Can I Whiten My Teeth While Wearing Braces
Can I Whiten My Teeth While Wearing Braces

One of the most common questions we get from patients on their orthodontics journey is “Can I whiten my teeth while wearing traditional metal braces?” The answer is a little more complicated than a simple yes or no. If you’re interested in learning more, keep reading with Northern Virginia Orthodontics.  

Can I Whiten My Teeth While Wearing Braces? 

Your smile is one of the first things people notice, and you want to show off one of your best assets. Keeping your teeth white and shiny while undergoing orthodontic work with traditional braces may not be as difficult as you think. 

Most products available on the market contain a bleaching ingredient that can get underneath your braces. This is good news for those who might be a little eager to keep up their pearly white smile while still undergoing treatment. However, for professional results, wait until after your braces are off and you have completed treatment. At that time, your dentist or orthodontist can make custom-fit whitening trays.  

What Products Can I Use to Whiten My Teeth While Wearing Braces?

If you’ve decided that you want to start the process of whitening your teeth while still wearing braces, you may be wondering what products are best for this process. Luckily, most of them are available for purchase at your local drugstore or big box retailer. The most effective products for those with braces are whitening toothpaste, whitening mouthwash, and whitening gel.

Whitening toothpastes work when abrasive particles scrub the surface of the tooth and combine with chemicals to prevent staining. Whitening mouthwash protects teeth from additional staining and has the added benefit of keeping your breath fresh. This combination can keep your teeth bright and white while getting underneath traditional brackets. 

Whitening gels are popular at-home options available over the counter at your local drugstore. These products typically come in a pen with a brush tip. Consider a product like Crest Whitestrips instead that will work around your braces without much interference. Discuss your options with your dentist or orthodontist before starting any at-home treatment. 

An electric toothbrush is another great tool in your braces journey. Switching out from a manual toothbrush can help remove staining on your teeth. While an electric toothbrush doesn’t necessarily contain whitening agents, they do remove stains better than manual brushes. As always, your best defense in keeping your teeth white and shiny is great oral hygiene- brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.

Prevent Staining with Teeth Whitening Post-Braces

Once you have your braces off and you’ve completed treatment, of course, you’ll want to show off your hard work! If you’re looking to whiten your teeth, the best time to do so is once the hardware is off. Talking with your dentist or orthodontist about your needs and wants can help you determine the best path forward. They may recommend professional treatment to get the results you want, or you may be able to achieve your desired outcome with at-home treatments. 

It’s also important to understand the staining on your teeth. Intrinsic staining occurs below the surface of the tooth and can be more difficult to remove, but it can be treated. Extrinsic staining is more surface-level staining and can generally be treated with whitening toothpaste and regular dental cleanings.  

Cautions Against Teeth Whitening With Braces

There are a few risks to understand when it comes to whitening your teeth while wearing braces. Whitening gels tend to do a great job at whitening the surface of your teeth but do not go underneath traditional brackets. It’s best to not use these gels frequently. If your braces make your teeth sensitive, it might be best to wait until after treatment to whiten so as to not irritate them further. Discussing your options with your dentist or orthodontist is the best way to get the outcome you desire. 

Northern Virginia Orthodontics: We Make You Smile

When you’re ready for a better smile, reach out to the team at Northern Virginia Orthodontics. We offer top-notch dental and orthodontic care to get you the smile you’ve always dreamed of. Request an appointment on our website today.