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steps to brushing teeth

Teeth Brushing 101: 5 Steps to Brushing Teeth the Right Way

It almost never fails; you go to the dentist, and no matter how well you think you’re doing,  they tell you that you need to brush more or floss or use more mouthwash. 

Is there any way to brush your teeth so that your dentist will be satisfied? It turns out there is, and most experts recommend a few steps to brushing teeth. We’ll tell you more about them in the paragraphs below.

1. Use a Fluoride Toothpaste

Most dentists will recommend using a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride is useful because it works in tandem with saliva. Saliva protects your teeth by putting a layer of calcium and phosphate on top of your teeth, both of which are active ingredients in enamel.

Fluoride combines with these elements to strengthen the defense. It’s like taking armor and then wearing another suit of armor over it. For this reason, it’s one of the most important steps to brushing teeth.

You have to brush every day to keep it working, but it adds a layer of protection. One thing to note, you should never swallow fluoride. It’s not dangerous in small amounts, but almost everything is poisonous if you take in too much of it.

2. Brush in Circles

You may have heard before that you’re supposed to brush in circles, but why is that? The primary reason is to get rid of the plaque and its components.

Plaque is a substance known as a microbial film, which is a substance that provides a home for several different types of bacteria. Plaque is made up of four main ingredients: saliva, tiny bits of food, carbohydrates, and bacteria.

So how does this relate to brushing in little circles? It turns out that brushing in straight lines can lead to holes being worn into the enamel, which can trap food or other ingredients of plaque.

Brushing in circles pushes many of these ingredients away from your gums and off your teeth altogether. Keep in mind, you’ll need to angle the brush away from the gums to get the full effect.

3. Brush the Back of Your Teeth

It’s easy to forget, but you need to brush the back of your teeth as well. In this case, out of sight does not mean out of trouble. 

Try to brush the backs of your teeth the same way as the fronts, in circles and pushing away from the gums.

4. Brush Your Tongue

It’s a good idea to brush your tongue after you finish with your teeth. Some would also suggest brushing the sides and roof of your mouth. 

Not only can these areas also hold bacteria and other plaque ingredients, but brushing them might also freshen your breath.

5. Floss, Rinse and Clean Your Toothbrush

Not everybody flosses and not everybody rinses with mouthwash, but either one can do your teeth some good. One thing you should always do, however, is clean your toothbrush.

A dirty toothbrush can expose your mouth to even more germs, so it needs to be kept clean and dry. You can’t keep a toothbrush clean forever, though, so you should be replacing it about twice per year.

The Best Steps to Brushing Teeth

In the paragraphs above, we’ve listed five important steps to brushing teeth. Keep in mind that while brushing teeth isn’t that complex, a lot of the science behind it and dental health as a whole is. If you’re interested in this subject, we encourage you to do more research on your own.

One great place to start is on our website. We can give you advice about tooth sensitivity, what it is and how to treat it.

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how to get over fear of the dentist

Dentophobia? Here’s How to Get over Your Fear of the Dentist

Around 2.1 percent of Americans suffer from dentophobia. This is more than a dislike of going to the dentist. Dentophobia involves severe anxiety and fear around getting in the chair.

For some, it prevents them from getting important dental checkups. It puts their oral health at risk.

If you can relate to this, you’re not alone. And, there are many things you can do to make visiting the dentist easier.

Ready to book your appointment? Read these tips on how to get over fear of the dentist first.

1. Find a Compassionate Dentist

Like any other profession, there are nice doctors and there are less than nice ones. If you currently have a dentist you’re not comfortable with, find a new one.

Since this phobia prevents you from getting dental care, take this research seriously. Arrange a consultation with each prospect and explain your anxiety.

A kind, compassionate dentist will be understanding of your condition. They’ll be willing to work with you on making it a safe, calm, and easy experience. Even if you haven’t seen a dentist in years, it’s never too late. 

2. Be Communicative

Your dentist won’t know you’re having anxiety unless you tell them. It’s crucial that you have crystal clear communication.

Before the procedure, ask every question you have. Tell them how you’re feeling and what you’d like from them.

Work out a hand signal that you can give when you need a break. For some, the fear of not being able to communicate when dental work’s being done is scary. A hand signal restores your control.

3. Use Distractions

Of course, you’re going to feel uneasy if you focus on the drill in your mouth. By distracting yourself you can avoid feeling anxious.

Many dental offices have TV’s on the wall for you to watch. You could also bring headphones and listen to music or an audiobook.

If you prefer tactile distractions, bring a stress ball or some slime to fiddle with. You could even practice self-hypnosis or meditation.

4. Educate Yourself

Sometimes, the reason you feel nervous is the fear of the unknown. By learning everything you can about the procedure you’re getting, you reduce that fear.

Research the different steps in a dental cleaning or your specific procedure. At the appointment, ask the dentist to walk you through each step.

Consider booking a consultation before each appointment so the dentist has time to educate you fully.

5. Inquiry About Sedation

Some dental procedures can be uncomfortable or even painful. Inquire about different types of anesthesia and sedation.

Each dentist has a preference for providing these drugs. Some prefer not to sedate you but will offer local anesthesia. Especially if they’re aware of your phobia.

It never hurts to ask about your options.  

Interested in More Tips on How to Get Over Fear of the Dentist?

The phobia of going to the dentist is more common than you’d think. Dentists are used to seeing patients who have anxiety about their appointment.

To tackle your dentophobia, use the tips above on how to get over fear of the dentist.

If you’re looking for a dentist in Washington, D.C., give us a call. Dupont Dental Associates comprises of a team of compassionate and experienced dentists. We will work with you to overcome your fears and improve your dental health.

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cosmetic dentistry

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry: A Complete Guide To Understanding What Cosmetic Dentistry Is

Growing up, we are taught good dental health is important. As we age we learn just how important that advice was.

If you’re dealing with damaged or failing teeth, you may not smile as much or live with discomfort. The thought of cosmetic dentistry may seem like a faraway option due to cost. The truth is, over time cosmetic dental surgery cost has become more affordable.

If you are tired of being embarrassed about your teeth, you should consult with a cosmetic dentist. Before you do, here is a complete guide to help you understand what they have to offer.

General Dentistry vs. Cosmetic Dentistry

One focuses on your oral health and hygiene, while the other is about the appearance of your teeth. If you have broken, discolored, or missing teeth chances are that you haven’t been consistent with your oral healthcare.

The need for cosmetic dentistry can also be related to other health issues that are unrelated to oral care. This is more reason for wanting to brighten your smile.

Having nice teeth goes a long way in improving your overall self-esteem. 

What Options are Available?

Cosmetic dentistry addresses several problems. Most of them can be treated and corrected with a simple procedure. Here are a few of them.

Teeth Whitening

Of all of the cosmetic procedures, teeth whitening is the quickest and least expensive. Depending on the level of discoloration, you can have pearly whites in one or more appointments. 

Fillings and Artificial Crowns

Getting a filling is a dental procedure that involves removing tooth decay and rebuilding the tooth. There are several dental filling materials are available for patients to choose from.

Artificial crowns have the same purpose as fillings. They are designed to repair cracked, broken, or decaying teeth. Instead of a filling, crowns cover the damaged tooth.

Dental Implants

Probably the most intrusive process, implants require the use of metal posts or frames that are attached to the jaw bone. These fixtures allow the dentist to make permanent tooth replacements.

Dental implants allow for a tooth replacement where a tooth has been pulled or severally damaged. Implants can also be used to give an individual a full set of teeth.

Orthodontia

Commonly known as braces, orthodontia is a process used to realign teeth. A popular process was to attach wire fittings to the teeth that have to be worn for several years.

With new technology, braces have been replaced with less intrusive devices like Invisalign. 

Can You Afford Your Perfect Smile?

Cosmetic dental prices vary based on the type of service you need. Most dental insurance will not cover the cost of elective procedures but there are a few that do. 

If you are thinking about having a procedure done it is worth the cost of getting a consultation.

Are You Ready to Make the Change?

Now that you know more about cosmetic dentistry are you ready to make the call?  Don’t deny yourself the relief you want and need.

Contact us today for a full dental consultation.

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is flossing important

Is Flossing Important: 7 Surprising Health Benefits Of Flossing Daily

How many times has your dentist reminded you to floss? 

Sure, you’ve heard it a million times. But is flossing important, or is it just something dentists say?

Only 30% of people say they floss daily. Meanwhile, 32% admit to never flossing.

Where do you fall on the spectrum? Do you need to step up your flossing game?

If you want to keep your natural smile as long as possible, you need a solid oral hygiene routine. Flossing does things that brushing and using mouthwash can’t do for your teeth.

But flossing isn’t just about health. It can make your smile look (and smell) better. That gives you more reasons to smile.

Still not convinced you should reach for the floss on a daily basis? Read on to learn about flossing benefits. 

1) Reach Places Your Toothbrush Can’t

Brushing your teeth for at least two minutes two times a day cleans the visible surfaces. But the bristles can’t reach between the teeth.

Flossing removes the plaque on those surfaces. Floss handles about 40% of plaque removal. That’s a lot of plaque left behind if you don’t floss.

What’s wrong with leaving plaque on your teeth?

First, it turns to tartar. You need a dentist to remove it. It can also cause cavities and gum issues.

2) Improve Your Smile

Flashing your pearly whites comes naturally when your teeth look clean and bright. Flossing improves the look of your teeth by removing food particles that get stuck in the gaps. 

Removing plaque before it turns to tartar helps your teeth look whiter. As plaque builds, it becomes noticeable on your teeth. 

You’ll feel more confident in your smile when you keep your teeth clean and healthy.

3) Prevent Gum Disease

Periodontal disease affects 47.2% of adults 30 and older. At age 65, that number increases to 70.1%.

It starts with swollen, red gums. If not treated, gum disease can cause bone loss and tooth loss. 

Getting rid of plaque between your teeth cuts down on your risk of periodontal disease.

4) Prevent Other Diseases

Think flossing is only about your oral health? Preventing gum disease may prevent other health issues. 

Periodontal disease appears to increase risks of heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, and other serious health conditions. Flossing regularly may help you stay healthier.

If you’re an expectant mother, taking care of your teeth is beneficial for your baby, too. Pregnant women with gum disease may be at a higher risk for premature birth and low birth weight.

5) Save Money on Dental Care

When answering, “Is flossing important,” you often come up with answers related to health. But the simple habit can help your finances, too.

Flossing is part of your preventative oral care routine. It cuts down on your risks of cavities and gum disease. It’s much cheaper to stock up on floss than it is to pay dental bills for those treatments.

6) Fight Bad Breath

Battle bad breath by removing food particles and bacteria that can cause odor. When paired with regular brushing, flossing can help you minimize breath issues. Fresh breath can boost your confidence in social situations.

7) Spot Other Oral Issues

When you open wide to floss, you get a clear look inside your mouth. Do you notice anything different about your mouth, gums, teeth, or tongue?

Your mouth sometimes shows signs of disease, including cancer and HIV/AIDS. Talk to your dentist about any lesions, swelling, or redness you notice while you floss.

Is Flossing Important?

Flossing, brushing, and regular dental checkups are all part of a solid oral care routine. Is flossing important? Yes, especially when combined with brushing. 

Are you looking for a dental care team you can trust? Our friendly dental staff is ready to help you with all your dental care needs. 

Schedule an appointment today for a checkup to help keep your teeth and gums healthy.

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