If you are wearing braces, your teeth are on their way to creating a beautifully straight smile. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t have some challenges along the way. Beyond avoiding certain foods that can damage your brackets, you may also find that it is more difficult to keep your teeth and gums clean while wearing traditional braces. For this reason, gingivitis is a common risk and concern for children, teens and adults who are undergoing orthodontic treatment with fixed braces.
The oral hygiene challenge is pretty obvious for those who wear braces. The intricate pattern of brackets, wires and bands can create quite the obstacle for your toothbrush and floss. In fact, it may seem nearly impossible to clean your teeth as well as you did before braces.
If plaque isn’t removed daily, it can build up into an invisible, sticky film, producing bacteria that can lead to a minor gum disease known as gingivitis. Braces can make this process even worse due to the way they can push food particles into the brackets when you bite. The body will initiate an immune response in your gums in an effort to manage the extra bacteria. In turn, this causes the gums to swell, become more red than usual and bleed easily.
While anyone can develop gingivitis, orthodontic patients are more susceptible. However, that doesn’t mean that gum disease is inevitable if you have braces. Not only is early gum disease reversible with a professional teeth cleaning, but you can take steps to prevent it in the first place.
To help avoid gingivitis while in braces, consider the following:
- Use an interdental brush
- Buy a water flosser
- Drink water with meals in order to help wash food particles away
- Use an antibacterial mouth rinse
- Gargle with warm salt water to reduce any irritation
- Eat a healthy diet
Does your child have red puffy gums surrounding their brackets? This can be a warning sign that their oral hygiene needs to improve. Call Georgia Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry to learn more about gum disease prevention and treatment before, during and after braces.
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13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
Phone: (770) 521-2100Mon – Fri: 8:30am – 5:00pm