Posted .

Winning the battle against cavities and gingivitis–two common oral diseases–our Bruce W. Smith, DDS team in Houston, Texas recommends the taking good oral care of your smile. Our purpose is to help you create an appealing smile that starts with the basics–a healthy mouth.

The most basic tool at your disposal to keep out tooth decay and gum disease getting rid of the agents that cause it. Namely, daily removal of oral bacteria and plaque. This starts with brushing at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste if you have a personal history of cavities. We recommend a soft-bristled toothbrush to protect the gums and tooth enamel. Find a brush that fits easily into your mouth and reaching the back areas to clean (the molars).

Some patients prefer a battery-operated or electric toothbrush over a manual one. That is perfectly fine, we want to make sure you find what works best for your needs. When you brush, angle it towards the gums and clean with gentle strokes–no need to saw back and forth. “Massage” each tooth, instead, and clean all tooth surfaces–top, back, and front. Clean your tongue to loosen plaque buildup by brushing back to front and rinse well when you are done.

After brushing, rinse your brush thoroughly and store it uncovered and upright between every session to allow it to air-dry. Avoid closed, covered containers which allow mold, bacteria, and yeast to grow. Replace the brush (or toothbrush head) when the bristles fray or every 3-4 months.

Since brushing only cleans some of the tooth surfaces, you will need to floss to clean the areas along the gumline and between the teeth where plaque accumulates. If you are using dental floss or wax, you want to rub the floss between teeth gently, without snapping it into the gums.

Floss around each tooth, rubbing up and down with clean areas of floss as you go. If floss is not your preference, you can use a flossing device that suits you better. You can experiment with oral irrigators, dental picks, tiny brushes, pre-threaded flossing devices, or wooden or silicone plaque removers.

Follow up once a day with an antibacterial mouthwash can kill lingering bacteria and flush it away. To support your daily oral care, see your dental specialist every six months for cleanings and exams. If you have any questions or want to schedule a visit with our dentist, Dr. Bruce W. Smith please call us at 713-529-4364 today!