If you’ve ever worried about that little piece of spinach caught in your teeth after lunch, or you didn’t realize how much garlic was in your salad dressing, you know the drill. Most of us will rush to brush our teeth as soon as we can. That knee-jerk reaction of “rush to brush” can sometimes do more harm than good.
So yes, sometimes there is such a thing as over-brushing your teeth. Although you certainly don’t want to spend the afternoon with spinach in your teeth, just be sensible about how many times a day your brush, how long you brush, and how hard. Over-brushing can spell trouble.
Dangers Of Over-Brushing
Dentistry offices and professionals recommend that we brush about 2 times a day for approximately 2-3 minutes. If you are over-sensitive about your breath or about leaving pieces of food in your mouth, brushing every single time you eat anything is not really necessary. In fact, it can cause negative effects. Carry around some dental floss for a quick touch-up and to freshen your breath.
Brushing too hard is quite common. We think if we use a lot of pressure, our teeth will be cleaner and free of plaque. Unfortunately this technique can lead to damaging the surface of our teeth and wearing down the enamel. Plaque is soft and loose and easy to remove. Brushing harder is not necessary.
We can damage our gums if we brush too hard or too long. You are not trying to scrub your teeth clean, just reach all the surfaces that you can with a brush. It doesn’t matter if you use an electric brush or a regular one — take it easy. Our gums can become inflamed or begin to recede with too much harsh brushing.
In this particular case, less is more.
Best Practices For Healthy Teeth And Gums
The dentistry office of Oakville Place Dental Office recommends using a soft brush. If you have only used hard brushes, start by finding something softer.
The longer we keep a single tooth brush, the more the ends of the bristles will split. Eventually you are not only using something with bacteria but with sharp and damaging bristles. Our office recommends that patients change their toothbrush every couple of months of less. Buy 2 or 3 of a brush you like so you can switch out the minute your old brush needs to be replaced.
Try to reach every surface of your teeth, including the inside. Make brushing your tongue part of your routine.
Carefully clean the area where the gum meets your teeth. If you turn your brush at a 45-degree angle, you can get just under the gum line for extra cleaning. Avoid brushing from side to side. Instead, use an up-and-down and soft circular motion.
A dentistry office can show everyone in your family exactly how to do this.
If you need help determining the best brushing method for your children or for you, don’t hesitate
to contact Oakville Place Dental Place.
We offer a range of oral health services for you and your entire family.