Getting Teeth Whitened: Is It Possible With Braces On?

Getting Teeth Whitened: Is It Possible With Braces On?

When speaking of appearances, our smile certainly ranks high among the list of facial features that significantly affect how we look. A perfect set of straight, white teeth contributes to a beautiful smile, giving us the confidence we need to interact with people, such as when giving a presentation at school or work or asking someone out on a date. In short, a captivating smile is one of the best attractive features anyone can have.

Thankfully, getting this smile is easier now, thanks to readily available and affordable services like teeth whitening, and orthodontic treatment with braces. With the cost of metal braces in Singapore being cheaper and more affordable than ever before, there is no reason not to invest in getting the perfectly straight teeth you want. And if you’ve already begun your braces treatment, you may be wondering if it’s possible to get teeth whitened at the same time so that you can get your teeth straight and white as soon as possible. Below, we find out the truth.

Can braces stain teeth?

The wires and brackets of traditional metal or ceramic braces in Singapore rarely ever cause staining and other cosmetic damage on their own. In fact, it is the food and drinks you consume that do, whether you have braces on or not. Thus, it is important to regularly brush your teeth daily to avoid stains and any other dental issues that may arise. When you have braces on, it is particularly advised to avoid anything sugary since these foods tend to cause decay from bacterial plaque that has built up around the brackets, resulting in permanent stains. If you do have to eat something sugary, take care to avoid the sticky types since they can wedge themselves in your braces. Also remember to brush immediately after eating, if possible, to prevent staining.

Is teeth whitening doable with braces on?

Teeth whitening can be done in two ways: with commercially-available products or through an orthodontist or dentist. Those whitening products you can get off the shelf may brighten up the exposed parts of your teeth, but they will not affect the areas hidden underneath the brackets. Moreover, going the do-it-yourself route may lead to an uneven overall colour of your teeth, which may result in noticeable darker spots after your braces get removed.

Just like the issues present in the first method described above, professional teeth whitening by your orthodontist is also difficult and even impossible when you have traditional metal braces on. This is due to obstruction by the brackets; the brackets need to be removed completely for effective bleaching to be carried out. Whitening of teeth should only be done after your braces treatment is complete.

When should you get your teeth whitened?

Ideally, you should get teeth whitening done once your braces treatment truly ends, after your braces and any remaining cement have been removed, and after getting your new retainers made. Since teeth whitening can be done much more quickly than braces treatment, often in just a few sessions, there is really no need to rush the process and get it while you still have braces on. If you want to go ahead with whitening after your braces, here are a few necessary steps to take:

  • Talk to a professional who can help you choose the right way to go about your teeth whitening, depending on your needs and preferences, whether it is an in-office whitening process or an at-home solution.
  • Get to know the stains and determine if they are outer or inner stains. If they are extrinsic stains, you would need a thorough scaling and polishing to get rid of them.
  • Complete your orthodontic treatment first since effective teeth whitening requires direct access and contact with your tooth enamel. First get your teeth straight, so that you would not draw attention to irregular teeth or teeth with gaps, since whitened teeth would look more radiant and gaps will become more obvious.
  • Address your teeth sensitivity and delay teeth whitening if you think it may cause excessive irritation after you have just finished your braces treatment.


Since teeth naturally have a yellowish tint, teeth whitening is often necessary to achieve that white hue along with your aligned teeth. However, doing so while your braces are still on may prove difficult and lead to unwanted consequences, as we’ve discussed above. Therefore, it is best to wait until after your braces come off first before getting the teeth whitening procedure.

At BigSmile Dental Clinic, we go beyond providing straighter teeth. We help you ensure that you enjoy a healthy smile with affordable lingual braces and Invisalign braces that don’t cost too much in Singapore. You may reach us at +65 6734 0007 to get started today!