Stop Brushing So Hard!

new toothbrushDid you know there are times when brushing your teeth can actually be harmful? We’ve mentioned in previous articles how brushing immediately after consuming sugary or acidic drinks can help wear away enamel, but you also can do harm to your mouth by overbrushing.

Overbrushing occurs when you brush too hard or vigorously during your daily cleanings, brush too often (yes, some people actually do that). This can lead to sensitive teeth, receding gums, periodontal disease, and even cavities! Susquehanna Dental Arts wants to help you prevent this by educating you on the proper way to brush.

If you’re told during your visit to our office that you have cavities on the roots of your teeth, your enamel is wearing, or your gums are receding, you may be overbrushing. The good news is that overbrushing is easy to fix, especially once you’re made aware of the issue.

To make sure you’re not overbrushing, check out these helpful tips:

  1. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush – Plaque is soft and easily removed as long as you reach all the areas it can hide inside your mouth. There is no additional benefit gained from using harder bristles or pushing harder against your teeth. If you must use a hard-bristled toothbrush, remember to just lightly push against your teeth and gums. You can also follow this guide for tips on choosing the perfect toothbrush.
  2. Use short, circular strokes – You shouldn’t saw across your teeth like you’re cutting down a tree. Use short circular strokes in a scrubbing motion to properly clean the surface of your teeth.
  3. Tilt the head of your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle, pointing your bristles at the intersection between your gums and your teeth (your gumline).
  4. Replace your brush – Once your toothbrush begins to show signs of wear, it’s time to replace it. The general rule of thumb is to change your brush once every three months, so if your brush shows signs of wear after just one, then you are brushing too hard.

As you can see, even though brushing hard may seem harmless, it can do quite a bit of damage to your teeth and gums. The good news is that following a few simple rules can quickly get you back on the right track. Combining proper home care along with regular dental visits will keep your teeth in the best shape, and you already know that your overall health will benefit from a healthy mouth.

If you need to schedule your next appointment with Susquehanna Dental Arts, just give us a call at 717-684-3943.