When it comes to brushing your teeth, doing it right isn’t as easy as just doing it. Just like anything else, you need to make sure you’re getting the correct technique to prevent cavities and gum disease. If you’re brushing too hard, for example, your dentist in Spring wants to remind you that you could be really damaging your oral health.
So while it may feel like you’re getting an extra-good clean when you put the elbow grease into your toothbrush, we encourage you to think twice before you get to scrubbing those pearly whites. We’ve got more details on what happens when you brush too hard in this week’s blog post.
Effects of Aggressive Toothbrushing
What does your toothbrush usually look like after a couple of months of use? If it’s flat, worn, and needs to be replaced after only a little while, that’s a sign you’re brushing too hard. And that means it’s time to rethink your toothbrushing habits.
A few things can go wrong when you brush your teeth aggressively.
First of all, moving around your mouth in hard, back and forth strokes can cause your gums to recede. The periodontal (gum) tissue is sensitive, and will shrink away if it’s constantly being pushed back by your toothbrush.
Aside from possibly taking away from your smile’s natural beauty by making the teeth appear unnaturally long, recessed gums can also cause:
- Increased sensitivity from exposed tooth roots
- Greater risk of a particular type of cavity called “root decay”
- Gum disease
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Possible tooth loss
You may also be wearing away at your tooth enamel with aggressive toothbrushing, especially if you use an abrasive toothpaste or a brush with hard bristles.
Weak or worn tooth enamel is more sensitive to heat, cold, and air. It’s also more vulnerable to tooth decay.
Nailing the Toothbrushing Technique
If you have been brushing your teeth too hard, it’s time to reevaluate your cleaning methods. To do it right, make sure you…
- Use a soft bristled brush
- Choose a non-abrasive, fluoride toothpaste (look for one that has been approved by the American Dental Association)
- Brush in gentle circular motions
- Clean each quadrant of your mouth for 30 seconds each
- Brush for two minutes, at least twice a day (after each meal is even better)
Feel free to talk to your dentist about your toothbrushing technique during your next six month checkup and cleaning. Patient education is an important component of every treatment plan!
About the Author
Dr. Kelly M. LeBlanc has been providing superior dental care for people in and around Spring, TX for the past two decades. Truly passionate about helping each and every patient maintain the ultimate in oral health and wellness, Dr. LeBlanc offers a variety of general, restorative, and cosmetic treatments for the comfort of his state-of-the-art office. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, you’re invited to contact your family dentist in Spring at (281) 376-3959.