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Many of us work hard at maintaining our oral health.  However, quite a few of us do not factor in the role that healthy gums play in keeping our smiles in tip top shape.  Here is some simple advice on maintaining gum health:

  • The worst food for your gums are the same foods that are bad for your teeth.  Avoid sticky foods.  When these foods are not brushed off of your gums quickly after consumption, you are more likely to develop bleeding gums.
  • Floss, floss, floss.  I cannot stress the importance of flossing enough.  Flossing removes food particles lodged between teeth, and removes plaque from the places where your toothbrush can’t reach.  Gently slide the floss up and down and follow the curve of each tooth. Flossing too hard can cause bleeding.
  • Brush your gums.  When you brush your teeth in the morning, evening, and after meals, make sure that you lightly brush your gums especially the area where the tooth meets the gum.
  • Use mouthwash!  Swishing mouthwash around in your mouth for 20 seconds after you brush your teeth decreases the likelihood of developing plaque close to your gum line.
  • Exercise and take time to relax. Exercising and relaxing activities release stress, and less stress equals healthier gums.  Remember that stress increases the possibility of developing canker sores.

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