A good foundation of proper oral hygiene is helpful in preventing gum disease.  The two most important factors you can do on a daily basis to ensure this proper foundation is with daily brushing and flossing of your teeth.  This is critical to prevent the build up of plaque, which is the thin sticky film of bacteria that builds up in our mouths and leads to disease and tooth decay.  As plaque produces acids that eat away at the hard enamel surface of teeth, it is important to maintain a daily regime of proper oral hygiene.  This will also help in preventing cavities and gum disease.

Other factors included in daily oral hygiene are using mouthwash, and use of fluoride (which is in many toothpastes and drinking water, along with dental therapy.)  Habitual visits to your dentist for cleanings and exams are also essential, along with the use of dental sealants when needed.  When a dental hygienist cleans your teeth, they use special tools to remove tartar, which is a hardened plaque that you cannot remove on your own to the proper degree. Even if you already wear dentures or have advanced gum disease or even lost teeth, don’t let that discourage you from using proper methods of good oral hygiene.

Flossing

Daily flossing is another critical factor of proper oral hygiene. In many instances people are never taught about flossing and why it should be important to them, and the proper manner in how to do it.  Flossing daily removes plaque and debris in between teeth and below the gum lines where brushing doesn’t reach.

The proper way to floss is easy.  Tear off a length of floss and place it between each tooth, one at a time.  Gently work it up and down several times in a rubbing motion, holding the floss as to form a ‘C’ shape.  Do this in one direction and then in the other direction so you are reaching all surfaces you toothbrush cannot.  Make sure you take these steps on a daily basis as it is important to the proper care of your teeth.