Gum disease can create serious problems for patients if it is not addressed in a timely fashion, and it’s a common condition, affecting at least half of all Americans over age 30. Fortunately, a little dental hygiene can go a long way to reduce your risk of developing this oral disease. Here is a basic review of what habits you should keep to maintain a healthy smile.
The key to winning the battle against gum disease is to limit the amount of oral bacteria that cause the condition, and your dental hygiene routine is an important weapon in this war. This begins with the basics: brushing and flossing. It’s not just enough to brush twice a day and floss daily, though. You should check with a dental professional to make sure that you are using the proper technique. For example, many patients don’t realize that they should be angling the brush along the gum line to dislodge any plaque that may have collected there.
Additionally, be sure that you’re brushing for about two minutes each time. This will help you to get to all of the surfaces of the teeth. A waterpik may also be helpful if you tend to accumulate a lot of plaque.
Some patients’ mouths are particularly hospitable to oral bacteria, and these individuals may benefit from adding an anti-bacterial mouthwash to their regimen. Ask your dentist if this step might be helpful in your case.
Professional dental care is also essential to good gum health. Are you seeing a dentist at least every six months for check-ups and cleanings? If not, you should be. Not only does this routine care bolster your daily efforts to keep bacteria at bay, it also gives your dentist a chance to detect any early symptoms that may indicate a problem with your gums, such as redness or bleeding in the gum tissue.
Patients who have experienced a previous episode of periodontal disease should also be following up with a periodontist for ongoing monitoring to reduce their risk of a relapse.
If you have any questions about the dental hygiene habits that can help to protect your periodontal health, call our office to speak to one of our knowledgeable staff members. We’re here to help keep your smile as healthy as possible.