Everyone wants a healthy looking bright white smile and beautiful teeth. However, there is so much more to good oral health than just looking good. Properly maintaining your mouth includes brushing and flossing but it also means you need healthy gums to support those teeth. Even with proper maintenance, gum disease can sneak up on you. Gum disease affects you gum health with swelling, bleeding, and later, pain. You may not even notice it right away until that pain sets in. This type of gum disease is called gingivitis and is caused by plaque deposits that stick to your teeth and is full of bacteria. When left too long, advanced gum disease can takeover in the form of periodontitis which can damage tooth and bone.
This article is dedicated to helping you keep your oral health in top condition by paying more attention to achieving healthy gums.
1. Proper Brushing
Ask any dentist and they will tell you that first and foremost, your daily oral health routine is the best way to keep plaque at a bay. The recommendation is to brush two to three times daily using fluoride based toothpaste. Some choose more natural ways to clean their teeth such as baking soda. However, there is no substitute for the protection of fluoride. Thus, if you choose to use something like baking soda for its whitening and cleaning properties it is better to find toothpaste that includes backing soda, or adding baking soda to your routine alongside regular toothpaste. Brushing will help loosen plaque and kill bacteria.
Adding some ginger to your diet can do wonders for your oral health. Ginger is a known anti-inflammatory and can help fight periodontal disease. It also promotes healthy gums by strengthening tissues. You can use ginger in your food as a spice, or some people even like to chew on it.
According to the American Dental Association, it is recommended for people to floss at least once a day. A toothbrush can only reach outer surface areas and can easily miss in between your teeth. The spaces between your teeth can harbor plaque and is an ideal hiding place for bacteria to thrive. Neglecting this area can lead to cavities and can compromise your healthy gums leading to more sever issues without even knowing right away. There is no right time to floss as long as you incorporate it into your routine once a day.
4. Do Not Smoke
Smoking and using other tobacco and nicotine products can weaken your immune system and wreaks havoc on your healthy gums with all the chemicals introduced into your mouth. This makes it difficult for you to fight off any infections or for your mouth to repair any damage in general. Smoking is known to increase the chances of gum disease. If nothing else, quitting smoking is a healthy choice for your overall well-being.
5. Crunchy Foods
Eating crunchy foods such as apples or carrot sticks can help you maintain healthy gums. The chewing helps increase salivation which is a natural way your own mouth battles bacteria. It also helps loosen plaque. If you choose carrots as your crunchy food, you also enjoy the benefits of getting some added vitamin A which is necessary for strong tooth enamel.
Basil has many antibacterial properties and is an easy way for you to promote healthy gums. The essential oils, linalool, and natural acids contained within the leaves of basil help to inhibit bacteria growth. Fewer bacteria in your mouth mean less infection and less gum disease. Add basil to your hot meals so that the oils are drawn into your food. You can also chew fresh leaves for a more direct effect.
7. Oral Rinse
Using an oral rinse in your dental regimen is a great addition that can help protect your teeth and keep your healthy gums in top condition. Using a fluoride rinse after brushing helps wash away loosened plaque and bacteria. It also is known to reduce plaque, combat gingivitis, slow the development of tartar, and adds an extra protective barrier against bacteria.
Dairy products including cheese, milk, and yogurt are full of bone strengthening calcium. They also contain a protein called casein that has been found to neutralize and lower the acid level in your mouth.
9. Green Veggies
Green vegetables, especially the leafy variety, are great for your health in general. They are very fibrous and then require you to do some serious chewing to break them down as you eat. Similarly to crunchy foods, this extra effort pays off in salivation production to help naturally counteract bacteria and wash away plaque that gets loosened in the process.
10. Dental Visits
You can do everything in your routine impeccably but nothing compares to a regular cleaning and check-up with a dental professional. Your dentist has access to tools you do not and can identify issues before they become major problems. Prevention is the best way to avoid pain and damage in the future. There are also non-dental related issues that he can identify through a dental examination such as osteoporosis, vitamin and iron deficiencies, and diabetes. A dentist can also help teach you how to properly care for your mouth or make suggestions that will benefit you.
Healthy gums are necessary for you to maintain that healthy, strong, white smile. By using oral care products regularly and properly and adjusting your diet, you can enjoy long-term oral health. Be sure to visit your dentist every six months for regular checkups and an extra cleaning that leaves your mouth feeling cleaner than ever. You will also have peace of mind that your oral health is in order.
Do you have any other tips and suggestions for others that are looking to improve their oral health and maintain healthy gums? What diet changes have you found to be beneficial? Feel free to leave comments and suggestions below.