of the most common questions we get on ArchWire's Metal Mouth
Forum involves ceramic brackets stained from foods,
particularly curry. Well relax, your brackets are NOT stained.
The brackets themselves are still white, but the elastic
ligatures have become stained. The ligatures are those little
rubber bands on each bracket that hold the arch wire in place.
I know, the brackets look stained. But believe me, in most
cases, it's only the elastic ligatures. Really! And those get
changed by your orthodontist every 4-6 weeks. So the next time
you have an adjustment, the stained ligatures will be replaced
with fresh new ones and your braces will look white and
what if it will be weeks until your next adjustment? How can
you get rid of stains from curry, mustard, coffee, tea, or
smoking? Well, here's the bad news: it's very difficult. You
can try brushing with whitening toothpaste, but that has very
limited results. The yellowish tinge will probably still be
visible to some degree. If you have an important engagement
and need your braces to look white again, you must visit your
orthodontist and get your ligatures changed.
are some suggestions to help you avoid this problem in the
of clear or white ligatures, choose light blue, or
smoke color. ArchWired readers have said that the
smoke colored ligatures do not stain. The light blue
ligatures turn bright green immediately from curry, but
after a few brushings with regular (non-whitening)
toothpaste, they settle into a pleasant light teal color.
Or go bold. Bolder colors don't stain as easily.
have recently reported that there is a new opalescent
pearl color of ligature that resists some stains
(although it does not resist curry stains at all).
all else fails, ask your orthodontist to use tie wires
instead of elastic ligatures. Tie wires do not stain at
curry only in the days before an adjustment (not really an
option for us curry addicts!)
up smoking. Easier said than done, but better for your