February is National Gum Disease Awareness Month. In honor, dentists across the country are striving to educate patients on thorough dental hygiene habits to maintain healthy gums and smiles. If you’re looking to prevent gum disease, a condition that affects 85% of adults at some degree, and is synonymous with red, swollen gums and the potential need for expensive corrective procedures, here are a few tips to follow.
The American Dental Association recommends that all individuals brush their teeth with a soft bristle brush and fluoride toothpaste twice a day and floss at least once. The combined effort of brushing and flossing will dislodge food particles from in between teeth, reduce plaque, and neutralize bacteria that leads to decay and gingivitis.
In addition to brushing and flossing at home, establish a strong rapport with your dentist. Plan on seeing your oral health team every 4-6 months for a professional teeth cleaning. This way, your dental team can remove any plaque buildup and treat dental issues like gingivitis, cavities, or tooth decay early-on when it’s less invasive and less expensive to treat.
For optimal physical and oral health, adopt a nutritious diet that’s rich in fresh vegetables and lean proteins. Foods like salmon, flax seeds, and walnuts that are high in omega-3 fatty acids are recommended to help reduce gum inflammation. Limit the amount of starch, sugar, and acidic foods you consume as these ingredients promote plaque buildup and tooth decay.
Enhance your oral hygiene routine by using a mouth rinse twice a day as well. Mouthwashes not only freshen your breath, but help reduce plaque, gum inflammation, and wash away food debris. If you’re unsure of what brand is best for you, ask for recommendations from the team at Station Dental.