Written By Holly Klamer / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
The thing about gums is that they are just as important for your oral health as your teeth. Most gum diseases are mostly painless which is why they often go unnoticed. So, don’t make the mistake of focusing only on the appearance/strength/evenness of your teeth and your smile. Pay special attention to gums as well. Even if you have zero cavities, it still doesn't mean you don’t have or can’t have gum disease.
What Causes Gingivitis?
When you forget to brush regularly - or don’t brush, floss, and/or rinse your mouth properly - the food particles tend to form a plaque build-up. Over time, this build-up releases acid in small amounts which starts to impact the outermost and hardest shell of teeth called enamel, eventually leading to decay.
Slowly this turns into tartar and gets collected along the gum lines. After some time, it can make it difficult to clean your teeth thoroughly. If left unattended, this build-up can cause inflammation of the gums leading to gingivitis.
How Proper Gum Care Can Prevent Gingivitis
Proper Tooth Brushing
Even if you are particular about your brushing habits, you can always improve them. Your brushing habits govern how likely or unlikely you are to develop gingivitis. That's why it’s the first key step to preventing gum diseases. Make sure to use a soft-bristle brush that can reach easily into the hardest of places.
For a proper brushing routine, follow this advice:
Place the brush at a 45-degree angle. Place it against the gum line. Apply gentle but firm strokes back and forth on every single tooth and rub gently for two minutes. Make sure not to miss any area. Move on to the outer surface of the upper teeth and then to the lower one. Pay special attention to the inner surface of the upper teeth followed by the lower ones.
Leave brushing the chewing surface for the last. Brush it thoroughly to remove bacteria.
You need flossing because there are certain areas - underneath gums and between teeth - where a brush simply can’t reach. That’s why flossing is significant if you want to prevent gingivitis. Here’s how to floss properly:
Use an 18-inch piece of floss and wrap it around the middle finger of both hands.
Hold it firmly between both index fingers and thumbs and slide it between each tooth. Clean every tooth making a c-shape in an up/down and push/pull motion. Floss all the teeth on either side allowing it to touch the gum line by circling the floss slightly around each tooth. If you are going to pick a floss for your child, we suggest you consult your local pediatric dental office.
Pro tip: Avoid forcing the floss or you might hurt the gum. Also, use cleaner sections of the floss as you move forward to avoid transporting bacteria from one place to another.
Professional Dental Cleanings
Once plaque has hardened into tartar, it’s impossible to remove it using a regular brush. Only professional cleanings can help you with that. Getting your teeth professionally cleaned can reverse gingivitis if it hasn’t progressed too much.
One way is scraping that uses pressure to scrape away the hardened plaque. Root planing is another method that promotes healing of the root by smoothing it over after the tartar is removed.
Ideally, you should get your teeth cleaned twice a year. That should be more than enough. But, if you have let your teeth go to the point that you need urgent dental care, you may need to work with an emergency dental office to figure out a schedule that works best for you.
Regular professional dental cleanings are one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal to avoid a variety of gum-related diseases from forming.
Avoid or quit smoking
If you’re a regular smoker who is concerned about his oral health you must make it a point to quit or at least cut back on it. Smoking is incredibly bad not just for the heart and the lungs but also for your dental health. It can severely affect your gums and teeth.
Regular smoking can be a cause of a variety of dental issues. Let’s not forget that the blackening of the teeth can make it difficult for you to smile confidently.
Use a therapeutic mouthwash
Although a therapeutic mouthwash is in no way a substitute for brushing or flossing, it does carry a lot of benefits. If you can pick the right kind of mouthwash, it can help reduce the risk of plaque build-up, avoid gingivitis, and also reduce the rate at which tartar builds up in your mouth.
Any combination of these benefits is a plus for your oral health. You can look for the seal of approval by the American Dental Association to see which one is safe and effective. Most mouthwashes are easily available over the counter.
It doesn't matter in which sequence you floss, brush, and cleanse. As long as you’re implementing all of these methods in combination, you’ll be fine. These are some of the finest tips you can deploy to ensure the best possible oral hygiene.
Looking for a 100% all-natural liquid tooth oil and mouth rinse? Check out OraMD Original Strength and OraMD Extra Strength. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral health and skincare. If you are looking for more health resources check out the Trusted Health Resources list.
Holly Klamer is a freelancer writer who loves to educate people about various health-related topics. As taking care of one's teeth is a priority, Holly loves to write about topics related to dental problems and solutions.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.