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September is National Gum Care Month, so of course we’re celebrating all month long! To kick things off, we want to share some easy habits you can incorporate into your daily routine to make sure that your gums are looking and feeling their best.

What is gum disease?

There’s nothing worse than a major toothache, and often, that irritation starts in the gums. Gum disease doesn’t just happen overnight, either. It progresses slowly over time which is why small daily habits are so critical to keeping it at bay. Before we dive into gum disease prevention, let’s first look at how it progresses:

  1. Plaque: Gum disease starts with plaque which is when bacteria builds up along the gumline
  2. Gingivitis: Next, the bacteria causes the gums to become red, swollen, and tender
  3. Periodontitis: As the inflammation progresses, the disease starts to affect the bone
  4. Advanced Periodontitis: Gum disease has accelerated and destroys bones and fibers

Signs of gum disease:

If you’re experiencing irritation and pain, your gums may need some extra attention. Take a look at the following symptoms to see if you have the signs of gum disease:

  • Inflamed and irritated gums
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Bleeding gums
  • Gums pulling away

Simple habits for healthy gums

Maintaining your gum health doesn’t have to be complicated! In addition to seeing your dentist for a cleaning every six months, here are 5 simple habits you can incorporate into your daily routine to improve your gum health:

  1. Floss: It doesn’t matter if you use the old school tape or the more modern picks; flossing every single days removes plaque and bacteria to prevent gingivitis from occurring.
  2. Brush: Brushing twice a day also helps remove plaque and bacteria and gives your entire mouth an overall deep clean. Try an electric toothbrush to make this daily habit even more effective!
  3. Use fluoride: Choose a toothpaste or mouthwash with fluoride to add another layer of protection to your gum and oral health.
  4. Scrape your tongue: Clean your tongue using a special tool called a ‘tongue scraper’ to rid your mouth of even more bacteria.
  5. Get more vitamin C: Eat vitamin rich foods like kiwi, broccoli, and strawberries to strengthen your gums and protect against gingivitis.

Being proactive about your gum health is important—and so easy—when you add a handful of easy habits into your routine every single day. And don’t forget to schedule your regular dental cleaning twice a year:

Are you due for a dental appointment? Contact Dr. Julie Stante today to schedule your next checkup.

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