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ARE YOU BRUSHING TOO MUCH? ASK YOUR FAMILY DENTIST IN OAK HILL!

Posted by Jack Fan Jul 04, 2018

Are you the type of person who is very particular about their oral health? Perhaps you brush more than twice a day or for several minutes at a time? While you may think that this extra brushing is doing your mouth a favor, it can actually do the exact opposite. According to your family dentist in Oak Hill, excessive brushing can cause permanent damage to teeth that can be easily prevented.

Keep reading to learn the negative side effects of overbrushing and the best habits to keep in mind.

THE CONSEQUENCES OF OVERBRUSHING

When you brush for too long or with too much force, it doesn’t actually do anything to remove more plaque. While plaque is constantly being formed in the mouth, brushing more won’t affect this formation rate. The only way to mitigate the amount of plaque that forms is by changing your diet.

One of the most common side effects of over brushing is enamel erosion. By brushing too long or to hard, you actually wear down enamel, which can expose the dentin layer underneath and increase tooth sensitivity. This only makes consuming hot and cold beverages, as well as daily oral care, more difficult.

Another common side effect of overbrushing is receding gums. As you overbrush, the gums begin to pull away from teeth, making them appear longer and expose the roots underneath. Not only will this affect your smile’s appearance and cause sensitivity, but it will also make your inner tooth more prone to infection. Since only cementum covers the root and not enamel or dentin, it’s much easier for bacteria to break down.

MANAGING YOUR ORAL CARE TOOLS

While technique is king when it comes to proper at-home care, you’ll also need to make sure that you’re using the right tools to get the job done. For example, patients should be replacing their toothbrush (or toothbrush head if it’s electric) every three months. Brushing with a toothbrush that has frayed bristles makes them far less effective at removing plaque and cleaning teeth evenly. They’re also much tougher on enamel, which is particularly bad if your bristles are hard or if you use a lot of force.

THE CORRECT WAY TO BRUSH

To avoid the consequences of overbrushing, take note of the following tips:

  • Brush for two minutes at a time only.
  • Only brush twice a day.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three months.
  • Confirm you aren’t brushing too hard. To do this, hold your brush with only your thumb and first two fingers. Plaque doesn’t require much pressure to remove.
  • Focus on reaching all the areas of your mouth instead of brushing for a long time or with more force.

Of course, you won’t know for sure that you’re brushing correctly until you schedule an appointment with your dentist in Oak Hill. Make sure to visit him every six months for exams and cleanings!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Jack Fan earned his Doctorate at the New York University College of Dentistry. During your dental checkup, he’s more than happy to help patients hone their brushing technique and offer recommendations on products that he thinks will benefit them safely, including soft-bristled toothbrushes and fluoridated mouth rinses. To learn more about his practice, contact him through his website.

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