From flossing and brushing to eating healthy meals and visiting your dentist in Kitchener for your bi-yearly check-ups, there are numerous ways to protect your gums from diseases and conditions.
If you are like many people, you likely focus on brushing your teeth and forget about your gums. However, your gums play a vital role in holding your teeth in place and keeping your looking wonderful. That’s why you need to take care of them too. Without healthy gums, your overall dental health will be affected.
Gum infections happen when bacteria accumulate along and under the gum line. When infections occur, it hurts the gum and bone, leading to a series of other problems. Plaques cause gum disease, tooth decay, periodontitis, and gingivitis. Gingivitis is characterized by gums that are swollen, tender, red, inflamed, and prone to bleeding. Periodontitis, on the other hand, can damage the bones, gums, and tissues connecting to your teeth. It is the latest stage of gum diseases and may result in teeth extraction. Periodontitis is characterized by gums that bleed easily, consistently bad breath or taste, gums that are red, tender or swollen, loose or separating permanent teeth and gums that have pulled away from the teeth.
Luckily, caring for your gums isn’t rocket science – it is something you can do with ease. In fact, you can double up your teeth and gum care. We spoke to one dentist in Kitchener, and here are some of his sentiments about ways to keep your gums looking healthy and strong:
Brush twice daily
Brushing isn’t just good for your teeth, but your gums as well. When you brush adequately, you get rid of food particles that stick on your teeth and after eating. This helps prevent the build-up from happening, and consequently, lowering the chances of gum disease. But you need to brush correctly: by this, we mean you should get the right toothbrush (one that fits in your mouth and has soft bristles), brush twice daily, and that you ensure you’ve cleaned all surfaces properly.
Dentists recommend taking at least two minutes to brush and replacing your brush every three months. And while at it, do not forget about your tongue because it harbours bacteria. Again, you should avoid putting too much pressure on your gums when brushing because this might irritate the gum and cause them to recess.
Floss every day
Flossing helps you get rid of any build-up that brushing couldn’t. Since floss is flexible, it allows you to clean along the gum line and in between teeth. What’s more, you can floss at any time – whether it’s in the morning, lunchtime, or the evening. Just make sure you do so at least once every day.
Use the right toothpaste
Tooth products aren’t created equally – they vary based on a range of aspects. That’s why you need to be careful when shopping for toothpaste. Experts recommend using products with fluoride as it can help reduce gingivitis, whiten teeth, and freshen breath. You don’t have to worry about the flavour – the idea is to ensure the toothpaste has fluoride.
Watch your habits
Gum disease can be a result of a bad habit – like eating too much sweet stuff, drinking alcohol, or even smoking. Smoking, in particular, is strongly linked to the development of gum disease. It weakens your immune system, making it hard for your body to fight infection. But that’s not the only problem: smoking also makes it hard for your gums to heal after damage.
Go for therapeutic mouthwash
Another thing that you may not be aware of is that there are different types of mouthwash in the market: some are cosmetic, others therapeutic. Since you are concerned about caring for your gums, going with the latter can help you achieve your goal. A therapeutic mouthwash can help clear food particles from your mouth, lower the amount of build-up on the teeth, minimize the speed at which tartar accumulates and prevent gum disease.
Watch your diet
You indeed are what you eat. What you consume can affect your gums and teeth directly. Experts recommend incorporating high fibre fruits and vegetables in your diet. Dairy products like cheese, milk, and yoghurt are great for saliva production. Other healthy foodstuffs include green and black teas that reduce bacteria, seafood, and some poultry that are fluoride-rich and sugar-free gum for saliva production.
Schedule for regular appointments
You should see your dentist at least two times every year. You do not have to feel sick to schedule an appointment. Prevention should be your first line of defence – not cure. With regular check-ups, you get deep cleanings, assessment, and early treatment (if any gum disease is identified).
Practicing good oral hygiene is a great way to prevent and treat gum infections. With the above tips, you should be able to enjoy a beautiful smile.