Some people make the mistake of thinking that oral hygiene is basic. That taking care of your mouth consists only of teeth brushing and cleaning the teeth. However, it is so much more than that. Our mouths are delicate environments where teeth, gums, bones, muscles, and ligaments all work in unison to produce all the functions of the mouth such as chewing, biting, and speech. Your oral hygiene regimen should make sure that all these structures remain healthy, especially the gums. So join us as we explore how to keep your gums healthy.
Why is Keeping the Gums Clean So Important?
The gums are one of the largest organs in the human body, covering a very large area inside the mouth. What some people don’t realize is that gum disease is just as common as tooth decay, if not more so. Not only that, but gum disease often starts in hidden areas, such as between the teeth and behind the last teeth in the jaws. For that reason, it’s very difficult to spot and cure.
“An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure” is a general mantra of all doctors. However, it becomes extremely obvious with gum disease.
How to Keep Your Gums Healthy
Much like teeth, keeping gums healthy requires a rigorous regimen of cleaning. You should strive to keep your gums clean through 2 major methods:
1. Mechanical Method
This means physically cleaning the food remnants and debris from the surface of the teeth and gums. For that, you use a toothbrush, floss, interdental brush, floss pick. Or, you can even choose the more recent (and pretty awesome) water flosser.
These tools are useful as you clean food debris from the surface of your teeth. You’ll need to especially focus on the part that is nearest to the gums (the “neck” of the tooth). This is where most gum disease starts. Floss and water flossers also aim to clean those hidden areas between the teeth which the brush can’t possibly reach.
2. Chemical Method
Here, you’ll use supplements to help the mechanical instruments to clean the teeth surface. They can even provide the teeth and gums with protection against bacterial attacks and plaque. The chemical method mainly involves toothpastes and mouthwashes. However, you should never think of chemical means as a replacement to mechanical means, only as a supplement.
As you’ve probably gathered, how to keep your gums healthy is directly related to how to keep your teeth healthy. Because they’re interrelated, if you clean your teeth as recommended, you’ll probably also be keeping your gums healthy.
Ready to keep your gums healthy? Click here to make your next dental appointment with one of our experienced local dentists!