How to keep your gums healthy

How to keep your gums healthy

Follow these five tips for healthy gums.

When most people think of good oral hygiene, the first thing that comes to mind is a healthy smile full of bright, white teeth. However, this overlooks the crucial role that good gum health plays in oral hygiene. After all, healthy teeth start with healthy gums.

Read the following five tips, and learn more about how to keep your gums healthy.

1. Brush your teeth thoroughly, twice a day

Gum disease begins when plaque builds up under and along the gum line. The most effective way of combating the build-up of plaque, which can lead to conditions such as gingivitis, is a regular and effective brushing routine.

Use fluoride toothpaste and brush twice a day, once in the morning and again before going to bed. Use a soft-bristled brush angled at 45 degrees away from the gums, and brush each tooth about 20-30 times using short, gentle downstrokes. Don’t brush too hard and don’t simply rub the brush back and forth over the teeth in a scrubbing motion as this can damage the gums.

2. Use dental floss

Flossing can promote good gum health, as it removes both plaque and food particles that are stuck in your teeth. As well as defending against gum disease, flossing can have the added benefit of improving breath odour.

Be sure to floss gently — a common mistake is to press the floss too hard into the gums. Start by sliding the floss between two teeth and then work it gently up to the base of the tooth. Work the floss softly under the gum line and repeat to remove stubborn food particles.

3. Use mouthwash

Dentists agree that mouthwash can help to keep your gums healthy, by reducing the speed at which tartar builds up, flushing food particles from the mouth, and reducing the amount of plaque on the teeth.

However, the key thing to remember is that mouthwash is a supplementary (and not a replacement) measure — it is not as effective as either brushing or flossing as the first line of defence against gum disease. In order words, use mouthwash only after you’ve brushed and flossed your teeth.

4. Pay attention to gum health lifestyle factors

The foods and drinks we consume also have an impact on gum health, as certain foods are greater contributors to the development of plaque than others. Fizzy drinks, alcohol, and carbohydrate-rich foods are key contributors, as the bacteria that live in your mouth thrive on these sugars and starches.

Smoking is also a direct cause of gum disease. This is because smoking weakens the immune systems, making gums more susceptible to the development of various diseases.

5. Get regular dental check-ups

Regular dental check-ups are the most effective way to stay on top of your gum health in the long term. As a trained professional, your dentist will be able to detect any potential issues with your gums before they develop into more serious (and potentially very expensive) problems.

A professional cleaning in the dentist chair is also an effective way to remove tartar. Tartar is plaque that has been left untreated and which has hardened to form a calcific layer on the tooth.

How can we help?

Somerset Dental is a practice built on the skills, knowledge and expertise of its professionals. They say prevention is better than a cure, and at Somerset Dental Care, we recommend you book a check-up and have your teeth cleaned every six months. Combined with an x-ray every two years, check-ups ensure optimal dental health so that invasive and expensive treatments can be avoided. For more information about our preventative dental treatments, please read more here.

Somerset Dental provides world-class dental care in a comfortable environment, ensuring that our patients always have a relaxed and productive dental experience with each visit. We carefully adhere to the strictest levels of best practice sterilisation and infection prevention in order to provide a safe and healthy practice. To book an appointment and meet the team, please get in touch here.

In addition to its preventative oral care treatments, Somerset Dental also offers a comprehensive range of restorative, cosmetic and children’s dentistry services. To view the full range of dental treatments on offer, please read more here.

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