Your mouth’s health goes beyond the appearance of your teeth. Even if your teeth are pearly white and cavity-free, that doesn’t make you immune to gum disease. Because gum disease usually causes no noticeable symptoms during its onset, most people have no idea there is something wrong with their gums. When left untreated, gum disease can progress to periodontitis – a severe dental problem where the fibers and bone supporting your teeth are destroyed. The good news is that you can prevent gum disease using the following tips that Dr. Jeremy K. Ueno recommends.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day
Brush your teeth twice daily to remove food and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums. Ensure your toothbrush has soft bristles and that it fits in your mouth comfortably. Use gentle circular motions to brush your teeth for two minutes; this is a small amount of time vital for oral health. Do not forget to gently scrape or brush your tongue for a few seconds to remove any lingering bacteria. A battery-powered or electric toothbrush eliminates plaque and reduces your risk of gingivitis more than a manual. Remember to swap toothbrushes or toothbrush bread every three months or sooner if the bristles start to fray.
Floss at least once a day
Flossing your teeth at least every day is important since it helps remove plaque and food particles beyond your toothbrush’s reach. Hidden food particles can cause gum problems, so flossing is important. If you find it difficult to floss, try using a floss holder, which makes it easier to floss the teeth. It doesn’t matter the time; you can floss in the morning, in the afternoon, or at night.
Use a mouthwash
Swish your mouth with an anti-bacterial mouthwash to keep bacteria under control, reduce plaque, prevent gingivitis, and reduce the speed that tartar develops. Although a rinse helps remove food particles and debris from your mouth, it is not a substitute for brushing and flossing. When buying a mouthwash, look for the ADA seal, which means it is effective and safe.
When you smoke, your immune system weakens, making it harder for your body to fight off a gum infection. Once your gums have been damaged, they may take longer to heal due to the weak body defense system. Therefore, you should avoid smoking to improve the health of your gums and reduce your risk of serious diseases such as colon and lung cancers. If you are a chronic smoker, you may need help quitting.
Consume nutritious foods
A healthy diet is good for the health of your body, including your gums. A diet that consists of starchy and sugary foods encourages a buildup of plaque on your teeth, increasing your risk of gum disease. Once you have plaque on your teeth, it hardens into a substance called tartar which only your dentist can remove. Eat healthy foods such as whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and fresh fruits to ensure you have healthy gums. Vitamin C is also essential for the health of your gums, so eat citrus fruits like oranges in plenty.
If you have gum disease, visit your dentist at Ueno Center Dental Specialists for treatment to improve your oral health.