Gum health and teeth straightening – What’s your gum type?
A beautiful smile is a healthy smile.
A healthy smile means thick white healthy enamel, and pink healthy gums. And how do we maintain gum health for a beautiful smile? Through regular cleaning and a tooth friendly diet, while remembering that our gums are just as much a part of a healthy smile as our teeth!
#1 Dental and gum health 101
For healthy teeth, a tooth friendly diet means avoiding foods that cause tooth decay or erode and thin the enamel. Furthermore, regular brushing twice a day to protect them and remove all debris and food particles is an essential component in maintaining proper oral hygiene.
For healthy gums, let’s go into more detail. There are 2 gum types based on our genetics. In dental medicine, these are called biotypes. Depending on which biotype someone has, poor oral hygiene can cause different problems, as both types have different risk factors and are susceptible to different conditions.
#2 Thin or Thick Biotype?
So, now you might be wondering, what’s the difference between these two biotypes? Let’s take a closer look:
1) Thin biotypes
They are characterised by a thin scalloped appearance and are more susceptible to receding gums. This also leads to more sensitive teeth, as the tooth is more exposed.
2) Thick biotypes
They appear flatter and plumper, meaning they are less susceptible to receding gums. However, they can be more vulnerable for inflammation.
#3 Straighter teeth for better gum health
You’ll often find that crowded or overlapping teeth make effective cleaning quite a chore. That’s why straighter teeth can lead to better gum health!
1) When looking into teeth straightening options, make sure that your gum health is taken into account! Before starting any treatment, you must be asked about your BPE gum scores. For instance, at Straight Teeth Direct™, you’re asked about your gum health in the free e-consultation, as well as during the impression kit stage where you’ll have the option to upload your records for the clinical team to review. This is an essential step before starting treatment, as any gum problems such as infections can cause serious damage to your dental health if not addressed.
Not sure where to get your BPE gum scores from? It’s simple – if you’ve been to see your local dentist within the last 6 months, just contact them and ask them to forward the information to you. You can then upload the records via your Straight Teeth Direct™ app along with your dental x-ray.
2) Apart from the obvious aesthetic aspects, straightening your teeth benefits you in that it can significantly improve your gum health: easier to keep clean, easier to keep healthy!
Of course, it takes time to straighten your teeth, and as they are moved and straightened, your gums remodel around them. Choosing the right teeth straightening option for you is essential when it comes to maintaining proper gum health, as you could end up doing more damage than good. The two options for teeth straightening are fixed metal braces and clear aligners.
> Clear aligners are very hygienic and optimal for gum health as they are removable, thus ensuring comprehensive brushing and cleaning of both your teeth and the aligners is possible every single time.
> Fixed braces, on the other hand, are extremely harmful for gum health. The reason for this is that they make proper cleaning between teeth very difficult, and the sharp metal brackets aggravate your gums, both increasing the risk of gum disease and gingivitis.
#4 Maintaining gum health
The key to keeping gums healthy is cleaning them thoroughly to remove all plaque and calculus. There are 2 modes of cleaning for optimal gum health – physical and chemotherapeutic.
1) Physical cleaning
This type of cleaning is done by effective brushing with a power toothbrush to keep the area where your gums and teeth meet – known as the tooth/gum interface – perfectly clean. The spaces between the teeth can also be kept clean by using interproximal brushes (small brushes that clean between the teeth), and floss. These can ensure that spaces between the teeth are cleaned and any trapped food is removed to prevent bacterial build up and gum inflammation.
Thanks to innovation in at-home dental care products, oral irrigators, also known as water flossers, are now a popular choice for interdental and tooth/gum interface cleaning. Together with sonic toothbrushes, they can help you maintain a much more efficient dental care routine. That’s why we’ve done a lot of research and testing to put together two oral care packs that perfectly compliment your aligner journey at an unbeatable price! They include one Instant Dentist™ Smartpower Ultrasonic Toothbrush, which removes up to 70% more plaque than a manual brush, as well as a handy oral irrigator that gets between all those hard to reach areas to leave your teeth squeaky clean. Currently, these bundles are exclusively available to existing users, so send us a direct message through your app account to get your hands on one of them. Not only are they an ideal way to upgrade your teeth straightening experience, but the oral care devices included in your pack will ensure you maintain optimum gum health for years to come.
2) Chemotherapeutic cleaning
This one is done by using mouthwashes and gels, typically with antibacterial contents or active ingredients like chlorhexidine. These active ingredients help prevent bacteria sticking to the teeth, which reduces the bacterial load (volume) in the mouth. Enhanced cleaning can be done by dipping the interproximal brushes in the gels or mouthwash, to really get all the benefits of these cleaning agents to all corners of your mouth.
During teeth straightening, regardless of which braces method is used, the key to maintaining gum health is to stick to brushing your teeth between snacks and meals throughout the day.
The easiest way to do this is to keep a small pouch with you containing a travel size toothbrush and toothpaste.
For example, we include a complimentary travel size Regenerate™ Advanced Toothpaste with each SmileBox™ for our EU based users, which is perfect for gum health and enamel protection on the go! Speaking of aligners, using aligner cleaning agents like Retainerbrite daily ensures that no bacteria or other nasties accumulate on your aligners, giving your mouth a fresh feeling and ensuring optimal gum health.
Wondering if teeth straightening could help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile and tip-top gum health? Get your free e-consultation today to see what we can do for you 😉