When thinking about good oral hygiene, do you consider the health of your gums as well as your teeth? You may be surprised to learn that many people remember to brush, but neglect their gums. Since caring for both is an important part of maintaining good oral health, here are 3 simple ways to help keep your gums healthy.
To achieve optimum cleaning, there are some important basics to remember. First, always wash your hands before you start to avoid transferring bacteria from your hands into your mouth. Second, use the right tools. This includes, any American Dental Association (ADA) recommended toothpaste and a soft, round-bristled toothbrush. Harder bristles can damage both your tooth enamel and gums. With these tools in clean hands:
- Always brush at a 45 degree angle along gum line
- Do 2-3 teeth at a time, applying soft pressure in a rolling, back and forth motion until all teeth have been cleaned
- Rinse mouth before gently brushing your tongue from back-to-front to remove odor-causing bacteria
- Do a final rinse to remove any remaining food particles
Flossing is a crucial step in oral hygiene that is often over-looked. Done properly, it removes food, bacteria and plaque that get between teeth and below the gum line, making your next dental check-up less painful and reducing your risk of gum disease. Here’s how to do it well:
- Start with an 18-inch piece of floss
- Wrap around fingers for more control
- Floss each tooth from gum line towards top/bottom of tooth in zigzag motion
- Unwind more floss and move to the next tooth
Maintain dental check-ups
Scheduling regular appointments every six months is necessary to maintain optimum oral health. This is when your dentist does deep cleaning to remove tartar and plaque build-up before checking for early signs of gum disease, cavities, oral cancer and other issues that are significantly easier to treat when caught early on.
Learn more about keeping your gums healthy
Contact your Beverly dentist and schedule an appointment. He or she and their dental team can teach you the latest techniques for brushing and flossing and answer any questions or concerns you have about maintaining healthy teeth and gums.