Brushing and flossing are most likely the first things that come to mind when you think about taking care of your smile. Surprisingly, there are many more things that go into keeping your mouth in order! Your gums have a central role in your oral health and can be in poor shape no matter how white and shiny your teeth are. But what else is important about gum care?
What do you know about gum disease? You should consider yourself lucky if you have never had to contend with it firsthand! Plaque buildup along and underneath your gum line is what causes gum disease. Gingivitis, the first phase of gum disease, makes your gums sore, swollen, and occasionally bloody. Gingivitis is luckily very easy to treat since it does not have any impact on the bone that is attached to your teeth.
Ignoring gingivitis can result in periodontitis, which is the most dangerous form gum disease can take. The tissue and bone connected to your teeth may be severely impacted by untreated periodontitis. It can slowly destroy your teeth. If you have a constant bad taste in your mouth, swollen gums, loose permanent teeth, a receding gum line, or sore and bloody gums, you may have developed gum disease. Don’t worry too much, because gum disease is very easy to prevent, and we are here to share five of our favorite ways to keep your gums in prime shape!
- Use fluoride toothpaste. Almost every toothpaste brand will claim to reduce the risk of gingivitis. So how do you know which ones are the best? When you pick out your toothpaste, ensure it contains fluoride and has the American Dental Association seal of acceptance!
- Brush twice a day. Brushing after breakfast and dinner is the easiest thing you can do on your own to keep your smile healthy! Brushing will help remove plaque and bacteria, and flossing will do the rest! Also, make sure to brush your tongue, as it can carry bacteria as well. Electric toothbrushes are the best option to remove plaque more effectively than manual toothbrushes. Make sure you change out your toothbrush or toothbrush head every three months.
- Make sure to floss! Flossing once or twice per day will help remove any tricky plaque buildup that your toothbrush is unable to get rid of. Since plaque is the main cause of gum disease, flossing is a must!
- Use therapeutic mouthwash. Almost any drugstore or pharmacy will carry it over-the-counter. This type of mouthwash can help reduce the speed tartar develops, reduce plaque, and even reduce gingivitis. Make sure you are also looking for the American Dental Association seal on any therapeutic mouthwash.
- Get your teeth cleaned regularly. Your dental hygienist can remove any tricky plaque and tartar formed on your teeth. Doing this every six months will keep your teeth much healthier than trying to take oral hygiene into your own hands only! In addition to this, your dentist can detect the early signs of gum disease and start a treatment plan before it turns into gingivitis or even periodontitis. If you already have gingivitis, regular hygiene appointments can help reverse its effects.
These steps may seem like a lot, but we promise they will be beneficial in preventing the onset and progression of gum disease. If you haven’t been visiting us for your bi-yearly appointment, it is time to get scheduled! If you don’t use floss or mouthwash daily, you should definitely start! Call us today at (903) 759-0765 to schedule an appointment. Let’s keep your gums healthy together! Click here to read about why you should schedule your 6-month checkup.