Brushing and Flossing
Daily tooth brushing and flossing is important to remove plaque, the sticky colorless film of bacteria and food debris that constantly forms on the teeth. Plaque produces acids that, if not removed on a daily basis, slowly eats away the protective enamel surface of the teeth, creating cavities. These cavities can be painful and make it difficult to eat.
Plaque also produces toxins that can cause an infection in the gums, making them red, tender or bleed easily. This is known as gum disease, or periodontal disease. If the gums and teeth are not treated, the toxins can destroy both the gums and the bone that hold the teeth in place. The teeth may then become loose and eventually fall out or have to be removed.
The best way to remove plaque to prevent cavities and gum disease is to clean the teeth everyday. Tooth brushing should be completed twice a day and flossing once a day. Floss removes plaque from between the teeth where the toothbrush can not reach. Any type of dental floss will be effective, and using a toothpaste that contains fluoride will help protect teeth from cavities. In addition to such daily oral care, regular visits to the dentist help to keep the mouth healthy and attractive.
Dr. Elison also recommends that you have your teeth professionally cleaned at least every six months. A professional cleaning will remove any plaque or calculus buildup in hard to reach areas of your mouth. Professional cleanings will help prevent small problems from becoming bigger.