How to Get Rid of Braces Stains with Probiotics
Published March 4, 2020
Wearing braces is supposed to be good for our teeth. Aside from the aesthetic benefits, it can also prevent bone erosion and aids in digestion. But without proper oral care, wearing braces can lead to dental discoloration – otherwise known as braces stains.
Teeth staining is a common oral health issue, especially for people wearing braces. It can be caused by a variety of factors. Though most of the time, it’s because of improper cleaning or a lack of oral care.
Regardless of what caused it, teeth discoloration can chip away at your confidence. And if not addressed, it can lead to various oral health issues.
This is why people have been trying all sorts of methods to whiten their teeth. From the traditional salt and baking soda brush to more unconventional methods like kaolin clay and activated charcoal, people will try anything to get whiter teeth.
Recently, however, more people are turning to probiotics to get rid of braces stains. But does it really work? More importantly, is it safe? To answer these along with other questions you have about probiotics for dental stains, we first need to understand why braces stains happen.
What Causes Braces Stains?
As I’ve said, there are a lot of factors that can cause teeth stains. Discoloration caused by orthodontic braces, however, is usually caused by plaque buildup.
Plaque, if you don’t know, is a thin film of bacteria that grows around your teeth’ surface. This causes your teeth to turn yellow. When left alone, this film of bacteria will harden, permanently coating your teeth in an unsightly yellow color.
In addition, plaque bacteria produce acids that can destroy your tooth enamel. And when your dental enamel is destroyed, it can never grow back. This is why a plaque buildup can lead to rotten teeth, gingivitis, and periodontal diseases.
Braces stains can also be caused by factors like:
- Sugary foods and drinks. Starches and sugar in food cause plaque to form. That’s why eating foods rich in sugar can accelerate plaque buildup and teeth staining.
- Foods with strong colors. Foods with natural colors often leave some of their pigmentations in your teeth leading to staining. This includes coffee, mustard, blueberries, beets, tomatoes, and blackberries among others.
- Acidic foods. Acid-rich foods like citrus, vinegar, and soda can erode your teeth’s natural enamel. This makes them more susceptible to stains and cavities.
- Tobacco. Cigarettes and other tobacco products contain nicotine and tar which seeps into your tooth enamel. When exposed to oxygen, the nicotine turns yellow causing your teeth to have the same color too. While the tar’s natural brown color will cause your teeth to stain too.
- Teeth whitening products. This might come as a surprise to many but some teeth whitening products may actually cause staining. Some of them have baking soda that, when used for a long time, can damage your enamel. Besides, when you’re wearing dental braces, some parts of your teeth aren’t reached by the whitening products.
How Probiotics Can Help With Dental Stains
Probiotics are microorganisms that are naturally found in our bodies. Though we can also get them in foods and supplements. Dubbed as the “good bacteria”, these beneficial organisms help your body get rid of the disease-causing bacteria.
But how can bacteria help get rid of dental stains?
As mentioned, plaque is a type of bacteria that sticks to your teeth. These are the type of bacteria that probiotics help your body get rid of. They break down the plaque surrounding your teeth’s surface preventing them from building up and hardening. This makes it easier for you to get rid of them.
In one study, researchers found that a probiotic strain called Streptococcus oralis can help whiten the teeth. It produces hydrogen peroxide which is a substance also commonly found in dental products.
The study involves ceramic disks that were stained with different agents. They were treated with hydrogen peroxide-producing bacteria. After 4 weeks, the researchers have recorded significant whitening effects. The results also suggested that if the ceramics were treated longer, they may still get whiter.
Another study also found that BLIS M18 and Lactobacillus reuteri may help prevent black stains on teeth. Both strains are effective in blocking the growth of bacteria that causes dark dental stains. This is why researchers have been eyeing their potential in getting rid of dental pigmentations.
Other Treatment Options
Aside from probiotics, here are some of the things you can do to get rid of braces stains:
1. Use teeth whitening products.
Yes, some teeth whitening products may do more damage than good. But many of them are effective in getting rid of plaque buildup. The key is asking your dentist what whitening products are best for people with braces.
2. Composite Restoration.
This is a type of dental filling that is typically used in dental staining cases that don’t respond well to other whitening treatments. It not only makes your teeth whiter but strengthens them too.
Sometimes, the dentist may recommend gently “sanding down” the white area around your braces. Then a strengthening is then poured into those areas to “rehydrate” your teeth’s enamel and prevent further discoloration.
4. Dental Veneers
Also known as dental jackets, veneers are used to cover teeth that are severely discolored. It’s also typically used to improve the shape and alignment of the teeth.
How to Prevent Braces Stains
Staining can be inevitable when you’re wearing braces. But with a few lifestyle changes and oral care improvements, it’s possible to maintain a pearly white smile. Here are some tips on how you can do it:
- Avoid sugary foods and drinks.
- Brush your teeth thoroughly. Make sure to get every nook and cranny. If you’re wearing braces, it’s easier to do this with an electric toothbrush.
- Floss at least once a day to prevent plaque buildup in the cracks between your teeth.
- Use mouthwash regularly to kill the bacteria causing plaque.
- Avoid coffee, tea, blueberries, beets, or any foods that can leave a dark stain on your teeth.
- Quit smoking.
- Incorporate dental probiotics into your daily oral care routine. Your dentist should be able to give you recommendations.
- Visit your dentist regularly.
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About The Author
Judy Ponio is a professional writer based in the Philippines. Her commitment to communicating factual content in when writing is unmatched. She works hard to cross check reputable sources to ensure her work uses accurate facts.