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  • Writer's pictureDr. Peter - Pediatric Dentist in Arlington, Virginia

4 Brushing Habits You Should Drop, Pediatric Dentist Tips

Brushing teeth. It's something we've been doing for years but how often do we actually reflect on what we're doing? Here are four tips from Dr. Peter at VK Pediatric Dentistry to skip next time you brush your children's teeth!

Rinse and Swish - Leave the Toothpaste On!

Toothpaste is protective. Not only does it clean, but it also helps strengthen the teeth. Almost everyone rinses with water after they brush their teeth but that’s one habit that can definitely be dropped. Rinsing your mouth with water decreases the effectiveness of fluoride in your toothpaste. Fluoride should remain on your teeth to effectively strengthen tooth enamel and prevent future cavities. Instead of rinsing with water after brushing your teeth, just spit out any excess toothpaste, flush it down the sink, and go on with your day (or night). If you can't get over the toothpaste grit, swishing with a fluoride mouthwash can help get the flavor out of your mouth but maintain positive results.

Cold Water

Sensitive teeth? Using Sensodyne toothpaste? Try using lukewarm water to wet your toothbrush and toothpaste. Although it may not feel very cold, it can definitely bring sensitivity.

Saying "AHHHH"

Leaving your mouth wide open while brushing your teeth (or your children's teeth) might’ve become a habit because we are taught to 'open as big as you can'. However, opening as big as possible actually tightens the cheeks, lips, and muscles and actually makes getting the toothbrush in the hard-to-reach areas much more difficult. It can also lead to more aggressive brushing due to the tension (and discomfort) as we want to brush the teeth as quickly as possible. This can lead to enamel loss and gum tissue changes (such as recession). We recommend opening a normal amount to clean the front teeth, the tops of the teeth, and the tongue surface. To get the hard-to-reach areas in the back of the mouth, closing the lips around the toothbrush actually helps get the bristles all the way back to where they need to go (and consequently can lead to cleaner teeth and a much cleaner mirror).

Leaving the Toothbrush Out:

Toothbrushes can get filthy and leaving them out on a counter (near a toilet) can attract some pretty gross 'things'. If you want to read more about toothbrushes and germs, check out our blog post here. But to summarize, try to leave the toothbrush in an area where there is high airflow so it can dry, and keeping it away from the toilet can go a long way to stopping the spread of germs.

VK Pediatric Dentistry

5001 Langston Blvd, Arlington VA 22207

Schedule An Appointment Today in Arlington, Virginia at VK Pediatric Dentistry

If you haven't taken your child to a pediatric dentist yet or would like to schedule an appointment, Dr. Peter and the highly skilled team at VK Pediatric Dentistry are just a phone call away. Schedule an appointment online or call us today at 703-962-7814. We look forward to providing your children with a lifetime of healthy and happy smiles!


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