At home oral care does begin and end with merely brushing your teeth. While this activity is possibly the single most important step you can take towards preventing cavities from forming and is the linchpin of any at home dental care routine, it is not sufficient in and of itself. Bacteria can live in many places besides your teeth and the crevices therein. Most people know that they should floss, but tend not to out of laziness, and this is a source of many cavities, as it is easy for bacteria to lie in wait in the gaps between your teeth, and destroy your enamel from there, not to mention that this is how most periodontitis starts as well; the bacteria are exposed to the gums between the teeth and are not removed, thus getting a chance to infect the gingiva.
The other soft tissue
But while most people know about the possibility of infection from the gums, and are aware of the necessity of keeping their gums clean, even if they neglect to do it, most people do not even know that they need to take steps to clean their tongue at all. But the tongue is made of porous soft tissues, and bacteria can infect the tongue, and live in it as well, without any outward signs of infection. Growing strong there, they can make the same kind of biofilm and plaque that sticks to the teeth, and you will have recurring bacterial attacks on your teeth from your tongue. Luckily, dealing with this problem is very simple, if you are aware of the fact that this problem exists.
The backs of many toothbrushes are equipped with some plastic ridges. These are tongue scrapers, and they are meant to remove bacterial colonies from your tongue. After brushing your teeth, just stick out your tongue and scrape it with the lathed up tongue scraper, removing the nasty bacteria and the food detritus that feeds it from the surface of your tongue. This only removes them from the surface, and the bacteria that live inside the soft tissues and the folds of the tongue will live on quite well. This is why another method needs to be employed.
Aside from brushing and flossing, using mouthwash is the best way to keep your mouth clean, and is considered a part of essential care. Liquid can get places that toothbrushes and dental floss cannot, and it can soak soft tissues, and is the the main way to prevent periodontitis, and is the best weapon against the bacteria that cause it. The mouthwash will deep clean the tongue and bask it in antibacterial goodness, killing off the bacteria that cause periodontitis, bad breath (halitosis) and cavities.
These two methods need to be employed together for optimal results.