If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to take better care of your health, the team here at Park Dental Care would be delighted to help. Here are some tips for keeping gum disease at bay throughout 2020 and beyond. 
Commit to great brushing 
If you already brush twice a day for at least two minutes each time with a fluoride toothpaste, you’re halfway there – but don’t miss the areas between your teeth! Brushing only reaches about 70% of the total area of the tooth and the only way you can clean below the gumline is by flossing or using interdental brushes. If you have tried flossing before, you will probably find using interdental brushes easier and more thorough. Your gums may bleed the first few times you try it because your gums are likely to be inflamed – an early symptom of gum disease. Keep using the brushes gently once a day and you should find that the bleeding stops within a week or two. If it doesn’t, this suggests something serious is going on and we recommend that you make an appointment with one of our friendly dental therapists who’ll be happy to advise you. 
Avoid using tobacco 
There are many great reasons to quit smoking in 2020, and one of those is the positive impact it will have on your oral health. Smokers are far more likely than non-smokers to develop gum disease, partly because smoking weakens the body’s ability to fight off infection and partly because smoking can mask the symptoms of gum disease. Nicotine restricts the blood flow to the gums, which makes it less likely they will bleed when brushing or flossing – a key early warning sign. You can read more about how tobacco affects your oral health here
Rethink your diet 
January is a great time to start undoing all the damage done to both your waistline and your oral health over the Christmas holidays, and replacing all the sugary festive treats with healthier options is a good place to start. Leafy greens such as kale and spinach are full of vitamins and minerals that boost red blood cell production and reduce inflammation, crunchy fruits and vegetables are great for saliva production, and dairy products such as cheese and milk contain calcium to strengthen bone and neutralize harmful acids in your mouth. 
Know your risk factors 
Age, smoking, diet, genetics, and the use of certain medications can all increase your risk of developing gum disease. If one or more of these factors applies to you, our expert dental therapists will be happy to discuss ways in which you can keep your mouth healthy. 
Get regular dental hygiene therapy 
A professional scale and polish treatment is the only way to remove tartar (hardened plaque that accumulates on the surface of your teeth and around the gumline). Our friendly dental therapists, Emma, Christina, and Karen, offer several hygiene treatment options that are available to anyone, whether or not they are registered with the Park Dental Care practice. Your individual risk factors will determine how often it is wise to see a hygienist; as a guide, for Mr. and Mrs. Average, we recommend bi-annual appointments to keep gum disease at bay. 
To start the new year with a fresh approach to your oral health, contact the friendly team at Park Dental Care to book your appointment today. 
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