How to fix teeth discoloration after braces?

How to fix teeth discoloration after braces

Those of you that wear brace are well aware that it will take more than one dental appointment in order to achieve your goal, a straight and beautiful smile. Getting the result you want will take a lot of time and effort, so it’s only natural that you don’t want to end up with tooth discoloration once the braces come off.

With traditional braces, that come with wires and brackets which are ideal places for food bits to get stuck and that can cause plaque and bacteria buildup. The plaque can actually increase the level of some acids in your mouth, which can be harmful for your teeth since they way away some of the minerals from the enamel. This will present itself as white spots in places where you’re not able to remove all the plaque.

How to treat discoloration after braces?

If you’re having trouble thoroughly cleaning your teeth while wearing braces, you will most likely end up with some discoloration, once the braces are removed. Luckily, there are several ways you can address this, either at home or at your dentist.

At home

Regular brushing and flossing – If the discoloration is only minor, it should be removed by regular dental hygiene i.e. regular brushing and flossing. Since this is already your day-to-day routine, you don’t need to think about it and keep it in mind. While we’re on the topic of brushing, make sure that you use toothpaste with fluoride and nanohydroxyapatite. These active ingredients can do wonders in strengthening your teeth and removing the discoloration. Now, if you’re not sure which toothpaste has these ingredients, when shopping for one, make sure that it has the ADA (American Dental Association) seal of approval.

Remineralize – The tooth discoloration while wearing braces is caused by plaque and acid buildup, which causes demineralization of your tooth’s enamel You need to restore the proper balance of mineral in your enamel and there are several creams and gels you can use. We recommend that you speak to our dentist and see what they recommend.

Whiten your teeth – Teeth whitening products can also minimize the discoloration of your teeth by making the two colors more even. You can buy over the counter teeth whitening toothpaste but they are generally not strong enough and they usually only remove surface stains. Instead, we recommend opting in for a more professional (or semi-professional) approach where you use custom or semi-custom whitening gels and teeth whitening trays. These gels are usually much stronger and give better results. However, before proceeding with this method, you should consult your dentist to see if this will be effective at all.

At the dentist

Remineralizing – Just like the at home method, when you remineralize your teeth at the dentist, he will also use mineral agents to remove the white spots from your teeth. Dentist often prescribe the use of gels or paste that contain not only fluoride but also phosphorus and calcium.

Whitening or bleaching – Your dentist will most likely try to whiten your teeth to see if any discoloration can be improved. If there is still some discoloration, there are additional tools or methods your dentist can use.  The first kind is resin treatment where the dentist uses a special type of resin to remove the white spots. The resin is injected below the enamel and over the white spot. Then he will use light to solidify the resin which will look like your natural teeth. The second approach is through microabrasion where the dentist applies a special acid gel directly on the white spot and with the help of a polishing brush, he will eliminate the spot.

Veneers – Dental veneers are not only used to make your teeth look perfectly white, but also to hide some of the imperfections and discolorations that might be left after your braces. Veneers are basically caps that are placed on the front side of you tooth and they look really natural. But once you start with veneers you will always need them. So we highly recommend that you try removing them by some of the other methods, mentioned above.

How to prevent discoloration after braces?

Tooth discoloration after braces isn’t something that happens to everyone. You can do your best to minimize the chances or even the severity of the discoloration. Here are some useful tips:

  • Brush and floss after each meal – We highly recommend that you brush and floss after each meal, especially if you’re wearing braces
  • Be mindful of what you eat – High amount of bacteria and plaque usually form when you eat and drink too much sugary stuff. So make sure that you minimize (or cut out completely) sugary foods and beverages
  • Clean your teeth regularly – Make sure that you visit your dentist regularly for cleaning, at least twice a year.
  • Tools – Some people will struggle maintaining their hygiene because of the braces. I you’re one of them, you might want to try using an electric toothbrush and water flosser. You can even use fluoride rinse to wash out the food bits between the wires and brackets of your braces.

Don’t let possible tooth discoloration discourage you from braces and having a beautiful, straight and healthy smile. White spots that occur after your braces come off can be treated and removed. Make sure you do your best to prevent discoloration from happening. But in case it does, reach out to our dentists and schedule an appointment.


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Dr. Nguyen
Dr. Nguyen

Dr. Nguyen is committed to providing high-quality dentistry using state-of-the-art equipment to help you achieve improved oral health and the beautiful smile you deserve.

Dr. Nguyen has served on the Virginia Board of Dentistry and has many achievements such as: Invisalign Premier and Teen Provider, Pre-Fellow with Academy of General Dentistry, Graduate of Aesthetic Continuum, Engel Institute for Dental Implant Training, WaveOne Endodontic Training, HD President’s Club.

Dr. Nguyen enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters, staying active in the gym, and trying out new restaurants.  When he isn’t at work, you can find him playing basketball, tennis, football, or hiking.

“I want to make you feel right at home, exceed your expectations, and provide an amazing experience!”