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Did you know that cavities and gingivitis are two of the most common disease still occurring today? Even with our advancements in dental technology, we are still fighting these two problems. Today our Boise Dental Center - Michael Smith, DMD & Evan Smith, DMD team in Boise, Idaho would like to review your strongest strategy protecting your smile.

The #1 tool to stop tooth decay and gum disease is to remove bacteria and plaque every day through brushing. We advise brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and using a soft-bristled toothbrush to protect gum tissue and tooth enamel. The brush should fit easily into the mouth to clean the molars in the back.

If you have trouble using a manual toothbrush, we suggest using a battery-operated or electric toothbrush for ease of use. To brush, angle the head towards the gums and clean using gentle strokes, you want to massage each tooth, not scour it. Clean all the areas of each tooth–including the top, back, and front surfaces. Take a few seconds to brush your tongue from back to front to loosen oral debris and plaque buildup, and follow up with a good rinse.

After rinsing your toothbrush well, keep it uncovered and stored upright between cleanings. Air-drying prevents mold, bacteria, and yeast from growing. Don’t let it touch other toothbrushes, and be sure to replace it, or the toothbrush head, when the bristles have lost their shape, or every three to four months.

While brushing cleans much of the tooth surfaces, it cannot clean along the gumline and between the teeth where plaque collets. This is where flossing comes in. To floss with a dental floss or dental wax, rub carefully between the teeth and around the gums. Floss each tooth, rubbing up and down to loosen food particles If you have trouble flossing, don’t give up. There are a variety of flossing methods. Experiment until you find one that works for you. Try an oral irrigator, dental picks, small interdental brushes, pre-threaded flossers, or silicone plaque removers.

Lastly, you can rinse once a day with an antibacterial mouthwash to reduce any bacteria still lingering. To support your daily oral hygiene efforts, visit your dentist every six months for professional cleanings. To schedule a visit with Dr. Michael Smith & Evan Smith please call 208-343-4986 today!