Braces and Gum Disease – Tips for a Healthy Smile

People with braces often complain about burning and receding gums. And often, while undergoing orthodontic treatment, they may also experience swollen gums with braces, which can lead to serious gum disease such as gingivitis. But what are commonly referred as braces problems are not actually caused due to braces; they are the result of carelessness towards oral health.

Poor Oral Health – Dental braces consist of wires and brackets that form little pockets where food can easily be trapped. Hence, if you’re not extra careful while cleaning your teeth with braces, these food particles keep getting accumulated over time. And this can lead to poor oral health which is the root cause of several dental problems. 

Dental Plaque – Also known as tartar, plaque is the result of hardening of food particles trapped inside your mouth. Bacteria in our mouth feed on the food particle and produce acid. As a result, a sticky, yellowish film forms over the surface of teeth which, in the long run, erodes the teeth enamel and leads to inflamed and swollen gums. 

How to avoid dental problems because of braces?

Follow an Oral Routine – The key to having a healthy mouth despite braces is never ditching your oral routine. Therefore, you must brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day (preferably before going to bed). Here are some oral care tips to better help you:

  • If your braces have elastics, remove them before you start brushing teeth.
  • Use a compact toothbrush with soft bristles that can easily get in the nooks and corners created by the brackets. 
  • Place your brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums and brush in small circular motions. 
  • Brush gently along the gum line to avoid gum problems that may lead to gingivitis. 
  • Use a battery-powered brush if you’re not able to brush properly under the wires. 
  • Carry a fluoride mouthwash if you’re travelling and won’t be able to brush your teeth after meals. 

Alter Your Diet – Avoid sticky and chewy foods such as raisins, caramel, chewing gum, muesli, etc. that may be hard to clean. Consume soft foods so that the braces aren’t affected. Also, you will need to avoid sugary foods such as chocolates, cookies, etc. because bacteria multiply if they get access to sugar. Instead, include these foods in your diet:

  • Yogurt
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Fish
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Grains
  • Pasta
  • Cheese
  • Smoothies

Visit Your Orthodontist Frequently – Once you get your braces, you will have to make frequent visits to your orthodontist to:

  • Get the wires tightened
  • Get the teeth cleaned 
  • Check for abnormalities such as white spots on teeth
  • Notice any sign of dental problems and curb them before any serious damage

Frequent orthodontist visits are especially important if you have a genetic predisposition to gum disease. Moreover, if you get your teeth cleaned every 6 months, we recommend teeth cleaning every 3 to 4 months.  

Dental braces can give you your dream Hollywood smile. So, do not avoid oral care and follow the tips above for a convenient orthodontic treatment and worthwhile results. 

Author Bio: Sharon William’s day job is to handle digital marketing for Koch Orthodontics in Loganville, GA. With a flair for creating compelling content that clears the clutter and connects with the audience in an instant, she writes about dental topics to educate and help her readers. She truly believes that a genuine smile can win a million hearts and talks to her readers about improving their smiles and overall dental health, as well as enhancing their overall lifestyle. In her free time, she likes to organize small meets in her neighborhood where she brings people together to discuss various topics that she writes about.

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