Do you abuse your teeth?
It’s pretty common to see patients to are damaging their teeth and gums by over-zealously brushing too aggressively – some report that well over 50% of their patients fall into this category of brushing too hard. A stiff-bristled toothbrush combined with brushing too hard on your teeth can, over time, cause very serious dental problems. The ironic thing is that the problems that result from brushing ‘too hard’ include gum disease and tooth sensitivity – issues pretty much all people who brush too aggressively are trying desperately to avoid.
This is an issue of patient education, not effort. I am so pleased to see so many people eager to keep their dental health a priority, and with some small corrections in brushing techniques this problem can easily be resolved.
Significant damage to the periodontal tissues and bones that support the teeth. To better understand – imagine if you used the same amount of force and brush the side of your arm … many people are brushing hard enough to take their skin off. This is much too hard on your precious teeth!
1) One easy fix to avoid damaging your teeth and gums is to purchase a “soft” toothbrush featuring rounded bristles – these brushes are more gentle and less abrasive to teeth.
2) Hold your toothbrush between your thumb and forefinger, not with your fist, or closed/clenched hand.
3) When brushing, do not `scrub’ the teeth with a horizontal, back-and-forth motion. Instead, start at the gum line and angle the brush at a 45-degree angle. Brush both the teeth and the gums at the same time.
4) Push hard enough ONLY to get the bristles under the gumline. The bristles should NOT fan out when you brush.
5) You can also limit the amount of toothpaste because it is abrasive.
In addition to these steps above, the best thing you can do to ensure a clean and healthy mouth is to brush LONGER, not harder.
Removing plaque from your mouth requires at least 2 – 5 minutes of brushing at least twice a day. Yes, 2 – 5 minutes! So, get out your egg timer and get to brushing gently on your pearly whites 🙂
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