08 Jan Are You Brushing Too Hard? | 6 Tips for Better Tooth Brushing
Posted by: Jodie Blades Dental Nurse NVQ Level 3
Medically reviewed by: Dr Peta Leigh BDS (Melb), BSc (Monash)
Think brushing harder means cleaner teeth? Think again!
Aggressive brushing can erode the tough enamel shield, letting dentin show through, making teeth appear yellow and increasing sensitivity. Over time, gums can pull away from your teeth, exposing sensitive roots and weakening tooth support.
Not only does it hurt, but brushing too hard can lead to increased plaque buildup, higher risk of cavities, and even tooth loss
Damage to your teeth and gums
Many people think that brushing their teeth as hard and fast as they can, gives them a healthy, clean and white smile.
In fact, it has the opposite effect. Brushing your teeth in this way wears away the white, glossy enamel making your teeth look yellow and darker.
It can also cause your gums to recede, which leaves the roots of your teeth exposed, causing a whole host of dental problem.
- Tooth Sensitivity
- Teeth Appear Longer
- Tooth Movement
- Tooth Loss
- Increased Risk of Gum Disease
Proper Tooth Brushing Technique
If you suspect you are brushing your teeth too hard, a good guide is the state of your toothbrush. Even if you have been using it for a few months it should still appear relatively new. If the bristles look flat and spread out, then you are brushing too hard!
Changing habits is never easy but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Follow these proper toothbrushing tips and your teeth and gums will thank you.
Use a soft bristled toothbrush – And make sure the toothbrush fits comfortably in your mouth, allowing you to get to the teeth at the very back without causing discomforted.
Next, try loosening you’re grip, if you are guilty of brushing your teeth too hard you will no doubt grab hold of the brush ready to get aggressive with your toothbrushing, changing the way you hold your toothbrush will make a huge difference to your technique.
Use your toothbrush at a 45 degree – holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums, allows you to clean right up to the gum line to clean away any plaque and food debris, without the need for vigorous brushing.
Clean every single tooth – Using small circular motions, be mindful of every single tooth and the fact that they each have an outer surface, inner surface, chewing surface, as well as in between each tooth.
Start with the outer surfaces of every single tooth and then move on to the inner surface.
Hold the brush vertically and use upward strokes to clean the inner surface of your teeth.
Then, use short strokes in a back-and-forth motion to clean the chewing surface of your back teeth. And don’t forget to brush your tongue!
Set a timer – Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth for a full 2 minutes twice a day.
If you are guilty of brushing to hard it is likely that you never truly brush your teeth for 2 minutes, instead opting for a more vigorous, quick clean. To help you break bad habits, take your time with your toothbrushing routine. Setting a timer will show you just how long 2 minutes feels.
Consider an electric toothbrush – If you have sensitive teeth (due to brushing too hard) you may want to try the tips above first, as electric toothbrushes can irritate sensitive teeth.
But electric toothbrushes are great for a thorough, yet gentle clean. Try choosing one that senses when you are brushing too hard.
Floss! – Flossing everyday helps to remove the bacteria your toothbrush misses. Use a dental floss that fits between your teeth and gums, without discomfort.
Next gently massage the floss under the gumline of your tooth, be mindful that you should do this very gently, especially if you are new to flossing.
Then, curve the floss around the tooth a drag it downwards to remove the plaque and food debris.
If you are concerned that you may have caused irreversible damage to your teeth through brushing too hard, or if you have any other dental concerns please get in touch!
Our friendly team of experts can help you with proper toothbrushing techniques and take care of any dental problems you might have.
Take advantage of our New Patient Offer and book your dental exam today!