Orthodontic care, such as palatal expanders, aligners, and braces, are common treatments for aligning bites and straightening crooked teeth. These treatments are effective, but the appliances, brackets, aligners, and wires cover portions of the teeth, reducing the ability of the toothbrush and toothpaste. In most cases, teeth will be discolored and dull when the orthodontic treatments are removed. If your teen is part of the 4.5 million Americans that are wearing braces, cleaning and whitening their teeth after removing this common orthodontic treatment is possible. Here are a few tips to whiten your teen's teeth after the braces come off.
If you visit your local grocery store or discount retailer, you will find a large selection of toothpaste. Once your teen's braces come off, consider switching their regular type of toothpaste to a whitening toothpaste.
Your teen should brush with a whitening toothpaste each time, which will help decrease yellowing and discoloration while protecting their smile from cavities, decay, and gum disease.
It is also helpful to use baking soda occasionally while brushing. Allow your teen to sprinkle a few teaspoons of baking soda onto a damp toothbrush. Your teen should brush as normal using the baking soda, which absorbs stains while removing food residue and plaque. Make sure your teen only uses the baking soda occasionally, since this ingredient can be too abrasive to use on the teeth daily.
Depending on your teen's age, they may benefit from a professional whitening treatment. Unfortunately, most experts believe children and teens should not undergo professional whitening treatments until they are 14 years of age or older, since there will be a decreased risk of tooth sensitivity after this age.
If your teen needs whitening treatments and is over 14, schedule a consultation with their dentist. Your teen's dentist may recommend bleaching trays that can be used at home. This treatment effectively removes stains while brightening the white color of your teen's teeth without causing tooth sensitivity.
Once your teen's braces are removed, they should consider a few lifestyle changes to help whiten and brighten their smile.
Your teen should reduce their intake of soda, juices, coffee, and sport's drinks, since these beverages contain dyes and colors that may stain the teeth.
Of course, they should also avoid alcohol for not only their oral health, but also their physical and emotional health. Your teen should also understand the dangers of using tobacco products. Smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco can both stain the teeth.
After orthodontic care, your teen should have a straight and healthy smile. To improve their smile even further, consider one or more of the above teeth whitening tips.