Teeth Whitening After Braces: How Long Should I Wait?

If you’ve had braces fitted, nothing can quite explain that feeling of satisfaction and relief that you get once you finally have those braces removed after all of that time. Okay, sure, to begin with it will feel a bit weird without them because you’ll have been so used to them, but ultimately, you’ll feel much better, and your teeth will look much better as a result. 

Once your braces have been removed, your teeth will be properly aligned and you’ll be well on your way to obtaining the smile that you’ve always wanted. The only real issue now could be the colour. 

Tooth staining and discolouration is perfectly normal, and the good news is that, thanks to teeth whitening treatments, you can bag yourself a set of pearly whites by visiting your dentist. But what exactly is teeth whitening and how long should you wait for teeth whitening after braces?

Here’s a look at how long to wait to have your teeth whitened after braces.

What is teeth whitening and how does it work?

As mentioned, tooth staining and discolouration is perfectly normal, and is very hard to avoid. In fact, teeth which are off-white and very slightly discoloured are generally considered healthier and stronger than vibrant white teeth. That’s all well and good, but aesthetically, brilliant white teeth are generally more appealing than stained and discoloured teeth. 

Teeth whitening is a procedure carried out by a dentist, which involves using chemical solutions to bleach the teeth and make them look much whiter, brighter, and healthier. 

Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and make a mould in the form of a mouthguard. Next, you’ll apply the “bleaching” solution to the mould/mouthguard and wear it over the teeth for a predetermined amount of time and let the solution work its magic. 

After several treatments, the gel should have bleached the teeth so that they’re considerably whiter than they were before you had the treatment. 

How long after braces can you whiten teeth?

When you wear braces, it becomes much harder to thoroughly brush and floss the teeth and so they may become discoloured. 

Naturally, it is perfectly reasonable for people to want to bleach their teeth and have them whitened after getting their braces off, but how long should they wait? 

According to orthodontists, you should ideally wait a minimum of 6 months after removing braces before you have your teeth whitened. 

Why should you whiten your teeth after braces?

If you do need braces, it is always important to wait until your braces are removed before you whiten your teeth. This is because if you had the teeth whitened before, due to natural discolouration and fading, the exposed parts of the teeth would fade, leaving the parts covered by the braces looking bright and white. 

After your orthodontic treatment is complete and you are no longer wearing braces, you’d be able to clearly see the outline of the braces on your teeth as these would look much brighter and whiter. It’s the same principle as removing a picture or mirror off of a white wall after a long time. 

How to get the most out of a teeth whitening treatment

So, we’ve looked at how long after braces can you whiten teeth, but what about getting the most from teeth whitening treatment? 

Don’t expect miracles 

If you undergo professional teeth whitening treatment, the results will be very impressive. They won't, however, be out of this world. 

You can’t expect to go from brown stained teeth to shiny white teeth after just one treatment so don’t set your expectations too high. 

Practice good dental hygiene 

Whitening your teeth is all well and good, but when it comes down to how long after braces can you whiten teeth, it’s important to remember the importance of good dental hygiene. 

It’s no good whitening the teeth if you rarely brush, you refuse to floss, you smoke, you drink coffee, and you never visit the dentist because all that will happen here is your white teeth will quickly fade and become stained and discoloured again. 

To get the most from a whitening kit, always practice good dental hygiene. 

Use as instructed 

If you have a teeth whitening kit which you use to whiten your teeth at home, you must make sure that you use the kit exactly as instructed to do so. Don’t use more gel than required, and don’t leave it on your teeth for longer than required either, as doing so could damage your teeth and lead to sensitivity issues. 

Tips for keeping your smile white after braces

If you have recently had your orthodontics removed, you might be looking for ways to keep your teeth white and healthy. A few useful tips to keep in mind for teeth whitening after braces:

  • Practice good oral hygiene
  • Brushing and flossing are important. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss after meals 
  • Use a good quality electric toothbrush 
  • Use mouthwash 
  • Visit an orthodontist regularly 
  • Consider having your teeth whitened by a professional
  • Avoid foods and drinks which stain the teeth 
  • Avoid smoking and unhealthy lifestyle habits which could damage and stain the teeth

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