About 64.7 million Americans aged more than 30 years have periodontitis (gum disease) – making this condition a growing concern in this country. If you have periodontitis, you may experience pain in the gums, bad breath, receding, swollen and red gums, or even tooth loss.

To reduce your chances of developing gum disease, you must take good care of your gums and your mouth. Healthy gums are the foundation for healthy teeth and a healthy smile.

Here’s how to keep your gums healthy so that you can keep smiling.

Brush Your Teeth Properly

Brushing your teeth properly can go a long way in helping you to have healthy gums. You need to brush your teeth at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle toothbrush.

Brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle to the gums and move the toothbrush in short strokes while pressing gently. Always remember to clean both sides of your teeth. You are supposed to replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or as soon as the bristles begin to fray.

How to Keep Your Gums Healthy: Floss Daily

When did you floss last? The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends flossing daily. Cleaning between your teeth removes plaque and food particles from between your teeth and gums.

Plaque contains bacteria that feed on sugar or leftover food in your mouth. The bacteria releases acids that can cause cavities by eating away the outer shell of your teeth.

If not removed, plaque can harden into a substance called calculus (or tartar) which collects along the gum line leading to gum disease.

Use Mouthwash

There are two types of mouthwash that you can use: cosmetic and therapeutic. However, you should not use mouthwash as a replacement for flossing and brushing.

A therapeutic mouthwash can help:

  • Reduce the speed at which calculus builds up
  • Prevent gum disease
  • Remove food particles from your mouth
  • Reduce the amount of plaque on your teeth

Look for the ADA seal when buying mouthwash. This seal indicates that the manufacturer of the mouthwash has demonstrated enough evidence to support the effectiveness and safety of the product.

However, children under the age of 6 years should not use mouthwash.

Choose the Right Toothpaste

There are many brands of toothpaste and whitening products in the market today. Unfortunately, not all of them are good for your teeth. When buying toothpaste, ensure it contains fluoride and there should also be the ADA seal on its packaging.

Get Regular Dental Checkups

Regular dental checkups are a must if you want to keep your gums healthy. It is during such checkups that a dentist can detect the early signs of gum disease and start immediate treatment. If you have bleeding gums, early detection of the cause can help prevent more severe problems from occurring.

During a dental checkup, your mouth will be professionally cleaned to help eliminate the plaque that you may have missed when brushing your teeth. This is the best way to ensure calculus doesn’t form on your teeth.

Eat the Right Foods

What you eat doesn’t only affect your waistline, it also has a great impact on your oral health.

Different foods have different effects on gum health. Some of the foods that you should incorporate into your diet include:

  • Green and black teas, these help in reducing bacteria
  • Vegetables and high-fiber fruits, as these help in cleaning the mouth
  • Foods that contain fluoride, which include some seafood and poultry products
  • Dairy products, such as yogurt, cheese, and milk, as these foods help in increasing saliva production
  • Sugar-free chewing gum to increase saliva production

It is best to avoid the following foods and beverages:

  • Alcohol, as it dries out the mouth
  • Carbonated soft drinks that contain sugar as well as citric and phosphoric acids
  • Starchy foods that get stuck on the teeth
  • Sticky sweets and candies that stay in the mouth for a while

Quit Smoking. You are probably aware that cigarettes are terrible for your lungs and heart. Do you know that smoking can also wreak havoc on your gums and teeth? If you are a smoker, you are four times more likely to develop periodontitis than a nonsmoker.

Smoking lowers your body’s immune function thereby increasing the risk of gum disease. By quitting this habit, you’ll lower your chances of getting gum disease and many other health conditions.

Brush Your Tongue

Flossing between your gums and brushing your teeth daily may not remove all the bacteria in your mouth. Your tongue accumulates a lot of bacteria during the day and if not cleaned, the bacteria can get transferred to your gums and cause an infection.

So, as you brush your teeth and floss, ensure that you also clean your tongue using your toothbrush.

Use an Electric Toothbrush

An electric toothbrush is a bit more expensive than a regular toothbrush but it does a better job. It helps in removing plaque and also prevents you from brushing your teeth too aggressively that might end up injuring your gums.

So, if you do not already have an electric toothbrush, you might consider investing in one today.

More on How to Keep Your Gums Healthy

Still wondering how to keep your gums healthy? Keeping your gums healthy is a personal responsibility and the good news is that it’s not expensive.

Rather than waiting until it is too late, you can start following the tips discussed above and you’ll be surprised at how you’ll have a healthy smile within a few days. Also, pay attention to any signs of gum disease.

Do not ignore any pains or swelling on your gums. The sooner a problem is detected, the easier it is to treat. Make an appointment to see a dentist whenever you notice any blood when you brush your teeth or when your gums become red and puffy.

If you want more tips on health & fitness, education, travel, technology, and fashion, you can visit our blog.

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If You Want to be as Great as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk or Sir Richard Branson, Read This

Success, real insane success is a marathon. Oh, and there are no shortcuts. You can’t spring your way to greatness. It takes times, a very long time.

Here is Richard Branson’s business timeline – his business ventures from the 1960s to today. It’s a very long list. It will give you an idea of what it took him to get to now.

These are two of the most upvoted responses on Quora to this question: “How can I be as great as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk or Sir Richard Branson?

1. Justine Musk, Canadian author, and the first wife of Elon Musk

Extreme success results from an extreme personality and comes at the cost of many other things. Extreme success is different from what I suppose you could just consider ‘success’, so know that you don’t have to be Richard or Elon to be affluent and accomplished and maintain a great lifestyle.

Your odds of happiness are better that way. But if you’re extreme, you must be what you are, which means that happiness is more or less beside the point. These people tend to be freaks and misfits who were forced to experience the world in an unusually challenging way.

They developed strategies to survive, and as they grow older they find ways to apply these strategies to other things, and create for themselves a distinct and powerful advantage.

They don’t think the way other people think. They see things from angles that unlock new ideas and insights. Other people consider them to be somewhat insane.

Be obsessed.

Be obsessed.

Be obsessed.

If you’re not obsessed, then stop what you’re doing and find whatever does obsess you. It helps to have an ego, but you must be in service to something bigger if you are to inspire the people you need to help you  (and make no mistake, you will need them).

That ‘something bigger’ prevents you from going off into the ether when people flock round you and tell you how fabulous you are when you aren’t and how great your stuff is when it isn’t. Don’t pursue something because you “want to be great”.

Pursue something because it fascinates you, because the pursuit itself engages and compels you. Extreme people combine brilliance and talent with an *insane* work ethic, so if the work itself doesn’t drive you, you will burn out or fall by the wayside or your extreme competitors will crush you and make you cry.

Follow your obsessions until a problem starts to emerge, a big meaty challenging problem that impacts as many people as possible, that you feel hellbent to solve or die trying.

It might take years to find that problem, because you have to explore different bodies of knowledge, collect the dots and then connect and complete them.

It helps to have superhuman energy and stamina. If you are not blessed with godlike genetics, then make it a point to get into the best shape possible.

There will be jet lag, mental fatigue, bouts of hard partying, loneliness, pointless meetings, major setbacks, family drama, issues with the Significant Other you rarely see, dark nights of the soul, people who bore and annoy you, little sleep, less sleep than that. Keep your body sharp to keep your mind sharp. It pays off.

Learn to handle a level of stress that would break most people.

Don’t follow a pre-existing path, and don’t look to imitate your role models. There is no “next step”. Extreme success is not like other kinds of success; what has worked for someone else, probably won’t work for you.

They are individuals with bold points of view who exploit their very particular set of unique and particular strengths. They are unconventional, and one reason they become the entrepreneurs they become is because they can’t or don’t or won’t fit into the structures and routines of corporate life.

They are dyslexic, they are autistic, they have ADD, they are square pegs in round holes, they piss people off, get into arguments, rock the boat, laugh in the face of paperwork.

But they transform weaknesses in ways that create added advantage — the strategies I mentioned earlier — and seek partnerships with people who excel in the areas where they have no talent whatsoever.

They do not fear failure — or they do, but they move ahead anyway. They will experience heroic, spectacular, humiliating, very public failure but find a way to reframe until it isn’t failure at all.

When they fail in ways that other people won’t, they learn things that other people don’t and never will. They have incredible grit and resilience.

They are unlikely to be reading stuff like this. (This is *not* to slam or criticize people who do; I love to read this stuff myself.) They are more likely to go straight to a book: perhaps a biography of Alexander the Great or Catherine the Great* or someone else they consider Great.

Surfing the ‘Net is a deadly timesuck, and given what they know their time is worth — even back in the day when technically it was not worth that — they can’t afford it.

I could go on, it’s a fascinating subject, but you get the idea. I wish you luck and strength and perhaps a stiff drink should you need it.

2. Michael Simmons, Co-Founder, Empact & Award-Winning Entrepreneur

Most of these people have focused on individual traits such as hard work, deliberate practice, etc.. But when we look in the real world, we see that individual traits aren’t the whole story.

There are so many people who work extremely hard, have great ideas, plan out big things and so forth, yet they are not nearly as successful as these four legends.

I myself am an entrepreneur. I have been since the age of 16. Recently though, I had the same underlying question you had.

Because of that, I went out searching for the answer.

Through my interviews I do for Forbes, I recently came across the field of network science. This field has studied how people become successful from a completely different angle. They’ve found that how we build our network may be the best predictor of success.

Since then, I have interviewed many of the world’s top network scientists on a quest to understand how networks create competitive advantage in business and careers.

Out of the four legends that have been mentioned, I feel that the best person to showcase as a prime example of how networks impact success is  Steve Jobs.

Since then, books have been written and movies have been made.

Each has celebrated his legacy and aimed to share the secrets he used to build the largest company in the world; things like attention to detail, attracting world-class talent and holding them to high standards.

We think we understand what caused his success.

We don’t.

We dismiss usable principles of success by labeling them as personality quirks.

What’s often missed is the paradoxical interplay of two of his seemingly opposite qualities;

  1. Maniacal focus
  2. Insatiable curiosity

These weren’t just two random strengths. They may have been his most important as they helped lead to everything else.

Jobs’ curiosity fueled his passion and provided him with access to unique insights, skills, values, and world-class people who complemented his own skillset. Job’s focus brought those to bear in the world of personal electronics.

I don’t just say this as someone who has devoured practically every article, interview, and book featuring him.

I say this as someone who has been monomaniacal in the study and research of what the underlying key components are that create career success.

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