When many people think about oral hygiene, they focus on the appearance of their teeth. While your teeth are one piece of the puzzle, it’s important to not leave your gums out of the picture. Maintaining healthy gums can make it easier to maintain good oral health, and it can also reduce your risk of many serious diseases that are correlated with gum disease. Here are some of our best diet and oral hygiene tips for healthy gums.
Floss Every Day
You might think that your dentist cannot tell when you skip flossing on a daily basis, but it is immediately apparent when they take a look in your mouth! You should floss between your teeth every day, at least once a day. Even if you do an excellent job brushing your teeth, it is no replacement for flossing. This is because flossing can clean between each tooth and get rid of bacteria that could be hiding between the teeth or underneath the gum line.
By flossing every day, you will also reduce your chances of experiencing tooth decay and gum disease. You may notice slight bleeding when you first start to floss daily, but this should stop once flossing is a daily habit. Always tell your dentist about any bleeding or swelling you experience due to flossing.
Drink Plenty of Water
It’s tempting to enjoy sweet drinks throughout the day, like iced coffee, juice, or soda. However, this is not good for your overall oral hygiene or your gum health. Instead, replace these sugary drinks with water. Water helps to naturally wash away bacteria in your mouth without brushing, and it also helps ensure that you have the right amount of saliva in your mouth. A dry mouth can lead to serious oral health consequences, including tooth decay and tooth loss, and water is an easy way to avoid experiencing it.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
The average patient should visit the dentist twice a year. During this visit, you will receive a professional cleaning, have x-rays performed, and get to speak with your dentist about any concerns that you have. By visiting the dentist regularly, you can detect slight issues before they have the chance to become major problems. Prioritizing your oral hygiene might seem like a hassle, but going twice a year can easily save you a great deal of time, pain, and money in the future.
Don’t Use Teeth as Tools
Many people use their teeth for far more than chewing and speaking. Unfortunately, using your teeth like a pair of scissors or for other practical uses can leave you with serious damage. Even if you don’t experience pain or chipping the first time that you do this, you can wear down your enamel over the years. Always use the appropriate tool for the job instead of your teeth, even if it’s something simple like opening a ketchup packet.
Avoid Smoking or Chewing Tobacco
Smoking damages your physical health, and that includes your gum health. Smoking and using chewing tobacco lead to accelerated tooth discoloration, plaque accumulation, gum disease, oral cancer, and tooth loss. Additionally, a smoking habit will limit your mouth’s ability to naturally heal in the aftermath of surgery or an injury. It is best to completely abstain from using chewing tobacco or smoking if you want a healthy smile now and in the future.