Beyond Brushing: Four Other Things You Can Do To Keep Your Gums Healthy

When you think of oral health, it's common to think about brushing your teeth and avoiding cavities. But keeping your gums healthy is just as important as keeping your teeth healthy. Unhealthy gums can lead to damage to the periodontal ligaments, which leads to loose and missing teeth. While brushing your teeth is good for your gums, there are also a number of other ways you can keep your teeth healthy.

Floss your teeth properly.

Flossing is essential for dental health, but to enjoy the maximum gum health benefits, you must do it properly. Don't just press the floss down between your teeth and then pull it up again. After you push it down, focus on easing it around the edge of each tooth, making the shape of a "C." This ensures you're flossing away more of the plaque and bacteria than you'd get if you just pushed the floss straight up and down.

Use a mouthwash.

Many people assume that if they don't have bad breath, they don't need to use an antiseptic mouthwash. But this is not the case. Antiseptic mouthwash helps kill the germs that are left behind after you brush and floss. Since it's bacteria that cause gum disease, this step is important. If regular mouthwash seems too strong for you or stings your mouth, opt for an alcohol-free formula.

Eat crunchy veggies.

When you munch on crunchy veggies, a couple of different things happen. First, the veggies help "scrape" the remnants of other foods off your teeth so that bacteria don't keep feeding on them and breeding, causing a gum infection. Also, the crunching motion stimulates blood flow to your gums, which helps keep inflammation at bay and stave off infections.

Take your multivitamin.

There are a number of nutrients that are important for ongoing gum health. Vitamin C helps boost your immune system so you can better fight off the bacteria that cause gum disease. Vitamin E helps build sturdy gum tissues. Taking a multivitamin each day is a good way to ensure all of your bases are covered nutritionally, especially on days where your diet is not the best.

To learn more about caring for your gums, talk to your dentist. If your gum health is ailing, they may recommend a procedure called scaling, which involves cleaning deep beneath your gums. Regularly having your teeth professionally cleaned will also help keep your gums in good shape.

For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website like