Healthy teeth start with healthy gums.
One of the best ways to protect your oral health is to begin with the gums. Gum health is crucial for gaining and maintaining a healthy smile and mouth. Even if you have the brightest, straightest smile, you’re still at risk of gum disease. Suppose you only focus on maintaining the health of your teeth and push your gums to the wayside. In that case, you’re welcoming in plaque and tartar, leading to dangerous medical issues such as periodontitis and gingivitis.
The good news is that gum disease is easily preventable through adopting some simple oral health habits. Follow these tips to help preserve your gum health, oral health, and total health:
The Old Reliable – Brushing And Flossing
We can’t make a list without first beginning with the go-to for gum health – brushing and flossing. Most dentists agree that brushing your teeth at least twice per day and flossing once per day goes a long way in maintaining gum health.
Some quick tips: Don’t brush your teeth immediately after eating, especially if you’ve had acidic foods. Wait at least 30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth, like the swimming after eating rule. You can floss anytime throughout the day, but try to do it around the same time every day to create a habit of it!
Use The Correct Technique
Not all brushing is the same. To get the most out of your brushing routine, follow these technique recommendations:
- Brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums
- Move the toothbrush in short, circular strokes
- Don’t press too hard; gentle brushing is best
- Make sure to brush the front, bottom, sides, and backs of your teeth, not just the front portions that are easily seen.
- Up your teeth brushing game and switch to an Electric toothbrush to get the most out of your brushing routine.
Don’t Forget Your Tongue
While brushing and flossing in and around your teeth is vital for gum health, don’t forget another important component – your tongue. The tongue is a breeding ground for nasty bacteria that is harmful to the teeth and gums. Scrape your tongue twice per day with a tongue scraper to help remove bacteria that a regular toothbrush often misses.
Use An Alcohol-Free Mouthwash
Using a fluoride mouthwash can help strengthen tooth enamel and gums, and rinses out bacteria in harder to reach places. However, many over-the-counter mouthwashes contain alcohol, which can dry out the mouth and gums, leading to pain and bacterial growth. When purchasing a mouthwash, make sure it is alcohol-free, contains fluoride, and has the ADA seal of approval. As an extra layer of protection ask our expert dental team about perio protect trays.
Maintain A Bi-Annual Dental Appointment Schedule
We may sound like a broken record, but visiting your dentist 2x per year is vital for maintaining teeth and gum health. No matter how much brushing, flossing, and rinsing you do, there are just some things that only a professional can do. Beyond thoroughly cleaning your teeth and gums, dentists are trained to detect early gum disease symptoms if you visit them regularly.
Loudoun Smile Center has the equipment and expertise to help fill in any gaps in your at-home dental routine. Our friendly staff will ensure both your comfort and safety while helping you keep your gums healthy!