Many of us were raised with the idea that if we scrub at our teeth hard enough, our teeth will become white and clean. But in reality, brushing your teeth too hard can be very damaging.
Dr. Taylor, our dentist here at Taylor General & Cosmetic Dentistry, has seen many people with clear signs of dental damage due to their teeth brushing habits, and he wants to help you check if you are brushing your teeth too hard.
What Hard Brushing Does To Your Teeth
There are many negative side-effects to brushing your teeth too hard. If you are brushing your teeth too hard, here are some of the clearest signs that you will see.
Wears Enamel Down
Being rough as you brush your teeth will thin down the enamel protecting the dentin below. Also, as the dentin is yellow in color, instead of making your teeth whiter with hard teeth brushing, you will have more yellow showing through the thinned enamel.
While the yellow color can be corrected with professional teeth whitening or other dental services we provide, it’s easier to avoid altogether by not being so hard on your teeth.
Creates Space For Trapped Food
Enamel doesn’t wear down evenly, and the bristles of your toothbrush can create grooves in the surface of your teeth. These grooves can trap food particles and make the difficult to remove if you don’t carefully—and gently—brush your teeth.
Also, if the food particles become trapped, it is more likely that bacteria will reach it before you can with a toothbrush, leading to more tooth decay.
Can Cause Receding Gums
If you are brushing your teeth too hard, you will likely experience receding gums. As it isn’t a quick process, it may time to notice that your gums have receded.
You may see a color difference on your teeth as well as seeing that your smile is “toothier” than you remember. Also, brushing too hard can make your gums bleed, even if you don’t have gum disease.
Develops Tooth Sensitivity
As your teeth become more exposed, by worn down enamel and gum recession, you may notice that your teeth have become more sensitive to the hot and cold things you consume. This sensation is to be expected, as the areas that are being exposed by hard brushing are not used to feeling temperature changes.
If you have noticed these signs that indicate that you are brushing your teeth too hard, then it’s time to take steps to correct the problem.
Ways To Prevent Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard
There are several practices you can start implementing if you are brushing your teeth too hard. Some of the best things you can do are:
- Use a soft-bristle toothbrush – A hard-bristled toothbrush makes it easy to brush too hard, so our dentist always recommends that you opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush instead.
- Brush at a 45-degree angle – By brushing your teeth at a 45-degree angle, you will be able to clean the spaces between your teeth and your gums more easily, rather than just covering the flatter surfaces of your teeth. And by consciously brushing at this angle, it will be easier to remember to not brush too hard.
- Keep movements gentle – Rather than attack your teeth like you’re scrubbing tile, make sure you keep your brushing movements gentle. Your teeth don’t require nearly the amount of pressure as we think, so you can go easy on them. If it helps, hold your toothbrush with just 3 fingers, as it is less likely that you will exert too much pressure.
- Electric toothbrushes can help – Opting for a soft-bristled electric toothbrush can also help to prevent brushing too hard as you just need to move it across your teeth, allowing you to keep from applying too much pressure.
- Spend 2 minutes brushing – Many people speed through their teeth brushing, which makes it easier to end up brushing their teeth too hard. Instead, you should make sure that you take a full 2 minutes to brush your teeth. By taking the needed time, it is easier to slow down and brush your teeth more gently.
Have Your Teeth Checked By Dr. Taylor
If you are concerned that you have been brushing your teeth too hard, we recommend you come in to meet with Dr. Taylor. You can have a full dental cleaning and checkup, and if there are signs of hard brushing or other issues, Dr. Taylor can help you overcome these dental issues.
To have a dental cleaning with Dr. Taylor or to access other dental services, contact us today to set up your appointment.