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The acid in your mouth makes you prone to enamel decay, tooth sensitivity, cavities and tooth loss. This is because plaque and calculus–which forms on your teeth around the gum line–can lead to gum disease, loose teeth and eventual tooth loss, bad breath, pain and swelling in the gums, and bleeding gums. In fact, gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss.

To properly care for your teeth and gums:

• 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. SRP–a 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.

As the holiday busyness gets in full swing, don’t forget to take care of your smile. Dr. Christopher M. Spelman and our team at Orlando Family Dentistry, LLC in Hopewell, New Jersey, can be reached by calling 609-466-1332. We wish you and yours a healthy Thanksgiving!