Things you can do today to prevent gum disease later
- Posted on: May 31 2018
Gum disease is not fun to think about. In fact, until you have it and are actively dealing with it, it’s probably not on your mind much at all. Unfortunately, when it comes to your oral health, ignorance is not bliss. Instead, ignorance and general apathy about taking care of your mouth can lead to some major problems down the line. Just ask any of the patients in my New York office dealing with issues they wish they did not have. Fortunately, dental health concerns, including gum disease, can often be prevented or delayed with the right care. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to avoid the onset of gum disease.
Evaluate Your Tools
When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? If the answer is more than three months ago, it’s time to go shopping. When you are in the toothcare aisle, don’t just pick up the first option you see on the shelf. Instead, take time to evaluate your choices and grab a brush that is ADA compliant. In fact, you might consider picking up two and alternating between them so they have adequate time to dry and prevent germs from developing on the bristles. Don’t shy away from specialized equipment, like mouthwashes, dental picks, and smaller brushes designed to reach into crevices, like the space between your individual teeth. At home in your bathroom, designate a special spot for your oral health items to live. To prevent the spread of germs, keep your equipment separate from other devices and in a well-ventilated area where they can “breathe.” When it comes to actually using your tools, don’t neglect to brush at your gumline, including toward the back of your mouth. If you are having trouble with your technique, a vibrating electric brush could prove helpful for loosening plaque and other trouble-making remnants.
Be mindful of what you consume
A well-balanced diet does more than just keep your weight and heart health in check. Your bones, including your teeth and jaw line, require certain nutrients to stay strong and helpful throughout your life. As noted in Prevention, getting at least 800 milligrams of calcium a day can reduce your chances of developing severe gum disease. Vitamins C and D have also been proven to combat gingivitis, and finding ways to incorporate them into your routine can be as simple as taking multivitamins or eating more fruits and vegetables. If you’re having trouble making it work, a licensed dietitian or your family doctor can probably offer some solid advice. In addition to adding things to your life, you might need to eliminate others. If you are a smoker, it’s time to call it quits. In addition to impacting your body as a whole, tobacco use can drain your body of vitamins and minerals vital to a healthy mouth. There are a lot of strategies for stopping, including popular apps and medical assistance. Don’t be embarrassed to reach out for support if you need it.
Work with professionals
Of course, you can have all the tools and tips in the world, but it’s hard to beat the expert advice you receive when you visit a dental professional. Having at least two check-ups a year can go a long way when it comes to catching and preventing gingivitis and other mouth maladies. During your routine visits, you will receive a thorough cleaning, as well as x-rays and a visual exam to check for any abnormalities. It’s also a great time to ask any questions you have about preventing dental problems down the line.
Gingivitis and other oral health concerns can be scary and overwhelming, but we’re here to help you navigate it all. If you have any questions or concerns or want to set up an appointment, don’t hesitate to contact us.