If figures are to be believed, a third of Americans fail to visit a dentist each year – even though regular dental examinations (ideally, every six months) are encouraged. This tells us that people either do not know enough about oral health or do not believe it is necessary – that is, until it is too late.
There are those who think they only need to see a dentist when they are in pain or something is broken.
However, oral health and hygiene, just like gardening or owning a car, requires care and regular maintenance. It is important to know that gum disease is very common. Just because you do not have any cavities does not mean you cannot or do not have gum disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of adults age 30 and older suffer from some form of gum disease. This is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It is caused by plaque (the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth).
Plaque that is not removed with thorough daily brushing and cleaning between teeth can eventually harden into calculus or tartar.
There are many ways to ensure gum health, according to Medical News Today, and some of these include:
- Brushing your teeth properly – at least twice a day, at a 45 degree angle to the gums,
- Choose the right toothpaste. Along with replacing your toothbrush every 3 -4 months, one should ensure that their toothpaste contains fluoride and has the American Dental Association seal of approval on the packaging,
- Flossing daily – this removes food and plaque from between the teeth and gums, which avoids tartar. As pointed out earlier, tartar can lead to gum disease,
- Rinse your mouth out with care,
- Use mouthwash,
- Get regular dental checkups – With regular visits, a dentist can help identify the early signs of gum disease and gingivitis, a condition in which the gums become inflamed,
- Stop smoking – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking makes a person more susceptible to gum disease because it weakens the immune system,
If you’d like to get started, feel free to book your appointment with us or chat to us about your dental goals and challenges.