Gum inflammation, also known as gingivitis, is a common issue that can occur during orthodontic treatment. Here are some tips to help prevent gum inflammation:
Maintain good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily to remove food particles and plaque from your teeth and gums. Use an interdental brush or water flosser to clean between the brackets and wires of your braces.
Use a mouthwash: Use an antiseptic mouthwash to reduce bacteria and plaque in your mouth.
Eat a healthy diet: Avoid sugary and sticky foods that can cause plaque buildup and promote gum inflammation.
Use orthodontic wax: Use orthodontic wax to cover any brackets or wires that are irritating your gums or cheeks.
Attend regular check-ups with your orthodontist: Regular check-ups and adjustments with your orthodontist can help to prevent and detect any issues that may be contributing to gum inflammation.
Consider a water flosser: Consider using a water flosser to flush out food particles and debris from your teeth and braces. Water flossers can be effective at reducing gum inflammation and keeping your mouth clean.
Maintain good overall health: Stress, lack of sleep, and other health issues can weaken your immune system, making it more difficult to fight off gum inflammation. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, managing stress, and taking care of your overall health to support good oral health.
If you experience persistent gum inflammation during orthodontic treatment, it is important to consult with your Dr. Bloom for further evaluation and treatment. He may recommend additional measures, such as professional cleanings, antibiotics, or other interventions to help manage the inflammation.
What causes gum inflammation?
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and gums after eating and drinking. If the plaque is not removed regularly by brushing and flossing, it can cause irritation and inflammation of the gums. During orthodontic treatment, this plaque can accumulate around any brackets or attachments on the teeth and can be a constant source of irritation resulting in more gingivitis compared to patients not currently in orthodontic treatment.
Other factors that can contribute to gum inflammation include:
Poor oral hygiene: Inadequate brushing and flossing can lead to a buildup of plaque and bacteria in the mouth, which can irritate and inflame the gums.
Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can increase the risk of gum inflammation.
Medications: Certain medications, such as antihistamines and blood pressure medications, can cause dry mouth, which can lead to gum inflammation.
Medical conditions: Medical conditions, such as diabetes and autoimmune disorders, can increase the risk of gum inflammation.
Smoking: Smoking can cause irritation and inflammation of the gums, as well as other oral health issues.
Genetic factors: Some people may be more susceptible to gum inflammation due to genetic factors.
If left untreated, gum inflammation can progress to more severe forms of gum disease, including periodontitis, which can cause tooth loss and other complications. Practicing good oral hygiene and seeing a dentist or periodontist regularly is important to prevent and treat gum inflammation.
How Do I Brush with Braces?
Brushing with braces requires a little bit of extra effort and care to ensure that you are cleaning your teeth and braces effectively. Here are some steps to follow for brushing with braces:
Start with the right tools: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth and braces. You may also want to use an interdental brush to clean between the brackets and wires of your braces.
Brush gently: Brush your teeth and braces gently, using circular motions and making sure to cover all surfaces of your teeth and braces.
Pay attention to the brackets and wires: Focus on cleaning around the brackets and wires of your braces, as these areas are more prone to plaque buildup and can be more difficult to clean. Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the tooth to allow the bristles to fit around the wire and bracket.
Use an angled brush head: Consider using a toothbrush with an angled brush head, which can make it easier to reach all areas of your mouth.
Use a fluoride rinse: Rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash after brushing to help prevent tooth decay and strengthen your tooth enamel.
Brush after meals: Brush your teeth after every meal and snack to remove food particles and plaque from your teeth and braces.
Take your time: It is important to brush your teeth and braces thoroughly, so take your time and make sure you are cleaning all surfaces of your teeth and braces.
Remember to continue to keep your regular appointments for checkups and adjustments to your braces or aligners, and your 6-month checkup with your dentist, and to follow their instructions for oral hygiene and care during orthodontic treatment.
How do I Floss with Braces?
Flossing with braces can be a bit more challenging than flossing without braces, but it is important to maintain good oral hygiene to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Here's how to floss with braces:
Use waxed floss: Regular floss can get stuck in the brackets and wires of your braces, so it is best to use waxed floss, which is less likely to get caught.
Thread the floss under the wire: Thread the floss under the wire of your braces, between the brackets and the gums.
Floss between the teeth: Use an up-and-down motion to floss between the teeth, making sure to go all the way up to the gum line.
Use a floss threader: If it is difficult to thread the floss under the wire, you can use a floss threader, which is a small plastic tool that helps to guide the floss between the teeth and braces.
Another excellent tool for flossing is a Platypus flosser (or similar product), designed to fit between the wire and the tooth which will greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to floss with braces.
Repeat for each tooth
Rinse your mouth: Rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash to remove any debris that may have been dislodged during flossing.
It may take some practice to get the hang of flossing with braces, but it is an important part of maintaining good oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment. Dr. Bloom can provide additional guidance and tips to help make flossing with braces easier and more effective. It's important to evaluate all aspects of treatment when searching for the best orthodontist in Lone Tree, Colorado. At Bloom Orthodontics, we value proper oral hygiene and provide many tools for helping our patients get the best results at an affordable price. Call us today to schedule your complimentary orthodontic consultation at (720) 743-0700.