Caring for Your Gums

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Maintaining healthy gums is vital to keeping your teeth healthy throughout your life. If teeth and gums are not properly cared for, gum disease can develop, progressing from gingivitis to periodontitis then finally to tooth loss. Gum care is intricately connected to the health of your teeth. But by following the five steps below, you can drastically reduce your risk of gum disease.

Brushing

Brush your teeth at least twice a day to maintain healthy gums and teeth. If possible, brush after every meal, but wait thirty minutes before doing so. Acids in foods soften the enamel on teeth; so waiting allows it to re-harden instead of getting brushed away. Make sure you're using the best brushing techniques:

  • Apply fluoride toothpaste to half of the toothbrush head.
  • Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line.
  • Using a light circular motion, move the bristles against the teeth, cleaning one tooth at a time.
  • Be sure to brush all sides of the teeth including crevices, the chewing surface of the teeth, and the backside.
  • Don’t forget to lightly brush your tongue a few times. This helps freshen your breath and eliminate bacteria.
  • After brushing for two to three minutes, rinse your mouth with water. Remember to get a new soft bristled toothbrush every three to four months.

Flossing

It is necessary to floss at least once a day to help remove plaque and food that can build up between teeth.

  • Take a foot and a half piece of floss, winding it around the middle fingers on each hand to leave a one-inch space available for flossing.
  • Use your index fingers to insert and push the floss between the teeth, forming a C-shape that hugs the tooth. Next, move the floss down and up against the tooth. Be sure it reaches the gum line, but be careful not to push too hard so as not to injure the gums.
  • Individually clean both sides of each gap between the teeth.
  • Move to a clean section of the floss when needed and wrap the extra floss around the fingers.

Rinsing

The right antiseptic mouthwash can be a beneficial supplement to your oral hygiene routine, killing bacteria before it can develop into early gum disease.

  • Use an antiseptic rinse specially formulated to prevent the growth of bacteria that causes gum disease.
  • Swish the mouthwash around for thirty seconds to one minute.
  • You can rinse after or before you brush.

Eating Right

Limit your consumption of foods that include starches and sugars. These types of foods can cause bacteria to produce acid. If possible, brush thirty minutes after eating foods with high sugar or starch content. These types of foods include:

  • Baked goods like breads, cookies, cakes, and pies
  • All types of candy, especially hard candies that stay in your mouth for a long time
  • Sugary gum
  • Dried fruits and raisins
  • Chips and crackers

Dental Visits

Regular visits to your dentist are invaluable in gum disease prevention. Teeth should be cleaned professionally every six months to help inhibit tartar buildup and early signs of gum disease. Periodontist Dr. Karl A. Rose and his staff are prepared to treat and reverse the worst cases of gum disease to preserve your teeth. If you see any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment immediately.

  • Loose teeth
  • Tooth sensitivity to heat, cold, or sweets
  • Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth that won’t go away
  • A receding gum line
  • Bleeding, swollen, or tender gums

With care and forethought, your natural teeth can last you a lifetime. Contact Dr. Rose today to find out more about caring for your teeth and gums.

Request an Appointment Today