5 Tips to Help Prevent Gingivitis

Dentists can help you maintain your teeth, but it's up to you to care for them on a daily basis. This involves brushing, flossing, rinsing, and keeping an eye out for diseases like gingivitis. While we've all heard of gingivitis at some point, what exactly is it, and how can we prevent it? 

Nataly Vilderman, DDS, serves those in the Park Merced, West Portal, and Outer Sunset areas of San Francisco, California. Along with providing dental exams and cleanings, she can also give advice on how to prevent and reverse gingivitis using dental hygiene and home remedies. By building good habits, you can avoid the pain and inconvenience of gingivitis. 

What is gingivitis? 

While it's often classified as its own condition, gingivitis is actually an early stage of gum disease, which can develop into periodontitis. If left untreated, gum disease can easily lead to the loss of your teeth. 

This is why preventing and reversing gingivitis is important. If you can tackle the disease in its early stages, you can keep it from worsening. However, many people don't take gingivitis seriously, or they fail to keep up with their dental hygiene routine as often as they should. 

This leads to the buildup of plaque at the bottom of your teeth, and the resulting bacteria inflame your gums. Swollen, irritated gums tend to bleed during brushing, which is the most obvious symptom of gingivitis. 

How do I prevent gingivitis? 

The primary prevention method for gingivitis involves taking care of your teeth. You can do this by forming good habits and establishing an oral hygiene routine. If you're not sure how to improve your oral health more than you already have, here are some tips. 

Buy an electric toothbrush

Many people are good about brushing twice a day, but they might not brush enough, or brush correctly. Electric toothbrushes can make brushing easier, especially for children or people with poor motor control. 

Quit cigarettes and chewing tobacco

Chewing tobacco and cigarettes wreak havoc on almost every organ in your body, and the teeth and gums are no exception. If you want to avoid gum disease, you should ditch the tobacco entirely. 

Rinse after meals

Along with brushing twice a day, rinsing after meals can prevent food debris from sticking to your teeth throughout the day. You can rinse using natural mouthwashes, or stick with the store-bought brands your dentist recommends.

Limit sugar and soda

The bacteria in your mouth love sugar, and the acids in soda aren't good for your teeth either. If you want to indulge in soda or sugar, make sure to rinse your mouth after. 

Invest in a water-flossing system

In reality, few of us floss as often as we should. If you avoid flossing due to your dislike of traditional floss, a Waterpik® or similar system can make flossing easier and less annoying. 

Even if you keep up with brushing and flossing, you might run into problems with gingivitis. If your gums are still swollen and bleeding, a visit to the dentist is necessary. Dr. Vilderman can clean your teeth and make sure that the gingivitis isn't progressing, and you can get tips on how to improve your oral hygiene routine. 

To schedule your appointment at Nataly Vilderman, DDS, call 415-665-7800 or book an appointment online

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