In search of pearly whites? The answer is hiding in plain sight

In search of pearly whites? The answer is hiding in plain sight

Though it’s easy to focus on the whiteness and straightness of your teeth, other factors can determine the health of your smile

When it comes to oral hygiene, it’s tempting to focus on looks before the health of your teeth and gums. After all, when you’ve got two rows of pearly whites smiling back at you in the mirror, it’s easy to think your mouth is as healthy as it is gorgeous.

Dental experts know that this isn’t always the case. The reality is that harmful bacteria and plaque often lurk below the gumline unnoticed — just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean it isn’t a problem.

If left unaddressed, bacteria can put you at risk of developing gum disease and gingivitis, which include symptoms such as inflammation, bleeding and irritation of the gums. These can even seriously impact your smile. In fact, 20 to 30 per cent of adults are at risk of losing teeth because of gum disease.

Although certain demographics, like smokers and pregnant women, are at a higher risk, absolutely anyone can develop this common oral health problem. In fact, the Canadian Dental Association says 7 out of 10 Canadians will develop gum disease in their lifetime.

It’s not all bad news, however. If you have gum disease, you certainly aren’t alone — and you aren’t without options to treat it, prevent it and get your pearly whites back in top form.

Your gums are incredibly important for protecting your teeth, so it’s important to find products that address their needs. Something as simple as a change of toothpaste could be all that’s standing between you and healthier gums. Consider using a product like Crest’s Gum Detoxify Deep Clean Toothpaste. It uses superior technology to neutralize harmful plaque bacteria, effectively cleaning below the gumline to help prevent gingivitis. Plus, if you’ve found yourself beyond the point of prevention, it’s clinically proven to help reverse the early stages of gingivitis altogether.

In addition to a great toothpaste, choosing the right toothbrush can ensure that your teeth are strong and both cavity- and pain-free. Opt for soft bristles over hard, as hard bristles can damage your gums and tooth enamel. Additionally, Crest’s experts explain that electric toothbrushes with round brush heads, such as Oral-B’s Power Brushes, can reduce plaque buildup by 21 per cent, which can go a long way toward preventing gum disease. It’s also a smart idea to use mouthwash, which can reach the trickier places in your mouth that a toothbrush can’t, tackle cavities and tartar, and prevent your teeth from becoming stained or stripped of enamel.

The more you learn about gingivitis the scarier it may seem, but the good news is that most people don’t need pricey or invasive treatments to address it. Choosing the right at-home oral care supplies is an affordable way to make gingivitis prevention part of your daily life.

Many people do everything they can to keep their teeth white and gleaming, from using DIY methods like activated charcoal and lemon juice whiteners to eliminating coffee and tea from their diets. But caring for your gums and striving for a prettier smile don’t have to be separate goals.

Whether you’re looking to treat a case of gum disease or simply ensure that it’s an issue you’ll never have to face, the solution is as easy as looking for the right products and staying committed to a consistent routine.