Are You Overbrushing Your Teeth?
If you zealously brush your teeth and floss every day, you should be saluted for your efforts. If you brush your teeth too much, however, you could actually be hurting your teeth. There are serious problems that can crop up if you brush your teeth for too hard or for too long.
What Are The Side Effects of Overbrushing?
When you brush your teeth too hard or for too long, you wear down the layers of enamel on your teeth. When you lose enamel, you lose the protection of your tooth enamel’s ability to protect your teeth. This means that your teeth will become more sensitive to hot and cold. Overbrushing can also lead to your gums receding. When your gums recede, they pull away from your teeth, which can lead to gum sensitivity.
Can Overbrushing Really Cause Damage?
Overbrushing is actually called toothbrush abrasion, which means that you are sanding down your teeth by brushing them too hard. Brushing your teeth too hard will leave them more susceptible to cavities. That’s because the bacteria that are already in your mouth will move towards areas of your teeth that are weakened due to overbrushing. Also, because your teeth have already become more sensitive, it will be easier for them to crack, chip or break as well.
When you overbrush your teeth, you also can wear away sensitive gum tissue. When the gum tissue erodes, it means the gums recede, and it will eventually expose tooth roots. This makes the roots more susceptible to root decay or disease.
How Would I Know If I Overbrushed?
There are signs you can look for to make sure that you are not overbrushing your teeth. Look for bent or splayed bristles. If the bristles on your toothbrush look bent or splayed, you are brushing too hard. You might also notice that your gums are swollen or irritated. Your gums might even bleed. You also might notice that your gums are receding as well.
To ensure that you don’t brush too hard, you need to remember these steps:
- You may want to try an electric toothbrush that uses water to clean your teeth.
- Brush with a soft-bristle toothbrush.
- Move around the tooth in a circular motion gently.
- Be sure that you are brushing no more than two minutes each time you brush.