Preventing Gum Disease While in Braces

Gum disease is one of the most significant threats to the integrity and health of your smile. It starts when you let dental plaque accumulate on the teeth and along the gum lines. You’d think that as someone undergoing orthodontic treatment, patients would be hyper aware of teeth cleanliness, but unfortunately, sometimes the braces themselves can serve as a deterrent for getting squeaky clean teeth because they can make it harder to maneuver a toothbrush within the mouth.

Gum disease, if it progresses, can cause patients who wear braces to have to interrupt treatment. We do this to stop the disease before extensive damage occurs. After all, we want you to finish treatment with a smile that makes a splash, but not a belly flop!

At OBC, Dr. Crutchfield’s team helps educate patients on maximizing oral hygiene to keep their smiles healthy while straightening their teeth. We do this in our “Brush Talk” where we teach you about the things that will help you maintain a healthy smile throughout treatment.

Stop Those Mouth Germs
Smiles rely on daily attention to remain clean and healthy. Brushing and flossing are essential to controlling the buildup of sticky dental plaque. Some of those germs pose serious, specific threats to your oral health, such as targeting sensitive gum tissue through harmful toxins and excessive inflammation.

As a progressive issue, gum disease gets worse until treated. In its most severe form, it can destroy the tissues and structures that support healthy teeth. This means tooth loss. This spells more trips to the dentist, unnecessary pain, and extra healthcare costs. We understand how challenging it can be to stay on top of your kid’s brushing behaviors, but it really is important for you to take an active role in supporting habits. It’s for them AND for you!

What to Watch For
As bacteria infects your gums, the first sign is often bleeding gums while brushing. Other indications are redness and swelling. Gum disease generally starts with a quiet progression. As the disease continues, the infection and inflammation can destroy the gums that protect your teeth’s roots, and eventually it could reach the jawbone leading to tooth loss in the most severe cases.

Improve Your Oral Hygiene
Traditional braces involve brackets attached to each tooth and connected by arch wires. The components can often make your usual brushing and flossing more challenging. Without proper care, you increase the risk of developing gum disease and other dental health issues.

Your team at OBC provides case-specific instructions for proper hygiene while wearing braces, as well as an interdental cleaner to reach around, between, and behind the brackets and wires. Don’t forget, we also have clear aligners too!

When you have braces, you need to be even more vigilant with your oral hygiene. If you take care of your teeth, your new smile should last a lifetime.

​If you are experiencing bleeding gums or any discomfort, please come in and let us take a look. Call our office at 703-263-0575.