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  • Writer's pictureBelle Mead Orthodontics

How to Keep Your Gums Healthy When Wearing Braces

If you’re considering braces, you should understand how the braces will affect your gum health and whether your gums, in their current state, are good for braces.


Inadequate preparation can lead to issues with your jaw bone, which can cause tooth instability and bone loss. Besides, the braces themselves can make it tough to floss and brush, which can lead to more serious gum disease over time.

To get the best out of your braces, it’s essential to understand its relationship with gum health.



What is gum disease?

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a serious gum infection that wreaks havoc on the gums, leading to tooth loss and even jawbone damage. Symptoms often include tender gums that are red and swollen.


What are the risks of having gum disease when wearing braces?

The first thing you should know about braces is that your gums may change when you have them on. As such, you may have sore, swollen gums. This, in itself, is not an infection, as bone changes cause the soreness as your teeth shift into new positions.


The real risk of gum disease when wearing braces stems from the difficulty in brushing and flossing, which causes sticky plaque to build up between the teeth, causing inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, this inflammation can cause gum disease.


Tips for preventing gum disease while wearing braces

While the increased pressure on your gums while wearing braces is unavoidable, you can still take some steps to prevent gum disease:

  • Brush your teeth thoroughly twice daily

  • Use soft-bristled brushes to avoid gum irritation

  • Avoid smoking to reduce the risk of gum inflammation

  • Floss daily with water flossers or soft-bristled floss picks rather than traditional floss


How do braces reduce your chances of gum disease in the long term?

Although using braces can put you at increased risk of gum disease for the duration you wear them, the opposite is the case in the long term, after they have served their teeth-aligning purpose.


Misaligned teeth themselves can cause gum damage over time, as the inability to properly clean your teeth while brushing will leave plaque to build up in the unreached spots.


With the straighter dentition that comes after using braces correctly, this will not be the case. Additionally, your bite will be more efficient, improving jaw health and reducing teeth loss and decay.


Don’t ignore the signs of gum disease

Some of the symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Red or purple gums

  • Sensitivity or tenderness in the gums

  • Bad breath

  • Minor bleeding after flossing or brushing


Take your dental health seriously by visiting an orthodontist

You should note that you may have some gum disease symptoms even while wearing braces, especially if you do not take care of your teeth as you should. So it’s best to visit your orthodontist for checks from time to time.


At Belle Mead Orthodontics, we’re concerned about your overall dental health and can give you expert advice on how to take care of your teeth and gums while on braces. Book an appointment today.


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