Far and away, if someone is having a problem with how frequently they’re brushing their teeth, it’s likely that they aren’t doing it often enough. Most dentists recommend brushing for at least two minutes twice a day, but plenty of people skirt the timer or simply forget to brush before going to sleep on occasion. Sometimes, though, it’s possible to overdo it on brushing and actually end up causing your teeth more harm than good! If you’re a brushing aficionado, read on to learn when you may be doing too much of a good thing.
Tenderness In Technique
The strength and force with which we should brush our teeth may be counterintuitive for many people. After all, when you’re cleaning your bathroom or washing your car, a bit of elbow grease goes a long way! The same isn’t always true for brushing. Brushing your teeth actually requires very little pressure, and brushing too hard or enthusiastically can lead to problems. One way you can tell if you’re brushing too hard is by checking how long it takes for your brush’s bristles to become worn down. If a new toothbrush becomes splayed and frayed after just a few weeks, it’s time to pull back the pressure.
Avoid Rough Brushes
The American Dental Association recommends using a soft or extra-soft bristled brush for almost all people. Medium, firm, or extra firm brushes can actually wear away enamel and make your teeth more susceptible to cavities and erosion! While it is increasingly difficult to find hard bristled brushes in stores, it’s still important to check the strength of your brush before you buy it. Toothpastes can vary in their abrasive capabilities as well, so be sure to use a gentler paste if you’re noticing signs of erosion.
Gum Recession From Overzealous Brushing
If you brush too vigorously or frequently, or if you aren’t using the right toothbrush, you could eventually damage your gums in addition to your teeth! Intense brushing can wear away the edges of your gums, leaving the cementum of your tooth’s root exposed and vulnerable to decay. This tissue is softer than enamel and therefore more susceptible to becoming damaged and exposed to infection. If your gums have begun to recede, it’s important to get the recession under control quickly as gums will never fully grow back to their original place.
Proper brushing technique is as important as regularity when it comes to taking care of your oral hygiene! In addition to twice daily brushing, remember to floss once a day and incorporate some kind of mouthwash into your routine to help clear away extra debris and kill germs. Additionally, routine checkups with your dentist will help ensure that you’re staying on track with a good oral care routine. If you think you may have been doing too much of a good thing and have caused damage to your teeth, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist to have him or her evaluate the situation.
To schedule your next appointment, give us a call at Oradent Associates in Chicago today!