Teeth are definitely the top dog when most people are thinking about oral health, but the state of your gums is also very important. It may shock you to know that gum disease, aka periodontal disease, affects more than half of American adults aged 30 or older.
That statistic indicates there needs to be more awareness about proper gum care, and fortunately, there are steps you can take daily to make sure you don’t contribute to that troubling figure. Keep reading to get some easy-to-implement tips for healthy gums from your dentist in Arlington Heights.
Use Fluoridated Toothpaste
Toothpaste is not that beneficial for your oral health unless it contains fluoride. This natural mineral features so prominently in dentistry because of its ability to protect against decay. Also, remember to check that your toothpaste has the American Dental Association Seal of Approval.
Brush Twice Each Day
You should brush morning and evening at the very least to remove food particles and plaque from the surface of your teeth. Be sure to scrub your tongue and gently brush your gums. The ideal toothbrush is electric and soft-bristled. An electric toothbrush is more effective in reducing your chances of gingivitis than a manual toothbrush.
Use dental floss at least once each day to remove more food debris and plaque than you can by brushing alone. Floss gets the hard-to-reach places that your toothbrush cannot adequately access. Flossing is more effective if done before brushing than afterward.
Rinse with Mouthwash
Try to get a therapeutic mouthwash, which is designed to address numerous dental concerns. There are cosmetic mouthwashes that only focus on short-term bad breath. Therapeutic mouthwash can reduce plaque and tartar development, plus prevent gingivitis.
People who smoke are twice as likely to develop gum disease, which is a startling factoid. Smoking weakens your immune system and makes it more difficult to fight off gum infections. It also reduces the ability of damaged gum tissue to heal.
Visit Your Dentist for Cleanings and Exams
Be sure to visit your dentist twice each year for a cleaning and exam. They will remove plaque and tarter that you might have missed, which reduces your chances of tooth decay and gingivitis. If your dentist sees signs of gum disease, the good news is that it is treatable when caught in the early stages. If it progresses too far, a person faces irreversible problems like gum recession, teeth that become loose or fall out, and shrinkage of the jawbone.
Healthy gums and healthy teeth are a package deal. If you have issues with one, the other is headed for trouble, as well. Being diligent about these steps will protect you from gum disease and help maintain your winning smile.
About the Practice
At Costello & DeHart Dental Excellence, our dentists Dr. Ernie Costello and Dr. Jay DeHart lead a staff that strives to be engaged, respectful, flexible, collaborative, and receptive to constructive feedback. Dr. Costello is a graduate of the West Virginia University School of Dentistry and he’s proud to have been a member of the Arlington Heights community since 1975. Dr. DeHart also graduated from West Virginia University School of Dentistry, and he moved to Arlington Heights after practicing in Chicago. They recognize the significance of healthy gums and offer periodontal therapy as part of your oral health plan. To schedule an evaluation, visit their website or call (847) 259-1111.