Healthy gums and good oral health go hand-in-hand. In fact, you can’t experience good oral health if you don’t have healthy gums. Periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss and has even been associated with more serious ailments, such as diabetes and heart disease, for example. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take every day to ensure that your gums remain healthy.
- Brush and floss every day. It may sound obvious, but brushing and flossing each and every day is the foundation for good oral health. Remember to change your toothbrush on a regular basis (usually every 3 to 4 months) and to brush as thoroughly as possible every time. After you brush, use floss to remove any remaining food particles between teeth. Most dentists recommend that you brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day, but if you feel the need to floss more often, your gums will benefit from the extra effort. Just be careful not to damage your gums with flossing, since lesions in the gum tissue can become infected.
- Remove any sticky residue left on teeth. If you notice leftover food particles along your gum line even after brushing and flossing, use a toothpick or other over-the-counter dental instrument to remove as much of the residue as possible, taking care not to harm your gums in the process. This sticky residue is the early stages of plaque formation, so it’s helpful to remove it whenever you notice it.
- Use an antiseptic mouthwash. One excellent way to remove any remaining food debris between teeth is with an over-the-counter antiseptic mouthwash. Find a brand that includes “anti-gingitivis” on the label to ensure that you’re using a formula designed to promote gum health.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Certain foods are particularly good for your oral health. These include dairy products that contain high amount of calcium, such as cheese. Other foods actually help to clean your teeth, massage your gums, and neutralize acid inside your mouth – celery and apples are two good examples. And, of course, don’t eat too much sugar. You may have a sweet tooth, but unfortunately bacteria does too, and sugary foods feed the bad bacteria inside your mouth.
- Visit your dentist regularly. No matter how careful you are about your oral hygiene routine at home, you’ll never remove all the plaque and tartar that build up on teeth both above and under the gum line without frequent professional cleanings. You should visit your dentist for an oral exam and cleaning at least twice a year, or as often as your dentist recommends.
Healthy gums are much like the foundation of a house: without a good foundation, the house will crumble. Fortunately, by following these simple steps and visiting your dentist on a regular basis, you can achieve good oral health that will last a lifetime.