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302-1001 Cloverdale Ave. Victoria BC, V8X 4C9

Opening Hours : Monday to Thursday - 8am to 4pm
  Contact : 250-386-3624

All Posts in Category: Oral Care

Take the Tooth Brushing Challenge Quiz

Take the Tooth Brushing Challenge Quiz… Most People are Surprised!

It's National Brush Day, the day after Halloween, and the time to unstick all that cavity-causing candy from your teeth and brush, brush, BRUSH! (& floss!)

Speaking of... how polished is your oral hygiene? When was the last time you thought about replacing your toothbrush, or how much toothpaste you should use?

Think you really know how to brush properly? Take our quiz and find out!

Click through the slides to answer just 6 short questions to see how brushed up on your oral care you are:

Which type of brush is most effective?

  • A regular manual toothbrush
  • An electric toothbrush
  • Either one

Either one! They're both effective.

Both manual and power toothbrushes have what it takes to get the job done! Power brushes may be helpful for people who have trouble brushing on their own or are prone to more plaque buildup.

How often should you replace your toothbrush?

  • When your dentist gives you a new one
  • Every three to four months
  • Once a year

Every three to four months

Yes we give you a new toothbrush at each visit, but make sure you are changing them between appointments, too. The bristles on your toothbrush wear out over time and a worn toothbrush won’t keep your teeth as clean.

Want an easy trick to remember to change your brush every 3-4 months? New season, new toothbrush!

🌱 ☀️ 🍂 ❄️

How much is too much toothpaste to use?

  • The full length of the brush’s bristles
  • The size of a pea
  • The size of a grain of rice

A pea-sized amount.

Adults and children age 3 and older should brush with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Children younger than 3 should use a smear of fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice.

What kind of bristles should your brush have?

  • Firm
  • Medium
  • Soft

Soft.

Always choose a soft-bristled brush. Firm or even medium-strength bristles may cause damage to your gums and enamel.

When brushing your teeth, don’t scrub vigorously - only brush hard enough to clean the film off your teeth. Your fluoride toothpaste will do the rest of the work.

Also, if you flossed before brushing (of course you did 'cause you're so smart right!?), that should have gotten a lot of the stuck bits in hard-to-reach places.

How often should you brush your teeth?

  • Once a day
  • Twice a day
  • When you have bad breath

Either one! They're both effective.

You should brush your teeth twice a day, ideally when you wake up in the morning and again before going to bed at night (and remember what we just mentioned about flossing, that's right, you want to do that twice a day too - see, you're so smart!)

Floss first, then brush, 2x per day.

How long should you brush your teeth for?

  • 30 seconds
  • 2 minutes
  • Until your teeth feel clean

2 minutes

Brush 2 minutes each time, twice a day for healthier teeth, good breath, fewer cavities, and to avoid painful dental problems.

Since Halloween was just last night and many of us are still in the mood, we found this video appropriate to help you kids focus on brushing their teeth. It's @ 2 mins long (hint for one of the answers in the quiz!) and it's a fun, silly, spooky song to help kids to continue brushing their teeth and get out all those icky cavity, plaque and gingivitis monsters from inside their mouths (and yours too no doubt 😉 )

Speaking of helping your kids brush their teeth long enough (and not get bored), we put together a playlist of 2 minute videos (oops, another hint!) that you can choose each morning and night (yikes, another clue! geez, we're giving away the answers) to entertain your kids with a different video each time. From songs and raps, to action and mystery, there's something to keep kids up to age 7 (approx.) interested.

Of course a post about how to brush your teeth properly, wouldn't be complete without a video about How to Brush Your Teeth Properly. So here it is. It's an older style (as most dental-educational videos are), but the information is still accurate today.

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National Relaxation Day - How Does Stress Affect Your Teeth

National Relaxation Day

National Relaxation Day

Aug. 15 is National Relaxation Day, and it’s just in time! Even though summer is the holiday season, that doesn’t mean that adults get any time off. So, as the summer draws to a close, you might be feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation, so to say.

Life can be hectic, and often, you may be carrying stress in ways you don’t even realize. Stress can affect you physically, even if you’re not aware of it. In particular, it can affect your teeth, which, in turn, can affect your overall oral health.

How Does Stress Affect Your Teeth?

Stress affects your teeth in several ways. One of the most common ways is by increasing your risk of bruxism. This is the technical term for grinding or clenching your teeth. Although it is associated with sleep, bruxism can happen at any time, and you may not even realize that you are doing it. What is more, it is most commonly associated with emotional stress.

Bruxism isn’t only uncomfortable or even painful but can also have some serious effects on your teeth. Frequent grinding or clenching your teeth — which is often uncontrollable or subconscious — can wear away at your enamel, increasing your risk of breakage and decay. It can also cause jaw pain, poor sleep, loose teeth, and headaches.

We may recommend that you start wearing a nightguard if you grind your teeth in your sleep. If you suffer from daytime bruxism, you can also find custom-fitted mouth guards that are clear and discreet.

But bruxism isn’t the only way that stress can damage your teeth. A common side effect of stress is a decrease in saliva, leading to a dry mouth. This can be a serious problem for your oral health. Saliva is the first line of defence against harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease.

When your mouth dries out, it creates the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and thrive. What is more, under chronic stress, people often neglect their oral care routine. This leads to poor dental health and can cause pain, decay, cavities, and even increase your risk of certain cancers.

What Are the Best Ways to Protect Your Teeth From Stress?

Ideally, people need to cut out their stress to help improve their oral health. But realistically, that is not always doable. The best way to protect your teeth from the effects of stress is to be diligent about your oral care and speak to us about your concerns. We may recommend you start using a mouth guard to help improve your oral health.

In the meantime, look for ways to manage your stress. This is important not just for your dental health, but also for your mental and physical health. This might mean practising relaxation exercises, seeing a counsellor, taking prescribed medication, or even just pursuing a relaxing hobby.

And of course, you should take the occasional day to relax — like National Relaxation Day.

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National Refreshment Day

The fourth Thursday in July is National Refreshment Day. This holiday might not have been around for a long time, but it is the perfect day to celebrate during the dog days of summer. Launched in 2015 by Traveler Beer Company, it’s a day to slow down, cool down, and throw down a couple of ice-cold beers.

Of course, while beer — as well as other alcoholic drinks — are tasty, they can also seriously damage your teeth. Here are a few ways you can protect your pearly whites if you decide to imbibe on this little-known holiday.

Stay hydrated.

The first thing you might think of when considering alcohol and oral health is sugar. And it’s true — alcohol does tend to have high sugar content, making it a potentially damaging drink for your enamel and gums. But there is a second, equally concerning aspect to how alcohol affects your oral health. It causes dehydration, which decreases the amount of saliva you produce. Since saliva is your mouth’s first defense against bacteria, a lack of it means that you are more likely to develop cavities and other oral problems.

Thankfully, the best way to minimize this damage is simply to stay hydrated. For every alcoholic drink you have, you should also have an eight-ounce glass of water — that’s just water, no ice.

Choose dry drinks over sweet ones.

This one might seem pretty self-explanatory, but it bears repeating. Alcohol contains a lot of sugar. Well, to be more accurate, wine and liquor contain sugar, although light beer contains less than half a gram of sugar, and regular beer contains none at all. But other types of alcohol can be extremely hard on your teeth due to their sugar content.

Wine is a big culprit. Not only is it much higher in sugar than beer, but red wines tend to stain the enamel, leaving your teeth discoloured. While regular dry wines have lower sugar content, dessert wines like sweet reds can have as much as eight grams of sugar per serving. For this reason, it may be better to choose a drier option.

Use whitening toothpaste.

If you like darker alcoholic drinks like dark beers and red wines, you may find that they tend to stain your enamel. The good news is that that doesn’t necessarily mean your teeth will be noticeably purple after a night of drinking. The bad news is that it does mean long-term effects like discolouration and a dull appearance.

If you plan on drinking a dark-coloured alcoholic drink, consider switching to a whitening toothpaste that will remove stains from your enamel. In the meantime, you may want to consider switching to a different drink or cutting back on how often you drink. After all, cutting back on alcohol improves the health of many different parts of your body, not only the mouth!

As long as you take care of your teeth, there’s no harm in an occasional drink. This Thursday, crack open a cold drink and enjoy! 🍻

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International Kissing Day

It’s International Kissing Day, and that means — well, it means that you should go give your loved ones a kiss. At Victoria Dental, we know that kissing is one of many things that can affect the health of your mouth. But don’t worry, we won’t regale you with any icky details about bacteria. Instead, here are five interesting facts about your mouth.

1. Enamel

Enamel is the hardest substance in your entire body. This is the outermost layer of your teeth — the layer that you see when you talk, laugh, or smile. But even though it is incredibly hard, enamel can still be damaged by unhealthy eating or oral hygiene practices, like chewing on ice or neglecting to brush your teeth every day.

2. Taste Buds

The average person has 10,000 taste buds, the tiny buds on your tongue that help you sense and process flavour in food and other substances. However, you will have much more than 10,000 taste buds over the course of your life. Your body completely replaces them every two weeks. Taste buds also don’t work alone — they need saliva to help them taste food.

3. Saliva

Saliva might seem disgusting to you, but it is actually a highly complex part of the mouth and plays a significant role there. Not only is it instrumental in tasting food, but it also is a vital part of helping prevent tooth decay. Saliva helps wash away harmful bacteria so that it doesn’t sit on your enamel all day and eat away at it.

But that doesn’t mean that it’s free of its own bacteria. In fact, one millimetre holds roughly 100 million individual bacteria. Just think about that the next time you swallow. On top of that, the average person produces between one and two litres of saliva every single day.

4. Teeth

You may not believe it, but teeth are highly unique. Your teeth and your tongue print are as unique to you as your fingerprints are. Archaeologists can tell an enormous amount of information about the people whose teeth they find. This includes everything from their diet during their life to their age when they died, and sometimes even their cause of death.

Your teeth are actually living bones, and they still have the capacity to grow and shift during your lifetime. However, they are no longer likely to develop significantly after you reach adulthood.

5. Tongue

The tongue is a unique part of your mouth for a number of reasons. It is the only muscle in the body that is not attached to your bones in any way. Instead, it is attached to your throat by a slim layer of tissue. But, size being relative, it is the strongest muscle in your body. It might be more fitting to say groups of muscles because the tongue is actually made up of muscle sections designed to help you speak, eat, and push food around in your mouth and towards your throat.

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Father’s Day

Father’s Day is here, which means that it is time to start thinking of the ways you can thank your dad for all the things he’s given you. Of course, there is one thing that he may have contributed that you haven’t thought of: your teeth!

Scientists have different opinions on the extent that genetics affect our dental health. You cannot simply blame poor oral health on your parents. But what we do know is that there are some dental issues that run in families. Familiarizing yourself with your family’s dental history is a good way to know what you might be able to expect from your own teeth, especially as you age. So, what can you attribute to genetics, and what is unique to you?

Tooth Spacing

If you had braces to correct crooked teeth, chances are your parents and siblings did too. Your genes are the big determiner of the size of your jaw. This, of course, contributes to the spacing and orientation of your teeth. Thankfully, orthodontic and dental care has made rapid progressions in recent decades, so you probably had a much more pleasant treatment than your father did. And don’t worry — if you have children, they will probably have an even easier one than you.

Wisdom Teeth

The orientation and timeline of your wisdom teeth are also affected, at least in part, by your genes. Not everyone even has wisdom teeth. Those lucky few may well have avoided wisdom tooth extraction because of their parents. But studies show that the way your wisdom teeth come in, how many you have, and even when they erupt (or if they erupt at all) may be determined by your family history. Anyone who has had their wisdom teeth removed knows that it isn’t much fun. If you were lucky enough to avoid it, thank Mom and Dad.

Oral Cancer

If you have oral cancer in your family, don’t feel panicked. Genetics does play a role in your risk of mouth cancer but only a small one. Lifestyle is a much bigger contributor. If you are worried about your chances of developing oral cancer, there are a few things you can do.

First, avoid tobacco products and excessive alcohol consumption. Tobacco is one of the best ways to increase your risk of developing mouth or throat cancer. Secondly, be diligent about brushing and flossing your teeth, and report any abnormal findings to your dentist. Thirdly, schedule regular cleanings. Every six to 12 months is how often you need a dental cleaning. This is the best way to keep your mouth clean and healthy and address any problems in their early stages.

What Isn’t the Result of Genetics?

While some conditions are inherited from your parents, others are simply the result of lifestyle. Tooth decay, enamel damage, and stains are mostly due to smoking, alcohol, and diet choices. As for the things that are genetic, if you have great teeth, add that to the list of things to thank your father for this Father’s Day.

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Senior Health and Fitness Day

The month of May is coming to a close, and it is almost time for National Senior Health and Fitness Day! This holiday takes place on the last Wednesday in the month of May. In 2019, that is May 29.

It is incredibly important to stay active as you get older. In fact, you probably know that you will have to pay a lot more attention to most things as you age: your diet, your daily activity, your exercise routine, and more. But how you take care of your teeth also changes. As you move into your golden years, make sure you follow these steps for keeping your teeth healthy and strong.

  1. Be consistent with your dental care.

For some people, taking care of their teeth as they get older is not all that different from any other time of their life! They may need to switch to an electric toothbrush or a toothbrush with softer bristles. Older people sometimes have problems with gum disease or more active tooth decay, so brushing can be painful.

  1. Ask your dentist about a night guard.

Life is hard on your teeth. Unfortunately, being older means you have decades of wear behind you. That means your teeth may be prone to breaking or chipping. This can be incredibly painful and cause a host of other dental problems, such as infection. To keep your teeth safe, avoid chewing ice or anything that is extremely hard. If you are prone to grinding your teeth at night, ask your dentist if you should start using a mouth guard.

  1. Increase your water intake.

Many people experience a reduction in saliva as they get older. This is often a result of medication. While it is an annoying side effect, it can actually have serious consequences. Dry mouths are more prone to harboring bacteria that cause tooth decay. The best way to fight this is by drinking more water on a daily basis.

If you can, drink tap water over bottled water. Most cities provide fluoridated water to their residents. Fluoride is an important part of keeping your teeth healthy and strong.

  1. Be gentle on sensitive teeth.

As you get older, it is likely that you will have to make some diet changes to protect your teeth. Teeth get more sensitive with age. This means it may be a good idea to reduce your sugar intake – this includes limiting sweet drinks like pop and juice. You may even find that drinking very hot or cold drinks hurts your teeth. If you have pain, experiment with cutting certain things out of your diet.

  1. Watch for signs of disease.

As you get older, you are more likely to develop gum disease or some kinds of oral cancers. This does not mean you are likely to get a disease, so there is no need to panic. Regularly check your mouth for any unexplained bleeding, discoloration, pain, or lumps. If you bleed when brushing or flossing your teeth, make sure to mention it to your dentist.

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National Bike Week

It’s National Bike Week, and that means it’s time to hit the streets (or the bike trail, if you prefer). At Victoria Dental, we’re also thinking about the implications of this week. Believe it or not, there is actually evidence to suggest that exercise has an effect on your dental and oral health.

Exercise and dental care might be the last two subjects you associate, but it’s true. Like many other aspects of health, taking care of your body and taking care of your teeth go hand in hand.

Lower Risk of Gum Disease

A study by the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey came to a fascinating conclusion: people who exercise at least five times a week significantly cut back on their risk of developing gum disease. This is important since gum disease can lead to a huge number of other health problems. Untreated, it can lead to gingivitis, swelling and irritation, and pain. Severely advanced cases can even result in loss of teeth, cancer, heart disease, or stroke.

This is good news for athletes. A moderate workout (such as a bike ride) five days a week can lessen your risk of these health problems. Alternatively, a high-intensity workout three days a week has the same effect.

The Link Between BMI and Your Mouth

But that’s not the only effect that exercise has on your oral health. There is also evidence to show that your body mass index or BMI also impacts your teeth for better or for worse. Obesity gives rise to a host of health issues, including hypertension and diabetes. These, in turn, are known for their effect on the health of your teeth and gums.

Studies show that people with a normal BMI — especially those who exercise regularly and follow a proper diet — have a 40 percent reduced risk of developing periodontitis.

How to Protect Your Mouth While You Exercise

It’s great to exercise regularly. But there are also some ways that athletes’ oral health can suffer. This isn’t because of the exercise itself but rather because of habits connected with exercise. To protect your teeth while getting your workout in, there are a few simple steps you should follow.

Firstly, be mindful of the way you breathe while you work out. It can be tempting to try to breathe through your mouth as your heart rate accelerates, but this spells disaster for your teeth. Mouth breathing leads to a loss of saliva and a drier mouth. This is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which results in tooth decay. Make sure to breathe through your nose and hydrate as much as possible.

You should also be cautious about drinking sports drinks like Gatorade. These may be a good choice to hydrate and replenish electrolytes, but they’re also extremely high in sugar. Try to find a balance between getting the nutrients you need and protecting your teeth from sugary drinks. Some sugar is important after working out, but it is possible to overdo it.

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What to Get Your Mother For Mother’s Day (That Isn’t Candy)

Spring might be a festive season, but it’s not exactly a good time for teeth. If you are looking ahead, you know that Mother’s Day is coming up. Your mother has done everything for you, so you can’t forget her! Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to give her something unhealthy. Traditional Mother’s Day gifts might include flowers, cards, and chocolates, but let’s face it, you can do better!

Studies show that more and more, people are turning to gifts that have practical purposes or are meaningful. So what are the best gifts for Mother’s Day that are thoughtful, unique, and won’t wreck Mom’s teeth?


  1. An Experience for the Two of You to Share

Let’s face it: Your mom always wants to spend more time with you, and your life probably gets far too busy to make that happen as often as she’d like. Why not think of her favourite hobbies and book a time for you to enjoy them together? Maybe your mother loves to paint and would enjoy a paint-and-sip class with you. Or maybe she’s a fan of salsa dancing and would love to spend an evening at a local ballroom. Whatever her interests, taking the time to enjoy them with her will earn you the title of Favourite Child.

  1. A Gift with Meaning 

Anyone can buy an expensive gift, but mothers would rather have a homemade gift that comes from the heart. This is an especially great choice if you are running low on cash. There is no need to spend a lot of money; just remind her of a fond memory! Whether that means a framed photo of the family at a special event or a collage of postcards from all the trips you’ve taken together, be creative. Making a gift from the heart will mean so much to your mom. If you think you’re too old to be making collages for your mother, ask her what she thinks of the idea. We bet you’ll see some waterworks.

  1. A Gift That Helps Her Relax

Show your appreciation for all the hard work that your mother does by treating her to some TLC. Whether this means a day at the spa, a massage, or a special bubble bath mix, there are tons of options for helping your mother kick back and take a break. Let her know that you are grateful for all those late nights, homework assignments, and home-cooked dinners by helping her get off her feet.

If you want a gift that keeps on giving, consider signing her up for a self-care subscription. There are companies that will deliver monthly packages right to your door, filled with lotions, bath bombs, and other self-care products. No one works as hard as a mom – and that’s why no one should relax as hard as a mom.


This Mother’s Day, you don’t need to rely on kitschy cards or unhealthy sweets. Show your mother that you care with a more personal gift!

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Choosing Snacks That are Easy on Your Teeth

Did you know that April 18 is National Animal Crackers Day? These slightly sweetened crackers are a favourite of children everywhere and have been around since the 19th century. As a cookie, they’re a fairly good choice since they contain a lot less sugar than your average sweet treat.

Snacking can raise some important questions when it comes to caring for your teeth. There are so many snacks that contain hidden sugars – or maybe some not-so-hidden sugars.

So what is the best way to curb your mid-afternoon hunger without overindulging in tooth-harming sugary treats? Here are a few guilt-free snack ideas for healthy teeth:

Fresh or preserved fruit

 If you have a hankering for something sweet, try fruit over cakes or cookies. Fruit contains fructose, a natural sugar, so it does have some effect on your oral health. As with all things, snack in moderation. You can choose either fresh or canned fruit but steer clear of dried fruit as it tends to stick to your teeth and cause decay. If you do opt for canned fruit, make sure it’s preserved in natural juice rather than high fructose corn syrup or other sugar syrup. Fruit is a great way to get sweet variety in your diet without putting your teeth at risk.

Here’s a fun fact: Apples are actually good for your teeth! Often called “nature’s toothbrush,” this fibrous fruit can scrub away plaque buildup and kill nasty bacteria. Of course, make sure you don’t actually substitute an apple for brushing your teeth.

Yogurt

If you’re a dairy fan, you can get excited: Milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products are full of calcium, which is vital for strengthening your teeth. However, you should be careful when choosing a yogurt – many brands are full of sugar, which, of course, is bad news for oral health.

Instead of a sugary kind, opt for plain or lightly sweetened Greek yogurt. Then, get creative with the taste, adding cinnamon or other mix-ins to make a more interesting snack.

High-fiber veggies

If you’re a vegetable fan, you’re in luck: There are a lot of vegetables that are great for your teeth. Hard, fibrous veggies like celery and carrots remove plaque from teeth and are naturally low in sugar. What’s more, many people report that as they eat less sugar and more vegetables and fruits, they start to feel more satisfied by the natural sweetness in produce. Just think about satisfying your sweet tooth with a sweet, juicy carrot.

Nuts and Seeds

Peanuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, and other nuts and seeds contain healthy minerals that are vital for healthy tooth enamel. This enamel is often stripped by damaging foods containing acid, such as citrus. If you want to give your enamel a boost, try snacking on your favourite nuts and seeds occasionally. Not only are they delicious and good for your teeth; they’re also full of good protein that will leave you feeling satisfied. It’s a great alternative to sugary treats that hurt your teeth.

 

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3 Ways to Spring Clean Your Dental Routine

Spring has sprung at last, and you are probably starting to think about spring cleaning your house. But did you know that you should also be “spring cleaning” your teeth? Now that winter is over, it’s time to be more productive and make some changes. That means it’s the perfect time to start up a new dental routine or improve your old one.

So, what should you be doing to freshen things up for spring?

Replace Your Toothbrush

Experts say that you should replace your toothbrush every three to six months. This is especially true if you have been sick. During the winter, you probably caught a cold or respiratory virus, so spring is the right time to toss that germy toothbrush. There are more reasons than one to do so, though. As bacteria accumulates on the brush and the bristles get bent, your toothbrush cleans less effectively. And you want to make sure your oral hygiene is top-notch.

While you are preparing to get a new toothbrush anyway, this might get the perfect time to think about buying an electric toothbrush. These drastically improve the efficiency of your brushing routine. In fact, some estimates say that if the average person brushes their teeth at a rate of 100 brushstrokes per minute, electric toothbrushes do about 300 times as much.

Evaluate Your Toothpaste

Are you using the right kind of toothpaste? It’s important to be sure. Many kinds of toothpaste that are advertised as ‘whitening’ won’t really fix your problem, but rather just lift a few surface stains. You need toothpaste that will really keep your teeth looking great while also fighting bacteria on your gumline.

Above all, make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride, the cavity-fighting compound that keeps teeth healthy and looking great. It’s one of the best ways to fight tooth decay. As for your other toothpaste needs, you can choose whether you’d like a whitening toothpaste, cavity protection, or toothpaste for sensitive teeth. But fluoride is non-negotiable when it comes to oral health.

Double-check Your Brushing Routine

It’s not just about the right toothbrush and toothpaste. The way you brush your teeth also makes an enormous difference in the state of your oral hygiene. Make sure you are brushing twice a day and flossing at least once — preferably in the evening, to remove all the food particles of the day before sleep.

But what’s the best way to actually brush your teeth?

First, make sure you’re brushing for at least two minutes. You can go longer if you would like! Brush in small circles, moving the toothbrush along your gumline to remove any stubborn bacteria. Of course, you should also brush your tongue, cheeks, and the roof of your mouth as well, as a lot of bacteria accumulate there too.

Spring is also the perfect time to schedule your regular dental cleaning. When the seasons change, it’s time to stop in to Victoria Dental to make sure your teeth are ready for summer!

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