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While you are busy enjoying the holiday season, be sure to care for your healthy smile. Oral health never takes a holiday, and with just a few simple steps, you can make sure your smile stays confident.

Your mouth is 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 around the gum line. Left unchecked, 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 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. It also removes harmful bacteria. Once the tooth root is smooth and clean, your gums can reattach to the teeth again.

If you would like to schedule your next cleaning, please call 303.933.2420. Dr. Stephanie S. Karlin & Justin S. Petracek and our team at Dakota Ridge Dental in Littleton, Colorado, wish you a healthy, Happy Thanksgiving!