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woman looking at smile at the dentist's office

Basic Dental Care in Virginia

woman looking at smile at the dentist's office

Did you know basic at-home dental care, along with regular, routine dental exams, can help keep your teeth and gums attractive and healthy. Having good dental hygiene will make your routine exams easier too. It only takes a few minutes a day to protect your dental health. Your healthy, basic dental routine should include:

  • Brushing your teeth two times at day
  • Using a fluoride toothpaste
  • Flossing once a day
  • Having a routine dental exam every six months

At Dental One Associates of Virginia, we always stress preventative care. It will save you money and help you avoid painful dental problems. When you make us your partner in your oral health, we’ll help you maintain your smile for as long as possible.

Brush Your Teeth

According to the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth twice a day. Brushing removes plaque, the sticky film that accumulates on your teeth throughout the day. When you eat foods with sugar, the bacteria in the plaque creates an acid that attacks tooth enamel.

When you brush, always use a soft toothbrush and brush for at least two minutes. It will take this long to clean the front, back, and chewing surface of each tooth. Frayed toothbrushes don’t clean effectively; replace yours at least every four months. Look for a toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to ensure you’re getting a toothbrush proven to be effective.

Use Fluoride Toothpaste

Fluoride is a common ingredient in toothpaste, as it strengthens tooth enamel, the outer layer of teeth. This additional protection helps adults and older children prevent tooth decay. Many municipalities in the U.S. and worldwide add fluoride to the municipal water supply for dental health. Fluoride naturally occurs in plants, water, soils rocks and more. If you’re worried about getting too much fluoride, talk to one of our dentists. It is very difficult to get too much fluoride unless you always swallow your toothpaste. Always consult with your dentist before switching to a non-fluoridated toothpaste.

Once you’re done brushing, spit out the extra toothpaste, but try not to rinse your mouth with water. This keeps the fluoride on your teeth longer. If you must rinse, use as little water as possible.

Why Should I Floss Every Day?

Your toothbrush can clean the front, back, and chewing surfaces of your teeth, but if you don’t floss, you are not cleaning the sides of your teeth. Plaque will build up and eventually harden. This can lead to decay and gum disease. Flossing daily also removes food particles that become trapped between your teeth. These food particles will rot and cause bad breath if you don’t remove them. If you floss before brushing, you can spit out the plaque and food debris along with the toothpaste.

Sometimes, people have trouble using traditional string floss because of manual dexterity issues. In fact, numerous studies have shown that half of all Americans do not floss every day, and one out of five don’t floss at all. Ask one of our dentists about the alternatives available. The ADA recommends water flossers, as they are very effective. There are also interdental brushes for people with large gaps between their teeth. Floss picks are easy to hold, but many people have trouble flossing their back teeth with them.

What Else Can I Do for My Dental Health?

You can use a mouthwash with fluoride to help strengthen your tooth enamel. Your dentist may also recommend a mouthrinse that fights plaque. Always use an alcohol-free mouthwash, so it won’t dry out your mouth. Saliva is necessary to help wash away plaque.

Avoid sugary foods and drinks as much as possible. If you do indulge, brush your teeth afterward. If brushing isn’t possible, at least rinse your mouth with water. Try to avoid sipping a soda or other drink with sugar all morning, as the sugar will remain on your teeth for hours. When snacking, choose crunchy raw vegetables or fruits that will clean your teeth. Avoid too many chips or crackers, since these can easily get stuck between your teeth.

What Basic Dental Care Services Do Our Dentists in Virginia Offer?

We provide a range of preventative dental care services to help keep your teeth and gums healthy, including:

  • Routine, six-month exams
  • Dental x-rays
  • Dental cleanings
  • Oral cancer screenings

If you take good care of your teeth at home and have regular exams and teeth cleanings, your teeth could last a lifetime. At Dental One Associates of Virginia, we understand that some of our patients have trouble finding the time and money for routine checkups. We accept most dental insurance coverage and our fees are transparent. Making the time and talking to us about your payment options will save you time and money in the long run. You’ll have fewer dental problems, and those that you have will be easier and less expensive to treat. We also suggest you have your teeth professionally cleaned every six months. They will be sparkling clean and help you maintain your dental health.

Schedule Your Dental Checkup Today

If it’s been longer than six months since you had a dental exam, please call us. We also have an easy online scheduler. Your dentist can go over your oral care routine at home and make suggestions to improve it. We look forward to working with you to keep your teeth and gums healthy and bright.

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