Can You Brush Your Teeth Too Hard And Too Often?


Many people mistakenly assume that if brushing your teeth is good and cleansing, then it’s best to try to scrub as much food and bacteria off as possible. However, this is not true.

Brushing your teeth is about more than removing food particles. Instead, brushing your teeth is meant to preserve the white enamel on the surface of each tooth. Plaque and bad mouth bacteria can eat away at the tooth enamel. So, getting rid of plaque and bacteria is good. However, if you brush too hard or persistently, you can actually remove tooth enamel – which means less white teeth and more susceptibility to plaque and bacteria.

Thus, people who brush too hard are harming their tooth enamel, which defeats the purpose of brushing. Below, we’ll discuss why.

What is Plaque?

Plaque is that white filmy gunk that collects at the bottom of your teeth near the gums. It can readily be removed with a device as pliant as a Q-tip. In other words, it requires very little force to remove plaque from your teeth. As a general rule, if you are bending the bristles of the brush, you are applying too much force to your teeth. Yes, tooth enamel is hard, but even enamel can’t withstand the daily assault of over-zealous brushing.

Effective Brushing

Brushing provides two benefits for your oral hygiene. First, it removes bits of food particles stuck in between your teeth. Second, it reinforces your enamel with fluoride which improves tooth strength. Neither of these requires that the brush be forcefully applied to teeth or gums. Plaque is incredibly soft and not overly sticky. When brushing, you want to focus on the area where your teeth and gums connect. If your gums bleed, it’s a sign of periodontal disease or you’re simply brushing too hard. The brush should be applied at a 45-degree angle to the tooth with the bristles touching the gums. Again, you don’t want to be bending the bristles back. Bleeding gums do not help prevent gum disease.

Other Ways of Dealing With Plaque

Effective brushing and flossing are the best ways of dealing with plaque. However, probiotics are a promising treatment that prevents disease-causing bacteria from producing plaque. Eating probiotic foods or using probiotics in pill form will help more than penetrating soft tissue with plastic bristles.

The bottom line is that brushing is supposed to remove plaque and fortify tooth enamel. If you brush too hard, you can damage tooth enamel which makes your teeth more susceptible to decay and will result in ugly discoloring.

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Peak Family Dental Care in Cottonwood is on the cutting edge of dental health and can help you deal with gum disease, gingivitis, and other chronic conditions. Call today to schedule an appointment and we begin making recommendations immediately!

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