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There is more to oral hygiene than simply brushing your teeth. Though brushing is vital, it needs to be done in concert with its companion, flossing.

Brushing should be done twice a day, for 2 minutes each time. Use a very soft toothbrush to make short back-and-forth strokes over your teeth and gums. Using the soft bristled brush will make sure that you get your teeth and gums clean, without damaging the enamel or gum tissue.

Flossing is also vital for protection from plaque buildup. Flossing cleans between teeth, in the areas your brush cannot reach. Flossing should be done once a day, for 2-3 minutes per session. Use a single-filament thread, if possible, to prevent fraying. Frayed floss is less effective, and shreds can get caught between teeth, causing discomfort.

Brushing and flossing both work to remove food particles, debris, acids, and plaque away from your teeth and gums. There are bacteria that live in your mouth. These bacteria feed on sugars from food particles and produce and acidic byproduct that erodes tooth enamel. The bacteria form a sticky film known as plaque that covers the teeth and gums. This is unsightly and damaging to your teeth. It can lead to enamel erosion (cavities) and gum disease. If your plaque buildup has hardened, it is called tartar. Only a dentist has the proper tools and training to remove tartar and get your smile clean and white again.

For more information, call Chad Latino DDS PA in Waco, Texas, at 254-230-0737. Dr. Chad Latino and our team look forward to making your smile shine!