Maintaining your oral health isn’t just about taking care of your teeth. It’s also essential to pay attention to the health of your gums. If you’re not entirely sure what steps you should be taking to maintain gum health, discuss this topic with your dentist and, if necessary, your oral surgeon. They’ll gladly answer any questions you may have, helping you to better understand what you can do to avoid periodontal disease.
The following tips will also help. Keep them in mind, and you’ll be much more likely to keep your gums in the best possible shape throughout life.
Stay on Top of Flossing
Most people know that brushing your teeth every day is important, as keeping your mouth free of bacteria helps to prevent tooth decay. However, many wonder whether flossing is truly necessary. Isn’t brushing enough to keep your teeth and gums clean?
What many people don’t realize is that a toothbrush can’t clean certain oral surfaces. For instance, bacteria can become trapped between the teeth, which is difficult to reach with a brush. That’s why flossing is just as crucial as brushing. It helps you to remove as much bacteria as you can from your mouth. If you don’t floss, that bacteria can accumulate on your gums, resulting in disease (and potential loss of teeth if you don’t get proper treatment).
Odds are good you also know it’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day. But do you know how drinking water supports your oral health, not just your general wellness?
It’s virtually impossible to fully remove all the bacteria on your gums and teeth solely by brushing and flossing. Drinking water frequently helps to remove what you missed by rinsing it out of your mouth. If you’re the type of person who forgets to drink water throughout the day, invest in a small refillable bottle that you can carry with you wherever you go. Having it on hand will serve as a reminder to stay on top of hydration.
You should also ask your dentist or oral surgeon to recommend a strong therapeutic mouthwash. Although drinking water regularly will help to rinse bacteria out of your mouth, rinsing with mouthwash as well is key to optimizing your results.
Don’t Neglect Dentist Appointments
Life can get busy from time to time, so it’s not uncommon for patients to postpone dentist appointments until they have fewer tasks on their plate.
Don’t make this mistake. Seeing your dentist at least once every six months is essential. Quite simply, even if you brush and floss regularly, stay hydrated during the day, and rinse with mouthwash, you still can’t clean your teeth to the same degree that a dentist can. They use special tools and techniques to remove bacteria you can’t remove on your own. Yes, visiting the dentist can be moderately time-consuming, but it’s much less time-consuming than undergoing treatment for gum disease or similar oral health problems.
Additionally, you may have an oral health condition you aren’t aware of. It could be a condition necessitating oral surgery. If you visit your dentist frequently, they’ll have more opportunities to identify these conditions (and refer you to a qualified oral surgeon) before you experience significant health problems. You don’t want to lose a tooth because you felt you were too busy to schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Avoid Tobacco Products
While using any sort of tobacco product is bad for your health in general, it’s particularly damaging to your oral health. If you do smoke or use tobacco products, make every effort to quit. The oral health benefits will be more than worth the effort.
Limit Sugar Consumption
Consuming too much sugar harms your oral health. There’s a reason dentists tell patients to limit their sugar intake from the time they are children. When you consume sugar, some can get left behind on your teeth and gums, attracting bacteria as a result.
Obviously, this means you should try to avoid eating much candy, especially any sticky candies that are likely to get stuck to your teeth. Don’t forget: sugar can hide in many beverages, even supposedly “nutritious” drinks, which can have a lot of added sugar. You likely know that soda is bad for your teeth, but you might not realize just how much sugar fruit juice or sweetened teas contain. Always check the nutrition label of any beverage you’re considering drinking.
Remember to consult with your dentist and oral surgeon regularly as well. These tips will certainly help you prevent gum disease, but they do not replace coordinating with professionals. Keeping your gums healthy is much easier when it’s a team effort.