September is Gum Care Month! Your gums play an important role, as they support teeth and provide a barrier against bad bacteria.
Beyond oral health, keeping gums healthy can also help prevent tooth loss and decrease heart attack risk. The bacteria that causes plaque and tartar on your teeth also creates build-up in the arteries, which can lead to an adverse cardiovascular event.
Maintaining healthy gums can also stop bad breath, tooth decay and possible gum disease. Here are some helpful tips to consider when taking care of your gums.
1. Flossing Is Key
Your dentist always tells you, “Make sure to floss!” but nearly 20 percent of people fail to do so daily. Flossing is key to maintaining healthy gums, as it’s one of the only ways to thoroughly clean between teeth.
Make sure to floss at least once a day to help remove food and plaque that a toothbrush cannot always reach. Gently work in between each tooth and along the gum line, while sliding the dental floss in a “C” shape. Don’t forget to rinse and brush when finished!
2. Brush, Brush, Brush
Brushing your teeth should be part of your daily routine, in the morning and at night. By brushing your teeth twice a day, you help remove the bacteria that could put you at risk for gingivitis, a common type of gum disease that can cause inflammation and irritation.
Periodontal disease is a gum infection caused by plaque build-up on the teeth. Brushing can help remove this film of bacteria, while also keeping your teeth clean and breath fresh!
An electric toothbrush can also deliver a more thorough cleaning. The rotation oscillation breaks up plaque, then rotates to brush it away. Many electric toothbrushes have different modes for cleaning your teeth, tongue and gums, or have timers to make sure you brush for at least two minutes. Talk to your dentist to see which brands are recommended.
3. Watch What You Eat
Fiber-rich foods and veggies can help keep teeth healthy and strong, while also preventing possible gum disease. Examples include:
According to the American Dental Association, foods with fiber help keep your teeth and gums clean.
Sugar-free drinks are also very beneficial to the wellness of teeth and gums. You can’t go wrong with water! Just because you can’t feel liquid sticking to your teeth like candy, sugary drinks produce acids that dissolve and can damage your teeth.
4. Rinse and Repeat
Although multiple factors can lead to bad breath, gum disease is the leading cause. Rinsing at least once a day with fluoride mouthwash can keep your mouth fresh and prevent plaque buildup.
It is also important to rinse after brushing and flossing to remove excess bacteria and food particles. Regular mouthwash use can help prevent possible tooth decay or bleeding gums.
Maintaining healthy gums can lead to an overall healthy smile! Contact Smile Dental Center for more information on gum and overall oral health.