When you think of home care for oral health, the first thing that comes to mind is brushing your teeth. Everyone knows they’re supposed to brush their teeth at least twice a day (and hopefully everyone follows through on that plan!), but “brushing your teeth” is much more than just cleaning the surfaces of your teeth. Brushing your teeth is a comprehensive oral health care treatment. You’re also caring for your gums and your tongue when you brush — or at least you should be. Brushing around the gum line is vital for good dental hygiene. Bacteria left to infiltrate the gum line can create a huge problem for you later.

Brush and Floss at Home to Maintain Gum Health

When you brush your teeth, make sure to brush around the base of each tooth, along the gum line. Flossing helps as well, because it reaches the gaps between teeth that are difficult to touch with your brush head. These spots are easy to miss if you focus on the surfaces of your teeth, and they’re where bacteria can aggregate to form plaque and calculus. If bacteria isn’t disrupted and removed from your gum line, it can cause infection. Prolonged inflammation of your gums leads to gum disease, which, in its later stages, can have irreversible ramifications.

Failing to Care for Your Gums Has Major Consequences

You’ve probably heard of gingivitis. This is the first stage of gum disease, and luckily, it’s reversible. Gingivitis comes from prolonged inflammation. It can cause redness, swelling, and pain for your gums. However, it’s nothing compared to periodontitis. This late-stage gum disease can cause tooth loss and raise your risk of contracting other conditions like heart disease. That’s why it’s so important to brush and floss at home.

Talk to Your Dentist About Preventing Periodontitis

If you’ve fallen out of the routine of brushing and flossing, get back in! The state of your oral health won’t improve until you take action. You should also visit your dentist to ensure that you don’t have any problem areas developing. Talk to him or her about what you can do to maintain strong gum health for life. Schedule an appointment with Greenhaven Family Dental in Baxter, MN by calling 218-454-0523.