Hone your hygiene skills: good oral hygiene is the best way to keep gum disease at arm’s length and the best news is that you only have to spend a couple of minutes each morning and evening cleaning your teeth to enjoy amazing results. Brushing is essential, but it doesn’t cover the whole of the mouth, so it’s best to team twice-daily brushing with flossing or inter-dental brushing. When you brush, take care to be gentle, as brushing aggressively can damage the enamel and irritate the gums. It’s also advisable to use fluoride toothpaste and to swap your toothbrush every 3-4 months.
Be wary of warning signs: treating gum disease in the early stages is much easier than treating advanced gum disease and it helps to prevent permanent damage to your gums and the bony structures beneath. If you spot signs of gum disease, make sure you arrange to see your dentist; symptoms to look out for include swelling, bleeding gums, soreness and redness.
Book regular check-ups: regular check-ups enable your dentist to look out for early signs of gum disease and keep tabs on your oral health. Ideally, you should see a dentist every 6-9 months. If you do notice symptoms of gum disease, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible, rather than waiting for your next appointment.
Resist sweet temptations: many of us enjoy sweet treatments from time to time, but sweet and acidic foods are bad news for your teeth and gums, so it’s important to moderate your sugar intake and try to avoid snacking between meals. When you eat, acids are released by bacteria, which soften your enamel. If you eat throughout the day, this mean that your enamel is under constant attack and eventually it will become eroded and cavities will form. These acids also irritate your gums, causing gingivitis (early gum disease).