Avoiding Gum Disease Related Problems During Orthodontics
Lots of children require orthodontic treatment and even though removable braces are becoming more popular, often the best results can be obtained with fixed braces using more traditional brackets and wires. The metal or plastic brackets are attached to teeth and have tracks that hold the arch wires in place. These are the wires that put the teeth under tension so they move. While an excellent treatment, without proper care orthodontics can cause gum changes and lead to gum disease.
Gum Cleaning Can Be More Difficult
The presence of brackets and wires does make brushing and flossing more difficult. That is because all this paraphernalia tends to cover up much of the tooth surfaces, making tooth cleaning considerably more challenging. As a result, the brackets and wires can trap bacteria. These bacteria form a biofilm called dental plaque over the tooth and gum surfaces. Without proper cleaning, plaque can cause gum disease and tooth decay. Usually, this plaque biofilm can be removed through brushing and flossing but when it isn’t it can quickly inflame the gums, causing them to swell as they become infected. The problem can be compounded by the presence of braces as the delicate gum tissue may not tolerate them particularly well and can react by overgrowing or swelling up.
Gum Disease and Braces
When plaque isn’t removed on a daily basis it can quickly cause inflammation in the gum tissues which is called gingivitis and is the early stage of gum disease. This creates swollen and red gums that may easily bleed during brushing. The good news is that stage of gum disease is easily reversible, and particularly as it’s likely your child will be visiting one of our pediatric dentists such as Dr. Marina Krepkh at regular intervals. Our dentists at the Kids Dentistry Center can quickly detect these early signs of gum disease and will take action to halt it in its tracks through professionally cleaning their teeth.
We Can Show Your Kid How to Clean Properly During Orthodontics
We can also show your kid how to floss properly using special devices called floss threaders that help get dental floss right underneath the wires. Interproximal brushes or interdental brushes can also fit into the tiny spaces in between teeth and are highly effective at cleaning plaque. Another way to tackle this problem is to invest in an electric toothbrush and perhaps a water flosser. Electric toothbrushes tend to have smaller heads that can fit in between the brackets and wires more easily. A water irrigator or water flosser uses pressurized water to flush away any debris and plaque.
Dealing with Hypertrophy
As we mentioned earlier, the presence of braces can irritate the gums causing them to react by swelling up or overgrowing. This condition is called hypertrophy or hyperplasia and can be quite noticeable. In addition, swollen gums can be more difficult to keep clean, exacerbating any gingivitis that might be developing. It’s possible this condition might not resolve itself until the braces are removed, but providing your kid keeps their teeth and gums meticulously clean it should be okay, especially as this condition will be carefully monitored by our pediatric dentists each time your child visits our dental office.
Kids Best Dentist Brooklyn NYC
Dr. Marina Krepkh
7708 4th Avenue 1st floor
Brooklyn, NY 11209 (Bay Ridge)