Celebrating Dental Hygiene Month

national dental hygiene month - 4th Street Family Dentistry

Celebrating Dental Hygiene Month

4th Street Family Dentistry will be celebrating Dental Hygiene Month all month long! Our staff has compiled a list of home dental hygiene guidelines to help you keep a healthy smile. You can always rely on 4th Street Family Dentistry if you’re looking for a  family dentist in St. Pete, FL, or if you require dental services. 

If you have any questions regarding early warning signs or are due for a cleaning, please contact our dentist in St. Pete right away.

Brush 2x a Day

It’s important to brush a minimum of two times a day. If you can, brush after each meal. Your toothbrush should have soft bristles and be big enough to brush one to two at a time. We recommend using an ADA approved toothpaste. When brushing, focus on the inner, outer areas of your teeth and tongue. If you’re having trouble brushing for the full two minutes, sing the ABC’s three times! Also, Dr. Leeson recommends that patients change their toothbrush every 3-4 months. 

Floss Daily

Brushing your teeth alone will not remove all the debris and plaque that collect between your teeth. That’s why it’s just as important to floss as it is to brush your teeth.

How to Floss Properly: 

  • Use about 18 inches of dental floss and wrap it around two fingers, leaving about 1-2 inches of floss.
  • Holding the floss with your thumb and index finger, you will insert the floss between two teeth.
  • Gently move the floss up and down, rubbing it against each tooth (avoid hitting your gums).
  • Once you’ve reached your gum line, curve the floss, and move it back and forth between one of the teeth.
  • Move the floss to the next set of teeth, repeat the steps above.

Rinse With Mouthwash 

Mouthwash can help put a stop to plaque, gingivitis, bad breath, and tooth decay! There are plenty of mouthwashes to choose from. Choose a mouthwash that will help you meet your oral health goals. Dr. Chris Green, a dentist in Parker, CO, points out that not all mouthwashes are used the same. So, make sure you read the directions carefully.

We recommend using a mouthwash that is ADA approved—rinsing before or after brushing/flossing depends on the product.

Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Did you know there are benefits of chewing sugar-free gum after a meal?

Benefits of Chewing Sugar-Free Gum

  • It helps increase saliva, which washes away harmful bacteria & relieves dry mouth.
  • Helps dislodge food stuck in your teeth, preventing plaque buildup.

Connection Between Oral Health and Body

Many studies show a link between gum disease and other diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, osteoporosis, and more. Additionally, those with high blood sugar are more at risk of developing gum disease. Those with diabetes are highly encouraged to visit their dentist for regular cleanings. As you can see, it’s very important to take care of your oral health. It’s not too late to make a change today.

Why We Celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month

At 4th Street Family Dentistry, we like to celebrate smiles. National Dental Hygiene Month is the perfect way to honor our community and staff members. It also helps us to take our oral health into our own hands. Set a good example for you and your little ones by following the tips above. If you have any questions about your oral health or would like to set up an appointment, please contact 4th Street Family Dentistry today.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2020 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 

Toothache Myths

St. Pete emergency dentist

There are plenty of theories and misconceptions when it comes to toothaches. When it comes to your health, don’t take any chances; find out the truth about toothaches. Below, Dr. Leeson, your St. Pete dentist, explores the different toothache myths that many patients believe today.

Toothache Myth: Painkillers Treat Toothaches

It’s not the case here. The pain can be momentarily relieved by taking panadol or nurofen, and antibiotics can combat infection surrounding the tooth, none of which is a remedy or permanent solution. The issue is still there and is only going to get worse.

Toothache Myth: A Toothache Equals Cavity

A toothache can often be caused, but not always, by a cavity or early decay. Your bite, scratching, a chip or crack, a fracture, or nerve issues may be associated with a toothache.

Toothache Myth: Toothaches Happen To Everyone

While toothaches are widespread, they are a sign of an issue and should not be ignored. The longer you neglect a toothache or put up with it, the worse the issue will get. If the pain is from a cavity, the cavity will decay more and more rapidly. If the ache is from nerve problems, if left untreated, the nerve will die.

Toothache Myth: If My Toothache Goes Away, My Tooth is Okay

Even if the toothache’s intensity decreases or even appears to vanish, it doesn’t mean that the issue is fixed, explains Dr. Christopher Green sedation dentist Parker CO. Decay can cause pain and sensitivity that comes and goes, or it may mean that because the nerve has died, you simply do not feel the pain anymore. You always see the dentist.

Toothache Myth: Sensitive Toothpaste Will Help Treat My Toothache 

Responsive toothpaste will temporarily alleviate a toothache that responds to hot or cold foods or beverages, but as with any other short-term solutions, this is not a permanent cure and will not necessarily address the cause of the toothache.

Now that you know the truth about toothaches, you can decide whether or not you should visit your dentist in St. Petersburg, FL. If you’re still unsure about seeing your dentist, contact 4th Street Family Dentistry for a consultation. Dr. Leeson will take dental x-rays, give you a full mouth evaluation, and treatment plan.

Must-Knows About Children’s Oral Health

must knows about children oral health St pete

Must-Knows About Children’s Oral Health

February is National Children’s Oral Health Month! To celebrate, our St. Pete, FL family dentist is sharing oral health tips all month long. Creating good oral health habits at a young age is so important to prevent oral health-related illnesses. The American Dental Association recommends that children visit the dentist every six months after they turn one year old or after their first tooth erupts. On today’s blog, we’re sharing all the must-knows about children’s oral health

Oral Health Tips #1: It’s Not Too Soon To Start Brushing

Many parents are surprised that it’s never too early to start brushing children’s teeth. However, you should handle brushing your infant’s teeth differently than you handle your own. Infant teeth and gum wipes can be used by parents to swab their child’s gums before teeth come in. This gentle practice helps maintain optimal gum health by slowing the development of bacteria in the mouth and tongue. Teeth and gum wines can be found at your local supermarket!  

For brushing, you can start with a soft-bristled baby toothbrush once your child has at least one tooth. Our friend and pediatric dentist Bethlehem GA, Dr. Uyen recommends parent use a small grain-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste and a gentle brush after breakfast and after dinner. 

Oral Health Tips #2: Try Fluoride Toothpaste

It is safer to begin brushing with fluoride toothpaste. Many of our parents grew up with a training toothpaste, something that was ‘healthy when swallowed.’ As soon as your baby gets his or her first tooth, you should start brushing with fluoride. Again, for your infant, use a grain-sized toothpaste dab. About the time the child reaches three, you can then use a pea-sized dab.

Oral Health Tips #3: Visit Your 4th Street Dentist Often

Around the time of his or her 1st birthday, your child should visit our St. Pete dentist, Dr. Leeson. Adults usually ought to visit the dentist twice a year, and the same applies to your children. An oral exam will be performed by a pediatric dentist and a dental history will begin. Are you prone to cavities? Your child might be as well, but if you start early and maintain regular dental appointments, this can help prevent cavities or other dental health issues. 

Oral Health Tips #4: Help Your Child Focus On Their Brushing Technique 

Usually, children are old enough to begin brushing their own teeth between the ages of 3 and 5. Two minutes of brushing with the bristles towards the gums in tiny circles for each tooth is a good rule. This will prevent plaque build up on the surfaces and spaces of your teeth. That means on the top right and left and on the bottom right and left for around 30 seconds each. 2 minutes may seem like a long time, especially for kids who don’t have all their teeth, it might not take a full 2 minutes.

Oral Health Tips #5: Make Flossing On a Regular Basis Fun

Most parents assume that before the permanent teeth come in, children do not need to floss. However, as soon as your teeth meet one another, you can start flossing. No matter how good you wash, when you touch your teeth, there are areas that cannot be reached. Disposable flossers that are intended for little children to perform well. 


4th Street Family Dentistry knows how busy life can get. This year, make you and your child’s oral health a priority. Good dental care is critical for the growth and overall health of a child. If you have any questions or concerns about your family’s oral health, contact our dental office in St. Petersburg, FL.

Signs It’s Time to Visit the Dentist

Signs it's time to visit the dentist - 4th Street Family Dentistry

Signs it’s Time to Visit the Dentist in St. Petersburg

Has it been awhile since you went to visit the dentist for a dental examination? We get it, life can be busy. If you don’t experience any tooth pain, it’s all too easy to skip those regular appointments. Perhaps you have a fear of the dentist? 

Did you know that those dental examinations and professional cleanings can actually help to prevent the majority of dental issues? If you’ve neglected or avoided going to the dentist, consider these signs, it’s time to visit the dentist.

Pain, In Teeth or Gums

A toothache can range in severity from mild to excruciating. Whether the tooth pain comes and goes or is constant, this is usually a sign of a tooth infection. Pain should be indicative of needing to see Dr. Leeson, an emergency dentist in St. Petersburg.

The inflammation and discomfort that you’re feeling are likely due to a cavity and other serious decay. These issues will not usually resolve on their own. Don’t delay coming in to see your St. Petersburg dentist until the pain is unbearable. A small cavity can be treated with a dental filling, but more advanced decay could need a root canal or dental crown.

Pain in the Jaw, Signs of Bruxism

Do you grind your teeth while you’re sleeping? This condition, known as bruxism, is quite common. Many of us don’t know that we grind our teeth in our sleep until someone points it out to us. It can lead to pain in the jaw, cavities, and even cracks on your teeth. It is also, of course, possible that the pain in your jaw is being triggered by a cavity and an abscess in the tooth.

Gum Irritation and Bleeding

Do your gums bleed when you brush your teeth? It is possible that you are too aggressive when you brush. But it could also be indicative of an issue with your gums. Gum disease, in all of its stages, is thought to have an impact on more than half of the adults living in the United States. If you have swelling, redness, and signs of developing a tooth abscess, along with loose teeth, you may have periodontitis. During your visit to the best dentist in St. Petersburg, FL, we can address the gum disease and offer a dental treatment plan that will improve your oral health.

Constant Dry Mouth

Does it feel like your mouth is always dry? Ruling out any other potentially serious medical concerns, such as diabetes, it could be that you’re struggling with dry mouth. Without enough saliva in the mouth, there is an increased risk of decay. This is because the saliva in our mouths helps to neutralize acids, and naturally rinse away food debris and bacteria. It also aids in digestion. A visit to your St. Petersburg dentist can help to identify the source of your dry mouth. Dr. Lesson can also recommend solutions while identifying any cavities or other damage that will require tooth repair.

Struggles with Bad Breath

It’s normal to experience a bit of unfriendly breath after your morning cup of coffee, or perhaps a garlic-dense meal. However, if brushing and flossing don’t seem to do anything to resolve your bad breath struggles, it could be that you have something else that needs to be addressed.

Dr. Chris Green, a dentist in Parker, CO, says that bad breath could be as the result of a cavity, gum disease, or other serious medical conditions. The fastest way to resolve it is with a visit to your dentist, to rule out and address the potential issues.

Preventative visits and routine cleanings can keep your teeth healthier between visits, and help to keep pain at bay. If you have any questions about your oral health or our dental services in St. Petersburgcontact 4th Street Family Dentistry today! We’re happy to answer any questions or concerns.