Do you think your gums healthy? Did you know that bout 64.7 million Americans have some form of gum disease? That is about 50 percent of the adult population over 30 years old. Periodontal (gum) disease affects the gum tissue and also the bone around teeth.
If left untreated, you could lose your teeth and have a higher risk for other chronic health issues like heart disease and diabetes. With these basic dental care tips, you can prevent gum disease and keep your mouth healthy.
What are the Signs of Gum Disease
If you have any of these signs, you could have the start of gum disease and the following tips are ultra-important:
- Red, puffy gums
- Loose teeth
- Bleeding gums
- Pus between gumline and teeth
- Chronic bad breath
- Receding gums that make the teeth seem bigger
Here are ten tips that should help with dental health and reverse any signs of gum disease.
1. Brush the Right Way
Brush twice a day. And it is important to brush the right way to clean your teeth and remove bacteria and plaque. Instead of moving the toothbrush back and forth, move the toothbrush in tiny circular motions.
Brush for about 2-3 minutes. You also need to get every part of the tooth including the top, back, front, and back. Make sure you get to the gumline.
You don’t want to brush too hard because you can damage your gums and tooth enamel. Choose a soft bristle brush and brush lightly. Brushing too hard can cause gum erosion, tooth sensitivity, and permanent damage to the enamel.
2. Use Fluoride Toothpaste
A study found that brushing and flossing your teeth alone may not be enough to prevent tooth decay if you are not getting fluoride. Choose a toothpaste with fluoride to treat your teeth.
If you have city water, you can see if your area treats your water with fluoride. Reverse osmosis can remove fluoride, and if you have a well, you can check to see if you have any fluoride present. Most bottled water does not contain fluoride.
3. Rinse with Mouthwash
Mouthwash can help reduce tartar build-up, prevent gum disease, remove plaque, and eliminate food particles. However, mouthwash is not a replacement for brushing and flossing, but it can help keep your mouth healthy.
Make sure you swish the rinse for at least 30-60 seconds. You can use mouthwash before or after you floss and brush. You may want to wait after brushing to use mouthwash so you rinse out the fluoride from your toothpaste.
4. Floss Every Day
Floss removes bacteria and plaque from in between your teeth. This is the area your toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing also helps prevent bad breath by getting rid of the trapped food between teeth.
Push the floss gently to the gumline—do not snap. Then hug your tooth to make sure you get all sides of the tooth. Move the floss up and down to remove plaque.
5. Rinse Your Mouth After Each Meal
Rinse your mouth out with water after every meal. Even is you don’t have mouthwash available, rinsing your mouth will remove some of the food to prevent plaque and tarter.
6. Stop Smoking
Smoking hurts your body’s immune system. This can make it difficult for the body to heal tissue including gums. If you have a dental procedure, smoking can make the healing process take much longer.
Smoking also makes your teeth yellow. It can make you have bad breath.
7. Eat Wisely
Limit your sugar intake because consuming sugar can cause cavities. Check for added sugar in processed foods.
You should also limit starchy foods such as chips, bread, pasta, and crackers because these foods can also lead to cavities. The longer food stays in your mouth can cause tooth decay because the bacteria feed on these simple sugars.
You should eat lots of fiber-rich vegetables and fruit. Dairy products are also good because they contain calcium—just check for added sugars.
Hard candy is especially bad for teeth because it stays in the mouth for a long time. Dried fruit has added sugars and tends to stick to the teeth, so you should choose fresh fruit instead.
8. Drink Water
Try drinking water during the day. Limit sugary drinks like juice and soda. Drink sugar-sweetened drinks with meals and in smaller amounts. Like candy, these sugars can cause cavities and lead to tooth decay.
9. Change Your Toothbrush
You should change your toothbrush every 3-4 months. The bristles breakdown and they may not effectively remove plaque. Toothbrushes don’t last forever, and after time, toothbrushes can harbor bacteria if not cleaned.
10. Go to the Dentist Regularly
One of the best ways to keep your mouth healthy is to go to the dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. The hygienist will clean and remove hardened plaque and tartar that your toothbrush and floss can’t remove.
Your dentist will also check for signs of gum disease, cavities, mouth cancer, and other oral issues. Your dentist can help prevent a small issue from becoming a big problem with treatment.
You should visit the dentist every 6 months to keep your mouth healthy. If you notice any changes in your mouth, you should contact your dentist immediately.
These are some great tips to help in making sure that you never have to worry about gum disease. If it is too late though, and you need any dental work, please call the office of Dr. Max L Lingo, Evansville, Indiana dentist. and let them explain your options. If you need any service like bonding & filling, cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, dentures & partials, extractions, sedation dentistry, teeth whitening, teeth cleaning, plaque removal and more.