Tooth Whitening During Braces: Debunking A Myth

Tooth whitening during orthodontics is possible

Have you been to the orthodontist’s office and asked her to whiten your teeth? And what has been the response? Surely you have been told it is impossible, or you better wait to complete your orthodontic treatment. But who would not want to whiten their teeth during their orthodontic treatment?

Since orthodontic appliances, especially brackets, accumulate tartar, bacterial plaque, and food. Furthermore, a more significant accumulation of debris makes oral hygiene difficult, producing color alterations during treatment.

Many people who have orthodontic treatment notice changes in color and ask about the possibility of having teeth whitened to prevent their teeth from looking stained.

Can You Get Your Teeth Whitened During Braces?

Usually, the most common answers include that it is impossible to lighten teeth color during orthodontic treatment because the only part that would get clearer is the surrounding area of the bracket. 

Also, they argue that there would be a yellow stain after bracket removal because the lightener could not penetrate the area cemented with a bracket. Therefore, it is better to wait until the end of orthodontic treatment. 

This article is to debunk this myth. Actually, some time ago, the perception of tooth whitening during orthodontic treatment changed. Furthermore, new scientific evidence supports that it is possible to achieve whitening of the teeth within the orthodontic treatment.

The explanation is straightforward; the whitening agent penetrates the tooth tissue in a poly-directional way. This means that once the chemical penetrates the tissue, it lightens on all sides, even with the bracket cemented, as whitening occurs inside.

After braces treatment is complete and removed, the surface the brace was on will appear uniformly light in tone with the rest of the tooth.

However, we recommend that a professional dentist perform the tooth whitening procedure. Patients should not attempt to whiten their teeth alone, as this can have negative consequences and damage tooth enamel. 

The dentist knows the proper amount and how long peroxides should stay on the teeth to achieve effective results and, at the same time, how to prevent enamel from being affected. 

To achieve this, the specialist evaluates each case according to each patient’s tolerance, assessing the state of the teeth and the structure, including the gums, since carrying out a dental whitening procedure in a patient with Periodontitis would be fatal to your teeth.

What’s Better? At-home or In-house Teeth Whitening?

What is the best way to whiten your teeth? This is one of the questions that circulate the most on the internet and the one that has the most home methods that only damage your teeth. 

There are three ways to whiten teeth in a proven way. However, you have to understand first before you try it. Where do your spots come from?

A problem inside the tooth can cause tooth stains. That may be due to a cavity that makes a tooth darker. Also, the cause could be an external problem: some extrinsic stain. 

The difference in causes is critical. That is, to know if the problem is extrinsic or intrinsic. Dental cleaning could help remove all extrinsic stains, for example, whitening toothpaste sold on the market.

Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste works through abrasives to remove extrinsic stains from your teeth; of course, they will look whiter. However, what happens is that your teeth do not become whiter but lighter and cleaner.

Whitening toothpaste resembles the effect of tooth whitening, but in reality, they are not whiten anything at all. So, in fact, that name is misused; it should not be whitening but lightening because the only thing these products do is lighten the teeth.

Whitening toothpaste is effective in removing stains caused by black tea, coffee, soda, wine, or dark drinks. Those stains are the ones that the whitening pastes with abrasives will remove from your teeth and will look clearer.

You must know that your teeth have a natural color and that color is the only one that you will be able to achieve when you whiten your teeth. In other words, no matter how much teeth whitening you apply, you will not reach an extreme white.

Tooth whitening can only lighten your teeth as much as possible to natural color. This means that no matter how many bleaches you apply, you will never have a white color if your natural color is not white.

Home Whitening Methods

It is also essential to know that no home whitening product will work properly. Conversely, home whitening can damage teeth because these methods work through abrasion.

When your tooth is stained inside, the stains are intrinsic; the only reliable method to whiten your teeth is the chemicals that dentists have in their dental offices. 

The base for chemicals used by cosmetic dentists are components such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide. So if a patient tries whitening their teeth with dental burs, baking soda, or any other chemical, it will not work. 

In short, the only thing home methods do is wear down your enamel, and by wearing down all the enamel, the teeth will look yellow, so the patient will need a prosthesis to cover the yellow on their teeth, which will be more expensive.

Assisted Whitening by a Cosmetic Dentist

Next, we have the treatments done in the dental office. There are two types of whitening used by cosmetic dentists. The first is the whitening done directly with a lamp or laser, and the second is the one you take home.

Many cosmetic dentists prefer the take-home lightening method because the lightening has a lower concentration of peroxide, but its dosage occurs over a more extended period.

Therefore, the patient will use the bleach for a week to a week and a half. Then, the treatment is applied and placed in a guard based on the shape of the teeth, is used every night, and constantly whitens the teeth.

This technique is the one that gives the best results and lasts much longer in patients. 

Furthermore, these two techniques, the one performed in the office and the one the patient takes at home, is the only professional and supervised ways to lighten the teeth without causing them much damage. 

Why do we say so much damage? Unfortunately, there is some damage when using peroxides in the denture. We highly recommend that you check with your dentist if you have cavities, periodontal disease, or any problem in your teeth that may cause whitening not to be suitable for you.

Get Help From a Qualified Westport Orthodontist

At Westwalk Orthodontic Group, st is our joy and privilege to help our patients on their journeys to straighter, healthier, and brighter smiles. So set an appointment, and one of our specialists will guide you to get formidable results with your smile.