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Brushing your teeth is a major part of good oral hygiene. However, it isn’t the only thing that helps keep your mouth clean. Here are three other things that can assist your brushing efforts.

Floss: Flossing is vital to your continued oral health. It clears out the plaque and bacteria from in between the teeth, where cavities would otherwise develop. Use a single-filament floss and gentle, back-and-forth sawing motions to best clean in between your teeth. If you are just starting to floss, some discomfort is normal, however, if it persists for more than 2 weeks, talk to Dr. Henry Danziger.

Mouthwash: Adding a therapeutic mouthwash to your oral hygiene may benefit you, as it does some people. Look for a product that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance on the packaging to ensure you are getting a good product (some mouthwashes only freshen breath temporarily rather than cleaning the mouth). If you need to avoid alcohol, look at the labels very carefully, as many mouthwashes contain alcohol. Do not give mouthwash to children under 6 years old.

Chewing Gum: Multiple studies have shown that chewing gum for 20 minutes after eating is beneficial to teeth. This is because it stimulates saliva production. Saliva is your body’s first defense against cavities: it cleans the mouth, as well as delivering important fortifying substances to the teeth and gums. Thus it is the saliva, rather than the gum itself, that benefits teeth. Of course, sugared gum also triggers the salivary glands, however, the sugar present in the gum feeds the bacteria you are trying to clean out–negating the benefits of the gum.

For more information about how to keep your mouth healthy at home, call Henry K. Danziger DDS in Naugatuck, Connecticut at 203.729.0563. Dr. Henry Danziger and our team are happy to help you!