Keeping Gums Healthy

Close up of woman smiling with healthy gums

Nowadays, being diagnosed with gum disease is a common occurrence. There are also individuals who are affected by gum disease who don’t even know it, since gum disease does not always have obvious symptoms. However, while gum disease is a common dental issue, there are things that can be done to keep your gums healthy and prevent gum disease.


Brush Your Teeth

This one may seem like a given, but brushing your teeth twice a day will help to keep your gums in better shape. You will also want to take special care to ensure you are brushing the correct way. Brushing too hard, for example, can actually deepen your gum pockets and irritate your gums, which may actually lead to infection. Generally speaking, you want to brush your inner upper-front teeth with short, back and forth strokes, and your lower inside teeth with short, upward strokes. If you are not sure if your brushing technique is up to par, ask your dental hygienist to show you the proper technique.


Floss Your Teeth

Another important aspect of keeping your mouth clean is flossing. You should be flossing at least once a day. Again, using the correct flossing technique is almost as important as the flossing itself. To properly floss, you will want to cut off about eighteen inches of floss and wrap it around your thumbs and forefingers. Next, you will want to work the floss between your teeth and slide it up and down, then curve it around the tooth, going below the gum line. Just as with brushing, if you are not sure you are properly flossing, talk to your dental hygienist and they can show you the proper technique.


Decrease Bad Habits

You will also want to decrease bad habits that can harm your mouth. The most popular bad habit that is detrimental to gum health is smoking, although chewing tobacco can also be problematic. Tobacco in any form weakens teeth, damages the surrounding tissues, and can cause oral cancer. In short, tobacco use increases your chances of developing gum disease and other oral issues.


Eat the Right Foods

The foods you eat also play a role in the health of your gums. For example, eating crunchy fruits and vegetables can naturally help clean teeth, stimulate saliva production, and stimulate the gums. Apples, in particular, are great for removing stains due to their crunchy, juicy texture. Other good foods are those that are rich in calcium such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. Cheese can also help clean teeth in addition to being high in calcium. You will also want to avoid sticky, sweet foods or if you must eat them, be sure to rinse your mouth after to keep the sugar from sticking to your teeth and causing damage.


Get Regular Dental Cleanings

The final step to keeping your gums healthy is to visit your dentist for regular dental cleanings. No matter how diligently you brush and floss, professional dental cleanings are still needed to clean the most stubborn of areas. In addition, visiting your dentist regularly means that they can examine your mouth for any possible sign of issues. Ideally, you should visit your dentist at least once every six months.