Scrub those teeth! Get rid of those plaque germs and bad breath! Brush harder! Brush faster!
How many of us have given it our all, only to visit the dentist and find out that we still have plaque, cavities, or receding gums? It happens to millions of patients every day, and the problem may have more to do with your technique rather than your good intentions.
Brushing too hard can be more harmful than beneficial, and the consequences can cause permanently irreversible damage.
Brushing too hard can be more harmful than beneficial, and the consequences can cause permanently irreversible damage. To understand the importance of brushing smarter not harder, consider these oral hygiene facts:
- Only soft buildup like plaque and food debris can be removed with brushing and flossing. Hardened tarter cannot be brushed away, no matter how hard you may scrub.
- Most toothpaste brands contain abrasive ingredients that are designed to make the enamel smoother and reduce stains. Many of the products that are marketed as ‘whitening’ are much more abrasive than regular the regular formulas.
- A back-and-forth or “sawing” brushing pattern can tear away the delicate gum tissues and pull them away from the teeth. This results in receding gums that leave the tooth roots vulnerable and unprotected.
- Years of brushing too hard with an abrasive toothpaste can actually scrub away the outer layer of enamel, leaving a deep groove in the side of the tooth. This thinning or removal of the outer layer of enamel increases the possibility of tooth decay and also general sensitivity.
A good, brisk scrubbing can make your mouth feel tingly and clean. Unfortunately, the heavy-handed approach does very little to prevent dental diseases. In fact, pressing down on your toothbrush can actually make the bristles less effective and you will notice that the bristles will wear out faster. Bristles that are flared or flattened are a sign that you’ve been brushing too hard.
Rather than brushing aggressively and damaging your smile, contact the dental office of Dr. Owen C. Mandanas and ask about the proper way to improve your oral health.