the 4 keys to oral health

Key #1: Oral Care Routine
The Details Matter!

Daily Oral Care is so important. But before you rush to "brush and floss", consider a few important things about your choice of toothbrush and toothpaste and how (or if) you should rinse or floss.


  • Clean Your Toothbrush Every Time. Toothbrushes get infected from one singe use!
  • Know THIS If You Have Gum Disease or Cavities. Anaerobic bacteria are the kind of germs that cause gum/periodontal disease and deep cavities. These germs multiply in low-oxygen conditions - especially on toothbrushes that are stored in containers!
  • Don't Just Rinse Your Brush. Oral bacteria can be difficult to clean and rinsing your brush in hot water is inadequate.
  • Bacteria Die When They DryAllow your brush to dry for 24 hours between uses in a cup or holder so that air can circulate around the bristles. Yes, this means you need a toothbrush for the morning and another one for the evening!
  • Never Put Your Toothbrush in a Drawer or Bag. If you are traveling, don't use those toothbrush covers; instead, take inexpensive toothbrushes and throw them away.
  • Toothbrush Design. It's more important to brush with a good technique than to buy an expensive brush. Battery or sonic brushes help lazy brushers - but they are not superior to a manual brush. If you have a sonic brush you may want to use it in the morning, but compare with with a good manual toothbrush used at night. (learn the best way to brush your teeth).

Choosing the Best Toothbrush

After decades of evaluation, I endorse Dr. Plotka's Mouth Watcher's toothbrush as one of the best. Use it to massage your gums. Buy two brushes and allow them to dry for 24 hours in-between uses (you should have an AM brush and a PM brush).  I also highly recommend getting new toothbrushes every month if you can, or every 2 months at the most.


  • Toothpaste Can Harm Oral Health. If you think it doesn't matter which toothpaste you buy, you may end up with sensitive teeth, mouth sores, gum recession, dry mouth or enamel erosion by buying the wrong toothpaste.
  • When Your Dentist Suggests a Bite or Night Guard. Your real problem may be a toothpaste that is too abrasive or one that contains peroxide, baking soda, or glycerin. Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide can damage the protein layer that is protective of dental enamel, and this will allow minerals to leach out and weaken enamel, which will then be easily brushed away or abraded. This can lead to occlusal wear or the creating of a sensitive groove at the gum line.
  • Whitening Pastes. Whitening products are generally too aggressive for enamel and can lead to erosion and fracture after long-term use.
  • If Your Teeth Fracture or Fillings Fail. The problem may be glycerin in your toothpaste. Glycerin/glycerol seems to interfere with the natural repair and replacement of minerals in teeth. The long-term effect can be soft teeth that are easily stained, fractured, or are darker in color.
  • Sensitive Toothpaste. Sensitive pastes often contain stannous fluoride - a tin-based product designed to block pores or holes in teeth. These holes formed from loss of minerals and these pastes provide a quick fix, not a solution, to the problem of sensitivity. Sensitive pastes often make teeth feel powdery and rough and may make your mouth feel dry and uncomfortable, leading you to buy more expensive products marketed for dry mouth! Don't get into this cycle of ongoing problems!
  • Plaque Control Toothpaste. Plaque control toothpastes may sound like a good idea - but be very careful. You m ay think the goal is to eradicate disease bacteria, but we now know that it is vital to have a population of healthy bacteria in our mouths for optimal oral health. Some toothpastes are designed to dissolve the proteins that are an essential component of a healthy mouth ecosystem. Triclosan, a common ingredient in plaque-control toothpastes, has been shown to interact with chlorine in tap water to form chloroform and to potentially disrupt important hormones.  

Mouth Rinse

  • Are Mouth Rinses a Problem? The main question when it comes to mouth rinse is does it benefit or damage my mouth as it interacts with my mouth and teeth?  Some mouth rinse interactions can be positive - so don't believe ALL mouth rinses are bad. Mouth rinses are just not all the same, some can help your mouth health, but many can harm.
  • Acidity. Any liquid  that takes your mouth pH below 6.5 will damage the roots of your teeth and at a pH of 5.5 minerals will be stripped from teeth, making them softer and more likely to stain. Many well-known mouth rinses (even "healthy" ones and ones advertised for dry mouth) are acidic, some with a shocking pH as low as 3.3! Whitening products can be acidic with a pH below 2.0. 
  • Some Mouth Rinses Strip Teeth of Protective Proteins. Avoid rinsing with hydrogen peroxide or baking soda - especially if you have sensitive teeth, gum recession, or a groove at the gum line.
  • Some Mouth Rinses Contain Glycerin. Avoid glycerin as an ingredient in your oral care products since it may inhibit, delay, or prevent teeth from natural repair (remineralization).
  • Strong Antiseptic or Antibiotic Mouth Rinses. Some rinses wipe out disease bacteria and at the same time they damage the healthy bacteria that are an essential part of a healthy mouth ecosystem.
  • Our Saliva. Our own mouth liquid can be the perfect and most healing mouth rinse. Allow teeth time to interact with your own saliva - especially in the afternoon hours when its composition is most healing. At night our saliva usually becomes acidic. This is why it is vital to prepare our teeth well before going to bed at night and use products that promote mouth health and natural repair (especially if you are a mouth breather or snore).

I've taken the guesswork out of finding the best oral care products with ​my Complete Mouth Care system!

Stop using products that are damaging your teeth and your mouth ecosystem. My Complete Mouth Care System has helped thousands of patients improve their mouth health, no matter the state of their mouth or their previous dental history. Learn more >>


  • Is Flossing Necessary? The old instructions to "floss" were designed when dentists thought food particles caused gum disease and cavities. Now we know these are bacterial infections and that floss is not the best tool for resolving this bacterial infection.
  • Is Flossing Dangerous? If you have a highly infected mouth with cavities and gum disease then you have high levels of dangerous gum/periodontal bacteria in your mouth. The act of flossing could push these life-threatening bacteria into your blood in an event called a bacteremia. So, yes, flossing can be dangerous. Dentists have known flossing, brushing and even eating can cause a bacteremia and that the danger is from pathogenic bacteria under the gums. If you have an infected mouth, then I suggest you get serious and use a less dangerous and more effective method to improve your mouth health. Additionally, many people over-floss and this can lead to gum recession and tooth sensitivity. I insist these people stop flossing and use good rinsing or xylitol products to clean away food particles.
  • Who Should Floss? I do not believe people with an infected mouth should floss as there are safer and more effective ways to improve mouth health. On the other hand, if you have a healthy mouth and get food trapped, floss may be used as a tool to help release the food. I do not recommend flossing for mouth health; just for food removal, in a healthy mouth.
  • Hydro-/Liquid Flossing. Rinsing vigorously with a mouth rinse is "liquid flossing" that can be helpful. On the other hand, "water-picking or hydro-flossing" has become popular. The force from this equipment may stop gum pockets from healing - possibly by damaging fragile periodontal fibers that are trying to "zip-up" gum pockets around teeth. If your gums are unhealthy, I suggest you do NOT use this equipment, but simply rinse vigorously with a good mouth rinse. Use your expensive hydro-flosser again when your gums are healthy! 

Key #2 to Improved Oral Health:

Nutrition Impacts the quality of our saliva - and the quality of our saliva will impact our oral health.