Brace Yourself! Combating Gingivitis with Braces

If you are older than 30 and have been known to complain occasionally about tooth and gum pain, you might want to read this article. You may be suffering from a common type of gum disease known as gingivitis. Although it’s not as scary as its name sounds, the effects can be disastrous if not treated early.

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a mild but common type of gum disease that results in the inflammation of gums, otherwise known as gingiva. It may happen because of bacteria, plaque accumulating on the teeth. If left untreated, gingivitis may eventually evolve into periodontitis, a serious condition that results in tooth loss.

The CDC has reported that 47.2% of adults older than 30 years suffer from some periodontal disease and that this condition is likely to aggravate as you age. However, gingivitis is just the result of bad oral hygiene, and if you can detect and treat it early, there is a higher chance of you reversing it.

Some telltale signs of gingivitis include swollen gums that are dusky or dark red and bleed easily when brushing your teeth. Bad breath and tender gums may also be symptoms and indicate that you need to visit your dentist for better care.

Hand holding braces against a white wall.

Braces and Gingivitis:

While braces are great for helping you achieve a beautiful straight-toothed smile, they make it harder to brush and floss your teeth properly. This may result in a buildup of plaque which accumulates every day into a sticky film that produces bacteria and leads to gingivitis.

While anyone can get gingivitis, it is more likely to happen when you are wearing braces. This is because food particles may get stuck into your braces, and small debris that even after you brush and rinse becomes even harder to clean.

How to care for your gums while wearing braces:

If you are currently wearing braces, then you might have to regularly clean your teeth with more than just toothpaste and mouthwash. Flossing may be a little difficult in braces, which results in you being more prone to gingivitis.

We at West Hills Smiles recommend the following actions to help you take care of your gums when in braces:

  • Floss and brush your teeth regularly
  • Use an antibacterial mouth wash.
  • Use a Waterpik
  • Gargle regularly with warm salt water to reduce irritation
  • Visit your dentist in Woodland Hills, CA every six months or sooner.

Woman getting braces at the dentist’s office

Still unsure? West Hills Smiles helps you care for your smile. By following our advice and treatment plans, you will be able to maintain a sparkling white smile! To schedule an appointment, you can contact us here or call us at (818) 346-4303!