Do Clear Braces Stain Easily – What You Need to Know

Published Date:
July 8, 2021
Updated Date:
July 8, 2021
Reading Time: 7:min
Published Date:
July 8, 2021
Updated Date:
July 8, 2021
Reading Time: 7:min

Table of contents

  1. What are clear braces?
  2. How do clear aligners work?
  3. Drink water
  4. Brush after consuming all foods
  5. Cleaning clear braces

One of the main questions we’re asked by people considering straightening their teeth is “do clear braces stain easily?”

While there is a chance that your clear braces could stain,because you can remove them before eating or drinking this isn’t something you need to worry about unduly. That said, you may need to up your oral hygiene routine and there are a couple of habits that’ll you have to get used to, but more about that later.

We’re going to start by explaining a little more about clear braces (clear aligners) including how they work and tips on keeping them clean and free from staining.

What are clear braces?

Clear braces are removable braces or aligners that are worn over the teeth a little like a mouthguard. Clear aligners are made from biocompatible medically approved BPA-free plastic, which is provided by Dentsply Sirona, the world’s largest patented provider. Because the plastic is crystal clear, the aligners are virtually invisible when worn in the mouth making them an ideal solution for anyone wishing to straighten their teeth discreetly.

How do clear aligners work?

Clear aligner treatment utilises a series of customised aligners, also known as trays, to gradually move the teeth into their correct position so that by the time the last aligner has been worn, the desired results should have been achieved.

Unlike metal braces which remain permanently fixed to the teeth throughout orthodontic treatment, invisible aligners can be removed for eating and drinking and for cleaning the teeth. For the best results, however, they need to be kept in the mouth for around 22 hours. In essence, this gives you just two hours throughout the day to fit in all of your meals and snacks.

If this sounds a hard task given your current lifestyle then there’s another solution – NightOnly aligners which can be worn overnight as you sleep. Furthermore, there’s even less risk of staining since you won’t be eating or drinking during this time.

So, getting back to the question of do clear braces stain easily let’s look at two habits to get into that will help you avoid stains.

Drink water

Clear braces can stain from beverages such as tea, coffee, dark sodas, and red wine which is why you should avoid drinking anything but water when you’re wearing them.

Even if you are prepared to take the risk of a little staining, we’d advise you to avoid hot drinks like coffee or tea since hot temperatures may cause your aligners to go out of shape and then you’ll have to replace them with a new set, which could impact on your treatment.

Rather than face the hassle of removing your aligners whenever you want a drink throughout the day, it’s easier and indeed, far healthier to drink a glass of water.

As a top tip, consider your clear aligners like a white shirt. Any foods or drinks that are likely to stain such a shirt will undoubtedly stain your aligners.  

Should your aligners inadvertently get stained then don’t worry. Most people only wear each set of clear aligners for around 10 days, so the stains won’t be hanging around for too long.

Brush after consuming all foods

While it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene at home, aligner wearers should also get into the habit of taking their toothbrush with them when they’re out and about. Think of it as your new best friend.

Whenever you remove your clear aligners to eat a snack or a meal, you must brush your teeth before replacing them in your mouth.

This is because the aligners fit snugly to your teeth and the last thing you want is for bacterial or food particles to be festering in there for hours at a time. If this isn’t possible, then the next best thing is to swirl some water around in your mouth to wash any food particles away.

Hopefully, adopting these two habits will help you avoid stained aligners.But how about regular daily care? How do you keep your aligners clean and germ-free?

Cleaning clear braces

While cleaning clear braces isn’t a difficult task there are some things to be aware of (and to avoid) to prevent damage.

Rinsing your aligners under running tap water will suffice but for added benefits consider cleaning them each day with Daily Foam Fusion (approved for cleaning aligners) to keep them clear, clean and fresh. Just apply some of the foam into the aligners and brush them with a soft-bristle toothbrush.

Never soak clear aligners in denture cleaner as this contains harsh chemicals that could cause them to become brittle and cloudy. Also, don’t use abrasive teeth whitening toothpaste since this may scratch the delicate plastic. It’s worth noting that scratches in aligners can trap debris or food particles which will cause discolouration and an unpleasant odour. If you want to use toothpaste, make sure it’s a mild one and use a soft toothbrush.

Final Thoughts

Clear braces can stain, especially if you drink things like coffee or eat colorful foods. To keep them looking good, brush your teeth often and try to avoid foods and drinks that stain. Regular cleaning and following your orthodontist's advice can help a lot in keeping your braces clear.


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