Your at-home oral care routine is one of the most important factors in keeping your mouth – and the rest of you – healthy because it helps control oral bacteria every day. Proper brushing and flossing disrupts the biofilm of plaque, preventing it from turning into tartar, also known as calculus. If tartar does build up, the bacteria can cause periodontal disease and begin to destroy both the gums and the bone. Brush at least twice a day for two full minutes, especially before bedtime. Flossing, after you brush, is critical to remove any plaque that is caught in the tight contacts between your teeth. It’s also your best defense in preventing cavities that occur between the teeth. Sometimes flossing before you brush can be helpful. It helps clear the bacteria from between your teeth, which can then be swept away with the toothbrush. Ask your dental hygienist at your next cleaning appointment what is best for you!