5929 FM 1463 Ste. 130 Katy, TX 77494
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Gum Disease and Orthodontics

Orthodontic patients vary widely in age, but they all can share common ground when speaking about gum disease. Better known as gingivitis, this condition is a frequent ailment associated with orthodontic treatment. Before your teeth begin to straighten, you may already notice bleeding and sensitivity of your gums. This is due to the fact that misaligned teeth tend to promote plaque buildup under your gum line. During treatment, many people find flossing to be a tedious task and may even skip it completely, unknowingly setting themselves up for complications.

Why is flossing so important?

Gingivitis, or gum disease, is the inflammation of gum tissue, caused by bacteria and plaque buildup under your gum line. The only way to remove this buildup is by flossing your teeth, and between your braces, daily. Without proper flossing techniques, gingivitis can progress into a serious condition known as periodontitis, which can ultimately lead to tooth and bone loss and compromise your orthodontic treatment.

How To Floss With Braces

When you have braces, you should set aside extra time every day to thoroughly clean your teeth. Always use waxed floss, or specially designed products for cleaning braces. Thread the floss carefully under the main wire, between two brackets, and floss up and down each side of one pair of teeth. Remove the floss from under the wire, and rethread it in front of the next pair of teeth to proceed until all your teeth are free from debris.

Can having gum disease prevent me from getting braces?

If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, a periodontist can help determine if braces are suitable for you, based on whether or not they can control the progression of the disease. In serious cases, connective tissues and bone can be damaged by late stage gum disease, and possibly prevent you from getting braces.


Dr. Colin Lathrop and the Lathrop Dental Center proudly serve patients and families from in and around Katy, Fulshear, Weston Lakes, Simonton, Richmond, Rosenberg, Brookshire, Wallis, Orchard, and all surrounding communities. If you’d like to schedule a dental appointment, you can reach our office in Katy, TX, by calling (832) 437-3849.