The best way to prevent gingivitis is a program of good dental hygiene, one that you begin early and practice consistently throughout life. A complete cleaning with a toothbrush and floss should take three to five minutes. Flossing before you brush allows you to clean away the loosened food particles and bacteria.

See your dentist or dental hygienist regularly for professional cleanings, usually every six to 12 months. If you have risk factors that increase your chance of developing gingivitis, you may need professional dental cleanings more often.

Jan. 22, 2014