Straight and White

Braces and Teeth Whitening?

Even if you’re looking after your teeth well, brushing regularly and keeping your gums healthy, you may notice some discolouration around the brackets of your fixed braces. It’s not a sensible idea to go ahead with any teeth whitening treatment, either at home or at the dentist, while you still have any brackets or wires on the front of your teeth. When the brackets are removed, the area of the teeth that was under them is going to be a different colour to the area that was whitened!

Be Patient

The best thing to do is to wait until your treatment is over. At that point your teeth may have further discolouration from the glue or cement used, so after your braces are removed it would be a good time to tackle teeth whitening. You can either try home kits, which are sold in supermarkets or pharmacies, or go to a dentist for more expensive, but more effective treatment.

The products sold over the counter are not as good as the products used in a dentist’s surgery as they are not allowed to contain as much of the active ingredient, usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Home kits usually involve a gel that is painted onto the teeth or strips that are placed over the area to be treated. You will need to apply these treatments more than once over a period of time and it is important that you follow the instructions so you do not damage your teeth. Only buy products that have the logo of the British Dental Health Foundation on them, as these have been approved as safe for use.

The best way to have your teeth whitened, if you can afford it, is to have it done professionally at the dentist. Nowadays, there are two ways to have this done; professional whitening kits and laser whitening. The whitening kits you will get from your dentist are applied in the same way as the store-bought products, but they contain more of the active ingredient and are therefore more likely to be effective. Laser whitening involves the application of a whitening gel which is only activated when exposed to a special light or laser.

Tooth whitening is not 100% effective. After all, it can only improve your natural tooth colour, not making them whiter or brighter than they have been before, especially if they are heavily stained from your diet or the cement from your braces. Once you have completed your treatment with braces, it is a good time to consider this kind of treatment. The braces have already fixed any crowding or gapping in your smile, and the teeth whitening can make it sparkle!