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Healthy Gums in 5 Easy Steps

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Brush at a 45-degree angleKeep the brush bristles angled toward the gums rather than flat.
  3. 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. 
  4. Press gentlyToo much pressure (especially with a hard-bristle brush) can cause the gums to recede. Be gentle and use short strokes.
  5. 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.


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Sally May-Frankum
Dental Hygienist

Sally’s favorite part about working with the team at LifeSmiles is the fun she has with her co-workers. Additionally, she appreciates working with Dr. Randy Mitchmore because much like her, he values whole-body health for his patients. She’s proud to be part of a team that does such high quality work.

Outside of the office: Sally enjoys being with her children and grandchildren and uses writing as a creative outlet. On the weekends, she can be found doing all things outdoors including hiking and biking.


Bucket List: Going to Europe, exploring every US state, and zip-lining.

Hero: The Highest Power of them all!

Toni Wilson
Queen of Charisma

 “Every great dream begins with a dreamer.”

Toni’s favorite thing about working at LifeSmiles is the beautiful scenery. When patients are having anxiety about their dental appointments, she creates a fearless atmosphere with her charisma and warmth. She is passionate about helping every patient achieve their dental health goals. She says she truly loves being part of a team where she can grow professionally and personally.

Outside the office: Toni loves spending time with her husband and their sons. She also likes to show off her green thumb with her work in her garden.

Bucket list item:
Travel around the world and learn about other cultures and regions.

Your hero: Harriet Tubman because she was passionate and a fearless leader unafraid of any of life’s challenges.

Mike Mireles
Elite Care and Education Specialist

Smiling is contagious

Mike began his career at LifeSmiles seeking an opportunity to expand his skillset and advance his career. Today he works at Dr. Michmore’s side through dental procedures and surgeries. He loves working at LifeSmiles because the entire team is continually learning and keeping up to date with the newest advancements in dentistry.

Outside the office: Mike enjoys barbecuing on his patio, traveling, and spending time with his family. He’s a dog dad of two: Tati and Tito.

Bucket list item:
To visit Thailand and Dubai and to try skydiving!

Your hero: Mike looks up to his parents and is forever grateful for the life lesson they taught him; respect, manners, strength, and to be a go-getter. He continues to carry these things with him with everything he does.

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Sandra Smith

Sandra is 44 years old and is a star athlete for the Special Olympics. At LifeSmiles, Sandra stocks patient rooms and the coffee bar. She does all kinds of special projects like decorating for holidays and preparing awesome gifts for our patients.

Sandra loves being around all her friends and is proud to wear a LifeSmiles shirt, jacket, and name badge. You’ll always find her smiling and helping make our patients smile too.

Outside the Office: Sandra likes to go fishing with her family, swim, go to dances, and walk the mall with her friends. She is very active in the Special Olympics and won second place in the state volleyball tournament (go, Sandra!) in 2020. She sings in her church choir and attends international performances with them.

Spirit Animal: Butterfly. She likes them because they are pretty.

Andie Willis
Director of Details

Andie is married with one son, Logan and now lives in The Woodlands. She grew up in Sugar Land and has followed in her mother’s footsteps – she has been in dentistry for over 35 years. Andie actually started out working in the office with her mom and learned many things from the way she worked.

Andie has been a Lead Dental Assistant for most of her career. She has worked for many specialists including oral surgeons and periodontists. She has extensive training in all facets of dentistry but especially enjoys the surgical and cosmetic side. As a science nerd, dentistry fascinates Andie and gives her a sense of accomplishment.

At LifeSmiles, she is our “Director of Details”. Andie is known for being a perfectionist because she likes to gather as much information as possible and go the extra mile to match Dr. Mitchmore’s high standards. She truly loves being part of our dedicated team of professionals who go above and beyond for our amazing patients.

Outside of the Office: Andie is addicted to Lagree fitness and loves to go off-shore fishing.

Your Hero: Her Mom. She is the most selfless person Andie knows.

John Copous
Chief Enthusiasm Officer

John became a new patient of LifeSmiles in 2008. He likes to tell people he was not allowed to leave. John worked down the street for 14 years before joining the team. He has a passion for meeting new people and extending genuine hospitality.

Often the first person people meet on the phone and when they walk in the door, you can count on John for a warm welcoming smile. You can even ‘hear’ it over the phone. He says, “I believe everyone deserves the red carpet treatment and love seeing other people smile.”

John hears stories every day how someone’s smile is holding them back. He can barely contain his excitement when shouting the praises of Dr. Mitchmore and the entire team. He shares passionate stories of how the transformations people have received at LifeSmiles, changed their lives.

Outside the Office: John loves being outside. He enjoys sharing a beach house with friends and family. He loves entertaining, throwing a party and cooking at home. He can start a conversation with anyone, anywhere. He’s an amateur stand-up comic.

Bucket List Item: To live in a foreign country for one year, somewhere near the beach. Take some time to write an epic love novel loosely based on my large Italian family.

Your Hero: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”. While fictional, the character incorporates admirable qualities from real life people. She believes in the goodness of everyone, keeps on going and moves forward despite any obstacle. She is able to find humor in other people’s quirks, accepts them and makes sense of it all. Plus, she’s a little outrageous too.