Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults

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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults

Once my children were grown and on their own, I decided it was time to care of me. One of the first things I did was make an appointment with the dentist. I quickly discovered that years of not keeping up with my own dental care had taken a heavy toll on my teeth. Whereas I thought my teeth were just fine, the dentist pointed out several problems that were going to require a lot of work. When talking to friends, I found out that many of them were in the same boat. This blog is for people like me who just did not have time to keep up with their own dental care.

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3 Ways To Protect And Care For Your Gums When You Have Gingivitis

If you have recently been told by your dentist that you have gingivitis, you may wonder what you can do to take care of your gums so that your condition does not advance to periodontal disease. If so, use the following three tips below to protect and care for your gums when you have gingivitis.

Brush Your Teeth the Right Way with the Right Toothbrush

One of the first symptoms you may have noticed that led you to visit your dentist about your gums may have been the sight of blood while brushing your teeth. When you have gingivitis, your gum tissue becomes fragile, causing them to bleed when they are raked over by the bristles of a toothbrush.

Once you have discovered you have gingivitis, you need to change the way you brush your teeth, especially if you are used to brushing side-to-side with the brush. While this action gets your teeth clean, it does not thoroughly clean the gum line and gums.

Also, the horizontal brushing can scratch the edges of your gums, breaking them open and causing them to bleed. You may also need to change your toothbrush to one with softer bristles that do not cut into the gum tissue.

After you have purchased a soft-bristle toothbrush, start using small circles when brushing your teeth, making sure that you go below the gum line and gently clean the gums. You also want to focus a few seconds on each tooth before moving on to the next to make sure you clean all areas of the enamel, gum line, and gums.

Floss Thoroughly Between All of Your Teeth

While you most likely already know the importance of flossing your teeth, this part of your oral care regimen becomes increasingly important when you have gingivitis. Since your gums are prone to breaking open and becoming infected, you need to make sure that you have removed all food particles which can attract bacteria.

When you floss your teeth, make sure you floss thoroughly between each and every tooth. Also, take time to fully wiggle the floss once you reach the gum line to make sure you remove any food that is caught at the base of your teeth. 

Massage Your Gums with Peppermint Oil

Another way you can give extra attention to your gums when you have gingivitis is to massage them with peppermint oil. When you massage your gums, you stimulate the flow of blood that carries nutrients to the tissue. The blood also brings with it white blood cells that can fight off bacteria that may have entered any small cuts which could lead to infection.

While simply massaging your gums with your fingertip aids in their healing, adding peppermint oil to the procedure can give you two added bonuses. First, peppermint is a natural, yet powerful, antibacterial that can you keep your gums from getting infected.

Second, peppermint oil is also a numbing agent. If you often find that your gums are sore after you brush your teeth, massaging them with the oil can help relieve your discomfort.

When massaging your gums, place a couple of drops on your index finger. Then, slowly rub the oil on your gums, starting at the backs of your mouth and moving forward. Periodically, add more oil to your fingertip to keep the application even.

Using the above tips can help you take care of your gums after receiving a diagnosis of gingivitis. However, if you have any further questions or feel your condition is worsening, make an appointment with your dentist to discuss any available treatment options that address your particular needs. Click here for info.