September is National Gum Care Month
When you think about your oral health, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Maybe a perfectly straight, pearly white, and cavity-free smile? But what about your gums? A rather shocking 64 million adults (47%) in the U.S have gum disease, and don’t even know since it’s usually pain-free!
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It is caused by plaque growing below the gum line and the symptoms are red, swollen and sensitive gums that bleed easily (take a look at your tooth brush for blood.)
Fortunately, there are simple preventative habits you can build for yourself and your family to keep healthy gums.
Simple Gum Care Tips
- Brush twice a day. You’ve probably heard this dental tip like a broken record, but that is simply because it is true. A soft-bristled toothbrush will help remove the food and plaque that gets trapped on and in between your teeth and gums.
- Floss regularly. Floss finds its way to those hard to reach crevices that your tooth brush can’t quite reach. Floss like a boss!
- Floss with Water. Water flossing gets a little deeper into the pocket of the gum than string flossing and can push out the remaining food debris and plaque. Plus, it’s easier to use than string flossing and a little less manual labor.
- Use mouthwash. Not only does mouthwash freshen your breath, it limits tooth decay and plaque.
- Eat a nutritious diet. Food is often the culprit. Foods high in carbohydrates, sugars and starches play a large role in producing plaque acids that attack the tooth enamel. The best food groups for your teeth and gum health are whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and low-fat and fat free dairy foods.
- Make friends with your dentist. Visiting your dentist every six months for cleaning and check-ups is highly recommended. Your dentist can easily assess your teeth and gum health.
There is not one magic formula to maintaining healthy gums, but there are practical steps that contribute to your overall oral health. We hope these gum care tips help you and your family stay happy and healthy!