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Why is the Glue Around My Braces Turning Yellow?

Sometimes patients with braces notice that the glue affixing the brackets to their teeth is slightly yellow. In this video, Diamond Braces orthodontist Dr. Muhammad Abey explains why this might be happening.

Why is the Glue Turning Yellow Around my Braces?

Glue is an important part of your braces appliance: it attaches the brackets to your teeth, keeping them securely in place while your teeth slowly move into place. Whether metal braces or ceramic braces, the glue keeps the brackets in place for the duration of treatment.

The glue is a special material designed specifically for use in orthodontics: it is non-toxic, entirely safe, and clinically tested to last as long as your braces treatment, so the brackets don’t get loose and slip. Occasionally, due to an accident or biting something hard or sticky, the bracket will become loose – that's not a problem, just secure it in place with a ball of wax or leave it along until your next appointment. You can read all about handing orthodontic emergencies at home for more tips.

The glue goes on to your teeth clear. The orthodontist applying your braces only needs a little bit of glue for each bracket, so ideally, only a little glue should show on the edges of your brackets. It’s not very noticeable, but you may find that, over time, the glue starts to discolor or turn slightly yellow.

This is because food and dark-tinted beverages like dark colas, red wine, coffee, or tea can stain the glue over time, causing it to change color slightly. If you are concerned about staining, you can remove dark liquids from your diet, or drink them out of a straw so they don’t splash against your teeth/braces (try to use a reusable straw to protect the environment!).

Because the glue is not made of the same material as your teeth, it won’t respond to whiteners the way your teeth will. Instead of seeking out a treatment remedy, the best thing you can do to prevent or minimize discoloration of the glue is to take very good care of your oral hygiene.

A Proper Oral Health Routine Is the Best Way to Keep Teeth, Braces, and Glue Fresh and Clean

Rather than treating an issue after is arises, the best thing to do with braces treatment is prevent the issue from happening in the first place!

Proper oral hygiene is critical to keeping your braces clean and your teeth staying white. This is true for the glue, too! By brushing twice a day, you remove plaque and bacterial build-up on the surfaces of your teeth, as well as on the glue and the brackets. Learn more about proper tooth-brushing with braces.

Flossing once a day removes any trapped food or other debris from between your brackets and under the wires. Trapped debris is a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause discoloration. Removing it will help keep your teeth white and the glue from turning yellow. For teeth whitening solutions with braces, check out this helpful video.

Glue and Braces are Temporary, But a Beautiful Smile is Forever!

Remember – even if the glue changes color a little bit, it will soon be removed from your teeth, along with the rest of the braces appliance. You’ll be left with straight teeth and a beautiful smile to last a lifetime!

The most important thing is to keep brushing and flossing, so your teeth stay clean and healthy. That will keep your braces treatment progressing smoothly, for a smile you’ll love for years to come!