Everybody understands that good oral hygiene starts with brushing our teeth frequently, flossing daily, drinking lots of water, and keeping a balanced diet plan. However, what the majority of people don't think about is just how much pressure they are using on their teeth while doing their brushing.
is something that happens when someone is using too much pressure while brushing, normally with hard- or medium- bristled toothbrushes
. In fact, it is estimated that as many as 20% of adults have hurt their teeth (and gums) by brushing with excessive force. The enamel, which is the external part of the tooth, is the most durable part of the body—stronger, even, than our bones. Brushing too hard weakens this outer defensive layer, which makes us more vulnerable to cavities and germs. Additionally, brushing too frequently and using too much pressure can result in gum recession. The recession of the gum line can cause sensitive teeth, exposed roots, and early tooth loss.
Kevin Sheu, DDS and director of Delta Dental's professional services, says "Plaque
is so soft that you could remove it with a rag if you could reach all the surfaces where it hides." He also says that brushing with more force or more times a day won't make the condition of your teeth any better: “Thoroughness is what is required for plaque removal, not aggressive brushing.”
Below are a number of helpful tips to remember while brushing so that you can prevent toothbrush abrasion:
- When you're brushing your teeth, hold the head of the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gumline.
- Use brief strokes and a scrubbing motion instead of moving the brush back and forth across your teeth.
- Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush instead of a hard-bristled one.
- Brush your teeth using your non-dominant hand in order to prevent applying excessive force.
- See Drs. Mills, Snyder, and Winks regularly for dental exams