Gum care

With proper care, your teeth and gums can stay healthy throughout your life. The healthier your teeth and gums are, the less risk you have for tooth decay and gum disease. There are four basic steps to caring for teeth and gums:

How Should I Care for My Teeth and Gums?

There are four basic steps to caring for teeth and gums:

  • Brushing
  • Flossing
  • Eating right
  • Visiting the dentist
  • Tips for Brushing

Brush at least twice a day. If you can, brush after every meal. Brushing removes plaque, a film of bacteria that clings to teeth. When bacteria in plaque come into contact with food, they produce acids.
These acids lead to cavities.

To brush:

  • Place a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste on the head of the toothbrush. (Use a soft toothbrush.)
  • Place the toothbrush against the teeth at a 45-degree angle to the gum line.
  • Move the brush across the teeth using a small circular motion. Continue with this motion cleaning one tooth at a time.
  • Keep the tips of the bristles against the gum line.
  • Avoid pressing so hard that the bristles lie flat against the teeth. (Only the tips of the toothbrush clean the teeth.) Let the bristles reach into spaces between teeth.
  • Brush across the top of the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Make sure the bristles get into the groves and crevices.
  • Use the same small circular motion to clean the backside of the upper and lower teeth – the side that faces the tongue.