Sustaining healthy gums is easy with these simple at-home habits.
While millions of Americans are suffering from some degree of gum disease, the good news is that you have the tools and habits to prevent this condition from occurring in the first place. In fact, most of these helpful tools can be found in your very own home. No matter whether you’re at an increased risk for gum disease or not, our Madison, TN, general dentists, Drs. Mark and Andrew Thomasson, want you to practice these habits to support your gum health:
Brush Twice a Day
It’s important that you brush your teeth at least twice a day for a minimum of two minutes each time. Make sure to set a timer before brushing so you know that you are brushing long enough. Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle toward the gum line when brushing your teeth, and make sure to always use fluoride toothpaste.
Even though brushing can certainly remove plaque and food from the gum line, you will still need to floss in order to remove plaque from between teeth. Flossing will clean areas of your smile that brushing just can’t reach. If flossing causes you trouble and you find the whole process a bit intimidating, there are a ton of other options, from disposable floss picks to oral irrigators, that can make flossing every day easier.
Use a Special Mouthwash
While using mouthwash should never take the place of brushing and flossing, it’s a good idea to use an oral rinse throughout the day, especially after snacking or lunch (if you don’t have access to a toothbrush). If you are prone to gum disease, talk with your Madison, TN, family dentist about special mouthwashes and rinses that you can find either over the counter or from our office to reduce tartar buildup and gum inflammation.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Your gums, just like the rest of your body, requires adequate nutrients to stay healthy. Refined carbs (e.g. white pasta and bread; potato chips) and sugar-laden foods/drinks will only increase your risk for inflammation and gum disease. The USDA recommends a daily diet that incorporates each of the five foods groups (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy, and lean protein). Of course, it’s also important that you receive enough vitamin C and B12, as well as omega-3 fatty acids to support good gum health.
If you are still smoking or using tobacco products, then you are putting yourself at great risk for gum disease (along with a host of other serious issues including oral cancer). It’s important to ditch this habit for good if you want to maintain healthy gums.
The dentists at Thomasson Dental in Madison, TN, are here to provide you and your family with routine checkups and cleanings. Along with proper at-home care, visiting your dentist every six months can also reduce your risk for gum disease and cavities. If it’s time for your next cleaning, call (615) 865-1732 to schedule an appointment.