Just like a properly built house, teeth need to sit on a solid foundation. Not only do healthy gums protect teeth, they also act as a foundation for a beautiful smile. Taking care of your gums should be a part of your daily oral health routine. Because healthy gums lead to better oral health, which leads to better overall health. Here are a few simple ways to keep gums healthy.
Why are healthy gums important?
Increasing evidence suggests a connection between oral health and your general health and well-being. In fact, if gums become infected with bacteria and plaque, this can cause more severe problems. Periodontal disease, which is the disease of the gums and connecting bones, can lead to serious health issues. These include aggravation of diabetes, respiratory illness, cardiovascular disease, and preterm and low birth weight babies.
Regular brushing: the key to healthy gums
According to the Canadian Dental Association, taking care of your teeth and gums is a lifelong commitment. This means, you should brush twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed, with a fluoride toothpaste. Moreover, proper teeth brushing technique is important.
How to brush teeth properly:
- Brush twice a day with a soft bristle toothbrush. Make sure you replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if bristles are frayed. Don’t forget to change your toothbrush if you have been sick or if you travelled.
- Hold toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Use a gentle, circular massaging motion, up and down. Do not scrub as it can irritate gums.
- Clean every surface of the tooth: inner, outer and chewing surfaces.
- Brush for about two minutes to ensure a thorough cleaning.
Healthy gums mean flossing every day
Many patients are guilty of only flossing sporadically. However, flossing daily removes food and plaque between teeth. Otherwise, leftover food and plaque buildup can lead to tartar. And, you guessed it, tartar can lead to gum disease.
How to floss properly:
- Take a piece of floss that is about the length of your hand to your shoulder. Wrap it around your index and middle fingers, leaving about two inches between your hands.
- Slide the floss between your teeth and wrap it into a “C” shape around the base of the tooth and gently under the gum line. Wipe the tooth from base to tip two or three times.
- Be sure to floss both sides of every tooth. Don’t forget the backs of your back molars. Go to a new section of the floss as it wears and picks up particles.
Rinse carefully with mouthwash
Rinsing your mouth out with mouthwash can help reduce tartar and plaque and prevent gum disease. Just remember, rinsing with mouthwash should not replace regular brushing and flossing, but rather complement it.
You have heard it a million times: smoking is terrible for your health. But according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking can also make you more prone to gum disease. This is because it weakens your immune system. Not to mention that it gives you bad breath and stains your teeth. In addition, smoking is directly linked to other serious health conditions, most notably lung cancer.
A healthy diet for healthy gums
A healthy diet can have a positive impact on your health. But did you know that some foods are also good for the gums? Here are a few diet tips for healthy gums.
- Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt
- Fresh fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber, calcium, and vitamins such as apples, broccoli, and leafy greens
- Sugar-free gum
Avoid or consume in moderation :
- Carbonated soft drinks
- Hard, sticky candies
Regular dental visits
Visiting your dentist regularly will help you maintain a good oral health. A thorough cleaning at the dental clinic will allow you to remove plaque that you may have missed while brushing, but more importantly, will remove tartar that has hardened on your teeth. Furthermore, your dentist can identify the first signs of gum disease or gingivitis. After all, early detection can help prevent more serious problems down the line.
To book your next appointment, please contact us today.