Gum disease with braces: The facts

If your braces or retainers are fitted properly, they should not cause your gums to bleed. The challenge is that when you wear braces you have to be particularly careful to keep your teeth and gums clean to ensure that you effectively remove any build up of plaque bacteria.

Gum disease with braces is quite common. Everyone has plaque bacteria in their mouths and, if this is not removed with regular and effective brushing, it can build up and irritate your gums which can lead to red, swollen and bleeding gums, all of which are symptoms of gum disease.

If you do notice blood in your spit when you brush or floss, you should let your dentist know so you can get advice on treatment.

Likewise, if you feel any discomfort when you wear your braces or retainer, you should go back to your dentist to discuss a solution. Think of it the same way as you would return a pair of shoes to the store if they don't fit correctly.

How braces/retainers can affect your gums

Wearing braces or retainers can make your gums more vulnerable. Sometimes, food particles can become lodged inside or around them, which, if not cleaned away, may lead to the build-up of plaque bacteria, one of the main causes of bleeding gums. That's why it is important to keep your teeth and gums clean, particularly when you wear braces or retainers.

Brushing away trapped food particles in your mouth can help stop the build-up of plaque bacteria and a good daily oral health routine is the best way to keep gums healthy, teeth strong and breath fresh. Your dentist or hygienist will also advise on the best way to clean your braces or retainer.