Woman looking in the mirror while brushing her teeth

As the dentist always says, brushing your teeth regularly is the best way to keep them looking great and lasting a lifetime. But if you get carried away and start brushing your teeth too vigorously, you could be doing more harm than good. Here’s how to tell if you’re brushing your teeth too hard and, if so, how to get it right.

Signs You’re Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard

If you’re conscientious about your oral hygiene, that’s to be applauded. Brushing twice a day removes plaque and helps prevent tooth decay. Most people probably don’t think about whether it’s possible to brush their teeth too much. You might be surprised to learn, then, that there can be too much of a good thing when it comes to teeth brushing.

  • Yellow or brown spots on your teeth near the gumline cause dental abrasion or tooth structure loss due to forces from a foreign object—in this case, your toothbrush. You might also notice wedge or V-shaped indentations along the gumline.
  • Tooth sensitivity is often the result of dental abrasion that’s exposed the dentin layer’s nerve endings. You might feel pain or discomfort when you eat or drink something hot, cold, sweet, or sour.
  • Overzealous brushing can cause your gums to recede and expose vulnerable roots. Your teeth not only hurt, but they’re also at greater risk of decay.
  • A hard toothbrush might seem like it’s the best choice to get your teeth as clean as possible, but a too-hard brush can damage your gums and cause gum recession.

How to Avoid Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard

Brushing twice a day is important, but you also need to learn the proper techniques so you don’t destroy enamel or damage your gums.

  1. Choose a soft or extra-soft toothbrush and, when brushing, hold it with three fingers to reduce the amount of pressure you place on your teeth.
  2. An electric toothbrush allows you to merely guide it over your teeth. Don’t use the same back and forth motion with an electric toothbrush as you do a manual brush. It can wear at your gums.
  3. Keep your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums so that it cleans underneath the gumline.
  4. Replace your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every three months; sooner if the bristles are frayed.

A Few More Tips!

Don’t forget to floss before or after you brush. Many dentists recommend using a dental rinse. Also, brushing or scraping your tongue helps keep your mouth as healthy as possible.

Another great way to protect your teeth from over-brushing is to see your dentist regularly. Twice a year is recommended. If you have other dental problems like gum disease, you might want to schedule more frequent check-ups. Professional plaque build-up removal is one of the best ways to prevent gum disease and tooth decay.

To schedule a checkup and learn more about the proper techniques for brushing your teeth and protecting your oral health, contact Kanehl Dental Group today. Your smile and your gums will thank you!