What Should I Do If My Gums Are Swelling Because Of My Braces?
Generally, the gingivae (gums) swell during orthodontic treatment because of insufficient cleaning. There maybe a medical reason why they are swelling too so it is always a good idea to seek professional opinion and advice from your Orthodontic practitioner.
Should the inflammation be related to insufficient cleaning then we would advise to keep to a meticulous cleaning routine, spending extra time and care around the brace to ensure all plaque and food debris is removed.
Firstly, ensure that your toothbrush is less than 3 months old, this applies to a manual brush or an electric toothbrush. If it is older then please purchase a new one. Both a manual brush and electric tooth brushes do an excellent job at cleaning your teeth providing you follow the correct method for use.
Using a manual brush, start on the side that you feel most comfortable at the top of your mouth, brush in a circular motion ensuring you are cleaning above the bracket, the top of the tooth and the gum margin, repeat this on every tooth and then return to your start position. This time take your manual brush underneath the bracket, ensuring you are cleaning the bottom of the bracket and the lower portion of your tooth, again in a circular motion on each tooth. Don’t forget to clean the biting surface of your tooth and the inside. Repeat on the lower arch.
If you are utilising an electric toothbrush, depending upon the type of brush will warrant how you brush, please follow manufacturers instructions for this however, the same principle applies for brushing above and below the brackets. Following brushing with your toothbrush please use a single tufted brush or a bottle brush such as a ‘Tepe’ for cleaning underneath the wire. Take either brush under the wire and move it from side to side, take care to clean the side of the bracket and the tooth surface. If you choose to use a bottle brush then ensure the wire is pushed under the wire away from the gum. We would advise this thorough method of cleaning twice daily usually morning and evening. Following any snack or meal, we would advise you wait 30 minutes and then brush your teeth, ensuring that any visible food and plaque is removed. At a separate time to brushing please thoroughly rinse out with a fluoride mouthwash.
If you still feel that you are struggling with keeping your mouth and your orthodontic appliances clean then you can use disclosing tablets. Please wear an old item of clothing as the dye can stain. Once you have brushed your teeth, crunch up a disclosing tablet in your mouth and swish it around, spit out any excess into the sink and wash away. This will highlight any areas that have been missed during cleaning and will allow you to focus on these spots going forward. The die is often purple or blue so you will have to brush again to remove the colouring.
- Mohammad Malik