Different types of braces are widely preferred to treat gaps between teeth, crooked, crowded or misaligned teeth. However, braces like most of the medical treatments do come with some side effects. A very common but temporary side effect is swollen gums or gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease. In some cases, the swelling in the gum occurs soon after the braces are put on or after an adjustment session. However, if your gums remain persistently swollen, it could be a sign of plaque buildup or caused due to irritation from the braces. Hence, good dental care is important with braces. The tips mentioned here can help you understand how to treat swollen gums caused due to braces.
- Strictly Follow a Good Oral Hygiene Routine
Plaque – a sticky film comprising bacteria, found over teeth is a primary reason for causing inflammation in gums. It produces toxins which irritate gums and if neglected for long can cause severe gum diseases. Proper oral hygiene becomes more important when you are wearing braces. Use a soft toothbrush. Even though flossing becomes more challenging, make it a point to floss daily. You can use specific type of flossing devices which makes it easy to work around your braces. Use an antimicrobial or fluoride mouthwash. If these mouthwashes irritate your gums, try rinsing mouth with warm salt water instead.
- Make Changes in Your Diet
Eating with braces requires some precaution. You need to avoid hard and chewy foods such as hard and gummy candies, nuts, popcorn, chips, ice, bagels etc. Switch to softer foods like yogurt, soft cheese, mashed potato, soups, pasta, soft cooked rice etc. Hard or chewy foods can increase your risk of injury as well aggravate irritation leading to swelling in the gums. Soft and healthy foods will not only keep plaque at bay but will also reduce the risk of irritation or any injuries due to the presence of braces.
- Relieve Pain with Natural Remedies
Clove oil is a great pain reliever. You can simply apply it on swollen gums with the help of a cotton swab for quick relief from pain. Massaging your swollen gums gently and in slow motion can also help. Take a clean gauze pad and gently rub on the affected areas. You can also try gargling with warm saltwater. Be careful not to use hot water. Mix a small amount of salt with warm water and gargle gently. This will help soothe the inflamed gums.
- Avoid Certain Habits
Certain poor habits can provoke the irritation caused by braces thus increasing the risk of gum diseases such as swollen gums. For instance, chewing on hard substances such as pen, chewing tobacco or even biting nails can further aggravate the swelling in the gums. Avoid smoking as studies have shown that it not only increases the risk of gum diseases but also severe oral health problems.
The success of gum disease treatment depends on the accurate determination of cause. If you have started noticing swollen gums after wearing braces, consult your orthodontist for effective treatment options.