In a recent blog post we discussed how easily clear ligatures can stain if you eat certain types of foods, including tomato-based items and coffee. Ligature staining can make your teeth appear to be discolored, which can be bit of a nuisance. If your next orthodontist's appointment is a few weeks away, you may be tempted to change your ligatures. It's not hard to find them online, and you've seen her do it a thousand times. How hard could it possibly be? Well, it's not as easy as you may think and you may end up with issues far more severe than a bit of staining. 

Writing on ArchWired.com, Dr. Christopher Jernigan, a South Carolina orthodontist, strongly advises against engaging in self-care when it comes to ligatures. "When a ligature is used it begins to stretch and 'decay' (as well as discolor)," he wrote. "At this point the force applied to your teeth is 'deactivating.' This is normal and healthy […] Doing this at home is actually reapplying new forces to your teeth not under the supervision of an orthodontist. If things were moving poorly at first then one could be making it worse by re-ties at home […] Besides, you may break a bracket."

If your discolored ligatures are really bothering you, make an appointment with your orthodontist so that you can get them changed. In addition, strongly consider getting ligatures in a color that does not stain as much. Light blue and gray are great options that are discreet, but not as sensitive to discoloration. 

If you have any questions about orthodontic treatment, contact a New York City orthodontist today!

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