Brushing harder isn’t necessarily better, even if it feels like you’re cleaning your teeth more effectively. Hard tooth brushing can create irreversible damaged to your smile that can cause complications later on. Here are 3 ways to find out if you’re brushing your teeth too hard:
Your toothbrush bristles splay out after just a month or two.
Some patients admit that their toothbrush bristles begin to splay out after just a few weeks of use. Even after 4 of 5 months of use, a toothbrush shouldn’t do this. This is one of the easiest ways to tell if you’re using too much pressure when you brush. You should only apply enough pressure to cause gentle blanching of the gums.
Your gums are beginning to recede
Gum tissues should follow the contour of your tooth crown. If the gums begin to creep up the root of the tooth, this is called recession. Aggressive scrubbing and brushing can cause soft tissues to recede. This exposes root surfaces which can easily decay or become sensitive to different temperatures.
You see notches in your tooth enamel.
Believe it or not, brushing can wear away your tooth enamel. This is called enamel abrasion – and often occurs on the portion of the tooth closest to the gumlines. Notching begins very mild, but can lead to sharp angles taken out of the tooth that expose the yellow inner surfaces of the tooth.
Switch to an electric or extra-soft toothbrush, and apply only a very light amount of pressure when you brush. Your dentist can recommend gum grafting or composite bonding for areas of severe abrasion or recession.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Lawrence Rosenman, Springfield Lorton Dental Group
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