Are you interested in teeth whitening with braces? Well, it can be a challenge because the metal brackets tend to get in the way, and you want to make sure your teeth are all the same colour when your braces are removed.
In general, it's not recommended to use whitening treatments while wearing traditional braces. However, there are other ways you can keep your teeth clean, healthy, and even a little bit brighter until you get your braces off.
Then when you no longer have metal brackets attached to your teeth, you can think about professional teeth whitening or at-home whitening kits.
In this article we'll discuss the following topics, and more!
- Can you whiten your teeth with braces?
- Teeth whitening with clear aligners
- How to whiten teeth with braces
Occasionally teeth whitening with braces is possible, but it entirely depends on the type of braces that you're wearing. So let's get started and find out how to keep your pearly whites, white while wearing braces.
Table of contents
Can I whiten my teeth while wearing braces?
You can whiten your teeth while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Although, as we said earlier, it depends on which braces you are wearing, and it's not a good idea with traditional braces.
The most common whitening options include whitening gel, strips, or toothpaste. Unfortunately, the problem with these treatments is that they won't be able to reach under the brackets of fixed train tracks or self-ligating braces. This will lead to your teeth having darker spots when you do get your braces off.
In some cases, it may be okay to try whitening with lingual braces, depending on the whitening system you use because the brackets are attached behind the tooth.
However, this study found that using whitening while wearing fixed braces may reduce the bond strength between brackets and teeth. It also showed that whitening products would have a lesser whitening effect on the areas underneath the attached brackets.
So make sure that if you do any whitening treatments with even lingual braces, you consult your dentist first to see which treatments are suitable.
If you are using clear removable aligners, you're in luck! They can be taken out for short periods of time, so you can use strips, gels, and whitening kits. In fact, many at-home aligner brands come with whitening treatments.
How to get white teeth with braces
A lot of people are curious to know how to get white teeth with braces. But it just isn't possible to safely whiten your teeth while wearing fixed braces. Thankfully, there are some ways to keep your teeth from becoming yellow while you're wearing them!
- Make sure that you have a good toothbrush: Toothbrush heads should be replaced every three months. You may want to consider an electric one, as many people find that they are more efficient in removing plaque from brackets and wires. Traditional toothbrushes work just fine as well — the most important thing is to brush at least twice daily with the proper technique.
- Floss daily: When you are done brushing your teeth, you should take the time to floss. It can be frustrating with braces, but it will reduce the amount of plaque in your mouth, which can help keep your teeth white and healthy. If you aren't comfortable flossing with braces, you can try a water pick. This tool is effective at dislodging food from your braces.
- Use a fluoride mouthwash: People with braces are more likely to get cavities because the brackets can hold onto food particles. Using a fluoride mouthwash can help keep your enamel healthy and clean while reducing your risk of getting a cavity. It's best not to use mouthwash right after brushing your teeth because this can actually rinse away the beneficial ingredients of your toothpaste.
Don't use whitening products with brackets
All in all, it's probably best to refrain from using whitening treatments when you have traditional braces with brackets on the front of your teeth. Otherwise, when you do get your braces off, you might have little different coloured squares on each of your teeth where the brackets were.
The upside is that at least you know your whitening treatment worked!
If you are using clear aligners, you can take them off whenever you want. That makes it much easier to use teeth whitening products because you don't have to worry about uneven colouration.
More questions about whitening with braces
How can you get white teeth with braces?
If you are using lingual braces or aligners, you can use several at-home whitening options. There are whitening gels, toothpastes, and at-home kits with LED lights. You could even have your teeth professionally whitened with in-office whitening treatments.
If you have traditional wires and brackets, it's essential to take good care of your oral hygiene. Doing so will help reduce the amount of staining you have to deal with when they come off.
Use a non-whitening toothpaste with fluoride and brush twice a day, and make sure that you floss your teeth before bed. There are different tools you can use to facilitate the process, such as a water flosser or interdental brushes.
Why are my teeth turning yellow with braces?
Your teeth are more susceptible to staining when you have traditional braces because it can be harder to clean around the brackets and floss underneath the wires. By avoiding certain food and drinks, like chocolate, coffee, and wine, you can help keep your smile free from yellow stains.
Which whitening options are safe to use while wearing braces?
It will depend on the type of orthodontic treatment you are using. With lingual braces or removable aligners, you can use just about any method that you prefer. But, with traditional metal braces, you can't use whitening strips or trays without uneven bleaching.
Can I schedule an in-office dental whitening treatment with braces?
Yes, if you have removable or lingual braces. However, your dentist will likely advise that you wait until you have traditional braces taken off so your teeth don't become discoloured underneath.
As long as you brush and floss properly while you have braces, you shouldn't deal with a significant increase in enamel staining.
Whitening products aren't recommended during treatment with traditional braces, as they can result in non-uniform colouring because they won't reach under the brackets. Some studies have shown that whitening products may affect your orthodontic treatment by weakening the bonds between your brackets and the teeth they are attached to.
It is better to wait until you get your braces off if you want to pursue teeth whitening treatments and focus on keeping your enamel healthy in the meantime. If you have removable aligners or lingual braces, you're in luck, as you can still get teeth whitening treatment while wearing some types of braces.
NCBI. Bleaching during orthodontic treatment and its effect on bracket bond strength. Consulted 15th October 2021.