Oral Health Tips for Summer Travel

Oral Health Tips for Summer Travel

Summer is here! Time to go to the beach and barbecue and take a vacation! When you pack your bags for your summer getaway, don’t forget your oral health care. Here are a few oral health tips for your summer travel from your friends at FDA!

A Traveling Toothbrush

If you’re flying somewhere this summer, pack your toothbrush and floss in your carry-on bag so you have it on hand even if your luggage doesn’t make it to your final destination right away. That way, you also have the option to brush your teeth on the airplane or during layovers to freshen up. We recommend packing your toothbrush in a plastic bag so you can keep it separate from other items. Just remember to let your toothbrush air dry when you get to your vacation spot.

If you find yourself temporarily without a toothbrush, a vigorous swish with water can help clear some of the cavity-causing bacteria, or put some toothpaste on your clean finger for a quick cleaning. Then, when you are able, pop over to a store and look for the softest toothbrush you can find. If you can find a toothbrush that is ADA approved, even better! Now, how do you say toothbrush in Spanish?

Pack Some ADA-Approved Gum

Don’t worry – sugarless gum won’t take up much room in your suitcase! Research shows that chewing sugarless gum after a meal can help prevent cavities by stimulating saliva, which helps wash away cavity-causing bacteria. Look for gum that has the ADA seal of approval. Not only will it support your oral health and freshen your breath, if you’re flying, sugarless gum may also come in handy for releasing ear pressure on the airplane. Win-win!

Brush with Bottled Water

If you are camping or traveling somewhere where the water supply is not safe for drinking, use bottled water for brushing your teeth and rinsing your toothbrush. This will help prevent any unwanted illness while you’re sight-seeing!

In Case of Dental Emergencies

You can always contact our office if you have a dental emergency while traveling. Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos can help assess if it is a situation that requires immediate attention or can wait until you get back home. Of course, the best way to limit tooth-aches while traveling is to practice preventative care with a solid oral health routine of brushing twice a day and flossing once a day!

If you are planning a trip for later in the summer and have concerns about your oral health or are experiencing any kind of tooth pain, come and see us before you hop on an airplane. That way we can make sure any issues don’t become larger problems while you’re trying to relax and have fun.

When you get home from your travels, you may realize you let go of some of your oral hygiene routine. Don’t stress about it too much, but focus on getting back to your normal routine of brushing, flossing, and coming in for regular check ups with the FDA team. Summer is also a great time to get your kids in for their appointments! Give our office a call if you need to schedule an appointment – 207.781.5900.

National Smile Day: 5 Easy Ways to Take Care of Your Smile


Here’s a reason to smile…  National Smile Day is May 31! National Smile Day was founded by two family dentists in Illinois to celebrate the power of a smile and draw attention to the importance of good dental health and hygiene. This is our kind of national celebration!  At FDA, we love helping our patients achieve healthy and beautiful smiles.  Here are 5 easy tips to take care of your smile on National Smile Day and every day! 

1. Don’t rush the brush

Although it might seem like the most basic of dental tips, brushing at least twice a day is just the beginning. Brush your teeth for a minimum of 2-3 minutes each time in a gentle, circular motion with an ADA-approved toothpaste.  Use a soft or extra-soft toothbrush and replace it every 3-4 months. Don’t hesitate to ask our caring team of hygienists to give you a refresher on brushing basics at your next appointment!

2. Floss like a boss

Flossing is just as important as brushing, as bacteria is most likely to form in between the teeth, which can lead to tooth decay. The ADA recommends flossing one time per day. If using traditional string floss is difficult for you to maneuver, try using a water flosser instead. 

3. Rinse and repeat

After you’ve flossed and brushed, we recommend that you use an alcohol-free mouthwash to rinse away any remaining bacteria and plaque. Even if you don’t have mouthwash on hand, swishing with water is still better than nothing at all. 

4. Take care of your teeth from the inside out

A diet rich in calcium, along with lots of fruits and vegetables, is good for your oral health!  Eating foods that are full of essential vitamins and minerals can help to reduce inflammation and support healthy teeth and gums.

5. Schedule regular check ups with our team of compassionate dental professionals 

As your partners in oral health, we want you to have the healthiest and best smile possible! Regular check ups with Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos are an important part of a good oral health care routine.  If you have put off your routine check up due to concerns about COVID-19, or you are hesitant for any other reason, please get in touch, as we are here to help!  

We hope these tips are helpful and we hope you have lots of reasons to smile this National Smile Day!  If you have questions about your oral health or need to schedule your next appointment, give us a call at 207.781.5900.


*Image courtesy of www.emojipedia.org


I Love You, Gums! Gum Disease Awareness Month

Have you heard? February is Gum Disease Awareness Month.  Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, may be a familiar term for you, while for others it may sound a bit scary. An infection of the tissue and bones that support your teeth, gum disease impacts nearly 85% of adults in the U.S.  The good news is that it is quite treatable, especially when caught early.  Preventative care can be as simple as choosing the right toothbrush, brushing twice and flossing once daily, monitoring sugar intake, and keeping up with regular dental check ups. Left unchecked, however, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other health complications.  If you are experiencing bleeding when brushing or flossing, it’s crucial that you mention that to  Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos.  They will have a treatment plan for you to take care of your gums while you take care of your teeth.  And while we are on the topic, when was the last time you truly appreciated your gums?  Since February is also when another holiday takes place…perhaps you’ve heard of this one…Valentine’s Day? We decided it was time to share the love with your gums!


Dear Gums,

It hurts to chew and my breath stinks! 

Why do I ignore you when I’m not at the sink?  

I vow that I will brush and floss every day.  

Oh gums, please do not take my teeth away!

I love you!




Dear Gums,

The red I see, it must mean true love.  

Oh dear, I think it is actually blood.

I must call Dr. K and Dr. B at FDA, quick!

With their compassionate care, they will know just the trick.  

Phew! Thank goodness, I still have a chance, 

to treat you right, gums, and continue this dance.  

Thank you, Gums!  




Dear Gums,

Diabetes and heart disease…oh my!

I didn’t know you were with those guys.


When I neglect you, I see it impacts my health.

Not just my teeth, but my whole body’s wealth.


I promise to be tender, I promise to be true. 

I’ll eat more apples, I do love to chew.


I quit smoking, and now I know what to drink:

Water! To hydrate and to help me think.


Being healthy, that’s what I’m all about.

Oral care, it’s about more than just my mouth.


Gums, let’s go steady!




This February, show your gums the love they deserve!  Keep up with your oral health care routine of brushing twice a day and flossing daily, and come see us for your regular check ups.  Our line is always open for questions, concerns, or to schedule an appointment  – 207.781.5900.  Our mission is to give you the best dental care possible so your beautiful teeth and gums shine! Because we love to make you smile! XOXO 🙂 


Images courtesy of 123RF.com, virtualvocations.com, webmd.com



Home for the Holidays: 5 Tips for Keeping Your Teeth Healthy!

“Home for the Holidays” has a whole new meaning this year.  Many of us are recalibrating our holiday celebrations to keep our loved ones and community safe.  In the midst of all this change, let’s not forget our dental health commitment!  To keep it simple for you, we put together our top 5 tips for keeping your teeth healthy and treating yourself right this holiday season.  

1. Treat yourself to a new toothbrush!

When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush?  We (and the ADA!) recommend you replace your toothbrush every three to four months or when the bristles become frayed.  It’s also important to replace your toothbrush after an illness to ensure you don’t spread more germs.  Our hygienists are fans of electric toothbrushes for top-notch brushing and frequently recommend them to patients.  Sounds like the perfect stocking stuffer!

2. Treat your teeth and gums to a massage!

We’ve talked about this on our blog before, but it’s actually possible to brush too hard.  Putting more elbow grease into your two minutes, twice-a-day doesn’t mean you’re doing a better job keeping your mouth healthy…in fact you could be damaging your tooth enamel or gums.  Be gentle with your teeth and brush like you are giving them a nice massage.  Find your moment of zen while you brush and your mouth will thank you!

3. Treat your whole body right!

Good oral health care doesn’t stop at the bathroom sink.  It’s also important to incorporate a healthy diet and healthy habits into your oral health care regimen.  The holidays are full of tempting sweets and goodies, but you’ll be treating your body and your teeth right when you make an effort to incorporate some crunchy veggies or fruit into your holiday nibbling.  From leafy greens to carrots to apples, there are a lot of healthy snacks out there that help support a healthy mouth.  Also, cheese lovers will rejoice to learn that they are supporting their teeth with a serving of calcium and Vitamin D!

4. Treat yourself to a new habit…flossing!

Get a jump start on the new year by adopting a new healthy habit that will support your oral health and your whole body: flossing!  We probably don’t need to tell you again that flossing is not only a crucial part of your dental care but that it has also been linked to improving health conditions such as diabetes.  There are other options for cleaning between your teeth beyond just traditional flossing, so you can figure out what works best for you. It doesn’t matter when you floss each day, just do it! 

5. Treat yourself to a dental checkup with our compassionate team of dental professionals who care about you!

We are your partners in oral health and want to provide you with the absolute best oral health care possible.  If you have put off your routine check up due to concerns about the virus, please call us at 207.781.5900. We can discuss your concerns and describe our health screening and COVID-19 protocols that are in place to protect both you as our patient and us as your provider. 

Happy Holidays from our FDA family to yours!  Stay safe and stay healthy!


National Dental Hygiene Month! What Does It Take to Be a Hygienist?


Leigha – Our New Dental Hygienist

October is National Dental Hygiene Month and we are lucky to have an amazing team of dental hygienists at Falmouth Dental Arts: Diann, Kelly, Jean, Erin, Alex, and our newest addition Leigha!

From a patient perspective, this incredible group of compassionate and knowledgeable healthcare professionals are the people you interact with most:  they perform your routine check-ups and cleanings, and help your teeth get squeaky clean for the dentist’s review.  They also love to educate patients so you are empowered to make the best choices for your unique dental needs. 

So, what does it take to be a dental hygienist? What are some of the tricks-of-the-trade? To celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month, we asked Ashley from our team of phenomenal hygienists to share a little more about what they do.


1.What sort of school and training is required to be a dental hygienist? 

Ashley: Dental hygienists must attend accredited dental school or university majoring in Dental Hygiene. The majority of current programs take four years to complete, with graduates receiving a bachelor’s degree. Upon receiving their degree, hygienists are eligible to take a series of board exams in order to become licensed and to work in a dental office.

2. What is your favorite part of your job?

Ashley: One of the best parts of being a dental hygienist is building connections and relationships with our patients. Learning about our patients not only makes our appointments fun and engaging but also helps us make recommendations that work with their lifestyle.  We love our patients!

3. What is something most people don’t know about being a hygienist? 

Ashley: Choosing a career in Dental Hygiene is a commitment to life-long learning. Technologies and care philosophies are always evolving which means we as providers are constantly engaging in education and professional development to ensure we are providing “crest of the wave” care. In fact, we are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education every two years as part maintaining an active license in the state of Maine. 

4. What is your favorite dental product? 

Ashley: The electric toothbrush. It is more effective at removing plaque than a manual toothbrush and stimulates the gum tissue in order to promote gum health. It enhances the homecare routine especially for those with dexterity issues and braces. 

5. What is your #1 dental tip for patients? 

Ashley: Simple, FLOSS. Flossing daily can prevent a myriad of dental and overall health issues. Who knew a piece of string could have such an impact on overall health?! 

7. What is the best part of being a hygienist at Falmouth Dental Arts? 

Ashley: Collectively, one of the most rewarding elements of being a hygienist at Falmouth Dental Arts is our whole-body approach to dental care. We recognize the impact of oral health on overall health and collaborate with our patients to create an individualized care plan. This approach is empowering and motivating for both us as hygienists and for the patient. As a result, treatment success is increased.  It’s very rewarding!


Thank you, Ashley! 

And thank you to all of our outstanding dental hygienists — Diann, Kelly, Jean, Erin, Alex, and Leigha!  If you have more questions for our team about your oral health care, or need to schedule your next appointment, give our office a call at 207.781.5900.