The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that gum disease affects over 47% of American adults ages 30 and over. Regular dentist appointments are one of the most obvious ways to combat the start, and spread, of periodontal disease. But on its own, professional maintenance isn't enough, which is where at-home care comes into play.
Brushing their teeth with a manual toothbrush for two minutes at least two times a day is the bare minimum that most healthy adults need in order to maintain a healthy mouth. However, this basic oral health routine may not be enough to completely prevent gum disease and cavities.
Go beyond manual brushing and take a look at some other ways to reduce the risk of gum disease and support a healthy oral care routine.
A few years ago, various news sources claimed that there isn't enough research to prove the benefits of flossing. However, dental experts still suggest that patients stick to flossing at least once a day.
While some may claim that the health benefits of flossing are minimal, you can't deny that flossing to remove food, debris, and bacteria from between your teeth is an effective way to reduce the risk of developing gum disease. The fact is that your regular manual toothbrush just can't reach every surface of your tooth.
Allowing your leftover lunch and other particles to sit between surfaces of your tooth and gums can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Flossing removes this debris and helps create a healthy oral environment.
Keep in mind that over-flossing to the point of making your gums raw, red, and bloody isn't healthy. Always follow your dentist's flossing orders and take a break if your gums start to get irritated.
Rinsing with Mouthwash
The dental health aisle at your local pharmacy is filled with mouthwash products that all make claims about reducing gingivitis, whitening your teeth, and improving your overall oral health.
Mouthwash products can have a positive effect on your gums and overall mouth health. Oral health rinses can reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth and remove microorganisms from the not-so-easy to brush sides of your teeth depending on the product and its specific ingredients.
Therapeutic rinses with ingredients such as fluoride or xylitol can help reduce plaque and gum inflammation, both of which are necessary to battle gum disease. In some severe cases, the dentist may even prescribe a stronger mouthwash rinse for you to use temporarily. This type of therapeutic rinse is often stronger and better able to combat gum disease or other oral infections.
Before choosing a rinse from the drug store shelf, talk to your dentist about which product is right for you. Your dentist or dental hygienist is probably familiar with a lot of the different products on the market, and they can recommend the best one based on their assessment of your oral health.
Brushing With an Electric Toothbrush
Manual brushing with a traditional toothbrush can effectively keep your teeth clean. But a battery-powered or electric toothbrush may make a major difference to your overall health if you have a hard time reaching all of the places you need to reach when brushing manually.
In other cases dexterity issues, aging, or, injury can make it difficult to brush completely with a manual toothbrush. If you're struggling with the brushing motion, your dentist can recommend a powered version to help maintain proper oral health.
Remember that you can do a lot to increase your oral health. If you need professional help with your athome routine or with picking products, contact Epps Village Family Dentistry LLC for an appointment.