There is no magic when it comes to maintaining the health of your gums. The key to a healthy smile is to make sure you are effectively removing the soft plaque and food that consistently accumulates in the mouth before it hardens. This can be achieved through proper brushing and flossing along with a variety of additional adjunctive tools and aids.
If left unremoved, plaque will calcify and turn into calculus or tartar. This hardened state harbors bacteria which initially causes inflammation and irritation of the gums also known as gingivitis. Prolonged presence of calculus will not only cause gingivitis, but will also result in bone loss, periodontitis.
Unfortunately, calculus cannot be removed by homecare and must be professionally debrided by your dental hygienist. Therefore, the goal is to remove plaque and food debris effectively and keep calculus build-up at a minimum in between your professional cleanings. This will help to that your gums stay healthy all year round!
Here are some tips to help you in between your professional cleanings:
- Brush at least two times daily
- Floss at least one time daily
- Brush with an electric toothbrush
- Using a fluoridated antibacterial mouthwash after brushing
- Discuss any additional tools that might be useful for you with your hygienist at your next teeth cleaning appointment
Some signs that you may need to visit your hygienist sooner rather than later include:
- Gums that are red, swollen, or tender
- Gums that bleed when you are flossing or brushing
- Permanent teeth that are becoming loose
- Regular bad breath or an unusual taste in your mouth
When you’re feeling a little unmotivated – especially about that night time routine, remember:
Floss the ones you want to keep!!!