When was the last time you checked out your gums?
While it may seem like a no brainer, few people realize how important healthy gums are to keeping the rest of your smile healthy and beautiful. In fact, without healthy gums, it would be hard to enjoy full dental functions or a beautiful smile. With conditions like gum disease and recession taking serious tolls on this important tissue, it’s never been more important for patients of all ages to take a harder look at how they protect the gingiva.
What Do Gums Do?
Beyond looking soft and pink, gums play an important role in oral health. For starters, this fleshy, bright pink tissue is crucial to keeping teeth in place, allowing you to bite and chew with ease. Healthy gingiva is tightly attached to teeth, preventing bacteria and debris from getting trapped in the hard-to-reach spaces between the teeth and gums. In the long run, this helps prevent the development of gum disease and tooth infection.
Healthy gums are especially important when it comes to protecting the tooth roots and jawbone. Teeth roots are particularly vulnerable to damage caused by bacteria. In cases of tooth infection, surgery is sometimes needed if the infection spreads to the roots. Likewise, gum recession can also leave delicate bone tissue vulnerable to infection and damage as well as make it incredibly painful to chew and bite.
With these consequences in mind, it’s clear that putting off gum care can have a lasting impact on your smile.
How Do I Keep My Gums Healthy?
So what is the best way to protect your gums from damage and decay? Check out this list of tips from St. Charles implant dentist Dr. Bram and start implementing these strategies into your day-to-day hygiene routine!
Floss, Floss, and Floss
If you’ve already heard it once, you’ll be sure to hear it again – dentists cannot stress the importance of flossing daily. As over 40% of the surface area of your teeth is in the spaces within your teeth, forgetting or neglecting your teeth is practically the same as cleaning only one arch of your smile. If you have a hard time getting the floss between your teeth, experiment with different types, such as waxed string floss or individual flossers.
Dig Deeper with Rubber Dental Picks
Feel like you missed a spot when flossing? Get all the nooks and crannies of your smile by investing in a rubber-tipped dental pick. Much like the metal ones used at our St. Charles dental office, this dental instrument is great for cleaning the spaces between the gums and teeth that may have been missed even after brushing and flossing. To use, simply run the rubber point gently within the spaces – this will help loosen any remaining plaque or debris left behind and stimulate blood flow to these spots.
Schedule (and Keep) Your Regular Visits
We can’t say it enough – regular dental cleanings and exams are a critical part of keeping your smile healthy. These six month visits give Dr. Bram the chance to monitor changes to your teeth and gums and recommend treatment in the event we see early signs of gum disease.
Ready for Your Next Appointment? Give Us a Call!
Protecting your gums is just one step towards protecting your smile and overall health. Call Dr. Keith Bram today to schedule your next cleaning and learn how to treat your gums to the best care possible. We look forward to seeing you soon!