Stained braces are a common problem for many orthodontic patients. It ruins the otherwise already devastated appearance of the individual, can be a harbour for bacteria that cause tooth decay, and can contribute to the malfunctioning of the actual braces themselves.
Common dental braces staining agents
Coffee and tea have to be the most common staining agents in the world. Not only do they discolour your tooth enamel, they also stain your braces and pretty much everything else they come in contact with; coffee can be used as brown paint because of the super high levels of tannin that are in it. Tea also has a lot of tannin, and will stain your braces if it comes into contact with the delicious substance frequently. Next on the list is smoking. Nicotine and tar deposits will show up on your braces as nasty brown stains, much like on finger nails or wallpaper. Red fruits and berries, as well as red wine and chocolate are also rich in tannins, and will stain brackets and wires as well.
How to remove stains off your orthodontic braces
The best way to remove stains is with mouthwash. Get alcohol free mouthwash and gargle with it 3 times a day, making sure to keep it in your mouth for at least 2 minutes at a time. This should be able to break up most stains, but not all of them. If you are serious about removing them, use a bit of sodium bicarbonate and apply it to a toothbrush. The granules should help in removing stains, but be careful not to scrub too hard, or you can end up hurting your enamel.
What NOT to use on your dental braces
Although the internet swears by it, citric acid or lemon juice cannot be used to remove stains. They may remove them, but they will also eat up your tooth enamel. This goes for all kinds of acid, regardless of how weak. The best policy is to talk to your orthodontist first, as s/he may have a good solution to your problem, and may even clean the stain off him or herself.