What to do Before Your Scheduled Teeth Cleaning

Most people have their teeth cleaned twice each year, and sometimes more frequently if problems arise. In order to get the most out of each of your dental cleanings, there are a few things you can do which will make the experience more productive and more beneficial for you.

Don’t bother brushing

This may sound odd, but it’s generally better if you don’t brush your teeth before visiting your dentist. If you’ve recently had a meal before going to the office, it’s likely that food will be caught somewhere in your teeth, and may still be there at the time of your cleaning. This will show your dentist exactly where your problem areas may be, and where food routinely would become trapped between teeth. That in turn, will be a cue for him/her to point out to you where you need special attention with brushing and flossing.

Don’t whiten your teeth

Some people have the mistaken notion that whitening their teeth will show the dentist what a great job they’re doing at brushing. In fact, any whitening process that you use is very likely to trigger sensitivity in your teeth, and that’s not what you want when you’re about to undergo a cleaning. If you really want to have your teeth whitened, talk to your dentist about doing it after a cleaning, which is when your teeth will be more receptive to the whitening agents anyway.

Take in questions you may have

Some people have such a dread of going to the dentist, that they just go blank as soon as they arrive at the office, or get in the chair. It would be much better for you if you can jot down any questions you have for your dentist prior to a teeth cleaning, so that you can get things explained which you don’t understand. For instance, if you routinely have sensitivity in a certain area, you should point that out to your dentist so that it can be investigated. When you get in the chair and say nothing, your doctor will have no way of knowing that something might be amiss.

Skip the appointment if you’re sick

There is a good reason to skip your dental appointment if you happen to be under the weather. Whenever your gums are scraped so as to remove tartar, they can become irritated, and small amounts of bacteria can actually be injected into the bloodstream via the mouth. This is a completely normal situation, but if you’re not feeling well to begin with, it can exacerbate the situation and cause you to feel much worse. It’s worth the delay to reschedule your dental appointment if you’re not feeling 100% healthy.

Bring in your oral appliance

If you’re a patient suffering from sleep apnea, and you wear a breathing device at night for opening your airway, you should bring this in when you have your dental appointment. Because tartar can form on your breathing device just like it can form on your teeth, that tartar needs to be removed so that your breathing remains free. Many dentists have ultrasonic cleaning devices in their office which can accomplish the cleaning while your teeth are being operated on.

When you’re ready for an appointment

If you’re moving into the North Andover area of Massachusetts, you’ll want to start off on the right foot with your dental hygiene. Contact Dr. Gary Demetriou for your first dental appointment, and give yourself the opportunity to have your oral care come under the watchful monitoring of a world-class DMD, right in your neighborhood.

Bad Breath and How to Get Rid of It

Bad breath is a serious issue. According to Medical News Today, bad breath affects 1 in 4 people. That’s about 25% of the population. Having bad breath can cause stress, anxiety, embarrassment, and a lot of worry. Also known as halitosis, bad breath is mostly caused by poor oral hygiene. When food particles get stuck in your mouth for a significant amount of time, they can create bacteria that can produce unwanted smells. Couple that with poor hydration, it’s a recipe for disaster. Fortunately there are treatment options you can take to curb bad breath.

As mentioned earlier, since poor hygiene is one of the most common causes of bad breath,  instituting a better oral hygiene routine can quickly nip bad breath in the bud. Flossing once daily, and brushing twice a day is a step in the right direction. Don’t forget to brush your tongue! We get so wrapped up in how to properly brush our teeth, that sometimes we forget about our tongue. Often times, bacteria that causes bad breath is present on the tongue. So, be sure to brush it gently and reach as far back as you can with the toothbrush in order to cover the entire tongue. Also, be aware of the level of dryness in your mouth. Since bacteria can flourish in a dry mouth, it’s advised to drink water consistently throughout the day. Speaking of hydration, your saliva is masterful at managing bad breath. Evidence suggests that the more saliva you have in your mouth, the fresher your breath will be. Chewing sugar-free gum and eating snacks that require a lot of chewing are great ways to promote healthy saliva flow in your mouth.

Some other things you can do to stop bad breath is cutting out unhealthy habits such as smoking tobacco and eating too much sugar. In fact, diet plays a huge role in overall health. It’s no wonder that diet also contributes to what’s going on in our mouth. For example, it’s quite possible you’ve heard that onions and garlic cause bad breath, but do you know how? When these foods breakdown in the system during digestion, they release chemicals in the bloodstream that can cause bad breath. Coffee and alcohol can also contribute to bad breath. Pay attention to what you eat. It could make a difference.

In addition to managing oral hygiene at home, be sure to see your dentist at least twice a year for professional cleaning. Food particles can build up which makes it harder to get with just flossing and brushing. Your dentist has special teeth cleaning tools that will give you a thorough cleaning. This can alleviate bad breath and many other oral ailments you may encounter. Additionally, talk to your dentist about treatment options for bad breath. He/She may be able to prescribe a special antibacterial toothpaste or mouthwash to combat bad breath.

We’re here to support your oral health. If you need a regular cleaning, an emergency visit, or any other dental services, give us a call. Gary C. Demetriou, D.M.D. uses the latest in dental technology to be able to enhance your smile using a wide variety of techniques, depending on what is necessary to you, our patient. Check out our website to learn more about the different options you have when coming in for your visit.

Surviving the Holiday Dental Woes

It’s time for good cheer, gift giving, and making merry this holiday season. There are so many things to consider such as what gifts you’ll get for friends and loved ones, what you’ll wear to holiday parties, and how to navigate family get togethers. It’s been said that the holiday season can be one of the most stressful times of the year. Indeed there’s a lot to consider. However, sometimes we forget about our health, more specifically oral health.  All those sugary cookies, desserts, and sweet treats you’ll be eating over the holidays this year can take a toll on your teeth.

Here’s are four easy steps to combat the holiday dental woes.

Step 1: Put a limit on sugar consumption (ahead of time).

We all are familiar with the infamous relationship between sugar and oral health. Sugar plays a very large role in our overall food consumption here in the United States. The effect of sugar on our overall health can be quite sobering if you dare to look into it. Consequently, sugar’s impact on oral health is staggering. The truth is sugar in and of itself does not cause harm to your teeth. Rather, it’s the unfortunate chain of events occuring after eating that delectable sugar cookie that causes the harm. You see, unhealthy bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar molecules. This process is what creates plaque buildup that eventually leads to tooth decay. Therefore, eating less sugar during the holidays would be a smart way to avoid suffering from cavities, or worse tooth loss. Put a limit on how much dessert you will eat. Eat your dessert on smaller plates so it feels like you’re eating more.

Step 2: Plan to drink more water.

Water can be described as the magic elixir of life. It can do wonders for your body including hydration, flushing toxins out of your body, and aiding in digestion. Additionally, water can help rinse your mouth out and pass any extra sugar digestive tract preventing it from sitting in your mouth and attracting bacteria. Drinking more water also helps to fill up your belly and give you a more full feeling which can deter overeating.

Step 3: Brush.

It may seem extra hard to get your twice daily tooth brushing in during the holidays. But it can make a big difference. Brushing your teeth twice a day especially after eating sugary foods and consuming acids, will help keep your smile bright and clean. Remember to make your each brushing time last for two minutes in order to reap the maximum results.

Step 4: Schedule your dental cleaning after the holidays.

Just in case you do build up extra plaque during the holidays, you can clear it out with a dental visit. Plan ahead and schedule a visit with your dentist to coincide with the holidays. Having a dental visit right after the holidays will help you to remain accountable to yourself in order to be prepared for the visit. Also, the timing of the visit right after the holidays will ensure you have a teeth cleaning done right as the new year kicks in.

You don’t have to let your oral health take a back seat during the holidays. Be proactive with yourself and your family so that you can survive the holidays with a healthy smile.

5 Foods That Can Whiten your Teeth

Most of us know that there are certain foods that can stain your teeth such as coffee, tea, and red wine. On the opposite side of the coin, there are foods that can help whiten teeth over time. These foods are not only healthy for your body, but also quite helpful for your teeth. In addition, these foods are natural and easy to come by.

Apples, Carrots, and Celery

There’s a reason why mothers tell us to eat our fruits and vegetables. Apples, carrots, and celery act as a natural stain remover. They increase saliva production which is our own personal cleansing agent for the mouth. They also kill bacteria that causes bad breath. Most importantly, biting down on these crispy fruits and vegetables causes a healthy crunching action that helps to scrub your teeth crystal clean. Other types of fruits that help to naturally whiten teeth are oranges and pineapples. The tartness found in these fruits also promote saliva production.

Strawberries

Don’t let the red hues fool you. This tasty treat actually contains a natural chemical that can clean your teeth and remove plaque. Malic acid is present in strawberries and it is said to be a ‘natural astringent to remove surface discoloration’ according to  Dr. Irwin Smigel, president of the American Society for Dental Aesthetics. Eat them in salads, desserts, and cereal or mash them up with some baking soda for an extra tooth brushing from time to time.

Seeds & Nuts

Exfoliating is good for the skin and also good for your teeth. Chewing up seeds and nuts causes a light abrasive that can be good for removing debris and plaque from your teeth. Almonds, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds and the like are a good healthy snack to grab and your teeth will love the cleaning action as well.

Baking Soda

This pantry staple is the mother of all fixings. It’s good for just about everything. Baking soda not only does wonders with various cooking recipes, but it also is a great natural cleaning agent for your teeth. There’s a good reason you’ll find this ingredient in many commercial toothpaste products. Baking soda is actually a form of salt and works really well for scrubbing off plaque and surface stains. Try switching up your morning routine by brushing with baking soda.

Water

We call it life’s elixir. We need it for our very survival. Not only does water keep you hydrated, but it can help act as a ‘rinse’ during our highly coveted coffee breaks. As we mentioned earlier in this article, coffee, red wine, tea and other dark beverages can stain the teeth, but try swishing water around in your mouth before, during and after to prevent staining. We recommend sticking with plain water instead of carbonated or sparkling water as bubbles can erode tooth enamel and actually harm your teeth.

If you’re looking for natural ways to whiten your teeth, try them all. They are tasty, healthy, and great for your teeth. While it’s important to take responsibility for your oral health and seek natural ways to promote oral health, we recommend being consistent with a dental care professional for regular maintenance and to complement and promote overall wellness and your perfect smile.

How to get your Stubborn Husband to go to the Dentist

How to Get Your Stubborn Husband to go to the Dentist

Whether the man in your life has an innate fear of the dentist or he just doesn’t deem it important enough to go, you may understandably be frustrated with his lack of attention to his oral health. After all, you know the importance of regular cleanings every six months as well as flossing and brushing twice daily. But he may not realize it. Check out these tips to encourage your husband to make an appointment.

Recite the Stats

Many men think well in terms of numbers, of hard and true facts. Learn the statistics and let him know what you find.

  • 31% of adults aged 20 to 44 have untreated cavities, according to the CDC.
  • Only 64% of adults aged 18 to 64 visited a dentist in the past year.
  • Large amounts of bacteria in the mouth caused by poor dental hygiene can allow germs to invade the bloodstream. This can lead to infections and diseases, says Medical Daily.
  • The American Dental Association says that those who are at a high risk of developing periodontal disease should visit their dentist more frequently.
  • One in four adults admit they don’t brush twice a day, including one-third of men.
  • Only 9% of men have oral health that is deemed excellent.
  • 51,000 of people will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer this year, says the American Cancer Society. About 10,000 of them will die.
  • Oral cancers are more than twice as common in men as in women.

Address the Root Problem

The #1 reason people avoid going to the dentist? Fear. In fact, three out of four adults report at least some anxiety when facing a dental visit, from feeling slightly afraid to feeling terrified, according to the Dental Fears Research Clinic. Approach the issue gingerly and ask your husband if he feels anxious about going to the dentist. You may be rebuked at first, but be persistent. It’s actually quite common for men to feel fear due to the lack of control they experience in situations like dental visits. In a society that puts a lot of pressure on men to be in control and never show emotion, it’s no wonder your guy is having a hard time admitting this.

Common sources of dental anxiety include the fear of pain or injections, the sound of drills and other instruments, lying flat in the chair, and simply that lack of control that comes with being at the mercy of someone else.

Problem is, men who proclaim they hate the dentist simply avoid going to appointments. While this calms the fear initially, it leads to the need for more in-depth cleanings, more cavity fillings and other procedures when they do go. This results in more pain and loss of control, so they stop going for awhile again and the cycle repeats itself. Bottom line, if men kept up with their six-month cleanings, the visits would be far more pleasant than if they were to wait until bigger issues crop up.

Another top reason for avoiding the dentist is cost. With many families going without dental insurance due to the high cost of this insurance on top of standard health insurance, many men forgo their own dental visits in favor of saving money. They may stress the importance of dental care with their wives or children, but when it comes to themselves, they feel their money is best spent elsewhere.

Luckily, the office of Gary Demetriou, DMD, can remedy both of these situations. We accept many different insurance plans, and for those who don’t have insurance, we offer affordable payment plans that work with your budget. In terms of allaying fears, our staff is well aware that many people — including men — may feel anxious when visiting us. That’s why we do all we can to put you at ease.

Keeping Your Kids Teeth Safe in Sports

Preventing dental injuries in your kids is of paramount importance when you’re a parent. The National Institutes of Health says 30 million children and teens are involved in sports in this country, and more than five million knocked-out teeth occur each year to the tune of $500 million in dental care costs. Common dental injuries that happen in sports include anything from tooth fractures to extrusion to temporomandibular joint dislocation. Knowing this, you may decide it’s easier to just keep your kids in a bubble. But while you can’t exactly anticipate or prevent all of these potential injuries, you can be prepared for them. Check out these tips:

Use a mouth guard: As your first line of defense against sports injuries to the mouth, these guards are imperative. No, they can’t prevent every type of injury, but they’re the best option we have at this time. They should fit properly so as not to affect speech or the ability to breathe. Even kids with braces should wear mouthguards, which they can get from their orthodontist. Everyone else can use a custom mouth guard, which adheres to the shape of the teeth when you boil it in water first so it becomes pliable. Mouth guards don’t just keep teeth from getting knocked out. They can prevent cuts on the tongues and lips too, particularly if your child wears braces.

Try a face cage: Some sports require the use of a face cage, such as with hockey goalies or baseball catchers. These can prevent trauma to the face by blocking flying objects such as balls and pucks.

Wear a helmet: These will guard against concussions due to impact. While they don’t primarily protect the teeth, they do protect the head and support the jaws, and most come with an attached mouth guard.

Properly store and clean your orthodontic appliance: If your child wears a retainer or headgear, make sure they don’t use these appliances when playing sports. They could slice the skin or mouth if hit by a ball, for example. It’s always a good idea to keep retainers and other orthodontic appliances clean. Also, make sure your child knows to store it in the proper container, never a tissue, which could get thrown out. While we’re on the subject, heed these tips for keeping your teeth safe.

  • Remove headgear and wear a mouthguard when playing sports.
  • Don’t eat hard, sticky or crunchy foods.
  • Don’t pull on your braces or pick at them.
  • Use orthodontic wax on sharp ends of wires to protect your cheeks and gums.
  • Store the appliance in the proper case it came with.
  • Clean your mouthguard or orthodontic appliance regularly.

Follow the above safety tips to keep your kids safe AND avoid unnecessary dental bills.

Call Gary Demetriou DMD today at 978-794-0010 for more tips on avoiding dental injuries from sports. Or, feel free schedule a regular cleaning appointment. Don’t hesitate to call us if you experience a dental trauma.

How To Achieve A Holiday-Ready Smile

The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes parties, cookie swaps, plays and plenty of get-togethers with friends and family. It’s so easy to get swept up in the gifts and the shopping and the food that you can inadvertently put your own appearance on the back burner. All that coffee and tea you’ve been swigging to get through the craziness of Black Friday is now showing its effects on your teeth. Take a good look in the mirror: do you see yellow and brown tints or spots that really detract from your smile? If so, you could benefit from some teeth whitening to get them looking more attractive. After all, you’ll be meeting and greeting lots of people this holiday season.

You spent a lot of time and effort on planning your outfits and jewelry for all the holiday parties you’ll be attending and hosting this month, and your smile should match your spectacular attire. If you think it’s too late to get a holiday-ready smile, think again. Check out these things you can do now to get a brighter smile.

Use a Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste is good to have on hand, but it works gradually and it’s not as effective as whitening trays or strips. Definitely, use it as a complement to your oral care regimen so you can remove stains and prevent stain build-up over time.

Nix the Coffee and Soda

For all you coffee and soda lovers out there, this can be a tough one to swallow. But if you cut back, or at least sip through a straw to minimize contact with the teeth, you will reap the rewards in the form of better-looking teeth. After drinking, rinse out your mouth with water.

Eat Plenty of Vegetables and Fruits

Maintaining a healthy diet can also do wonders for your teeth. Fill your plate with celery, carrots, and apples for extra vitamin C, which works to improve your saliva production. The more saliva flowing in your mouth, the better it works to wash debris away from the teeth.

Use an At-Home Whitening Kit

Pick up a kit or some strips from the store if you have a few days or a week before that party. They’re fairly affordable and have been known to lighten stains somewhat; however, they contain a mild peroxide which works minimally at dissolving surface stains. For better results, go pro.

Schedule a Professional Appointment

If you’ve gone through all of these suggestions and they haven’t quite worked, or you need something more immediate, make an appointment with your dentist for in-office teeth whitening. This is the most effective and quick way to achieve the results you need. Prepare to see amazing effects that can brighten your teeth several shades in just one appointment.

Dr. Demetriou offers in-office teeth whitening for fast, effective, long-lasting results. Call us today at 978-794-0010 to make an appointment before all those holiday parties!

5 Signs That Mean You Need to See Your Dentist

Whether you have been skipping your regular six-month cleanings or you go religiously but face an issue in between visits, sometimes there are dental problems that can trigger a special trip. These can range from tooth pain and inflamed gums to toothaches and white spots on the teeth. Here are five signs that mean you need to see your dentist.

A sore that doesn’t heal: If you notice a sore in your mouth, a lump, or a red or white patch on your cheeks, gums or tongue that doesn’t go away within a couple of weeks, call your dentist, advises Reader’s Digest Best Health. Oral cancer is a possibility, but the good news is that when caught early, the chances of recovery are good. At every cleaning, your dentist likely scans for signs of oral cancer, but you can do self-checks at home each month with a mirror and the proper lighting.

Toothache: A nagging toothache can be annoying but it can also signal a cavity or abscessed tooth. Persistent dental pain is not something you should just live with. If you let it go, that cavity could get larger and eventually kill the root of your tooth. That leads to a root canal, dental implants and crowns, which all involve many dental visits at great expense. Remember, the pain won’t get better without treatment, it will only get worse.

Swollen gums: While sometimes you may get a little bleeding and soreness after vigorous tooth brushing and flossing, it becomes a more concerning issue when your gums are constantly red, bleeding and swollen. This could signal gingivitis or gum inflammation. This is an early stage of gum disease that can be reversed with proper oral care and professional help to remove the soft, sticky plaque that coats your teeth and gums.

Jaw pain: Waking up with jaw pain is something that afflicts millions of Americans. It’s got a pretty common root cause, usually, the result of teeth grinding while sleeping. However, jaw pain could also signal TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder, a misaligned bite, an abscessed tooth, osteomyelitis (an infection that travels through the bloodstream to affect the bones and surrounding tissues), gum disease and cavities. You may be prescribed antibiotics or you may be given a mouth guard to wear at night to prevent grinding. Your dentist will determine the root cause and come up with a treatment plan accordingly.

White spots on teeth: These can be the first signs of dental decay, involving an infection in the tooth caused by dissolving of the enamel. This is due to the acid produced by bacteria. White spots can also be caused by dry mouth, consuming too many acidic foods and beverages, high-sugar diets and acid reflux. Your dentist can fix this through polishing, whitening, bonding or veneers.

If you suffer from any of the above, make an appointment with Dr. Gary Demetriou at 978-794-0010.

Put This In Your Smoothie to Protect Your Smile

You are what you eat: you’ve likely heard this saying many times before. But this is even more true when it comes to your smile. The foods and drinks you choose to consume have a direct impact on the health of your teeth. If you love smoothies — made with either yogurt or ice cream — you will love these suggestions on what to add for a refreshing twist. Check out these tips for making smoothies:

  • Stay away from acidic ingredients: Acidic foods like lemons and even apples attack your tooth enamel and weaken it over time. Actually, acid makes it more porous, which increases your risk for staining.

  • Use a straw: When sugar and colorful foods spend more time in your mouth, they are more apt to damage your teeth. By slurping through a straw, you’re directing the smoothie right down your throat, with minimal contact with the inside of your mouth.

  • Rinse with water: After you drink your smoothie, swish your mouth out with water. Refrain from brushing and flossing too soon after, as you can actually do more damage by rubbing stain-prone particles onto your teeth. Wait a half hour or so.

  • Try alternatives to sugar: Instead of dumping in teaspoons of sugar, try alternatives like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice to sweeten the mixture.

Recipes

Here are some smoothie recipes to try that will brighten and protect your smile.

Banana Kale Smoothie

  • 1 banana (you can even try frozen)
  • 1 handful kale
  • 8 ounces coconut water
  • 1 tsp flax seed
  • 1 tsp chia seed
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp agave nectar

Blend everything together until smooth. Enjoy over ice. This smoothie is great for your smile because it contains coconut oil, which is known to stop the growth of bacteria in the mouth, preventing cavities and other infections.

Cranberry Smoothie

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries

Blend almond milk, banana, mixed berries and cranberries until smooth, then refrigerate one hour before serving. Fresh cranberries contain compounds that prevent bacteria from bonding to your teeth.

Yogurt Smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup low-fat yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 tsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp milk

Blend until smooth and enjoy. Yogurt is great for your teeth, thanks to its minerals, calcium, and phosphates. These can help rebuild your teeth and keep them strong.

Green Tea Smoothie

  • 3 cups frozen white grapes
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 brewed cups of green tea, cooled
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tsp honey

Blend grapes, spinach, green tea, avocado, and honey. Enjoy immediately. Green tea is chock full of antioxidants and other nutrients that are great for overall health. Polyphenols are great for your teeth specifically because they control bacteria that causes plaque. They are thought to kill bacteria on teeth and keep them from growing and producing acid that can do a number on your enamel.

Enjoy trying these smoothies and seeing great results for your smile.

What You Can Do Right Now for Healthier Teeth

You may not have the perfect teeth you’d like at the moment. Good oral health seems to be a constantly-evolving process that isn’t ever really “perfect” in many people’s eyes. However, there are things you can start doing right now that will improve the health of your teeth and overall oral hygiene.

Keep Flossing

No matter what you’ve heard lately, it’s important to keep flossing. Do it every night, especially after a big meal and especially if you have braces. You may have heard about studies that found flossing was not effective or necessary in maintaining oral health. However, both the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say you should still floss. They say those studies were flawed by participants who said they flossed more than they really did.

Brushing alone cannot get into those between-the-teeth spaces to get rid of bacteria that can lead to gingivitis. In fact, flossing gets at least four times deeper into the gums than brushing ever can.

Stop Drinking Soda

Now’s as good a time as any to kick the soda habit. Even if you drink diet soda, all that acid is eroding your tooth enamel, which you can never get back once it’s gone. Cola and ginger ale are the worst culprits when it comes to high sources of sugar. Sugar, as you know, causes cavities — so you’re doing a double disservice to your teeth by drinking that fizzy stuff. If you absolutely must have a glass of soda, brush your teeth afterwards or at least drink water.

Stop Smoking

Easier said than done, right? But if you ever want to see those pearly whites again, you’ll nix the tobacco. That’s because smoking coats your teeth with a yellow hue, which is bad enough. However, the nicotine and tar in cigarettes are gradually eating away at your gums, making your mouth a breeding ground for bacteria and plaque, says WebMD. By harming your gums, you’re increasing your risk of future tooth loss as well as mouth sores that can result in oral cancer.

Start Brushing Right

If your brushing technique doesn’t seem to be effective, you’ll have to switch it up. If you’re at a loss, ask your dentist next time you have a visit how you can brush more effectively. Devote at least two minutes to cleaning your teeth and gums. Any less than that and you’re not putting in enough attention to each tooth. Make sure your brush is angled 45 degrees toward your gum line, then use circular strokes very gently. Are the bristles bending? You’re working it too hard. Because plaque is relatively soft, you can get it off your teeth with some gentle brushing.

Stay Current on Your Six-Month Visits

Take a look at your calendar. Do you have a six-month cleaning scheduled? If not, call your dentist today to book your appointment. One of the easiest ways to take care of your teeth is to visit the dentist twice a year — at least.