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With all of the tools available for a healthy smile, cavities are still the most common chronic disease of childhood. To help you win the fight against tooth decay, our Jack O. Smalley, DDS team in Farmington, New Mexico would like to recommend the following tips to help you create a healthy, beautiful smile. Let’s take a look!

The main thing you can do each day to prevent cavities and gum disease is clean your teeth! Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste has proven effective. Since hard bristles can wear down tooth enamel and harm the gums, use a soft-bristled brush that fits easily into your mouth to reach the back areas.

Some people have a hard time brushing manually, if that is your case, consider using an electric or battery-operated toothbrush. When you brush your pearly whites, keep the brush at a slight angle and brush using gentle brushstrokes. Clean all the tooth surfaces, top, front, and back. Clean your tongue too, because bacteria love to collect on it.

After brushing, rinse both your mouth and your toothbrush to remove oral debris and bacteria. Keep it upright and uncovered in between uses to air-dry. Forgo storing it covered in a closed container because this just encourages the growth of mold, bacteria and yeast. You should replace your toothbrush, or toothbrush head when the bristles become frayed or every 3-4 months.

After brushing, you will want to floss to get rid of the plaque and bacterial residue between the teeth and along the gumline. Your toothbrush and dental floss remove harmful plaque and make quite the team. Use a rubbing movement to clean between teeth and don’t snap the floss into the gum tissue. Clean each tooth, rubbing up and down with fresh areas of floss as you clean.

If you have trouble using floss, try different flossing tools until you find the one that works for you. There are dental picks, tiny brushes, pre-threaded flossing devices, oral irrigators, and silicone plaque removers. Find what works for you and do it daily!

You can use an antibacterial mouthwash after cleaning to kill destructive bacteria and keep up with regular dental cleanings and exams to win your battle against cavities and gingivitis.

Our dentist, Dr. Jack Smalley is ready to help you achieve the healthy smile you deserve. To learn more about protecting your oral health, or to schedule a visit with our dental specialists, please call 505-327-3331 today!