San Mateo Dental Care offers 10 ways to keep your gums healthy
Keeping your mouth healthy is an important step in preventing gum disease and other health conditions. Additionally, having healthy teeth and gums contributes to a more attractive smile. While most people recognize the importance of good oral hygiene, they often focus only on the teeth, overlooking the importance of gum care. In order to have healthy teeth, you must have healthy gums. At San Mateo Dental Care, we believe that oral hygiene and prevention is the best way to have a healthy, vibrant smile for life. In the following article, we’ll look at 10 steps you can follow to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
1. Practice good brushing
Chances are, you brush your teeth twice every day. But did you know that there is a right way to brush teeth? Consider the following guidelines from the ADA when brushing your teeth.
- Brush at least twice daily
- Use a soft toothbrush and replace every 3-4 months (sooner if bristles are frayed)
- Use toothbrush at an angle to the gums
- Brush slowly and gently in short strokes
- Make sure to brush all surfaces of the teeth and the gums
2. Use the right toothpaste
One quick trip down the oral care aisle at the drug store is strong evidence that there is no shortage of options when it comes to toothpaste. Individuals can choose from formulas for sensitive teeth, ones with whitening power, and varying levels of strengths. Try to pick a toothpaste that contains fluoride and has a seal from the ADA on the package.
3. Don’t forget to floss
Daily flossing is a very important part of gum health. Food particles can become trapped between the teeth and along the gum line, leading to plaque and tartar buildup. Without proper flossing this can eventually lead to gum disease.
4. Consider using mouthwash
Antibacterial mouthwash can help minimize plaque accumulation, slow the process of tartar buildup and prevent gum disease by helping to remove food particles from the mouth. While using a mouthwash is not a replacement for good brushing and flossing, it can aid in oral health.
5. If you can’t brush after eating, rinse your mouth out
While it’s always a good idea to brush your teeth after eating, sometimes that just isn’t feasible. A quick rinse of the mouth can help wash away food particles until you have time to brush.
6. Quit smoking/tobacco use
Smoking weakens the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to gum disease. Additionally, smoking and tobacco use are major risk factors for oral, throat, and other cancers. Quitting smoking and tobacco use will improve oral health and general wellness.
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7. Watch what you eat
What you eat has an impact on the health of your teeth and gums. Try incorporating some of the following foods into your diet:
- High fiber fruits and vegetables
- Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt
- Leafy greens
- Green tea
8. Stay hydrated
Adequate saliva is an important component of oral health because it keeps bacteria balanced. Make sure you are drinking enough water, especially when you feel thirsty or your mouth is dry.
9. Maintain regular dental appointments
Visiting your dentist twice yearly is important to your gum heath and preventing disease. During these appointments, a professional cleaning will remove any plaque or tartar build-up on the teeth. Additionally, your dentist will be able to check for the early symptoms of gum disease to stop the condition before it progresses.
10. Know the symptoms of gum disease
Understanding the common signs and symptoms of gum disease will allow you to seek treatment while the condition is still in its early phase. Once gum disease progresses, it can cause irreversible damage to the teeth and gums that often require extensive restorative treatment. The most common symptoms include:
- Tender, inflamed gums
- Bleeding while brushing
- Pockets forming between the teeth and gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Teeth loosening or shifting out of place
By following these tips, you can significantly improve oral health and reduce your risk of gum diseases. If you would like to learn more information on keeping your gums healthy, call San Mateo Dental Care today at (650) 278-4797.Back to Gum Disease Page