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Practical Things You Can Do to Prevent Gum Disease

Dental Cleaning
Gum disease is a common but potentially devastating disease. It's an infection that's caused by bacteria from plaque buildup. Also called periodontal disease, gum disease can ultimately cause tooth loss and other oral health problems. The good news is that gum disease is mostly preventable. Here are the actions you can take to prevent gum disease.

Make Brushing Your Teeth a Twice-Daily Priority

Be sure to brush your teeth twice every single day. You also need to be certain that you are brushing your teeth correctly. Be sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth. Since you need to brush your teeth for two minutes at a time, try to set a timer or play a song that you know lasts two minutes to ensure that you brush for an adequate length of time.

Take Other Daily Dental Care Habits Seriously

A lot of people think that if they brush their teeth every day, they are taking good enough care of their teeth and gums. However, it's more complicated than that. Flossing and swishing with mouthwash every day further protects your mouth against periodontal disease.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends flossing daily for many good reasons. Flossing or cleaning between your teeth with another interdental cleaning device helps remove bacteria and debris that can be left behind when you brush your teeth. You only need to floss once per day, and you should make this a daily habit.

Swishing with mouthwash is another tool to help you prevent gum disease. Select a mouthwash that has been formulated to kill bacteria. An over-the-counter mouthwash is often sufficient, but you may also discuss possible prescription mouthwashes with your dentist. A high-quality antimicrobial mouthwash can help your overall dental health and prevent bad breath.

Stop Smoking as Soon as Possible

Smoking is bad for you on so many levels. It harms nearly all your body's organs. In fact, it is the most prevalent preventable cause of death in the United States. It can put you at an increased risk for developing gum disease as well as other diseases like cancer. Try to stop smoking and otherwise using tobacco as soon as possible.

If you have a difficult time quitting smoking, you're not alone. Talk to your doctor about recommended ways to quit smoking and things that can make the transition easier for you. It's also important to discuss your smoking with your dentist since it puts you at increased risk for a variety of oral health complications.

Go for Regular Dental Cleanings

Go to your dentist for professional cleanings at least twice per year. Since gum disease can occur when plaque builds up in your mouth, professional cleanings are an important tool for prevention. While the average recommendation is to get a professional dental cleaning once every six months, some people may need to go in more frequently, depending on their unique health or circumstances.  

Eat a Healthy, Teeth-Friendly Diet

Getting adequate nutrition from eating a healthy, balanced diet is also an important way to prevent gum disease. This helps support your immune system and keep your gum tissue healthy. Keep your consumption of sugar to a minimum since the bacteria in your mouth thrive on it. Skipping sugary sodas and sweetened fruit drinks is especially important.

Finally, don't ignore any changes in your teeth and gums. Call your dentist if you have any concerns. You may be at a greater risk for contracting gum disease if you are getting inadequate nutrition or have health conditions that decrease your immunity. Contact New England Dental Health Services PC for your next dental checkup and be proactive about all areas of your dental health.

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501 Boston Post Road
Orange, CT 06477

Phone: 203-799-3311
Fax: 203-799-9937

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Meriden, CT 06450

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