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You’ve most likely been brushing your teeth all of your life. But are you brushing your teeth properly? It’s possible that your technique could use a little brushing up. 

Brushing your teeth effectively is crucial to your dental health as well as your overall health and wellness. It helps to prevent cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues. It can also help to prevent heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. 

Whether you’re looking for tips to improve your own teeth brushing routine or you’re teaching your child how to brush their teeth, here’s what you need to know. 

How To Brush Your Teeth with a Manual Toothbrush

  • Use a toothbrush with soft nylon bristles. Wet it with water.  
  • Apply a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to the bristles of your toothbrush. 
  • Touch the bristles to your front teeth and move the toothbrush in a gentle back and forth motion, making sure to brush the entire surface area of the tooth and along the gum line. 
  • Angle the brush at a 45 degree angle towards the gumline.
  • Turn your toothbrush over so that the bristles are touching the back sides of your front teeth and brush in a back and forth motion. 
  • Move the toothbrush to your back teeth and brush the front, back, and top sides of the teeth. 
  • Be sure to brush both the top and bottom rows of teeth and get all the way behind the back molars. 
  • Brush for at least 2 minutes. Set a timer to be sure you brush long enough. 
  • Mentally divide your mouth into 4 quadrants and spend 30 seconds on each section of your mouth (top right, top left, bottom right, bottom left) in whatever order you prefer. 
  • Brush your tongue to remove plaque and bacteria. This also helps to keep your breath fresh. 
  • Do not swallow as you brush. Spit out the remaining toothpaste in your mouth at the end of your 2 minute brushing cycle (or spit along the way as needed). 
  • Rinse your mouth out with water and rinse your toothbrush. 
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 or 4 months as needed. If the bristles are bent and frayed, it’s time to replace it. 
  • Brush twice a day. 

How To Brush Your Teeth with an Electric Toothbrush 

  • Wet the bristles of your electric toothbrush with water. 
  • Apply a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to the bristles of your toothbrush.
  • Place the toothbrush against your teeth and turn it on. 
  • Move the toothbrush slowly over each tooth, letting the electric toothbrush scrub each tooth as the brush head rotates. 
  • Be sure to move the toothbrush over all sides of each tooth, including the front, back, and top of molars. 
  • Brush for at least 2 minutes. Set a timer to be sure you brush long enough. Some electric toothbrushes include a timer. 
  • Mentally divide your mouth into 4 quadrants and spend 30 seconds on each section of your mouth (top right, top left, bottom right, bottom left) in whatever order you prefer.  
  • Turn off the toothbrush before taking it out of your mouth (this prevents toothpaste from spraying around the bathroom). Rinse off the brush head with water. 
  • Rinse your mouth out with water. 
  • Replace the head of your toothbrush every 3 or 4 months as needed. If the bristles are bent or frayed, it’s time to replace it. 
  • Brush twice a day. 

How To Floss Your Teeth 

It is important to floss your teeth once a day to remove food particles, plaque, and bacteria from between your teeth. Most dentist’s recommend flossing before brushing so that any plaque that is loosened by flossing can be brushed away. 

  • Break off a piece of floss around 18-24 inches long. 
  • Wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 1-2 inches of floss stretched between your fingers. 
  • Use your index fingers and thumbs to gently glide the floss in between each tooth. 
  • Slide the floss along the sides of both teeth, curving it around the base of each tooth to get below the gum line. This is called ‘C-shape’ flossing.
  • Use a clean section of floss between each tooth. 
  • Throw the floss away when you are finished. 

Preventive Care at Blossom Dentistry 

Brushing and flossing your teeth at home is a crucial part of maintaining your dental health. But regular visits to the dentist are just as important as taking care of your teeth at home. Preventive dental care includes an oral examination, X-Rays, and professional teeth cleaning. These are all necessary to detect any oral health issues from cavities to gum disease to oral cancer and to keep your teeth clean and free of plaque. You should visit us at Blossom Dentistry every 6 months for routine dental care. 

Call (202) 922-2900 today to schedule an appointment or book an appointment online. We are happily accepting new patients and look forward to helping you maintain excellent oral health.

Cosmetic dentistry is an investment in yourself, which is what makes it an investment people have trouble justifying. In the ranking of priorities, so many of us put our own needs and wishes last on the list, which means getting the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted falls to the wayside year after year. If you feel self-conscious about your smile, but you’re hesitant to move forward with the cosmetic dental work you need, here are four reasons why it’s worth the investment.

A Beautiful Smile Is a Healthy Smile

Yes, cosmetic dentistry is primarily focused on aesthetics, but that doesn’t mean it has no impact on your overall oral health.

Many dental procedures that you may choose to pursue for cosmetic reasons also have functional benefits. A dental crown can improve the appearance of your smile, but it also strengthens a compromised tooth. You may want to start Invisalign treatment to straighten your teeth or improve your facial symmetry, but once treatment is complete, your teeth will be easier to brush and floss, making them healthier.

Even a treatment with no functional benefits like teeth whitening often improves oral health simply because after making the investment, you’re more likely to practice good oral hygiene habits to maintain your results.

You Deserve a Smile You Feel Good About

We see many patients who spend years, or even decades, feeling self-conscious about their teeth. Do you smile with your lips closed? Do you avoid having your picture taken? Do you avoid looking in the mirror because you don’t like seeing your teeth? If this describes you, getting the cosmetic dental work you need can feel like a burden being lifted from your shoulders. 

If you have trouble justifying spending time and money on yourself, you should know that there are cosmetic dentistry options that are affordable and require only one appointment to complete. Why spend another day feeling embarrassed about your smile when the solution might be a simple hour-long appointment to have a tooth bonded?

A Minor Procedure Can Dramatically Transform Your Smile

Patients are often surprised by how much of a difference cosmetic dentistry can make in their appearance. You might not expect that bonding a chipped tooth would result in a dramatic transformation, but we’ve seen it time and time again at our office. Even simply whitening your teeth professionally can take years off of your appearance.

Today’s Cosmetic Dental Treatments Are Better Than Ever

Maybe you spoke to a dentist years ago about your cosmetic concerns and were told that you weren’t a fit for Invisalign or that the type of stains on your teeth wouldn’t respond to whitening treatments. There’s no better time for a second opinion, because today’s dental technologies and techniques are more effective than ever before. With modern dentistry, there’s simply no problem that is unfixable. 

Learn More About Cosmetic Dentistry

If you’ve been considering cosmetic dentistry, contact us today at 202-922-2900 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sahrai.

Periodontal disease is more than just red gums that bleed when you floss. It’s a serious dental disease that can lead to dangerous consequences when untreated. The minor symptoms, like gum redness, eventually lead to receding gums, tooth loss, and even infection elsewhere in the body when left untreated. For this reason, early diagnosis and prompt treatment are crucial.

Be on the lookout for these four signs of periodontal disease:

1. Issues With the Gums

Periodontal disease starts with what can seem like minor problems in the gums. These issues include:

  • Redness and swelling
  • Gum recession
  • Bleeding and tenderness
  • Discharge from between the gums and teeth

Healthy gums are never red or purplish in color and they should not bleed when you brush or floss. Routine dental exams and cleanings are important because they give us the best opportunity to catch these early warning signs for periodontitis before it progresses to more serious symptoms. If you’ve noticed any of the above changes to your gums, schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible. The good news is that in its earliest stages, treating periodontitis is simple and effective.

2. Bad Breath

Not everyone who has bad breath has gum disease. That said, if you’re experiencing the changes to your gums outlined above and you have bad breath, it’s a very strong possibility that you have periodontal disease. Bad breath occurs because periodontitis is a chronic bacterial infection. Because the bacteria that causes gum disease settles below the gum line, it cannot be removed by brushing and flossing. It releases an acid that causes tooth decay and also emits a foul odor, both of which cause bad breath.

Of course, it’s not always easy to tell if you have bad breath; cupping your hands to your mouth and breathing into them isn’t the most effective test. If you have a persistent unpleasant taste in your mouth, that’s an indicator of bad breath and periodontal disease.

3. Gum Pockets

As periodontitis progresses, the gums begin to recede and pockets begin to form. These pockets are gaps between the gums and the roots of the teeth where tartar collects. The more tartar that collects, the deeper the pockets become. The only way to remove the collected debris from these pockets is with a professional treatment called scaling and root planing, which involves using a dental instrument to scrape away the tartar, and then a second instrument to smooth the root of the tooth, allowing the gum to reattach.

4. Teeth Changes

Contrary to its name, gum disease doesn’t only impact the gums. It impacts the health of your whole mouth. Periodontal disease can cause the following changes to your teeth:

  • Increased sensitivity, especially to sweet and cold foods
  • Loose teeth
  • Longer teeth
  • Pain when eating
  • A feeling that your teeth no longer fit together when biting down
  • New gaps forming between your teeth

These are some of the most serious signs of gum disease and it’s critical to get treatment before irreversible damage occurs.

Learn More About Periodontal Disease Treatment

If you suspect you may have gum disease, contact us today at 202-922-2900 to schedule an appointment.

Contact our office today to schedule your appointment!

2600 Virginia Ave NW Suite 501 Washington, DC 20037
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