Take a look at these 5 tips to keep your gums and teeth healthy.
1. Floss Daily
You’ve heard it over and over again, but we cannot stress the importance of flossing enough. Your toothbrush does an excellent job of brushing the surfaces of your teeth, but bits of food and plaque can become stuck between your teeth and contribute to the beginning stages of gum disease. Starting the habit is the hardest part, but you’ll reap the benefits of a healthy mouth if you can find five minutes each day to floss. Try spending a bit less time scrolling through social media in the evenings and you’ll have more than enough time to floss!
2. Stop Smoking
Almost everyone is aware of the connection between smoking and various forms of cancer, but far fewer know that smoking and gum disease are intimately linked as well. Smokers are more likely than non-smokers to produce bacterial plaque, and the smoke produced by cigarette smoke will lead to discoloration and bad breath. Whether or not you struggle with your oral health, quitting smoking is one of the best gifts you can give to your body.
3. Use Fluoride
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is effective at preventing cavities and protecting tooth enamel. You can find fluoride in toothpaste, mouthwash, and other oral hygiene products, but your area may already be adding fluoride to the drinking water. Check to see if officials in your local area are adding fluoride to the water, as you do not need to supplement your fluoride intake if they are.
4. Limit Your Sugar Intake
It’s easy to go overboard with sugar, especially during holiday times. Between sugar cookies, gingerbread houses, and other festive confections, it's hard to stay away from sugar. You shouldn’t eschew every tasty treat that’s brought into the office or dropped off by friends and neighbors, but you should take some extra time to brush and floss if you’ve had a few tasty treats throughout the day. Sugar is particularly good at encouraging bacteria growth, so be sure that you’re brushing at least twice each day if you’re consuming more sugar than normal.
5. Look for the Signs of Gum Disease
Also known as gingivitis, gum disease is a condition in which the gums become severely inflamed due to bacteria, plaque, and poor oral hygiene. Gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a condition in which the gum inflammation spreads to bone structures and other supportive tissues. The signs of gum disease include, but are not limited to:
- Bad breath that does not subside after brushing or using mouthwash
- Red, tender, and swollen gums
- Pain when chewing and swallowing
- Loose teeth and pockets around the gums
- Sensitivity to hot and cold substances
- Receding gums
Learn more about gum disease and periodontics.
North Shore Smile Surgery is here to help you maintain a glowing, radiant smile and pristine oral health.