Is your oral health up to scratch? Many of us focus on our teeth when it comes to dental care, but we sometimes neglect our gum health.
Without proper oral hygiene, our gums are at risk of developing gum disease or gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums. Swollen or uncomfortable gums that bleed when you brush are your first sign of a problem, but gum disease can lead to more serious health concerns.
Do you know how to best look after the health of your gums? To learn more, keep reading to find eight daily behaviors that will help your gums stay in the healthiest possible condition.
1. Gum Health Starts With Twice-Daily Brushing
One of the best things you can do for your gums (and your teeth) is to brush daily. Both adults and children should be brushing twice per day, in the mornings and before bed.
While it can be tempting to skip the evening brushing if you’re tired, this is actually one of the most important times to brush. If you go to bed with unclean teeth, you’re letting dangerous bacteria and food residue stay on your teeth overnight, giving it plenty of time to irritate and both your gums.
Use a soft-bristled brush and go over your teeth, gum line, and tongue. If you’re unsure about how to brush correctly, your local Glendale dentist can help.
When brushing, use fluoride toothpaste, as fluoride is essential for strengthening teeth and preventing cavities.
2. Don’t Forget to Floss
After brushing, you’ll also want to dedicate a few more minutes to your oral hygiene by flossing. Flossing, either with wax floss or a Waterpik, removes food and debris that your toothbrush missed.
Flossing gently between each tooth, removing any food from around the gums. This will help keep gums healthy and will also help to prevent cavities.
When flossing, follow along the tooth line, holding the floss tight enough to remove bits of food that might be stuck. If you have braces or a retainer, you can still brush effectively—just ask your local dentist to demonstrate the best techniques.
3. Quit Smoking
We know it’s challenging, but quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your gum health. Smoking is no good for your gums, as it makes it harder for gum tissue to repair and rebuild, plus it fills your gums and mouth with carcinogenic chemicals.
Ask your dentist in Lone Tree for advice on how you can stop smoking. It will help not only your oral health but also your overall health.
4. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
When was the last time you visited a dentist in Cherry Creek? You and your family should be visiting for regular check-ups every six months.
Your dentist will not only clean your teeth but will also check for any evidence of cavities or gum disease. One good thing about gingivitis is that, if caught early, you can get rid of it by changing your dental habits.
Regular dental visits help you stay healthy by catching small problems before they turn into big ones. A visit to your dentist also gives you time to ask your health professional about any oral issues that might be bothering you or your children.
5. Eat a Whole Foods Diet
Can your diet play a role in gum health? You may be surprised to learn this, but processed and unhealthy foods are going to damage your gums if eaten too frequently.
Your gums and teeth need plenty of vitamins and minerals to stay strong and healthy, but you won’t get them from bad foods. Plus, nutritious, crunchy foods like carrots and celery can help with oral health, as they require plenty of chewing.
When you do enjoy the occasional treat, always brush your mouth after or rinse with water.
This generates lots of saliva, which helps naturally clean your teeth and keep your gums hydrated.
6. Rinse With Mouthwash
Another way to maintain proper gum health is with mouthwash. When shopping, look for a mouthwash with the ADA, or American Dental Association, seal of approval.
Mouthwash helps remove bacteria from gums and teeth, so it should be your last step after brushing and flossing.
7. Limit Sugary Drinks
Avoiding sugary drinks is also a great thing you can do for gums. Drinks high in sugar, like sodas and fruit juices, are full of empty calories, meaning they lack nutrition value.
They’re also not good for your gums, as sugary drinks cause tooth decay. They can also erode your gums, weakening the strength of your teeth and the health of your gums.
8. Stay Hydrated
Another easy step you can take to help your gums is to stay hydrated. Drink at least eight glasses throughout the day, or more if you exercise frequently or live in a hot climate.
Dehydration can lead to painful and puffy gums. Plus drinking water helps flush food through your digestive system and can remove plaque from your mouth.
Contact Us For All of Your Dental Needs
Gum health is one of the keys to keeping your mouth in the best possible shape. Use the tips above to develop a daily oral care routine, ensuring your gums are the best they can be.
If you need help with your gums or teeth, Willow Creek Dental can help. We are an experienced and caring dental practice based in Lone Tree, CO.
We aim to make your experience as smooth as possible, and our expert dental team provides quality family dentistry services, plus plenty of specialist treatments for all of your dental needs.
Contact us with any questions or to book your next appointment. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you improve the health of your gums.