Unfortunately, periodontitis (advanced gum disease) is very common. But completely preventable.
Here are some simple ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy:
1. Brush properly
Brush for two to three minutes, at least twice a day, with fluoridated toothpaste. Be sure to brush along the gumline. Clean away the bits of food Don’t brush too hard, but be thorough. Scrubbing your gums aggressively can be painful and is a BIG don’t.
2. Floss daily
Flossing removes plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. Don’t like to floss? Try a floss holder, which makes it much easier to insert the floss between teeth. But get over your aversion to flossing, unless you want cavities or periodontitis (advanced gum disease).
3. Use a mouth rinse
Although not a substitute for brushing and flossing, using a mouth rinse can prevent plaque accumulation and keep your enamel strong. Remember that fluoride mouth rinses are not the same as mouthwashes. Mouthwashes have alcohol and are designed to freshen your breath. (But they can exacerbate dry mouth which can cause other problems.)
4. Eat a healthy diet
Starchy and sugary foods increase plaque. A healthy diet provides the nutrients required (Vitamins A and C, in particular) to keep teeth and gums healthy.
5. Skip cigarettes and smokeless tobacco
Both of these habits may bring about gum disease or oral cancer. While you’re at it, avoid E-cigs and vapors.
6. Check your meds
Be aware that certain medications can also threaten oral health. These include oral contraceptives, antidepressants, and heart medicines. If your medications are affecting your dental health, speak with Dentist Mady.
7. Make preventative care a priority
Exercise preventive care and schedule regular exams — the ideal way to detect early signs of gum disease and make a plan to reverse it.
8. Talk to your dentist
Talk to your dentist about oral health issues such as old, broken fillings or crowded teeth.
9. Protect your teeth
If you grind your teeth, talk with Dentist Mady about ways to safeguard your smile. If you participate in contact sports, use a custom mouthguard.
Listed above are nine simple ways to ensure your teeth don’t decay, or worse, fall out completely. It’s crucial to brush your teeth in the morning and at night. Bonus points for brushing and/or rinsing after lunch. Proper brushing and flossing also keep your breath fresh. Your friends, family, and co-workers will appreciate that!