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Improving Your At-Home Oral Care Routine

Is your oral hygiene routine effective at protecting you from cavities and tooth decay? In addition to improving your brushing and flossing habits, visiting your Silver Spring, MD, dentists, Drs. Gregory Hysong and Lynda LePore of Colesville Dentistry can help you keep your smile healthy.

How to protect your smile at home

Brushing your teeth is one of the simplest, most effective things you can do to protect your oral health. Although most people understand the importance of brushing, many don't brush long enough to completely remove plaque, the colorless film responsible for tooth decay.

Unfortunately, the longer plaque remains on your teeth, the greater the chance that it will harden into tartar. Unlike plaque, tartar is visible as a light brown substance on your teeth. Tartar makes it easier for plaque to collect and can irritate your gums, causing gum disease.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day to ensure that they are as clean as possible. Both manual and power toothbrushes are effective at removing plaque, as long as you brush for the recommended time and use a brush with soft bristles.

Read product labels carefully when you stock up on toothpaste. Fluoridated toothpaste repairs weakened areas of tooth enamel, preventing cavities. If a toothpaste contains fluoride, the package will feature the ADA seal.

Make flossing a daily habit

Brushing is very effective at removing plaque from the visible surfaces of your teeth but isn't quite as helpful at getting rid of plaque between teeth. Flossing, whether you use string or floss tape, flossing picks and brushes, or water flossers, is an essential step in your oral hygiene routine.

If you don't floss every day without fail, your risk of cavities increases significantly. Flossing also prevents plaque and tartar from accumulating at the gum line and causing gum irritation and disease.

Use mouthwash

Mouthwash does more than just freshen your breath, although that's certainly an important feature. Products that contain fluoride and kill bacteria help you keep your tooth decay and gum disease risk lower.

Call your dentists in Silver Spring, MD, Drs. Gregory Hysong and Lynda LePore of Colesville Dentistry, at (301) 384-6000 to make an appointment.

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