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In between dental cleanings and exams, your daily oral hygiene care can make or break a healthy smile. Since bacteria thrive in the mouth, you need to clean every day to keep them from building up between teeth and along the gum line. A clean mouth starts with daily brushing and flossing to remove harmful dental plaque.

Plaque develops as the food you eat feeds oral bacteria. This bacterial colony feeds on sugary, starchy foods in particular and creates harmful acids which attack your teeth and gums, leaving you with gum disease and tooth decay unless it is cleared off every day. Unless plaque is removed, cavities will develop as it weakens tooth enamel and irritates gum tissue. Over time, this irritation makes the gums pull away from teeth and form pockets. The result? As the pockets fill up with bacteria and pus, the teeth will loosen and can ultimately fall out.

To prevent this from happening to your smile, brush at least twice a day and floss daily. Your toothbrush works to remove plaque from your tooth surfaces and your flossing will clean plaque along the gumline and in between the teeth where a brush can’t go. We like for our patients to use soft-bristled toothbrushes with heads small enough to reach the back molars to clean. Using an antimicrobial toothpaste with fluoride can work wonders if you are cavity prone.

Tip: You can supplement your daily brushing and flossing routine by taking an extra step to rid your smile of bacteria. Follow up with an antimicrobial mouthwash once a day to reduce bacteria and plaque levels in the mouth, and we recommend doing so before bedtime. To help you find the right oral rinse for your needs, we are happy to give you personalized advice.

To schedule your next visit or for more information, please reach out to our Euclid Family Dentistry team at 909-983-9639 today. Our dentists, Dr. Michael Gardner, Dr. Asal Gardner, and Dr. Maximillian Chang are here to work with you to create a healthy, confident smile in Ontario, California!