Did you know that some common issues in mouth health, like inflammation of the gums, have a direct effect on your overall health? In fact, healthy teeth and healthy gums are a huge factor in general wellbeing: there has been a link between gum disease, heart disease and stroke. What's more is that as many as 85% of Americans over 30 have gum disease and don't even know it!
To promote the importance of healthy teeth and how to get healthy gums, February has been named Gum Disease Awareness Month. Although we should be focusing on mitigating infection of the gums and doing our best to promote clean teeth, healthy teeth throughout the entire year, February is the month when we take a moment to educate others on how to achieve and maintain healthy gums with good dental care.
First Things First: Are My Gums Healthy?
So, how do you know if you are part of that 85% of Americans over the age of 30 who have gum disease? It can be as easy as looking into the mirror and/or paying attention when you brush your teeth. Healthy gums are firm and pink; unhealthy gums often appear red, swollen and can seem to pull away from the teeth. Do your teeth bleed or look red after you brush and floss? If so, then your gums may be unhealthy.
Gingivitis is often the first stage in gum disease - that's the red and swollen gum situation you may have seen upon your inspection. The next stage is mild to moderate periodontitis. This includes more inflammation and bleeding around the teeth. During this stage, bone is lost and teeth loosen. Advanced periodontitis is marked by deepened gum pockets and more loose teeth. How can you prevent gum disease? Following are three easy steps that you can incorporate into your daily routine to keep your teeth and gums in the best possible shape. Keep reading to learn how to get healthy gums and clean teeth!
Gum Health Tip #1: Care for your Teeth - the Right Way
Brushing your teeth can seem like a straightforward self-care task, right? After all, we've been doing it since we can remember. It's not so simple! It's estimated that only 10% of people are brushing their teeth the right way. That means a whopping 90% of us are not brushing effectively or are not using the correct tools for clean teeth.
It's important to:
- Change your toothbrush every three to four months
- Brush your teeth gently (not too roughly, which can damage teeth and gums)
- Always use a soft toothbrush
- Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle against the gums, then brush in short up and down (not side to side) strokes on all surfaces of tooth: the fronts, backs and chewing surfaces
- Brush your teeth for a full two minutes
Flossing goes along with good gum health. As with brushing, most people incorrectly floss their teeth. What kind of dental floss you use is up to you. It can be flavored or unwaxed, although many dentists recommend unwaxed floss because it tends to be thinner and is easier to slide through small spaces.
These steps can help you be more effective when flossing:
- Carefully insert floss in between your teeth
- Move the floss toward the gumline, using a back-and-forth motion
- Don't force the floss under your gumline; instead, curve it like a letter "C" and slide it up and down ALL sides of each tooth
- Repeat the process between each tooth
Mouthwash is a helpful tool in keeping gums and teeth healthy. Choose a "therapeutic" mouthwash that has the ADA seal of approval. The best mouthwash can prevent gum disease, remove food particles from the mouth, reduce plaque and minimize the rate of tartar buildup.
Gum Health Tip #2: Prevention
As grandma used to say: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
Getting on board with a trusted dentist and scheduling regular dental checkups and cleanings for healthy teeth is a vitally important way to get healthy gums. You should ideally get your teeth professionally cleaned every six months to help eliminate plaque that flossing and brushing your teeth may have missed. More importantly, though, when a relationship with a dentist is established, it can go a long way toward identifying the early signs of gum disease.
Prevention can also take the form of discontinuing harmful habits that can affect the health of your gums - as well as the appearance of your teeth. Quitting smoking, as well as other tobacco use, can immediately help you reduce your chances for gum disease. In addition, avoid sticky foods, carbonated drinks and high-sugar foods.
Gum Health Tip #3: GLO
Did you know that incorporating safe and effective teeth whitening into your routine can improve your oral health? When you pay attention to how your teeth look, it helps raise the awareness of your overall oral health as well. In addition, the hydrogen peroxide in GLO Science's teeth whitening gel can help reduce germs in your mouth, which is the number-one culprit of tooth decay (that can lead to gingivitis and periodontitis).
GLO Science's advanced heat and LED light teeth whitening devices and GLO Vials are a fantastic way to whiten your teeth safely and effectively. Our teeth whitening products and devices were developed by a practicing dentist, Dr. Jonathan B. Levine - New York City's top practicing aesthetic celebrity dentist. Both GLO Lit and GLO Brilliant are leading at-home teeth whitening devices that combine the professional elements of gentle heat and blue LED light to give you faster and visible results without sensitivity. You'll not only be doing your teeth a favor by whitening them up to five (or more) shades lighter, you'll be caring for your gums and teeth. Our patented teeth whitening gels also use Xylitol, which inhibits bacteria that cause cavities. The result? Improved overall mouth health and reduced inflammation in your gums as well.
Now that you have helpful tips for taking care for your teeth and your gums, reduce your chances for gum disease with the right tools and healthy practices. Along with our GLO devices and the best teeth whitening products on the market today, we also carry a great selection of GLO accessories and oral health care products to support your goals!