Dentists are always reminding their patients to brush their teeth. This daily habit rids the teeth of plaque and plays a huge role in preventing cavities and gum disease. If you are a diligent brusher, you deserve a pat on the back! Unfortunately, however, some individuals go a little overboard with their toothbrush and actually end up hurting their oral health. How can you tell if you are overbrushing? How can you adjust your brushing technique to protect your teeth? Let’s discuss these important questions.
The Dangers of Overbrushing
Dental enamel is very hard, but it is vulnerable to toothbrush abrasion in Creve Coeur. If you apply too much pressure when you are cleaning your teeth, you can cause premature wear and tear, which can make the teeth extra sensitive. You could even end up damaging your gums and cause them to recede.
Are You Overbrushing?
The Wall Street Journal reported that dentists estimate that 10 – 20 percent of the population have accidentally damaged their teeth or gums via overbrushing. Are you among that number? Here are a few signs that indicate you might need to adjust your brushing technique:
- Your teeth are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
- Your teeth look longer than they used to. This is a sign of gum recession. Many people who overbrush only do so in part of their mouth, so the gum recession may be limited to just a few teeth.
- You have to replace your toothbrush more often than every three months because the bristles get worn out quickly.
Proper Brushing Technique
You can keep your teeth clean without accidentally damaging them if you:
- Be gentle when you are brushing. Plaque is soft, and it is easy to remove with light pressure.
- Use short, tooth-wide strokes when brushing. Avoid using a saw-like, back and forth type of motion.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Medium or hard bristles are much more likely to damage tooth enamel.
- Consider using an electric toothbrush. An electric toothbrush does most of the brushing work for you. You can simply guide it over your teeth while applying very little pressure.
- Ask your hygienist or dentist in Creve Coeur for help in mastering your brushing technique.
But what if you have been overbrushing for years and have already caused some damage to your teeth and gums? Schedule a checkup with your dentist and tell them about your concerns. If the damage is not too bad, you may not require any additional treatment. In severe cases, however, restorative procedures become necessary. For example, if the brushing has caused deep grooves in your teeth, your dentist might fill them in with a tooth-colored bonding material.
Brushing your teeth is vital if you want to maintain a healthy mouth, but you must take care that your daily oral hygiene routine isn’t endangering your smile’s well-being.
About Our Practice
Drs. James and Jenna Feigenbaum provide a range of general dentistry services to families in Creve Coeur and throughout the greater St. Louis area. If you would like their advice on how you can improve your oral hygiene routine, or you have other questions about your dental health, contact our office today at 314-567-1777.