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HOW TO KNOW IF YOU’RE OVERBRUSHING (AND WHY YOU SHOULD STOP)

Posted by Jack Fan Dec 21, 2020

Have you experienced dental sensitivity? Does your smile seem to be getting duller and duller every time you brush your teeth? If so, you could be brushing too hard. Some think that using a medium or hard-bristled brush or pressing down while brushing will clean their teeth better, but that’s not the case. In fact, forceful brushing, also known as tooth abrasion, can harm your smile in more ways than you think. Here are 4 signs that you may be brushing your teeth too hard in South Austin and how it can cause irreversible damage to your teeth.

SPLAYED BRISTLES

An easy way to tell if you are brushing your teeth too hard is to look at your toothbrush. With frequent use, it is common for the bristles to become frayed, which is why most dentists recommend replacing them every 3 months. But if your bristles begin to fray before 3 months have passed, you are probably overbrushing. 

RECEDING GUMS

Medium or hard-bristle brushes can damage both your teeth and your gums. Habitual irritation to your gums can lead them to bleed and eventually cause them to recede. If the roots of your teeth are exposed, it is safe to say that your gums have probably begun to recede.

A LACKLUSTER SMILE

Forceful brushing, especially with medium or hard bristles, can result in you brushing away your enamel. Your enamel is what makes your teeth shiny and white in color and protects your teeth from extreme temperatures. If your smile is dull and yellow, it’s very possible that you’ve worn down your enamel and exposed the dentin underneath. 

DENTAL SENSITIVITY

If you’ve unintentionally brushed away your enamel and exposed your dentin, the tiny tubules that connect to nerve tissue, your teeth will become more sensitive to hot and cold food and drinks. Once your enamel is gone, it cannot grow back. However, your dentist may recommend that you start using desensitizing toothpaste or mouthwash. With frequent use, it will block pain signals to your dental nerves and minimize pain. If you’ve only weakened your enamel, your dentist may suggest a toothpaste that can help strengthen and remineralize your enamel.

Brushing and flossing on a regular basis is an important part of proper dental care. But cleaning your teeth shouldn’t be like scrubbing the grout between tiles. Brushing your teeth should be more of a massage, starting at the gum line and making small circles over the entire surface of each tooth. If any of these symptoms sound familiar, it’s a good idea to schedule a visit with your family dentist in South Austin and make a plan to save your smile.

About the Author

At The Dental Centre, Dr. Jack Fan and his staff are committed to providing high-quality dental care in a comfortable environment. His dedication to continued education gives him the ability to offer the latest techniques in dentistry and help each patient achieve the healthy beautiful smile they deserve. Dr. Fan’s dental services include everything from general cleanings to restorative dentistry and more. For more information, visit the website or contact the office at (512) 361-4288.

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