Preventative Tips for Gingivitis

It’s been said that our allopathic medical system excels at “emergency medicine,” and it’s true that much of modern health care is focused on fixing problems once they’ve become troubling, even serious.

However, as dramatic as curative procedures can be, prevention is often far more effective. Gum disease, especially the milder form known as gingivitis, can often be prevented with good self-care and a strong partnership with your Phoenix Dentist. Here are some basics you need to know in order to lower your risk of this common dental malady.

How To Partner With Your Phoenix Dentist to Prevent Gingivitis

  • Brush properly and frequently. Since bacterial plaque re-forms on your teeth within 24 hours of cleaning your teeth, brushing your teeth must be done at least twice daily. It’s important to use proper technique when you brush – you can find instruction online or ask your Phoenix dentist for tips.
  • Floss at least once daily. Even the best brushing misses up to 40 percent of teeth surfaces, so flossing is a must. Studies have shown that regular flossing reduces 35 of the 40 most common types of bacteria found in our mouths. Pick a method and type of floss that works for you – various types of string floss, air flossers and water flossing devices are all effective.
  • Get regular dental cleanings from your Phoenix dentist. If you’re not able to remove all the plaque from your teeth, it will harden into tartar. Tartar irritates the gingiva (gums) and often is the cause of gingivitis. Tartar can only be removed by your Phoenix dentist or his/her staff.
  • Ask about receiving a Comprehensive Periodontal Evaluation (CPE). Since gum disease has become so prevalent in the United States, the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) has recommended that adults receive a CPE each year. A helpful downloadable worksheet produced by the AAP can guide you in discussing the results of your exam with your Phoenix dentist. This step can help you be proactive in caring for your gums and ensuring gingivitis never has a chance to start in your mouth.

“While gingivitis is common, that doesn’t mean you are fated to suffer from it,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a Phoenix-based cosmetic dentist. “There are many steps you can take to prevent it, or to reverse its impact.”

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