On the quest for good oral health, you know protecting your teeth from cavities is important. But what about your gums? They’re just as important as the teeth that sit inside them — and actually, healthy gums promote good overall wellbeing, too. Left untreated, gum disease has been linked to serious health conditions, like heart disease and diabetes. So how can you improve the shape of your gums and prevent periodontal (gum) disease? Your dentist in Rochester MN has some ideas.
#1: Brush more gently
It may feel like aggressive brushing is necessary for a truly deep clean, but those hard back-and-forth strokes are actually causing your gums to recede, or pull back from where they should be. And when too much of your tooth is exposed, sensitivity and other dental problems are likely to occur as a result. So what can aggressive brushers do to protect their gums from recession? It’s simple: change the tactic. Focus on brushing in gentle, circular motions, using a soft-bristled brush. Your gums will thank you for it.
#2: Don’t forget your tongue
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that your tongue harbors the same bacteria that causes gum disease and tooth decay. So why wouldn’t you clean this area of your mouth, too? Brush your tongue gently, in circular motions after you’ve cleaned the rest of your teeth, for fresher breath and a healthier mouth.
#3: Get the proper angle
To get a better clean, hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle rather than a direct 90-degree angle. Doing so helps you reach more of your gum line — just make sure you’re brushing gently to prevent gum recession. When it comes to your dental hygiene routine, soft, gentle movements are always best.
#4: Top it off with floss
Every good dental hygiene routine requires daily flossing, and this step is one of the most crucial for maintaining healthy gums. Gentle, daily flossing will remove the plaque and bacteria your toothbrush just can’t reach. To get the most thorough clean, wrap about 18 inches of floss around each index finger and gently glide a new section between each tooth and around the gum line. Need more help? The American Dental Association has a handy video on the proper flossing technique.
#5: And come see us every six months!
Last but not least, good gum health requires a visit to your family dentist in Rochester MN every six months. This preventive visit is important for removing the plaque and tartar buildup that cause gum inflammation and periodontal disease. When was your last dental checkup and cleaning? If you haven’t visited us this year, it’s been too long. Contact Zumbro Family Dental to schedule your appointment today!