Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. Whitening teeth with braces

    Hi guys. Sorry in advance for the long post, I guess this includes 'my story' + my mission to get straighter, whiter teeth!

    I have had braces for about 3 months now (only on top set of teeth) and am interested in whitening my teeth. Here's a bit of background info. 22y/o male from UK. I never got offered braces from the NHS, probably because I didn't have severe crookedness. But by the time I was about 18 I wasn't happy with my smile, I didn't think my teeth were white or straight enough. After long deliberation I got clear braces at a private practice. I haven't had any cosmetic procedures done before. Unfortunately in my early years I didn't look after my teeth as well as I could have (unfortunately my parents were not proactive in this department and I was left largely to my own devices); though I did always brush daily, it was generally once rather than twice, and probably not thoroughly or with floss/mouthwash. When I hit 17/18 I starting looking after them more, I got an electric toothbrush (which was honestly a lifesaver) and started using mouthwash/flossing more regularly. But I think the damage had already been done. I've had 4/5 fillings and my teeth were quite stained.

    I really started to take charge of my dental health when I got into my early 20s. I thought first things first best get braces, which I did. I made sure I didn't need any fillings or anything before I got them on, (though I think I will need more fillings in the future on my molars/premolars). But I didn't get any stain removal/whitening done beforehand (the orthodontist did a quick polish before putting the brace on) , because my initial plan was to get it straight after. Now I wish I had got some whitening done before (and obviously I will get some after no matter what). I'll be wearing my brace for well over a year and once my teeth start getting straighter (like the 6-8 month mark) I would like to start smiling, but I'm embarrassed by brace + yellowish teeth. I'm not sure why my teeth aren't that white. I think it is partly genetics (I think I have pretty weak teeth, none of my family had great teeth), partly lack of thorough care in early years as mentioned, and partly due to consuming a lot of tea + coffee + pasta sauces/curries in the past. Now I am very careful to avoid these staining foods, and never drink tea or coffee.

    So my question is, if I've acquired these stains over the years due to these reasons, can they be reversed? Should I have gotten whitening before? And can I still get some whitening done now that will reduce these stains, and then after the braces come off I can get a stronger, more thorough whitening? That's what I'd like to do but I have no idea what is available. I saw my dentist very recently but I didn't ask, I've only just thought this through in the past couple of weeks. To complicate matters I have a chipped front tooth (small chip) from a fall when I was young, and I got that filled, but the filling was obviously to match my less-than-white teeth, and I don't think that will whiten up with treatment, so I might need that refilled or covered. Also, is the staining simply a sign of discolourment or might it be something more sinister like plaque buildup? I'm not really sure how staining works exactly! The longer you leave it, the more permanent it becomes? Also I haven't been to a hygienist though my dentist usually does a quick clean. I mentioned it but he said if I needed it I'd be recommended (so I presume I don't).

    Right now I brush three times a day with a high-end Oral B electric toothbrush (Oral B Triumph), usually after meals though I usually wait a short while to avoid acid erosion. I use orthodontic heads on the surfaces that has the brace, and a regular for the rest. I also switch between regular/sensitive head to avoid overbrushing damage, and I switch between modes depending on what speed/type of cleaning I want (faster, slower, polishing, etc). I've been using Colgate Total 'Advanced Whitening' Toothpaste which I really like, in conjunction with Colgate 'Plax Whitening Mouthwash' (twice a day). So far I think my teeth do look a little whiter having used these! I guess a subquestion would be, should I be very careful not to overbrush, as I heard this can actually make teeth yellower? My toothbrush has a 2 minute timer but I tend to go over it, so I reckon I am brushing for about 8-9 minutes a day. To begin with I was using way too much toothpaste but now I am careful to use a smaller amount. But other than that, does this sound like the right thing to be doing, with the right products?

    I'd love it if I could get some whitening/polishing done now so I feel comfortable with the colour of my teeth until I get the brace removed. I constantly see people with straight, white smiles and think 'omg how!' I was never really self-conscious about it until I got older. It's a shame that I didn't get to grips with it all at an early age, I guess some people might take the initiative but I didn't, and sadly my parents never paid any attention to it at all (if I have kids I won't make that mistake). Also the NHS tend to just do the absolute minimum and pay no attention to cosmetics. As a young person I never knew what to do about my teeth and didn't have the money either. But I still think I can achieve a nice smile eventually, I like the shape/size of my teeth and they're straightening up nicely with the brace, I just desperately want a nicer colour, and don't want to wait for it. Already I'm getting paranoid I will need veneers to get a nice white smile. With your advice (and I'll continue doing some reading/research) I'll probably make an appointment to see my NHS dentist and ask for some kind of whitening.

    Thanks guys! Any help or advice is greatly appreciated!
    Last edited by MeMyself; 02-27-2012 at 10:34 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ. Los Angeles, CA. Las Vegas, NV. and Houston, TX.
    Posts
    313
    Blog Entries
    17
    Well you aren't gonna like the answer people give when this question is asked. And in short, you "can't" whiten while you're in braces. When I got mine I had a deep cleaning under my gums and was told to use a medicated mouthwash 3x a day. Well that mouthwash contained stannious flouride...which causes major staining. My teeth were brown for a good month and there wasn't anything I could do about it. I went to my Ortho and the assistant cleaned and polished my teeth, which helped, but didn't get them the white they had been before. They said I would have to wait til the braces were off because of many reasons. The biggest reason is: the brackets cover parts of each tooth. When you whiten, you obviously can't whiten under the bracket. Therefore when you DO remove your braces, you'll have squares on your teeth where they didn't whiten. Trying to match up those with the part you've whitened will be near impossible and it will look bad. Also, whitening should be done by a professional and my Ortho says he's more than happy to whiten my teeth for me... AFTER my braces come off ;)

    Now I will say that once or twice a month I will use Baking Soda and Peroxide on my toothbrush which makes them brighter. I've been doing that for about 5 mos and my teeth are stain free now from the mouthwash damage (I have photos in my album here and you can totally see how brown they were at first). If you DO use the Baking Soda thing, don't do it often. Its quite abrasive on your enamel. So abrasive that many dentists frown upon it. There's TONS of literature online about whitening and braces and I think they all pretty much say not to. Perhaps someone else has some insight? :)

    Congrats! You're on the road to perfect teeth!

  3. #3
    Hi, yes BlondeAddiction is right that you can't get them whitened during braces treatment. You just have to grin and bear it. (Or not grin because they are yellow, and bear it.)

    I too am self-conscious about slightly yellow teeth (they're not very yellow). My braces were off on Monday, I got my Essix retainers yesterday (and had a horrible night's sleep - let's hope it gets easier!), and today I'm going to my dentist to get the whitening gel. I had a choice to either have it done in one treatment in the surgery or to take the gel home and put it in my retainers at night for 2-3 weeks until it reaches the shade I like.

    Everyone advised me (ortho and dentist) to do it at home with my retainers. I think they are afraid to get the shade wrong in the surgery (!) and make them too white!!! So if you do it yourself at home, you can stop when you like the colour. I also think the treatment in the surgery - doing it all in one go - is far harsher and stronger than doing it bit by bit at night, so might also not be good for sensitive teeth or teeth just out of braces.

    Finally, about getting the colour right with any bonding - you are right this is a concern. I will have bonding on one of my front incisors, since after ortho treatment it was shorter than the other. (The other option was to shave the other tooth down but that would have taken it too close to the nerve and also looked less natural.)

    So I will be doing the whitening for 2-3 weeks and then go back to my dentist, who will put on new bonding of a colour which matches the whitened teeth. (I guess then I have to keep them white or they will be a different colour to the bonding.)

  4. #4
    Most people that wear braces complaint of unpleasant teeth color and want to whiten their teeth to improve their appearance and feel better about themselves. Unfortunately ADA (American Dental Association) does not recommend teeth whitening for people undergoing orthodontic treatment. They also recommend teeth whitening treatment should be considered only after 2 months post orthodontic treatment time.
    WHY?
    Removing plaque and maintaining a good oral hygiene is a real challenge for orthodontic patients. Braces trap food very easy, which contributes to plaque, stain and poor oral hygiene which makes our enamel vulnerable and weak. Success in teeth whitening treatments require a strong enamel and a good oral hygiene. This is why teeth whitening treatment should be postponed 6 months after the orthodontic treatment, to allow the enamel to re-mineralize and gain its strength by applying good oral hygiene and visiting the dental hygienist every 3 to 6 months.
    Source: How can i whiten my teeth if i am wearing orthodontic braces?
    Last edited by Annardh; 05-28-2012 at 04:37 AM.
    We cannot despair of humanity, since we ourselves are human beings.
    "Albert Einstein"

    My blog Teeth Whitening and Teeth Whitening Toronto Blog

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by BlondeAddiction View Post
    Well you aren't gonna like the answer people give when this question is asked. And in short, you "can't" whiten while you're in braces. When I got mine I had a deep cleaning under my gums and was told to use a medicated mouthwash 3x a day. Well that mouthwash contained stannious flouride...which causes major staining. My teeth were brown for a good month and there wasn't anything I could do about it. I went to my Ortho and the assistant cleaned and polished my teeth, which helped, but didn't get them the white they had been before. They said I would have to wait til the braces were off because of many reasons. The biggest reason is: the brackets cover parts of each tooth. When you whiten, you obviously can't whiten under the bracket. Therefore when you DO remove your braces, you'll have squares on your teeth where they didn't whiten. Trying to match up those with the part you've whitened will be near impossible and it will look bad. Also, whitening should be done by a professional and my Ortho says he's more than happy to whiten my teeth for me... AFTER my braces come off ;)

    Now I will say that once or twice a month I will use Baking Soda and Peroxide on my toothbrush which makes them brighter. I've been doing that for about 5 mos and my teeth are stain free now from the mouthwash damage (I have photos in my album here and you can totally see how brown they were at first). If you DO use the Baking Soda thing, don't do it often. Its quite abrasive on your enamel. So abrasive that many dentists frown upon it. There's TONS of literature online about whitening and braces and I think they all pretty much say not to. Perhaps someone else has some insight? :)

    Congrats! You're on the road to perfect teeth!
    Stannious flouride is known to stain teeth if used constantly. Especially for ortho patients it is recommended either MI paste (the best re-calcifying paste) or toothpastes that contain Natrium Sodium Fluoride. Also clorhexidine recommended for patients with perio problems should not be used excessively because it does stain your teeth.

    The biggest reason is: the brackets cover parts of each tooth. When you whiten, you obviously can't whiten under the bracket. Therefore when you DO remove your braces, you'll have squares on your teeth where they didn't whiten. Trying to match up those with the part you've whitened will be near impossible and it will look bad.
    When you remove your brackets you will see white squares where your brackets were cemented. This means that the area under the brackets will not be effected by stain because it has been covered by cement and was not exposed to staining agents like coffee wine tea. In other words the white squares are not an issue as stain will be removed completely by laser teeth whitening treatment once you are done with the ortho treatment. We are just not comfortable using Hydrogen Peroxide during ortho because most patients do not comply with strict hygiene regime at home, which is understandable since it is hard to floss under the wire. Poor oral hygiene makes enamel vulnerable to chemical agents.
    We cannot despair of humanity, since we ourselves are human beings.
    "Albert Einstein"

    My blog Teeth Whitening and Teeth Whitening Toronto Blog

  6. Thanks for the useful info guys. Interesting reading the part about waiting 6 months after orthodontic treatment to get whitening. I'd hate to have to wait another half-year!

    Quote Originally Posted by Annardh View Post
    We are just not comfortable using Hydrogen Peroxide during ortho because most patients do not comply with strict hygiene regime at home, which is understandable since it is hard to floss under the wire. Poor oral hygiene makes enamel vulnerable to chemical agents.
    Should we all be flossing under the wire? I was confused how to floss when I first got my brace on, I asked my orthodontist and he said I don't need to, since the teeth are moving, the toothpaste will go in between the spaces. I only just figured, you can put the floss under the wire and do it that way, but it takes a very long time. I already spend a long time brushing thoroughly with both electric brush and interdental brushes in between brackets (and using a very very fine one to go between gaps in the teeth where it can fit).

Similar Threads

  1. Teeth whitening prior to ceramic braces
    By BOOSTIN in forum Traditional Braces
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-09-2011, 05:04 PM
  2. Teeth Whitening!
    By thedistrict3 in forum Invisalign
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-15-2010, 07:11 AM
  3. teeth whitening
    By annmarievulaj in forum Traditional Braces
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-09-2010, 12:13 PM
  4. Teeth whitening?
    By mossrisjhons in forum Traditional Braces
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-02-2010, 08:51 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •