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New Material Could Prevent Bracket Stains from Braces

Most people who have worn braces remember the excitement of the day the braces finally came off. Whether the brackets had been on for years or months, unveiling a new smile can be an incredible feeling. However, the discoloration that can occur on teeth during the process of straightening them with braces can be discouraging and frustrating and put a damper on the big day.

Not everyone experiences staining or discoloration from braces, but when plaque forms around the brackets it can lead to trouble. It can be hard to keep teeth as clean as they need to be when you have to work around wires and brackets to get them brushed. Demineralization, a dissolving of the tooth enamel, occurs when teeth are exposed to built-up plaque, leading to staining.

Researchers in Spain, England and Brazil are working to compare three different experimental dental adhesives that prevent demineralization of teeth and even help remineralize them. They contain a bioactive nano-mineral, halloysite, and are loaded with Triclosan, which has antibacterial and fungicidal properties that help teeth. This prevents buildup of plaque around the brackets and in turn helps prevent staining or discoloration.

"One of the biggest concerns our patients have when it comes to orthodontics is the potential for permanent staining," said Dr. David Buck, founder of Balance Epigenetic Orthodontics in Lynnwood, Washington

"Finding a way to prevent everyone from experiencing this common problem would be a huge step in the right direction," he said.

Preventing Bracket Stains 

Until the new material is available for use, there are ways to help prevent or minimize staining from brackets. Here are a few tips:

Don’t Use Whitening Toothpastes 

Even though it may seem like using whitening toothpaste is a sure way to help avoid stains, using it with braces means that only the visible part of the tooth is being whitened while the area beneath the bracket is not. Over time, this can lead to an extreme color difference in the tooth after removal of the bracket.

Take Your Oral Hygiene Routine Seriously

It’s so important to floss every day and brush after each meal when you have braces. Adding mouthwash to your daily routine is often recommended when you have braces.

Avoid Foods and Drinks That Stain 

When you have braces, avoiding teeth-staining snacks and drinks is imperative if you want your teeth to be evenly white after the braces come off. Think foods with dark, staining colors like beets, berries and sauces. Don’t forget about drinks like coffee, tea and wine, too.

Don’t Skip Dental Visits

It’s never a good idea to avoid dental visits or to see your dentist less than twice a year, but when you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, it’s especially important not to miss your appointments. In addition to closely supervising the movement of your teeth and how they’re affecting your bite, your dentist is also watching for plaque buildup and other signs that staining or discoloration could become a problem.

"After orthodontic treatment is complete, many patients choose to undergo teeth-whitening procedures," said Buck. "After only one or two treatments most cases of discoloration or staining are corrected and teeth are even in color and white again."

 

Early Dental Visits Mean Healthier Teeth for Life
Don’t Live with Dry Mouth

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