Brushing with braces and other orthodontic appliances can make it more challenging to clean your teeth. As a result, a buildup of an invisible, sticky film known as plaque can occur. If plaque is not removed daily by brushing and flossing, it produces bacteria that can cause a minor gum disease known as gingivitis.
Anyone can develop gingivitis, and, in fact, more than 75% of Americans over the age of 35 are affected by gum disease. However, the good news is that by practicing good oral hygiene, gingivitis is reversible.
What Causes Gingivitis?
While oral hygiene is a likely cause of gingivitis, other factors can increase the risk of gingivitis including poor diet, broken fillings, genetics, and use of tobacco.
Signs You May Be Experiencing Gingivitis
- Irritated, swollen, red gums
- Minor bleeding after brushing & flossing
- Gums are tender to touch
- Bad breath
Treatment Tips for Gingivitis
If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to a more serious infection known as periodontitis, which affects the tissue and bones that support the teeth. In extreme cases, the teeth can loosen and fall out. To prevent gingivitis, we recommend the following:
- Drink more water to wash food particles away
- Brush and floss daily
- Use antibacterial mouth rinse
- Use a Waterpik
- Gargle with warm salt water to reduce irritation
- Eat healthy foods
- Schedule regular dental visits every 6 months
Contact Fry Orthodontic Specialists
We care about your smile and want your braces experience to be as comfortable as possible. If you are experiencing major discomfort with your braces, such as swollen gums, schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations. We’ll check to see what’s causing your discomfort and provide home care tips to keep your smile healthy.