As part of your approach to maintaining healthier smiles in 2017, you need to make sure you pay attention to your gums. Poor gum health can lead to serious discomfort, as well as a risk of tooth loss. Fortunately, there are a number of tips for improving gum health in 2017.
Tips for Improving Gum Health
- Brush Your Teeth: Brushing your teeth helps remove plaque, which would otherwise eventually harden in tartar and irritate the gums, leading to gingivitis and eventually, the onset of gum disease. You should brush your teeth twice a day, once in the morning and again before going to bed that night. Each session should last two minutes to ensure you remove as much plaque as possible.
- Floss Each Day: Flossing reaches between the teeth, removing food particles and bacteria that the toothbrush may miss. You should floss each night before going to bed. Flossing is even more vital than brushing for protecting smiles from periodontal disease.
- Avoid Smoking: Smoking can worsen gum health, increasing the risk of the late stage of gum disease known as periodontitis. This stage can lead to tooth loss as the connective tissues between the teeth and gum are destroyed. Smoking also leads to teeth stains, bad breath, and a higher risk of various forms of cancer.
- Have Your Teeth Cleaned: You should see your dentist every six months for a thorough dental cleaning. During this visit, the doctor or hygienist completely removes plaque from the surface of the teeth, protecting your smile. Remember, only a cleaning can remove hardened plaque (also known as tartar) from the teeth.
- Know Possible Warning Signs: You should see your dentist if you notice changes to your gums, such as redness, soreness, or bleeding.