Every part of a teenager's life is complicated, but when it comes to their appearance, there is a whole new level of anxiety to endure. As the mum of a teenager who is about to have braces fitted, you need to stop for one second and consider the current colour of their teeth. Once braces are in place, teeth whitening becomes a lot harder to do. So these are the points you need to know about teeth whitening before and after your child's orthodontics are fitted.
Teeth Whitening Before Braces
Having teeth whitened before having the braces fitted is a matter of opinion. Some people feel the whitening should be done after braces removal so the newly aligned teeth are both straight and white, while others regret not having their teeth whitened before braces, as it is more complicated once the braces are on.
If your teenager's teeth are strongly discoloured, then having them whitened before the braces may help to counteract some of the self-consciousness they experience while the braces are on. However, teeth whitening can leave the teeth feeling sensitive, so have the procedure done at least three weeks before the braces are fitted to allow the hypersensitivity to reduce. Talk to your teenager's dentist to get their opinion about whether there will be any other adverse effects of teeth whitening before the braces go on.
Teeth Whitening With Braces In Place
When the braces are in place, it is not impossible to whiten teeth, but the results will not be uniform across all teeth. It is harder for the whitening product to penetrate the enamel behind the brackets attached to the child's teeth, and only an experienced dentist knows how to do this.
Additionally, because teeth whitening can make the teeth more sensitive, your child may find the combination of sensitivity plus irritation from the braces causes discomfort. Do not use at-home whitening strip kits on teeth with braces because the product cannot get under the brace bracket. Additionally, strips cannot fully cover the teeth with the brace in the way, and if they come into contact with the gums, then your child will have to cope with irritation and swelling, which could interfere with the work being done by the braces.
Before your teenager has their braces fitted, raise any concerns you have about teeth discolouration with your dentist. By doing so, your child knows what can and cannot happen once the braces are in place, and this information will help them to make an informed decision about when they will get their teeth whitening done.