Is It Normal For My Gums To Bleed When I Have Braces?
After getting braces, or during treatment, some patients experience bleeding from their gums, as well as redness, swelling, sensitivity, or irritation. This is common and easily treatable. In this video, Dr. Jacy Papasikos explains what’s going on.
Why Are My Gums Bleeding with Braces?
Any time your body behaves abnormally, it is trying to tell you something. When your gums are bleeding, swollen, or painful, it’s a sign from your body that there is some infection in the gums.
At the beginning of braces treatment, this can be related to the change in your mouth: your gums don’t recognize the new appliance, and it takes a few days for your mouth to adjust to the new braces.
If you’re experiencing ongoing bleeding or inflammation, this means an infection is present due to improper oral hygiene.
Remember: when you get braces, your orthodontist is in charge of slowly adjusting your teeth. But your most important job is to keep your teeth clean and your mouth fresh and healthy. Proper oral hygiene helps the braces treatment go faster and more smoothly, and reduces the chances of tooth decay, gum infection or inflammation, staining or discoloration, or other dental issues. Brushing and flossing are crucial to effective braces treatment!
Failure to care for your teeth, gums, and mouth can have unpleasant side effects. If your gums are bleeding, red, or irritated, this is an early sign from your body that it’s time to step up your oral healthcare routine!
How to Stop Your Gums from Bleeding
If your gums are bleeding, red, or irritated, re-introducing proper oral hygiene should eventually make the problem go away.
Gums generally bleed or get irritated from plaque build-up on the teeth along the gum line. This likely means your brushing isn’t reaching over the entire surface of your teeth. Brush twice a day for two minutes each time, using a soft-bristled toothbrush, and be careful to cover all surfaces of your teeth.
Food or other debris trapped between your teeth and in your braces can cause gum irritation or bleeding as well, in addition to accelerating bacteria and plaque build-up. Be sure to floss every day to remove any trapped food, using a floss threader to reach between braces brackets and in the wires. A water jet or Waterpik can also help remove food debris from between your teeth.
If your gums bleed more while you’re brushing or flossing, don’t panic: it will go away after several days of proper flossing. Just continue brushing and flossing as normal and they will eventually stop bleeding and the swelling will go down.
To reduce inflammation and disinfect your mouth, we also recommend rinsing with a hydrogen peroxide antiseptic mouth rinse. Simply swish 2-3 teaspoons or mouth rinse in your mouth for 30 seconds, and spit out, rinsing afterward with water. Hydrogen peroxide will help sanitize your mouth and wash away plaque and other bacteria.
However, it’s not a substitute for brushing and flossing: proper daily oral hygiene is the best way to keep your teeth clean, and your gums fresh and healthy!
If the problem persists, contact your orthodontist for assistance.
Regular Brushing and Flossing Keeps Your Gums Happy and Healthy, for a Lifelong Smile!