Cleaning your teeth shouldn’t cause a cramp to form in your hand. Although your smile needs ample care, it doesn’t require excessive force. So how can you know if you’re brushing your teeth too hard? In this article, we’ll look at a few signs that commonly arise as a result of aggressive scrubbing and what you can do to minimize your risk of damage.
Why Aggressive Brushing is Bad?
If you think brushing aggressively will do a better job of removing bacteria and harmful particles from your teeth and gums, guess again. The truth is that it can actually damage your tooth enamel, causing sensitivity and even gum recession.
Over time, overbrushing can wear down the tooth enamel, causing it to become weaker and more susceptible to decay. And once enamel is gone, it will not grow back. This type of teeth cleaning will also cause your gums to push back, exposing more of the tooth roots and putting you at risk for periodontal disease.
How to Tell You’re Brushing Too Hard
You may not realize that you’re brushing too hard at first, but if you begin to notice any of the following, it may be time to talk to your dentist about adopting healthier habits to prevent wear and tear:
- Worn, flat, or frayed toothbrush bristles
- Your teeth appear longer (as a result of gum recession)
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Teeth look yellow or much darker than before
Ways to Prevent Damage to Your Smile
If you want to avoid the possibility of damage to your teeth and gums while brushing, it’s important that you adopt a proper technique. When meeting with your dentist, make sure to ask about ways you can improve how you brush your teeth so that everything inside your mouth remains clean and free of harm.
When it comes to brushing, you’ll need to make sure you do the following:
- Make sure you’re using a soft-bristled toothbrush, as this is less abrasive. Also, be sure to change it out every three to four months.
- Turn your brush so that it is at a 45-degree angle to your gums. This will allow you to effectively (and safely) brush your teeth and gumline.
- Use a back-and-forth motion. Gently move your toothbrush back and forth using short, wide strokes. This thoroughly cleans all sides of your teeth. When cleaning the inside of your mouth, turn your brush vertically and move it up and down.
- Take your time. The rule of thumb is to brush your teeth for two minutes. This means it is not a race. You should plan to take your time while cleaning your smile, making sure you reach all the areas inside your mouth to remove harmful particles.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re using fluoride toothpaste that combats decay and strengthens tooth enamel. Brushing your tongue will also help to eliminate bacteria from its surface. Of course, flossing, eating healthy foods, and continuing to see your dentist every six months are also essential to maintaining good oral health.
Adopting the appropriate brushing technique will help stave off future damage. Make sure you’re cleaning your teeth the right way so that you can enjoy a healthier, more beautiful smile tomorrow.
About the Author
Dr. Mariliza LaCap has more than two decades of experience working in the oral healthcare field. She and her colleagues work hard to provide patients with beneficial tips to ensure a healthier smile. Whether it is about the importance of regular dental checkups and cleanings or offering ways to encourage better brushing, you can freely contact us at (201) 453-4863 to learn more.