Stained Braces

For the most part, it is quite difficult to stain traditional braces, as they are made from surgical steel which does not stain easily. But ceramic and sapphire crystal brackets do tend to stain a little bit, and will discolor if certain foods and substances come into contact with them.

Many times, though, it is not the actual braces that stain, but the ligatures around the braces. These are orthodontic elastics, and stain quite easily. Although available in colorful versions as well, many patients feel that it draws way too much attention to the braces themselves, and thus go for transparent or very lightly colored ligatures, which in turn stain easily. But regardless of whether it is the ligatures or the brackets that stain, here are some of the things to stay away from while in braces:



When getting orthodontic treatment, it is best if you quit smoking altogether. Your teeth are compromised when in braces, and smoking or chewing tobacco only compromises them further, and they also stain braces. Chewing nicorette may not be an option for most braces, so try and get a patch, or better yet start cutting down and then quitting altogether.


Turmeric, that delicious and indispensable spice that gives indian food its delicious flavor stains everything it comes into contact with a shade of curious yellow. It will stain ceramic braces and ligatures, and after brushing and trying to clean the stain off, you will just get a lighter and lighter shade of yellow and then teal. Blue ligatures will turn a most appalling green from turmeric.

Red foods

Red wine, berries, tomato paste, red candies, all of these things stain teeth and brackets. For some reason we notice the color red, and even if there is just a touch of it on something, we will notice. Perhaps this is why all red foods and drinks, particularly ones with artificial red food coloring (which stains everything like crazy), are on the off list until further notice.

Coffee, tea, hot chocolate


Although having a cuppa every now and then will have no effect (if you make sure to rinse right after it), regular consumption of coffee, tea, and hot chocolate will eventually stain your braces. This is a most cruel fact, especially in the heart of winter, but a fact it is none the less. Curb your coffee and tea consumption, you do not have to forego these wonderful things altogether.  

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