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Posted on: December 30, 2020
The Benefits of Proper Teeth Brushing
At Dental Associates of Northern Virginia - City of Falls Church, we know that brushing your teeth in the right way can help you to enjoy brighter smiles and fewer dental problems in the future. Our dentists are committed to providing our patients with practical solutions for dental care in the Falls Church area. We work with you and your family to ensure that you can afford the dental care we offer and to promote healthier teeth and gums for patients of all ages.
Brushing your teeth is one of the most important elements in your home dental hygiene plan. Most people, however, have not thought much about the way they brush their teeth since learning to do so in childhood. The American Dental Association (ADA) has issued some recommendations and guidelines for adults and children in brushing their teeth properly. Following these guidelines can make brushing your teeth more productive in preventing cavities, tooth decay and other issues that can affect your dental health.
Proper Brushing Is the Centerpiece of a Strong Oral Health Care Routine
The bacteria living in your mouth break down food particles after you eat or drink. This is especially true for sweet or starchy foods and sugary drinks. During the process of breaking down these sugars and starches, bacteria produce a substance called plaque.
Plaque consists of a mixture of bacteria and dissolved food. It is acidic and sticky, which allows it to adhere to the surface of your teeth. Over time, plaque can harden to form tartar or can attack the outer layer of your teeth to cause cavities. Removing this material through brushing and flossing your teeth can prevent these and other negative side effects of plaque.
Serious Dental and Medical Consequences of Plaque
If plaque remains on your teeth for an extended period of time, it can cause a number of unwanted effects for your physical and dental health:
- Plaque can cause bad breath, which can make it less comfortable for you and your family members to meet new people or to interact with others at work, school or in social situations.
- Tartar or calculus can build up between teeth or accumulate around the gums to make it harder to clean your teeth effectively. Our dental team can provide professional teeth cleaning services that can get rid of plaque more effectively.
- Plaque is a common contributing factor to cavities and tooth decay. It can also increase the risk of infections that could require emergency dental care to resolve effectively.
- Plaque and tartar are also implicated in the development of gum disease. This serious dental condition can lead to the loss of bone density in the jaw and the loosening of teeth. You may even lose teeth if you develop advanced gum disease. Periodontal disease has also been associated with a higher risk of strokes, heart disease, pneumonia and diabetes.
Brushing Habits for Healthy Teeth
Fortunately, a few simple techniques can increase the effectiveness of brushing and flossing your teeth at home. The ADA recommends these strategies for brushing your teeth and protecting your dental health:
- Brush for two minutes. Using a timer can be a fun way to encourage children to brush their teeth for the full two minutes recommended by the ADA. Another method is to divide your teeth into four separate sections and to brush each of these sections for at least 30 seconds. This will help you to spend the required amount of time in caring for your teeth.
- Floss when you brush. It does not matter whether you brush first or floss first. Combining the two activities into one session, however, will ensure that you rinse away as much of the plaque and food as possible every time you care for your teeth.
- Brush at least twice a day. Brushing your teeth after every meal or snack is recommended by the ADA. If you cannot manage this because of work or school obligations, making sure you brush your teeth in the morning and at night will often remove enough plaque and food to keep your teeth healthier. Most dentists also recommend brushing your tongue when you brush your teeth to remove food and bacteria from its surface. This can also improve your breath to a surprising degree.
- Choose the right toothbrush and toothpaste. Unless your dentist has recommended a different toothbrush, choose a brush with soft, flexible bristles. This will minimize damage to your teeth and gums while allowing you to reach areas between teeth and at your gumline. Your toothpaste should contain fluoride and be approved by the ADA.
- Rinse your teeth completely. Rinsing will allow you to dislodge even more food particles and plaque that may be in your mouth or stuck to your teeth. Rinse at least twice with cool water to enjoy the best dental health.
- Let your toothbrush air dry. Rinsing off any food or toothpaste from your toothbrush and then allowing it to dry in the open air will reduce the growth of any bacteria that may be present on this dental device.
- Visit the dentist regularly. Your dentist is the best source of information and guidance on caring for your teeth and avoiding the serious side effects of plaque and tartar. Most dental authorities recommend scheduling visits twice yearly for the best results.
Brushing to Ensure Healthier Teeth and Gums
Brushing and flossing aren’t always the most fun activities to complete in a day, however, they are some of the most essential. Making sure your teeth stay healthy and clean is part of an overall strategy that leads to good health. If you need more guidance or don’t think you’ve been brushing or flossing correctly, one of our dentists would be delighted to take a look and give you a recommendation if needed.
Give us a call today to schedule your first appointment with our team. We are here to serve your needs now and for the future.