Caring for your gums is as vital as caring for your teeth. Gums are an integral part of the structure and firmness of your teeth, and caring for them is more than just a matter of attractiveness. It is also about your overall health. Studies show that there is a link between a person's oral hygiene and general health.
Gum problems can cause pain, issues with self-esteem, and loss of teeth. These problems may, in turn, cause speech problems and malnutrition among other issues. You can avoid these issues by taking care of your teeth and gums at home and seeing your dentist regularly. Here are some best practices that can help keep your gums healthy.
Practicing Good Dental Hygiene
Brushing your teeth and gums at least twice a day or after every meal is a good place to start. Make sure that you are using the right toothbrush and toothpaste and that you are brushing for no less than two minutes each time you brush. This should involve brushing your tongue and along your gum line to remove the bacteria that live on these surfaces.
Remember to floss at least once a day. A soft stick brush or a string of dental floss can get in between your teeth and remove the food and plaque stuck inside there. This is something your normal toothbrush cannot do.
Vitamins, not sugar, should be part of your diet if you want to keep your gums healthy. Gum disease usually comes from bacteria present in food remains that get stuck between your teeth. Vitamin D helps the body absorb phosphorus and calcium. These minerals make your teeth and gums more resistant to gum disease.
The main source of Vitamin D is the sun, but you can also get it from eggs, beef liver, sardines, salmon, or tuna. Vitamin C and K, found in fruits like kiwi, prevent gum disease from developing. As well, foods with vitamin B2 will stop your gums from swelling and your lips from cracking.
Practicing Good Habits
Try your best to avoid tobacco. Tobacco is bad for your mouth because it reduces the amount of saliva in your mouth and increases your risk of getting oral infections. Each time you smoke, you are doing irreversible damage to your mouth. Like alcohol, tobacco also puts you at a higher risk for oral cancer.
Water is vital for your whole body in general, but particularly for your oral health. Water facilitates the production of saliva, which helps fight cavities and makes it easy for you to swallow food. Some medications and toothpaste can dry your saliva. That is why it is important to drink water more often.
Seeing a Dentist Routinely
Do not postpone seeing a dentist. Oral health with all these tips is not enough, and professional dental cleaning is vital. Routine visits to your dentist will also reveal the health of your teeth and gums while helping prevent gum disease.
To learn more tips for high-quality care of the gums, visit Robert A. Rees, DDS in La Jolla, California. You can also call (858) 454-6181 to book an appointment today.