Getting into the habit of practising good oral hygiene is important for everyone. Taking measures to not only keep your mouth clean, but your teeth strong and gums healthy is vital for leading a healthy life. Most people tend to overlook the gums when it comes to oral health and focus solely on having pearly white teeth. But it is important to remember that healthy teeth can only be attained when your gums are healthy. These habits when practised will enable your gums to be well looked after and limit your risk of gum disease.

1. Regular Dental Checkups

Any dentist will likely recommend getting your mouth professionally cleaned as the best way to remove tartar buildup on and below your gum line. Because of its hardened, rough and porous nature, tartar buildup often does not get thoroughly cleaned by daily brushing. This has to be properly removed by a dentist to avoid receding gums that can lead to gum disease. Professional cleaning can also eliminate any plaque that you may have missed while cleaning your teeth.

Regular visits to the dentist are important to help detect early signs of gum disease or periodontitis, a condition where pathogenic bacteria illicit an immune response leading to the destruction of attachments and bone around the tooth. With early detection, more severe problems such as unsightly root exposure, bone loss, and movement of teeth can be prevented and effectively treated.

If there are any significant problems with your gums, your dentist might recommend periodontal deep cleaning, which is a dental procedure that aims to clean the areas around the gum.

2. Learn the Right Way To Brush Your Teeth

While all of us brush our teeth daily, many of us are not doing it the right way. Having the right technique can be the key difference between healthy gums, and gums that get easily infected.

You should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day using a soft bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Brush at a 45-degree angle with the bristle on the tooth structure directly above the gums and move the toothbrush in short, circular gentle strokes. Be careful not to brush too hard, or you might scrape and scratch your gums. Also, be sure to clean the inside of the front teeth by turning your brush vertically, and by making several short, gentle circular strokes along the tooth directly above the gum margins. Finally, brushing the sides of teeth especially those hard-to-reach places is also important, such as the back of the second molars or the wisdom teeth if they are still present. Brushing is also required on the chewing surfaces of teeth.

Furthermore, it is always recommended that you replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, or sooner if the bristles start to fray.

3. Toothpaste

In today’s modern world, we have an abundance of options. The oral hygiene aisle or section in almost every supermarket or store will usually contain a broad selection of toothpastes, ranging from whitening products to formulas.

When choosing your toothpaste, it is important to ensure that it contains fluoride. Most commonly available toothpastes are tested, proven, safe, and contain fluoride as part of its ingredients. Concentrations of fluoride generally stand at 1000ppm for adults. For children, make sure that you are purchasing a toothpaste designed for your child’s age. Normally, these children’s toothpastes have the concentrations of fluoride significantly reduced based on how old your child is. As studies have shown that children below the age of 10 cannot spit out all their toothpaste and end up ingesting some, it is important not to give adult concentrations to young ones.

4. Use Mouthwash

Mouthwash should be a supplementary aid to your daily brushing routine – but never a replacement for brushing your teeth. Mouthrinses can contain essential oils, or other active ingredients like chlorohexidine. One thing to highlight is that a lot of these mouthrinses have an alcohol content. It is better to select the non-alcoholic alternatives, with Listerine Zero being one such example. You should also note that mouthrinses can also cause staining of teeth with prolonged use.

5. Floss Daily

Flossing is a habit that most of us neglect even though it is one of the most important practices of healthy and effective oral care. Flossing removes food and plaque buildup from between the teeth and gums. If the food and plaque remain in areas between the gums, it can lead to tough tartar build up, which can cause bacteria that will rot and decay teeth, affecting the supporting structures of teeth such as the bone and gums.

Neglecting to floss won’t only cause your teeth and gums to become damaged but could also lead to permanent odorous breath. Furthermore, it can cause teeth to become loosened and even lead to a disfigured smile.

If you still have questions about gum disease or other methods to keep your gums healthy, you can always ask your regular dentist in Blackburn. At Blackburn Family Dental Care, our professionals are more than happy to answer your enquiries about anything to do with oral health and care. Come visit us at our clinic by booking an appointment today.