Keeping Teeth White With Braces


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Dear Dr. Barakat,

I keep hearing about tooth whitening, and I’m wondering if it’s safe to do while wearing braces?

I can see where my tooth color has changed around my brackets. How can I make sure my teeth look white and clean when my braces come off?


Dear Concerned Parent,

While teeth whitening treatments are possible while wearing braces, there is a chance that they will damage the brackets and wires. Having to replace brackets will lengthen your treatment time and require you to attend more appointments at your orthodontist’s office. Another concern is that because the brackets cover a large portion of your teeth, even an in-office whitening treatment can leave you with uneven results.

The best option for teeth whitening is to wait until you have finished with your braces and then seek out a whitening treatment from your dentist or orthodontist. There are many professional in-office treatment options, and you and your orthodontist can decide together what system works for you. Your orthodontist may provide an in-office whitening treatment for the final step in achieving your new smile.

Brushing regularly and flossing will help with some of the staining, and use an electric toothbrush. Maintain your regular cleaning schedule with your dentist, who will give a thorough cleaning around the brackets and wires. Using a whitening toothpaste while you’re wearing your braces may also help remove some of the staining that you’re noticing around the brackets and will not damage your braces.

Remember, soon, you will have the beautiful, bright smile you’ve been working toward!


Dr. Rana Barakat, a board-certified specialist in Orthodontics, has been proudly serving Northern Virginia for more than 20-years! She has built her practice on a personal touch and excellent treatment.

As a parent, she understands wanting the best for your children by giving them beautiful, confident smiles. She makes it a priority to ensure optimal results, but also believes that each patient’s experience during treatment is just as important as the clinical result. As the 2015-16 President of the Virginia Association of Orthodontists, Dr. Barakat’s dedication and expertise reflect why her peers continue to nominate her as a Top Dentist.

Barakat Orthodontics is located at 45745 Nokes Blvd., Ste. 175, Sterling, VA 20166. Connect by visiting them online, or get social with them on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. Barakat Orthodontics can also be reached at (703) 433-9330.


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