Adult Braces – A Threat to Gum Health

Adult bracesThe number of adults wearing braces is growing, and Orthodontists say nearly half of all newly installed braces are for adults – not kids! Often adults want to improve their smile and the makers of braces – knowing this – are ramping up serious marketing to adults. Braces can definitely improve the look of a smile, and today braces are more convenient and may be helpful – but they can be costly ….and the major cost may be your gum health!

Orhthodonists are trained to fit braces – and make no guarantee your teeth will be healthier at the end of treatment. They often have hygienists to help, but the truth is braces are a “risk factor’ for tooth decay and gum disease, and braces can have devastating outcomes for adults who have poor oral health at the start of treatment.

Prevention is so much easier than correcting problems when they have occurred! I suggest anyone considering braces – child or adult – should spend 2- 8 months using Zellie’s and the Complete Mouth Care System before braces are fitted, and stick with the System through the treatment. This system is effective even without flossing. Anyone with braces knows flossing around wires and brackets is impossible.

Adults considering braces should also take a mouth-bacteria test before starting treatment, to discover gum disease (periodontal pathogens) before they begin! Here is a link to find a provider who offers the My Perio Path testing: http://www.oraldna.com/FindDentist.aspx

17 thoughts on “Adult Braces – A Threat to Gum Health

  1. I’m retired. I have your book and have followed your System and my teeth and gums are in great shape. However, last March I moved to a different city and began seeing a new dentist who suggested I wear plastic aligners (not the metal braces shown in the photo) to improve my bite. In November I finished 19 sets of aligners and am now wearing plastic retainers 22 hours a day.

    I have been concerned that the aligners and retainers, which are too fragile to be cleaned thoroughly and which restrict the natural flow of saliva, might be bad for my teeth. I had to stop using the last step of your system, the fluoride rinse, because I have to re-insert the aligners immediately after brushing and I thought the rinse residue would accumulate on the aligners.

    Do you have suggestions on what I can do now to minimize the effect of these aligners/retainers? My dentist said in a few months I’ll have to wear the retainers only at night instead of 22 hours a day.

    Thank you.

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    1. I would not skip any steps of the system…you need the entire system more than ever. I think that this is the most important advice along with using xylitol after any drinks or food…and also keep drinks as much as possible to mealtimes. I hope all goes well for you!

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  2. I have been on the CWT program f/several years. I have an appointment to get an opinion on getting braces. If there is an option between using metal or invisible braces, would you recommend one over the other for the health of my teeth and gums.

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  3. Hi Joyce,

    I don’t think it matters which choice your make when you have healthy teeth.
    There are definite advantages/disadvantages between using metal or invisible braces. Your orthodontist should discuss these options with you – and explain the different risks vs. benefits.

    My biggest surprise was to discover that orthodontists today assume you will wear a retainer to “hold’ your teeth in place for the rest of your life. In the “old days” (when I practiced orthodontics) we moved teeth into a stable position – so retainers were not necessary.

    Be prepared for this….. I wish you the best with treatment. Ellie

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  4. I have been using your complete mouth system and my teeth are looking more discolored than ever. Have you heard of this happening before and do you have any thoughts/theories on why this may be happening?

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  5. I had a family member with adult braces and the orthodontist never mentioned anything about this, I wonder how often orthodontists are really taking into account dental health before deciding to put braces on an adult.

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    1. Hmmm… don’t get me started! This is why people need to become empowered and understand why it is common sense to get your mouth healthy before you make teeth and gums more difficult to clean and put them at MORE risk! Thanks for your interest….let’s spread the message!

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  6. I have been using your system for almost 4 years now, following it exclusively, and about 5 months ago began wearing the invisible retainer braces, using plenty of xylitol since I’m sure those things trap some bacteria. BUT, now I’ve had recent MAJOR gum recession on lower front teeth, to the point that they are loose. Xrays showed that my bone is also very low in that front area, and the periodontist expert that I saw is really unsure what to do about my problem at this point. I’m so disappointed that I can hardly sleep. I don’t want to lose those teeth! Any recommendations or suggestions?

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    1. The first thing I would tell you is to throw away any ultra soft toothbrush and buy yourself a nice new small but medium brush and make sure to stimulate the circulation around these teeth on the inside and outside of your teeth.
      Of course I recommend using my Complete Mouth Rinse System – and also clean your toothbrush every time you use it.
      Last thing – concentrate on getting your digestive health the best possible; supplements, diet and nutrition; digestive probiotics…..Do this for 60 days while you concentrate on massaging those gums. Please tell us the rest of the story if you decide to do this 60 day challenge!

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      1. Thank you for your response – I have indeed been using your system for almost 4 years, religiously! I use the 3 proper mouth rinses (Closys, plain Lysterine, and regular Act) and the regular Crest, as well as xylitol regularly. I do use a pretty soft toothbrush that is actually a child’s, so it is small. Due to the bone loss and mobility of those lower teeth, the dentist finally had to splint the 6 teeth together. I am not flossing but stimulating with a very fine Gum brush that goes between at the gum line. Any recommendations to give at this point, I would sure appreciate! Thank you!

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      2. I would suggest you try a firmer toothbrush. I really don’t like the very soft brushes. Your toothbrush needs to create enough massage on the gums to stimulate circulation. Don’t forget that the blood supply we are stimulating is what will heal the damaged gums. Ensure you eat well, and focus on perfecting your digestive health in every possible way!

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      3. Forgot to mention that I do also take probiotics often and in fact take water kefir and kombucha daily to help with gut health. I take supplements as well (vitamin D, multi, K, turmeric, etc.).

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    2. Before getting my braces 6 months ago, the orthodontist did a complete evaluation. Because I had sever periodontal issues in the past with resulting gum recession he isn’t moving my teeth as quickly as he could with someone who has not had some bone loss. I definitely will keep up with the full Zellies program as I will also be using the invisible retainers when the metal comes off next year.

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      1. I hope you are using the Complete Mouth Care System….You may also want to have a test of your periodontal health with a bacterial testing that is called an Oral DNA test – “my Periopath”. This gives you a reading of the bacteria in your gums – and this is vital for you to know.

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