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The Best Ways to Overcome Gingivitis with Braces

girl sitting in orthodontist chair

Red, swollen gums are painful, and you shouldn’t ignore them. They can be a gateway to worse problems like periodontitis and eventually tooth loss.

Do you have braces? 

Are you currently struggling with swollen gums (gingivitis)?

Do you want to know how to get rid of swollen gums with braces?

Gingivitis with braces is common yet easily treatable. Following a few simple steps and executing an effective dental hygiene routine can help you get your swollen gums under control.

Keep reading to learn all about how to keep your gums from swelling with braces!

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a dental term for gum inflammation. Sometimes it can be obvious, and other times it can be more subtle.

Here are some common signs and symptoms of gingivitis:

  • Swollen or puffy gums
  • Dark red gums
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Tender gums
  • Bad breath

If you have any of these symptoms, contact your dentist or orthodontist (if you are already in treatment). Although gingivitis isn’t hard to treat, it’s best to recognize and deal with it early. 

Gingivitis can lead to a more severe issue called periodontitis (gum disease). Periodontitis can result in bone loss and lead to loose teeth and eventually tooth loss.

Is it Normal for Gums to Swell with Braces?

This is a prevalent question for individuals with braces, and here’s the answer: yes, but not for a prolonged period.

Three normal circumstances when braces can cause gum swelling and pain are:

  1. When braces are first placed on teeth
  2. After braces are adjusted
  3. When braces are removed

Within a few days of these procedures, gums should return to normal. If gum swelling or pain persists for an extended time, it could be a sign of gingivitis.

What Causes Gum Swelling with Braces?

Keeping gums healthy can be hard enough even without braces. Once braces enter the equation, they increase the risk and opportunity for swollen gums.

Poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of gingivitis with braces. Food and dental plaque can stick more easily to braces. These plaques create an excellent place for bacteria to grow and induce gingivitis.

Braces also create a literal barrier to work around. They can hinder regular brushing and flossing techniques, making it more difficult to keep teeth clean.

Despite gingivitis and braces being a likely pairing, there are many things you can do to make sure your teeth and gums stay healthy with braces. 

How to Get Rid of Swollen Gums with Braces

Everyone wants to know, “How to get rid of gingivitis fast with braces?” The bad news is that there’s no quick and easy solution. The good news is that there are some simple steps to deal with gingivitis and braces in the long-run.

Here are our top five tips for getting rid of swollen gums with braces:

  1. Practice good oral hygiene: 

Proper dental hygiene at home is the number one way to combat swollen gums. This means brushing twice a day, flossing every evening, and rinsing with a mouthwash. Special gingivitis toothpaste and mouthwash do exist if you want to ask your dentist about them. 

  1. Flossing regularly: 

We just said this under “Practice good oral hygiene,” but it’s so important that it deserves a second mention. Braces can make flossing challenging, but flossing will keep gums clean and healthy. Using a Waterpik can also help remove food and plaque from hard-to-reach places.

  1. Attend routine dental appointments: 

You’ll be seeing your orthodontist often for adjustments, but this doesn’t mean you should stop seeing your dentist. Going to your dentist every six months will help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Some insurances will even pay for more frequent visits for people with braces.

  1. Talk to your orthodontist about Invisalign: 

If you are struggling with brushing and flossing before starting treatment, or think you may have an issue with it, Invisalign is a great option. Invisalign is a straightening alternative to braces. It’s easily removable, so you can take it out before you brush and floss your teeth. This will allow you to clean your teeth and gums more efficiently. 

Good oral hygiene is the key to reducing and preventing swollen gums with braces. If gum complications persist, your dentist and orthodontist are valuable resources to provide clarity and a solution.

Get Peace of Mind About Gingivitis and Braces

Gingivitis with braces is a sensitive subject (literally!). Thankfully, it’s a condition that may be reversible. 

When your gums are red and swollen, they might need some extra care. Make sure that you’re brushing your teeth regularly and flossing. Braces will make some oral hygiene tasks more challenging, but it’s well worth the trouble to keep to a good routine. It’s also best to keep seeing your dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups.

Your orthodontist will know how to get rid of swollen gums with braces, so don’t be afraid to tell them if you’re having trouble keeping your gums healthy.

Here at Bates Orthodontics, we can lend you a hand. We’re ready to provide you with an exceptional orthodontic experience in a professional and caring environment. We’ve helped many people just like you walk through the process of braces from start to finish. 

Schedule a free consultation with our experienced orthodontist, Dr. Sheldon Bates. He has extensive training in every area of orthodontics and would love to talk with you about your smile, braces, or any other questions you may have.