Everyone else envies the person with the bright and healthy looking smile.  It is a natural gift that should be appreciated and taken care of.  Attention to dental care begins at home and is carried through with regular examinations and cleanings done by your dentist and hygienist.

Plaque is the sticky stuff that collects on your teeth after every meal or snack.  There are certain foods that you should avoid in the effort to reduce plaque.  Any food that breaks down into sugar or starch when it mixes with the saliva in your mouth contributes to plaque buildup.

Plaque can’t be completely avoided but it can be controlled by brushing twice a day and flossing at least once.  Some people seem to have an aversion to flossing their teeth.  In fact, a recent survey found that less than 50% of the people interviewed flossed at all!  It may be because they find the fiber hard to manipulate and the procedure uncomfortable but there are ways to make flossing easier.  There are ready made flossers on the market now that are pre strung and made to fit easily between the teeth.  Traditional flossing string is available in a variety of materials and flavors to make the procedure simpler and even pleasing to the palate.

Take your time flossing.  Move the floss between each and every tooth in a gentle manner.  If there is some bleeding it could be a sign of early gingivitis but with continuous daily flossing the symptom should stop in a couple of weeks.  This is a good sign that your efforts are paying off.

There is an alternative to flossing.  An “oral irrigator” much like a waterpik   shoots a stream of water in between the teeth to push out the bacterial plaque.  The use of an irrigator along with regular brushing has been proven to be quite successful in the prevention of plaque buildup.

Talk with your dental hygienist at Spokane Valley Dentistry about more ways to prevent gum disease.  Call 509-926-6261 to set up your next appointment.