Everyone knows how important it is to look after your teeth – they’re right there in front of you every time you look in the mirror, and when something goes wrong, you KNOW ABOUT IT.
But the neglected member of the family are the gums, and they’re just as important. A healthy set of gums is going to make having a healthy set of teeth all that more easy to maintain.
With that in mind, here are the three easiest and most effective ways to keep your gums healthy.
1. Upkeep and maintenance at home
Brushing twice a day, flossing, using a mouthwash or just rinsing with water – there are great tips for looking after your teeth. Doing that will be of huge benefit to your gums, as they’re basically roommates. Flossing helps remove the plaque and food that your toothbrush can’t reach, and if you get rid of that, you’re taking decisive preventative steps to ensure that you don’t suffer from tooth decay. Flossing is something that I find is woefully neglected by most people. Sure, they’ll brush (but they should do it twice a day) but brushing without flossing is like showering without soap: you’re getting clean, sure, but you could be a lot cleaner.
In your twice daily brushing routine, be sure you apply a circular motion while pointing the toothbrush towards the gum at a 45-degree angle. You’ll be cleaning the gum line (where the gum meets the tooth) and ensuring the brushing process is a practical, useful one.
An electric toothbrush with pressure sensors takes the guessing game whether you are putting too much pressure on gums or not. It has been shown that for most people an electric toothbrush does a better clean than a normal brush.
2. Get regular cleanings
Your dentist has the tools (and talent) to get your teeth as clean as they could possibly be. Professional cleaning is the only sure-fire way you’ll be able to remove tartar from your teeth, and in doing so can detect the early signs of gum disease and put you on the correct course before it becomes too big of an issue. Remember, prevention is better than a cure in every situation.
3. Quit smoking
Like you needed another reason! Smoking is strongly associated with the onset of gum disease. It weakens your immune system, while making it harder to fight off gum infections. Quit smoking and you reduce the risk of developing gum disease and other oral cancers, while improving your response to gum treatments. Chemicals in your cigarette’s tobacco have an impact on saliva flow in the mouth, which makes it easier for bacteria to stay on your teeth and gums.
That’s the thing with the gums: you want to keep them healthy. Gum disease, or periodontal disease puts people who have it at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, as well as diabetes, respiratory ailments, it can cause some pregnancy complications, and has been linked to dementia in older people. So, the three things we’ve just gone over, plus maintaining a healthy diet with as little sugary, starchy foods and drinks as possible should see you taking the right steps towards keeping your teeth and gums healthy for the long haul.