Did you know that it is possible to brush your teeth too hard?
Brushing your teeth twice a day is the recommended best practice when it comes to good oral habits. If you follow this advice and clean your teeth morning and night, then you should feel proud of your dental care habits. However, some people take this oral care step too far and manage to overbrush their teeth. Yes, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing – even when it comes to good oral habits.
To learn if you may be among those who brush their teeth too hard, watch for these signs:
- Receding Gums
- Sensitive teeth
- Bleeding gums
Gum recession has several potential causes, and one of them is overbrushing. Brushing your teeth too hard can damage the delicate gum tissue and cause it to recede backward. This process can cause teeth to look longer and feel sensitive as well as lead to swollen, red, or tender gums. You may see areas where the gum does not reach the tooth and instead a brownish area remains. Gum recession can eventually expose tooth roots and lead to
painful sensitivity and even tooth loss.
Your gum tissue needs to be brushed as well as your teeth but gentle brushing maneuvers are all you need. When it comes to your gums a gentle touch is better than an aggressive touch. Brushing your gums harshly could aggravate existing gum recession and cause gums tissue to recede further. Your gums play a critical role in supporting and protecting your teeth, so if you think you may be suffering from this condition, then ask about your treatment options during your next dental office visit.
Having sensitive teeth is no fun. In fact, some people have such sensitive teeth that they can only eat or drink things at room temperature. Anything hot or cold will be too uncomfortable to consume. Brushing too harshly can lead to tooth sensitivity.
Tooth enamel helps give you a bright smile, but it’s also responsible for protecting your teeth. If you brush your teeth aggressively, you may wear down the enamel and expose the sensitive dentin underneath, which can lead to tooth sensitivity. Also, as mentioned, overbrushing can cause tooth sensitivity due to gum recession, and this happens because the gums no longer cover the entire tooth root. Exposed tooth roots can be both uncomfortable and put you at greater risk for cavities, so it’s best not to ignore this symptom of overbrushing.
While sensitive teeth can be treated with the right oral care habits, specific toothpaste, and help from your dentist, once tooth enamel is gone it can’t be replaced.
Lastly, one of the most common signs of aggressive tooth brushing is bleeding gums. Contrary to what many people believe, it’s not normal for gums to bleed during brushing. Bleeding gums are often a symptom of gingivitis and poor oral hygiene, but they can also signal that you’re brushing your teeth too hard. If you clean your teeth consistently and find that your gums are swollen, red, or tend to bleed, then consider brushing more gently and switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush.
How to Prevent Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard
- Watch your toothbrush
- Be gentle with your brushing
- Use an electric toothbrush
- Replace your toothbrush regularly
One of the easiest steps to help reduce your risk of brushing too hard, refrain from using a medium or hard bristle brush. The best toothbrush to use for your teeth is a soft brush. Soft or even extra soft brushes can do just as an effective a job at cleaning your teeth, and are less likely to damage your enamel.
When brushing hold your toothbrush with only three fingers or use an electric toothbrush to help from brushing too hard. Both of these will help ease the pressure you are putting on your teeth when you brush. Additionally, don’t forget to buy a new toothbrush every few months and floss daily.
While undergoing teeth cleanings and dental check-ups in Lake Stevens WA, patients are frequently told how vital it is to brush their teeth twice per day, every day. We certainly advocate that our patients follow good oral hygiene habits but we also want to make sure they don’t go overboard.
So keep up the good habits when it comes to brushing and flossing – just make sure you don’t overdo it and cause harm to your teeth and gums by overbrushing or brushing too hard.