Mouth health is very important. I’m sure that your dentist has reminded you of this on more than one occasion. While having a bright smile and straight teeth are important aesthetic qualities that speak more to self-confidence than dental health, your gums are vitally important. And sadly, most folks don’t take the time to care for them as they should.
Truthfully, how often do you consider your gum health?
Let’s take a moment to understand what your gums are. Simply put, your gums are comprised of soft skin meant to protect and cover your teeth. The tight seal that the tissue forms provides a barrier from disease-causing bacteria. Your daily brushing and flossing rituals help keep this barrier healthy.
If you fail to remove the plaque that collects on your teeth, then you set yourself up for gingivitis, which can become periodontal disease: a gum infection that erodes your gums and causes you a lot of pain.
Sounds scary, right?
This is why it is so important to maintain great dental habits and schedule regular cleanings. If you are concerned that you might be on the fast track to gingivitis, the precursor to periodontal disease, be on the lookout for some common symptoms, including:
* Tender gums
* Inflamed gums
* Swollen or red gums
* Consistent bad taste in mouth (or bad breath)
* Loose teeth
Now that we have sufficiently outlined what can go wrong, let’s focus on some ways to improve your gum health.
Your dentist (and your mom) no doubt have championed a daily flossing habit. Well, they’re right. Flossing once a day is a great way to improve gum health, as it gets at areas that brushing misses. The time of day doesn’t matter, but doing it daily does.
If you’re like most people, you forget to go to the dentist as frequently as you should. However, if you want to make sure gum disease isn’t lurking around the corner, then a professional cleaning is important to not only remove plaque, but also detect early symptoms. After all, who would know better than your dentist?
Quit those bad habits
While smoking is no doubt at the top of this list, as smoking is associated with gum disease, any habit that weakens your immune system makes you more susceptible to gum disease over time. According to the CDC, smoking makes it more difficult to heal damaged gums. If
that isn’t a reason to quit, then consider all the other reasons to do so. Vices can be fun, but they aren’t doing you any favors in regards to gum health.
Brush, brush, and then brush some more
You know the adage: brush after every meal. While this can feel time-consuming and, frankly, inconvenient, it is important to flush out plaque and food particles. In regards to a toothbrush, you’ll want to consult your dentist about what type of bristles are best for your gum and teeth strength. However, an electric toothbrush (or at least a battery-powered one) is better at reducing the prevalence of gingivitis than a manual toothbrush. Be sure to monitor your toothbrushes, as you should swap out a new one once the bristles begin to fray. Best advice: brush twice a day and swap toothbrushes every three months.
Select your mouthwash wisely
Using a therapeutic mouthwash is a great idea simply because they can prevent (or reduce) gingivitis, reduce plaque, and a number of other preventative measures. I don’t know about you, but using mouthwash always makes my mouth feel better; and there is a reason or this, as a rinse gets rid of food particles and other debris. Be forewarned, mouthwash should not be a substitute for flossing and brushing. It is meant to supplement your oral health routine.
Take your gum health seriously
If you haven’t previously taken your gum health seriously, there is no time like the present to make it a priority. Daily flossing, brushing, and rinsing goes a long way toward keeping your mouth free and clean of plaque that can lead to very serious oral health problems. It is important to schedule regular cleanings to make sure your gums are as healthy as possible. After all, one the most serious disease set in, it can become difficult to reverse the effects. Now go brush your teeth!