How to Avoid Gum Grafting, Gum Surgery, and Tooth Decay

DF2 Uncategorized


1. Don’t smoke. If you smoke, quit. Ask us for advice and help if you want to try. If you can’t quit, cut down. The magic number is 10 cigarettes per day, below which the effects on your health are minimal.

2. Clean between your teeth once daily. Flossing is best, but only if done correctly. We are happy to demonstrate flossing if you have any questions. If you hate flossing, instead use a proxabrush, stimudents, rubber tip stimulator, Water Flosser, or Hummingbird electric flosser.

3. Brush 1-2 times daily with a very soft manual or electric toothbrush. Be gentle! Brushing aggressively or more than twice per day will not improve your health; it will only wear away your gum tissue, requiring corrective grafting.

4. Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash 1-2 times daily, especially if you are over 40 or have a history of decay. If you have more problems with gum disease than with decay, use Listerine Total Care instead.

5. Remain diligent with your preventive maintenance (“check-up”) visits with us and your general dentist. Missing or postponing these visits increases the risk for minor problems to become major ones. At the earliest and most easily treated stages, tooth decay, gum disease, and implant failure have no symptoms. Don’t wait until it hurts.

6. Everyone knows that sugary or highly processed carbohydrates increase your risk for decay, but it is less well-known that the frequency of exposure is most important. If you eat or drink sweets, juice, soda, or snack foods, try to consume them only once or twice a day. Frequent snacking or sipping of sugary foods and drinks is a bad idea.

We don’t want you to need restorative or surgical treatment any more than you do. None of the above steps are difficult to take at first, but they require effort to sustain over time. We know because we struggle to follow the same rules too.

Please let us know if we can help you stay on track!