If you have any type of clear braces, especially the ceramic variety, you may be worried about staining them. It's a valid concern, especially if you want your orthodontic appliances to be as inconspicuous as possible. The good news is, ceramic brackets themselves do not stain easily. However, the materials around them do, so it is important to watch what you eat and drink to prevent any discoloration. 

Your brackets may look really stained, but what you are seeing is most likely discoloration of the elastic ligatures on each bracket that hold the arch wire in place. Your orthodontist will change your ligatures every four to six weeks, so the next time you have an adjustment, your teeth will go back to looking white. If you don't want to deal with your ligatures staining, you may want to consider using a color other than white for them. Light blue or gray bands do not stain as easily and are still somewhat discrete.

Remember to brush and floss after every meal, as this can diminish the amount of discoloration on the elastic bands. You should also steer clear of the following foods and substances:

  • Black coffee
  • Cigarettes
  • Colored sodas
  • Curry and other tomato-based food items
  • Dark teas
  • Foods with artificial coloring
  • Mustard.

Brushing with a whitening toothpaste or rinsing your mouth with a hydrogen peroxide solution may also yield positive results. If you would like more tips about how to keep your ceramic braces looking clean or to schedule an orthodontic consultation, contact a New York City orthodontist today!

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