It’s so important to practice good oral hygiene. While some people just think of their teeth when they think of oral health, you don’t want to forget about your gums. You can’t have healthy pearly whites without healthy gums. Ignoring your gum health can lead to serious problems like gum disease, which can cause tooth loss and other health issues like diabetes and heart disease. However, it’s never too late to start on the right path with your oral care, and we have a few tips to share with you on taking care of your gums.
Be careful with how you brush your teeth.
If you are brushing twice a day, great! You are already ahead of the game. However, you’ll want to make sure you are brushing the right way. First, be sure you are using a soft bristle toothbrush, because it’s much easier on your gums. Then as you brush, gently brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle towards your gums and brush back-and-forth in soft strokes on the outside, inside, and the chewing surface of your teeth. This will get rid of any food particles and bacteria on your teeth. In addition, you’ll want to replace your toothbrush every few months, otherwise it accumulates bacteria and that can get inside of your mouth.
Floss the right way.
Flossing is an essential part of maintaining the health of your gums. It cleans out food from your teeth and keeps plaque and bacteria at bay. So, make sure you are flossing correctly. You’ll want to start out with plenty of floss, about 18 to 24 inches worth. Slide the floss up and down between your teeth and as you reach your gums, curve the floss into your gums until you feel slight pressure. Floss each tooth this way and be sure you use clean floss with each tooth.
Choose the right toothpaste and mouthwash.
Now that you have the right technique, you’ll also want the right gear for your gum care. With toothpaste, it’s easy to get sidetracked by the promises on the label. Whichever one you choose, though, select a toothpaste that has fluoride in it and also has the seal of approval by the American Dental Association (ADA). Mouthwash is another must-have item for your oral care routine. A therapeutic mouthwash can actually prevent tooth decay and reduce plaque as well as freshen breath. However, when you choose one, make sure it also has the ADA seal of approval.
Kick bad habits and embrace good ones.
So you’re brushing, flossing, and have all the right tools in hand, what’s next? Time to get rid of the bad habits that are doing more harm than good to your gums. Habits like smoking can weaken your body’s ability to fight infection, making it more susceptible to gum disease. Also, don’t skip your next dental appointment! Even when you do all the right things for your teeth at home, it’s important to keep your regularly scheduled cleanings and exams.
Not only do we thoroughly clean your teeth and gums, but we’ll also be able to do a complete examination of your teeth, gums, and mouth. By staying ahead of problems when they’re small, you’ll avoid any serious issues later down the road. If you are concerned you are dealing with problems in your gums, we can talk to you about gum disease treatment that will save your smile.