Your gums are just as important as your teeth when it comes to your Oral Health. Without healthy gums, your teeth don’t have the stable base of support they need to let you bite, chew, and speak properly. Compromised gums can quickly lead to compromised teeth that shift in place, feel loose, or even fall out. Follow these simple tips on how to take care of your gums to keep your smile beautiful and healthy.
1. Brush Thoroughly
The same things you do to take care of your teeth also prevent gingivitis and gum disease. When it comes to brushing, you should brush for two minutes twice a day. You may think you’re brushing for a full two minutes, but it can be quite a bit longer than it feels, so if you’re not timing yourself, you should start!
Divide your mouth into quadrants and brush each for 30 seconds—backs, fronts, and chewing surfaces of each tooth. Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. For even better results, invest in an electric toothbrush. Most have built-in timers to help ensure that you’re brushing for the right amount of time and they do a better job of loosening plaque to keep your teeth feeling smooth and fresh.
2. Don’t Forget to Floss
Flossing is critical for optimal gum health, as food debris and bacteria accumulates where brushing can’t reach, between the teeth. You only need to floss once a day (although you can certainly floss more often if you’d like!); be sure to floss between all of your teeth and work the floss all the way to the gum line.
3. Visit the Dentist Every Six Months
Your routine dental visits are key to preventing gum disease. During your dental exams, we measure the gaps between your teeth and gums to check for bone recession, periodontal pockets, and plot where tartar and bacteria can build up. By visiting the dentist often, we can spot gum disease in its earliest stages and begin gum treatment before it causes irreversible damage.
Dental hygiene visits keep your gums healthy. Tartar can only be removed with a professional dental cleaning — this is important because tartar can harbor the bacteria that causes gum disease. When your teeth are polished after being cleaned, it leaves a smooth surface that makes it harder for new tartar deposits to form.
4. If You Smoke, Stop
Smoking and gum disease are closely related. There are many reasons why this may be true—smoking can dry out the mouth, it weakens the immune system and makes it harder to fight infection, and it impacts your body’s ability to repair damaged tissue. When you quit smoking, your gums will be better off, as will the rest of your body.
5. Use a Therapeutic Mouthwash
Mouthwash isn’t a must for every dental routine, but if you struggle to keep your teeth free of tartar or you’ve been diagnosed with gingivitis, we can recommend a special mouthwash to help after we have an evaluation review session with you, as a starting point to great Oral Health.
Schedule an Appointment at Caring 4 Smiles
We are a Preventive Dental clinic and would love to welcome you to our dental practice! Contact us today at 09 631 5416 to make an appointment with one of our dentists. You can also book online from our website.