Over the decades the oral health industry has made many great strides in teaching everyone that looking after your teeth isn’t just a matter of ensuring you have an attractive smile. Your teeth and gums are an important factor in your health, affecting everything from how you enjoy your food to even the ways you communicate.
But it bears repeating, even after all this time, that prevention really is the best medicine. There are some conditions such as impacted wisdom teeth that may be beyond your control. But there are other conditions like cavities and gum disease that are preventable, and you can save yourself from extensive dental procedures if you just take a few minutes out of every day to take care of your mouth.
Brushing your teeth—preferably twice a day—is still one of the best ways to combat gum disease, but you must ensure that you are brushing properly. Don’t just brush the teeth, make sure you brush the gums as well. The goal here is to remove all food matter and bacteria that is building up in your mouth.
Make sure that you are using the proper tools. You should definitely be using a toothbrush for brushing your teeth, but you do not necessarily need firm, hard bristles to do the job. In most instances, a more comfortable, softer toothbrush will be sufficient and will be gentler on your gums, which you should not be scraping or gouging at.
Flossing is also important, although some may have difficulty with using dental floss. Water floss devices are rapidly becoming an acceptable substitute to traditional fiber-based flossing, so if the idea of using floss seems to difficult or troublesome, consider the water alternative.
Certain foods—like those that are high in sugar—and certain medicines like aspirin can also contribute to cavities or bleeding gums. No one is saying you need to cut sugar or aspirin out of your life, but try to use these items in moderation. Your mouth will thank you for it.