Everyone knows the importance of good dental hygiene--brush your teeth twice a day to keep them sparkling white. There is another aspect of mouth care that tends to be overlooked, though, and that is gum care. People fail to realize what an important job the gums have. They hold those pearly whites in place--and if they aren't cared for and stimulated, gum disease can sneak in and steal those pearly whites away. There are a variety of techniques that can be used to increase the circulation to the gums, and the best part is that they all only take a few minutes a day.
Mix warm salt water. Take 1 tsp. of salt and mix it thoroughly with an 8-oz. glass of warm water. Rinse your mouth with this concoction once a day to increase the circulation to the gums and reduce any inflammation that may already be present.
Floss after meals. While brushing is a great defense against gum disease, the almighty toothbrush can't get into every crack and crevice that food does. This is why flossing is so important. It removes the leftover food particles, preventing bacteria from lingering and causing plaque buildup--plaque that destroys teeth and gums. Flossing also stimulates the gums, increasing circulation to them.
Do a finger massage. Place your index finger on the inside of your gums--your thumb on the inside--and gently rub them in a circular motion. This massage will stimulate the gums and increase blood flow.
Use baking soda. Take a bit of baking soda and mix it with some water. Then, using your finger, spread it on your gum line, rubbing your gums as you go. Not only will this kill harmful bacteria, it also stimulates the gums while you are applying the mixture to them.
Brush gently. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, angle the head so it is at a 45-degree angle. Once angled, proceed to gently brush your gums in a circular motion. This helps remove any food and bacteria that may be trapped in the gums, and also increases circulation through stimulation.
Based in Jamestown, Pa., Hannah Rice Myers has more than 10 years of experience as a freelance writer, specializing in the health industry. Many of her articles have appeared in newspapers, as well as "Curing Epilepsy: Hope Through Research." Rice Myers received her master's degree in nursing from Upstate Medical University in 2001.
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