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This holiday season, while you are busy taking care of all the things that need your attention, give yourself the gift of a healthy smile by taking just a few minutes each day to care for your teeth and gums.

Your mouth is naturally prone to enamel decay, tooth sensitivity, cavities, and tooth loss thanks to the buildup of acid in your mouth. The bacterial acid forms into plaque and calculus on your teeth and around the gum line. Left treated, this can lead to gum disease, loose teeth, bad breath, pain and swelling in the gums, and bleeding gums.

How to Prevent Plaque

  • 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 also require scaling and root planing, or SRP. This 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. Once the tooth root is smooth and clean, your gums can reattach to the teeth.

If you would like to schedule your next cleaning, please call 703.994.4626. Dr. Katherine B. Fischer & Charles C. Fischer at Fischer Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Centreville, Virginia, wish you a healthy holiday season, and hope you give yourself the gift of a healthy smile!