Healthy gums are vital to healthy teeth. Your gums are the very foundation where your teeth sit all day long. Without a healthy foundation, your teeth are prone to all sorts of issues and diseases.
- Puffy, swollen, red or tender gums
- Bleeding gums when you brush your teeth or floss
- Teeth that appear to be longer because your gums have started to recede
- Gums that have pulled away from your teeth, which has created an empty ‘pocket’ of space
- Changes in the how your teeth fit when you bite down
- Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
The good news is there are plenty of ways to avoid gum disease. All you need to do is follow our tips for healthy gums.
1. Revise Your Brushing Action
Keep in mind that you don’t have to brush too hard to clean your teeth and gums properly. Force does not necessarily remove plaque and tartar build-up. Instead, you should hold your toothbrush with a grip that is similar to the way you hold a pen or pencil; at a 45 degree angle against your gums. Once you’ve got that down pat, move the brush gently, in a circular motion. Try to avoid back and forth movements.
2. Change Your Tooth Brush
Do you change your toothbrush often enough? Really, you should break out a new tooth brush or electric toothbrush head at least once every three months. If you’re not changing your brushing implement that often, get into the habit. Otherwise, you’re simply moving bacteria around from place to place. Plus, the bristles on your brush will quickly become too worn to do any real good.
3. Brush for Long Enough
In an ideal world, we should all brush our teeth for a minimum of two minutes. This is the amount of time required to remove all the plaque, bacteria and tartar build up in your mouth. So, if you’re more prone to a 30 second scrub and spit, you might need to spend a smidgen longer in the bathroom. We suggest buying yourself an egg timer, just for the bathroom cabinet.
4. Make Sure You Floss
While flossing often seems like a chore, it performs miracles when it comes to keeping your gums healthy. It removes food debris and plaque that would otherwise stay trapped between your teeth and gums. Plaque and tartar build-up leads to the swelling of your gums. So, try to floss at least once a day.
5. Use Mouthwash (when advised and not long term)
Using a good mouthwash goes hand in hand with flossing. Not only will the use of a good mouthwash keep your breath minty fresh, it will also keep harmful bacteria at bay, and, in the process, keep your gums as healthy as can be.
6. Don’t Forget About Your Tongue
If you don’t already clean your tongue, then it’s definitely time to start. Try to get into the habit of using a tongue scraper, or a soft toothbrush, to clean your tongue at least once a day. Bacteria quickly and easily builds up on your tongue, without you even realising it. It is this bacterium that can quickly cause bad breath and gum disease if left untreated.
7. Only Use Your Teeth For Eating
Your teeth were made for chewing. Nothing more. Nothing less. So, at all costs, avoid using your teeth to open bottles, bags and anything else. Don’t use them like an extra Swiss army knife tool. This can potentially damage your teeth, causing chips and fractures which can become food traps. This accumulated food debris may eventually even lead to different levels of gum disease.
8. Change Your Diet
There are a number of ways to help keep your gums healthy, all of which are linked to your diet. For instance:
- Cut back on sugar: surgery foods, when combined with bacteria, quickly transform into plaque and tartar. Plaque then leads to bleeding gums and cavities. If you can, avoid sugar and fizzy soft drinks. They won’t do your gums any favours.
- Opt for teeth-cleaning foods: where possible, choose raw fruits and vegetables that are crisp and crunchy. These will clean your teeth while you’re eating, reducing plaque build up and keeping your gums healthy. Foods like apples and carrots are always a great choice.
- Drink lots of water: waters help to keep your digestive system healthy, hydrates your skin, and keeps your teeth and gums healthy. The more water you drink, the more bacteria you flush off your teeth. This reduces the risk of gum disease considerably.
9. Don’t Crunch
If you’re eating really hard foods, like boiled lollies or ice, then make sure you chew your foods, rather than crunching down hard. Crunching on hard foods weakens your teeth, which, in turn, weakens your gums. Instead, suck on really hard foods to soften them up first.
So there you have it, if your gums have been somewhat neglected recently, it’s never too late to start giving them a little extra TLC. Better yet, regular dentist appointments help keep your gums healthy for life, so why not book your appointment with the dhealth Dentistry team online today.