When most people think of dental health, they imagine a mouth of clean, white, healthy teeth. But what about gums? Did you know that not practicing proper oral hygiene can commonly lead to even just a minor case of gingivitis? Unhealthy gums are even known to recede ever-so-slightly year-by-year. Gums are an essential part of dental health, and healthy gums will promote healthy teeth. Here are some tips to making sure that your gums are getting the attention that they need.
Brush Your Teeth Gently
We all know that brushing teeth regularly contributes to overall oral health, but how you do it can also have an impact. For especially healthy gums, make sure to brush your teeth gently with a soft toothbrush for at least two minutes twice a day. Brush in circular motions, imagining that you are “massaging” your gums. It also helps to brush at an angle rather than straight on, which will be easier on the gums.
Floss, Floss, Floss
Do your gums bleed when you floss? While you may be tempted to refrain from flossing for gums that don’t bleed, this is a sign that your gums aren’t as healthy as they could be, and thus flossing is the first step you should take for healthier gums. Flossing helps remove plaque and food debris from between your teeth that would otherwise build up and become tartar. Moreover, this buildup attracts bacteria, which makes for swollen and inflamed gums.
Follow Up with Mouthwash
As was just mentioned, bacteria in the mouth is bad news for your gums. A good mouthwash will do the trick for killing harmful bacteria, not to mention freshening your breath instantly.
Eat Foods that Promote Healthier Gums
The foods that you eat for healthier teeth also apply to healthier gums. Especially great foods for your gums are crisp foods like apples and celery that will actually work to clean your teeth as you chew them. Other great foods to try are dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese since they are rich in calcium. Minimize your intake of sticky, sugary foods as much as possible, as carbohydrates left in the mouth are a breeding ground for bacteria. Finally, it’s always a good idea to have plenty of water on hand to help flush the mouth of any possible food debris, sugar, and even acids from healthier foods like apples and strawberries.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
A good pace to set for yourself if going to your dentist every six months for a teeth cleaning and checkup on your overall oral health. Your dentist can tell you how you have been doing with your oral care regime and give you great tips on what you could be improving on. A good dental cleaning will also remove existing plaque buildup and provide a barrier that will help prevent future buildup.