September is National Gum Care Month, and Dr. Hinze wants to remind all of his patients about the importance of caring for gums.

Gum disease is the most common way that adults lose their teeth.

Here are three tips to help avoid gum disease:

  1. Don’t Smoke

“I can almost say if you smoke, you are going to lose your teeth,” Dr. Hinze said.

Smoking decreases the circulation in the body and the gums. This lack of circulation can cause inflammation in the mouth, which eventually leads to gum disease. Smoking also causes dry mouth and stains the teeth.

  1. Floss

Besides not smoking, the second most important thing to do is be sure to clean between the teeth “because that’s where gum problems start.”

Flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth, and Dr. Hinze recommends flossing every day to prevent plaque from building up between the teeth and along the gum line.

  1. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Dr. Hinze said brushing teeth too hard in a back and forth motion may also cause damage to the gum lines. It’s best to use a soft-bristled toothbrush in a circular motion.

He often gets questions about whether he would recommend an electric toothbrush. He said that is ultimately a decision of patient preference. If an electric toothbrush leads to more brushing, then it’s worth the investment. If not, a soft-bristled manual toothbrush will do the job.

Overall, preventing gum disease boils down to practicing good dental hygiene.

“Making wise choices now can make a big difference in the future,” Dr. Hinze said.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hinze, please call (308) 995-5331.