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How To Tackle Gum Disease At Home

Patients often ask me if it's possible to cure gum disease. I tell them that reversing gum disease is not easy. There's no magic pill. But it's possible to get the progress of the disease under control and limit further spread.

 Sometimes a dentist or periodontist might recommend some form of gum surgery. But this is useless if you are still leaving plaque behind. The most important thing about treating gum disease is that you accept that it is caused by plaque collecting between the teeth and under the gums, and that it is up to YOU to clean it off!

What you have to do is relatively simple. It will take a bit of practice and some persistence. You will need to find fifteen minutes in your day. Can you find fifteen minutes? You will also be helping to reduce your chances of having a heart attack or a stroke.

 Here is a guide on how to tackle gum disease at home: 

 I recommend that you get an electric toothbrush. I recommend a sonic electric toothbrush like the ones from Amden (Cybersonic), Sonicare (DiamondClean) and Oral B (Pulsonic). You can read a review of these brushes at Best electric toothbrush.

 I do not recommend any mouthwashes. They don't help you.

You should buy some disclosing tablets AND some dental floss. Actually, I recommend Satin Tape or Ultrafloss, depending how tight your teeth are.

 Use any toothpaste. The major brands are all about the same.

 Brush your teeth like you normally do. Don't do anything different. Then chew a disclosing tablet. Rinse out a few times. This will stain any plaque that you have missed.

 Pick up your new sonic toothbrush and slowly let it work where you see the stained plaque. Don't forget, you also have to go along the inside surfaces of your teeth, along the gum edges next to your palate (the roof of your mouth) of your upper teeth, and along the gum edges next to your tongue of your lower teeth.

 It will take about 10 minutes of brushing to clean your teeth PROPERLY. You have to let the toothbrush bristles sit on each tooth for ten seconds per tooth. That's ten seconds on the outside surface next to your cheek or lips; and another ten seconds on the inner surface next to your palate or tongue. You don't need to scrub hard or press on the brush to get the plaque off. Just give it enough time to do it's job.

 NEXT, get out your floss or tape, and take off about eighteen inches. Wrap a bit around each of your middle fingers, and then hold the center bit between your thumbs and first fingers. Now gently wriggle the floss between your teeth and slightly under the gum, around each and every tooth. There are detailed instructions at Oral B floss

 You should also see your dental hygienist every 8 to 12 weeks so she can check how you're doing. She can also show you where you are missing plaque with your brush, and help you improve your technique to get that plaque off!

Guest Post by:  Dr. Richard Mitchell

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