Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

Try these measures to reduce or prevent periodontitis:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day or, better yet, after every meal or snack.
  • Use a soft toothbrush and replace it at least every three to four months.
  • Consider using an electric toothbrush, which may be more effective at removing plaque and tartar.
  • Floss daily.
  • Use a mouth rinse to help reduce plaque between your teeth, if recommended by your dentist.
  • Supplement brushing and flossing with an interdental cleaner, such as a dental pick, interdental brush or dental stick specially designed to clean between your teeth.
  • Get regular professional dental cleanings, on a schedule recommended by your dentist.
  • Don't smoke or chew tobacco.

Prevention

The best way to prevent periodontitis is to follow a program of good oral hygiene, one that you begin early and practice consistently throughout life.

  • Good oral hygiene. That means brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice daily — in the morning and before going to bed — and flossing at least once a day. Flossing before you brush allows you to clean away the loosened food particles and bacteria.
  • Regular dental visits. See your dentist or dental hygienist regularly for cleanings, usually every six to 12 months. If you have risk factors that increase your chance of developing periodontitis — such as having dry mouth, taking certain medications or smoking — you may need professional cleaning more often.