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How Hard Is Too Hard When It Comes to Brushing Teeth?

April 12, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drhendricksen @ 9:22 pm
Hand reaches for toothbrush

Any dentist will tell you that it’s crucial to brush your teeth at least twice a day to eliminate plaque and food residue and avoid tooth decay. However, it is quite possible to brush your teeth too hard, and overbrushing can damage the gums or enamel. Since it doesn’t make sense for people to hurt their smiles while brushing their teeth, here are a few signs that you might be brushing too hard as well as what you can do to address the problem.

What Damage Can Overbrushing Do?

Many people brush too aggressively because they believe it is the only way to make their teeth sufficiently clean and white, but it actually has the opposite effect. Overbrushing can wear away the glossy, white enamel layer, making the teeth appear to be darker and more yellow. To make matters worse, overbrushing can also cause irreversible gum recession that leads to dental sensitivity by exposing the roots of the teeth. If a person brushes too hard for too long, they can be left with darker, yellow, and uncomfortable teeth.

One of the best ways to tell if you are brushing your teeth too hard is to inspect your toothbrush. It should look fairly new if you’ve been using it for three months or less, but if it looks frayed and beat up, it may be because you are brushing too hard.

How Should I Brush My Teeth?

Being mindful of your brushing habits can help you correct a pattern of brushing too hard.  A few tips for proper brushing include:

  • Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush: When shopping for a new toothbrush, look for a soft-bristled brush with the seal of the American Dental Association. Take care to replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
  • Brush with your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums: Brushing this way will allow the bristles to clean beneath your gumline.
  • Brush gently: Use strokes that are about a tooth’s width to clean the inner, outer, and chewing surfaces of each tooth. This is especially easy if you are using an electric toothbrush. If you need help with developing a gentler grip, try brushing with your nondominant hand.
  • Brush slowly: While many people rush to finish their teeth-brushing, dentists recommend that each session last for two full minutes. While this can seem like a long time if you’re not in the habit, taking the time to meet the two-minute mark can make it easier to slow down and brush more gently.

The right brushing habits are key to maintaining a beautiful smile. With the proper at-home dental care, you can enjoy better oral health and shorter and more comfortable routine dental appointments.

About the Practice

White Cosmetic & Family Dentistry delivers the finest dental health services available in Goode, VA. Led by Drs. Julia and Brandon White, the staff treats each patient with personalized care and genuine compassion. Areas of expertise include general, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry. For more tips on proper teeth-brushing techniques, contact the office online or dial (540) 587-5707.

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