Why Bother to Brush? Some Easy Answers!

If you have spent much time around teens, as we have in our Overland, KS family dental practice, you know you hear a lot of “Why” questions. It’s great to have curious minds, and experts recommend that teenagers see their dentists at least twice a year, just as adults would. They can get thorough exams and cleanings, while parents can consult on teenage orthodontic advice and wisdom tooth information. One of the easy-to-answer “Why” questions from teens is “Why bother to brush?”

Brushing Helps Prevent Plaque

Plaque is a sticky film that forms on teeth when oral bacteria feed on tiny bits of food and sugars that remain in your mouth after eating or drinking. As the bacteria feed on sugars and starches, plaque adheres to the teeth. If left in place it will calcify (harden) into tartar, which can permanently damage tooth enamel. This weakened enamel can no longer protect the inner tooth structures, and a cavity can form. While our caring dental time can treat a cavity with a tooth colored filing, the far easier method is to prevent cavity formation in the first place.

Brushing Maintains a Healthy Gumline

Proper brushing technique includes not only gently cleaning the tops, sides and back of all teeth, but also includes gentle brushing at the gumline. Gentle brushing with a toothbrush held at approximately 45 degrees allows the bristles to dislodge food particles that may have snuck beneath the gum line. If allowed to remain there, these particles feed oral bacteria which can then cause irritation and inflammation that can lead to the early stages of gum disease, called gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which is a serious gum disease that can affect the whole body.

Brushing Helps Breath Odor

No one wants off-putting breath order, but when food particles are not cleaned regularly from the mouth, teeth and tongue, that can happen. Not only do many toothpastes contain breath-freshening ingredients, but the physical act of cleaning the teeth removes particles that could otherwise remain in the mouth, and become a source of breath odor.

Brushing Makes a Big Difference to Your Smile

Some of our favorite patients are teenagers and young adults. For family dental needs, at any age, give us a call. To learn more, or to schedule your consultation, call Family First Dental in Overland Park, KS, today at 913-381-2600.