In the quest to keep teeth clean, you might be tempted to brush teethas vigorously as you can. Gums are made of delicate tissue, though, so brushing the wrong way could damage them. Whether you opt for a manual or electric toothbrush, choose one with soft nylon bristles that have blunted ends. Even though you can find brushes with medium or hard bristles, they may damage the enamel on your teeth or cause red and swollen gums.

 When you brush, make sure you use gentle, circular motions tomassage and clean the teeth and gums. While many people use a back-and-forth motion, this motion can irritate and damage your gums, making them sore and more likely to bleed or recede.More than three-quarters of American adults over age 35 get periodontal (gum) disease. While most people with gum disease have the less severe form, called gingivitis, between 5% and 15% have a much more serious type of gum disease known as periodontitis.

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