Have you ever wondered if it’s possible for gums to grow over braces? The road to straighter teeth requires extra special care and attention since braces will change your daily oral health practices. Straightening teeth is about improving your smile and a healthier mouth.
Crooked and crowded teeth can make it hard to brush and floss thoroughly, which can lead to cavities, gum inflammation (or swelling), and gum disease. But braces can cause some unexpected changes in the mouth while they’re working to straighten your smile. A common question for orthodontists and dentists is, “Are my gums growing over my braces?”
While it may appear that’s the case, here’s what’s really happening:
Braces cause changes in your mouth. That means your daily oral health care routine needs to change, as well. If brushing and flossing with braces isn’t done thoroughly, you can experience gum inflammation, or swollen gums.
Braces create more nooks and crannies where food and bacteria can build up, leading to plaque and eventually gum disease. Because of irritation from the harmful bacteria in plaque, the gums may swell. The swelling in your gums, when combined with your braces, can trap more food and make it even harder to brush and floss properly, leading to even more swelling. So, though swollen gums may look like gums growing over braces, they’re not actually growing.
It’s important to follow your orthodontist’s recommended cleaning methods to ensure a bacteria-and inflammation-free mouth. Special floss and brushes made for braces can help clear the debris around and in between the brackets and in hard-to-reach areas. This can reduce swelling and help prevent further swelling.
Researching for your child? Remember than younger children don’t have the dexterity to floss thoroughly on their own, so don’t forget to lend a helping hand. If you or your child is experiencing any discomfort or concern with your braces, contact your orthodontist.
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