6 Ways to Keep Your Gums Healthy

When taking care of your mouth, your gums are an essential part. There is so much more to dental health than just having bright or straight teeth.

Your gums are the foundation of your dental health, so it makes sense that you would want to do what you can to keep your gums healthy as well.

In this guide, we will share with you six ways to keep your gums healthy!Woman looking in mirror at dentist

1. Routine Flossing
One of the easiest ways to take care of your gums is to floss regularly. Studies have shown that even flossing just once per day can significantly reduce plaque buildup and preserve the health of your gums in the long run. Some experts recommend that you floss after every meal or twice a day to be sure to remove food and debris that can become lodged between your teeth and stick in your gums.

At a minimum, we recommend that you floss during your brushing routine once per day. The American Dental Association, however, recommends that you floss twice a day. This is one of the most basic things that you can do to keep your gums healthy.

2. Use Proper Brushing Technique
Proper brushing is another simple step that you can take in an effort to keep your gums healthy. There really is a right and a wrong way to brush. While any brushing is better than none, you should understand proper brushing techniques for the sake of your gums and your teeth.
Try using these tips in your brushing routine.

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or when the bristles are fraying.
  • Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums.
  • Press gently, not too hard, as this can hurt your gums.
  • Move your toothbrush in short, circular strokes.
  • Be sure to get all around your teeth, on the insides and the outsides. You may have to rotate your brush to do so.

These brushing techniques are simple to do; however, it just might require you to adjust some of your habits if you have been using another method to brush.

3. Use Mouthwash
Many of us think that if we are brushing and flossing twice a day that we don’t really need mouthwash. The truth is that mouthwash can do a lot for your gum health. Mouthwash is known to help reduce tartar buildup, as well as help prevent gingivitis.

Using mouthwash can also help remove food debris and particles after a meal, keeping your gums and teeth fresh and clean. With those benefits in mind, you should not replace your brushing and flossing routine with mouthwash, but using it is a good addition to your routine.

We recommend that you choose a mouthwash that is labeled “ADA approved.” A seal or stamp will appear on the bottle, so there is never any question.

4. Regular Dental Cleanings
Brushing your teeth and having a routine at home is necessary, but an important part of dental and gum health is also taking the time to have routine dental cleanings with your provider. Visiting your dentist is about more than just having regular cleanings.

Your dentist is trained to notice issues that you might not notice right away. From recognizing early signs of gum disease to helping remove built-up tartar, these visits are essential.

If you are interested in learning more about regular cleanings or exams, contact our office at 804-206-9448. You can also contact us on our website.

5. Break Bad Habits
Many bad habits can really do a number on your teeth and gums, including smoking, eating lots of sugar, or drinking pop and coffee. Smoking is perhaps one of the worst in terms of the effect it has on your gums.

Smoking actually weakens your immune system, therefore wreaking more havoc in your mouth. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking can make you more susceptible to gum disease. In addition, it can also lead to a higher level of tooth infections or make it harder for your body to fight the infections as well.

All the habits we mentioned previously (smoking, drinking coffee or soda, sugar) can also lead to tooth decay, tartar buildup, and decreased dental and gum health. If you partake in any of these activities, be mindful of your dental routine and consider brushing or using mouthwash afterward as well.

6. Find a Reliable Toothpaste
Finally, you need to find a good, reliable toothpaste that does what it should for your gums and teeth. Many dentists recommend using fluoride toothpaste for the best health of your breath and your teeth and to prevent gingivitis.

If you browse the stores and find yourself overwhelmed with options, that is perfectly OK. If you find a brand or type you really like, stick with it. Find a toothpaste that has what you are looking for, whether you go with whitening, freshening, sensitivity or something else.

The key to choosing toothpaste is to make sure that it is marked with the ADA seal of approval. We do recommend looking for fluoride as well.

Final Words
Keeping your gums healthy is pretty simple if you are willing to take action on your own. You can do most of these things from the comfort of your home. Pay close attention to the tips and always make sure you are using ADA-approved products when it comes to your dental health.

If you suspect that your gum health needs some additional help, it’s not a bad idea to reach out to your dentist. Dentists and hygienists are trained to assist with gum health and help with preventative maintenance as well.

If you would like some additional help or you have questions, you can contact our office at 804-206-9448 or use the contact us feature on our website. We’re happy to help in any way that we can!

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