You recognise the value of proper dental hygiene and brush and floss regularly. Is it possible that you brush your teeth too much? Yes, dentists agree on that! Too much tooth brushing, often known as overbrushing, can harm your teeth and gums. What is overbrushing, and what can it do to your teeth? Do you think there’s anything you can do about it? Stay tuned to know the answers.
Brushing your teeth vigorously weakens them.
Overbrushing your teeth relates to not just “how much” but also “how” you brush your teeth. Brushing obsessively or vigorously can cause oral health issues, including tooth abrasion, tooth sensitivity, and gum recession. Tooth abrasion is the mechanical loss of enamel and cementum, (which is the coating on the tooth roots) over time. Tooth abrasion is more likely to happen if you:
- Brush your teeth too forcefully
- brush more than required
- use a toothbrush with harsh abrasive bristles
Aggressive motions combined with abrasive brushes erode away the enamel over time. Brushing too hard causes the gums to recede, exposing the cementum, which wears away at the same rate as the enamel.
Nothing would protect the softer layers of your teeth from germs, trauma, plaque buildup, acidic food, and other damaging things if the enamel and cementum were missing. Your teeth will be more prone to decay and tooth loss. Furthermore, your teeth will be more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
Vigorous brushing can be the cause of tooth sensitivity
When the tooth enamel is worn away by a toothbrush due to aggressive brushing habits, the nerve endings in the dentin layer become exposed or close enough to the surface to cause dental sensitivity. When your teeth are subjected to hot, cold, sweet, or sour stimuli, or when you clean your teeth, you may experience discomfort or pain.
Excessive Fluoride destroys the natural teeth colour
Brushing often indicates you’re getting more fluoride than the average person. This isn’t a problem for adults, but children’s teeth react differently. Too much fluoride can induce fluorosis, a cosmetic problem characterised by discoloration or mottling of the permanent teeth. On the surface of your beautiful whites, spots, streaks, or pits form, and the damage is sometimes irreparable.
Since their permanent teeth are still forming, it is more common in children under the age of eight. Swallowing fluoride-containing items, such as toothpaste and mouthwash, is a common cause of tooth decay. As a result, overbrushing renders your children more susceptible to long-term aesthetic dental disorders.
Gum recession can also be caused by aggressive and ineffective brushing. The weaker cementum of the root is exposed and fragile when this happens. Exposed cementum is not only readily worn away and serrated, causing sensitivity and discomfort, but it’s also more prone to deterioration.
How will you know that you are overbrushing?
How can you tell if you’re brushing your teeth too much? The following are some of the most prevalent signs of overbrushing:
- Gums that are receding – The gums might recede as a result of heavy-handedness, leaving enormous gaps between the teeth and the gum line. Bacteria and plaque have an easier time accumulating in these gaps.
- Sensitive Teeth — Worn-out enamel is weak enough to protect the teeth’ interior, more sensitive areas from severe temperatures. Sensations in the mouth become more acute, and the respite provided by medicated toothpaste quickly wears off.
- Even if you’re taking medicated dental treatments if your tooth sensitivity returns every couple of weeks, book an appointment with your dentist to have your enamel checked.
- Dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush every three months if it is damaged. The bristles wear down and form small serrated edges that harm the teeth during this time.
Is your toothbrush torn and splayed before your period is finished? It’s an indication that you’re scrubbing your teeth too hard or too often.
How to Avoid Overbrushing?
Avoid using a toothbrush with medium or firm bristles. The only time you should use one of these toothbrushes is if you have poor dexterity and can’t reach all parts of your mouth. Enamel damage may be avoided using soft bristles toothbrushes. Brush your teeth thoroughly and gently.
Brushing your teeth vigorously will not remove plaque as thoroughly as soft brushing will. Brushing with care is more vital than brushing with force. Electric toothbrushes can assist avoid overbrushing, so they’re a good choice if you brush too hard on a regular basis.
When it comes to cleaning your teeth, less is more. According to a new study, brushing your teeth with more than a small amount of pressure or for more than two minutes may not make them any cleaner and may raise your risk of oral health problems.
Many individuals assume that brushing their teeth for longer and harsher periods of time is healthier for their teeth, according to experts. However, the study found that there is a limit to how much pressure your teeth can withstand and that adding more force or time won’t help.
The purpose of brushing your teeth, according to researcher Peter Heaseman, professor of periodontology at Newcastle University’s School of Dental Sciences, is to eliminate plaque, a sticky material that may solidify on teeth and gums when food particles are left in the mouth. Plaque accumulation can lead to diseases other than cavities, such as gum disease. Brushing too hard or for too long, on the other hand, can damage your teeth’ protective enamel, irritate your gums, and create other oral health issues.
The correct way of brushing your teeth
Cleaning enamel and plaque is best done by gently brushing the tooth surface in a circular motion. Electric toothbrushes make good use of this circular motion and are a fantastic choice if you’re having problems brushing properly with a regular toothbrush. What is a proper brushing technique? The following are the steps that a dentist recommends:
- Use a toothbrush with a gentle bristle.
- Aim your brush at the gum line while holding it at a 45-degree angle.
- Brush in a circular motion rather than a sawing motion back and forth.
- Apply just enough pressure to make the bristles seem like they’re brushing against your gums.
- Brush for two minutes, each quadrant for 30 seconds.
When it comes to brushing, how often should you do it? Brushing your teeth two to three times a day is recommended. Brushing after each meal — breakfast, lunch, and supper – will help to prevent germs from growing. However, it is crucial to wait one hour after each meal. Brushing your teeth immediately after having your meal may damage your teeth.
What does the research say about gentle brushing?
During a four-week trial, researchers looked at the brushing practices and periods of 12 volunteers who used electric toothbrushes. The participants learned how to use an oscillating toothbrush that was connected to a computer that recorded time and pressure. The researchers evaluated 16 different brushing times and pressures. Before and after brushing, plaque levels on the teeth were measured. Plaque removal improved when brushing duration was increased to two minutes and pressure was increased to 150 grams, which is roughly the weight of an orange.
Brushing your teeth requires only a modest amount of effort, according to researchers, because the pressure is given to such a limited region. However, if you’re not sure how to brush your teeth properly, arrange an appointment with your dentist or dental hygienist, who will be able to teach you the specific methods and explain to you how much pressure to use.
How often should you brush your teeth?
Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes is recommended by most dentists. If you don’t remove all of the plaque and food particles from your teeth, germs will proliferate and cause tooth decay. Brushing your teeth in between meals, on the other hand, isn’t always a terrible idea. Brushing more than three times a day will wear down the enamel on your teeth, so don’t do it. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, but no more than three times.
Treatments to Prevent Tooth Decay after Aggressive Brushing
Dental abrasion and gum recession, if remains unaddressed, can lead to cavities and possibly tooth loss. Your dentist may offer procedures to shield the tooth and cover the bare dentin to alleviate toothbrush abrasion and tooth discomfort. Using a fluoride varnish to reinforce the teeth’ surface, bonding a tooth-colored filling over the abraded region, or covering the exposed surface with a veneer are examples of these procedures. If excessive brushing has caused your gums to recede, they may never return to their previous state. In some circumstances, gum grafting surgery may be required to restore lost gum tissue and protect the exposed cementum.
It is crucial to note that if you want a pristine grin, overbrushing isn’t the way to go. You’ll always win the race for clean teeth and a healthy mouth if you use the right equipment and use a gentle but thorough brushing method.