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Caring for your smile is important for your oral health, and a healthy smile begins with taking care of the basics–teeth, gums, and even healthy saliva production. In fact, without diligent daily care, your smile is prone to enamel decay, tooth sensitivity, cavities, and tooth loss from the buildup of acid in the mouth.

Bacterial acid forms into plaque and calculus on your teeth and around the gumline. This soft, sticky film contains millions of bacteria which can lead to gum disease, loose teeth, bad breath if it is not removed every day.

How to Prevent Plaque Buildup in the Mouth

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes after every meal and snack.
  • Use ADA-approved products to ensure safety and effectiveness. If you are prone to gum disease, it may help to use an electric toothbrush with smaller heads to remove plaque. Flossing removes plaque, not just food particles.
  • Fluoride toothpaste can strengthen your enamel.
  • Don’t forget to floss at least once a day. Flossing removes plaque in between the teeth and under the gumline.
  • If you have oral health issues, you might use an antimicrobial mouth rinse once a day.
  • Have your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year to remove hardened tartar, and to check for tooth decay and gum disease.

Once the gums have receded away from your teeth, or you incur bone loss, you may require scaling and root planing. Scaling scrapes the plaque and tartar buildup from above and below your gumline, while root planing smooths out the rough spots on the tooth root where germs tend to collect. Once the tooth root is smooth and clean, your gums can reattach to the teeth again.

Take the time to care for your smile, and your smile will take care of you! If you would like to schedule an end-of-year dental checkup and cleaning, please call 505-863-8100 today. Our dentists at Ortho*Dental, Inc. in Gallup, New Mexico, wish you a healthy, Happy Thanksgiving!