Dental Health Tips

Good oral hygiene is crucial to looking and feeling your best while also staving off serious health problems that include brain and heart infections.[1] Of course, most people know the basics of good dental health, but they may not know just how much can be done in the comfort of their homes and in the dentist’s chair. Here at Old Town Smiles, we have been helping the Washington D.C. locale prevent dental dilemmas at the root. We believe it’s important to be well educated on protecting and minding our oral hygiene so our teeth can shine on beautifully for years to come. 

If you wish to schedule an appointment at our office, or want to speak with one of our lovely staff members, please call us at (703) 836-7000.

Dental Dilemmas

Proper dental hygiene is crucial in fending off dental dilemmas. There are three main issues we caution everyone to keep an eye out for.


This inflammatory gum disease results from the persistent build up of plaque and biofilm on the teeth. If the plaque and biofilm are not treated properly, they can harden and cause the gum line to recede, sometimes getting bad enough that the whole tooth is exposed. This can introduce the body’s bloodstream to plaque and, if serious enough, can lead to cardiovascular problems and even tooth loss. It is important to catch gingivitis early because it is easier to cure and handle when preventative measures are taken.

Tooth Decay

Dentist Alexandria, VA

Everything that passes through our mouths leaves behind some sort of residue. Whether that be sticky toffee from a candy bar, a kernel from popcorn wedged between our gums, or a piece of spinach hanging out on our front tooth for the world to see every time we smile. All of the things we eat leave some sort of bacteria on our teeth and, if not cleaned properly,t bacteria can grow and spread. If the bacteria builds up for long enough, it can burrow its way into our teeth, causing tooth decay. Cavities can be pretty common for people who don’t take proper care of their teeth. If left untreated for long periods of time, excessive tooth decay may require extreme remedies, such as root canals, removal , or a replacement tooth. 

Oral Cancer 

Stemming from tobacco use, alcohol consumption, or human papillomavirus, oral cancer is responsible for 3% of all cancer diagnoses in the U.S.[2] If caught and treated early, oral cancer can be remedied through radiation therapy and chemotherapy. But, to help lower the risk of oral cancer, it is important to steer clear from tobacco and alcohol use as these substances greatly increase the risk of contracting oral cancer. 

Things You Can Do at Home

On your own, many of these dental dilemmas can be prevented at home by practicing healthy dental habits.

Brush in Circular Motions

Every dentist has probably told you, “Brush morning and night.” By now, we all know the importance of brushing twice a day. But how you brush can be the make or break to this age-old maxim. It is crucial to move the bristles of the brush in gentle, circular motions because this won’t aggravate the gums. Brushing in circular motions is effective at scrubbing away soft plaque build up. 

Flossing Is Just As Important

Getting between teeth is crucial at striking unwanted plaque buildup at the source. Consistent flossing is a great way to curb gingivitis and to free the gums from any debris that may be left there. Flossing should be seen as being just as important as brushing. If done properly twice a day this can lessen your chances of any dental dilemmas significantly. 

Brush Your Tongue Too

When brushing twice a day, it is best not to neglect the tongue. There can be major bacteria built up here that can spread to your teeth and gum. This bacteria can then rest in hard-to-reach pockets in the mouth and increase the chances of one of the three dental dilemmas. 

Limit Sugar

For most of us, we’ll confess to having an occasional sweet tooth. Sometimes sweet treats like candy, pastries, and soda are too good to resist. But, when sugar is eaten consistently, it can wreak havoc on our teeth. Sugar is very good at decaying teeth and causing cavities. If the sugar residue isn’t thoroughly brushed off, its particles can dig deep holes into our teeth. To avoid those painful cavities, it is recommended to avoid too much sugar in your diet.

Come See Us Every Six Months

While there are many things you can do on your own to improve your oral hygiene, sometimes there are things that home remedies just can’t address. Here at Old Town Smiles we are committed to bringing you a lasting smile from the inside out. Our expert technicians will help you look and feel your best. Continue reading to learn more about our preventive treatments to keep your smile radiant! 

Things Only a Dentist Can Do

Dry Mouth Therapy

Saliva is key in digesting, processing food, and protecting teeth from decay. However, many people suffer from low saliva production, causing them to be more susceptible to tooth decay and bad breath. With our dry mouth therapy, you will get an increased saliva production that will help resist any unwanted dental dilemmas. Your personalized treatment plan will help restore moisture to your mouth and return your mouth to its natural pH balance.

Fluoride Treatment

From sugar and acidic food, our teeth continually face an onslaught of elements that can decay and erode them. But with fluoride treatment, your teeth can get an extra shield of defense from the destructive elements in food. Fluoride treatment is also adept at helping reverse early signs of tooth decay.

Oral Cancer Screening

In an oral cancer screening, one of our highly-trained dentists will perform a thorough examination of your mouth and gums. They will use the VELscope handheld device that emits soft blue light into the mouth. If oral cancer resides in your mouth, this blue light will find it and then action can be taken immediately to confront this issue. Oral cancer is 90% treatable when caught in the early stages, so it is best to get a routine screening. 

Professional Teeth Cleaning

While brushing and flossing are pivotal steps to preserving dental health, some of the areas like the back molars are difficult to properly clean. That’s why our professional teeth cleaning treatment is designed to stop plaque and bacteria buildup in their tracks. With precision, our trained technicians will clean all the nooks and crannies in your smile. Some patients have noted that they’ve walked away and their teeth felt cleaner than before. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please feel free to contact us!


Knowing how best to care for your teeth is so important to retain a beautiful smile. Most dental dilemmas are very treatable if caught early and preventative measures are taken. The benefits of taking care of your teeth are:

  • Fresher breath
  • Cleaner and healthier teeth
  • Lower risk of other health conditions
  • Cavity prevention
  • Enhance overall health


At your private consultation, we will take a look at your teeth and gums, noting if any dental dilemmas (or their onset) exist in your mouth. Then, we will go over the best treatment services to utilize to help you achieve the results you wish for! Our premier commitment is to our client’s safety and satisfaction. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask one of our dentists or technicians. 

How Much Does Premium Dental Care Cost in Washington, D.C.?

The price of that perfect smile will depend on which treatments are elected in your consultation. If you would like to keep up to date on any specials we are currently offering please visit our specials page to learn about them.


What if I have dental anxiety?

Dental anxiety is a perfectly normal experience for many people, especially people who haven’t been to see a dentist in quite some time. Here at Old Town Smiles, we want to make sure you feel right at home and that’s why we offer blankets to help you feel comfortable, headphones to wear during your sessions, and a beverage bar. 

Does Old Town Smile do teeth whitening?

Yes! Teeth whitening is one of our most popular dental cosmetic procedures. At Old Town Smiles. We use Zoom 2 which are trays you can take home that are comfortable and convenient. These trays are worn for one hour a day for a week. After a week then you only need to continually wear them once a month to maintain lasting, pearly results.


  1. Hidden dental dangers that may threaten your whole body – Harvard Health. (2020). Harvard Health; Harvard Health.
  2. Oral Cancer. (2018).; National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
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