If you’re like most people, you probably think that “more is better” when it comes to brushing your teeth. While consistent brushing is certainly important for maintaining your dental and oral health, there is such a thing as brushing too much – whether that be too often or too aggressively. At Something To Smile About, top Merrimack, NH dentist Dr. Kevin Boulard helps patients understand proper brushing and flossing techniques to help prevent periodontal disease, tooth loss, and other dental problems. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the risks of overbrushing, as well as what treatment options you have to repair the consequences of brushing your teeth too hard over the years.
How do I know if I am brushing my teeth too hard?
Common signs that you may be brushing your teeth too hard include:
- Red or swollen gums
- Bleeding at the gumline
- Receding gumline
- Increased dental sensitivity to hot and cold
Is it possible to brush your teeth too much?
Absolutely. While a proper oral care routine includes brushing – something we encourage 2 – 3 times per day – too much brushing can actually damage your teeth. The same is true for brushing your teeth too hard or using a toothbrush with coarse bristles. Over time, these behaviors can wear away your tooth enamel, which is a vital substance for protecting the structural integrity of your teeth as well as your comfort.
Once enamel has been worn down, it will not regenerate, leaving your teeth exposed, sensitive, and susceptible to damage, cavities, infection, and other complications. Another side effect of brushing your teeth too hard is gum recession, which further adds to tooth sensitivity and may also lead to periodontitis (gum disease).
To avoid dental problems caused by overbrushing, Dr. Boulard helps patients understand proper brushing techniques.
How to avoid brushing your teeth too hard
Review these helpful tips to ensure you are brushing your teeth appropriately:
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Angle your toothbrush at about 45 degrees rather than brushing straight on
- Use your nondominant hand to reduce pressure
- Do not let the bristles become smashed
- Do not brush longer than two minutes
- Do not brush more often than 2 – 3 times per day
Have I damaged my teeth by brushing too hard?
During your regular dental exams and cleanings, which should be scheduled twice per year, Dr. Boulard will carefully evaluate for enamel erosion, gum recession, and other signs that you may be brushing too hard. Should Dr. Boulard identify any evidence of dental damage or gum disease, he may recommend one of the following treatments or procedures to help restore your oral health, function, and comfort:
- Scaling and root planing
- Gum grafting
- Filling and bonding
With a proper at-home oral care routine and an experienced dentist in Merrimack, NH, patients can maintain a beautiful, healthy, natural smile for a lifetime.
Protect your natural smile with a top dentist in Merrimack, NH
If you’re searching for a dentist in Merrimack, NH who can address your function, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry needs, call Something To Smile About to schedule your private consultation with experienced dentist Dr. Kevin Boulard today.