Everybody understands that proper oral hygiene starts with brushing our teeth regularly, flossing daily, drinking plenty of water, and preserving a balanced diet plan. The majority of dental practitioners advise brushing twice a day for a minimum of two minutes. What most people do not consider, however, is how much pressure they are using while brushing.
Abrasion from over-brushing occurs when one is applying too much pressure while brushing their teeth, generally with a toothbrush with medium or hard bristles. Furthermore, it is thought that as many as 20% of adults have actually damaged their teeth and gums because of brushing too aggressively. The external part of a tooth is called enamel, and it is the strongest mineral in the human body, more durable than even our bones. Excessively forceful brushing compromises this outer protective layer, which makes us more susceptible to cavities and bacteria. Also, brushing too often and utilizing too much pressure can lead to gum recession. Gum recession may cause exposed roots, sensitive teeth, and even early tooth loss.
Kevin Sheu, DDS, and director of Delta Dental’s professional services, says “Plaque is so soft that you could remove it with a rag if you could reach all the surfaces where it hides.” He likewise explains that brushing your teeth with more force or more often won’t make for any extra advantages. “Thoroughness is what is required for plaque removal, not aggressive brushing.”
Below are a few helpful hints to remember when brushing your teeth so that you can prevent tooth abrasion:
- Brush with the toothbrush head at an angle that’s 45-degrees to the gumline.
- Brush with brief strokes and a scrubbing motion rather than going back and forth.
- Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush instead of a hard-bristled one.
- Use your non-dominant hand to help you avoid applying excessive force.
- Be sure to make regular check-ups with your dentist.
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