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October 03, 2023 4 min read
Do you want your mouth to smell? Do you want to keep your natural teeth for as long as possible? Do you want to avoid painful and costly dental treatments? Do you want to avoid health problems like heart disease and respiratory infections? Do you want to chew and eat comfortably?
No one wants a situation that limits their overall health. If you want to ensure a healthier and more fulfilling life, prioritizing your gum health should be key. Here are some essential oral hygiene routines you do to improve and maintain optimal gum health.
Countless studies, from dental associations to scientific research, have emphasized the importance of regular brushing on gum health. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), brushing the teeth twice a day can remove plaque and prevent gum disease. The British Dental Association (BDA) also recommends regular brushing as part of a daily oral hygiene routine to maintain healthy gums. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reveals that brushing regularly prevents gum diseases by removing plaque and tartar buildup.
What does this suggest, regular brushing is a fundamental step you must not overlook. In fact, brushing is the first step before any other oral hygiene routine for preventing gum disease.
While regular brushing is essential, its effectiveness often depends on the type of brush and technique you use. How? When you use the wrong toothbrush and brushing technique, you further irritate the game, which causes them to become red, swollen, sensitive, and bleed. In severe cases, your gum may even detach from your teeth, leading to tooth loss.
Opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush to ensure effective brushing. According to the ADA, you should also hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums, use gentle circular motions, and brush for a minimum of two minutes.
Your toothpaste also plays an essential role in improving your gum health. Many brands often claim that their toothpaste can help improve gum health. To be on the safe side, choose toothpaste that contains fluoride.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that fluoride helps to inhibit the growth of bacteria that contribute to the formation of plaque, which is a major factor in gum disease. According to the ADA, the simple reason an ingredient like this can perform such a task is it has antibacterial properties. More than this, fluoride can strengthen the enamel and prevent tooth loss.
Flossing might seem like a minor task, but it plays a significant role in preventing gum disease. Flossing removes food particles and plaque between your teeth and gumline - two areas toothbrushes may not reach. Make flossing a daily habit to keep your gums healthy and prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria.
If using a traditional floss is not an option for you, consider a water flosser. Water flossers are gentle on the teeth and gum, portable, and won't cause pain for people with braces, dental implants, and bridges.
Once you finish brushing and flossing the moth, don’t forget to rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash. Many antimicrobial mouthwashes contain active ingredients like chlorhexidine, cetylpyridinium chloride, hydrogen peroxide, stannous fluoride, triclosan, and essential oils like thymol, menthol, eucalyptol, and methyl salicylate that make it difficult for bacteria to thrive in your mouth.
Besides this, they can help soothe irritated gums and prevent infection. However, like any oral medication, before using antimicrobial mouthwashes, make sure you consult your dentist. This way, you know the best rinse for your specific needs before incorporating it into your oral hygiene routine.
You may not prioritize routine dental visits due to the cost associated with it. However, regular dental check-ups can significantly improve gum health. These check-ups are essential because it helps to detect early signs of gum disease. Dentists will also provide professional cleanings to remove plaque and tartar buildup. Even the ADA recommends professional dental cleaning at least every six months to prevent gum disease and maintain healthy gums.
What you eat affects not only your overall health but also your gum health. For instance, a deficiency in vitamin C can lead to gum bleeding. Eating foods rich in calcium, antioxidants, fiber, Vitamin C, and Omega-3 fatty acids will not only help you maintain strong and resilient gums. It also ensures your gum tissues don’t get stressed and inflamed.
Besides your nutritional intake, excessive sugar consumption can contribute to gum disease. So, reduce your intake of sugary snacks and beverages to protect your gums.
Incorporating an adequate water intake into your daily oral hygiene routine also has its benefits. For instance, your tongue can better produce saliva which keeps your gums from getting irritated and inflamed. Don't be surprised that saliva has healing properties. It’s why when your throat is dry, you feel pain until you drink lots of water.
Three things smoking does to the body are:
• It weakens the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infections, including gum infections.
• It restricts blood flow to the gums, reducing their ability to heal and repair, especially when they bleed.
• It hides the signs of gum disease, making it harder to detect and treat in its early stages.
Hence, smoking and tobacco use can significantly harm your gum health. So, consider quitting this habit.
Caring for your gums is essential if you want to promote oral health. By following these essential steps, you can improve your gum health and reduce the risk of gum disease, whether mild or severe. Remember, good quality of life starts with healthy gums.