Orthodontics Blog - Dr. Albert Fontaine

Reasons to Maintain Healthy Gums During Orthodontic Treatment

DUNEDIN AND SPRING HILL, FLORIDA— Many patients like to think of their orthodontic treatment path as the Bonneville Salt Flats- an area where a record waits to be broken. After all, one of the first questions patients ask when they get braces is, “When will I get my braces off?”

While there are limits to how quickly teeth alignment and bite correction can be achieved, Dr. Albert Fontaine says there is an important step you can take to prevent a speed bump on the road to a beautiful smile: take care of your gums.

Following are two reasons why: 1. Patients in treatment are more susceptible to gingivitis. Almost all patients in fixed appliance orthodontics- something other than Invisalign or Invisalign Teen, which features removable aligners- will face gingivitis at some treatment stage, according to a 1992 article in The Angle Orthodontist. This is caused in part by an increase in bacteria around brackets and bands.

“The honest truth is that it’s a bit more challenging to practice good oral hygiene when you have Clearwater Dental braces,” says Dr. Fontaine, Dunedin orthodontist for adults and children. “It can be tough to reach some areas with your toothbrush and dental floss because the brackets and wires are in the way.”

Using floss threaders, sonic toothbrushes and water jet oral irrigators such as a Waterpik or the Sonicare AirFloss can help remove bacteria and keep your gums healthy.

A professional dental cleaning followed by improved oral hygiene and perhaps even antibacterial mouth rinses can eliminate gingivitis. It’s important to get gingivitis under control at this stage, because if untreated, it can progress to periodontitis and eventually lead to more serious dental problems.

2. Teeth don’t align as easily when gums are inflamed. Think of gingivitis as the “stop stick” of the mouth. You’ve seen the cop shows where they place stop sticks in the road to halt a speeding vehicle, right? Well, gingivitis can have the same affect. When your gums are red, swollen or infected, they can nearly bring tooth movement to a halt.

You can help make sure your orthodontic treatment stays on schedule by getting into the driver’s seat when it comes to oral hygiene. Take control of your gum health and you’ll have your braces off before you know it.

© 2012 Sinai Marketing and Dr. Albert J. Fontaine. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Sinai Marketing and Dr. Albert J. Fontaine are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.