We’ve always heard how important it is to regularly brush our teeth. But did you know that taking care of your gums is just as essential as taking care of your teeth? According to studies, healthy gums reduce your risks of having certain medical conditions such as dementia, chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. By taking good care of your gums, you can boost your overall wellness.
But what do healthy gums look like? Experts say that healthy gums do not bleed and look firm and pink. On the other hand, gums that are bleeding and look swollen and red are obvious signs of diseased ones. Let’s explore a few simple steps on how you can improve your gum health and avoid suffering from serious diseases.
1. Schedule dental checkups
First thing to do is to ensure you are visiting your dentist regularly. Ideally, you should see your dentist every six months for an oral health checkup. These visits are also a great chance for routine dental treatments such as cleaning the hardened tartar and removal of plaque. Opt for a reputable clinic associated with a digital dental lab for a more thorough assessment of your case. Most of these clinics use state-of-the-art technology to review dental cases and decide on the best treatments for each patient. On the other hand, if you have dental appliances, crowded teeth, or gum disease, it would be best every three months for more frequent cleaning.
2. Use fluoride
You probably heard of fluoride as a common ingredient for mouthwash and toothpaste. According to many professionals, fluoride is beneficial for preventing cavities. In fact, some studies found that people who don’t use fluoride may still experience tooth decay even if they take care of their teeth and gums. It’s also found that flossing and brushing won’t be completely effective if you’re not using fluoride. So the next time you buy your toothpaste or mouthwash, make sure it has fluoride.
3. Avoid brushing too hard
It really doesn’t matter if you are brushing your teeth or gums twice a day. It will not effectively remove the bacteria and plaque from your mouth if you’re not using the right technique. For example, if you are using a hard-bristled toothbrush or just brushing too hard, you can potentially damage your gums and even tooth enamel. This may also result in tooth sensitivity. Dentists suggest using a soft-bristled toothbrush and replacing it with a new one after every three months. Lastly, it’s recommended to brush in circular motions for about two to three minutes.
4. Floss every day
A lot of individuals often ignore flossing every day, but according to dental professionals, this is a crucial part of good oral care. This dental habit can get rid of the bacteria and plaque between your teeth that aren’t removed from brushing. It’s suggested to plush the floss down through your gumline before doing the up and down motions. As flossing can remove food or debris trapped between your teeth, it is also beneficial for preventing bad breath. Other flossing techniques to follow include wiggling the floss down the tooth’s edge, wiping up and down each side of the tooth, and flossing the back teeth too.
5. Have a healthy diet
Another crucial part of keeping your gums and teeth healthy is a healthy diet—only if you eat the right food. For instance, fresh vegetables and fruits that are high in calcium, vitamins, and fiber are great options. Dairy products and legumes are also helpful for neutralizing harmful acids and increasing saliva production. As for ones you should avoid, first on the list are foods high in sugar as these feed harmful bacteria in the mouth, build up plaque and tartar, resulting in tooth decay. Other things to avoid include alcohol, and acidic or carbonated sweet drinks.
6. Stop smoking
If you’re an avid smoker, this is your time to stop it. In case you’re not aware, smoking is highly associated with gum disease. This bad habit can weaken a person’s immune system, making you more vulnerable to gum infection. Experts say that stopping this bad habit can reduce the risk of gum disease. In addition, some studies found that an individual who smokes may also suffer from slow healing following an oral procedure.
Taking care of your gums is not only important for reducing the risk of dental decay and bad breath, but also for your entire wellness. Be sure to follow all our tips here to reap the benefits of having healthy gums and prevent bacteria from finding their way into your teeth and ruining your pearly whites.