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Dental Braces Care to Prevent White Scars and Puffy Gums

Dental braces care or taking good care of your teeth while in braces, is an important part of orthodontic treatment.   

Yet this part of treatment is sadly neglected at times.  

While thousands of dollars are spent straightening teeth, poor home care can result in damaged enamel and a less than ideal result...

...At the end of treatment teeth are straight.   But permanently stained with white or yellow scars and gums that are red, puffy and swollen to the point that they are covering half the tooth.

Not pretty.  

And not the end result anyone wants!

Thankfully orthodontic treatment most often results in a beautiful healthy smile.

If you are considering orthodontic treatment, learning how to care for your teeth during treatment will help you avoid any negative side effects and get that beautiful healthy smile. 

Side effects you will want to avoid

Yellow or white spots on your teeth

Yellow, white or even brown spots also called decalcification or scars occur because plaque is not removed around the brackets.  Plaque combined with sugar or acidic foods damage the tooth. some decalcified areas eventually become cavities.

Decalcification is the worst side effect because it is not easy to fix.  Yes, you can whiten your teeth but the spots will not disappear, they will just get lighter.  

Other options for repairing white or yellow spots on your teeth, are more involved and more expensive.  

It's easiest just to prevent spots from forming.  I'll show you how.

Red swollen gums

When you have braces on your teeth, it's easy to miss brushing the gumline entirely.  


Because all those brackets and wires are in the way!

Brushing the same way you brushed before braces won't keep your gums healthy.

What happens when the toothbrush never gets anywhere near your gums?  They swell up and get sore.  They may even bleed when you brush them.

Once gums are swollen, it is even more difficult to keep your teeth clean and getting  white, yellow, or brown spots on your teeth becomes even more likely.

Action plan

The best way to avoid these problems is to keep your teeth extra clean.  

Brush, floss, or use a WaterPik Flosser to clean thoroughly around the brackets especially near your gums.

Brush twice as long as you would without braces.  Brushing above the brackets and  below.

Five minutes each night is recommended (one minute with toothpaste and four without) Follow these instructions for massaging your gums and then clean around each bracket.

dental braces care

Use a toothbrush that is small enough to fit between your brackets and your gums. Your orthodontist may give you one like this one.

 Or just buy the smallest kid's toothbrush you can find.

This toothbrush is too big for cleaning around the brackets.

Helpful products

Use a fluoride supplement such as ACT mouthwash or Colgate Prevident to strengthen enamel and prevent decalcification (white or yellow spots).

A WaterPik flosser removes plaque and food around brackets using water pressure.

A small toothbrush that fits easily between your brackets and your gums.

You don't have to spend a lot of money on products.  Just be sure to spend enough time each day cleaning around the brackets along your gum line.

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