Take responsibility by taking care of your teeth at home.

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When we think about our health, often our teeth come to mind last, but  Dr. Janet Tamo, DDS, consulting dentist for Crest and Oral-B (drtamo.ca), urges her patients to fall out of this damaging pattern.  Plaque, the bacteria that form in the mouth, is a biofilm that contains over 500 types of bacteria, most of which end up in the mouth and body. As a dentist, her number one goal is to minimize inflammation (and gum disease) in the mouths of her patients by controlling  plaque levels, due to the correlation of  poor  gums and an unhealthy heart.  “You are not completely healthy until your mouth is healthy," explains Dr. Tamo. "Anyone who works out and eats healthy also needs to look after the upper end of their digestive tract.” By limiting inflammation caused by  plaque in the mouth, we stop the spread of inflammation in the body that can travel to other organ systems. 

What does this mean for us at home?  “Don’t just wait for your dentist to clean your teeth!”  In addition to going for more frequent cleanings  (every three or four months), we need to promise to do our part between visits to the dental chair. 

Here are three simple steps on how to own your oral health:

14 09 15 dental 21. Brush your teeth at least  two or three times a  day, says Dr. Tamo. Time yourself for a full two minutes. 
 
2. Invest in an electric toothbrush because they remove twice as much plaque.  We love the Oral-B Black 7000 Deep Sweep ($259.99) because it comes with a timer,  includes  six different settings, lets us know when we’re brushing too hard and looks super-sleek.
 
3. Flossing adds to your oral and overall heath immeasurably. Since bacterial plaque forms within 24 hours, you need to floss it away on a daily basis.Try Oral-B Glide Pro-Health for Life Clinical Protection Floss,  ($3.99, at  drugstores). 
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