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Taking care of your oral health is not just about your teeth, but also about their supporting structure, the gums. Healthy gums and gum tissue will provide the support your teeth need to chew the foods you love.

Gum disease can be spotted early on. If your gums are swollen, tender, or inflamed, you are at risk for periodontitis which can result in eventual tooth loss. To prevent gum disease is the same as preventing tooth decay; you will need to brush and floss your teeth and gums every day. While brushing the teeth and gums with a soft-bristle brush can clean the outside surfaces, it can’t clean the in-between surfaces–in between your teeth and gums, or in between the gum line and the teeth. Flossing, however, can!

To protect the life of your gums find a flossing technique that you can use easily so that you will stick to a healthy flossing routine every single day. Looking around the dental aisle of your local drugstore or supermarket, you will find a wide array of flossing options:

–Most common is ribbon or string floss in a flossing container. All this requires is pulling a length of string, winding it around your fingers and scrubbing gently in a “U” or “C” shape around each tooth. Your goal is to remove food particles and any plaque-causing bacteria lurking in crevices.

–If you struggle with floss on a string, you can also find pre-threaded flossing picks that can help you reach the back molars where much of the chewing takes place.

–In addition to pre-threaded picks, there are wooden plaque removers and rubbery picks that slide between the teeth and around the gums.

–Another option is an oral irrigator that uses controlled jets of water to clean in and around the gums and teeth.

The idea is to find something that you will enjoy using so that it becomes a habit. Brushing and flossing are the easiest ways to prevent gum disease and are literally at your fingertips. In between your deep dental cleanings where tartar is removed from your mouth, brushing and flossing is your biggest defense against gum problems.

Preserve your healthy teeth and gums by flossing daily, and give us a call when it is time for your next deep dental cleaning. Together we can help your smile last a lifetime! 248-255-4585.