To have a beautiful and healthy smile, it’s essential to understand the importance of gum health. The gums play a vital role in keeping the teeth in place, and perfecting gum health is a crucial step in maintaining overall oral health. That’s why we’ve compiled six proven strategies to help you improve your gum health, so your smile stays healthy and vibrant for years. We’ve covered you, from proper brushing and flossing to eating a nutritious diet. Please keep reading to discover the best ways to care for your gums and keep them in shape.
Strategy 1: Brush Your Teeth Properly
Brushing your teeth is the basis of good oral health. Many people, however, are unaware that how you brush your teeth is just as crucial as how frequently you brush. Here are several brushing techniques to consider:
- Brush your teeth’ fronts, backs, and tops in small circular motions while holding your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums.
- Brush your tongue regularly to eradicate bacteria that might cause bad breath or gum disease.
- Spend two minutes each time you brush your teeth twice a day.
For bettering gum health, fluoride toothpaste is essential. Fluoride helps prevent gum disease by fortifying tooth enamel, making it more decay resistant. Look for toothpaste with the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Acceptance, which signifies that it has undergone safety and efficacy testing and includes fluoride.
You should change your toothbrush every few months or sooner if the bristles fray. Replace your toothbrush frequently since worn-out bristles can harm your gums and are less effective at cleaning your teeth.
Strategy 2: Floss Daily
Flossing is another crucial aspect of good oral hygiene that is often overlooked. Daily flossing is necessary to eliminate plaque and food scraps that toothbrushes can’t access, like the spaces between teeth and the gum line. Here’s how to floss correctly:
- Use about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around your middle finger
- Holding the floss firmly between your thumb and forefinger, gently slide it between your teeth.
- Curve the floss around each tooth, making a C shape, and use a gentle back-and-forth motion to remove plaque and debris.
- Repeat for each tooth and use a fresh section of floss for each area.
It is advised to floss at least once daily, ideally just before sleep. Flossing may feel difficult initially, but repetition makes it easier and less painful.
Maintaining healthy gums and lowering the risk of gum disease require flossing. Try floss picks or interdental brushes if you experience difficulties with conventional floss. The ideal flossing technique for you can be discussed with your dentist.
Strategy 3: Use Mouthwash
Using mouthwash can be a great addition to your oral health routine, particularly for improving gum health. Here are some benefits of using mouthwash:
- Kills bacteria: Mouthwash can help kill bacteria that can cause bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.
- Freshens breath: Mouthwash can freshen breath by killing odor-causing bacteria.
- Reduces plaque: Some mouthwashes contain ingredients that help prevent plaque buildup, which can lead to gum disease.
- Promotes healing: Mouthwash can promote gum tissue healing, particularly after dental procedures.
When choosing a mouthwash, look for one specifically designed for gum health and has the ADA Seal of Acceptance. It means it has been tested for safety and effectiveness. Avoid mouthwashes that include alcohol, as they can dry out the mouth and make conditions more conducive for bacterial growth.
Proper usage of mouthwash involves rinsing it for 30 seconds after brushing and flossing. Avoid swallowing the mouthwash and be sure to swish it about your mouth to get it on all of your gums and teeth.
Strategy 4: Eat a Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet is important not just for overall health but also for maintaining healthy gums. Here’s how diet can affect gum health:
- Vitamin and nutrient deficiencies can make it more difficult for the body to fight off diseases like gum disease and weaken the immune system.
- A diet rich in refined carbohydrates and sugar can encourage the development of the dangerous bacteria that cause gum disease.
- An anti-inflammatory diet rich in fiber and antioxidants help maintain healthy gums.
Maintaining healthy gums requires a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources, and healthy fats, like Leafy greens, Citrus fruits, Nuts and seeds, and fatty fish.
Contrarily, some foods should be avoided or consumed in moderation for healthy gums. These include sweet and sticky foods, which can adhere to teeth and feed dangerous germs, and those heavy in saturated and trans fats, which encourage inflammation.
Strategy 5: Quit Smoking
Smoking is one of the most harmful oral and overall health habits. Smoking can substantially negatively influence gum health, increasing the chance of developing gum disease and other oral health issues. Here’s how smoking affects gum health:
- Smoking lowers the immune system, making it more difficult for the body to fight gum disease.
- Smoking lowers the blood supply to the gums, causing them to loosen from the teeth and increasing the chance of tooth loss.
- Smoking affects the efficiency of gum disease medications, making it more difficult to control the condition.
Quitting smoking has numerous health benefits, including improved gum health. When you stop smoking, your immune system can heal, allowing your body to fight illnesses more effectively. The risk of tooth loss and gum disease decreases, and treatment choices improve.
Strategy 6: Visit a Dentist
Visiting your dentist is one of the essential components of maintaining gum health. Regular dental checkups can help detect early signs of gum disease and provide preventative treatments that reduce the risk of gum disease. Here are some ways that regular dental visits can improve gum health:
- Provide professional cleanings: Even with proper brushing and flossing, plaque and tartar can still accumulate on teeth. Professional cleaning allows for the thorough removal of these substances before they do damage to gum health.
- Detect gum disease early: Early detection of gum disease can help prevent more severe problems down the road.
- Provide preventative therapies: Several preventative treatments, such as fluoride or sealant application, can greatly reduce the chance of getting gum disease.
- Address other oral health issues: Regular dental checkups can identify other issues that may influence gum health, such as cavities or tooth misalignment.
The number of dental checkups advised varies according to an individual’s oral health. Most people should see their dentist at least every six months for cleanings and exams. On the other hand, those with a history of gum disease, a family history of dental difficulties, or other oral health concerns may need to visit the dentist more frequently.
Finally, healthy gums are vital for oral health and can help to prevent common problems like gum disease and tooth loss. Brushing and flossing correctly, adopting healthy eating habits, quitting smoking, and visiting your dentist regularly, are all proven practices that help keep your gums in good shape. Making these tips a part of your everyday practice will help you avoid gum disease and enhance your dental health. Always remember that a beautiful smile begins with healthy gums!