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If you have ever had cavities or had problems with gum disease, you know the benefits of practicing good oral hygiene is to maintain a healthy smile. Good oral hygiene keeps gum disease and tooth decay at bay. You see, bacteria thrive in an oral environment, so you need to remove the sticky layer of plaque where bacteria collect, this plaque will build up and harden along the gumline and on the teeth.

Oral bacteria thrive on the sugars and starches you eat, creating acids that can harm teeth and gums. This accumulation of dental plaque causes tooth decay and gum disease unless it is removed every day. If it is allowed to build up, cavities can develop and the gums can bleed from the irritation, and pull away from the teeth, causing gum recession. As they recede, the pockets created by the gums can fill with bacteria and pus, causing your teeth to loosen and eventually fall out in time.

You need to brush and floss daily to remove this harmful plaque. When you brush, the plaque is cleared away from the tooth surfaces, and when you floss, the plaque is cleaned from between your teeth and gumline. We recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush which is small enough to reach into the back areas of the mouth where the molars reside. To further protect your teeth, you can use an antimicrobial toothpaste containing fluoride.

If you would like to keep your oral cavity even cleaner, you can rinse once a day using an antimicrobial mouthwash to lower bacteria and plaque levels. Our dentist is more than happy to give you personalized advice on the kinds of mouthwash that are best for you depending on your oral health needs.

To find out more, or to schedule your next cleaning and checkup with our Creekside Family Dental team, please call 541-210-9661 to speak with one of our friendly staff members. Dr. Meredith McClay and our team in Medford, Oregon, are always here to assist you with your oral health needs!