Do You “Overbrush” Your Teeth and Not Realize It?
Here’s why you might want to re-think your brushing technique.
What kind of a teeth brusher are you?
Do you “scrub” your smile aggressively in hopes of getting a better clean, or do you take a more gentle approach?
If you’re doing a lot of the former, our Guelph dentist has good reason why you should start to change your ways. Like, starting today.
Many people aren’t even aware that they’re brushing their teeth harder than they should - when in fact, a more aggressive-style tooth brushing technique is a surefire way to cause harm to the teeth and gums.
It can be easy to make the association that harder brushing = a more effective or thorough clean. However, this is simply not the case, as gentle brushing can get the job done just as effectively with no risk of smile damage.
In fact, dental plaque that accumulates on the teeth’s surfaces is extremely soft, and is effectively removed with the gentlest of brushing techniques using a soft bristled brush head (as toothbrushes with hard bristles are also not recommended by dental professionals).
With that being said, here are two ways you’re harming your smile every time you brush with excessive force:
1. You’re likely contributing to gum recession.
Our gum tissue is soft and can be rather fragile, so it’s no question as to how plastic toothbrush bristles (especially if they’re hard and stiff) can cause destruction with an improper or rough tooth brushing technique.
Gum recession is generally caused by one of two catalysts, or a combination of both: a) gum disease, where the gum tissue is attacked by infection, and/or b) aggressive tooth brushing, where the bristles physically wear away at the gums due to the excessive force applied.
Unfortunately, under both of these circumstances, the loss of gum is permanent - as gum tissue does not have the ability to grow back or recover itself (which is why procedures like gum grafting exist, where tissue is harvested from another area in the patient’s mouth). That’s why the key here is preservation and prevention.
2. You’re likely wearing out your precious tooth enamel.
In addition to a diet high in processed foods, sugars and acids, a harsh brushing technique can also wear away at your valuable tooth enamel (the surface layer of the teeth) – and that’s another thing that unfortunately cannot restore itself once it’s gone.
You’ll want to do your best to preserve your enamel for life, as it serves to protect the layers beneath and keep the teeth strong.
Start practicing gentler, healthier tooth brushing today
If you can admit to practicing a less-than-gentle brushing technique, it isn’t too late to change your ways the next time you brush & beyond! With that said, here’s how you should be properly brushing your teeth every day:
1. Firstly, ensure that you are using a toothbrush containing soft bristles, as mentioned previously.
2. Take your toothbrush and brush at a 45 degree angle to your teeth, directing the bristles to where the gums meet the teeth.
3. Avoiding any scrubbing, use a gentle and circular massaging motion up and down, being sure to clean each and every surface of every tooth.
4. Take your time with it. The professionally recommended duration of a toothbrushing session is two full minutes, or 160 seconds - twice a day.
5. Don’t forget to scrape or brush your tongue, too!
Due for a check-up and cleaning with our Guelph dentist and hygienist?
If it’s been longer than 6 to 9 months since your last dental visit, then it’s best to schedule another.
Reach out to our team today to book your next visit. We’d be happy to see you (and your smile will be happy you did)!
Dr. Coman Dentistry
85 Norfolk Street, Suite 308
Guelph, ON N1H 4J4