Many patients are aware of the dangers of getting a cavity, but gum disease also needs to be prevented. Adults who are at least 35 years old are more likely to lose teeth due to gum disease than cavities. In fact, three out of four adults will be affected at some point in their life.
Learn how brushing, flossing, and professional cleaning can reduce your risk of gum disease.
Brushing and Flossing Tips
Here are some tips to keep in mind when brushing:
When toothbrush shopping, softer bristles are preferable to hard bristles. This is because the softer bristles can reach places the hard bristles can't without irritating your teeth. Both electric and manual toothbrushes can remove plaque. That said, electric toothbrushes tend to be more effective.
You should change your toothbrush or toothbrush head at least once every three months. If you use the same bristles for too long, they can damage your gums.
When brushing, make sure to reach every part of your tooth's surface. You want to be able to feel the bristles on your teeth and gums, but it's important not to press too hard. Too much pressure can cause gingival injury.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when flossing:
An 18” waxed piece of floss is the easiest to use.
When cleaning the upper teeth, hold the floss tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. When cleaning the bottom teeth, guide the floss using the forefingers of both hands. This also gives you leverage.
Don't be worried if your gums bleed or feel sore during the first week of flossing. Flossing daily removes plaque. Your gums should heal, which will make the bleeding stop.
If you floss regularly, but your gums still hurt, you could be doing it too hard or pinching the gum.
Daily brushing and flossing will keep dental plaque to a minimum, but a professional cleaning will remove it in places your toothbrush and floss have missed. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings can keep your mouth healthy for years to come!
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