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7 Tips to Keep Your Teeth and Gums Healthy

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  • Maintaining healthy teeth and gums throughout your life not only keeps you smiling, it promotes overall wellness and reduces risk of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that often starts as a swelling of the gums, known as gingivitis, and affects gum tissue and other structures that support the teeth. Dr. Pamela McClain, President of the American Academy of Periodontology, warns that “If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss and may also interfere with other systems of the body.” That’s why it’s important to keep your teeth and gums in great shape throughout your entire life. See how eating an apple a day and other simple tips can boost your oral care routine.

  • 1
    Eat right to get pearly whites.

    Eating healthy foods can have a big impact on the state of your teeth and gums and help prevent periodontitis. Studies show that foods containing calcium, vitamin D and omega-3 can reduce the occurence and severity of periodontal disease. So load your plate with leafy greens, citrus fruits, peppers, salmon and dairy products. You might even want to add an apple a day to your diet. Chewing crunchy foods such as apples, celery and carrots works like a toothbrush to help scrub away stains on your teeth.

  • 2
    Choose a tooth paste containing baking soda.
    arm and hammer complete care

    Dentists recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day, preferably after every meal. This helps remove food and plaque that gets trapped between your teeth and gums and could lead to gum disease. Be sure to brush with a quality toothpaste like Arm & Hammer™ Complete Care™ Toothpaste, which combines baking soda with fluoride to protect your teeth against cavities and strengthen tooth enamel. The baking soda effectively neutralizes harmful acids, helps remove plaque in hard to reach places, and safely whitens your teeth. One additional tip—using a soft electric or battery-powered toothbrush is easier on your gums than a traditional toothbrush and it reduces swelling.

  • 3
    Don’t forget to floss.
    radius silk floss

    Many people think brushing your teeth each day is enough to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, but flossing adds an extra layer of prevention. Floss can get to hidden spots between your teeth and gums where your toothbrush can’t reach. Dentists recommend flossing once a day and it doesn’t matter if it’s morning, noon or night—just do it. If you hate wasting a strand of floss each day, try an eco-friendly floss like Radius Natural Biodegradable Silk Floss® that glides smoothly across your teeth and is environmentally friendly and compostable or you could try water flossing!

  • 4
    Cut out cigarettes.

    If you want to have healthy gums and teeth for the long haul, it’s essential to avoid tobacco in any form. Chewing or smoking tobacco contributes to oral tissue damage and stains your teeth. Tobacco use also weakens your immune system which makes it difficult to ward off gum infections and makes it harder for your gums to heal after treating periodontal disease. In the most serious cases, tobacco use can even cause oral cancer.

  • 5
    Swish with mouthwash.
    perio brite

    Rinsing daily with an over-the-counter mouthwash can help reduce plaque and prevent or reduce gingivitis. How does it work? Swishing mouthwash around your mouth removes food particles and debris. But just using mouthwash isn’t enough. You also need to brush and floss as part of a complete dental care routine. A good natural mouthwash to try is Nature's Answer PerioBrite Natural Mouthwash that contains folic acid, oregano, cinnamon and clove to support tissue and gum health.

  • 6
    Visit your dentist twice a year.
    Examining Oral Cavity

    With all of this daily flossing, brushing and mouthwashing, why bother seeing a dentist? Because a professional cleaning is the only way to remove tartar buildup—that hard, calcified deposit that builds up on your teeth. Plus, a dentist can detect early gum disease symptoms. Visiting your dentist twice a year means symptoms can be treated before they get serious and it can often help you avoid painful and costly gum surgery to correct periodontal disease.

  • 7
    Drink more milk and water.

    You may have heard drinking milk creates strong teeth and bones. It’s true! More than 95 percent of the calcium in your body is found in your bones and teeth and drinking milk gives you a boost of calcium to make them more durable. Drinking water is also great for your teeth and gums. Water helps wash away food and bacteria that sticks around after meals and it neutralizes acids that can weaken your teeth. If you can’t brush after meals, at least rinse your mouth with water as a quick and easy way to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2018 Mar 22
  1. Beyond the Brush: Five Ways to Promote Healthy Teeth and
    Gums. American Academy of Periodontology. https://www.perio.org/consumer/healthy-lifestyle
  2. What Can Adults Do to Maintain Good Oral Health? Centers for
    Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/basics/adult-oral-health/tips.html
  3. Oral health: Brush
    up on dental care basics. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20045536
  4. The aging mouth - and how to keep it younger.
    Harvard Health.
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