Hearing that you have gum disease can be upsetting. Its progression is slow and usually painless, so a diagnosis can really take you off-guard. Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss, so at Vanguard Dental Group in Derry NH it’s something we take very seriously.
What can you do to prevent gum disease? The best thing you can do is to take good care of your teeth and gums. That means brushing and flossing your teeth every day – twice a day is better – and seeing us regularly for a professional cleaning and checkup.
- Brush at least two minutes; three is even better. Use a timer if it helps.
- Use a light touch. Don’t brush too hard; this can actually damage teeth and gums. Think of it more as massaging. Be sure to brush along your gumline. This is very important, because plaque accumulates there.
- Use a soft-bristle toothbrush. Like brushing too hard, hard bristles can damage teeth and gums. Use a fluoridated toothpaste.
- Floss at least once each day. There are lots of types of dental floss available. Choose whichever type you like; just be sure to use it. Once a day is enough for most people. Between meals, you might think about carrying inter-dental cleaners in your purse, briefcase, or backpack. Do not use toothpicks, though.
- A mouth rinse can help, too. It is, of course, no substitute for brushing and flossing, but a rinse can further reduce plaque.
A few other things you can do:
- Don’t smoke. Tobacco contributes to gum disease, and to cancer too. That includes e-cigarettes.
- Eat a healthy diet. Nutrients like vitamins A andC help prevent gum disease. Avoid, or at least minimize, sugary and starchy foods.
- Avoid certain medications. Heart medicines, antidepressants, and oral contraceptives can aggravate gum disease. Ask your prescribing doctor.
At Vanguard Dental Group in Derry NH we treat gum disease. Parents from Londonderry, Salem, and Chester also come to us for our pediatric dentistry. Call to schedule your next cleaning and checkup today!
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