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Top Six Tips For Gum Care Month

Take care of your oral health with advice from CU Dental Graduate Periodontics Residents

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Written by Laura Ramsey on September 7, 2022

To help commemorate National Gum Care Month this September, the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine’s Graduate Periodontics Program residents are sharing their advice on how to take care of your oral health. 

Think it’s as simple as brushing your teeth? Well, that’s certainly number one on the list, but there’s more to gum care than you may think. Do you know what pressure setting your water flosser should be on? Or how often to replace your electric toothbrush head? Read on to discover what might be missing from your oral health care routine. 

From our graduate periodontics residents and everyone at the CU School of Dental Medicine, Happy Gum Care Month! 



Tips for Healthy Gums:

Brush and floss every day.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes twice every day. Not sure how long two minutes is? The “Happy Birthday Song” is about one minute in length, so if you hum it twice while you brush, that should give you the right timing.  

Floss regularly to remove any food and plaque between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. This will help prevent buildup around your teeth and gums, keeping your mouth as healthy as possible in between visits to the dentist.  

Use a soft-bristle toothbrush.

Did you know the bristles on your toothbrush come in different firmness levels? Soft toothbrushes are gentler on your gums and just as effective. Hard- or firm-bristle toothbrushes, or brushing too vigorously, can damage the enamel and tissues around your teeth. It can even cause gum loss, which can lead to tooth sensitivity and other problems in the future.  

Note: If you have braces, you’ll want to use a hard-bristle toothbrush.  

Replace your toothbrush every three months.

Whether you use a manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush, keep an eye on the bristles to make sure they don’t get matted or frayed. To ensure effective cleaning and care, replace your manual toothbrush, or your electric toothbrush head, every 3-4 months.  

Set your water flosser pressure to low-medium.

A water flosser is a great way to get rid of any food particles or plaque buildup between your teeth, which can help lower your risk for cavities and gum disease.  

You may be tempted to turn the pressure all the way up—don’t do it! The recommended pressure setting for water flossers is low or medium. As a beginner, start with a low setting to acclimate your mouth and gums to the device before increasing to your preference over time. 

See your general dentist twice a year.

Similar to visiting your general doctor once a year, it is tremendously important to visit your general dentist twice a year for preventative care. A dental “check-up” is not just a cleaning. Your dentist is looking for signs of oral health issues, such as periodontal disease or oral cancer, as well as evaluating your overall health. The cleaning is crucial too—not only does it make your mouth feel fresh, but it also removes harmful plaque that your regular brushing and flossing simply cannot get. This helps prevent disease and infections that can result from avoiding the dentist for too long.  

If you need to see a periodontist, have your general dentist send us a referral.

The CU Graduate Periodontics Clinic provides comprehensive treatment for all oral health issues related to the gum and bone tissues at prices that are typically 25-50% less than private practice periodontists. This includes services such as:  

  • Non-surgical and surgical treatment of gum disease,  
  • Gum grafting/gum recession treatment,  
  • Bone grafts to restore lost jaw structure,  
  • Dental implants,  
  • And periodontal maintenance.  

To become a patient, you must obtain a referral from your general dentist. Please have them send a completed patient referral form to SDMreferral@ucdenver.edu and allow up to two weeks for a call to schedule your screening appointment.

Topics: Education, Students