Healthy Gums are Key
Gums are the foundation for a healthy mouth. Sparkling white teeth are useless without firm, well-maintained gums, so it is important to include them in your oral care routine.
Signs of Gum Distress
If your gums feel tender or are red and swollen, you may need to amp up your gum health routine. Persistent bad breath even after brushing your teeth indicates issues with the gums rather than the teeth. If you enhance your cleaning routine and still experience pain or halitosis, see your dentist to look for signs of gum disease.
Steps to Keep Your Gums Healthy
Gum health starts with your daily oral care routine. Follow these five steps to ensure you don’t overlook your gums.
- Use fluoride toothpaste—When brushing your teeth (which you should do at least twice per day), choose a fluoride toothpaste to get the most out of your routine.
- Brush at a 45-degree angle—Keep the brush bristles angled toward the gums rather than flat.
- Use a soft-bristle toothbrush—Stores sell medium- and hard-bristle toothbrushes, but soft-bristle is the best choice for most people to maintain oral health.
- Press gently—Too much pressure (especially with a hard-bristle brush) can cause the gums to recede. Be gentle and use short strokes.
- Floss daily—Flossing is one of the most overlooked ways to prevent issues with your gums. You will be amazed at what can get stuck deep between teeth. A brush cannot reach everything, and neglecting those hard-to-get-to bacteria breeding grounds can cause serious issues down the road.
More Tips for Oral Health
Paying attention to the gums when brushing is one thing, but other changes can also improve gum health.
- Use an ADA-approved mouthwash—Gravitate toward mouthwashes that focus on cleaning rather than those designed to whiten or brighten teeth.
- Avoid eating a lot of sticky sweets—Sticky, sugary foods are the ones that get stuck between teeth. If you tend to get cavities or have sensitive gums, avoiding these foods is a good idea.
- Stop using tobacco products—Smokers are at twice the risk for gum disease compared to nonsmokers due to a weakening of the immune system. Any form of tobacco, not just chewing tobacco, can increase the likelihood you will get gum disease and can decrease the effectiveness of treatment.
- Get regular dental checkups—Come visit us at LifeSmiles every six months to make sure plaque and other issues are addressed before they turn into problems.
Maintaining healthy gums may seem like common sense, but too many people overlook gum health because flossing or avoiding certain foods might be inconvenient. They may not realize that gum disease and gum disease treatment can be painful and long lasting. Keeping your healthy gums healthy is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Put Healthy Gums First
Call us for a checkup today to see how your gums are doing. Dr. Randy Mitchmore is experienced in periodontal care and can help address the health of your gums along with your teeth. Schedule an appointment today.