What should I do?
I have braces and in the last couple weeks my gums have been swelling up and pushing up toward my brackets.
I don't know why this is happening, I brush my teeth everyday and started flossing.
Do you know what is wrong and how I can get my gums to return to normal?
It isn't unusual for gums to swell during orthodontic treatment.
There are a couple of reasons.
1. It is more difficult to keep your teeth clean with braces on. Plaque forms near the gums first and it takes some effort to brush the small space between the gum line and the orthodontic brackets.
As the gums swell the space between your gums and the brackets gets even smaller and it becomes even harder to thoroughly clean the gum line.
2. Some orthodontic patients are extra sensitive to the metal brackets and the gums react by swelling. If you know you are sensitive to metal, porcelain brackets or invisalign may be better for you.
The best thing you can do for your gums is to clean the area between the brackets and your gums thoroughly twice each day.
This article explains more about how to care for your teeth during orthodontic treatment.
Whether you have metal or porcelain brackets, it's important to give the gum line extra attention when you are brushing.
Always remember to brush above and below the brackets. It takes twice as long to thoroughly clean your teeth with braces. The usual 2 minutes of brushing is not enough.
Using a WaterPik flosser, Hydrofloss or Sonicare electric toothbrush will help reach areas that may be difficult to clean with a toothbrush.
Read more about these products...
The good news: in most cases the swelling goes away after your braces come off and you are able to keep your teeth cleaner.
Thanks for writing and good luck,