Healthy gums are crucial to overall good oral health. Gums that are infected, swollen and inflamed are not only painful and unsightly, but they cannot do their job of supporting the teeth. Because of this, people with advanced gum disease are at risk of losing teeth that are perfectly healthy. Luckily, keeping your gums healthy is easy. Here are just a few things you can do to help take care of your teeth and avoid gum disease.
Smoking ruins just about everything, and your gums are no exception. Smoking puts people at higher risk for gum disease, compromises the immune system and makes it harder to heal from gum disease once it sets in. This is definitely something that’s hard on your teeth.
The necessity of flossing may have become controversial among some dentists, but the American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day to get rid of those bits of food debris that the toothbrush simply can’t reach. This can help prevent plaque buildup and help keep your gums happy and healthy.
Brush Teeth After Every Meal
If it’s not practical to brush after every meal, be sure to brush at least twice a day to remove food particles and plaque, which is a film of bacteria that builds up on the teeth and can eventually eat into the gums. Dentists recommend waiting at least a half an hour after eating to brush. This is because the tooth enamel could have been softened by acidic foods, and some of it can be removed if the person brushes before it re-hardens. The toothbrush should have soft bristles. Electric toothbrushes are even more effective.
Visit the Dentist for Cleaning
Visiting dentists such as those at Waterford Dental for a twice yearly cleaning is very important for the health of the gums. Patients should visit their dentist if they see that their gums are swollen or bleed. A cleaning at the dentist’s office is deeper and more thorough than anything the patient can do at home.
Rinse with an Antibacterial Mouthwash
These types of mouthwashes help keep down the levels of bacteria that cause periodontal disease. Mouthwashes with fluoride are also useful in strengthening the teeth. Fluoride mouthwash should only be used by people who are six or older, for young children might be tempted to swallow it.
Avoid Sugary or Starchy Foods
Though these might be irresistible once in a while, foods with a lot of sugar and starch should be avoided. The bacteria thrive on sugars and starches, and the foods themselves produce acids that injure the teeth.
Taking care of your gums should become a habit. Healthy gums and teeth make for a brilliant smile and should last for all of the person’s life.