Are You Brushing Too Hard?
Brushing using a wrong toothbrush or too hard can affect your teeth, or worsen the existing dental conditions. Some of the side effects include gum recession, enamel wear and tooth sensitivity.
Notably, most people think using a hard-bristled toothbrush or brushing too hard will make their teeth cleaner and whiter. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Essentially, apart from causing gum recession, the enamel may wear out and turn yellowish and darker.
In case you’re not sure whether you’ve been brushing too aggressively, take a look at your toothbrush. If you’ve been using it for 3 months or less, it should look relatively new. If the brush looks flat and beat-up, that’s a sign you have been brushing your teeth way too hard.
The Proper Way To Clean Your Teeth.
- Use Soft-Bristled Toothbrush.
Choose a toothbrush with an ADA seal and replace it after every 3 months, or as soon as it starts to fray.
- Brushing Angle.
Place your toothbrush at an angle of 45° with respect to the gum line. This way, the bristles will effectively clean underneath the gum line, without affecting your gums.
- Use Gentle, Backward And Forward Strokes.
Move your toothbrush forward and backward gently. The strokes should be wide and short. Clean the outer, inside and the chewing surface using the same technique. However, if you have gum recession, your local dentist may recommend the roll brushing technique.
If you are using an electric toothbrush, don’t press it against your teeth and gums— lightly glide it over your teeth, and let it do all the work. To make sure you’re gentle on your teeth, try using your non-dominant hand.
- Take It Slow.
You should brush for two minutes, thirty seconds in each quadrant(quarter) at least twice a day. You can use an electric timer that alerts you after every 30 seconds, or simply set a timer on your phone. Essentially, the timer will help prevent aggressive brushing and over-brushing.
- Consider Rinsing With Fluoride Mouthwash.
Any ADA approved mouthwash will help make your enamel stronger. This reduces the chances of eroding the enamel during brushing. Moreover, it will remove food particles from your teeth and gums.
Gum recession exposes the nerves, which leads to tooth sensitivity and pain. The trick is to use an ADA approved, soft-bristled toothbrush, and avoid using a toothpaste that is too heavy on minerals.
Brush twice a day using short strokes in a forward and backward motion. When brushing, think of it like massaging the teeth, and not scraping off the dirt. You are also advised to replace your toothbrush after 3 months, or as soon as the bristles begin to fold. Worn out or flat bristles will make you use excessive pressure during brushing.
Incorporating these simple tips will help keep your teeth healthy and sparkling clean. It may take time to adjust, but after learning these tips, tooth sensitivity will be a thing of the past. Get started today!