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You have been brushing your teeth for years, and after all this time, you are a seasoned professional, right? You know the drill by this point. You put a glob of toothpaste on the brush, scrub your teeth, maybe a quick rinse with your mouthwash and you’re out the door or off to bed.

Actually, there is a bit more to it than that. But take heart, not much more. With a little practice, you will be brushing like a pro in no time!

First, make sure you have the right toothbrush. You want one with soft bristles and a head that is small enough to reach every one of your teeth. Keep an eye on it: before you brush, check the bristles. If they are worn or flattened, or if you have had your toothbrush for more than three months, it is time for a new one.

Second, how long are you brushing? The optimum amount of time you should brush is two minutes. It may take you a while to start brushing for that length of time, and you may need to time yourself for a few days.

Third, it’s all in the technique, but the technique is pretty easy. Hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your teeth. Brush the fronts, the backs and the biting and chewing surfaces. Don’t forget to brush the insides of your front teeth! To reach those areas, hold your toothbrush vertically and use short, up-and-down strokes.

If you have questions about oral hygiene, or if it is just time for your regular cleaning and exam, our dentist, Dr. Brenda E. Howard has a chair waiting for you! If you live in the Lanham, Maryland, area, you can make an appointment at Blissful Dental by calling 301.552.2662.