Preventive Care

Preventive dental care is worthwhile throughout your life, no matter what your age is. By practicing good oral hygiene at home and scheduling regular checkups with our office, you can help keep your smile bright and healthy for many years to come.

Here are a few simple ways you can prevent the build-up of plaque and cavities:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use fluoride toothpaste to remove food particles and plaque from the tooth surfaces. Also be sure to brush the top surface of your tongue, which will remove any extra plaque-causing food particles, and help keep your breath fresh!
  • Clean between your teeth by flossing at least once a day. You can also use a mouthwash to help kill bacteria and freshen your breath. Decay-causing bacteria can linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles cannot reach. Floss and mouthwash will help remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.

    Printable instructions >

    • Brushing Instructions

      • brushing diagram

        Brushing: Step 1

        Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gum.

      • brushing diagram

        Brushing: Step 2

        Brush gently in a circular motion.

      • brushing diagram

        Brushing: Step 3

        Brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.

      • brushing diagram

        Brushing: Step 4

        Use the tip of your brush for the inner surface of your front teeth.


      Flossing Instructions

      • flossing diagram

        Flossing: Step 1

        Wind about 18 inches of floss around your fingers as shown. Most of it should be wrapped around one finger, and the other finger takes it up as the floss is used.

      • flossing diagram

        Flossing: Step 2

        Use your thumbs and forefingers to guide about one inch of floss between your teeth.

      • flossing diagram

        Flossing: Step 3

        Holding the floss tightly, gently saw it between your teeth. Then curve the floss into a C-shape against one tooth and gently slide it beneath your gums.

      • flossing diagram

        Flossing: Step 4

        Slide the floss up and down, repeating for each tooth.


    • Eat a balanced diet, and try to avoid extra-sugary treats. Nutritious foods such as raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese, or fruit can help keep your smile healthy.
    • Remember to schedule regular checkups with Dr. Flake every six months for a professional teeth cleaning.
    • Ask us about dental sealants, which are protective plastic coatings that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts.
    • If you play sports, be sure to ask Dr. Flake about special mouthguards designed to protect your smile.

    If it has been six months since your last dental checkup, then it is time to contact our practice and schedule your next appointment!

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