Take a look at yourself in the mirror and smile. Sure enough, you’ll immediately notice your pearly whites, but what about the gums protecting them? Do they appear firm and pink?
While most people focus on tooth care, the health of your gums is equally vital as they surround and support your teeth, along with the bones of your jaws. Your gums serve as barriers against oral infection, and you can keep them healthy by following the tips below.
#1 Observe Proper Oral Hygiene
Brushing helps remove food and keep plaque—a sticky, colorless or pale yellow film containing bacteria—from forming in your mouth. Plaque can harden under your gum line and turn into tartar. Tartar buildup may lead to inflammation that causes gum disease. Untreated gum disease may lead to tooth loss.
To keep your gums healthy, brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time. Keeping your teeth clean can help prevent gum disease and cavities. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. You may also use an electric or battery-operated toothbrush, which provides superior plaque removal compared to a manual toothbrush. It also works well for people with hand arthritis or children who like the idea of a “machine” brushing their teeth.
Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle and slide the bristle towards the area where the teeth and gums meet. Gently brush with circular back-and-forth motions. After brushing your teeth, don’t forget to floss to reach the tight spaces between your teeth and under the gum line. Be gentle while flossing to avoid hurting your gums.
#2 Eat a Balanced Diet
Eating healthy foods boosts your immune system and enables it to fight against infection. Include food rich in antioxidant properties in your meals. Examples of these are vitamin E sources, such as vegetable oils, nuts, and leafy vegetables, and vitamin C sources, such as citrus fruits, broccoli, and potatoes.
Watch your sugar intake, especially if you have diabetes because you have a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Diabetes reduces your ability to resist bacteria and slows down healing. In turn, advanced gum disease or periodontitis may also cause your blood sugar level to rise, making it harder to control your diabetes.
#3 Don’t Smoke
Smoking weakens your immune system. Tobacco, whether taken in through smoking or chewing, puts you at a higher risk for gum disease. Chemicals in tobacco products also affect saliva flow in the mouth, making it easier for bacteria to stick to your gums.
Compared to a non-smoker, smokers are twice as likely to develop gum disease. Treatments for the condition may also not work well for people who smoke.
#4 Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Schedule check-ups and cleanings every six months. Your dentist can help you prevent gum disease development and detect any oral health problems earlier on.
You should also consult with your dentist if you have any of the following symptoms:
Gum Care in Plantation, Florida
Sustained efforts to keep your gums healthy ensures a lifetime of good oral health. Dr. Ernie Soto and our team are well-equipped for early detection and prevention of gum problems. Visit our office at Plantation, Florida, and see how we can help. Schedule an appointment by calling us at (954) 368-6264, or you may use our online request form.