A crooked smile can be embarrassing, unattractive, and can even compromise your oral health by creating a bad bite, or making it difficult to perform effective oral hygiene. These are just a few of the reasons why so many people get braces to straighten out their smile. But traditional braces have their downsides: The brackets and wires can be highly visible, making them an embarrassing choice for adult professionals; brushing and flossing becomes much more challenging when you have to do all of it around the metal gear glued to your teeth; and once your teeth are straight, many people find that the glue used to adhere the brackets to their teeth has left highly visible white stains on their teeth.
Of course, great strides have been made in correcting a lot of these problems. Tooth-colored brackets and wires have made traditional braces less noticeable, and special flossing and brushing tools are now available to get into those nooks and crannies and keep your teeth clean around braces. And now, new strides are being made in relation to those pesky glue stains.
New Adhesive Being Developed
Researchers from Spain, England, and Brazil are all working on experimental adhesives to keep those brackets firmly affixed to teeth without the risk of leaving white stains after the braces are removed.
The reason those white stains appear in the first place is a combination of problems: First, your enamel becomes demineralized under the brackets, essentially wearing down and weakening the enamel. Second, the brackets provide plenty of hollows for plaque to build up, making it easy for bacteria to collect around braces.
Researchers are trying to tackle these problems with adhesives that feature both antibacterial agents and bioactive nano-minerals that not only prevent demineralization of teeth, but promote remineralization as well.
While the adhesives are still being tested and aren’t available for use yet, they could solve this particular problem with traditional braces in the near future.
But Until Then…
Unfortunately, until the new adhesives are proven and available, traditional braces still come with the risk of these stains. If you already have those stains from braces in your past, whitening treatments may or may not be able to help — in fact, sometimes whitening can brighten the white spots, making them even more noticeable. Instead, if the spots trouble you, porcelain veneers may be a better option for correcting them.
If you’re considering braces but don’t want to face discoloration after they’re removed, Invisalign is the perfect solution. Invisalign clear aligners solve all the problems of traditional braces: They’re discreet and attractive, they can be removed for easy cleaning, and since there’s no adhesive used, you don’t have to worry about developing those white spots that traditional braces may cause.