National Gum Care Month: Tips and Tricks For Healthy Gums
September is National Gum Care Month! This is especially relevant in a country in which 47.2% (or 67 million Americans) suffer gum disease. Gums truly house and protect your teeth. Hence, maintaining healthy gums is essential for overall oral health. Neglecting gum care can lead to gum disease like gingivitis and various dental issues. In this blog post, we will provide you with 8 valuable tips to help you take proper care of your gums not just during National Gum Care Month (September), but year-round!
#1 Brush Gently and Thoroughly
We cannot stress this enough: Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Be gentle while brushing, as aggressive brushing can harm your gums. Use a fluoride toothpaste and brush in a circular motion to remove plaque and food particles effectively. Make sure to brush in the back!
#2 Floss Regularly
Flossing helps remove debris and plaque from areas that your toothbrush can't reach, such as between teeth and along the gumline. Aim to floss each night to prevent the buildup of bacteria. This bacteria can lead to gum disease, so it is essential to be proactive by flossing. Find what type of floss works best for you! There are regular string floss, floss picks, and even water flossing devices like the WaterPik.
#3 Choose a Gum-Friendly Diet
Just like some foods and drinks can be harmful to your teeth, they can also be harmful to gums. Avoid sugar snacks and beverages and those with a lot of artificial sweeteners, dyes, and ingredients in general. Incorporate items rich in vitamins, minerals, and valuable nutrients instead. Studies show that foods like leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can contribute to strong gums.
#4 Stay Hydrated
Like what you eat matters, what you drink also matters. Drinking water helps wash away food particles and bacteria that can lead to gum problems. It also promotes saliva production, which plays a vital role in maintaining oral health. Of course, staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your body overall as well.
#5 Use Mouthwash
An antimicrobial or antiseptic mouthwash can help reduce plaque and bacteria in your mouth as well. This can also be prescribed based on your needs and the level of bacteria in your mouth already. Please ask us or your local dentist about what mouthwash would best fit your needs!
#6 Clean Your Retainers
If you have retainers, you know retainers can create a snug environment in your mouth. This environment can promote the growth of bacteria and fungi. If not cleaned regularly, these microorganisms can accumulate on the retainer's surface and transfer to your gums, potentially leading to gum infections and irritation. Be sure to clean your retainers, following the appropriate instructions. This is a task that can easily be forgotten, but be sure to prioritize it. Cleaning your retainers is just as important as brushing your teeth!
#7 Stress Management
Additionally, High stress levels can weaken the immune system and make you more susceptible to gum problems. Practice stress management techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing to support overall oral health. Stress management can also include using a Google calendar or day-planner to stay organized and carve out time for healthy habits like the ones listed above.
#8 Regular Dental Check-Ups
Finally, schedule regular dental appointments for professional cleanings and check-ups! Your dentist can identify early signs of gum disease and provide personalized advice for maintaining healthy gums. At Plantation Dental, we believe in active prevention as well as early detection to take care of your gums and teeth in a sustainable manner.