A healthy smile is a result of good oral health. Good oral health includes healthy teeth and healthy gums. Gums are the pink tissues that surround the base of your teeth and help keep them in place. It is important to care for your gums to protect them from diseases that can affect your oral health and overall health. Healthy gums are the foundation for strong teeth that can last a lifetime.

September is National Gum Care Month!

Celebrate this health observance by following an oral care routine that includes the health of your gums. Daily home oral care along with scheduled dental visits can help keep your gums in top condition.

Why Gum Care Matters

Poor oral care can increase the risk of gum disease that can harm your gums and in worst cases, lead to tooth and bone loss. Gum disease can also affect other parts of your body. In fact, gum disease has been linked to heart disease and diabetes (Cigna). Proper oral care can give you the best chance for healthy gums, strong teeth, and a beautiful smile.

Oral Care Tips for Healthy Gums

Caring for the health of your gums can help you keep your natural teeth for life. Add the follow gum care tips to your daily oral care and scheduled dental visits.

When brushing: Make sure to gently brush along the gumline, the area where the tooth meets the gum. Bacteria can easily build up along the gumline.

When flossing: Move the floss around each tooth, just below the gumline. This will help remove any plaque buildup or food residue on the gums between your teeth, where your toothbrush can’t reach.

Try an oral rinse:  An oral rinse (mouthwash) has active ingredients that can help fight bacteria and reduce plaque buildup. Add an oral rinse to your home oral care. Choose a product with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Stick to your routine dental visits: A professional dental cleaning will help remove any plaque or tartar buildup before it affects the health of your gums. A dental exam may include a gum health assessment. This helps evaluate the condition of the gums for any signs that may cause periodontal (gum) disease such as irritation or bleeding of the gums.

Healthy Habits for Better Gum Health

Eat a nutritious diet. Much like the rest of the body, your gums also need nutrients to support gum health. Foods with vitamin C strengthen gums and the soft tissue in your mouth. Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamin C.

Avoid tobacco use. Smoking, vaping, and smokeless tobacco increases the risk of gum disease (NIH). It can also increase the risk for oral cancer. Click here for FREE quit smoking and vaping services.

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