Oral care is an integral part of your daily routine. Brushing and flossing help to keep your teeth healthy and clean, reducing your risk of issues such as stains and cavities.
But oral care is about more than just your teeth. Taking care of your gums is vital too. Dr. Hansen of Las Vegas is here to help with tips for maintaining healthy gums at home.
The Importance of Healthy Gums
Healthy gums are an essential part of your wellbeing. Improper care can lead to gum disease. While the earliest stage is reversible, gum disease can progress into periodontitis, which can cause gum recession, loose teeth, and even tooth loss!
If that isn’t scary enough, bacteria in your mouth that get trapped below your gum line can enter your bloodstream. From there, they travel throughout your body and trigger inflammation, increasing your risk of developing serious health problems like heart disease and diabetes.
While it’s not yet known if periodontitis directly leads to more severe health issues, there is a strong correlation between them. The more advanced the condition is, the greater your risk of developing serious health complications.
At-Home Tips for Healthy Gums
So, what can you do at home to maintain healthy gums? Dr. Hansen, your Las Vegas orthodontist, weighs in:
Brush Twice a Day
Brushing twice a day isn’t just important for your teeth; it’s also necessary for healthy gums. The habit helps to eliminate plaque, which can otherwise irritate sensitive gum tissue and cause inflammation. Change your toothbrush every two to three months for the best results.
Flossing removes food particles, bacteria, and plaque from between your teeth — areas your toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Be sure to floss at least once a day.
Rinse with Mouthwash
Most over the counter mouthwashes contain ingredients that fight bacteria, plaque, and tartar. This helps to reduce the risk of developing the earliest stage of gum disease (known as gingivitis). Rinsing also helps to remove food particles and other debris. There are several options on the market — pick up one with the ADA seal.
Smoking isn’t just bad for your lungs; it’s also bad for your gum health. The habit:
- Weakens your immune system, which makes it harder for your body to fight off infections — including those caused by bacteria in the mouth.
- Significantly increases your risk of developing gum disease.
- Makes it harder for your gums to heal after the onset of gum disease.
Saying no to smoking will help you protect your gum health.
Schedule Routine Dental Visits
This one isn’t technically at-home care for healthy gums, but it’s an essential tip nonetheless:
Schedule regular dental cleanings and exams every six months. Professional cleanings help to remove buildup from your teeth, a process that protects your gums. The process also involves exams to detect early warning signs of gum disease, which empowers you to take the necessary steps to stop it in its tracks.
Take Care of Your Whole Mouth
Oral care isn’t just about healthy teeth; it’s also about healthy gums. With these at-home tips from your orthodontist in Las Vegas, you now know what it takes to keep your whole mouth healthy and prevent the onset of serious health issues.