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The 5-Step Tooth-Plaque Prevention Plan

Step 1: Brush Every Day

Once a day is good, but the American Dental Association (ADA) says to brush twice a day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste.

Brushing twice daily prevents plaque from forming in the first place and disrupts any plaque that has already started to form and mature. Make sure you get to all the areas of your mouth with your toothbrush, including teeth, gums, tongue, and the insides of your cheeks. The process should take no more than about 2 minutes.

Step 2: Clean Between Your Teeth

Flossing is not fun for mist people, but cleaning between your teeth every day can have a crucial impact on your oral health. If you have a tough time reaching certain parts of your mouth to floss, ask us about interdental brushes, floss aides, or water- or air-flossing devices.

Step 3: Use a Mouth Rinse

Mouth rinse and mouthwash are two different things. Mouthwash is used to freshen breath, an antiseptic mouth rinse however, actually helps reduce the bacterial load found in plaque.

Mouth rinse prevents plaque buildup more than just brushing and flossing alone. We suggest a 30-second swish twice each day as part of your daily routine.

Step 4: Avoid Sticky, Sugary Food

The hardest foods to remove from your teeth are the ones that cling when you chew. Sugary and starchy foods are some of the most harmful to teeth, too.

“If sugar is not removed from your teeth shortly after you eat it, plaque uses it to help create tooth decay,” an expert says. The faster you can get food off your teeth, the less likely you are to get cavities.

Step 5: Go to the Dentist

See your dentist and dental hygienist on a regular basis, so they can look for signs of disease. Preventive maintenance is the best form of treatment, and least costly over time.

How often you have to go will depend in part on how well you care for your teeth. Most people have to visit only twice a year for regular cleaning, which is 100% covered by most dental insurance plans.