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Top 5 Secrets to Healthy Gums and Teeth

A woman brushing her teeth and gums

Dental issues can be painful, costly, and stressful.

You can easily prevent these issues with proper dental care, both at home and at the dental office.

The following are the top 5 best practices that help keep your teeth and gums healthy.

1. Brush regularly but not vigorously

Keeping your pearly whites clean and healthy begins with regular brushing.

Brushing twice a day (after meals) for two minutes at a time will help to keep the plaque away. This means spending 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth.

Using the right brushing technique is critical in ensuring each tooth is cleaned properly and avoids damaging the surrounding gum tissue.

Place the head of the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums, and using repeated circular motions, gently make your way to all the front surfaces of the teeth. Repeat with the remaining surfaces of the teeth.

Be sure to use a soft toothbrush and be gentle to avoid scratching and damaging your tooth structure.

The plaque you’re trying to remove is soft, so it doesn’t require a heavy hand or hard bristles.

2. Switch to an electric toothbrush

An electric toothbrush is a great alternative to a manual toothbrush, especially for:

  • Kids
  • People with disabilities
  • Older adults
  • People with arthritic hands or conditions that make it difficult to brush properly

An electric toothbrush’s controlled movement takes the guesswork out of brushing and can help you remove more plaque or food from your teeth and improve your gum health.

A manual toothbrush relies heavily on the user’s hand technique and pressure, making it a more technique-sensitive and unpredictable option.

When choosing an electric toothbrush, make sure the toothbrush is comfortable for your hand and easy to use.

Your Calgary dentist might recommend a model with a brush head that rotates in one direction and then the other (rotating-oscillating head) or one that has very fast vibrating bristles.

3. Floss daily

Flossing removes food and bacteria your toothbrush cannot reach.

If you don’t floss, you’re missing more than one-third of your tooth’s surface.

It’s important to spend time flossing all your teeth every night before bed as part of a healthy routine.

When you first start flossing, it may cause sensitive gums to hurt or even bleed. This is normal and should stop once you’ve been flossing for more than a few days.

When it comes to dental floss, traditional string floss is usually more effective.

However, floss sticks are still better than not flossing at all. Floss sticks are a great alternative for people who struggle with using traditional floss, such as kids or those with very large or arthritic hands.

4. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months

The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC)… This text opens a new tab to the CDC website… and many dental professionals recommend changing your toothbrush about every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles are worn out.

Damaged or frayed toothbrushes lose their effectiveness and can also cause damage to your gum tissues.

Replacing your toothbrush also allows you to help keep it clean. Always:

  • Rinse your toothbrush well
  • Store it in an upright position
  • Allow it to air-dry

Remember to replace your toothbrush if you’ve been sick to prevent bacteria from being re-introduced into your mouth.

5. Visit your dentist and dental hygienist every six months

Your Calgary dentist will be able to prevent issues before they start, or at least catch them early on if you attend regular dental appointments.

Regular visits also allow your teeth to get a thorough professional dental cleaning twice per year, removing any buildup of plaque and tartar, which reduces the amount of bacteria in your mouth.

This will help maintain healthy teeth and gums.

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