If you’ve at last reached the finish line of your orthodontic journey, you’re probably looking forward to finally having your braces removed and bearing witness to your brand-new smile! However, despite the improved appearance of your pearly whites, there still might be some finishing touches needed—in some cases, your teeth can appear a little uneven in color after having braces. But when can you receive teeth whitening in Ponte Vedra Beach to address this issue? Here’s what you need to know.
How Braces Affect Your Oral Hygiene
Practicing excellent oral hygiene is one of the most important methods of prevention against plaque, tartar, and other things that threaten the look and health of your smile. This means that patients with braces should always rinse and brush after every meal, in addition to flossing at least twice a day. Inadequate brushing can leave food and liquid remnants on the surface of your teeth, increasing your chances of gum disease, tooth decay, and discoloration, among other problems. Even though braces make oral hygiene a little more challenging than usual, it’s still imperative that you’re able to keep your mouth clean!
Teeth Whitening After Braces
Simply put, certain foods and beverages can stain your teeth and ultimately lead to discoloration, and this can happen whether you have braces or not! Even though braces come with some dietary restrictions, things like coffee, tea, dark juices, tomato products, alcohol, and more are still allowed—and they all can unfortunately contribute to staining.
Professional teeth whitening can usually address this discoloration, but it’s often recommended to whiten teeth after braces, instead of before. Teeth whitening before braces can result in uneven shades across the surface of teeth from where the brackets and wires sit, as well as from shifting teeth. This can lead to an uneven shade spectrum across your smile.
Because of this, orthodontists often recommend that patients wait about six months after their braces are removed to whiten their teeth. Since wearing braces can cause teeth to feel weak for a short period of time, this gives your teeth time to adjust—making any future whitening treatments more effective and comfortable. Additionally, in many cases a patient’s saliva can reduce the intensity of discolorations and differences in shades after their braces have been removed.
If you’re wrapping up your orthodontic treatment and think your teeth could benefit from whitening, it’s important to receive assistance from a professional, rather than relying on over-the-counter whitening products. That way, you’re ensuring that your new smile looks as natural and beautiful as possible for several years to come!
About Ponte Vedra Complete Dentistry
The team at Ponte Vedra Complete Dentistry is honored to serve patients and families in the Ponte Vedra Beach community under the leadership of Dr. Kristopher R. Harth and Dr. Eric L. Townsend. Their practice is thrilled to offer a comprehensive range of preventive, cosmetic, and restorative treatment options. If you have any questions about the article or you’d like to arrange a visit for you or a loved one, don’t hesitate to contact the practice online or by phone for assistance: (904) 285-7711.