Healthy teeth start with healthy habits. The simple oral care habits that are part of your daily routine actually go a long way towards protecting your teeth and gums against a range of preventable dental problems. Taking care of your teeth requires only a few basic tools and a little know-how.

Protect Your Mouth Against Plaque

Gum disease (gingivitis) is cause in part by the plaque that builds up on your teeth near the gum line. This hard layer is formed by bacteria which flourish in the food particles that should be cleared away with brushing. Over time, the layer of plaque causes the gum line to recede. Your gums might feel swollen and tender or might bleed slightly after brushing. These are a few signs that plaque is starting to win.

An scientific article published just three years ago sheds some light onto the way that bacteria have adapted to respond to the dental care products we use every day. According to Yale researchers, the bacteria and fluoride fight as a result of the bacteria switching on specialized chemical defenses. These defenses can prevent the fluoride from doing its job. As a result, you might not be getting the full range of cavity-prevention benefits from your toothpaste. Removing the bacteria is best accomplished by removing the plaque that stimulates their growth.

How Your Dentist Can Help

Even though daily dental care habits will go a long way towards preventing gum disease, regular checkups with your dentist will help ensure a lifetime of good oral health. During your checkup, your dental care team will:

  • Remove the tough layer of plaque that has built up since your last cleaning
  • Check for cavities and places where cavities might develop
  • Identify any chips or cracks that need repairing
  • Provide personalized guidance to help you care for your teeth

Dentists recommend that their juvenile and adult patients see them for checkups and cleaning twice a year. This will help prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria.