Teeth Whitening Options After Braces

Posted on: 25 May 2016

The condition of your teeth can play a major role in your confidence levels. This is why braces, for both medically necessary and cosmetic reasons, are popular. Unfortunately, the cost of straight teeth is sometimes stained teeth. The following guide can help walk you through the types of staining braces can leave behind, along with methods for correcting the damage.

Types of stains

White spots are one of the more common forms of staining. These occur when plaque is allowed to build up on the teeth. The plaque decalcifies the tooth, cause the enamel to weaken and resulting in a white spot. These can usually be avoided with aggressive brushing so that plaque never builds up.

Normal staining can also occur while you are wearing braces, such as the stains from dark beverages or from smoking. Since you were wearing braces, though, the stains may not cover the teeth evenly, so you will have lighter and darker spots on the teeth once the braces are removed.

Basic whitening procedures

Normal teeth whitening uses an extra-strong peroxide solution to lighten your teeth. Your dentist will manage the strength of the solution along with how long it is applied to provide the best whitening. This works well for normal staining, and your dentist will likely be able to lighten your overall teeth color and even it out.

It isn't suitable for white spots, though. Since these are caused by an area of thin enamel, all basic whitening can do is whiten the surrounding tooth surface slightly so the whiter spots aren't as obvious, but it can't even out the teeth color all together.

Enamel rebuilding options

For white spots, your dentist will likely prescribe a high-fluoride toothpaste to help remineralize the teeth. This can help build the enamel back up so that the color evens out. This is also important from a health standpoint, since thin enamel is also more prone to cavities. If remineralization isn't completely effective, your dentist may also use a thin coating of an infiltrating resin. This coats the white spot and provides a man-made layer of enamel to help protect the tooth and even out the color.


If none of the above whitening procedures work well enough on the white spots, veneers may be your only option. Your dentist will file down all of your enamel and then slip a custom fitted cap over each tooth. This cap, typically made of porcelain, looks just like your real teeth and it is permanently glued in place to give you the perfect smile. Veneers are a permanent option, though, so it is best to first try other means to fix the discoloration first.

For more information, contact Advanced Family Dental Care LLC or a similar company.