Everyone knows that proper oral health begins with brushing and flossing our teeth routinely, drinking plenty of water, and keeping a balanced diet. Many dental experts advise brushing twice a day for a minimum of two minutes. What the majority of people don't consider, though, is the pressure they are applying to their teeth while doing their brushing.Abrasion
happens when the user is applying too much pressure while brushing, generally with hard- or medium- bristled toothbrushes. Furthermore, it's believed that approximately 20% of adults have harmed their teeth and gums because they brush too strongly. The enamel, the external layer of the tooth, is the most durable part of our bodies, even more durable than our bones. Brushing too hard wears down this outer protective layer, which makes us more susceptible to bacteria and cavities. Additionally, brushing too frequently and utilizing too much pressure can result in receding gums. The recession of the gumline can lead to exposed roots, tooth sensitivity, and even premature tooth loss.
Director of Delta Dental's professional services, Kevin Sheu, DDS, says "Plaque
is so soft that you could remove it with a rag if you could reach all the surfaces where it hides." He also says that brushing your teeth with more force or more often isn't going to give additional advantages. "Thoroughness is what is required for plaque removal, not aggressive brushing."
Below are a number of handy points to remember while brushing your teeth so that you can avoid toothbrush abrasion:
- When you're brushing, hold your toothbrush head at a 45-degree angle to your gumline.
- Brush with brief strokes and a scrubbing motion instead of going back and forth.
- There's no benefit to a hard-bristled brush
. Choose a soft-bristled one, instead.
- Brush with your non-dominant hand to help you avoid using excessive pressure.
- See Dr. Hill
routinely for dental exams.