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What lifestyle changes should I make if I have gingivitis?

Carol Jahn
Dentist
If you have gingivitis the primary lifestyle change you should make is to develop good daily self-care habits. Most people use a toothbrush at least once a day. If your dental hygienist has indicated that you need to improve your brushing, and you are using a manual toothbrush, consider switching to a power toothbrush. In most cases, power brushes outperform manual toothbrushes in removing plaque.

Most people neglect cleaning between their teeth yet this is the place gingivitis starts. If you struggle with floss, give it up! There are many other products on the market that are just as effective and easier to use. These include toothpicks, interdental brushes, floss holders, and a Water Flosser. 
You should adopt improved oral hygiene habits and practice them consistently to reduce gingivitis and prevent it from recurring. For example, you should brush and floss your teeth at least two times per day, morning and evening. You should brush and floss for about three to five minutes each time.
 
You should also use a toothbrush with soft bristles that is replaced every three to four months. An electric toothbrush may be even better than a traditional one at removing plaque and tartar. An antiseptic mouth rinse and an interdental cleaner also help reduce gingivitis and prevent a recurrence.

If you have been diagnosed with gingivitis, the most important thing you can do is to improve your brushing and flossing routine. If you have gingivitis, your gums may become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by a professional cleaning at your dental office and always make sure to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes and to floss daily.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.