Gum diseases are very common with almost every 9 out of 10 people suffering from one or the other form of it. Gum disease is caused by plaque – a sticky film made of bacteria, mucus, and other particles that forms on the teeth. Tooth decay can be painful and lead to fillings, crowns or inlays. If the starting stages of gum disease are not death with, you might need to get the infected tooth extracted. Gum disease is the largest cause of tooth loss in adults and has been linked to other medical problems such as, heart disease, strokes, diabetes and respiratory diseases. Thus, it is very important to take proper care of our teeth and gums.
It’s never to late to start taking better care of your gums. Following are some tricks that will help you keep your teeth and gums healthy:
1)Brush your teeth regularly: Floss the teeth before brushing them. This will ensure that the space between the teeth remains healthy and the gums stay away from infections. After this, start brushing your teeth. The ideal amount of time to brush to get all the bacteria-packed plaque out is at least two minutes. Make short, delicate strokes while brushing. Gums need to be handled with care as they are sensitive and a little too harsh brushing could bruise or rupture them. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles. Throw away your toothbrush at least every two to three months. Otherwise, you would just be transferring bacteria to your mouth. Always use fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride helps to harden tooth enamel and reduces your risk of decay.
Brush at least twice a day.
2) Clean your tongue: Clean your tongue with a tongue cleaner or your brush in order to remove tongue plaque and keep your breath fresh. Tongue plaque is known to be the cause for bad breath. An easy solution to this is to clean your tongue every time you brush your teeth.
3) Use Mouthwash: Using a good mouthwash will not only keep your breath fresh, it can help keep harmful bacteria at bay. Mouthwash is an antiseptic and will help kill bacteria that cause bad breath and gum disease.
4) Drink plenty of water: Ideally dietitians suggest that at least 9-10 glasses of water should be consumed per day. Not only is water good for our metabolism, hydrates our skin and helps with the proper functioning of kidneys, it also helps keep our teeth white and glowing. The more water we drink, more bacteria gets flushed out of our mouth, hence resulting in lesser cavities and a fresher breath.
5) Watch what you eat: It’s not just brushing and flossing that keep your teeth healthy – you also need to be careful about what you eat and drink. The foods you eat contribute to tooth decay when they combine with bacteria in your mouth.
In order to protect your teeth:
a) Avoid sugar in any form. Sugar plus bacteria equals oral plaque. Sticky sweets, such as soft candies, and pastries should be avoided as much as possible. If you ever eat sweets, rinse your mouth with water afterward or brush your teeth if you get a chance. The acid in refined sugars and carbonated beverages dissolves tooth enamel.
b) Consume plenty of calcium-rich foods, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. Keeping up with your vitamins and minerals will help reduce dental issues. Calcium is known to maintain the bone the tooth roots are embedded in.
c) Chewing sugar-free chewing gums also help keep teeth healthy by cleaning away bacteria. Regular gum often has a lot of sugar in it, which can lead to tooth decay and other dental issues.
d) Avoid food items that might stain your teeth, for example, tobacco, soy sauce, coffee, tea and wine. Anything that looks black before going into your mouth is bound to leave a stain if consumed. Instead fruits like apple, carrots etc. to keep your teeth white and shining.
6) Exercise your mouth: Gently bite down so that your teeth make a clicking sound when they meet. Do this for about 30 to 40 times simultaneously. This exercise stimulates blood flow and keeps your gums healthy.
7) Drink Green Tea: Green tea is a great antidote to oral cavity and helps keep our gums healthy. It also freshens our breath. It is known to be a disinfectant that fights the bacteria in our gums and prevents tooth decay.
8) Don’t smoke: Smoking has consistently been linked with gum disease and oral diseases. It causes your teeth to become loose, painful and even fall out. It also results in bad breath. Even worse, tobacco chemicals can lead to oral cancer.
9) Finally, visit your dentist regularly: Go for a dental checkup once every 6 months. It’s always good to go for a dental checkup once every 6 months, because then you can fix any issues with your teeth or gums before it’s too late. There are symptoms of gum diseases that we might ignore but if we are regular in our visits to our dentist, these symptoms will be properly taken care of before they can cause a bigger problem. Besides checking for signs of cavities or gum disease, the dentist will help keep your teeth extra clean and can help you learn the best way to brush and floss.