Good oral hygiene goes beyond teeth whitening and caring for your teeth. It extends to taking care of your gums and keeping them healthy. Several factors could be responsible for your gums being in terrible shape, but the root cause remains plaque. Plaque is a sticky, acidic substance containing bacteria that could develop decay and gum diseases. It owes its existence to food residues in the mouth and grows where oral care is lacking.
Signs of unhealthy gums include tender, swollen and receding gums, and foul breath, which could be indications of gingivitis, an early stage of gum infection. When gingivitis is untreated and left to advance, it becomes periodontitis, a severe gum disease that could lead to teeth and bone loss.
How Can You Keep Your Gums Healthy?
It is easy to miss or ignore the progression of gum disease because it may be painless. However, you must be careful not to let it get out of hand and ruin your overall health.
Brush, and Do it Right
Brushing is a routine you already practice, but are you doing it right? Do you brush every few hours, and do you brush like you are trying to get rid of a stubborn stain on your floor? While it is essential to brush your teeth for about 180 seconds daily, doing it too much can make your enamel weak, and brushing too hard can injure your gum. So, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your teeth morning and night.
Floss Every Day
People tend to give flossing less importance than brushing, but that shouldn’t be the case. It is because brushing and flossing are two activities that work hand in hand to reduce plaque buildup; flossing removes what brushing cannot. To maintain good oral hygiene, you should make a habit of flossing every single day. You may floss at whatever time because it doesn’t matter when you do it, as long as you do it daily.
Use Therapeutic Mouthwash
There are cosmetic and therapeutic mouthwashes. Cosmetic mouthwashes provide a temporary solution but don’t deal with the bacteria, while therapeutic mouthwashes consist of ingredients that work to rectify cavities, gum infections, and bad breath. So, purchasing therapeutic mouthwashes with the ADA seal is the better choice. Also, mouthwashes are effective for removing food residues.
Consider Orthodontic Treatment
While suggesting that you get orthodontic treatment may seem extreme as a method to keep your gums healthy, you may want to give it a try. It is easier to remove plaque from well-aligned teeth. When you have misaligned teeth, it is harder to get rid of plaque because it’ll be stored in the corners of your teeth that you can’t reach. With orthodontic devices, which could be braces or clear aligners, you’ll be improving the appearance of your smile and keeping it healthy at the same time.
Get Periodic Dental Cleaning
Dental cleaning is essential for firm and healthy gums. The procedure entails your dental hygienist removing plaque and checking for signs of threats to your oral health. While your regular oral care routine at home may be effective in the meantime, plaque could metastasize into tartar in parts of your mouth that you can’t reach. When this happens, it can’t be removed without professional help.
Eat Healthy Foods
Your diet can have a significant impact on the health of your gums and teeth. Consuming sugar and foods that are reduced into simple sugars upon consumption threatens oral health. These foods include candies, processed foods, and starchy foods. On the flip side, foods that help sustain your gum health include whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts, and dairy.
Stop Bad Oral Habits
Some habits can be detrimental to our health. For instance, one of the many harmful effects of smoking includes a longer recovery time. So, if you suffer from gingivitis and smoke, it’ll be hard for you to recover. Also, teeth grinding is another habit that weakens your gums because it spreads to the roots when you place pressure on the teeth. Solutions to this may include relaxing and getting a bite guard from your dentist.
Replace Sugary Drinks with Water
Staying hydrated is essential for several reasons, and if you are the type to reach for a bottle of soda instead of water when you get thirsty, you need to try your best to stop it. So, switch that soda for water or unsweetened drinks whenever you get thirsty.
Your gums must also be in good shape for a healthy smile. Not taking adequate care of your gum can lead to pain, foul breath, and an insecure smile. So, make sure to practice these acts to maintain your gum health, and if you still notice any symptoms like hypersensitivity in your gum, let your dentist know as soon as possible.