While your smile may seem all about your teeth, they’re just the headliners when it comes to oral health. Gums may play a supporting role, but they must be happy and healthy to let the stars shine.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of all Americans over age 30 have some level of gum disease. It starts off gently, perhaps with a couple of missed dental checkups or a stretch of time when your brushing and flossing routine loses its diligence. Bacteria take hold, and suddenly you’re dealing with gingivitis.
The team at RR Dentistry can help you quickly turn around the early stages of gum disease. Should you need greater periodontal care, we’ve got you covered when gum disease reaches advanced stages. The best solution, though, is prevention.
Here, we look at four ways to prevent gum disease — before it requires extra effort to eliminate.
1. Brush and floss
Brushing twice a day and flossing daily is the foundation of great oral hygiene and a key factor in keeping gum disease under control. Brushing after every meal is even better, although it’s not always practical.
Electric toothbrushes have an advantage, removing more plaque than manual brushes. Choosing soft bristled brushes helps prevent over-brushing and damage to gum tissue. Replace your brush as soon as the bristles start to fray or after three months, whichever comes first.
2. Regular dental cleanings
Even the best at-home dental routine can’t stay ahead of plaque and tartar buildup. Plaque is the sticky substance that forms from food residue and saliva, and it can turn to hard-to-remove tartar quickly.
Once plaque hardens, your brush and floss are helpless against it. Only specially designed dental tools wielded by an experienced hand during a thorough dental cleaning can completely remove tartar from hard to reach places in your mouth.
3. Use therapeutic mouthwash
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends using a therapeutic mouthwash formulated to reduce plaque and control gingivitis as a home care safety net to help with any unintentional brush or floss lapses. Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance as insurance that the product you choose has clinical evidence to back up its claims.
It’s more than a simple breath freshening mouthwash. A therapeutic mouthwash actively helps you prevent gum disease.
4. Understand your gum disease risk
Do you smoke? Are you over 30? Do you have a family history of gum disease? Do you have dry mouth? All of these conditions and more can raise your risk of developing gum disease.
Discuss your potential risk with our specialists to find out what steps you should add to your standard routine for controlling gum disease. We may recommend specialty products or more frequent dental visits, for example.
Living free of gum disease is always a collaboration between patient and dentist. Call or click to book an appointment with RR Dentistry in Georgetown, Texas. We’re happy to customize a gum disease prevention plan that works for you.