Sometimes, less is more. That definitely holds true for people who use a lot of pressure and force when brushing their teeth. Brushing too hard or too much can damage your enamel and gums, and ultimately lead to nerve irritation, tissue sensitivity, and receding gums. When patients at My Family Dentistry experience tooth sensitivity and pain when drinking hot or cold beverages, even though they brush regularly, one of the first things we ask is how they brush their teeth.
“Am I brushing too hard?” Thinking about proper technique:
In the dental care profession, we usually tell you to brush thoroughly, and some people take that to the extreme. What we really mean is that you need to gently brush around all of your teeth, sufficiently cleaning all the grooves of your teeth, around your gum line, the backs of molars, and in between all teeth. It does not take rough brushing to get rid of plaque and debris; believe it or not, flossing and gentle brushing is enough to adequately clean your teeth.
Signs that you may be brushing too hard include:
- Enamel damage, even though you brush frequently
- Sensitive teeth and pain around the gum line
- The bristles of your toothbrush are splayed outward
- Tooth sensitivity that is not alleviated by avoiding acidic things like coffee, soda, and citrus
So, if you feel like you take great care of your teeth but end up with sensitivity or pain, ask yourself, “Am I brushing too hard?” If you are, first pick up a soft toothbrush to minimize damage to your gums. Then, the next time you brush, focus on brushing every surface of your teeth in gentle circles. Remember, you can’t power through your oral hygiene routine! Afterward, you may notice that your mouth feels perfectly clean even with a gentler cleaning.
If you have a more serious problem with brushing too hard, Oral-B has come out with some great technology to help. The Oral-B ProfessionalCare SmartSeries 5000 electric toothbrush has a built-in sensor that automatically stops the brush from pulsing if you’re brushing too hard. It’s a fail-safe tool that might be what you need if you can’t help but brush aggressively.
Great dental hygiene starts at childhood – encourage your kids to brush gently and thoroughly with our tooth-tastic Kids’ Coloring Book!
Download your free coloring book today:
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