Gums hold your smile in place, keep them healthy with a few simple steps! Your oral health goes beyond just teeth. Gums play a big part in a healthy and beautiful smile. They help protect your teeth and the underlying bone from harmful bacteria in the mouth.
Think of your teeth as a fence post and your gums as the ground surrounding the post. In order for that post to stay securely in place, it needs to be placed deep in the ground and have dirt firmly surround it. If the dirt starts to become misplaced or loosed the fence post loses stability. If enough of the dirt becomes dislodged, the fence post will fall. It doesn’t matter how strong the post is, it needs support just like your teeth!
Almost half of adults over the age of 30 have gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Some people are genetically more susceptible to gum disease, but it is also caused by plaque buildup from poor brushing and flossing habits. Plaque buildup can cause the gums to get infected and damage the soft tissue. If gum disease is not stopped, it can eventually lead to tooth loss.
Gum disease is preventable and the progression can be stopped if you already have the condition. Follow these easy tips to keep your gums healthy!
Tips for Healthy Gums:
Floss Daily: Flossing protects not only your teeth but also your gums! Flossing removes plaque and food that can’t be reached by a toothbrush. This can help prevent gingivitis, which is an early stage of gum disease. It is best to floss at night so food particles don’t stay on your teeth all night.
Keep up on your Routine Dental Cleanings and Exams: Dentists are trained to detect early signs of gum disease. If you go to your dentist regularly they are more likely to be able to catch signs of gum disease early and treat it before it causes serious damage.
Professional cleanings are also the only way you can remove tartar. Tartar leads not only to tooth decay but also gum disease. Your hygienist is trained to remove this tartar to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Brush your Teeth Twice a Day: Brushing your teeth helps remove food and plaque on your teeth and gums. You should be brushing your teeth, gum line, and tongue to adequately remove bacteria. Make sure you are brushing your teeth for a full two minutes, twice a day. The average person only brushes their teeth for 48 seconds at a time, so make sure you set a timer to get the full two minutes in.
If you are looking for a deeper clean, you may want to consider investing in an electric toothbrush. These are able to reduce plaque and gingivitis more effectively than a manual toothbrush. They even have built-in timers to ensure you brush your teeth for the correct amount of time.
Use a Mouthwash: Regular mouthwash use can help prevent gum disease, slow tartar buildup, reduce the amount of plaque on teeth, and remove food particles that were missed during brushing and flossing. It can also help prevent inflamed and bleeding gums by reducing the number of bacteria in your mouth. Look for mouthwashes that contain fluoride or have the ADA seal to get the most benefit.
Healthy teeth rely on healthy gums to keep them in place. Take care of your gums to maintain a beautiful, functional smile that lasts a lifetime!