5 Steps to Avoid Gum Disease
While common among many, gum disease is avoidable through proper at-home oral hygiene habits. Our Riverdale dental team at The Dental Group hopes these steps will help you to maintain good gingival health, and create habits for a long-lasting smile.
Brush or Rinse After Meals
Food debris left in teeth and under the gum line can lead to a higher concentration of bacteria, which promotes development of dental caries and soft tissue damage. Brushing after meals prevents the growth of bad bacteria, and supports the long term health of your gums, as well as your teeth.
The most common suggestion in maintaining oral health, flossing is an essential step in removing food and decay-causing bacteria from the spaces between your teeth. Flossing should be performed by taking an 18 inch piece of floss and holding an inch long portion taught between your fingers. With this portion, curve the floss around the base of each tooth, using a back and forth motion to gently remove plaque from the sides of the tooth.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Diets that contain excessive sugar, or are highly acidic, can foster the growth of oral bacteria and weaken the healthy soft tissues. Highly fibrous foods, on the other hand, require significant chewing, and encourage the production of saliva, which is a natural deterrent to bacteria build-up. Eating other nutritious foods that are dense or leafy, can create a scrubbing effect that cleans the surfaces of the fronts of your teeth. For some foods, such as fruit, naturally occurring sugar content should also be considered, and can be kept in check with regular brushing after meals.
Limit Unhealthy Habits
While proper at-home oral hygiene habits can lead to healthier teeth and gums, certain other habits can endanger your gingival health. Smoking and excessive drinking lead to compromised dental wellness and staining. Smoking weakens the body’s immune system, making smokers more likely to experience gum infections regardless of oral hygiene habits. Additionally, alcohol is naturally acidic due to the fermentation process, and dries out the mouth, making bacteria growth more likely. Limiting or entirely eliminating alcohol consumption and tobacco use can greatly reduce your chances of developing gum disease.
Ensure the Health of Your Gums
Along with at-home care, routine cleanings and teeth polishing from professionals are essential in avoiding gum disease. Contact The Dental Group, where we help the families of Riverdale, Mt. Rainier, New Carrollton, Bladensburg, and the surrounding communities to prevent gum disease, and create long-lasting smiles.