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Every time you take a bite of that delicious donut or savory Caesar salad, you enjoy every last bite, chewing it thoroughly before sending it on down to your waiting stomach. But you may still leave behind traces of that meal in between your teeth, and your teeth and gums. It can’t be helped! And over time, if you don’t remove those bits and bacteria that also collects around those areas, you will develop plaque that hardens into tartar and find yourself facing the effects of gum disease.

The American Dental Association found that 47% of the U.S. population above 30 has some form of gum disease. The earliest stage, gingivitis, is easiest to treat, most notably with a meticulous daily oral hygiene routine. Once gingivitis progresses to periodontitis–the advanced stage–more professional involvement will be necessary. At its worst, periodontitis can deteriorate the bone material anchoring the teeth, and if untreated, can result in tooth loss.

To keep hardened plaque, or tartar, from destroying your gums, begin with a daily brushing and flossing routine, preferably after every meal, but at least twice a day. Your goal is to clear away the debris (food particles, bacteria, etc.) that forms into a sticky film–or plaque. This means polishing every surface of each tooth, using a soft-bristle toothbrush and an ADA approved toothpaste. You will want to floss next, clearing out the spaces in between each tooth, and around the gums and gum line. These two steps are crucial! It can also help if you remove the bacterial coating on the tongue, either by brushing it with your toothbrush or using a tongue scraper. And finally, rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash will help eliminate any leftover germs.

Be sure to follow up with your six-month scheduled deep teeth cleaning appointments. This is where your dental professional will scrape any hardened plaque, or tartar from around your teeth and gums. Together you can eradicate gum disease before it ravages your teeth and gums.

Please call our office at 972-298-6131 if you have any questions or concerns about your oral health, or if it is time to schedule your next dental cleaning. Help us help you keep your smile its healthiest ever!