February is Gum Disease Awareness Month and coincidentally, it’s also the season of love! Gum disease is very prevalent and can have serious consequences if left untreated. This month is about empowering patients to take a more active role in better oral health through prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Show your gums some love with these five simple tips:
1. Floss at least once every day. It doesn’t matter when you floss, just make sure you do it regularly!
2. Quit smoking! Yet another reason to put down the cigarette. Smoking is strongly associated with the onset of gum disease. Since smoking weakens your immune system, it also makes it harder to fight off a gum infection. Plus, smoking makes it more difficult for your gums to heal once they’ve been damaged.
3. Brush twice a day. Brushing your teeth after every meal helps remove food and plaque that gets trapped between teeth and gums.
4. Use mouthwash. Usually available over the counter, therapeutic mouthwashes can help reduce plaque, prevent or reduce gingivitis, reduce the speed that tarter develops, or a combination of these benefits, according to the ADA.
5. Visit us for regular dental checkups. Your dentist can detect early gum disease symptoms if you see them on a regular basis. That way symptoms can be treated before they become more serious. A professional cleaning is the only way to remove tartar. It can also get rid of any plaque you missed when brushing or flossing. If you have gingivitis, brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings can actually help reverse it.