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You can enhance your dental health by taking steps to reduce bacteria and tooth decay. If you are unsure what more you can do for your smile, our dentist offers these six rules for great dental health.

1. Visit the dentist regularly. Your dentist will know how often you need dental treatment to keep your smile healthy. Even if your smile seems to be in great shape, you should visit the dentist at least twice a year.

2. Eat a diet that boosts oral health. You can lower your risk of tooth decay by reducing sugar in your diet and restricting sugary food to mealtimes. Instead, snack on tooth-healthy foods such as raw vegetables, cheese, crackers, breadsticks, and water.

3. Brush for two minutes a day, twice a day, with fluoridated toothpaste. The most important time to brush is before bed because that’s when your saliva slows down, and saliva is the natural cleaning system in your mouth. Without saliva, plaque and food remain on the teeth, leading to tooth decay.

4. Floss daily. You only clean about two-thirds of your teeth when brushing, but flossing can clean away particles that accumulate between the gums and under the teeth.

5. Switch to a powered toothbrush if you struggle to sufficiently clean your teeth. The small, rotating heads on electric toothbrushes are twice as efficient as manual toothbrushes in eliminating plaque.

6. Follow the one-hour rule. Your mouth needs about 40 minutes to neutralize the acids on your teeth that develop after you eat sugary food. These acids soften tooth enamel and can cause particles of enamel to erode if you brush too soon. However, chewing sugar-free gum and rinsing with water or fluoride mouthwash can speed up neutralizing the acid.

If you have questions about your dental health, please feel free to call 972-686-6477 and schedule a time to speak with our dentist, Dr. Tina Foss. We are excited to help you enjoy lasting oral health in Mesquite, Texas.