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Easy Does It: Don’t Fall Victim to Over-brushing
By: ChanDent , Categories: Healthy Tips,Must Read , Comments Off on Easy Does It: Don’t Fall Victim to Over-brushing

Brushing your teeth is a good and healthy habit! But we’ve all heard the question, “is there ever too much of a good thing?” In the case of dentistry, there is.

When it comes to over-brushing, we are not referring to the frequency of teeth brushing, but rather, the pressure used while brushing teeth. Some people assume that the harder their push their toothbrush against their teeth and gums, the more plaque and debris it will remove. This is not the case!

Plaque is relatively easy to remove—the difficulty in removing it is reaching all the surfaces where it hides (hint: this is why we recommend flossing and mouth wash).

Indications You May Be Over-brushing

Man brushing teethThere are several “red flags” that may alert you to the fact that you’re over-brushing:

  • You’re using a medium- or hard-bristled tooth brush
  • Your gums are receding
  • Your dentist has said there are signs of wear on your enamel
  • Your toothbrush is wearing out too soon (a good toothbrush will typically last at least two months. If yours is showing signs of wear before then, you may be brushing too hard.)

Proper Brushing Technique

We suggest brushing your teeth for 2-3 minutes, twice daily. When you are brushing:

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Brush with the bristled at a 45-degree angle to the gum line
  • Move your brush in a circular motion over teeth, instead of “sawing” back and forth
  • Only apply enough pressure to feel the bristles against your gums. If you typically hold your toothbrush with a clenched fist, try holding it using just your pointer finger and thumb (like a pinching motion).

If you are concerned you are over-brushing, talk to Dr. Leonard about it during your next routine visit. To schedule an appointment, call 952-443-3368.