The Essential Periodontal Health Checklist: Are You Taking Proper Care of Your Gums?

When it comes to maintaining a healthy smile, it's essential not to overlook the care and wellbeing of your gums. Periodontal health plays a critical role in your overall oral hygiene and the stability of your teeth. If neglected, gum disease can not only lead to tooth loss but also contribute to systemic health issues like heart disease and diabetes. With this in mind, it's crucial to stay vigilant and adopt a proactive approach to your gum care routine. This periodontal health checklist provides an easy-to-follow guide to help you evaluate your current gum care habits and ensure you're on the right track to maintaining excellent oral health. Let Boulder Periodontics be your partner in safeguarding your smile by following this checklist, seeking professional care when needed, and adopting a holistic approach to achieve a lifetime of periodontal health.

Periodontal Health Checklist Item #1: Proper Brushing Technique

Good oral hygiene begins with the basic foundation of proper brushing. To ensure you are taking appropriate care of your gums, you need to use the correct brushing technique:

  1. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums.
  2. Gently move the brush back and forth using short, tooth-wide strokes.
  3. Brush the outer surfaces of teeth, their inner surfaces, and chewing surfaces.
  4. To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and use up-and-down strokes.

Remember to brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), this is the most effective way to prevent the build-up of plaque, which can lead to gum disease.

Periodontal Health Checklist Item #2: Floss Daily

Flossing is essential for maintaining healthy gums because it removes plaque and food particles that brushing may miss. The ADA recommends flossing at least once a day to keep your gums healthy. Here's how to do it correctly:

  1. Cut off about 18 inches of floss, winding most of it around one of your middle fingers and the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand.
  2. Hold the floss tight between your thumbs and index fingers.
  3. Gently guide the floss between your teeth, using a back-and-forth motion.
  4. Curve the floss into a C shape against each tooth's side, and slide it under the gumline.

If you find traditional dental floss difficult to use, consider trying a floss pick or interdental brush to help reach those hard-to-reach spaces.

Periodontal Health Checklist Item #3: Rinse with a Therapeutic Mouthwash

Incorporating a therapeutic mouthwash into your daily oral hygiene routine can provide additional support for your periodontal health. The ADA suggests using a mouthwash that has a seal of approval from the American Dental Association. These mouthwashes typically contain active ingredients that help control plaque, reduce gingivitis, and freshen your breath. To use mouthwash effectively:

  1. Pour the manufacturer-recommended amount into a small cup.
  2. Swish the mouthwash in your mouth for about 30 seconds.
  3. Gargle for another 30 seconds to ensure the mouthwash reaches the back of your throat.
  4. Spit the mouthwash into the sink.

Periodontal Health Checklist Item #4: Maintain a Balanced Diet

A well-balanced diet not only has overall health benefits but also promotes periodontal health. According to a study conducted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, essential nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin C play a major role in maintaining healthy teeth and supporting your immune system. Here's a list of nutrient-rich foods that can contribute to the health of your gums:

  1. Calcium-rich foods: dairy products, leafy green vegetables, almonds, beans, and salmon.
  2. Vitamin C-rich foods: oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, kale, and kiwi fruit.
  3. Vitamin D-rich foods: fatty fish, beef liver, egg yolks, and fortified dairy products.

Remember to limit sugary snacks and acidic foods that can erode tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay or cavities.

Periodontal Health Checklist Item #5: Regular Dental Check-Ups and Cleanings

Regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings are crucial for maintaining your periodontal health. The Academy of General Dentistry recommends visiting a dentist every six months for a check-up and cleaning. During these visits, your dental professional can:

  1. Assess your overall oral health and detect early signs of periodontal disease.
  2. Remove hardened plaque (tartar) from your teeth, which can only be removed with specialized dental tools.
  3. Screen for oral cancer and identify other oral health issues that may need attention.

In between dental visits, monitor your mouth for changes or symptoms that may suggest gum disease, such as red, swollen, or bleeding gums; persistent bad breath; loose teeth; or gum recession.

Periodontal Health Checklist Item #6: Discourage Harmful Habits

Some habits can directly impact your gum health and increase your risk of developing periodontal disease. To protect your periodontal health, avoid or quit:

  1. Smoking: Smoking weakens your immune system, making it harder to fight gum disease.
  2. Smokeless tobacco: Chewing tobacco increases the risk of gum disease and oral cancer.
  3. Grinding or clenching teeth: These habits can cause damage to the teeth and lead to gum recession.

By following this periodontal health checklist and partnering with skilled dental professionals like those at Boulder Periodontics, you can take charge of your gum care and enjoy a healthy smile for a lifetime.


Maintaining optimal periodontal health requires a consistent and proactive approach to oral care. By adhering to this checklist, you can take control of your gum health and mitigate the risk of potential dental issues. Remember that your dental professionals at Boulder Periodontics are here to support you in your journey toward a brighter, healthier smile. Our dedicated team employs advanced techniques and technologies to ensure your periodontal wellbeing is well taken care of.

Don't leave your gum health to chance. Schedule an appointment with Boulder Periodontics today and experience the personalized care we provide to each of our patients. Your smile's future depends on the steps you take now. Let us partner with you in achieving a lifetime of exceptional periodontal health. Book your appointment with our periodontist in Colorado now.

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