Hearing that you have gum disease can be upsetting, and really take you off-guard. That’s because its progression is slow, and it’s usually painless. Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss, so at Neal C. Johnson DMD in Billings it’s something we take very seriously.
What can you do to prevent gum disease? The best thing you can do is to take good care of your teeth and gums. That means brushing and flossing your teeth every day – twice a day, in fact – and seeing us regularly for a professional cleaning and checkup.
- Brush at least two minutes; three is even better. Use a timer if it helps.
- Use a light touch. Don’t brush too hard; this can actually damage teeth and gums. Think of it more as massaging. Be sure to brush along your gumline. This is very important, because plaque accumulates there.
- Use a soft-bristle toothbrush. Like brushing too hard, hard bristles can damage teeth and gums. Use a fluoridated toothpaste.
- Floss at least once each day. There are lots of types of dental floss available. Choose whichever type you like; just be sure to use it. Once a day is enough for most people. Between meals, you might think about carrying inter-dental cleaners in your purse, briefcase, or backpack. Do not use toothpicks, though.
- A mouth rinse can help, too. It is, of course, no substitute for brushing and flossing, but a rinse can further reduce plaque.
A few other things you can do:
- Don’t smoke. Tobacco contributes to gum disease, and to cancer too. That includes e-cigarettes.
- Eat a healthy diet. Nutrients like vitamins A andC help prevent gum disease. Avoid, or at least minimize, sugary and starchy foods.
- Avoid certain medications. Heart medicines, antidepressants,and oral contraceptives can aggravate gum disease. Ask your prescribing doctor.
At Neal C. Johnson DMD in Billings we want all our patients to enjoy healthy teeth and gums. People from Lockwood, Billings Heights, and Laurel have come to our office for gum disease treatment, and for complete family dentistry. Call to schedule your next cleaning and checkup today!
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