Dental and Oral Hygiene

Bad Breath

There could be several causes for bad breath. Bad breath could be attributed to the use of tobacco products, dry mouth, post nasal drip or infection. Oral bacteria can accumulate around teeth gums, tongue and tonsils. This bacteria produces unpleasant toxins and odors.To remedy this, you should brush, floss daily and always follow up with thorough tongue cleaning as well.

Why Floss?

Cleaning between the teeth on a daily basis is one of the most important preventative measures in keeping gum disease at bay. Brushing alone doesn't reach the spaces in between your teeth. Gum disease is the 5th leading cause of heart disease. Thus, proper flossing on a daily basis is a must for overall health.

Pink vs. Red Gums

We often talk about fruits and vegetables. Healthy gums are pink and remind us of an orange, the tissue is firm, not smooth or shiny, and does not leak out if touched. Red gums remind us of an over ripened summer tomato. The appearance is shiny, red, smooth, soft and will leak or ooze out when touched.

Think pink. Think orange like the fruit.

What is Tartar?

Tartar or calculus is formed from the plaque that hasn't been brushed or flossed off the teeth within a reasonable amount of time. The minerals in the saliva get deposited onto the plaque which then mineralizes or hardens it into tartar. Tartar forms below and above the gum line, is rough and porous, and can lead to receding gums and gum disease.
When this process happens, the calculus cannot be removed from the teeth with simple brushing and flossing. This is when regular "recare" or dental cleaning visits become important in maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

What is Plaque?

Plaque is a soft, sticky film that forms on the teeth almost non-stop. It is comprised of millions of bacteria that could be harmful to your teeth and gums. It is made up of 1/3 live bacteria, 1/3 of food debris, and 1/3 of saliva.

Dental Recare

There is nothing magic about, ”See your hygienist every 6 months”

Re-care in our office is totally based on your health. If we discover that decay, bleeding, and tarter are frequent, then recare appointments should also be frequent. We will work together to determine what program will keep you healthy.

For those who have full dentures or partial dentures, the periodic exam will help to detect any early signs of oral cancer, abscess, or ill-fitting denture appliances. We will also review home care and maintenance of dentures.

If I could only do one?

Brush or Floss?
Hover here for Dr. Levine's answer.


Flossing makes a significantly difference in gum disease and decay prevention. Flossing removes the majority of stains, build-up, and food debris which covering 2/3 of your teeth.
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