The Dangers of Over Brushing

Everyone understands that good dental hygiene starts with brushing and flossing regularly, drinking plenty of water, and preserving a balanced diet. The majority of dental practitioners advise brushing twice a day for a minimum of two minutes. Brushing is very important, but what the majority of people do not consider is just how much pressure they are using while brushing.

Abrasion occurs when someone is using too much force while brushing their teeth, typically with a hard or medium-bristled toothbrush. It’s thought that approximately 20% of people have damaged their teeth and gums due to brushing too strongly. The enamel, the external surface of the tooth, is the most durable substance in our bodies–even more durable than bone. Excessively forceful brushing weakens this external defensive layer, which can make us more vulnerable to cavities and bacteria. Also, brushing too often and using too much pressure can lead to gum recession. Receding gums often results in exposed roots, tooth sensitivity, and even early tooth loss.

“Plaque is so soft that you could remove it with a rag if you could reach all the surfaces where it hides,” says Kevin Sheu, DDS of Delta Dental. He goes on to say that brushing your teeth with more force or more often isn’t going to yield extra benefits. “Thoroughness is what is required for plaque removal, not aggressive brushing.”

Here are a number of helpful tips to keep in mind while brushing in order to prevent tooth abrasion:

– While you’re brushing, hold your toothbrush head at a 45-degree angle to the gum line.

– Brush with brief strokes and a scrubbing movement instead of going back and forth.

– Use a soft-bristled brush rather than a hard-bristled one.

– When brushing, use your non-dominant hand in order to avoid using too much pressure.

– Be sure to make regular check-ups with Dr. Hodges.

Everyone understands that good dental hygiene starts with brushing and flossing regularly, drinking plenty of water, and preserving a balanced diet. The majority of dental practitioners advise brushing twice a day for a minimum of two minutes. Brushing is very important, but what the majority of people do not consider is just how much pressure they are using while brushing.

Abrasion occurs when someone is using too much force while brushing their teeth, typically with a hard or medium- bristled toothbrush. It’s thought that approximately 20% of people have damaged their teeth and gums due to brushing too strongly. The enamel, the external surface of the tooth, is the most durable substance in our bodies–even more durable than bone. Excessively forceful brushing weakens this external defensive layer, which can make us more vulnerable to cavities and bacteria. Also, brushing too often and using too much pressure can lead to gum recession. Receding gums often results in exposed roots, tooth sensitivity, and even early tooth loss.

“Plaque is so soft that you could remove it with a rag if you could reach all the surfaces where it hides,” says Kevin Sheu, DDS of Delta Dental. He goes on to say that brushing your teeth with more force or more often isn’t going to yield extra benefits. “Thoroughness is what is required for plaque removal, not aggressive brushing.”

Here are a number of helpful tips to keep in mind while brushing in order to prevent tooth abrasion:

– While you’re brushing, hold your toothbrush head at a 45-degree angle to the gum line.

– Brush with brief strokes and a scrubbing movement instead of going back and forth.

Use a soft-bristled brush rather than a hard-bristled one.

– When brushing, use your non-dominant hand in order to avoid using too much pressure.

– Be sure to make regular check-ups with Dr. Hodges.