BIMC Dental Tips to Keep Gums Healthy — Keeping your teeth for the rest of your life starts by brushing properly at least twice a day using fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle toothbrush that needs to be replaced every 3 to 4 months, or sooner if the bristles begin to fray.
It’s ideal to brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle to the gums and move the toothbrush in short strokes pressing gently. Clean the insides of the front teeth by turning the brush vertically and making several short strokes along each tooth.
Choosing the right toothpaste is key as there are many varieties, from whitening products to formulas containing baking soda. When choosing a toothpaste, you should ensure that it contains fluoride and has the ADA seal of approval on the packaging.
Floss religiously to remove food and plaque from between the teeth and gums. If the food and plaque remain in these areas, this can lead to tartar, which is a hard buildup of bacteria that only a dentist can remove. Tartar can lead to gum disease.
Rinse your mouth out with care. Many people rinse their mouth out after brushing their teeth. However, oral hygiene practices should complement the effectiveness of fluoride products, such as toothpaste.
When a person washes their mouth out with water after brushing their teeth with fluoride toothpaste, they wash away the fluoride. Conversely, when a person rinses their mouth out after eating, they may rinse away food and bacteria that can lead to plaque and tartar.
Get in the habit of using mouthwash. BIMC dentists profess two types of mouthwash: therapeutic and cosmetic. Both are available over the counter. A therapeutic mouthwash can help prevent gum disease; reduce the speed at which tartar builds up and the amount of plaque on the teeth and remove food particles from the mouth.
Get regular BIMC dental checkups. Dental checkups typically include a professional cleaning of the mouth and the only way to remove tartar from the teeth. Professional cleaning can also help eliminate the plaque that a person may have missed when brushing their teeth.
With regular visits, your BIMC dentist can help identify the early signs of gum disease and gingivitis, a condition in which the gums become inflamed. Early detection can help prevent more severe problems from occurring.
And of course stop smoking! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking makes a person more susceptible to gum disease because it weakens the immune system. The CDC recommends quitting smoking immediately to help reduce the risk of developing gum disease. The use of other tobacco products can also increase a person’s risk.
Finally, eat a balanced diet. A recent study in men age 65 and older showed a special benefit to eating a diet rich in high-fiber fruit. This appears to slow the progression of periodontal disease.