How To Determine If You’re Overbrushing Your Teeth

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“Brush your teeth every morning and night” and “Brush your teeth after every meal” are common pieces of advice we receive from our parents and other professionals, but are they good advice? Everyone can agree that brushing twice a day is important to maintaining good health and preventing dental decay, but is more better? Patients who take brushing their teeth to excess, or are using hard-bristled toothbrushes, can actually be damaging their teeth rather than helping them. We’re going to explain how to brush your teeth properly, and then touch on the risks of overbrushing.

Like all things, brushing is best done in moderation, rather than excess

Proper Methods Of Brushing Your Teeth Safely

For many of us it will have been years since we’ve last gone over proper brushing techniques, but keeping those habits fresh is essential to our oral health. When brushing remember to use the following guidelines:

  • A 45-degree angle is most effective for cleaning teeth and gums
  • Brush strokes should be small, no more than a single tooth in size
  • Focus on your inner, chewing, and outer tooth surfaces equally
  • Vertical strokes are best for cleaning the inside surface
  • Mouthwash and flossing are essential follow-ups
  • Twice a day brushing is enough, avoid brushing more than this
  • Soft-bristled rounded bristles are best for dental care
  • Avoid abrasive substances like baking soda and charcoal

These guidelines will make sure you are taking great care of your teeth without overdoing it. There are instances where additional brushing during the day is appropriate, but it should be largely avoided. Especially sticky or acidic foods or after vomiting are notable exceptions.

Dental roots can be exposed by overbrushing, making them vulnerable to decay

Are You Brushing Too Often?

  • Bleeding Gums – If you experience gum bleeds when brushing there’s a possibility you’re brushing too much, or too hard. While gingivitis and periodontal disease are common causes, damaging your gums with overbrushing yields the same result.
  • Sensitive Teeth – Sensitivity in your teeth is the result of the dentin becoming exposed due to eroded enamel. Overbrushing is capable of wearing away at your enamel to the point where this symptom appears.
  • Brushing After Meals – We know that you want to give yourself the best chance at a beautiful smile, but brushing after every meal is going to work counter to your goal. It will keep your mouth and teeth fresh and clean, but it can also wear away at your enamel and hurt your gums.

Studies have shown that taking brushing to extremes poses a risk to your oral health. If you’re concerned you’re not brushing enough stop in and speak to your dental practitioner. They’ll go over your dental hygiene practices with you and let you know if you need more or less attention to your teeth.

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Desert Pearl Dentistry office

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