When you care about your dental health, staying on top of your dental care routine is vital. Healthy gums are important for healthy teeth and a healthy smile, but are often forgotten. Here are 5 steps to healthier gums to keep your whole mouth healthy:
1. Brushing 3 Times a Day
Dentists recommend brushing your teeth 3 times a day to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Brushing is important because it works to clear away food debris, bacteria, and plaque that can lead to cavities and gum disease.
If you need some encouragement with your brushing habits, an electric toothbrush can be a helpful investment. Some newer electric toothbrushes are designed to connect with dental apps to provide tracking and tips to assist you in building better brushing habits.
2. Flossing Daily
Brushing your teeth is important, but the bristles of a toothbrush can’t reach all the surfaces of your teeth, such as between your teeth, that are just as important to keep clean. In fact, studies show that brushing misses up to 40% of the surface area of your teeth! That’s why dentists also recommend flossing daily as one of the most important steps to healthier gums.
There are many types of floss available to suit your needs, such as flavored floss, fluoride floss, floss picks, and gentle floss for those new to flossing or who may have extra tender gums. Your dentist can help you find the best type of floss for your needs.
3. Mouthwash When Needed
Mouthwash can be an excellent addition to your dental care routine that is also great for your gums. One of the leading causes of gum disease is bacteria and the right mouthwash can help to fight bacteria and keep your gums healthy and happy. Different mouthwashes have different active ingredients for different purposes, so ask your dentist about the type of mouthwash that will best benefit your gums.
4. Bi-annual Exams
The signs of gum disease can begin subtly without most people noticing, so regular exams, typically every 6 months, are important so that your dentist can spot any changes in your gum health before they lead to more serious issues. When gum disease is caught early, it is often easily treatable, so early detection is crucial.
5. Regular Professional Cleanings
Another great way to keep your gums healthy is to get regular professional cleanings. Most dentists recommend professional cleanings at least every 6 months for healthy patients, so it’s a good idea to get it done at the same time as your regular exams. When cleanings are put off, plaque can build up and harden into tartar, which can further irritate your gums, leading to inflammation, gum disease, and the need for more costly deep cleanings.
Taking a few simple steps to healthier gums is well worth the extra effort not only to keep your smile healthy, but also to save you time, money, and discomfort in the long run.
Call our Houston Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.