Dentist Questions Oral Health

How do you get rid of mouth bacteria?

I'm 25, and I want to keep my oral health under control. What's the best way to get rid of mouth bacteria?

9 Answers

Brush thoroughly twice a day and floss your teeth daily. By doing this, you will keep mouth bacteria under control. Reduce and eliminate sugar. Get your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year.
Brushing, flossing, water pik. The cleaner you keep your teeth the less chance that plaque will collect on the tooth's surface. The bacteria live in the plaque. Keeping excellent oral hygiene and seeing your dental professional twice a year is the best step in the right direction to keeping your teeth a lifetime. It is all doable and it works!
Brush after every time you eat and and floss daily. Scraping and brushing your tongue, cheeks, and hard palate is also helpful.
What a great question! I'm so glad you're aware of how harmful oral bacteria can be. Just like gut bacteria there are good and bad bacteria. It is important to keep the good ones around and eliminate the bad. Great oral hygiene at home is the best way.

Some of the best practices are:
1. Brushing all sides of the teeth (with an electric brush) for 2 minutes twice a day
2. Cleaning between the teeth (floss, interdental picks like soft picks, or a water pick). Softpicks are my favorite as they stimulate the gum tissue and clean both sides of the teeth.
3. Scraping the tongue with a tongue scraper (I prefer stainless steel to limit plastic exposure)
4. Mouthrise: saltwater, water, or your favorite rinse. Avoid rinses with alcohol because they dry the mouth out.

There is also an oral probiotic made by ProBiora that I love and use. I also sell this in my practice. You let it dissolve in your mouth so that you are putting all the good bacteria in the mouth. Hope this helps!
Bacteria that causes periodontal disease is best taken care of with scheduling a cleaning with your hygienist every 3months. At home rinse with purple Listerine.
Oral hygiene, floss twice daily every day then with Listerine and Colgate SF.
Unfortunately, you can't get rid of oral bacteria. They live in our bodies throughout life. What you can do is manage them by cleaning your teeth thoroughly. This means brushing well and cleaning the surfaces in between your teeth. Use a good toothbrush, preferably a mechanical one like Sonicare or Oral-B. Discard your brush when it gets worn.  Don't buy a bargain brush. Use aids to clean well in between your teeth like floss, Soft Piks, Proxybrushes, etc. Also, you a toothpaste certified by by American Dental Society. Their seal will be on the box or tube. Get regular professional cleanings. You can reduce the bacterial population in your mouth, but not to the level that a hygienist can. Mouthwashes like Listerine with essential oils help, but don't take the place of brushing and cleaning in between. It's an adjunct. Finally, watch your diet. Too many carbs will cause bacteria to grow and cause damage.
Hope this helps.

Steven Chamish, DDS
There is so much research going on these days to answer just that question! Due to the growing awareness that several different types of mouth bacteria are being connected to systemic diseases, it is becoming even more important to control them to SAVE your life, not just your teeth. Regular dental visits for tooth cleaning will help in the process of reducing bacterial colonies. Of course, daily brushing and flossing is one of the best ways to control bacteria as well. We don't want to get rid of ALL the bacteria in our mouth, just the couple dozen types that lead to cavities, gum disease and are connected to causing systemic health problems. Right now, there are no magic bullets to do that, but there are some very promising concepts on the horizon.