About one in every three Canadians needs dental care. Meanwhile, only 28% of Canadians floss five times a week. Neglecting your oral health or failing to floss daily could increase your risk of gum disease. When left untreated, gum disease can progress, increasing your risk of losing a tooth. Instead, start preventing gum disease with these tips from your My Victoria Dentist team. Read on to learn more!
1. BRUSH AND FLOSS Bacteria, your saliva, and food particles mix to form plaque; a sticky, clear substance that clings to your teeth and gums. The initial state of gum disease, gingivitis, begins due to a build-up of plaque. Plaque can mix with sugar from the foods you eat to produce acid, which can attack your teeth and gums. To reduce your risk of gum disease, make sure to brush twice a day and floss daily. Brush for two minutes using fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brushing daily will clear away bacteria before plaque can form. Otherwise, plaque will harden into tartar, increasing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. In the meantime, keep an eye out for symptoms of gum disease, including:
Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
Persistent bad breath
If these symptoms sound familiar, visit your dentist to begin treatment right away. 2. ADJUST YOUR DIET Minimize your daily intake of sugary substances. For example, the sugar and acid in soda can attack your teeth, eating away at your protective enamel. Once it erodes the inside of the tooth, a cavity can form. Instead, eat teeth and gum-healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. 3. QUIT SMOKING For effective gum disease prevention, quit smoking this year. Smoking can increase your risk of gum disease by disrupting gum tissue function. Smoking also restricts gum flow to your gums, which can impact your natural healing process. Consider limiting your alcohol intake, too. 4. CHANGE YOUR TECHNIQUE Avoid brushing for too long (over four minutes total daily). Otherwise, you could wear down the protective enamel that shields your teeth. Your dentist could become exposed, increasing your risk of gum disease. Avoid applying too much pressure, too! 5. VISIT YOUR DENTIST Plan to visit your dentist every six months. Routine appointments at your dentist's office can help ensure early detection. If gingivitis has already started developing, you can begin treatment before it progresses to periodontitis. Your dentist can also provide you with additional prevention techniques. If your dentist determines your gum health is at risk, they might recommend more frequent appointments.
VISIT YOUR DENTIST: START PREVENTING GUM DISEASE TODAY
Improve your overall oral health by preventing gum disease this year. With these simple tips, you can maintain a stunning, healthy smile. Grab your brush, floss, and keep those teeth sparkling!