If you are wearing traditional metal braces, you can expect to deal with a few inconveniences while you are on your way to a straighter smile. However, while avoiding certain foods and feeling embarrassed about your “metal smile” are definitely disruptive, they are only temporary grievances. There’s another consequence of wearing braces that could impact your dental health – even after your braces come off.
Periodontal disease commonly develops in patients who are undergoing orthodontic treatment with fixed braces. This comes down to the cleaning challenges that brackets, wires and bands can pose when it is time to brush and floss. Poor oral hygiene during orthodontics results in the buildup of plaque and bacteria – the building blocks for gum disease.
Dental plaque is a thin film of bacteria and food particles that form on the teeth every single day. If not removed, the plaque can accumulate and harden into tartar. Here it can irritate the gum tissues and cause an infection within the soft tissues and bone that support your teeth. For those that wear braces, you may notice this as puffy gums that bleed easily. This is known as gingivitis, and it is the first stage of gum disease.
The good news is that gingivitis while wearing braces is easily treatable and reversed if detected early. By scheduling more frequent dental cleanings or purchasing better oral hygiene tools, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy while your orthodontist straightens your teeth.
One of the biggest mistakes patients make is assuming their orthodontic visits take the place of their dental visits. Your orthodontist is not your dentist. Your teeth and gums still need a professional cleaning and evaluation of their health and condition. Your orthodontist is only trained to monitor and correct the position of your teeth.
If while wearing braces you notice your gums are reddened, swollen or bleeding when you brush, these are all signs of infection and the body’s inflammatory response to it. Like any other infection, the longer it goes untreated, the weaker the tissues become. Eventually, you may be at risk for tooth loss if your gum disease gets to an advanced stage.
Don’t sabotage your orthodontic investment by neglecting the health of your gums during treatment. Schedule your dental cleaning at Gainesville Dental Group today!
1026 Thompson Bridge Road
Gainesville, GA 30501
Wednesday & Thursday 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM