I should be finished with braces in October. How can I whiten my teeth after the braces are off? My teeth were yellow before the braces, but now they look spotty and yellow. Which whitening strips or toothpaste should I use? – Thanks. Aamir from MD
Thank you for your questions. Wearing braces can cause various kinds of teeth stains. Until a dentist identifies the source of the stains and recommends treatment, you should not whiten your teeth at home. Your efforts can make the stains more noticeable. Also, whitening strips and whitening toothpaste will have limited results.
How Can You Whiten Your Teeth After Braces?
Professional whitening from a dentist is the best way to whiten your teeth after braces because it minimizes the risks of choosing the wrong treatment. Most dentists offer in-office and take-home whitening. The advantages of professional whitening include:
- Source of the stains – A dentist will examine your teeth to identify the causes of the stains. If your teeth are yellow and spotty, you may have experienced decalcification beneath your braces and yellowing over time. A cosmetic dentist may recommend more than one cosmetic treatment for your teeth.
- Anticipate the results – Without professional training, you cannot predict the effects of bleaching gel on your teeth, but a dentist can. Bleaching can make some stains more noticeable.
- Targeted whitening – If you are a candidate for teeth whitening, a dentist will take impressions of your teeth for custom bleaching trays. Either you will you the trays for take-home whitening or touch-ups after in-office whitening.
- In-office whitening – You can get rapid results with an hour of dental whitening in the office. You can continue whitening at home if you want your teeth brighter.
- Treatment options other than bleaching gel – As the next section explains, bleaching gel may not be enough to remove teeth stains after braces.
Cosmetic Dentistry for Teeth Stains After Braces
Improving teeth stains after braces may include more than one cosmetic treatment, such as the following:
- Teeth whitening – Removes surface and embedded stains
- Remineralization – Stops demineralization and loss of tooth enamel
- Composite restoration – Tooth-colored resin repairs damage to your tooth enamel
- Microabrasion – Improves appearance by sanding and polishing tooth enamel
Schedule an appointment with an advanced cosmetic dentist to examine your teeth and explain your options.
Dr. Jerome Cha, a Tulsa, Oklahoma, cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.