It probably won't surprise you to learn that keeping your gums healthy requires many of the same steps as keeping your teeth healthy.
Taking care of your gums goes hand in hand with taking care of your teeth. You already understand how the following habits help your teeth, but here’s how they keep your gums healthy, too.
Flossing ranks just above brushing your teeth when it comes to your gum health. Flossing allows you to clean out the tight crevices between your teeth and gums that brushing can't reach.
Regular flossing prevents plaque from building up in these tight areas, which might otherwise lead to gum disease.
Keeping plaque off of your teeth helps keep it off your gums, also. Plaque buildup is abundant along the gum line, so when you’re brushing your teeth, make sure your toothbrush moves over your gums as well.
Regular Professional Cleanings & Checkups
Your dentist can detect gum disease symptoms early, provided you see them regularly. You should be visiting the dentist for a cleaning and checkup every six months, so that developing problems can be treated before they become more serious.
Professional cleanings are really the only way to remove tartar (hardened dental plaque). Regardless of how vigilant as you are about brushing and flossing, tartar will still eventually build up, and it needs to be removed by a dental professional.
Add this to the already long list of reasons to quit smoking: Smoking is strongly linked with the onset of gum disease. Smoking weakens your immune system making it harder to fight off a gum infection. Smoking also makes it more difficult for your gums to heal once they’ve been damaged.