The Surprising Dangers of Overbrushing

Charlotte NC DentistBrushing your teeth is a critical step to optimal dental health. You should brush twice a day, for two minutes each session. However, while it may seem like an odd topic, there is such a thing as overbrushing, or brushing too much. If you brush too long, too hard and too often, you are subject to toothbrush abrasion.

Toothbrush Abrasion

Toothbrush abrasion occurs when the enamel of your teeth become worn down, thin or damaged due to your excessive brushing habits. According to estimates from The Wall Street Journal, as many as 20 percent of all Americans have experienced toothbrush abrasion from overbrushing.

When toothbrush abrasion occurs, the teeth often become sensitive to hot and cold and the gums may begin to recede. Gum recession is associated with gum disease and a greater risk for decay as the tooth roots are exposed to more plaque and bacteria. Another unwanted consequence of enamel damage is discoloration – the inner dentin layer may become more visible. Unfortunately, this layer has a yellow and darker hue than your enamel.

Change Your Habits

What is driving you to brush so often? Whether it is a fear of bad breath, obsession with white teeth or a compulsion to keep your mouth feeling clean, there are other ways to satisfy your needs without causing more harm than good. Consider using mouthwash, avoiding sticky and sugary foods and increasing your water intake. You can also chew sugarless gum to give your mouth a clean, fresh feeling after eating. If it’s white teeth you’re after, consider professional teeth whitening for a longer-lasting result.

Rules to Remember

While a twice a day cleaning is all that is typically needed, the timing of your brushing session is important too. Avoid going straight for your toothbrush after eating or drinking something acidic – as this will aggravate the abrasive drawbacks on your teeth. Instead, wait about an hour until you brush.

Your technique and tools are also critical. Try to avoid a hard, back and forth scrubbing action. Plaque is typically a soft and rather easy substance to remove, there is no need for aggressive force. In addition, make sure you are using a soft-bristled brush, especially if you have a habit of being an over-achiever when it comes to toothbrushing. This will protect your teeth and gums while still getting the job done.

Are you ready to scale back your overbrushing habits for the sake of your smile health? We’d love to help you. At Moores Chapel Dentistry, we can even restore your teeth damage or gum recession that was caused by previous overbrushing. Call our office today to learn more!

Posted on Behalf of Moores Chapel Dentistry

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