Did you know that most Americans only brush their teeth once a day, for about one minute only? And, instead of brushing frequently enough and for the proper amount of time, a lot of patients brush too hard to compensate for the gaps in their oral hygiene routine. But, cutting corners when brushing your teeth can leave some serious marks on your smile – from gum recession to sensitive teeth to even exposure of the tooth root. How can you tell if you’re brushing too hard? And – how can you correct this problem? The Center for Advanced Dentistry, your premier dentist in Beachwood, gives you the tips you need to brush up on your oral hygiene routine and to keep your smile healthy and bright.
How Can I Tell If I’m Brushing Too Hard?
As your trusted family dentist in Beachwood, Dr. Benjamin Hornstein explains that there are several ways to tell if you’re overbrushing, which is defined as brushing too hard or too vigorously. If you notice the signs below, you should decrease the pressure you use when cleaning your pearly whites:
- The bristles on your toothbrush are squashed against your teeth when brushing.
- Your toothbrush bristles are frayed, worn, or bent.
- You have sensitive teeth.
- You have receding gums, or you notice notches or dents along your gum line.
- You have exposed tooth roots.
- You have cavities on tooth roots.
- Your enamel is worn.
Why Do People Brush Too Hard?
Many people brush too hard because they feel like they are unable to get their teeth clean unless using a lot of pressure and force. Although it’s counterintuitive, plaque is actually soft, so a gentle pressure will remove this icky substance as long as you brush all of the surfaces of your teeth for the right amount of time.
Be sure to brush often enough and for the proper duration of time to prevent tartar buildup, which can happen when plaque turns into this harder substance – and which can occur in just one week’s time. And, always may sure to see your dentist for regular preventive care to have a professional take care of the tartar on your teeth.
What Is The Proper Way To Brush?
Use the following tips to make sure your oral hygiene routine is safe and effective:
- 2×2 – Brush gently for two minutes, twice a day. Don’t use more pressure to compensate for brushing for less time or less frequently.
- 45-Degree Rule – When brushing your teeth, hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and only use enough pressure to make gentle contact with your teeth and gums. Use short, back-and-forth strokes, and ease up on the force if you notice your toothbrush bristles bending against the surface of your teeth.
- Soft Brush – Only choose toothbrushes that are soft-bristled, and be sure to change your toothbrush regularly – six months is no longer the rule of thumb, so swap out for a new one every month to three months to keep your smile safe.
- Brushing 101 – Want a quick refresher on proper technique? Watch this quick, helpful video to see if you’re on the right track.
To keep your smile happy and bright, use the strategies above and schedule your appointment with The Center for Advanced Dentistry to get more tips on how to brush correctly from Dr. Hornstein in person!