Even if you’re cavity-free that doesn’t mean you’re immune to gum disease. Since it’s usually painless, most people have no idea that anything is wrong with their gums.Gum disease is preventable.Here are a few ways you can help keep your gums healthy.
- Floss:Floss at least once a day. This helps remove the plaque and food that’s beyond your toothbrush’s reach. It doesn’t matter when you floss. Do it at night, do it in the morning, or do it after lunch.
- Get regular dental cleanings:Your dentist can detect early gum disease symptoms if you see them on a regular basis. That way symptoms can be treated before they become more serious. A professional cleaning is the only way to remove tartar. It can also get rid of any plaque you missed when brushing or flossing. If you have gingivitis, brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings can help reverse
- Quit smoking:Smoking is strongly associated with the onset of gum disease. Since smoking weakens your immune system, it also makes it harder to fight off a gum infection. Plus, smoking makes it more difficult for your gums to heal once they’ve been damaged.
- Brush twice a day:Brush your teeth after every meal. This helps remove the food and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums. Scrub your tongue too, since it can harbor bacteria. Your toothbrush should have soft bristles and fit in your mouth comfortably.Consider a battery-powered or electric toothbrush. These can help reduce gingivitis and plaque more than manual brushing. Swap toothbrushes or toothbrush heads every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles start to fray.
- Use fluoride toothpaste:As for toothpaste, store shelves are lined with brands that claim to reduce gingivitis, freshen breath, and whiten teeth. How do you know which one is best for healthy gums? Make sure to choose toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- Use a therapeutic mouthwash:Can help reduce plaque, prevent or reduce gingivitis, reduce the speed that tarter develops, or a combination of these benefits, rinse helps remove food particles and debris from your mouth, though it’s not a substitute for flossing or brushing.