Brushing your teeth is essential for good oral hygiene. The practice helps to remove plaque, bacteria and lingering food particles from the surface of your teeth. Getting rid of this buildup works to prevent the development of tooth decay and gum disease.
It would stand to reason, then, that brushing harder would polish your teeth clean, right? Wrong. Your toothbrush cannot polish your teeth; in fact, brushing too hard can be detrimental to your oral health.
What Happens if You Brush Too Hard?
Brushing your teeth too hard, or overbrushing, often happens as a result of good intentions gone wrong. Vigorous brushing can have some significant negative consequences for your mouth. First, you run the risk of receding gums.
Second, brushing too hard can actually wear away at the enamel of your teeth. Third, you greatly increase your risk of developing gum disease, which leads to a whole other set of significant oral health issues.
Signs of Overbrushing
There are a few warning signs that point to overbrushing:
- Receding gums.
- Visible wear on your enamel.
- Tooth sensitivity.
- The development of cavities on the roots of your teeth.
What Can You Do?
If you pay attention to the way you brush, you can stop overbrushing and lower your chances for developing these issues. There are also a few steps you can take to make sure you avoid developing this dangerous habit:
- Keep an eye on your toothbrush. On average, it should be replaced about every three months. If you notice signs of wear sooner, it could be a sign that you are brushing too hard.
- Brush gently. You don’t need to scrub hard, plaque is soft. You just need to be thorough and get every surface. Pay attention to the pressure you use. The bristles shouldn’t bend. Also, you should use small, circular motions.
- Buy the right brush. Make sure that your toothbrush is a soft bristled brush. This will help to prevent damage. You may also want to consider upgrading to an electric toothbrush, which will do most of the work for you.
Maintaining a good oral hygiene regimen is essential for your oral health, but trying to polish your teeth with your brush can be quite harmful. Along with brushing, don’t forget to floss every day and visit your dentist at least twice a year.
Please contact our office if you have any questions about brushing your teeth.