Wearing braces can improve your smile drastically. The tricky part is that you have to pay close attention to gum disease because you possess a higher risk of suffering from it, especially if you are wearing fixed appliances. Braces cover much of the tooth’s surface making it much harder for you to clean it. In addition, braces also have small extra “hardware” such as plastic or metal brackets that are attached to the teeth, tiny metal bands that are cemented onto them, and wires that are the ones that move the teeth. All of these contribute to gum changes.

Your gums can become swollen because of two main reasons

First of all, there is the risk of bacterial plaque stagnation on the teeth. Because it is harder to clean your teeth while wearing braces and maybe because you are not using a proper cleaning technique, bacterial plaque under the form of biofilm stagnates on your teeth.  Secondly, some people encounter gum tissue irritation because the braces are too close to the gums. As a result, they react by overgrowing and/or swelling. These are the two most important issues, and the sad part is they work together.

Plaque, the whitish biofilm you find on your teeth in the morning, causes gingivitis, gum disease, and tooth decay. If you remove it by brushing and flossing regularly and correctly, you save yourself the trouble of having to deal with oral diseases. A rise in the hormonal levels is visible with braces, and it can also have dramatic effects on the gums. Just like pregnant women suffer from gingivitis during pregnancy, your gums could swell or overgrow.

Clean the plaque using specially designed tools

It is important to clear away the plaque biofilm as efficiently as possible, daily, or it will cause inflammation of the gum tissue, leading to gingivitis. Visible signs of gingivitis are redness, swelling and bleeding during brushing. Gingivitis is the early stage of periodontal disease, which is a much more advanced and harmful condition. Periodontal disease is destructive and leads to detachment of the tooth’s supporting structures. The good news is that gingivitis is reversible by practicing a good oral hygiene.

There are even specially designed tools that can help you to clean your mouth better and easier. Floss threads are small probes that help you get the floss under the wires. Interproximal brushes are tiny brushes that fit in the small spaces between your teeth and clean any left debris. Ask your dentist what dental products suit you better and how to use them properly. Electric toothbrushes and water irrigators are also recommended if you wear braces. They are the ideal aid for plaque removal, and anyone can use them to properly clean plaque away.

Periodic dental cleanings

You should have a regular orthodontic cleaning during your treatment every few months to keep problems in check. Ask your orthodontist or dentist for further advice. Also, sometimes hyperplastic or hypertrophic gum tissue will not resolve until you remove your braces. As long as there are no detachments of the gum tissue from your teeth you don’t have to worry. Be careful, though. You need to be constant under the supervision of a professional dental specialist. Generally, that person is the one who is doing the orthodontic treatment.