Keeping gums healthy
Gum disease can lead to tooth loss. Fortunately, a person can take many steps to prevent and even reverse gum disease.
- Brush teeth properly:
- brush at least twice a day using fluoride toothpaste;
- replace your toothbrush every three to four months;
- brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle to your gums;
- move the toothbrush in short strokes and press gently; and,
- clean the insides of the front teeth by turning the brush vertically and making several short strokes along each tooth.
- Choose the right toothpaste
When choosing a toothpaste, a person should ensure that it contains fluoride.
- Floss daily
Flossing removes food and plaque from between the teeth and gums. If food and plaque remain in these areas, this can lead to tartar, which is a hard build-up of bacteria that only a dentist can remove. Tartar can lead to gum disease.
- Rinse your mouth out with care
When a person washes their mouth out with water after brushing their teeth with fluoride toothpaste, they wash away the fluoride. Conversely, when a person rinses their mouth out after eating, they may rinse away food and bacteria that can lead to plaque and tartar.
- Use mouthwash.
However, it is not a replacement for brushing or flossing.
- Get regular dental checkups
Dental checkups typically include a professional cleaning of the mouth. Professional cleaning is the only way to remove tartar.
- Stop smoking
Smoking makes a person more susceptible to gum disease because it weakens the immune system.