Oral health is about more than getting a bright, straight smile. You can’t forget about your gums! Taking care of your gums is essential to your overall oral health. Nearly half of adults have some form of gum disease.
Gum disease begins when bacteria and plaque build up under and along the gum line. Unchecked gum disease can erode the jawbone, cause gum recession and tooth loss, and cause various health problems, including increasing the risk of cardiovascular problems. Gum disease is usually painless in its early stages and many people have no idea there’s something wrong with their gums until the condition progresses.
Adopting these simple but highly effective daily habits will help you keep your teeth and gums healthier.
Brushing and using mouthwash is imperative in maintaining healthy teeth, but flossing is something you do specifically for your gums. When you use dental floss, you not only remove food particles lodged between your teeth, but you also scrape away plaque and bacteria hiding between your teeth and along the gum line.
Brush Your Teeth Properly
Brushing your teeth twice a day is key to having a healthy mouth and gums. It helps remove food and plaque on your teeth and gums. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Brush in gentle, short strokes at a 45-degree angle to the gums. It’s best to scrub your tongue with your toothbrush too.
Consider an electric toothbrush to clean your teeth optimally and get rid of plaque. Replace your toothbrush head every 3 to 4 months, or as soon as the bristles start to fray.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends using a therapeutic mouthwash at least once a day to fight gum disease. A mouthwash can help remove food particles from the mouth, reduce the amount of plaque on teeth, prevent gingivitis, and reduce the speed at which tartar accumulates.
Smoking greatly increases a person’s susceptibility to gum disease because it weakens the immune system. This makes it harder for the body to fight off gum infections and inhibits the healing process when the gums are injured. The use of tobacco products also speeds up plaque and tartar buildup. Stop smoking or using chewing tobacco to enhance your overarching biological health and make your gums healthier.
Visit Your Dentist
It’s important to get dental checkups twice a year to protect your oral health. Regular appointments allows your dentist spot the early signs of gum disease. Early detection makes it easier to reverse it and prevent more severe problems from occurring. Dental checkups should occur every six months and include teeth cleaning to remove the plaque and tartar you may have missed when brushing or flossing.
Protect Your Smile by Protecting Your Gums
Gum disease can cause bad breath, persistent sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks, receding gums, or tooth loss. Adopting proper oral hygiene practices can help prevent and reverse gum disease. When you protect your gums, you bolster your immune system and overall health. If you suspect you may be suffering from gum disease, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist and schedule an appointment.
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