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Brushing Harder isn’t Better

When trying to remove a grass stain from a pair of pants, sometimes you need to put some extra muscle into scrubbing the stain out. The vigorous, back and forth scrubbing can help work the stain out and leave you with a clean pair of pants. While this brute force technique can be helpful with many things, when it comes to your teeth and gums, brushing harder is definitely not the solution. 

Why should you avoid brushing too hard?
We all want to have a healthy and polished smile. And while it may seem logical that the harder you brush the more plaque and grime you’ll remove, the fact is, overbrushing is counter-productive for the health of both your teeth and gums.

For teeth, brushing too hard erodes at the tooth enamel. With hard and constant scraping from your toothbrush you are wearing away at the outermost layer of your tooth enamel which is ultimately making you more vulnerable to developing cavities. Your teeth won’t be the only victim if you are brushing too hard. Overbrushing can eventually lead to a receding gum line. If enough of your gums or enamel wear away you can become at risk for developing sensitive teeth and roots.

So how should you be brushing?

1. Get the right tooth brush! Make sure your toothbrush has soft and flexible bristles. Hard bristles can begin to wear down your teeth. Replace your toothbrush once every 2 to 3 months, or as soon as the bristles start to look worn or bent.

2. Technique starts with the right grip. Keep a light grip on your tooth brush, as if you are writing with a pencil. A lighter grip means less tension in your arms which can help reduce the pressure you’re applying onto your teeth.

3. Baby Circles. Brush in a light circular motion, keeping your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle against your gum line. Instead of harshly scrubbing and scraping your toothbrush bristles against your teeth, think of it as if you should instead be lightly massaging your teeth. If the bristles are starting to bend while you brush, you’re brushing too hard!

4. Stay on top of your brushing and flossing. Brushing too hard is bad for your teeth and gums, but so is avoiding brushing all together. Brush at least twice a day, 2 minutes each time, and make sure you floss regularly as well.

5. Schedule regular cleanings with your dentist. We recommend visiting your dentist once every 6 months for a cleaning. By staying on top of your cleanings you can help avoid more serious dental problems down the line.

Call us at Dassani Dental to schedule your appointment today. 281.667.4070.

Dr. Meghna Dassani, DMD, a general, family & cosmetic dentist, offers dentistry with cleanings, teeth whitening and implants.

Posted in Dental News

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