Can Clear Braces Get Stained?

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It’s no secret that a beautiful smile leaves a long-lasting impression on people you interact with. If issues like crowding or alignment prevent you from having a beautiful smile, braces can correct them. You’ll be among over 40,000 Australians who rely on clear aligner therapy to straighten their teeth. Clear braces can boost your confidence and improve oral and overall health when worn correctly. They are also more comfortable and lighter than the metal ones. However, one question on most people’s minds is, “can clear braces get stained?” Clear braces may stain when in contact with deeply coloured drinks and foods. The dark-coloured pigments in these foods react with the elastic bands on the braces, making them stain. Here’s everything you need to know concerning this topic as you consider getting braces.

How Clear Braces Work

Clear braces make it easier to straighten teeth without it being evident that you have braces. There’s also a high chance that no one will notice them. Unlike regular braces, clear ones have the same colour as the teeth. They move the teeth into the desired shape to complement your smile. The process for applying clear braces is quite similar to the one used on metal braces, apart from the materials used. Clear braces have ceramic brackets tinted to match the colour of your teeth. The archwire is also white, while the elastics are clear to make them invisible. As you shop for clear braces, be aware of DIY teeth straightening kits that are increasingly gaining popularity. According to Dr. Holmes of the Australian Society for Orthodontists, changing your teeth’s alignment can affect your jaw and face muscles. With the wrong product, you may end up with misaligned teeth and jaw problems.

Can Clear Braces Get Stained?

Brackets used on invisible braces are made of ceramic, which doesn’t stain easily. The only parts that stain are the elastic ties, which secure the wire onto the brackets. As these ties come into contact with select foods, they are prone to staining. Deeply pigmented drinks and food leave stains on the elastic ties. Foods made with heavy dyes such as boxed mac and cheese also have the same effect. If the pigments stay longer on the ties, the braces stains will be more visible. It’s also possible for food particles to get caught up in the tiny pits between the braces. If you fail to remove them, the food particles will react with bacteria in the mouth, leaving behind stains. Smoking also increases the chances of your braces getting stained.

Are the Stains Permanent?

Without proper care, clear braces can lead to lasting damage to your teeth. Stains gathered on the elastic ties can also be permanent when left untreated. Observing proper dental health and hygiene will prevent the stains from spreading further to the enamel. When the stains spread further to the tooth surface, they may cause discolouration on your teeth. Your teeth won’t look as white or bright as they used to due to the discolouration. You’ll notice white or greyish streaks around the enamel due to this condition.

Foods That Cause Staining of Clear Braces

Consuming the wrong foods can increase the risk of the wires or brackets breaking. You may also experience some discomfort and require an orthodontist’s help if the discomfort worsens. Foods high in sugar make it easier for plaque to develop on your enamel. You should also observe a flossing routine to remove food particles that get stuck in the braces. Some of the safe foods to eat when wearing braces include complex carbs like bread and rice, and dairy foods like yoghurt and cheese. Only eat properly cut or cooked fruits and vegetables to prevent discomfort. Your protein-rich food sources should also be cooked until they’re tender. Stay away from chewy and crunchy foods like lollies and chips. You should also avoid sticky candy, hard foods like pretzels, nuts, and sweetened drinks. Foods that require a lot of force to bite, such as raw carrots, may also hurt your braces. Foods like turmeric, curries, yellow mustard, tomato products, and beets have a high staining power. Drinking coffee, red wine, soy sauce, and dark sodas may also leave the braces stained. Brush, floss, and rinse your teeth after consuming any of these food items to remove the stains.

How to Keep Clear Braces Clean and Fresh

Brushing your teeth and rinsing with water after every meal is the most effective way to keep braces clean. This simple exercise will prevent the brackets from accumulating stains and will help brighten your smile. Using mouthwash and flossing can help remove food particles in places that a toothbrush can’t reach. You should also avoid tobacco, since nicotine tends to discolour the braces and enamel. Avoid using whitening toothpaste since it may leave uneven imprints on your teeth once you remove the braces. Schedule frequent visits to your orthodontist to have the ties replaced. During the follow-up appointments, the orthodontist will check whether the braces are in proper working form during the follow-up appointments.

What to Do About Stained Braces

Having stained braces is one of the challenges you should be prepared to deal with as an orthodontic patient. The stains ruin the appearance of your teeth and promote bacteria growth. When left unremoved, they can cause the braces to malfunction. Consult with an orthodontist when the brackets or the ties around your braces get stained. The orthodontist may remove the bonding material or use quality whitening products to remove the stains. An alcohol-free mouthwash can also help you remove the stains before they worsen. Gargle with it three times a day while ensuring that the product stays in your mouth for up to 2 minutes. Avoid using lemon juice or anything with citric acid to remove the stains, since they may eat away the tooth enamel.

Get Straighter Teeth Today with Clear Aligners

Cear braces offer a high level of discretion over regular braces. However, you need to give them extra care to keep them clean and fresh. We hope that this guide answered any questions you had on “can clear braces get stained?” Invisible aligners from SmilePath are an affordable way to straighten misaligned teeth. You can wear them 8 to 10 hours every night without interrupting your day-to-day routine. Get a perfect smile faster and conveniently by shopping with us today.

Chung, F. (2018, December 26). Australian 3D printing firm takes on Invisalign in multibillion-dollar global clear aligner market. News.Com.Au.

Dexter, R. (2021, July 31). Orthodontists raise alarm about DIY teeth straighteners. The Sydney Morning Herald.

Are There Foods You Should Avoid If You Have Braces? (2022, March 11). Verywell Health.