I am proud to say that I have all my own teeth at the age of 65. While that may not sound unusual to some people, everyone in my family who is my age or older wears dentures. I always tell people that that flossing is the key to good dental health. I have arthritis in my hands, but I don't let it keep me from flossing every day. My trick is to use those little "flossers" you can buy at the drug store. They have plastic handles floss stretched out on top of the handle. These make flossing easier on days when my arthritis is acting up. I started this blog to let other people know that they can keep their teeth healthy into old age when they take care of them. If you have hand pain, find ways to make flossing easier, like I did.
Clear braces are designed to be less noticeable to others. Although they are most of the time, staining can sometimes occur that makes the braces more noticeable. If you are wearing clear braces, here is what you need to know about staining.
What Causes Staining?
Although staining can occur, it does not easily occur. Advances in dental technology have led to the braces being more stain resistant. However, some parts of the braces, such as the elastic ligatures, can stain.
Staining is usually the result of eating or drinking certain foods and beverages. For instance, mustard, foods with tomatoes, and coffee can lead to staining. Even some fruits, such as cranberries and blackberries, can lead to staining.
If you are a smoker, you are more at risk of having stains. Smoking can discolor your natural teeth and the braces. Nicotine can cause the ligatures to appear yellow. The stains from smoking are far more difficult to remove than any staining that is caused by eating and drinking.
Poor dental hygiene can also increase the chances that your braces are stained. Without regular care, food substances and bacteria in your mouth can not only stain the braces, but also your natural teeth.
What Can You Do?
Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to avoid staining and keep your braces in good condition. The most important step you can take is to have a good dental hygiene routine. Ideally, you should be brushing after each meal. By brushing immediately after eating, you are removing any food particles that could lead to staining.
You also need to floss and use mouthwash on a regular basis. Flossing helps to remove bacteria from hard to reach places. Talk to your dentist about using a water flosser to improve your flossing.
If you smoke, stopping is best. However, if you are going to continue, you need to increase your visits to your dental hygienist. Your dentist might even recommend an additional checkup during the year. If you want to quit smoking but are having trouble, talk to your dentist to learn about smoking cessation programs with higher rates of success.
In addition to these measures, you need to be careful with the foods and drinks that you consume. If possible, skip foods that stain, such as mustard. If you do eat a food that could potentially cause stains, brush immediately. Once the braces are removed, you can go back to enjoying those foods and drinks.