While gums can often be overlooked by our patients, it is very important that you keep them healthy! Gum disease is quite prevalent—affecting 70.1% of Americans over the age of 65— so it is important that you take the necessary steps to prevent this and other illnesses. To keep your gums in good health, follow these five easy steps!
1. Set a daily reminder to floss.
While flossing is one of the most important parts of any dental hygiene routine, it is also one of the most overlooked! Flossing your teeth every day is critical for removing bacterial plaque and food particles that get trapped in places the toothbrush can’t reach. If left for too long, they can lead to an infection of the gums known as gingivitis. It is particularly important to prevent gingivitis, as it can ultimately progress into gum disease. Therefore, we recommend setting a daily reminder for yourself to make sure you floss at least once every night, though it is even better if you floss after meals as well!
2. Quit smoking.
Smoking can cause a host of health issues—not least of which is periodontal (gum) disease! Smoking weakens your immune system and makes you more susceptible to infection, including infections of the gums. Therefore, smokers are much more likely to get gum disease than those who do not smoke. Smoking cigarettes also makes gum disease more difficult to treat. Therefore, quitting the habit is one of the most significant things you can do to improve your gum health.
3. Brush your teeth at least twice a day—correctly.
Maintaining your dental hygiene routine is vital to protecting your gums. Make sure you thoroughly brush your teeth and tongue at least twice per day and after meals. To make sure you’re brushing is as effective as possible, you’ll also want to use the right technique: hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle from the gum line. Then, scrub thoroughly using short, tooth-wide strokes on each individual tooth. Remember: don’t forget to brush those hard-to-reach places like the backs of your front teeth and the molars.
4. Take your vitamins.
You may be surprised to learn that taking vitamins can be hugely beneficial to the health of your gums. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, those who have high levels of vitamin D were 20% less likely to get gingivitis than those who didn’t. Calcium can also help because it strengthens your jawbone, reducing the risk of gum disease. You’ll also want to take vitamin C as this can greatly help bleeding gums.
5. Schedule a visit to the dentist every six months.
During your routine check-ups, your dentist will check your gums to ensure you don’t have gingivitis, tartar, tooth decay, or any other ailments that are harmful to the gums. You’ll also receive a professional cleaning to boost your oral health and keep your gums in great shape.
To schedule your next routine check-up, call Anew Dental & Orthodontics in Plainfield, IL today!