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Do you have what it takes to prevent plaque from harming your mouth? The first stage of gum disease, gingivitis, is caused by leftover plaque that has built up around the gumline. The bacteria in this sticky substance can harm your gums, causing inflammation and gums that may bleed when you brush or floss. Later on, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis. At this stage, the gumline can recede and plaque germs can cause damage to the tissue and bone that hold your teeth in place.

Not only can this oral health condition lead to tooth loss, but it also may be connected to health issues like heart disease and diabetes. Oral care habits that focus on fighting plaque can help to treat gingivitis and stop the later stages of this disease from ever developing. What do you have in your oral care arsenal?

The Right Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Plaque is always building up on your teeth and gums. To prevent gum disease you need a soft bristle toothbrush that will remove bacteria from your entire mouth. A gingivitis toothpaste will have active ingredients to kill germs and keep your gums safe from plaque build-up. Brush at least twice daily for a full two minutes, thoroughly cleaning the gum line, every surface of your teeth and your tongue.

The Right Floss

You can use nylon or a PTFE floss. A PTFE or monofilament floss is less likely to shred than a nylon floss, but both are effective at removing plaque. Use your floss to clean the spaces in between your teeth as well as the area beneath the gum line. Flossing is so important in the fight against gum disease because it removes plaque from those hard to reach places that your toothbrush may not be able to clean.

The Right Mouthwash

In addition to brushing and flossing, your dentist may recommend a mouth rinse to reduce plaque. A gingivitis mouthwash contains antimicrobial ingredients to kill germs and to freshen your breath.

Brush, floss, and rinse away germs with a dentist-recommended mouthwash to stop gum disease from developing in your mouth. You have the oral care tools that you need at home to take great care of your mouth in between dental check-ups. See your dentist at least every six months for a professional cleaning and to find out how healthy your smile is.