How Do I Know if I am Over Brushing?

How Do I Know if I am Over Brushing?

by Alex Hirsch (SU)

What could be difficult about brushing your teeth? But did you know the American Dental Association (ADA) has confirmed that there is a right and a wrong way to do it? Doing it right can mean a lifetime of beautiful, healthy teeth; doing it wrong could destroy your teeth and gums. Not brushing enough is an obvious “wrong;” consider the residual plaque and food you can leave behind by underbrushing. But overbrushing – brushing too hard or too much – is no better. How do you know if you are overbrushing? The best way is to follow ADA guidelines about how to correctly brush your teeth. These guidelines will help you know if you are overbrushing, and include:

Overly Vigorous Brushing

Gentle brushing, in a back and forth motion, is how the ADA recommends that teeth be brushed. Gentle, being the operative word. Many think the harder you brush the better it is. But remember, your teeth are not made of stainless steel. Brushing your teeth too vigorously can be harmful to tooth enamel. Even with a soft toothbrush, brushing your teeth too hard will wear down the enamel and also damage the gums to the extent that they will begin to recede. Eventually, receding gums expose the root, making the tooth sensitive to hot and/or cold foods. Additionally, cavities can form near the root of the teeth as periodontal disease sets in. People who brush their teeth too hard often find they require treatments such as fillings, root canals or even tooth extractions.

Tooth Abrasion

Tooth abrasion is a condition that’s been linked to overbrushing. Studies show that one in five American have experienced tooth damage as a result of overbrushing. Dentists have rightfully urged their patients to brush consistently and to take their oral health seriously, but some patients translate this into hardcore brushing, rather than purposeful brushing. To avoid brushing too hard, use a toothbrush with bristles that are soft and then brush gently to clean your teeth and gently stimulate your gums.

Symptoms of Over Brushing

One or more of the following symptoms may indicate that you are overbrushing.  

  • Sensitivity to hot or cold food, often caused by receding gums.
  • Bleeding gums. If you notice streaks of pink or red after rinsing and spitting during brushing, you’re probably brushing too hard or with a toothbrush with bristles that are not soft enough for your mouth.
  • Brushing longer than two minutes. Brush your teeth one section at a time, covering each tooth in each quadrant. Quit brushing when two minutes is up.
  • Receding gums that expose tooth roots are a painful symptom of over brushing.

When was the last time you saw your dentist? Maybe it’s time for a tutorial on the best ways to brush and floss, and Dedicated Dental will be happy to help! Located in Henderson, NV, Dedicated Dental provides an unmatched level of care to our patients and can meet the needs of your family. We will address your dental concerns and diagnose dental conditions. Simply call to request an appointment. Call Dedicated Dental today at 702-566-5509 or request an appointment online.