Maintaining a healthy smile for a lifetime starts early. That’s why it’s important for you and your family to visit your general dentist regularly and practice good oral hygiene at home.  Regular tooth brushing with toothpaste plays a major role in reducing the growth of plaque—a thin, sticky film of bacteria that creates cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. When you brush your teeth, you remove most of the plaque-causing bacteria. Brushing also helps clean and polish your teeth, removes stains, freshens your breath, and leaves your mouth feeling clean.
There are many effective brushing techniques. One effective, easy-to-remember technique involves using a circular or elliptical motion to brush a couple of teeth at a time, gradually covering the entire mouth. Avoid using a back-and-forth motion, because this can cause the gum surface to recede, can expose the root surface, or make the root surface tender.
It is recommended that you spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth at least twice a day. If you think you’re already doing a good job, you might be surprised: Patients generally think they are brushing longer than they are—most spend less than one-minute brushing. To make sure you are brushing for the full two minutes, set an egg timer or invest in a toothbrush with a built-in timer.
The best way to guide your family to good oral health is to lead by example. Start by making dental care part of your family’s daily routine. Depending on the age of your child, there are a number of methods that parents can try to encourage good oral health habits. Some suggestions for making tooth brushing less of a battle with young children include allowing your child to pick out his or her toothbrush, letting your child see you and other family members brushing their teeth, and allowing your child to brush his or her own teeth.
Do you have questions about your family’s oral health care? Be sure to talk to Dr. Popescu.



Photo Credit: Our Cosmetic Dentistry Center in Orlando

Additional Information: Academy of General Dentistry