We Heart Our Hygienists!

We Heart Our Hygienists!

It’s National Dental Hygiene Month!

Get out your toothbrush and floss..it’s National Dental Hygiene Month! This month-long campaign is focused on raising public awareness about oral health and hygiene as well as a reminder to practice daily habits that promote healthy teeth and gums. At FDA, we have an amazing team of hygienists who are wonderful ambassadors of excellent oral health care: Alex, Diann, Erin, Jean, Kelly and Lydianne. They are always putting their patients’ comfort first and they love educating others about setting up a personalized and effective oral health routine. We heart our hygienists!! In honor of our rock star hygienists and National Dental Hygiene Month, here are our top three – hygienist-approved – tips for daily oral health care!


It’s not rocket science, just good old-fashioned oral hygiene. Get yourself an ADA-approved toothbrush with soft bristles and treat your teeth and gums to a gentle massage twice a day for two minutes. Bonus points if you upgrade to an electric toothbrush – they are more effective at removing plaque. Think of your daily brushing routine as an important part of your self-care routine. If you’d like a demonstration of the best way to brush, ask your hygienist at your next appointment. They are experts!


We know this can be a tough one to incorporate into your daily routine, but flossing once a day is a crucial component of oral health. Flossing gets into all the nooks and crannies where the brush doesn’t reach and cavity-causing bacteria can hide. If you find flossing difficult, try a water flosser or use a product like ‘Go-Betweens’ or ‘Plackers.’ Find an option that works for you and stick with it! Your gums and teeth will be grateful!

Eat well!

Oral health and hygiene are one part of a self-care routine for your overall wellness. Eating a healthy diet full of vitamins and minerals is not only good for your body, but it’s good for your teeth and gums, too! There are lots of ways to pack your plate with mouth-friendly food: load up on crunchy veggies and leafy greens, grab a hunk of cheese for extra calcium, sip on green tea for extra antioxidants. Need more ideas? Chat with Alex, Diann, Erin, Jean, Kelly, or Lydianne at your next appointment…think of them as your partners in oral health and hygiene!

While good oral hygiene is important every month, we hope you help us spread the word about the easy ways you can incorporate mouth-friendly daily habits into your self-care routine this October. Also – give some gratitude to your hygienist at your next appointment. They are truly compassionate professionals and work hard every day to make sure our family of patients feel cared for and comfortable. If you have questions or want to go over your healthcare routine, give us a call: 207.781.5900. We are here to be your partner in excellent oral health care!

Brushing Your Teeth – How Often and When?

Brushing Your Teeth – How Often and When?

As a general rule of thumb (rule of tooth?), the American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth a minimum of two times a day to maintain good dental health and hygiene.  You’ve probably heard Dr. Brunacini, Dr. Karagiorgos, and our team of amazing hygienists sing a similar tune at your check ups.  That’s because brushing your teeth twice a day is a simple step that all of us can take to ward off plaque, bad breath, and tooth decay. But this month, let’s dig a little deeper…  How often should we really be brushing our teeth and when is the best time to do it? Let’s discuss!


Q: Is brushing my teeth twice a day enough?

A: As mentioned, the ADA recommends brushing your teeth at least two times every day, with gentle strokes, for two minutes each time, and we agree! We also recommend using a fluoride toothpaste, a toothbrush with soft bristles – we particularly recommend electric toothbrushes, as well as flossing at least once per day.


Q: Should I brush my teeth before or after I eat breakfast?

A: It is always a good idea to brush your teeth in the morning due to the growth of bacteria that happens overnight. But should you brush before or after you eat and drink? Either one is fine, but if you prefer to brush after you’ve had breakfast, the ADA recommends waiting at least 60 minutes, especially if you’ve had something acidic like orange juice or coffee.  This gives your saliva a chance to rinse your teeth and restore your mouth to its natural pH.


Q: Should I brush my teeth after every meal?

A:  While it’s not necessary, brushing your teeth after having a high-carb or high-sugar snack is never a bad idea! Again, you should wait about an hour after eating before you brush.


Q: How often should my kids brush their teeth?

A: Two times per day is also the minimum for kids, but if your child wants to brush more, there is no reason not to, as long as he or she brushes gently and with a soft toothbrush. If your child or teen wears braces, brushing after every meal is recommended.

To make sure younger children brush their teeth for a full two minutes each time, try a toothbrush with a fun timer or teach them a two-minute song to sing or hum while brushing. You can also download a fun toothbrushing app on your phone. 


Q: Does it matter when I brush my teeth in the evening?

A: Brushing right before bed each night is a great habit to get into, as it removes the bacteria that has accumulated in your mouth during the day while reducing the buildup of plaque while you sleep. 

Do you have more questions about how to best care for your oral health?  Give us a call at 207.781.5900 — We are your partner in oral health care and are happy to answer any and all questions you may have!    

Happy Brushing! 🙂


The ABCs of Healthy Smiles: Basics of Brushing for Kids

Did you know that February is National Children’s Dental Health Month?  This month-long health observance is all about promoting the benefits of good oral health.  This year’s slogan is “Brush and clean in between to build a healthy smile.” We couldn’t agree more! We want to help you and your family start a lifetime of healthy habits and keep your kids smiling!  Along with a healthy diet and regular visits to the dentist, getting your kids to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes is the place to start. Sometimes keeping your kids on a healthy track can be tricky, so we decided to share some of our basic brushing tips for kids.  It can be as easy as ABC!

The ABCs

Start brushing your children’s teeth when they first appear with a small, soft-bristled brush.  Both the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend using an amount of fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice for children under the age of 3.  For children 3 and older, toothpaste the size of a pea is recommended. Help your children brush every tooth surface: inside, outside, and the chewing surface. For more tips and a helpful video, check out the ADA’s Mouth Healthy Website.  

Make it Fun!

Toothbrush dance party? Yes, please!  There are lots of ways to make those two minutes enjoyable.  Start by letting your child pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste.  There are lots of bright colors and cool characters to choose from, and some yummy and even sparkly fluoride toothpaste flavors out there.  Just make sure they choose a toothbrush and toothpaste with the ADA seal of approval.

When it’s time to brush, put on a favorite song and have a mini-dance party.   Here are some fun teeth-brushing songs to check out.  You can also read a silly story with characters your child loves to encourage brushing.  Playing pretend works, too: your child is a superhero brushing away “the bad guys.” Ka-Pow! Being creative and making the task feel like a game rather than a chore helps kids keep it up.

Reward Good Brushing Behavior.

It can be helpful to think about what motivates your child and give them an opportunity to earn a reward every time they brush.  Maybe it’s as simple as giving them a high-five, or maybe they get a sticker each time. Positive reinforcement can go a long way with your children, so remember to offer lots of encouragement when they brush.  Those teeth are going to look terrific!

Make it a Family Routine.

You are your child’s best teacher and best example.  Show them how you brush and floss your teeth each day.  Bring them to the dentist with you so they get comfortable with the experience of visiting the dentist.  When your children see you have good oral health habits, they will pick it up, too!

If you have questions about your child’s oral health or need to schedule an appointment for them, give us a call at 207.781.5900.  We are here to help your family have great oral health and happy, healthy smiles!


*Image courtesy of www.pioneerschool.us

8 Common Brushing Mistakes that are Harming Your Teeth

Toothbrush-and-ToothpasteBrushing has become such a staple in our everyday routine, that it has become easy for us to take it for granted. In our morning rush to get ready for school and work, we often speed through brushing in an attempt to make up some lost time. Of course, this is the last place we should be looking to cut corners. Here are 8 common brushing mistakes that are harming your teeth.


1.)  You aren’t brushing long enough. We recommend brushing for 2-3 minutes, but chances are you probably only brush for around a minute on average. Some solutions could be: take a timer into the bathroom and set it for at least 2 minutes, get an electric toothbrush with a built in timer that you can set, or our favorite, listen to or hum your favorite song while you brush!

2.)  You’re not paying attention to what you’re doing. You’re brushing alright…but chances are you aren’t looking in the mirror watching what you’re doing. Concentrate a little more on those tough to get places (like the gum line!) by watching yourself in the mirror as you brush those areas. It will help you do a better job.

3.)  Your technique needs a MAJOR makeover. Your enamel is strong, but that doesn’t mean it is bulletproof. Brushing in straight lines by only moving front and back can damage enamel over time and be similar to sawing down a tree. Instead, focus on a few teeth at a time and brush in little circles and mix in brushing in all directions (up, down, front back). When you are done brushing in circles, go around your mouth again and brush away from the gum line to clear away the loosened plaque and bacteria from the surface of your teeth.

4.)  Take it easy! You’re probably brushing too hard and using a toothbrush that is too tough. There is no need and it is actually harming your teeth. Try gripping your toothbrush between only your thumb and your pointer finger and middle finger as opposed to grasping your brush with your whole hand. This will put less force behind your brushing.

5.)  You’re using the wrong toothbrush. Buy a soft or ultra soft toothbrush. Anything else is too tough and will harm your teeth over time. Make sure you replace your toothbrush every 3 months, too – or sooner if the bristles start to wear down.

6.)  You’re using the wrong toothpaste. Baking soda toothpastes and other heavy duty cleaning chemical toothpastes are abrasive, which means they not only remove stains, they also potentially damaging your enamel if used over a long period of time. Use anything ADA approved – here is a list for you to choose from http://www.ada.org/en/science-research/ada-seal-of-acceptance/ada-seal-products/product-category/?supercategory=2

7.)  You aren’t flossing. There isn’t a toothbrush available that can reach all the spaces in between your teeth. Just not going to happen. That is where flossing comes in. It is necessary. If using floss is difficult for you, then purchase the flosser sticks that are easy to use and maneuver in your mouth. Between the teeth is where bacteria most often forms and can eventually lead to tooth decay if not dealt with. So deal with it. Tip: try flossing in front of the TV to make it seem like less of a pain or hassle.

8.)  You aren’t rinsing after brushing. Brush, floss, rinse. Brushing and flossing (when done right) loosen up the bacteria in your mouth and on your teeth. Rinsing afterwards with an alcohol-free mouthwash will wash the bacteria and plaque away. If you don’t have mouthwash, rinsing with water is better than nothing.


Source: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/8-bad-brushing-habits-harm-your-teeth


C’mon…Couldn’t We All Just Brush a Little Better?

According to researchers, only 10 percent of the population brushes their teeth correctly. Let’s improve the score in Maine! Below are Falmouth Dental Arts’ top tips for brushing properly.

Top Brushing Tips:

  • Use a smaller, rather than a larger toothbrush. Electric is best! The more comfortable the brush feels to you, the more likely you are to use it twice a day.
  • A soft-bristled brush (and a gentle hand) is best, as it will safe your sensitive gum tissue from being brushed away.
  • Spend about two minutes brushing. Take your time and thoroughly, yet gently clean the top right, bottom right, top left and bottom left sections of your teeth.
  • Holding your brush at a 45-degree angle will hit the high spots as well as the hard to reach ones, such as where tooth meets gum.
  • Brush the inner surfaces of your teeth and your tongue for a thorough job.
  • After brushing, be sure to rinse away all of the bacteria now floating around in your mouth. Rinse your toothbrush head as well.
  • Change your toothbrush or brush head about every three months, or less if it begins to looked frayed. If it’s in bad shape, it won’t clean effectively.
  • But before you begin brushing, make sure you floss! Flossing once a day helps keep bacteria from forming in those hard to reach places that are immune to brushes.


Find out even more about good brushing habits by visiting our website.

Would you like a one-on-one brushing demonstration? Just let your hygenist know during your next appointment, or call our office at 207.781.5900 to schedule an appointment. We’re here to help you help your teeth!