have an uneven appearance when your braces are removed and the area of tooth under your brackets is exposed.
Avoid Foods That Stain
The same foods that can stain your teeth can stain your braces, so avoid coffee, tea, red wine, mustard, curry and soy sauce. You should also avoid concentrated tomato products, such as tomato paste, and foods with colourings added to them. A good rule of thumb is that if a food stains your tongue, it can stain your braces.
The nicotine in cigarettes will stain the elastic ligatures on clear braces, which will draw attention to them. The yellow staining is quite unsightly and hard to remove, so once the elastic ligatures are stained, you will need to have them replaced, which will add to the cost of your braces. If you'd like help to quit smoking, your GP can refer you to a smoking cessation nurse for support.
Opting for clear braces can make you feel less self-conscious when smiling and talking to people. They aren't difficult to care for, and your dentist can show you how to keep them clean and minimise the risk of staining.