For many people, brushing and flossing are all about removing plaque, food particles, and bacteria from their pearly whites. Though a big part of these important oral health steps revolves around keeping your teeth looking their best, it’s also important to focus on your gums. Read on to learn what exactly it is that gums do, how they can become damaged, and how to take care of yours.
What Do Gums Do?
Though your gums may not look like much, they play an important role in helping you maintain good oral and overall health. Your gums are made up of soft skin that covers the bones of your mouth and teeth. They form a tight seal around the teeth to help them stay in place. This also prevents harmful oral bacteria from getting in and damaging your smile.
How Gums Can Be Damaged
Gum disease is an infection of the gums that is often caused by improper oral hygiene. Though you may think this infection would only affect your mouth, it has also been linked to heart disease, strokes, and several other health issues. This is because the harmful bacteria that cause gum disease can gain access to vital organs through your bloodstream. This allows the bacteria to wreak havoc on your mouth as well as other parts of your body.
How to Care for Your Gums
Fortunately, gum disease is fairly easy to prevent. Some ways to take care of your gums and keep infections from developing include:
- Brush your teeth – Twice per day for two minutes, brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Make sure to concentrate on the gum line.
- Floss – At least once per day, preferably before bed, floss your teeth to remove plaque and food particles.
- Replace your toothbrush – Every three to four months, replace your toothbrush to ensure that the bristles remain effective at removing plaque. You should also replace your toothbrush if you were recently sick.
- Brush or scrape – Clean your tongue with either a toothbrush or a tongue scraper to remove bacteria.
- Rinse with mouthwash – This allows you to access places that can’t be reached while flossing and brushing to get rid of leftover bacteria.
- Eat a balanced diet – Lean meats, fish, low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, and veggies all provide your teeth and gums with the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
- Quit harmful dental habits – If you smoke or drink excessively, cut out these bad habits to prevent oral health issues.
Along with the above suggestions, be sure to visit your dentist twice per year for checkups and cleanings. This will allow you to maintain good gum health and keep your smile looking lovely!
About the Practice
Distinctive Smiles of Dublin offers patients a range of exceptional oral health services from the comfort of their inviting dental office. If you struggle with keeping your gums healthy, they can thoroughly clean your smile and give you advice on how to keep it looking its best. For more information on gum health or to set up an appointment with Distinctive Smiles of Dublin, call their office at (614) 792-1800 or visit their website today.