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Understanding Black Triangles, Your Teeth, and Braces


So you’ve recently had your braces removed and suddenly you notice black triangles on your teeth. You have begun to desperately google “black triangle teeth”, “black triangle teeth fix” or maybe even “black between teeth.”

We have good news for you — this is completely normal! Let’s explore why you may have black triangles between your teeth after braces or Invisalign®.

What is the infamous ‘black triangle’?

When you get braces or Invisalign, you are gradually changing the alignment and position of your teeth. This sometimes allows the gums to re-contour around the teeth to give them the room they need to move. As the gums re-contour around the teeth while your teeth are shifting, this process may create temporary black triangles.

The official term for black triangles is ‘open gingival embrasures’, and it’s not just your orthodontic treatment that can cause them. Age, harsh brushing, gum diseases, and even the shape of your teeth can all result in black triangles.

If you have these, you’re not alone! It’s estimated that about 67% of adults over 20 have them*. As we age, our gums begin to recede naturally, which can also lead to these black triangles.

*British Journal of Applied Science & Technology

Why do you get these black triangles after braces and how common are they?

When your healthy gum tissue pulls away from the top of the teeth, it can cause a black triangle to appear between them. Orthodontic treatment has not caused the black triangles, it has simply exposed what was already hiding beneath.

Studies have found that around one-third of braces* users find themselves with exposed black triangles following an orthodontic treatment.

You may notice these black triangles after braces and black triangles after Invisalign.

Are black triangles bad for you?

While the black triangle itself is not bad for you or necessarily indicative of anything wrong, some people see these as cosmetic concern.

However, it’s important to fully commit to your oral hygiene routine if you have black triangles. These can lead to gum disease, as they may trap food and bacteria.

Can you remove black triangles?

The first and foremost way to treat the black triangles is to maintain good dental hygiene! This means carefully flossing and making sure you are flossing gently so you don’t further damage your gums or underlying bone! In addition to flossing, be sure to brush at least twice per day.

While maintaining good dental hygiene is the simplest way to prevent black triangles, if you have a more extreme form of gum recession, surgical remedies to rejuvenate the gums or dental remedies to place veneers on the teeth may be the most efficient option.

If you have black triangles and they concern you, please let Dr. Jewett know! He will advise you on the best plan of action moving forward. Sometimes he can reshape your teeth in a way that can reduce or eliminate the black triangles during your treatment.

The best treatment for black triangles is prevention! Be sure to stick to a strict oral hygiene routine to prevent black triangles from developing or worsening. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help guide you and support you through your treatment process.

Ready to begin your transformation? Request your complimentary exam with us today.