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Brad M. Freedman, DDS & Associates
4604-D Pinecrest Office Park Dr, Alexandria, VA 22312

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Brush Up on the Benefits of Brushing

Are you up to date on the basics of brushing your teeth? The importance of utilizing proper brushing technique can’t be overstated. While brushing your teeth may seem like a simple habit that you do every day, it’s important that you are doing it correctly so that you receive the maximum benefits available to you from brushing your teeth. It’s easy to overlook this essential element of your health because it’s such a routine one.

However, you want to be sure that you maximize the positive impact that the few minutes a day it takes you to brush your teeth has on your overall dental health. Believe it or not, your oral health can have a huge impact on your overall physical health, making a good routine an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.

Why It’s Important That You Brush Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth on a consistent basis is one of the most important things that you can do for the health of your teeth and gums. Not only does it prevent bad breath and stains, but it also assists in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Gum disease is a serious health problem that has been linked to diabetes, pneumonia, stroke and heart disease. It is also the primary cause of adults losing their teeth at an early age. To keep these problems from occurring, you need to see your dentist on a regular basis. You also need to establish proper brushing habits.

How Plaque Harms the Teeth and Gums

Plaque is harmful to both the teeth and gums. It is a sticky substance that forms over the surface of your teeth whenever you eat or drink something. This substance combines with the sugars and starches present within your food to create acids that destroy the enamel of the teeth. This is what leads to tooth decay. In addition to leading to tooth decay, plaque also causes irritation and inflammation in the gums. This will eventually lead to the early stage of gum disease that is known as gingivitis. Symptoms of gingivitis include gums that are red, swollen, tender or bleeding. If it isn’t treated, gingivitis will develop into a more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis. This can lead to the gums pulling away from the teeth, infection, bone loss and the eventual loss of your teeth.

How to Properly Brush Your Teeth

The best way to reduce your chances of having serious problems with tooth decay and gum disease is to properly brush your teeth. While brushing your teeth regularly is important, it’s essential that you do it correctly in order for it to be effective. The American Dental Association (ADA) gives the following techniques for you to follow in order for your dental health to remain in top-notch shape.

  • Make sure you’re brushing your teeth often. The ADA recommends that you do so after each meal. If you can’t do that, make sure that you’re at least brushing twice a day every day. This allows for you to minimize the levels of bacteria and acid within your mouth.
  • Brush all of the teeth. This includes brushing teeth that are harder to reach. It also includes sensitive teeth. If you experience any sort of pain or discomfort while brushing, contact a dentist in Alexandria.
  • Use the right toothbrush. Your toothbrush should be firm enough to get rid of plaque and soft enough to prevent damage occurring to the teeth and gums. Soft-bristled toothbrushes work best. Recent research conducted by experts has indicated that electric or battery-powered toothbrushes are more effective in plaque removal than traditional toothbrushes.
  • Find the right toothpaste. There are a variety of toothpastes available for you to choose from. You will want to be sure that you choose one that is approved by the ADA.
  • Perfect your technique. Divide your mouth into four different sections and focus on each section for a minimum of 30 seconds. Brush every part of your teeth using a slight back-and-forth motion while holding your toothbrush at a minimal angle. You should also brush your tongue.
  • The best motion to utilize is a gentle circular one. This motion helps to prevent wear and tear on the teeth and gums.
  • The ADA recommends that you brush your teeth for approximately two minutes. This allows for you to remove food particles and bacteria from your mouth effectively.
  • Keep your toothbrush clean. To do so, rinse it out every time you use it and allow it sit upright and air-dry. Avoid using covers or enclosed containers to keep your toothbrush in. Covering your toothbrush in this manner leads to bacteria growing on the brush.
  • Your toothbrush should be replaced every three months. It should be replaced sooner than that if you notice that the bristles are becoming worn. You should also replace it after you’ve been sick.
  • Your toothbrush can’t reach everywhere. To remove plaque and food particles from those places you should floss every day.
  • Using a mouthwash after brushing and flossing can also help you to eliminate bacteria and food particles from your mouth. Make sure you choose a mouth rinse that is ADA approved.
  • There’s no particular order you have to brush and floss in. You can floss first and brush afterwards. You can also brush first and then follow that up with flossing.
  • Schedule a visit with your dentist once every six months for routine checkups and cleanups. This will help to keep your mouth as healthy as possible.

Brush Your Way to a Healthy Mouth

Brushing the right way is one of the best ways to ensure that you maintain a healthy smile. It’s one of the most essential parts of achieving a beautiful smile that functions properly. Reviewing proper brushing technique can help you to assess your current technique and make any changes that are necessary to keep your smile in top-notch shape. It will also aid you in achieving a beautiful smile for years to come.

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Brad M. Freedman, DDS & Associates

4604-D Pinecrest Office Park Dr, Alexandria, VA 22312

(703) 940-1886

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