Brushing your teeth is arguably the most important part of oral hygiene, and it’s important to maintain a good routine. But sometimes we mistake vigorous brushing with deep cleaning, and this can actually lead to overbrushing and tooth and gum damage. Not sure if you’re brushing your teeth too much or too hard? Read on to see if you’re making common mistakes and learn how to make sure you’re cleaning your teeth just the right amount.
What is Overbrushing?
Brushing too hard can wear away the enamel on your teeth, reducing the protective top layer and making your teeth more sensitive to hot and cold, as well as causing aesthetic damage such as discolouration. It can also damage gums, causing them to recede and eventually expose your teeth’s nerve roots, which can cause sensitivity and pain.
How do I Know if I’m Overbrushing?
If you’re not sure how much pressure you should be putting on your toothbrush when brushing your teeth, you can look out for signs of overbrushing . A splaying of the bristles on your toothbrush could be signs of heavy-handedness - or, at the very least, that it’s time to change your toothbrush! You can also look out for sore or bleeding gums, which could be a sign of brushing too hard and gum recession.
How do I Make Sure I’m Not Overbrushing?
- Brush your teeth regularly - but not too regularly. Twice a day, in the morning and at night, for two minutes each time, is enough. If you prefer to brush after meals to get rid of strong tastes or food particles, it’s important to make sure you’re being extra careful so that the additional brushing doesn’t damage your gums or enamel.
- Use soft bristled brushes. The harder the bristles, the more abrasive they will be against the surface of your teeth. Some people feel that hard bristles help to give a deeper clean, but as long as you’re brushing regularly for the right amount of time it isn’t necessary to give your teeth a hard scrub. Keep an eye out for splaying on your toothbrush head, because even soft bristles can damage your teeth if you exert too much pressure.
- Use a sonic toothbrush. One big mistake people make while brushing their teeth is using vigorous up and down motions, which can damage the enamel. You should think of the bristles giving your teeth a massage rather than a scrub. Sonic toothbrushes use pulses rather than strokes, giving your teeth a gentle but deep clean - just hold the brush against your gum line and let the vibrations do the hard work. Our Pulse portable sonic toothbrush is an excellent option as you can carry it with you for a quick clean after big meals!
If you’re worried that you might be overbrushing your teeth just look out for the telltale signs above, and remember that gentle, regular brushing is all your teeth need to stay clean and healthy!