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Braces are vital for the dental health of some patients, but it’s no secret that they hurt. Plus, they can make it challenging to brush your mouth appropriately, paving the way for gum disease. Fortunately, there’s a simple, cost-effective solution for braces pain. Gently massaging your gums is a fantastic way to promote long-term oral health and ease the pain caused by braces. So what are gum massages, and how do they alleviate the pain of wearing braces?

 

Is It Good to Massage Your Gums?

There’s more to oral health than tooth brushing and flossing. A gum massage — or gingival massage — is a great way to promote gum health, relieve pain, and fight gum disease. When it goes untreated, gum disease can have serious, adverse effects on long-term oral health care. Severe gum infections can lead to tooth decay, tooth loss, or even bone loss.

 

Will Gum Massage Alleviate Symptoms of Gum Disease?

Gum disease — also known as gingivitis or periodontal disease — occurs when food debris accumulates under the gums, attracting bacteria. If your gum tissue looks red and swollen rather than pink, you’re likely dealing with a gum infection. Likewise, if you notice blood when flossing, you most likely have gingivitis. 

Massaging your gums stimulates blood flow. When nutrient-rich blood arrives at damaged, receding gums, it contributes to the healing process. More oxygen in gum tissue can also help kill anaerobic bacteria. Consistently massaging your gums and increasing blood flow to the gum tissue can stop your gum line from receding and halt tooth loss.

 

Is Gum Massage Helpful for Removing Plaque?

A receding gum line is the primary cause of tooth loss, and plaque accumulation is one of the biggest factors contributing to gum recession. Brushing on a regular basis and using dental floss are good starting points, but there are other strategies to prevent gum recession. Massaging your gums can also prevent plaque accumulation and remove plaque that has already built up. 

 

Are There Different Gum Massage Techniques?

There are several different gum massage techniques, all of which increase blood flow to the gums, remove plaque, and improve overall oral health. 

The simplest gum massage technique doesn’t require additional equipment — simply rub your gums gently in a circular motion with your index finger. You should feel gentle but firm pressure. A gum massage shouldn’t cause sharp pain, so stop pushing if your gum pain increases. If rubbing your gums with your finger is painful, you can gently massage your gums with a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Some patients improve this technique with edible oils, particularly olive oil). 

  • Dip your finger in the oil of your choice. 
  • Massage your gums for about 10 minutes
  • Wait about half an hour before rinsing the oil off your gums. 

A water flosser is a great way to massage your gums. It may even be able to reach into places that your fingers can’t. Make sure it has enough pressure to massage your gums but not enough to hurt them. 

It is also possible to supplement gum massages with a technique known as oil pulling. Olive oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, and even sesame oil can all be used for this technique. Hold about a tablespoon of oil in your mouth and swish it around as you would with mouthwash. Do this for 10 to 15 minutes. Do not swallow the oil when you are done. 

 

Gum Massage for Braces: How Should I Approach It?

Many patients with braces experience pain. If your braces cause discomfort, adding a gum massage to your oral care routine is an excellent way to ease pain and promote long-term gum health. It can also help keep gum disease at bay since braces make regular brushing and flossing difficult.

Luckily, massaging your gums when you have braces is no more difficult than it would be without them. Simply rub your gums gently with your fingers, and be sure to target sore areas. You’ll likely notice tangible benefits if you massage your gums once per day for about 10 minutes. 

Talk to your orthodontist if you don’t notice any improvement or find that massaging causes substantial pain to your gums. They will recommend more effective strategies to protect your oral health. 

 

How Often Should You Massage Your Gums?

You’ll need to massage your gum line at least once every day to see results. Your orthodontist might recommend massaging your gums more frequently, depending on the condition of your gum tissue. Talk to a dental professional to determine how and when to massage your gums. If your orthodontist recommends it, you can also try a gum stimulator.

 

Should I Consider Gum Stimulators?

Gum stimulators are devices that massage the gums and clean between the teeth. They consist of a rubber tip attached to the end of a metal arm to help you massage parts of your gums that are difficult to reach. 

You won’t need a gum stimulator if your gum tissue is in good condition. However, it might be a good investment if you have gingivitis. Gum stimulators are designed to help increase blood circulation and fight gum disease. 

 

How To Use a Gum Stimulator

Start by thoroughly brushing your teeth, and use an interdental brush or dental floss to reach between them. Once your teeth are clean, use the gum stimulator to massage the gum line gently. Hold the rubber tip against your gums at approximately a 45-degree angle. Make small circular motions, just as you would if you were using your index finger. The gum stimulator should reach between your teeth to dislodge stubborn food debris. 

Remember to replace the rubber tip when it starts to wear down. A worn tip might not reach between the teeth or properly massage the gum tissue.

Improve Your Oral Health at Loudoun Orthodontics!

Contact Loudoun Orthodontics if you think braces may be a solution to your dental woes. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of braces or simply have questions about the process, use our live chat or call (703) 858-0303 or send us a message through our contact us page to connect with our friendly staff today to book a free orthodontic consultation! Our office, located at 19465 Deerfield Ave, Suite 304, Leesburg, VA 20176, proudly serves not just Loudoun County but also the Greater Washington DC area. So, if you’re residing in Ashburn, Lansdowne, or Sterling, and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in Virginia, don’t hesitate to visit our office! We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining sparkling oral health, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to become a part of our smiling community!

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