If you ask many people what they think about when they think about oral hygiene, the first answer is almost always teeth. While your teeth play a large role in the overall appearance of your smile and they are a key part of maintaining optimal oral health, they are only part of the puzzle. By keeping your gums healthy, you will have an easier time keeping your mouth healthy, and you can avoid the pitfalls of gum disease. Here are some of our best tips to keep your gums healthy.
Are you flossing every day? Sadly, many patients only think about flossing when they head to their cleaning appointment and the dental hygienist asks if they have flossed regularly. Flossing is critical for the health of your gums and your teeth. Even if you do a great job brushing your teeth, there is no replacement for flossing because floss can get between your teeth and under the gumline where your toothbrush bristles cannot reach.
Don’t Skip Your Dental Cleaning
Professional dental cleaning by a skilled dental hygienist is key to maintaining your oral health and helping you avoid gum disease. Many early gum disease signs are hard to spot if you don’t know what you’re looking for, and your hygienist will be able to provide you with advice and treatment suggestions if you do have early-stage gum disease. Gingivitis can be reversed with dental cleanings and meticulous brushing and flossing.
Use Fluoride ToothpasteThere are many types of toothpaste on the market, and it can be intimidating to sort through all of your options and know which are good and which just have good marketing. Look for a toothpaste with the ADA seal and fluoride. Fluoride is an important compound that can help strengthen your teeth and enamel, which will also help your gums.
Never Use Your Teeth as Tools
When you have a packet or container to open and can’t get it open with your hands, do you immediately try to open it with your teeth? Many people of all ages have this habit, and it can do damage to your teeth and your gums. This can wear down your enamel, and sharp packaging could scrape your gums and lead to pain. Always wait and grab a pair of scissors to open the package instead of using your teeth.
Quit Smoking or Chewing Tobacco
Smoking and chewing tobacco are bad habits for overall physical health, as well as gum health. Smoking harms your immune system and makes it harder to fight back against bacteria, which can lead to you getting sick more often and struggling with gum infections and gum disease. Because smoking can also delay healing, your gums will have a harder time bouncing back once the damage has begun.
Use a Special Mouthwash
There are numerous types of mouthwash that are designed to help decrease plaque accumulation, reduce signs of gingivitis, or do both. These types of mouthwash will not replace brushing and flossing your teeth, but they can help you maintain optimal oral health. If you aren’t sure what mouthwash is right for you, ask during your visit to Periodontal Specialists in Kansas City. We help patients like you take proper care of their gums. To learn more or schedule your appointment today, call Periodontal Specialists in KC at (913) 663-GUMS.