When your elbow hurts, you go to the doctor. When your car isn’t running smoothly, you go to the mechanic. But when your gums bleed, do you go to the dentist? Your gums are telling you that you have gingivitis, the beginning of periodontal (or gum) disease. Here are three essential ways to fight and prevent periodontal disease. Don’t be afraid to get to know your teeth this year!
Brush Twice A Day
Brushing your teeth is crucial not just to impress the dentist during checkups, but for the health of your teeth and gums. The more plaque you brush away, the better your chances of preventing periodontal disease. Brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes for each brushing session. Select a toothbrush, whether manual or electric, that you enjoy using. The best toothbrushes contain the ADA (American Dental Association) seal, ensuring you are using an effective and safe toothbrush. The ADA lists the manual toothbrushes with the seal on their website, offering a spectrum of options to fit a variety of prices.
Floss at least once a day
Flossing removes food caught in between teeth and removes the film of bacteria on your teeth, which will harden to plaque. There is not a specific time recommended to floss, though many people floss right before bed. You can floss before brushing or afterwards; the time doesn’t matter, as long as you floss once a day. The ADA also provides a list of flosses with the ADA seal.
While it is a good practice and may be recommended by your dentist, mouthwash (or mouth rinse) is not essential for the health of your teeth. However, it boosts the effects of brushing and flossing. If you decide to use mouthwash, or already are, make sure you are using therapeutic mouthwash instead of cosmetic. Therapeutic mouthwash helps fight plaque, and those with fluoride help prevent tooth decay. The ADA’s list of approved mouth rinses offers options for a range of dental needs.
According to a study published in May 2015 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 46% of adults over age 30 in the United States have periodontal disease. These 65 million people make a strong point: dental checkups are incredibly important for your oral health. Dental professionals have the tools that can remove tartar from your teeth (hardened plaque), and they have the expertise to spot and treat periodontal disease. You should visit your dentist at least twice a year. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions so that you fully understand your teeth. The more you know about your teeth, the better care you can practice.
To schedule a dental checkup, contact Greenspoint Dental in Houston, Texas. We are dedicated to providing you and your family with the best oral care.