“Harder, better, faster stronger” may be the lyric of a popular Kanye West remix, but it should not describe the way you clean your teeth every day. In fact, brushing too hard can actually harm your teeth and gums. There is a difference between thorough brushing and aggressive brushing, and much of it comes down to using the proper technique. If you want to maintain a healthy smile that you can flash at the next concert you attend with friends, follow the preventive tips below from a dentist in Ephrata.
The Dangers of Brushing Too Hard
Brushing aggressively may seem like the best way to thoroughly clean your teeth, but in fact, applying too much pressure with your toothbrush can wear away the tooth enamel and cause your gums to recede, which in turn can lead to tooth sensitivity. In addition, losing the glossy outer layer of tooth enamel because of aggressive brushing will lead to a darker, less attractive smile as the dentin layer of your teeth is slowly revealed.
If you are not sure whether you are brushing too hard, stop and examine your toothbrush. If your toothbrush is relatively new but the bristles already look beat up and flat, that is a sure sign that you are applying too much pressure during your daily oral hygiene routine.
Proper Brushing Techniques
Brushing without the right technique can harm your teeth and gums and leave your mouth vulnerable to harmful plaque and tartar buildup. Follow these simple guidelines to keep your teeth healthy and clean:
- Apply the Right Amount of Pressure – Too much pressure when brushing your teeth can damage your gums, while too little pressure is not enough to remove plaque and other harmful bacteria from your teeth. Brushing your teeth should feel comfortable and not crush the bristles of the toothbrush.
- Choose the Right Toothbrush – Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and replace it roughly every three months — or sooner if it frays.
- Don’t Rush the Brush – The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice daily for two full minutes each time. If you easily get distracted or lose track of time, try setting an alarm on your phone when brushing.
- Clean All Sides of Your Teeth – Harmful plaque can build up on any side of the tooth, so be sure to spend at least 30 seconds brushing the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of your teeth.
- Short vs Long Strokes – Brushing in small, tight circles will allow you to get into the spaces between teeth much better than long strokes.
Maintaining a healthy smile requires both commitment and knowledge! For more oral hygiene tips, talk with your dentist in Ephrata today.
About the Practice
For over six decades, Ephrata families have relied on the expert and friendly team at Ephrata Family Dentistry for all their dental care needs. Dr. Sean Moriarty, Dr. Suzanne Ahnquist and Dr. Justin Ngo and their staff enjoy welcoming each patient that walks through their doors and are always happy to discuss proper oral hygiene habits. Patients old and new can learn more about Ephrata Family Dentistry by visiting their website online or by calling the office at 717-733-1088.