While I’m on the non-dietary vein, I’d like to share another healthy habit I’ve taken up in the past year.
Just as your body needs regular movement (or exercise) to stay fit and healthy, have you ever thought about it in terms of your gums? Well, it works the same way.
For happy, healthy teeth, we know to brush them regularly and floss. But what do we do to maintain healthy gums? Since the end of last year – when my mom first recommended it – I’ve been massaging my gums once every morning while in the shower.
Now, my gums have been prone to bleeding and pain when I am experiencing hot qi (common symptoms suggest infections or allergy). And I usually take care of this by drinking one to two bowls of mung bean tea. The effects of mung bean tea-drinking is immediate, or just over-night, and my gums feel recovered by morning.
However, with my daily gum massages, I no longer experience the effects of hot qi on my gums. Instead of curative measures like drinking mung bean tea, the gum massages are preventive measures. And it’s much, much easier – you just have to do it often enough so that it becomes a habit and not a hassle to remember before turning off the shower!
How to perform a gum massage: Although it sounds like a task, it’s much simpler than that. You’re used to the motions of brushing your teeth, right? Well, what if you were stranded on a deserted island like Tom Hanks was in Cast Away (2000)? By the way, that’s truly not a film for the weak-stomached, when it comes to toothaches or tooth-related issues. Of course, if you were stranded without a toothbrush, the reasonable thing would be to use your finger to provide the “brushing.” I am not recommending that you substitute your toothbrush with your finger, if you can help it (smile).
The important thing to note is that a gum massage is precisely that…a massage, not a tooth brushing. So, instead of concentrating on your teeth this time, rub your index finger across your gums, or where teeth meet gums, with the motion of tooth brushing. I like to keep the shower running to rinse my mouth during the massage. Massage for the length of a regular tooth brushing session, approximately two minutes.
Like an exercise for the gums, this will help to increase blood circulation to your gums to maintain gum health! Now, wasn’t that easy?