Bleeding gums is certainly unpleasant, and can cause some to avoid visiting the dentist or performing necessary dental hygiene practices. Sometimes, sensitive gums is a product of genetics or pregnancy, while other times it is a result of dental hygiene issues. Here are four steps to avoid bleeding gums resulting from hygiene practices.

1. Use the right brush. 

Your brush, while counter-intuitive, may be too soft. Try switching to firmer bristles. Be sure you are replacing your toothbrush as soon as it shows signs of wear.

2. Brush correctly. 

Don’t brush too rough, and be sure to go in small circles instead of just back and forth. This can help protect the gums.

3. Brush often. 

Brush at least twice a day, and floss at least once a day. Frequent cleaning clears out all of the plaque that can cause gingivitis, which leads to a host of issues, including gum sensitivity.

4. Visit your dentist. 

Keep up with regular cleanings (every 6 months unless otherwise noted by your dentist/hygienist). If you are experiencing bleeding gums, bring it up at your next visit.