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Woman Brushing Teeth

Your Overland Park Dentist Has Some Advice on Brushing

Although we consider ourselves a dental healthcare partner to many families in the Kansas City Area, Watts Family Dental is considered by most to be an Overland Park Dentist. The truth is that we’ve been blessed to serve patients from all across the Greater Kansas City Area, but we just happen to have a practice in Overland Park. We’ve been in our Overland Park dental office for a long time, and we’re proud to be a part of this great community.

As an Overland Park Dentist we’re charged with providing a highly-effective family dental program for all our patients in the area and surrounding regions. Now, Overland Park, Kansas is a city of almost 180,000 people, so we have a big job ahead of us every day. (There are, actually a number of good dentists in Overland Park, so they help to lighten the load a bit!) As such, we do our very best to communicate what we think families in Overland Park should now about their dental health, and we use our blog to write about important topics as they come up. Recently, we’ve heard a lot of patients ask about proper brushing techniques and what types of toothbrushes are best for various members of the family. So, we decided to use one of the blog articles this month to talk a little about brushing – getting back to basics, so to speak!

It’s easy to imagine that everyone from small children to aging adults already knows the value of brushing their teeth regularly. Some, however, may not know a few of the finer details. Let’s take a look at some advice on tooth brushing from your friendly neighborhood Overland Park dentist.

First – Get yourself a good toothbrush and make sure you swap it out for a new one 3-4 times a year. Last month, we wrote an article on when you should replace your toothbrush. In it we defined what a good toothbrush should be. Click here to give that article a read!

Second – Don’t skip on brushing. Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Three times is best! The acids in the food and drink we consume attack the enamel (the thin outer covering of the teeth), eroding that protective layer over time. By brushing regularly, we can clean our teeth of acidic food debris and protect them from harm.

Third – Brush long enough to do the job right. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), and all here at Watts Family Dental, your brushing should be at least two minutes in length. Two minutes of continuous brushing should be enough time to get around to all areas of the mouth, addressing each tooth surface with the brush. If you have a Sonicare toothbrush, you’ll notice that it features a “Quadpacer” interval timer that beeps after every 30 seconds of brushing. This feature allows Sonicare users to divide up their mouth into “quadrants” and spend thirty seconds in each area before the beep tells them to move to the next area of the mouth. Pretty clever, don’t you think?

Fourth – Make sure you’re brushing vertically (up and down). Brushing back and forth (side to side) can create abrasions along the gum line. Children who are still developing their fine motor skills are most apt to brush back and forth. When brushing, everyone in the house should be positioning the bristles of their toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to their gum line and doing short, up and down strokes.

Lastly – Follow up with a thorough rinse. After your two minutes of brushing, make sure that you rinse out your mouth with either water or an oral rinse. At the same time, make sure that you rinse out your toothbrush really well! Most folks don’t know that bacteria can easily grow on an un-rinsed toothbrush. You don’t want to put bacteria back into your mouth every time you brush, so make sure to rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after each brushing.

This article brought to you by Watts Family Dental in Overland Park, Kansas. We’re committed to healthy smiles for the whole family. Please call (913) 338-3384 or visit our Overland Park, KS office. You may also send an e-mail direct to at any time.

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