How To Whiten Teeth With Braces

Keeping your teeth clean while wearing braces is no easy task. Your teeth are covered in metal and wire, making it even harder to keep your pearly whites…pearly white.

And what do people do when they want to make their teeth look brighter? They whiten their teeth.

How To Whiten Teeth With Braces

But does that mean you can whiten teeth with braces? Is that even possible? If you can’t use normal teeth whitener, what can you do to whiten your teeth with braces in the way? 

If you’re struggling to keep your teeth white, here’s our guide on how to whiten teeth with braces. 

Can You Whiten Your Teeth With Braces?

So, can you use a teeth whitener with braces? The unfortunate answer is that you cannot use whitening products for your teeth while wearing braces. 

There are two reasons for this. Firstly, and most importantly, whitening products (like whitening strips) can actually cause irritation to the teeth and gums.

Braces can already cause the gums to become sensitive thanks to the pressure, so you don’t really want to add to that. 

Secondly, while using whitening strips or bleaching might make the teeth around the braces slightly whiter than before, the products won’t actually work to make the areas underneath the brackets whiter.

So, when you get your braces removed, you might end up with yellow spots where the brackets used to be. Not a good look. 

It’s also worth noting that even the whitest of teeth will look slightly duller than they actually are when you are fitted with braces.

Braces create an illusion of darker teeth because the brackets cover a lot of the surface, creating dark shadows. While it’s worth it for straighter teeth, it’s still quite inconvenient. 

How To Whiten Teeth With Braces 

So, how do you whiten your teeth with braces without using potentially irritating whitening products? And how do you whiten your teeth with braces without creating discoloration? 

Here are our main tips on how to whiten teeth with braces. 

Use The Right Toothpaste

Technically speaking, you can use any toothpaste on your teeth while wearing braces, including toothpaste that is marketed as “whitening”.

However, whitening toothpaste doesn’t often do what it says on the packaging, so you can’t use it daily and expect to see blinding pearly whites in response. 

Still, whitening toothpaste will still encourage your teeth to appear brighter, which can often leave the areas underneath the brackets untouched.

Unless you had pearly whites before your braces were applied and you continue to use the same toothpaste product, you risk accidentally creating discoloration when your braces are removed. 

If you wish to avoid discoloration, the best toothpaste you can get is one that contains fluoride. Fluoride is a natural ingredient that helps to strengthen teeth, which is ideal for those wearing braces. 

While some research suggests that high amounts of fluoride can contribute to the darkening of your teeth (the absolute opposite of what you want), it is perfectly fine to use twice a day in small amounts. 

Use The Right Toothbrush

Everybody should have access to an electric toothbrush, especially if you happen to have braces.

Teeth with braces are hard enough to clean around with a manual toothbrush, so an electric one really helps to clean the hard-to-reach areas around the brackets. 

While this might seem like a chore, an electric toothbrush can be the difference between unclean and white teeth.

The constant movement of the bristles helps to get rid of any lingering food and layers of fuzziness, while simultaneously nourishing the teeth with the ingredients in the toothpaste. 

An electric toothbrush and proper cleaning twice a day will also help to prevent discoloration when your braces are removed, so you won’t have to go to the effort of whitening parts of your teeth to match everything else. 

You should also buy some braces toothbrushes, which are often known as slim interspace brushes.

These are small, cylindrical bristles that work to go between the brackets and under the wires (and virtually any part that even an electric toothbrush won’t get).

These are very inexpensive and can be bought online or at a dentist surgery. 

Get Them Cleaned Professionally

If you’re struggling to brush your teeth with braces, you can always opt to get them professionally cleaned.

It’s not an easy task, after all – especially if you’re a child or teenager with the enthusiasm of a fly when it comes to keeping your teeth clean. 

You will typically be sent to an orthodontist or hygienist, who will then professionally and thoroughly clean your teeth. Not only this, but they will also give you tips on how to keep your teeth clean and how to whiten them with the braces on. 

Whitening Teeth After Braces 

Once your braces have been removed, you’ve kind of got free rein to do whatever you want with them.

This means that if your teeth are in the right condition, and if your dentist approves this, then you can use regular whitening products to make your teeth as bright as you like!

However, your teeth might have stains after the braces. These are known as intrinsic (inner) and extrinsic (outer) stains, which refer to the stains inside or outside where the bracket was attached.

Intrinsic stains can’t really be removed or whitened with whitening products, in which case you will have to get the stains professionally removed for permanent results. 

Also, you don’t want to waste all that time wearing braces just to potentially ruin your teeth with whitening products.

Make sure that all treatment has finished before applying strips or bleach, and always ask your dentist for their advice. They will recommend certain products and treatments depending on the quality of your teeth. 

Plus, whitening products can also make your teeth and gums sensitive and irritated once the braces are removed. It’ll be worth waiting until your teeth feel normal again before you apply the products. 


So, there you have it! While you shouldn’t really use whitening products while wearing braces, there are ways to safely keep your teeth white without causing irritation.

Andrew Kemp
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