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Did you know that the acid in your mouth makes you prone to enamel decay, tooth sensitivity, cavities and tooth loss? This is because of plaque and calculus. Plaque forms on your teeth around the gum line, and can lead to gum disease, loose teeth, bad breath, pain and swelling in the gums, and bleeding gums. The best way to prevent plaque is to spend time each day doing the following:

  • 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.

If your gums have receded away from your teeth or you have bone loss, you may require scaling and root planing, or SRP. SRP–a non-surgical method of deep cleaning, is the standard treatment for these conditions. 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. It also removes harmful bacteria. Once the tooth root is smooth and clean, your gums can reattach to the teeth again.

As you get busier and busier during the holiday season, don’t forget to take good care of your smile. If you have any questions, Dr. Andrew W Henritze, DDS and our team at Andrew Henritze DDS in Roanoke, Virginia, can be reached at (540) 989-6600. From our family to yours, we wish you a healthy Thanksgiving!