Gum health is something that's even less focused on than your pearly whites. Periodontal disease happens when the gums are not properly cared for. Our mouths are full of germs and while teeth are important, it's essential to remember that teeth and gums are the dynamic duo of oral health. Caring for them together will ensure a totally healthy mouth. Let's look at some easy ways to grapple with gum disease and keep it out.
- Proper brushing habits: Here's a refresher on what you learned as a child. Brushing at least twice per day is the biggest help you can be to your teeth and gums. Brushing gently and focusing on where the gum line meets the teeth will help ensure you're targeting areas where plaque and tartar are most problematic. Get toothbrushes with soft bristles and replace them every three to four months, because while your gums are resilient, they're still sensitive. Make sure to sanitize your toothbrush, too. Otherwise, you're merely spreading the germs on your brush across your teeth and gums.
- Floss: Another thing we've been saying since the beginning is to combine brushing and flossing. Proper brushing is excellent, but there are sneaky particles that get into places between gums and teeth that are impossible for a brush to reach. Floss gets at these spaces and dislodges those well hidden dental intruders and kicks them out before they're able to cause problems.
- Don't forget your tongue: Your tongue is a landing pad for germs of all sorts. If your teeth and gums are clean, but your tongue is neglected, all those germs on your tongue have a clean new space to move into. ADA recommended mouthwashes and regular tongue scraping are wonderful ways to kill those germs and remove residue. Used together, they're a powerful last step to fight gum disease.
These are just some tips to aid daily gum care. Preventative dentistry and responsible home care are essential to well-rounded oral health. All of this advice is beneficial but doesn't replace visiting your dentist every six months. Be their ally and you'll find your smile bright and your gums happy for years to come.