Gingivitis is when the tissues around the teeth become inflamed. Sufferers may get bleeding, tenderness, redness, or swelling. It can also increase the time that wears spend in braces. Gingivitis is reversible, but don't ignore it! Anyone can develop gingivitis, so clean around the gum line and be especially vigilant. Be sure to brush after every meal and floss at least once a day.
Sensitivity can occur when the underlying layer of your teeth becomes exposed as a result of receding gum tissue. Braces are more difficult to clean around, and poor oral care can lead to an irritated or receding gum line. To help prevent sensitivity, brush thoroughly after every meal and floss at least once a day. It is normal for teeth to be temporarily sensitive after an adjustment, but let your orthodontist know if you have chronically sensitive teeth.
Plaque is produced from the combination of saliva and food particles. It combines with sugars to form an acid that is dangerous to teeth and gums, and it causes tooth decay, gum disease, tartar, and other dental problems. The challenges of cleaning around braces mean that braces wearers must be especially vigilant. Plaque begins forming only 4 to 12 hours after brushing, which is why it's so important to brush at least twice a day and don’t forget to floss daily!