7 Tips to Keep Your Teeth and Gums Healthy

Maintaining healthy gums and teeth not only make you have a confident smile but 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.

#1 Eating right gives you 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.

#2 Choose a toothpaste containing baking soda

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.

#3 Don’t forget to 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.

#4 Say Goodbye to 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 Rinse with Mouthwash

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.

#6 Visit your dentist twice a year

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.