Celebrating National Dental Hygiene Month: Tips From Our Team!

Celebrating National Dental Hygiene Month: Tips From Our Team!

October is National Dental Hygiene Month and we are lucky to have such an incredible team of hygienists to honor at FDA!  Ashley, Diann, Kelly, Jean, Erin, Alex, and Leigha make up the core of our practice, providing our family of patients with knowledgeable and compassionate dental care.  They are the expert eyes that Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos rely on for comprehensive patient updates at every check-up appointment.  The resilience and care that our hygienists demonstrate day-in-day-out is truly extraordinary.  We are so grateful for their hard work and commitment to patient comfort and care!  This month is also about promoting healthy mouths across the county, because that is what hygienists are all about!  Our team of hygienists are who you see at every cleaning and check up appointment and work closely with you to set up the right oral health care routine so your teeth and mouth stay healthy. We know that learning how to prioritize wellness and self-care can be challenging, so we asked the hygienists for their top oral health care tips!


“Flossing is one of the most important things you can do for your oral health.  Best practice is to make sure the floss reaches under the gumline.”


“Xylitol products like Spry or Oxyfresh are helpful tools for decay prevention.”


“If you don’t use an electric toothbrush, invest in one.  They truly provide a superior clean and help keep the gums healthier.”


“Don’t forget to clean your tongue with a tongue scraper or brush.”


“Cleaning between teeth can be tricky, even for the best flossers.  Teeth are not a flat surface and sometimes you need a little help to clean the concavities and convexities.  ‘Go Betweens’ are tiny pipe-cleaner-type brushes that fit between the teeth and pick up material that floss might miss.”


“My all time favorite tip for flossing is ‘keep it easy and simple.’  Keep a bag of ‘Plackers’ in the car and every time you drive, grab one and floss away!”


“Your oral cavity is a pathway to better health! Both a healthy diet and how you care for your teeth and gums are important.  Ancient Chinese medicine held this same advice.  Two minutes of proper brushing and interproximal cleaning (i.e. flossing) two times daily will help prevent numerous problems of inflammation throughout your body.”


Thank you, ladies!

Be sure to say thank you to your hygienist at your next appointment – or give them a shout out on our Facebook page!  If you have any questions about their tips or want to go over your oral health care routine, give us a call – 207.781.5900. We are here to be your partner in excellent oral health care.

The Basics That We Always Forget: Top 3 Ways to Achieve Better Oral Health

The Basics That We Always Forget: Top 3 Ways to Achieve Better Oral Health

September is here which means back-to-school and back to our routines. As you get back into the swing of things, don’t forget about your teeth!  Your daily oral health routine is important for not just your mouth, but your overall health as well.  We’re here to help with our top three tips to achieve better oral health!  



1. Have a Consistent Oral Routine. 
  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste (remember to change the toothbrush, every 3 months!).
  • Clean between your teeth (you can use floss, a flossing device, or an interdental brush, whatever is more comfortable for you!).
  • Scrape your tongue.
2. Eat a Healthy Diet.
  • Focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes. They are packed with the nutrients your body needs to be up and running, and they help support oral health, too!
  • Limit foods high in sugar, such as processed foods. This includes alcohol! Sugar causes cavities.
  • Stop smoking or using any tobacco products. Not only does smoking stain your teeth, but it can also cause gum disease and cancer in the long term.
3. Visit Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos for Regular Check-Ups.
  • The best way to fix dental issues is to detect them as early as possible. Visiting us will prevent dental issues from going unnoticed or getting worse.

Having a good oral health routine can be as easy as 1,2,3!  Consistency is key when it comes to establishing new habits, so stick with it. If you have questions or concerns about any of these tips, please let us know! You can ask your hygienist, Dr. Brunacini, or Dr. Karagiorgos at your next appointment. It is a conversation that we have with many patients and it will help you have better overall health!

Should I Add Tongue Scraping Into My Dental Routine?

Should I Add Tongue Scraping Into My Dental Routine?

During your hygiene appointments, we frequently talk about your brushing and flossing routines. But, what about your tongue? It plays a critical role in your mouth and overall health. Find out why and how to keep it in shape.

The tongue is at the front line of the immune system and protects us against harmful bacteria entering our mouth when we eat and drink. Germs can travel from the mouth to other organs and cause disease, so keeping a consistent mouth cleaning routine is key not only for your teeth but for your overall health. That’s why Dr. Brunacini, Dr. Karagiorgos, and our team of wonderful hygienists recommend adding tongue scraping after brushing and flossing your teeth every day. It will only add one to two extra minutes to your routine and bring you a lot of benefits. Read on to learn more!

  1. Improves digestion. Your digestive process starts in the mouth and guess what happens when debris, bacteria and dead cells build up on your tongue? Saliva activation doesn’t work as well and your digestion suffers. However, when you scrape your tongue you clear out these blockages so your mouth can produce the correct amount of saliva and digestion can function properly.  
  2. Helps prevent and reduce bad breath. In some people, the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth causes bad breath. Using a tongue scraper consistently will help remove it, and you will have a fresher breath!
  3. Boosts your immune system. We often talk about how a good oral health routine contributes to your overall health, and tongue scraping is a part of thatBy scraping the tongue you will avoid the reabsorption of toxins, so that your immune system won’t be so busy dealing with them and will have more resources available to fight any other germs!
  4. Boosts up your sense of taste. When you scrape your tongue your taste buds will be freed of blockages and have direct contact with food again. Are you ready to rediscover how pepper, lemon or ginger really taste?

Tongue scraping is easy!  There is no secret to it, but there are a few details that we think are important for you to know, so that you make the most of it. Here’s the basic how-to: 

  • Touch the scraper to the back of your  tongue with a little pressure and pull it forward. Always go from back to front. Scrape a few times until you make sure that you have covered all the surface. 
  • When you are done, wash the scraper with soap and keep it on a clean surface.

If you want to add tongue scraping into your cleaning routine, let us know and we are happy to give you a plastic tongue scraper to get you started! However, if you want to buy a copper scraper, that is also a good option. No matter what your choice is, know that washing your tongue with a toothbrush doesn’t work.  Our hygienists are always happy to provide a demonstration, so please don’t hesitate to ask at your next appointment! 

It’s easy to upgrade your daily oral health care routine with tongue scraping.Try it for a week and let us know about your experience! And as always, reach out to Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos with any questions or concerns.  We’re your partners in oral health and here to help!


*Image courtesy of www.walmart.com


Red, White, & Blue… for Your Teeth!

Red, White, & Blue… for Your Teeth!

With Independence Day celebrations kicking off the month of July, we felt inspired by all the patriotic colors!  Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods promotes healthy gums and teeth, and incorporating a little red, white, and blue into your diet is a fun way to support your oral health!  We love sharing the ways in which a healthy diet is connected to a healthy mouth!  Here are some foods that will help you celebrate America and celebrate oral health.


What food immediately comes to mind when you think of red and summertime?  Strawberries!  These juicy delights are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants which support tissue growth and repair all over your body, including your mouth.  Vitamin C also helps maintain the strength and structure of the dentin in your teeth.  Strawberries contain malic acid as well, which naturally whitens the teeth.  Load up your morning cereal and snack to your heart’s content with these summer beauties and your teeth will thank you!


Get yourself to the dairy aisle and stock up on some cheese, milk, and yogurt for a snack that really packs an oral health punch!  Beyond calcium, which supports strong teeth and bones, these dairy products have additional benefits for your mouth.  Cheese contains casein, a protein that helps fortify tooth enamel.  Also, chewing cheese helps increase saliva production which washes away the cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth.  Meanwhile, drinking milk can lower the acid levels in your mouth, which in turn helps prevent tooth decay.  The probiotics in yogurt protect your mouth from cavities, gum disease, and even bad breath.  Sounds like a win, win, win!


We’re going a little outside of the box for this color, and diving into the deep, blue ocean.  The bounty of the sea is a wonderful addition to a healthy diet.  Specifically, incorporating fish that are high in vitamin D is excellent for your oral health as they aid in calcium absorption.  Fish such as mackerel, sardines, and salmon are also great sources of Omega-3s which have been shown to reduce gum disease.  Holy mackerel!


Do you have any favorite red, white, and blue healthy snacks to share?  Give us a shout on Facebook or let us know at your next appointment!  We are here to support your oral health!

Happy Summer! 🙂


Children’s Dental Health Month: 3 Tips to Help Your Kids Have Healthy Habits

It’s that time of year again…National Children’s Dental Health Month!  We love this month-long health observance because it is all about promoting the benefits of good oral health to kids!  Our team of caring healthcare professionals is here to help you get your kids set up with some healthy habits this month and every month…it can be as easy as ABC! Here are our top 3 tips:

A is for Apple!

Help your kids make good choices when snacking; it will not only help keep their bodies healthy but their mouths too!  For example, people don’t call apples nature’s toothbrush for nothing!  These tasty treats can stimulate your gums, reduce cavity-causing bacteria and increase saliva flow.  Plus, perhaps you’ve heard us say it before…eating a nutritious diet is a vital part of oral health!  Stock up your pantry with things like apples, carrots, almonds, yogurt, and cheese…these snacks are full of mouth-happy nutrients and fiber.  

B is for Brushing Tips! 

Parents often have a lot of questions about how to get started with an oral health care routine.  You can start gently brushing your child’s teeth when they first appear with a soft-bristled brush and a rice-grain sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.  Once your child is over the age of 3, you can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.  There are lots of silly toothbrush choices and fun-flavored toothpastes you kids can incorporate into their oral care.  Let them pick a brush that excites them!  And don’t forget to floss!  Once your child has teeth next to each other, it’s time to floss between them.  As with brushing, be gentle as you introduce floss into the routine.

You are their best teacher and best example.  Show your kids how you brush and floss each day and it will surely inspire them.  Whenever you have questions or concerns, please call us!  Our hygienists love to educate kids and help them set up their oral health care routines!

C is for Creativity!

There are lots of ways to make brushing twice a day fun for your kids, so get creative!  Throw a bathroom dance party!  Play some fun tunes about brushing teeth!  Pretend your child is a dinosaur or a hippopotamus with a lot of teeth to brush!  Or perhaps your child is an ice queen and she needs to “freeze” each tooth with her magic wand (aka toothbrush)!  Or just put on some sunglasses and get brushing because everyone looks cool when they wear sunglasses.  The possibilities are truly endless.  When you flex your creative muscles and make oral care fun rather than just a dreaded chore, you’re helping your kids set up healthy habits for life.


If you have questions about your child’s oral health or need to schedule an appointment, please give us a call at 207.781.5900.  Happy, healthy smiles are for everyone at every age!


Image courtesy of fand19 on vectorstock.com