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Ballston Dental Arts
900 N Taylor Street, Suite 150, Arlington, VA 22203

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Brush Up on the Benefits of Brushing

Have you ever wondered if you’re brushing your teeth properly? Even if you haven’t, you may not be aware that you aren’t utilizing proper brushing techniques. While brushing your teeth is a routine habit that most people don’t think that much about, it’s also easy to do it wrong or to skip essential steps or techniques because you’re so busy living your daily life. To learn if you’ve been brushing your teeth properly, keep on reading. Even if you have been using proper technique, you may still learn a little something about how to best take care of your oral health.

The Importance of Brushing Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth regularly has a number of benefits. It keeps your breath fresh, prevents stains from building up and it reduces your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Gum disease has been linked to various health issues such as adult tooth loss, diabetes, pneumonia, stroke and heart disease. Visiting your dentist on a regular basis will help to address tooth decay and gum disease issues. However, you need to properly care for your teeth and gums in between those visits in order to keep your mouth in top-notch condition.

What Plaque Does to the Teeth and Gums

Plaque is a clear, sticky material that can cause a lot of damage to both your teeth and your gums. This substance combines with the starches and sugars present in the food you eat. This combination forms an acid that attacks the enamel of your teeth, leading to decay. Plaque also affects the gums, leading to inflammation and irritation. Gum disease in its earliest stages presents symptoms such as tender, swollen, red and bleeding gums. When gum disease is in its early stages it is known as gingivitis. If left untreated, it will eventually turn into advanced gum disease, which pulls the gums away from the teeth and leads to tooth loss. Advanced gum disease is also known as periodontitis.

Proper Brushing Habits Keep Plaque at Bay

Failing to use proper brushing habits can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Many dentists see the impact of this every day. While you must brush your teeth every day, you must also be sure that you are doing it correctly in order for the habit to be an effective one. The American Dental Association (ADA) states that you should use the following techniques to be sure that your dental health care routine has a positive impact on your oral health:

  • Brush regularly. This means brushing your teeth at least twice a day. In an ideal world, you would brush after every meal you eat. Brushing frequently helps to eliminate bacteria and plaque acids that lead to decay and gum disease.
  • Brush each and every one of your teeth. This includes the hard-to-reach ones. It also includes sensitive teeth. If you feel pain while brushing, you should contact a dentist in Arlington to have your issue addressed.
  • Select a soft-bristled toothbrush. The toothbrush needs to be firm enough to eliminate plaque and soft enough to not cause damage to your teeth and gums. An electric or battery-operated toothbrush might be a good option for you. Experts have found that these devices are better at removing plaque and gingivitis than traditional toothbrushes.
  • Select a toothpaste. There are many different kinds that you can purchase. Be sure to choose one that has been approved by the ADA.
  • Use the quadrant technique while brushing. Divide your mouth into quadrants and brush each quadrant for around 30 seconds while holding your toothbrush at a slight angle. Make sure that you brush gently. You should also be sure to brush with small back-and-forth motions. Make sure that you brush the tongue as well.
  • Use a gentle circular movement when brushing to prevent excessive wear and tear to the teeth and gums.
  • Most dental professionals suggest brushing the teeth for a minimum of two minutes. This length of time ensures that bacteria and food particles are removed from inside of the mouth.
  • After you’ve finished brushing you should rinse out your toothbrush with water. Leave the brush in an upright position and allow it to air-dry completely. You shouldn’t cover your toothbrush or store it in a closed container, as this can lead to the growth of bacteria.
  • If you’ve had your toothbrush for three months or the bristles are worn, you should replace your toothbrush.
  • Be sure that you floss every day. You should floss after you brush your teeth. Flossing allows you to reach plaque, bacteria and food particles that can’t be reached easily with a toothbrush.
  • After you’ve brushed and flossed, use a mouthwash that has been approved by the ADA to further rinse your mouth of food particles and bacteria.
  • If you want, you can brush before you floss or floss before you brush. The order isn’t that important. Just make sure that you do it!
  • You should schedule appointments with your local dentist for every six months. These visits will consist of checkups and dental cleanings. Establishing a partnership with your dentist will allow you to keep your mouth in excellent condition for years to come.

Frequent Brushing Keeps Your Mouth Healthy

While you may think that brushing your teeth is child’s play, you need to be sure that you’re doing it correctly. Refreshing yourself on how to properly and effectively brush your teeth can help to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. This means that your mouth will stay healthy for a long time to come. Brushing your teeth is a good thing and will keep your teeth and gums in good condition, doing it properly will ensure that your smile is as healthy as possible. Your oral health depends on routinely brushing your teeth with proper technique.

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Ballston Dental Arts

900 N Taylor Street, Suite 150, Arlington, VA 22203

(703) 291-3111