You may have noticed swollen, tender gums if you or your child has braces. Standard braces have many wires and brackets, making it challenging to keep teeth and gums clean and healthy. In addition, some patients' gums react to new braces by swelling and overgrowing.
This blog will explain how to combat swollen gums when you have braces and offer solutions for keeping your teeth sparkling clean.
Why Do Gums Swell With Braces?
Braces patients' gums can swell for several reasons. Most braces patients are adolescents, meaning that the natural hormones in their bodies make it more likely that gum tissue will swell and bleed easily. Gum tissue sometimes grows down too far over the tooth in reaction to new braces, and this tender, new tissue may swell.
Gingivitis can also cause gum swelling. As the first stage of gum disease, gingivitis deserves attention from your orthodontist or family dentist. A dental practitioner should check at the patient's next appointment and determine the cause of swollen gums.
How to Manage Swollen Gums
Improve Oral Care
Step up your child's at-home oral care routine, including detailed flossing and careful brushing multiple times daily. Use interproximal brushes and floss threaders, if necessary, to reach between teeth and avoid wires.
Many children and teens may be reluctant to clean swollen gums due to discomfort. However, this will only make the problem worse. Your family dentist or orthodontist can help them understand the importance of positive oral care.
Avoid Hard Foods
Chewing on hard or crunchy foods can make gum swelling worse. While your child's gums swell, advise them to eat a softer diet.
The Consequences of Periodontal Disease
Swollen gums are not unusual for braces patients. They could swell for benign reasons like hormone changes but also exhibit signs of gingivitis.
You or your child could have gingivitis if the swollen gums are tender to the touch or bleeding when brushed or flossed. Reversing gingivitis early on is key to protecting you from the serious effects of periodontal disease later in life.
If gingivitis goes untreated, it eventually progresses to full-blown periodontal disease. The end stages of periodontal disease may result in tooth loss. If your gums swell with braces, it is not too late to protect your healthy teeth for a lifetime.
Promote Excellent Oral Hygiene
Braces have amazing effects on your smile, but caring for them can be challenging. Keeping up with your oral hygiene or that of your child is a must with braces. To prevent lifelong oral health issues, take action now.
Frequently Asked Questions About Braces
How long will I have to wear braces?
Braces take approximately 18 months to three years for most patients. Depending on your orthodontic issues, you or your child may have a longer or shorter treatment time.
How do I use a floss threader?
A floss threader works like a thin, soft, blunt-tipped sewing needle. Simply thread the floss through the eye and use the threader to guide the floss between the teeth.
Call Greater Hartford Orthodontics
If you have swollen gums, visiting your orthodontist for an evaluation is a good idea. Please call our Newington, CT, office at 860-667-8277 to schedule an appointment with one of our orthodontic specialists.