How to Whiten Teeth with Braces
Wondering how to whiten teeth with braces? You’re not alone. When working to straighten teeth, many also take steps towards a whiter smile, too! However, combining braces with common teeth-whitening strategies can spell disaster if it’s not done correctly. To help you out, this article will explore how to get white teeth with braces, naturally and safely.
How to Whiten Teeth with Braces
The process used for brushing and flossing is different when you have braces, so you may also be wondering, “can I whiten my teeth with braces?”
You certainly can whiten your teeth while you have braces. However, there are some special considerations to keep in mind—especially when it comes to commonly used whitening treatments, like strips and trays.
Using strips and trays to whiten teeth with braces
First, the brackets of traditional metal braces are bonded to your teeth. When you use a whitening strip, for example, it will only lighten the area not covered by the bracket. Once your braces are removed, you may end up with a two-toned smile and a darker color where the brackets were once bonded.
Also, many whitening solutions also increase tooth sensitivity. While the braces are working their magic by moving the teeth into a suitable place, increased sensitivity is the last thing you want! Similarly, increased gum sensitivity with whitening strips could make for even more pain after you leave your regular orthodontist appointment.
How much does it cost to whiten teeth?
Cost is another factor to consider when you’re attempting to whiten teeth with braces. You may be spending upwards of $10,000 on braces and if you’re an adult, it’s unlikely that insurance is helping.
With a bill that hefty, you likely don’t want to add to it by expensive whitening treatments. Whitening strips can end up costing nearly $500 a year, while a single whitening tray kit could be $100 or more.
Fortunately, there are natural methods for teeth whitening that can save you money, protect your teeth, and contribute to a more brilliant smile.
Proper Oral Care: Braces Edition
Getting whiter teeth—even with braces—starts with a good oral care routine. You’ll want to ensure that you’re using the right tools for brushing and flossing.
With braces, choosing between waxed vs unwaxed dental floss is even more important. Generally speaking, waxed floss provides lubrication to make getting between wires and brackets a little easier. You can use a floss threader to make the process even easier.
Your teeth and gums will be extra sensitive while they undergo the straightening process. That said, natural floss that’s free of potentially irritating artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners is better for a healthy, less painful smile.
After flossing, you’ll want to properly brush your teeth. This means carefully and gently brushing along the gum line, then the tops of your brackets. After that, take your time to brush below each bracket, too.
Ultimately, you’ll want to ensure that all surfaces of your teeth are thoroughly cleaned. This may require extra time—at least two minutes—to ensure that you can reach all tooth surfaces. Braces unfortunately make it a little more difficult to remove food particles and plaque. Left unbrushed, these could harden into tarter, a hard yellow material that contributes to tooth staining.
Oil pulling for whiter teeth with braces
In addition to brushing and flossing, rinsing is another critical step in your oral-care-with-braces journey. Rinsing with water or mouthwash after flossing and brushing can help to remove any lingering food particles. Oil pulling before flossing and brushing can help to contribute to a whiter, healthier smile.
But first, let’s touch on oil pulling vs. mouthwash—how do the two differ?
Mouthwash is typically an antiseptic solution designed to kill bacteria and rinse the gums, teeth, and mouth. It also contains ingredients (often synthetic) to temporarily freshen breath. Unfortunately, many of these ingredients are known to contribute to excessive dryness, bleeding gums, excess sensitivity, canker sore irritation, and even oral cancer.
Oil pulling, on the other hand, contains natural bacteria-fighting and breath-freshening ingredients. The practice itself uses oil, and in some cases activated charcoal, to bind with bacteria and toxins. After several minutes of swishing, the oil pulling mouthwash is spit out—therefore ridding the mouth (and entire body) of potentially harmful bacteria.
Even better, oil pulling with coconut oil can help to remove surface stains and whiten the teeth! Those from coffee, berries, and wine don’t stand a chance against oil pulling. And, because oil pulling involves a natural solution, you won’t have to worry about gum or tooth sensitivity that could possibly exacerbate painful trips to the orthodontist!
Oil Pulling: Whiter, Healthier Teeth for All
If you’ve been wondering how to whiten teeth with braces, just be sure to do it safely. You don’t want to end up with extra tooth or gum sensitivity. And you certainly don’t want to eventually get your braces removed, only to find that bracket-sized stains remain!
To safely support whiter teeth, add Terra & Co.’s Ayurvedic Oil Pulling Bundle to your oral care lineup. Just a small, teaspoon-sized sip of our Gentle Green and Brilliant Black oil pulling in the morning and night, and you’ll be swishing your way to a healthier mouth.