Keeping Your Gums Healthy
Taking care of your gums now is important to guard against future problems. Healthy gums should be slightly firm and a pinkish color. They should also hug your teeth tightly and be free from pain.
Bleeding, swelling and changes in the color are signs of potential gum disease. If you notice changes, it is best to start with a checkup at our office. You can also use these oral hygiene practices to keep them healthy.
Floss Every Day
Your teeth and gums have areas that normal toothbrush bristles do not reach. For instance, your gums have a slight space between them and the teeth that traps plaque. Flossing helps to make sure these areas are clean.
You can experiment with different types of floss to find one that feels comfortable. Some people like tape floss that has a smooth glide. Others prefer to use a floss pick that is easier to handle. Water flossers are another option that you can explore.
The main idea is to clean the area between your gums and teeth at least once a day. You can do it more if you’d like, but be sure to also use the appropriate technique.
Brush After Meals
The American Dental Association currently recommends brushing your teeth twice a day. Morning and night are the best times to brush your teeth, but you can also add a third time after lunch.
Make sure to use a gentle amount of pressure as you brush, with short circular motions on your teeth. You should also make sure that you are brushing near the gum line on the front and back of each tooth.
Use a Soft Toothbrush
Brushing too hard, or using the wrong toothbrush, can damage your gums. These soft tissues of your mouth can be scratched by an improper brushing technique. They can also recede over time if you aggressively brush.
To prevent hurting your them, use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Most toothbrushes are labeled with how hard or soft the bristles are. Keep in mind that the bristles do get harder and wear out over time.
You should change your toothbrush out every three to four months. You can do this sooner if you notice that the bristles look frayed or feel rough.
Ask Us About Mouthwash
There are two kinds of mouthwashes that are available. Some are merely cosmetic and provide benefits such as giving you minty fresh breath. The other type is therapeutic. These contain ingredients that actively fight bacteria and plaque buildup that lead to gum disease.
During your visit, let us know what kind of mouthwash you use. While you may be fine using a cosmetic version, we can also recommend therapeutic types that help keep gums healthier. If we prescribe a special mouthwash make sure to use it exactly as we outlined in your treatment plan.
Get Regular Cleanings
Taking care of your gums is a team effort. While you can do your part, it is nearly impossible to reach around and underneath the gum line safely with normal brushes and floss. Our dental cleanings are designed to remove plaque from these areas.
We can also do deeper cleanings that help to reduce pockets that develop around your gums that contribute to disease.
You may need to make a few changes to your current oral hygiene routine, but the effort is worth it.