Can you over brush your teeth?
Everyone knows how important it is to brush their teeth regularly. However, is it possible to overbrush your teeth? The truth is that it is possible.
Overbrushing your teeth can lead to damaged gums and teeth. What exactly is overbrushing and what type of damages can it cause?
Overbrushing: The Serious Effects It Can Cause
We all know you have to brush your teeth and gums regularly. Overbrushing, also known as toothbrush abrasion, can cause teeth to become sensitive and the gums to recede. Not only that, but the outer layer of the teeth can become worn down. Enamel provides your teeth with protection, but when you lose enamel, then your teeth become sensitive to cold and hot. If you brush too hard, the gum tissue can become damaged, leading it to recede. Roots can become exposed, which puts you at risk for decay and periodontal disease.
Those who use hard-bristled or medium-bristled toothbrushes are at the most risk for gum or tooth damage, if they overbrush regularly. A few signs of overbrushing include:
- Splayed bristles
- Bleeding gums
- Red gums or bleeding gums after brushing
- Gum recession
How Should People Brush Their Teeth
Brushing your teeth regularly is important because it’s how you remove plaque from your teeth. Plaque is what causes tooth decay. Instead of focusing on brushing hard, you need to use a good brushing technique
What you want to do is brush your teeth in a circular motion, while applying gentle pressure. This is the best way to remove plaque and to clean enamel. We always recommend the Sonicare brand of electric toothbrushes, as we find them more effective than manual brushes. Below are a few good techniques you can try.
- Use a toothbrush with soft bristles, or better yet a Sonicare toothbrush
- Aim at the gum line, while holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle
- Apply light pressure to your teeth/gums
- Start brushing in a circular motion
- Brush for a total of two minutes
How Frequently Should You Brush
Ideally, you should be brushing your teeth 2-3 times per day. Even better, you’ll want to brush your teeth after every meal. Just make sure you brush after an hour since eating. If you brush your teeth too soon after eating, then your enamel could become damaged.
Here’s a tip to keep in mind: Every three months replace the head of the toothbrush or replace the entire toothbrush. If it’s difficult to remember when to replace your toothbrush, then just replace them when the seasons change over.
Looking forward to helping you have a healthy smile!
Dr. Mullaney and Team