Dr. Stephen A. Price


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Some Oral Care Habits Could Hurt Your Smile. Here’s What You Want to Avoid!

By: | Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 | Oral Health

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

If you take your oral health seriously, you probably spend at least several minutes a day brushing and flossing your teeth. So why did your last dental visit reveal some gum recession or tooth damage? This situation happens more often than you may think, and patients don’t always ask their dentist why their daily habits aren’t paying off. So, here, we will explain the habits you want to avoid.

Brushing Too Hard

Many of us learned at an early age that to get something clean, we had to put some muscle behind our work. Well, this does not hold true for oral care. If you’re brushing with a lot of pressure against your teeth and gums, you may be doing two things. One is scratching the delicate margins between the gums and the teeth. The other is that you could be scratching the hard shell of enamel, causing erosion that could lead to cavities. The same problems can occur if you use a toothbrush with hard bristles. Why hard-bristled toothbrushes are still made we will never understand. Our advice is to choose toothbrushes with soft bristles. This still gets the job done.

Overusing Your Toothbrush

We often forget that our toothbrushes only last so long. Used day in and day out for months on end, a toothbrush is bound to degrade. Bristles may soften or bend at the ends, minimizing the amount of plaque removal that can occur. If a toothbrush is more than 90 days old, it’s time for a new one. Ideally, we should start checking our toothbrush for signs of wear after about 60 days of use. Furthermore, if we get a cold or other illness, once we are recovered, we should toss the toothbrush we’ve been using so as not to reintroduce germs into the mouth.

Brushing at the Wrong Time

Some people are so serious about taking good care of their teeth and gums that they brush after every meal. This isn’t necessary but can’t hurt, either, as long as you get the timing right. Experts say that we should not brush within 30 minutes of a meal. This is because the digestive acids that are produced to break down food temporarily weaken tooth enamel. Brushing too soon can lead to scratches that then harbor bacteria.

Your oral care is an important aspect of good general health. We’re here to help you maintain your teeth and gums in optimal condition. To schedule a comprehensive dental exam and cleaning with Dr. Price, call (703)-935-2879.



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